St. Mary’s students excited for Catholic Schools Week
From Jan. 26-31, students at St. Mary’s School in New Richmond will join other Catholic schools in the area to take part in Catholic Schools Week, which includes a variety of fun activities throughout the week and a multischool Mass at St. Patrick Church in Hudson on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
“It is where all the schools get together and we do a lot of fun activities,” said eighth-grade student council representative Elizabeth Lee. “We rotate the different activities we do every year, like relays and different things like that.”
For the students, Catholic Schools Week gives them a chance to come together as a school and meet with students from the other Catholic schools in the area as well as visit other schools and churches. The host church and school for Catholic Schools Week rotates each year, with St. Patrick’s School in Hudson being the host this year.
“It gives us a sense of community even though we are separate schools,” said eighth-grade student council representative Kelly Paulsen. “We are still part of the Catholic community, and it is just kind of a fellowship of the schools.”
St. Mary’s kicks off the festivities with a pep rally on Tuesday where the student council does its best to get the rest of the student body excited for the rest of the week’s activities. The council also helps out with the pep fest by giving a prayer and speeches. The St. Mary’s student council is made up of student representatives from third to eighth grade.
“It is all kind of fun, but one of the things I like is that you get to have fun at your own school, but also get out and be part of something from all around,” said seventh-grade student council representative Tony Graham. “And we also get out of some of the homework during the week.”
Tuesday is also Pajama Day and Crazy Hair Day for the students and teachers at St. Mary’s, which is a student favorite every year.
“We know a few things like Tuesday is Pajama Day,” Lee said. “A second-grade teacher always wears a Winnie the Pooh onesie for Pajama Day.”
The “Nun Dance” is another Catholic Schools Week tradition at St. Mary’s where the sixth- through eighth-grade students dress up as nuns and each grade does its own dance to a popular song from the Sister Act movie.
“We dress up with white sheets over our heads and put on these black dress clothes and each grade comes up with their own dance,” Paulsen said. “It is really funny because a lot of the groups come up with some pretty funny stuff.”
On Wednesday, the students take part in a talent show, which gives students like third-grade student council representative Elise Cormell the chance to show her fellow classmates one of her many talents.
“I like Catholic Schools Week because we have Pajama Day and the talent show,” Cormell said. “I am singing a song during this year’s talent show.”
Wednesday is also the day the area Catholic schools will travel to St. Patrick Church for the weekly Mass.
“I like going to the Masses since they are always at a different school and the way they do the Masses is always different too,” said fifth-grade student council representative Jennifer Graham. “I also like to do Pajama Day because some of the kids’ pajamas are really crazy. A lot of people wear fuzzy pants and a regular T-shirt.”
Sports Day comes on Thursday for the St. Mary’s students and includes many different activities like races, relays and the popular students versus teachers dodgeball game.
“I enjoy it when all the schools get together for Catholic Schools Week,” said fourth-grade student council representative Grant Conlin. “The kids versus teacher dodgeball game is always really fun too.”
Since the Winter Olympics take place this year, the St. Mary’s Sports Day will feature many different Olympic-inspired events, which is a favorite for sixth-grade student council representative Joseph Charbonneau.
“I always remember doing the Olympic-themed activities because they are really fun and we get to do the winter activities outside,” Charbonneau said. “I am also looking forward to this year being another Olympic-themed year. It will also be fun when the fourth- through eighthgraders get to go bowling on Sports Day.”
The week finishes off with Color Day on Friday, along with Alumni & Friends Tea, the wax museum and science presentations. And, although the students know in general what events are going on next week, they do not know for sure what different things they will actually be taking part in when the day comes.
“We are not sure what things we will be doing this year since it is always a big surprise for the students every year, but that is part of the fun,” Paulsen said.