January 29 through February 4 was Catholic Schools Week, the annual national celebration of our Catholic schools. As a parish, we have always recognized the value of Catholic education and have supported our families and schools in educating our young people so they can reach their full potential. We acknowledge the vital role of parents and also the school faculty, staff, and volunteers in this effort. We also celebrate our students as they learn about their faith and the skills they need in the 21st century.
Our parish has always been linked to Catholic education in Wisconsin Rapids: It was in October of 1948 when Bishop John P. Treacy approved plans to construct St. Mary’s School. The school opened on September 19, 1949 with 155 students in attendance. In September 1951, Tri-City Catholic High School (later to be renamed Assumption High School) was established and began to use the second floor classrooms of St. Mary’s School for classes. Assumption used these classrooms for three years while the new school was constructed on Chestnut Street. In September 1954, the students moved to the current Assumption High School building.
This years’ theme for Catholic Schools Week — “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” — focused on the core of Catholic education. Schools are not only communities themselves, they are also part of larger communities, including the parishes of the Wisconsin Rapids Deanery and our entire nation. As a parish, we support our Catholic schools through prayer, resources, and significant monetary subsidy. The schools, in turn, collaborate with families to develop our children into future model leaders and citizens. This year’s theme also highlighted key elements of Catholic education: academic excellence, leadership, and dedication to service. These elements are what set Catholic schools apart from other educational options.
Our Catholic schools are a part of our future as a Church and as a nation. May God bless them and all who contribute to the important work they do on behalf of the children of our deanery and parishes across the country.