February 1, 2019

Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Celebrates Catholic Schools Week With Day-Long Community Service Event Featuring 450 Catholic School Students

Students from elementary schools, high schools, and schools of special education packaged
3,000 bags to benefit Catholic Housing and Community Services

Today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia held the keystone event of its annual Catholic Schools Week (CSW) celebration with a day-long community service initiative, From Generation to Generation—Sharing Our Faith Through Service to Others.” 

Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic Education in the Archdiocese, was joined by senior administrators in the Office of Catholic Education and Catholic Housing and Community Services as well as partners in Catholic Education for the event.   

The day brought 450 students representing Archdiocesan high schools, parish and regional elementary schools, and schools of special education to Saint John Neumann Center at the National Shrine of Saint John Neumann. These young people combined efforts to package 3,000 bags with personal care items to benefit individuals served by Catholic Housing and Community Services (CHCS).  Students also made personal note cards to be included in the bags. 

Mr. John Wagner, the Deputy Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Housing and Community Services, said, “What you do today will make a difference in their lives. Beyond providing a new toothbrush, your notes will certainly renew their hope and faith in the goodness of their fellow man.” He continued, “It is my hope that after you leave today, you will reflect on what took place here today.  You will take a few moments to think about the impact that you have had on so many people who at times believe they are forgotten.  I further hope that this experience will inspire you to take an active part in giving back to your communities no matter where your life and education take you.” 

CHCS is an agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia within the Secretariat for Catholic Human Services. CHCS serves older adults through an array of programs throughout the Philadelphia region.  The programs include senior housing, senior centers, older adult care management, in-home support programs, adult day care, an elder care helpline, and senior clubs.

In addition, representatives from the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Archdiocese worked with students to handcraft rosaries which will be distributed by CHCS to their clients.

The Pontifical Mission Societies has been in existence for 197 years.  It is responsible for helping to bring to realization Jesus’ great command . . . “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Matt 28:19 The organization is international, present in over 120 countries, and exists to enable the Holy See to ensure that those who are helped in their personal needs can in turn bear witness to the Gospel.

This is the Extraordinary Year of Mission in the Archdiocese, which began on October 21, 2018 (international celebration of World Mission Sunday) and lasts throughout October 2019.

The national observance of Catholic Schools Week is Sunday, January 27-Saturday, February 2, 2019 and the theme is Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed. 

The event was streamed via Facebook live on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools Facebook page.  Video is available there at https://www.facebook.com/AOPSschools/.  


Editor’s Note: For more information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit https://www.aopcatholicschools.org/.  For more information about Faith in the Future, please visit http://faithinthefuture.com/.

For additional information about Catholic Housing and Community Service, please visit http://chcsphiladelphia.org/ and for more information about the Pontifical Mission Societies, please visit http://phillymissions.org/



Meredith Wilson
Media and Events Specialist