As the excitement of the new school year gives way to students settling into their daily routines, the last week of September is a great time to shake things up a little bit and celebrate our school’s patron saint, St. Michael. Just as the Church’s liturgical seasons include Ordinary Time and Feast Days, our parish school takes the opportunity to celebrate the feast of St. Michael!
“We could be any other school, but our faith sets us apart,” says Principal Ruth Hittel. “This is an opportunity to celebrate our children, our families, our staff, and our patron saint. Our Catholic faith is the reason why we are here, so let’s celebrate that!”
In addition to focusing specifically on St. Michael, students also learn more about the Choir of Angels. Different grade levels complete activities based on their age to better understand the levels of angels. Students create art projects to line the walls of the Parish Life Center that parishioners can admire at a dinner on Sept. 29.
“This week is a time to celebrate our faith,” says Mrs. Hittel. “It’s a time when we can be a little more relaxed and have fun. We take a day of the week to focus on different angels and what they help us with. On Monday, we study St. Gabriel and discuss his role as a messenger. We will end the week with St. Michael and learn how he is our defender.”
At this time in our society, having a quality Catholic education as a reasonable option for families is very important.
“Canon law says that parents are the first educators of their children,” Mrs. Hittel says. “When they choose to send their kids to our school, we take on an important role in that education. The trust that parents have in us is something that we take very seriously. We incorporate prayer into many parts of our day. We also take time to learn about St. Michael and the angels because that is part of our faith. One of the beautiful things that we have seen take place is an increase in non-Catholic students attending our school. We bring them in, give them a good education, and show them the beauty of our faith in everything we do. Through that, we have seen many children and their families choosing to become Catholic!”
By giving the kids the opportunity to have time for fun activities this week, we are celebrating the joys of childhood and the joys of our faith. Classroom time is vitally important, but it is also “business time” and it can be easy to forget that play is an important work of childhood as well.
On Friday, September 29, the school celebrates the feast of St. Michael with Mass, Adoration, and Benediction. Later that evening, the parish will celebrate with Mass and a parish dinner.
“During this week, we also take the opportunity to send ‘thank you’ cards to our generous donors and families,” Mrs. Hittel says. “It takes a lot to operate a Catholic school and we appreciate their selfless gifts and dedication to helping us succeed.”
The relationship between a parish and a parish school is an important one. As our students take time to celebrate during St. Michael Fest Week, please keep them in your prayers!