Congressman Dan Lipinski Celebrates Catholic Schools Week
Orland Park Prairie
February 8, 2012
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) has introduced H. Res. 523 honoring the outstanding work of Catholic schools and celebrating Catholic Schools Week, which ran from Jan. 29-Feb. 5. The resolution expresses support for "the vital contributions of the thousands of Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the United States" and "the key role they play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the nation." It recognizes that Catholic schools produce academically successful students, foster a commitment to service, family and community, and accept students from all faiths and backgrounds. This is the sixth year in a row that Lipinski has introduced such a resolution.
Over the weekend, Lipinski marked Catholic Schools Week with visits to St. Linus School in Oak Lawn – which he also congratulated on receiving the prestigious Blue Ribbon award – as well as St. Symphorosa School in the Clearing neighborhood of Chicago, his alma mater. On Monday, Jan. 30, he visited St. Michael School in Orland Park and Cardinal Bernardin School in Orland Hills. On Tuesday, Jan. 31, he spoke to students at Everest Academy in Lemont and St. Andrew School in Romeoville.
"As a proud graduate of St. Symphorosa Grammar School and St. Ignatius College Prep, I look forward to highlighting the achievements of America's Catholic schools every year during Catholic Schools Week," Lipinski said. "The Chicago Archdiocese and the Joliet Archdiocese run two of the best school systems in the country. Visiting the students, teachers and administrators at St. Linus, St. Symphorosa, St. Michael, Cardinal Bernardin, Everest Academy and St. Andrew this week reminds me of how lucky we are to have so many great Catholic schools in our communities. Along with countless other Catholic schools, they embody this year's theme for Catholic Schools Week: 'Faith. Academics. Service.'
"America's Catholic schools produce graduates that have the skills and strength of character needed by our businesses, governments and communities. In 2009, Catholic school students contributed about half a million hours of service to their communities and parishes. Catholic school students, on average, surpass other students in math, science and reading achievement, and the graduation rate for Catholic high school students is 99 percent, with 85 percent of graduates going on to four-year colleges. Today, almost 15 percent of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic, and over the past 30 years, the percentage of minority students enrolled in Catholic schools has more than doubled. In Chicagoland, it is estimated that Catholic schools save taxpayers over $1 billion annually by lowering the number of students in overburdened public schools.
"In recognizing Catholic Schools Week, we pay a special tribute to countless dedicated teachers and administrators. Many of my favorite memories are of teachers, including many nuns, who taught me the values of faith and service. Throughout the United States, millions of others have similar memories."
Catholic Schools Week, which begins on the last Sunday in January, has been an annual event since 1974.
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