By Tim Harfmann
On Jan. 28, students at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy in Middle Village and Saint Joan of Arc School in Jackson Heights, Queens, showed their appreciation for their Catholic education and the values they receive.
On the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas — patron of Catholic schools — Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto visited the two schools and spoke with 800 students.
Bishop Chappetto described the saint as “a wonderful role model for our students in terms of his learning and his holiness he was gifted with great wisdom.”
“And at the same time he was gifted with a great sense of holiness,” he said.
At Our Lady of Hope, Bishop Chappetto toured the classrooms as students learned using iPads and Smartboards.
“Attending a Catholic school allows me to grow in my faith, and being here it’s helped me make so many friendships and so many great memories,” explained Samantha Kelly, and eight grader at the school.
“I’d want to go to a Catholic high school and continue my faith because it is very good here, and I’m pretty sure it will be even better in high school,” added fellow classmate Gianna D’Arienzo, a sixth grader.
At Saint Joan of Arc, students performed songs and read essays about what they’ve been learning.
“I value discipline and religion,” said Carol Gomes, a seventh grader at St. Joan of Arc, “and it’s such an important thing in Catholic schools. And I really like and admire that about it.”
The year’s Catholic Schools Week motto: learn, serve, lead, succeed.
“Religion is very important when it comes to a person’s life, and when you’re learning that, learning more about your faith, it helps you a lot,” Carol added.
The desire to grow in their Catholic education tomorrow is there, thanks to seeds planted today.