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September 3, 2014


The 2014-2015 school year begins on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 for students who attend the 122 elementary schools, 17 high schools and four schools of special education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

This academic year marks the first anniversary of the hiring of Mr. Christopher Mominey as Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Mr. Mominey said, "I'm thrilled to be celebrating my first full year in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as Secretary for Catholic Education. At the start of this school year I especially want our teachers in all schools, no matter what level they teach, to know that their ministry is so critically important to the future of our Church. They are the ones who are equipping saints for life in this world and the next. As Philadelphia prepares to take center stage next year during the 2015 World Meeting of Families, I have no doubt that people will see our work, our mission and our ministry in Catholic education continue to grow and thrive well into the future."

You can view Mr. Mominey's welcome back to school video message at the following link:

Back-to-School Events in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Several back-to-school events at schools in the five-county Archdiocese are planned including:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Annual Prayer Convocation at Our Mother of Consolation Parish School
Our Mother of Consolation Church, 9 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Our Mother of Consolation Parish School will hold its annual Prayer Convocation with over 200 students, families and staff expected in the parish church on the eve of the first day of school. This annual gathering was created by Our Mother of Consolations' Spirituality Committee. Reverend Robert L. Bazzoli, O.S.F.S., pastor of Our Mother of Consolation will lead the school community in prayer. Following the prayer convocation, ice cream will be served in the front school yard, which is currently under renovation for the school's youngest students and will include a prayer garden, large playground and stepping stones made from reclaimed wood.

Our Mother of Consolation Parish School, founded in 1862, promotes spiritual and academic growth in a vibrant Catholic Christian Environment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
Opening School Mass honoring the Blessed Mother at Mater Dei Catholic School
Saint Stanislaus Church, 51 Lansdale Avenue, Lansdale, PA 19446 (Montgomery County)

Students in kindergarten through eighth grades at Mater Dei Catholic School will participate in an Opening Prayer Service honoring Mary, the Blessed Mother and following this year's school theme, "Blessed and Amazed with Mary as Our Inspiration." Several students will dress in costume to depict stories from the bible highlighting Mary's appearances. Monsignor Joseph Tracy, Pastor of Saint Stanislaus Parish; Monsignor James Graham, Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima Parish and Reverend Andrew Brownholtz, Pastor of Saint Maria Goretti Parish will preside.

The 2014-2015 school year marks Mater Dei Catholic School's third year as a regional school formed by the merger of Saint Stanislaus School in Lansdale, Saint Rose of Lima School in North Wales, and Saint Maria Goretti School in Hatfield (Montgomery County) in 2012.

Monday, September 8, 2014: at 8:05 a.m.
Faculty Prayer Service and Office Blessing
Saints Simon and Jude Parish School, 6 Cavanaugh Court, West Chester, PA 19382 (Chester County)

Approximately 35 faculty and staff members of Saints Simon and Jude Parish School will participate in a prayer service and office blessing by Reverend Michael J. Gerlach, Pastor of Saints Simon and Jude Parish. Renovations on a new main office were completed on July 30th. The main office is now located at the entrance of the school.

Saints Simon and Jude Parish School, located in Westtown Township, opened in 1962.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 9:20 a.m.
Opening School Liturgy, Honoring of Football Coach Dan Algeo and Aerial Football Field Message
Cardinal O'Hara High School, 1701 South Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064 (Delaware County)

Cardinal O'Hara High School will hold an Opening School Liturgy. During the liturgy the school will honor deceased faculty member and head football Coach, Dan Algeo. Mr. Algeo died suddenly at the age of 49 in July. Immediately following the liturgy the entire O'Hara student body, faculty and staff will gather at the football field for an aerial photo where they will spell out this year's school slogan, "All In." Dr. Carol Cary, Superintendent for Secondary Schools will represent the Office of Catholic Education at the opening liturgy.

Cardinal O'Hara High School was founded in 1963 and is a Catholic, co-educational high school rooted in Gospel values, and committed to developing productive and moral young men and women.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Unveiling and Blessing of New Pre-K2 Classroom During Back to School Night
Saint Michael the Archangel Parish School, 130 Levittown Parkway, Levittown, PA 19054 (Bucks County)

Saint Michael the Archangel will unveil to school families a new Pre-K second classroom, which opens for the 2014-2015 school year. The new classroom was made possible in part by a $5,000 grant from the Office of Catholic Education to Saint Michael the Archangel Parish School. A ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing by Reverend Michael DiIorio, Pastor of Saint Michael the Archangel will take place during "Back to School Night" festivities.

Saint Michael the Archangel Parish School opened in 1954.

Friday, September 12, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
Opening of School Mass
Saint Andrew Church, 3500 School Lane, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 (Delaware County)

Saint Andrew Parish School will hold an opening Mass to mark the beginning of the academic year. Monsignor Albin Grous, Pastor of Saint Andrew Parish will be the celebrant and homilist. Students in eighth grade serve as lectors for the First Reading and the Prayer of the Faithful during Mass. Students in various grades also serve as leaders of song and present the gifts. This year Saint Andrew Parish School will welcome 84 new students.

Saint Andrew Parish School opened in 1922.

Recent Announcements Regarding Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Archdiocesan Class of 2014 Earns a Record $320 Million in College Scholarships:
3,629 young men and women who graduated from the 17 high schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in June earned a grand total of $320,573,955 in scholarships. This scholarship total, which includes both academic and athletic scholarships, is the largest in Archdiocesan history. 91% of the Class of 2014 have pursued a post-secondary education. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also had a high school graduation rate of 99% in 2014.

Among the scholarship winners were three Gates Millennium Scholars, Ana DeJesus from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School, Imani Richburg from West Catholic Preparatory High School and Alex Tieu from Roman Catholic High School for Boys. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation (B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.) scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. Ms. Dejesus, Ms. Richburg and Mr. Tieu were chosen from among 50,000 applicants nationally.

20 Archdiocesan Elementary Schools Recognized During First InMath� Award Ceremony:
In June 2014, 20 Archdiocese of Philadelphia parish and regional elementary schools, whose students and educators have ranked nationally in the First InMath� online program were honored during a local awards ceremony.

Josephine Nguyen, a sixth grade student at Saint Cecilia Parish Elementary School, was named the top player nationally in the First InMath� program for the third year in a row. In addition, Saint Martin of Tours School had the third place educator nationally. Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Veronica Parish Elementary Schools are ranked fourth and fifth nationally for the First InMath� team category.
Dr. Robert Sun (Saint Francis de Sales School Class of 1962) invented the 24 Game in 1988. In 2002, the 24 Game� expanded and moved to the internet under the title First in Math�. The online program begins August 1st and ends April 30th each year. Students compete within their school, with other schools in the Archdiocese, with over 1,000 schools in Pennsylvania and over 5,000 schools nationwide.

Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future Launch "Transfer Advantage" Campaign:
In June, the "Transfer Advantage" campaign was launched as an outreach to parents of any students entering 10th, 11th or 12th grades who are not currently enrolled at an Archdiocesan high school. Transfer students, who meet all admission requirements and are accepted to one of the 17 Archdiocesan high schools, would be eligible to receive a $1,000 grant for the 2014-2015 academic year.

In addition to the roll out of a new website,, radio and transit campaigns were also launched in Philadelphia and the four suburban counties and will run through early Fall 2014. The tag line for the campaign is, "It's their future. Don't settle." The transit campaign began June 27th and runs through September 21st. The radio campaign began airing on local stations July 14th and ran through August 17th.


Editor's Note: For more information about schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia please visit

Bonnie Olinger
Communications Specialist

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