Edgewood, St. Ambrose students come together to celebrate Catholic Schools Week Print
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Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
Edgewood and St. Ambrose Catholic Schools Week
Students from Edgewood High School in Madison and St. Ambrose Academy in Madison come together to work on a service project during Catholic Schools Week. The students made 100 valentine and candy bags for clients of St. Vincent de Paul in Madison. Pictured from left are: William Donohoe, St. Ambrose junior; Justin Schmiesing, St. Ambrose junior; Julia Dragoo, Edgewood senior; and Andrew Wenman, Edgewood senior. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- While many students may have hoped for a snow day, and extra sleep, on February 2, the day's less than anticipated snow fall gave them an opportunity to give thanks and give back.

Edgewood High School (EHS) students, along with high school students from St. Ambrose Academy in Madison, arrived at the EHS Wilke Gymnasium this morning for a Mass celebrating Catholic Schools Week.

The annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States ran from January 31 to February 6. Schools across the diocese had a variety of fun and faith-filled events for students, faculty, and parents.

Mass is celebrated

Fr. Bart Timmerman, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison where St. Ambrose Academy holds classes, celebrated the Mass.

"It's is part of God's plan that we are here today," Father Timmerman said, acknowledging the dashed hopes of a snow day.

"It's great to be together to celebrate our faith and thank God for Catholic schools and thank God who is always ever present in our lives."

Upperclassmen from Edgewood and St. Ambrose helped out as Mass servers and readers.

In his homily, Father Timmerman expressed "I'm really happy to be here."

He added, "Today is a day of gratitude and thanksgiving and great joy. . . We can come together as friends and as people who love Catholic schools to celebrate and thank God for the wonderful gift of Catholic education and Catholic schools."

He said parents are the first teachers in a child's life and Catholic schools are an "extension of what is happening in our homes and it's a beautiful partnership between parents and school."

Following his homily, Father Timmerman gave a blessing for all Catholic educators at the Mass.

"You're here because you believe in the mission of the Catholic Church," he said.

Toward the end of the Mass, Edgewood junior DC Morris gave a reflection tying together the Feast of the Presentation with Groundhog Day (both of which occurred on February 2) and the film of the same name starring Bill Murray.

"Our own life can seem like a Groundhog Day," Morris said. High school students wake up, go to class, go to sports practice, go home, do homework, and sleep day in and day out.

"It is imperative, however, that we not lose sight of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives," he added, saying someday everyone will meet Christ and celebrate just as Simeon and Anna did at the Presentation.

"Until then we must wait as a community for his return . . . as a community, we must watch out for each other and treat everyone with compassion because we are all followers of Jesus Christ . . . once we begin to treat people with extraordinary compassion, our lives will change forever."

Collaborative service project

Following Mass, St. Ambrose students joined several students from Edgewood for a service project.

The teens put together 100 bags of candy and valentines for clients of St. Vincent de Paul in Madison.

"It's a great thing that we’re doing for St. Vincent de Paul," said Edgewood senior Andrew Wenman. "This is something to brighten their day."

"I think it's great helping out, showing some love to some people that usually don't always see this every day," said St. Ambrose junior Justin Schmiesing.

"My Catholic education means a lot to me," Schmiesing added. "It's a chance to go to school every day and really learn about my faith, so I can grow up and defend it."

Reflecting on his Catholic Schools Week, Wenman said, "It's really healthy for us to have Catholic Schools Week in which we celebrate our Dominican values, our Catholic values, and really make sure that that's evident to not only the people in Edgewood and the students and faculty, but also outside of it, that they can see that we’re celebrating our Catholic values."

 
 

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