A talent show. A staff vs. student basketball game. An all-schools mass. Next week promises to be one of the most memorable of the academic year as Marquette takes part in the 46th annual Catholic Schools Week.
Just as excitement and anticipation are flowing through campus, these sentiments are being felt throughout the rest of the Catholic Diocese of Gary.
A whirlpool of momentum has been circling within our corner of the state. The Bruce & Beth White Family Foundation made waves in October by pledging $16 million to Catholic schools across Northwest Indiana over the next ten years. 20 Catholic schools serving nearly 6,000 students stand to benefit from the gift.
Less than two months later, Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Robert J. McClory as Bishop-Elect of the Catholic Diocese of Gary. The announcement came seven months after Bishop Donald J. Hying was appointed to the same role in Madison, Wisconsin. McClory is going through formalities in the proverbial on-deck circle before he is ordained on February 11th.
McClory's resume has many in the Catholic education sphere enthusiastic.
"His economic development, policy studies, and law background will allow his management skills to enhance what we're doing in our schools. He served on two school boards in suburban Detroit. He knows schools," Dr. Joseph J. Majchrowicz, Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Gary said.
McClory inherits a post that has served the community admirably in recent memory. Bishops Melczek and Hying reinforced the importance of Catholic schools and that attention has allowed the Catholic Diocese of Gary to maintain excellent educational institutions.
"No one can replace Bishop Hying, but he (Bishop-Elect McClory) is going to come in and create his own footprints in the sand. We're going to work together to make his own mark," Majchrowicz remarked.
The synergy between Big Shoulders Fund and a new bishop with a stout business acumen makes for an enticing prospect.
Majchrowicz agrees that the stars appear to have aligned.
"With the combination of sound schools, a new bishop, and our partners at Big Shoulders, we'll never have a better chance than now to find disciples," he concluded.
The hijinks on 10th Street ensue Sunday afternoon when each class decorates their portion of the hallways within the main building. Classes voted upon their own theme. Freshmen will deck the halls in space while sophomores chose Hawaiian as their theme. The junior class will swing with a jungle theme and the seniors settled on Nickelodeon.
Those themes will come to life Monday when students dress as their respective hallway theme. A game of "Name That Tune" will break out in the Rudy Hart Theatre as staff and students alike take part in the classic game show.
Students and staff gain a few additional minutes of sleep on Tuesday morning as Pajama Day makes getting dressed a rather simple task. All are invited to take part in the American Red Cross Blood Drive being held in the Scholl Center between 8:00 am - 1:00 pm. Once the Blood Drive wraps up, the much-anticipated Talent Show will get underway in the theatre. A full slate of musical acts, dances, recitals, and comedy shows await the audience. Students will get their sweet tooth satisfied as dessert will be provided at lunch.
Marquette will do its part to bring warm weather to the Michigan City area on Wednesday for Hawaiian Shirt Day with Teacher Trivia to take place in the afternoon.
The mood shifts on Thursday when ties and blazers replace leis and flowered shirts. The Scholl Center gymnasium will serve as host of the Bishop's Mass at 9 am. Formal dress is required Thursday.
We'll recognize our faculty, staff, and volunteers on Friday with a luncheon. The ever-popular class and students/teachers basketball game set for the afternoon will round out the school week.