Catholic Schools Week



Skyline Chili provided on Tuesday of CSW excited the students

Each year, Catholic schools across the nation come together to celebrate something they all have in common: Catholic education. Every year since 1974 the schools have been celebrating the idea of having our Catholic religion intertwined with the daily education received by thousands. In the terms of the National Catholic Education Association, they say that “through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.” The NCEA is very adamant about the “celebration” to have enough money to send kids to private Catholic schools. In fact, almost every single catholic high school in the U.S. celebrates the week in some form.

Elder High School will not be excluded from that statistic. Elder is very proud of their Catholic education. Before each class begins a prayer is said by the class as a whole and sometimes includes intentions. So, one could argue that we celebrate our religion every class. But, no, the school needs a week to remind us that we are indeed Catholic. This year, like years before, Elder has followed the tradition of the Catholic Schools Week, other known as CSW. For some reason there is a certain amount of hype going into CSW as if maybe this year we will do a paint ball fight or something interesting. But as the events of the 2020 CSW were released, the hopes of an interesting week evaporated before our eyes once again. However, CSW definitely gives the students a short break from the mundane rigors of high school or maybe keep a senioritis stricken senior awake for one more period.

Elder High proudly a Catholic School

To kick off the week, the focus is not on the students. The first day of the week, there was a “complimentary breakfast for faculty/staff in the faculty dining room.” I guess the teachers deserve the breakfast, right? They have to deal with some of the most hormonally imbalanced creatures on the planet: teenagers. Balancing 30 different high intensity personalities mixed along with enough surplus testosterone to power a neighborhood for a week. All jokes aside, the students of Elder are very grateful for the outstanding teachers at our disposal for more than just advice on the equation on the board. Also, on Monday there was an impetus for the students to come to the first day of CSW. There was actual Skyline being served for five dollars at lunch. It seemed that it was brought from the Skyline on Glenway near Glenway Crossing since it was the manager from that location. The Skyline, sadly, was not as pleasing to the taste buds as it would be at the actual building. Other than the excess water and black Styrofoam plate it was served on, the cheese and consistency of the chili was satisfactory.

Next, was Tuesday. The second day of CSW had little to offer but a lot to gain. Let me elaborate. For the week prior to CSW the students heard over the announcements about bringing in items to donate to St. Vincent De Paul. So, instead of bringing money in to be out of uniform, the students must bring at least two items to donate. And the reward for this was the option to dress down/up as a superhero. Only God knows why they chose superheroes, but it’s OK. Then Wednesday rolled around. Wednesday offered us an all school mass with our sister school Seton. Not only was there mass, but all of the Elder students were required to wear dress shoes and a tie. The mass served two purposes that day: worship and waking. Having a whole entire school of girls in a room with Elder High School surely kept the boys awake for the time being.

Thursday, though, was interesting to say the least. To start, another meal was held for the teachers, hosted by Moms club. For those who don’t know Moms club is a big deal. The ring leader, Pam Kent, is a scary mom. She can strike fear in the bravest of men and has just as much power the principal. Just kidding. But, Moms club does host a better than average lunch for the teachers so thank you moms. For the students on the other hand, it was once again Grade school day. For this, each student is allowed to wear the colors or attire that their grade school offered. The day is overhyped every year, but one plus side is the Instagram and twitter accounts that post pictures of the kids in their “true” colors. We can thank Kathy Hirth for that.

The week comes to a close with a traditional purple Friday. The main event, though, was probably the “Ice Cream Social” presented in the cafeteria. Although it was just standing in line for five seconds and grabbing a shortcake ice cream, the “social” part wasn’t there. At the end of the day there was a Career Panel for the upper classmen of elder. Here, the social part of the day was completed. Each student walked around to different professionals and asked them questions regarding the field that they entered. In my opinion, this is a fantastic idea. Students who don’t know what they will do in the future can ask what that field will be like.

The 2020 Catholic Schools Week could be considered a successful one once again. After analyzing the week, I have come to find that it is more of a gratitude of the people in that Catholic Schools rather than the schools themselves. As weeks come and go, CSW will go in the rearview mirror like many years passed.