Formal Catholic education in Orange County began in 1910. Over a hundred years later, the journey of faith and excellence continue in 41 Catholic school communities in the region. Below are a few examples on what went on in a few of Orange County Catholic schools this season:
Mission Basilica School students celebrated the season of Advent and Christmas with their Faith Family Program. Each faith family is comprised of students in grades TK – 8. During the season of Advent students discussed the true meaning of Christmas with their faith family. The ornaments on the tree were filled with notes from students, showcasing their gratitude for the season and the gifts they would love to give to Jesus.
St. Hedwig School in Los Alamitos spread the Christmas cheer at the Seal Beach Christmas Parade, while their 8th grade class went on a class field trip to Washington, D.C.
St. Columban School in Garden Grove presented a Christmas pageant to the community. The pageant was produced by the drama club and included students from preschool through eighth grade. Besides the pageant, the school community celebrated that their school flag has returned from Antarctica, where it flew for five days with a group of researchers that studied the Adelie penguins. Through Skype, St. Columban students witnessed the Adelieslaying on their eggs.
Sixth and seventh-grade students at St. Polycarp School in Stanton finished their Christian Service project. They shared their research on the impact pollution has on our well-being and the Earth, while the rest of the student body participated in an art contest made out of recyclables.
St. Junipero Serra School in Rancho Santa Margarita has an annual Advent tradition. For the past 18 years they have participated in the Adopt-a-Family outreach project to benefit families selected by Catholic Charities. The school adopts over 40 families in need and helps them celebrate a merrier Christmas. “As our theme [this year] reminds us, Grace is a Gift from God, our commitment to the Adopt-A-Family program allows us to share God’s gifts and blessings with others,” shared Angie Trudell, the school’s lead principal.
As a ministry of the Diocese of Orange, Orange County Catholic schools provide families with an alternative option for the education of their children. The foundation of Catholic school education is the faith-based community which includes individual families, the parish family and the diocesan community. Together it provides an environment rich in Catholic tradition. Within the framework of a small class size, students are able to utilize and maximize their God-given gifts as their education progresses from elementary to secondary to university levels.
All schools are accredited by the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For more information, go to occatholicschools.org