It is National Catholic Schools Week! The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2012 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.” The annual observance officially started yesterday – the last Sunday in January and will run all week to February 5. Schools typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Mass, open houses and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large. Locally, we’ve seen newspaper ads, special coverage in The Pilot and talk about Catholic Schools in our weekly parish bulletins. Many schools celebrate by honoring a distinguished school alum as the Immaculate Conception School did last Saturday with its recognition of ICS grad Kevin Ahern.
Catholic schools have a long and rich tradition in Lowell and in the Merrimack Valley. Of those schools still open and active in Lowell: St. Patrick’s School in the Acre opened in 1852, the Immaculate Conception School in 1880, St. Michael’s in 1889, St. Jeanne d’Arc School in 1910, St. Margaret’s School in 1941, Franco-American School in 1963 (opened as orphanage in 1908) and Lowell Catholic High School in 1989 as the successor to its legacy schools – Keith Academy(1926) and Keith Hall (1926), Keith Catholic, St. Patrick’s HS, St. Joseph’s HS and St. Louis Academy.
Catholic Schools Week – a time for students to celebrate their unique path of learning within the parish, community and nation – will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.
What are your memories of Catholic schools in Lowell and the Catholic school experience?