National Catholic Schools Week this year is recognized from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. This weeklong celebration is themed “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Schools across the nation will observe this holiday with open houses, Masses and other special activities. While Catholic Schools Week is nearing its end, Center Grove ICON would like to celebrate alongside them, sharing what makes our schools special and what’s going on this year in this annual special section.
A word from the Archdiocese
Catholic Schools Week 2022 is being celebrated from Sunday, Jan. 30 through Saturday, Feb. 5. In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, our Catholic schools serve over 20,000 pre-K through 12th-grade students in 68 schools across central and southern Indiana. Our Catholic schools celebrate this week with special Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis excel on every measure of academic success including state and national assessments, graduation rates and college acceptance rates. Our graduates become leaders in government, business, education, technology, engineering and so much more. Our schools are recognized for teaching critical thinking and instilling strong Christian values. Our Catholic schools are appreciated for the value they bring to students, families and communities. Our Catholic faith is the basis for all these successes.
Our Catholic schools provide an exemplary academic education, but they also provide so much more. Built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, our Catholic schools are a vibrant ministry of the Catholic Church where students are taught and inspired to excel in their lives on earth and to live eternally with God in heaven. The outstanding academic education in our Catholic schools is infused with Gospel values. Guided by our Catholic identity and mission, we believe in the full potential of each of our students. Therefore, we intentionally focus on the growth and development of the whole human person: spiritual, physical, mental and social. Our students learn to discern the voice of God by utilizing their gifts to make the world a better place and to build up the kingdom of God. Our Catholic schools maintain their purpose through constant references to the Gospel and frequent encounters with Christ. This high-quality education would not be possible without our amazing educators who live the mission of Catholic schools every day.
If you are interested in learning more about your local Catholic schools, attend one of the open houses. If you are interested in your child being taught and formed in one of our amazing Catholic schools, please contact your local school office. If you would like to work in this wonderful and supportive environment, contact our schools or visit the Office of Catholic Schools’ webpage (ocs.archindy.org).
Dr. Brian Disney
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Our Lady of the Greenwood
MESSAGE from OUR PRINCIPAL
Dear readers: For over 60 years, Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School has been a vital part of the Southside. From its beginnings with the Sisters of Providence to being named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U. S. Department of Education, our students continue to develop the tenets of faith, knowledge and service.
Our school fosters spiritual growth through preparation for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation. Thrice daily prayer, religion classes, two weekly all-school masses along with sacramental participation and special liturgical celebrations provide an environment where students can express and live their faith.
You and your family are welcome here. Experience the difference and begin the journey with Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School. Call our school office to schedule an appointment to meet at your convenience. Visit our website at ol-g.org. Find us on Facebook and Instagram at olgeagles1. Thursday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. is our annual winter open house. Meet teachers, receive a student-led tour, get to know our parents, learn what we have to offer. There is something here for every child aged 3 to 14.
Come and journey with us.
Why is OLG important in my life?
Our Lady of the Greenwood has impacted my life to a large extent. The reasons why? Teachers are concerned about the students’ well-being, OLG has an overall joyful environment, and the lessons are often engaging. Plus, there are other things that I learned from OLG that have benefitted me and prepared me for the future.
As I stated first, OLG teachers care about whether or not students are OK. If a kid is crying in class, often the teacher of the class will pull the student aside and inquire about what has been bothering them. Some teachers even tell the entire class that they (the teachers) will listen to students and try to help in the case of a problem.
My second reason why OLG is a good school and has impacted my life in a positive manner is that the school overall has a joyful environment. It seems as though almost all of the kids are almost always happy or neutral.
My third reason is that the lessons the teachers teach are often engaging. Education is extremely important. As Nelson Mandela puts it, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As Malala Yousafzai claims, “With education you can kill terrorism.” As Benjamin Franklin says, “An education is the investment with the greatest returns.” The messages all contribute to the idea that knowledge and education equal power, opportunities and good things. Kids, however, may not realize how important it is to learn and how lucky they are to have education. The lessons taught at Our Lady of the Greenwood are often engaging, and most teachers have activities for kids to complete as part of the lesson. Even on the days where I don’t put in a lot of effort to focus and pay attention, the lessons taught at OLG cause me to pay attention without me even realizing it.
Then there are other ways OLG has impacted my life. I will provide three examples. While I was in first grade, I didn’t do my homework too often. I was a little kid who had yet to learn the value of education and the fact that my peers and I had grades and report cards. Then a teacher told me that I had to work on my homework since I always forgot. I have always had self-motivation for longer than I can even remember. I’m not entirely sure that it was that moment in first grade or even later that I learned to be self-reliant. At some point, due to my homework from OLG, I realized that I couldn’t rely heavily on others and that things actually were completed when I took matters into my own hands, rather than depending on others to help me. That moment when I was in first grade may have taught me self-reliance.
Then came second grade. I had a very good writing teacher when I was in second grade (plus fourth grade and fifth grade). She more or less taught me how to write stories, which has significantly impacted my life.
I have a reputation as a writer, which suits me since I have been using a portion of my free time to write ever since then. Writing has kind of been almost but not entirely everything for me. Writing is now how I express myself, use my imagination and entertain myself. When I feel happy, I am in a good mood to write. When I am melancholy, I write about my sadness, which causes me to figure out why I am upset and provides me with a sense of precious clarity. That teacher has significantly impacted my life. My last example of OLG impacting me was when I learned to use a planner when I was in fifth grade. My teacher from that year taught me to use one, and I have been using my planner ever since. Using a planner has helped me to keep track of my assignments with ease and will likely be handy when I am in high school. OLG teachers recommend that students use one, and the school even gives all of the students (from first or second grade to eighth grade) a planner at the beginning of the school year.
As I have stated, attending Our Lady of the Greenwood has heavily impacted my life. Again, the factors that cause it to be an excellent school include the teachers’ concern for the well-being of the students, the overall joyful environment OLG has, the engaging lessons and the way OLG prepares kids for the future. OLG is an amazing school to be enrolled in.
O, how I love this school, The teaching they give; The diversity and friendliness, Thy loneliness will leave.
No sadness, no strife, When you are here; The students will make you feel, Nearer than near.
The staff of the school, stupendous, indeed; They’ll assist your child, When in need.
The principal of the school, Mr. Clady; Is indeed hilarious, Entertaining and lively.
To the lower floor, Elementary operate; Up the stairs, Middle school manipulates.
Specials and electives, Extra classes that you do; Art, music, gym, STEM, Now you’ve got a clue.
The cafeteria staff, Their food is the bomb; “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Before you make assumptions, try some.
Lot of sports and activities, You can engage in; Basketball, volleyball, kickball, and soccer, Are just some examples of them.
We are Catholic, This is true; We believe in God, So should you.
This is the place, Where students learn and grow; Where they learn to be kind, Where they use what they know.
We do lots of activities here, They are very fun; If you come to this school, You should engage in some.
And so I say to you, As I will say all of my days; Our Lady of the Greenwood, Is the place you should stay.
My name is Simon Inkenbrandt. I am a sixth grader at Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School. I have been a student of OLG since kindergarten. OLG has been a wonderful part of my life.
OLG is a National Blue Ribbon school. I learn so much every day. We have a lot of great resources that we use, like a real library. Ms. Rode, the science teacher, has fantastic lab equipment! Also, the middle school students can choose from several different fun electives. I really enjoy the Spanish class elective. We get to celebrate some of the Hispanic festivities and try some of the cultural food along with learning the Spanish language.
We live out our faith at OLG. The whole school goes to Mass on Wednesdays and Fridays. We also do very cool faith activities. For example, the eighth graders act out the Last Supper and the Passion of Jesus every year. We pray together every morning, at noon, and at the end of the day. The students get to participate in the Sacraments and do the readings and sing in the choir at Mass. I made my first communion and first reconciliation with all my friends from my class. One of my favorite classes right now is religion because my teacher, Mrs. Samuelson, incorporates art into her lessons.
The teachers are amazing! They work very hard to give their students the best possible education. They even stay after school for tutoring and special academic clubs. The teachers also work extra to teach us about our faith, even if we’re not in religion class. We go on lots of great field trips. The seventh or eighth grade even goes on a trip to Washington, D.C.! I am going next year in seventh grade. The parents and teachers have already started planning and I’m super excited. Lastly, the teachers prepare us for the challenges of life ahead. These are only a few of the reasons why OLG is an incredible school. OLG has made me a better person; I have grown in my faith and knowledge. The students, parents and teachers all work together as a family to make school a fun place to learn. I am proud to be an OLG Eagle.
Patience in the classroom is one of the most important things a teacher can have. At Our Lady of the Greenwood, patience is vast and omnipresent. Personally, I myself have never been a very patient person, however I feel the people at this school have helped me to accomplish what I needed most during these trying times. The teachers, students and staff have helped everyone here through thick and thin. That is why I love this school. The environment of this school is also why it is so important in my life. The joyous atmosphere instantly makes me feel more happy and connected to everyone here. The joy makes everything feel comfortable and cozy. This environment is essential for learning and growing. I heavily value this school. It has shaped me and turned me into the person I am today.
At OLG I made new friends. When I came to OLG for the first time, all the students and teachers were welcoming. Students and staff were helpful when struggling with problems in class. My grades are a lot better here than at my old school. I’ve learned more about God at this school. My faith has gotten more serious ever since I moved here. Lunch also tastes better than most schools. I learn a lot more in class than I did before. This is why you should send your children to OLG. We also have sports at our school. We have nice uniforms as well.
When trying to pick out a school that is the best for your child, there can be many options available, which might make the final decision tough. But I can say, with confidence, that OLG has been the best experience for my family. Many of my peers and I have grown strong, both academically and spiritually, and I believe it is the best possible option for any family that wants another opportunity to grow in their faith.
One of many things my family and I love about Our Lady of the Greenwood is the student-teacher interaction. With a small number of students, the teachers are able to interact with the students much more than they would with public schools. The students are able to grow faster in their education and faith in God with the great help of the teachers assisting them every step of the way.
Another thing I have loved about school is the friends I’ve made throughout my many years as a student. My family and I have loved being surrounded by an amazing network of friends and families that share our faith.
All in all, I’ve had nothing but enjoyable experiences with OLG, and I have collected many memories along the way, some of which will stay with me forever. The support we as a family have been given is immense, and the staff and teachers feel like one big family you won’t be able to get anywhere else. Ask any of the students, and I’m positive they’ll all tell you the same thing.
James “J.T.” Weiner
MESSAGE from OUR PRINCIPAL
For 53 years, Roncalli High School has stood the test of time as an excellent educational institution in the South Deanery of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. During that time, nearly everything about the school has changed. The school has changed leadership, curriculum, standards, teachers, bell schedules, extracurricular opportunities, uniforms and nicknames. With all that change, both internally and externally, how can any organization uphold its standard of excellence?
Author Simon Sinek provides one of the best answers to this question: “All organizations start with why, but only great ones keep their why clear year and year.”
When you walk into Roncalli, or any Catholic school in the Archdiocese, there is a sign that reads “Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school. He is the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes. He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students.” This sign speaks to the heart and mission of a Catholic school and why Roncalli continues to thrive in the face of change. Our faith is not simply taught in one class period a day or reserved for when it is time for all school Liturgy; instead, it is lived out in every aspect of our lives as Roncalli Royals!
To me, a Catholic education does not just offer me a chance to excel academically but to grow spiritually. Every teacher I have had in my time in Catholic schools has been devoted to ensuring students grow academically and become the version of themselves God is calling them to be. My time at Roncalli High School has given me the opportunities to learn about my faith and given me insight why we believe what we do. The opportunities to celebrate Mass, attend adoration and receive confession have brought me closer to Jesus and my community. Through Roncalli’s devotion to service, I have been able to serve my community through various food pantries and the pro-life ministry. The chances for me to grow in my relationships with others and God throughout the years I have been enrolled in Catholic schools is unmatched.
Saints Francis and Clare
MESSAGE from OUR PRINCIPAL
Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi School is excited to celebrate Catholic Schools Week once again this year. We will kick off the week on Saturday, Jan. 29 with our annual fundraiser for our Godparent Tuition Assistance Program. The Godparent Fund allows families the opportunity to apply for tuition assistance to support their child’s education at Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi School.
During Catholic Schools Week we focus on the value Catholic education provides to our students and the contributions our students can make to the church, our school, the community and beyond. In addition, we take time to celebrate with prayer, special activities and emphasis on a daily theme.
- Monday – Celebrate our Community
- Tuesday – Celebrate our Students
- Wednesday – Celebrate our Nation
- Thursday – Celebrate Vocations
- Friday – Celebrate Faculty, Staff and Volunteers
Students will participate each day in a special prayer, Kahoot Trivia game and dress related to the theme. Our annual Science Fair and annual Teacher vs. eighth-grade volleyball game will also take place. This year we are also adding our very first “Battle of The Books.”
Re-enrollment for existing families begins on Feb. 1 and then opens to new families on Feb. 15. We schedule tours throughout the year for families interested in discovering the difference that our school may offer their children. Our school accommodates children ages six weeks through eighth grade. You may set up an appointment to tour by calling our school office at ( 317) 859-4673.
Mrs. Betty Popp
Why are Catholic schools important?
Catholic schools are an important part of our community; they teach us to respect each other, love and cherish people and profess the good news of the gospel to everyone. A source from Orange County Catholic states, “Catholic schools raise children to have values such as integrity, honesty, a positive attitude, and loving others as Christ did.” These values not only help us to become better human beings, but to become more like Christ, the true savior.
Catholic schools are filled with delightful teachers and staff. They make sure that your learning abilities can be noticed and tested, and they help shape us into the people we are becoming. Catholic schools are a crucial part to our community, and shape children into becoming followers of Christ.
Throughout school, sports and social activities, a student’s life is brimming with activities to do. This may leave religion on the backburner in many scholars’ minds. But Catholic schools are working to put Catholicism in the spotlight with academics and even sports by incorporating religion into schoolwork and even dedicating a class purely for teaching and understanding Catholicism.
Catholic schools do so much for our community, the most apparent being teaching Catholicism. While this can be remedied with Sunday school, this is only one day per week. In Catholic schools, you get five days of deeper understanding of our faith. This and monthly activities to support our community like wrapping gifts for children during Christmas help shape the students of Catholic schools into hardworking and active members of a successful community. This and many more reasons are why Catholic schools are essential to us and the teaching of our faith.
Catholic schools help introduce students to God and help connect and unite everyone to the divine trinity: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We are all accepted and held accountable for our actions, which helps us be better human beings spreading God’s word.
We have religion every day, which allows us to grow closer and understand God and divine ways. We have developed a strong religious base for our life and how our lives and actions can affect other people’s lives by following and listening to God. Catholic schools also focus on our character so students can make the right decisions as adults.
By going to a Catholic school students learn how to understand God while being prepared for high school and life as an adult. We also have a very strong and a very deep understanding of our religion because of our strong foundation that was taught to us.
Catholic schools are very important to a young developing child because the learning material and environment is what you find in a public school and more. Not only do Catholic schools provide advanced learning material but they also tie it together with how the material relates to our personal lives.
Another reason is that Catholic schools create a second home for a child. The teachers care about children like they are their own children, and they’re always making sure that students are giving their full potential. Be that as it may, it is proven that Catholic schools produce way more college graduates than public schools, higher SAT scores and higher math and reading scores.
One last reason is that Catholic exposure is important for a young Catholic. It builds good Christian values and a better overall personality. Look into signing your children up for the upcoming school year.
Catholic schools are important because they offer the best education for faithful youth. As a student at a Saints Francis and Clare Catholic School, I have been able to experience this. Each day after the bell rings, we start the day with prayer, then head to religion or church. Throughout the school day, teachers make sure to incorporate prayers and faith-related activities into our curriculum. This allows us to experience our Catholicism fully and learn more about it. We also go to benediction and confession to become closer to God. At our sports practices, we pray for the team and others. But the best reason to go to a Catholic school is that you get to share your faith with the people around you. All of the things that you do, you can do them together. This helps you to have a deeper relationship with your peers and the Lord.