This week, local Catholic schools will showcase their programs and highlight the benefits of a Catholic education

By Malie Hudson     1/28/2019

Since 1974, the last Sunday of January marks the beginning of an important and special week for Catholic schools in the United States – National Catholic Schools Week. Every diocese across the country unites during this time to celebrate the value of Catholic education through a variety of activities and events.  

This year, Catholic Schools Week is observed Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 and will focus on the theme “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”  

The Diocese of Orange Catholic Schools system includes 41 accredited elementary and secondary schools that educate and challenge 17,800 students to exemplify the values in this year’s theme. 

“Our diocesan schools really have a commitment to academic excellence and faith formation. Our students have been learning and succeeding academically while infusing everything with our Catholic identity,” said Dr. Erin Barisano, Diocese of Orange superintendent of Catholic schools.  

Catholic Schools Week will give students the opportunity to shine and allow their families, parish community and the public to see what a Catholic education offers children. Some schools will showcase a science fair or a history exhibit, while others will offer a tour of the campus, open house and an opportunity to celebrate Mass with the school community.  

“It’s a real celebration of the community,” said Mike Schabert, associate superintendent of Catholic schools. “One of the beautiful aspects to a Catholic education, and one that makes it very unique, is that our students are in not just the school, but they’re part of a community. They’re with teachers that care about them, principals that care about them, students that care for one another, parents who are engaged in their student’s faith and education. And that is something that translates into a high quality excellent experience and one that is unique to our Catholic schools.” 

Within this environment, students are thriving academically. Schools in the diocese have consistently earned scores above the national average in standardized testing. In 2016, eight schools in the system were awarded the highest U.S. Department of Education distinction through the No Child Left Behind Act-Blue Ribbon School Program. All of the school sites have a 1-to-1 technology program that equips each student with an iPad or Chromebook. Additional tools such as makerspaces, 3-D printers and STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math) activities are also becoming a part of the curriculum.  

“Now we are at a point where we are continuing to build on that as technology changes all the time,” said Barisano. “We want to utilize it as a tool for student learning and for evangelization.” 

For some families the cost of a Catholic education is an issue.  However, in the Diocese of Orange there are financial aid options available. The Orange Catholic Foundation hosts an annual Conference on Business and Ethics that raises funds to provide financial aid for students from financially challenged families. Last May, the event raised nearly $600,000 that will benefit more than 350 students.  

Diocesan schools will open their doors to the public in the upcoming weeks. The following is a partial schedule of open houses and activities. For more information, please visit rcbo.org/catholic-schools-week.  


St. Catherine’s Academy
1-27-19, 12 – 1:30 p.m. 

St. Justin Martyr
1-27-19, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Pancake breakfast. 

St. Angela Merici
1-27-19, 9  – 10 a.m.
Mass at 9:30 a.m. 

St. Pius V
1-27-19, 10:15 a.m.
Mass at 9:15 a.m. 

St. John the Baptist
1-27-19, 2 – 4 p.m. 

St. Joachim
1-27-19  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mass at 10 a.m. 

St. Irenaeus
1-27-19, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

St. Juliana Falconieri
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Masses at 9 & 11 a.m. 

St. Columban
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mass at 9:30 a.m. 

Christ Cathedral
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Sts. Simon & Jude
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

St. Bonaventure
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
2-8-19, 8 – 9 a.m.    Preschool playdate
3-8-19, 8 – 9 a.m.    Preschool playdate
4-5-19, 8 – 9 a.m.    Preschool playdate
5-24-19, 8 – 9 a.m.  Preschool playdate 

St. Catherine of Siena
1-31-19, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
2-6-19, 9:30 a.m. 

St. Hedwig
1-27-19, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Our Lady Queen of Angels
1-27-19, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Mass at 8:30 a.m. 

St. Norbert
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Holy Family Cathedral
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Mass at 9:30 a.m. 

La Purisma
1-27-19, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Mass at 8 a.m. 

St. Joseph (Placentia)
1-27-19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

St. Junipero Serra
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Open house 

Our Lady of Fatima
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Science Fair 

St. Joseph (Santa Ana)
2-24-19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

St. Barbara
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Mass at 9:30 a.m. 

School of Our Lady
3-10-19 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mass at 8:30 a.m. 

St. Anne
3-3-19, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mass at 8:45 a.m. 

St. Polycarp
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

St. Cecilia
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30p.m.
Mass at 9 a.m. 

St. Jeanne de Lestonnac
1-30-19, 9 a.m. 

Blessed Sacrament
1-27-19, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Mass at 9:30 a.m. 

St. Francis of Assisi
1-27-19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.