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Book fair, student- faculty volleyball set for St. Anthony’s

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POSTED January 26, 2014 8:59 p.m.

Catholic schools are not just educational institutions, said Mary Lou Hoffman, principal of St. Anthony of Padua School in Manteca.

They are “communities – faith families (where) children are taught openly about God. Children and faculty put their (faith) into practice daily,” said Hoffman. “Catholic schools exist to pass on knowledge, not just reading, writing, math and so on, but (also) knowledge of God and truth, which is our spiritual heritage as Catholics.”

She added, “Catholic schools are communities of service, places where helping one another and aiding the needy are the normal way of living life for St. Anthony faith families.”

It’s a faith tradition whose seeds were sown in the early 1950s when construction of St. Anthony’s School began. The school was dedicated on Sept. 23, 1956 by then Bishop Donohoe. The first teachers were the Sisters of the Precious Blood assisted by a lay faculty. Among the first nuns who taught at the school were Sr. M. Vianney, Sr. M. Dolorita,  Sr. M. Aretha, and Sr. M. Lucy, according to the book on the history of the school and the parish.

Hoffman’s words help highlight the relevance and importance of Catholic education especially during these challenging times in the Catholic church. Every day this week – Jan. 27 to Jan. 31 – St. Anthony students from kindergarten to eighth grade plus faculty and the students’ parents and families as well will mark the occasion with different activities each day. One of the highlights will be a volleyball game featuring the 8th graders VS faculty. This sports event, aptly, will take place on “Teacher Day.”

Below is the schedule of activities for Catholic Schools Week which began with the 10:45 a.m. Sunday Mass followed by an open house and book fair. The book fair will continue through Thursday.

*Today, Jan. 27 – “Community Day” featuring freeze dance with music during recess.

*Tuesday, Jan. 28 – “Vocation Day.” There will be a scavenger hunt for crosses. Student council members will hide five crosses during all recess times. Prizes will be awarded to those who find the cross.

*Wednesday, Jan. 29 – Student Council will join all student councils in the diocese for a Mass with Bishop Stephen Blaire at Presentation Church. The church service will be followed by refreshments. Students of St. Anthony will have the weekly School Mass at 9 a.m., with the students presenting spiritual bouquets to members of the religious staff at the end of the mass.

*Thursday, Jan. 30 – “Student Day.” This is a non-uniform day for the students, who will also enjoy extra recess time with music, plus no home work! There will be a student rally as well at 2 pm.

*Friday, Jan. 31 – “Teacher Day.” Special treat for everybody will be a volleyball game, 8th graders VS faculty.

Contact RoseAlbano Risso at or at (209) 249-3536.

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