Welcome to the Good News About Catholic Schools

Catholic Schools Week 2019

BISHOP DAVID M. O’CONNELL, C.M.

A message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

This past year, five of our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton were awarded the coveted National Blue Ribbon School recognition by the United States Department of Education. That is an amazing accomplishment and a source of pride not only for the individual schools themselves – administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, parish priests, students and families – but for all of us committed to Catholic education. Our Catholic schools have been regularly among those singled out for this recognition but to have five in one academic year is truly awesome!

Each year, the Church in our country dedicates the last week of January to Catholic schools and gratefully lifts them up as one of the most prominent means for the transmission of our Catholic faith to the young. Building upon the foundations established within Catholic families, our Catholic schools partner with them in opening the minds, hearts and souls of the students entrusted to their care to look at the world in a different, fuller, deeper way motivated by our Catholic faith.

Learning “happens” in a Catholic school because teaching puts the student and his/her needs first. There, knowledge and truth are “experienced” by them through the dedication and commitment of professionals who believe in what they teach as a revelation of God’s goodness and love for the world he has created. Religion and all the other academic subjects, integrated and taught so effectively and comprehensively, are a “package deal” in a Catholic school.[…Continue Reading]

Catholic school students enjoy a new paradigm of learning

BISHOP DAVID M. O’CONNELL, C.M.

A message from JoAnn Tier, Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Young children approach life and school with open minds, eager for adventure and new learning. At what point does that enthusiasm change to passiveness or the disconnection often experienced in classrooms?

As an educator, I was perplexed when I experienced this disengagement with my third-grade son. Charlie had a propensity to tune out of class periodically. He would look out the window, watch the contrails of a plane and become lost in thought. My son was a dreamer. The traditional classroom did not appear to hold his interest. How could that creative dreaming be channeled into productive learning?

Fast-forward to college. It was at Lehigh University where my son would focus on his interests, and as an engineering major, be truly challenged as a student. Learning became an insatiable part of his reality as new programs of study motivated him and informed his thinking.

A visit to our son on Lehigh’s campus provided a source of inspiration for me, as well. In one of the ivy-covered, stately buildings was a plaque honoring John J. Karakash, a distinguished professor and dean emeritus in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. It read:

“…Our goal is to produce good people – young men and women who learn to think to the point where thinking is a habit, who have been exposed to and encouraged to develop and live by a set of values, who have developed methods and approaches to the intelligent application of knowledge and last but not least, who accept the virtue of work as a vehicle of service and the will to work as a self-discipline.”

I copied that quote and pondered its wisdom. It summed up a beautiful philosophy for education. A philosophy that is depicted in the effort and work of Catholic school educators … to produce good people … who learn to think to the point where thinking is a habit…[…Continue Reading]

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THE BUZZ

  • “One of the bigger differences between Catholic and public education is the ability to share openly in our beliefs, and to use the way of Christ as a guide for ourselves and our students. Academically we … are able to focus more on the whole child instead of standardized assessment.”

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    Salavatore Chiaravalloti
    Principal, St. Ann School, Lawrenceville
  • “It’s always a joy to share the things that make Catholic schools special.”

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    Melina Stern
    Sixth Grade Teacher, Trenton Catholic Academy, Lower School
  • Learning ‘happens’ in a Catholic school because teaching puts the student and his/her needs first. There, knowledge and truth are ‘experienced’ by them through the dedication and commitment of professionals who believe in what they teach as a revelation of God’s goodness and love for the world he has created. Religion and all the other academic subjects, integrated and taught so effectively and comprehensively, are a ‘package deal’ in a Catholic school.”

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    Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
    Tenth Bishop of Trenton
  • “Catholic schools exist to teach students about God and to integrate the faith in all areas of the curriculum. The faith-life of students will be supported as enhanced curriculum guidelines immerse the teachings of the Gospel into all subjects providing resources for faculty implementation.”

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    JoAnn Tier
    Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Trenton
  • “Just as challenges to healthy Catholic schools increase with each passing year, so, too, must the number of priests and parishes who are willing to champion them. ”

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    Rayanne Bennett
    Associate Publisher, The Monitor; Executive Director of Communications
  • “We educate the mind, body and spirit of our students…the academic rigor, opportunity for Christian service and co-curricular activities are top notch. Receiving a Catholic education gives the student the whole package.”

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    Joanna Barlow
    Principal, Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceveille
  • “The mission for the [Catholic] curriculum is to prepare the students for success in their readings, writing, speaking and listening skills across all disciplines. The vision encompasses the mindset to guide students to become lifelong learners, to read widely, become culturally literate, to use written and verbal communication to express opinions and to demonstrate critical analysis while infusing the tenets of our Catholic faith.”

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    Dr. Margaret Boland
    Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools
  • “The three main values I learned in Catholic school were faith, compassion and accountability.”

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    Jimmy Yacabonis
    Starting Pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles & St. Benedict School Alumni
  • “Jesus Christ is the center of our Catholic educational program; Jesus is its heart, and Jesus is its enlightenment, knowledge and saving grace of the world that enables our students to truly make a difference.”

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    Father Gabriel J. Zeis
    Vicar for Catholic Education, Diocese of Trenton