The Crusader - Summer 2021 - 11

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK
Excerpt from BISHOP MICHAEL F. BURBIDGE'S STATEMENT
As we celebrate National Catholic Schools Week and the
importance our Catholic schools play in the lives of families
throughout the Diocese of Arlington, I extend my heartfelt and
sincere appreciation to our Catholic school parents, who have
taken the necessary steps to ensure their children are provided with
sound faith formation and excellence in education. I am very proud
of the Catholic identity of our schools and the role they play in
helping our students draw closer to the Lord and to live his Gospel.
stiff competition. A much loved Aquinas
tradition is the Youth Rally with Eucharistic
Adoration. It is a reminder that the key
benefit of Catholic schools is the opportunity
to be close to Jesus and to grow in our
relationship with Him. After much careful
planning, and the use of two locations for
Adoration, we were able to hold a modified
version of this special experience. Once
again our favorite band The Restless joined
us to provide the music for the day. Of
course Catholic Schools Week at Aquinas
would not be complete without a snow
day and this year was no exception as we
found ourselves at home on Tuesday and
Wednesday due to the wintry weather.
The Catholic schools of the Diocese enjoy an excellent reputation. The 37 parish
schools, four high schools, three free-standing pre-schools and five independent
Catholic schools in the Diocese represent 17,000 students. Each met a daunting
challenge over the past 10 months, has risen to the challenge and continues to thrive
despite the circumstances we faced.
As I travel to schools amid the masks, new traffic patterns, distancing requirements,
and creative use of technology and space, I see students and teachers so very happy
and grateful to be together. They are beautiful communities of faith. Children are
thriving because our 1,400 teachers and administrators are mission-driven and faithfully
dedicated to their vocation. As Gospel witnesses for their students, our Catholic
educators help our students grow in confidence to use the gifts with which God has
blessed them, while guiding them to know, love and seek Jesus in their lives.
I am so very proud of our schools: the pastors who lead them, the administrators who
oversee them, the teachers who teach in them, parents who support them and the
wonderful children who are formed in them. I keep you all in my daily prayers.
VIRTUAL GALA
On Saturday, April 24 supporters of Aquinas gathered via Zoom to support the school
in the first ever virtual Gala. Hosted by Sister Mary Sheila, Principal, and Mrs. Howser,
Development Specialist, the Zoom event included trivia questions written by the Student
Council testing everyone's knowledge of Aquinas, a friendly competition between the
parishes for the highest number of attendees, live prize drawings, and intense bidding on
both the silent auction items and the live auction items. In addition, the traditional paddle
raise in support of Tuition Angels was held using a text to donate option. As the plan for
the virtual gala was developed, there was no basis to determine what to expect from this
major fundraising event. We are pleased to share that the Aquinas Gala exceeded our
expectations, raising over $20,000; this was $5,000 over our goal. A special thank you to
all those who supported this event and for their willingness to try something different in
this time of COVID.
One of the most unique items in this year's
auction was a doll with three outfits made by
Sister Mary Sheila: an Aquinas uniform, a JP
uniform, and a Dominican Sister habit!
A Publication of St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School
11

The Crusader - Summer 2021

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Contents
The Crusader - Summer 2021 - Cover1
The Crusader - Summer 2021 - 2
The Crusader - Summer 2021 - Contents
The Crusader - Summer 2021 - 4
The Crusader - Summer 2021 - 5
The Crusader - Summer 2021 - 6
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The Crusader - Summer 2021 - Cover4
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