Students and staff at Defiance’s Holy Cross Catholic School will be celebrating Catholic School Spirit Week next week, with several activities and events taking place (see information box), including the celebration of teachers.
One of the busiest classes leading up to Spirit Week was Jackie Westfall’s sophomore year, where some students received First Communion last week, while others received the sacrament this weekend. Students in the Westfall class have expressed how eagerly they look forward to the week’s activities.
When asked what they expected the most, students gave the following responses:
“We get to know God and Jesus. “
“We can pray for anyone, and everyone across the country will pray (Thursday during the National Day of Prayer).”
“We are going to mass and I am making my second communion. “
Westfall said the students even wrote a book called “Why Holy Cross Catholic School is Special to Me.”
“Each student wrote a page for the book, explaining why going to school here is special for each of them,” Westfall said. “Children also learn cursive writing in grade two, and one way to learn it is through the book“ Writing Our Catholic Faith, ”in which they write prayers and answer questions.
One student said of her page in the book, “I wrote about how much I love learning more about the Holy Family.
Principal Rose Reinhart is delighted that Spirit Week is taking place in May, instead of the usual January date for Catholic Schools Week. Reinhart explained that students can do so much more in May because the weather is so much nicer.
“Spiritually having Spirit Week in May works well because it is the month of Mary (the mother of Jesus), academically all of our condition tests are done, and it works well with the weather”, Reinhart said. “There really is so much more we can do in May, just the fact that we can go out for events is important, compared to January where we know we’re going to be inside all the time.”
On Thursday, the National Day of Prayer, each class will have a choice of how they handle prayer on that day.
“I left it to the teachers to manage their prayer time on this day,” said Reinhart. “We recognize that there are different forms of prayer, service is a form of prayer, singing is a form of prayer, reciting the Rosary is a form of prayer, so each class will decide what to do during a programmed time. Some classes will use the chapel, others will use the cave and stepping stones.
Aileen Meyer, Marketing Director at Holy Cross, said honoring the Holy Family will play an important role in Spirit Week.
“On May 1, we will recognize Saint Mary and Saint Joseph, and on Monday each student will receive a Saint Joseph charm through our Parent Ministry Organization (PMO),” said Meyer. “It’s something they wanted to start last year, but unfortunately the school was closed. From this year, our students will be able to collect a charm each year they attend Sainte-Croix, the charm being the Saint of the year.
During Spirit Week, students were asked to bring boxes of food and other items that will be set up like dominoes on May 7 in the long hallway of the school as part of a ” Domino Rally Food Drive ”. Students were asked to bring boxed products such as cereal, macaroni and cheese, crackers, cake mix, granola bars, oatmeal, tissues, boxes of pencils, pasta, tuna, and items such as 5 minute meals.
Students will line up in the hallway to cheer as the boxes fall like dominoes from end to end. The goal is 503 boxes, which will then be donated to the Catholic Pantry at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Defiance.
In addition, the school has partnered with Domino’s Pizza for lunch which will be served on May 7th.
“The lighthouse student team came up with the idea, they thought since we were going to have a day of dominoes, wouldn’t it be fun to have Domino’s Pizza? Meyer said. “I called Domino’s Pizza and they said, ‘Of course we would love to do that!’ Domino’s is also planning to donate boxes for our Domino Rally, each box representing a gift card that will also be returned to the pantry.
Said Reinhart: “What a great example of student leadership.”
Reinhart explained that Catholic schools in the area are planning to meet for Spirit Week in May 2022. This week will include a visit from Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Diocese of Toledo. Schools in the area will gather at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Edgerton for the bishop’s visit.