More than 75,000 Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic School Students Head Back to School

Posted on Sun, Aug 7, 2016:

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More than 75,000 Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic School Students Head Back to School

Chicago, IL (August 08, 2016) – The Archdiocese of Chicago’s 217 Catholic schools are preparing to welcome students back to school this month. The Archdiocese’s theme for the 2016/17 school year is “You Are the Light of the World,” which is taken from the New Testament’s fifth chapter of Matthew. The theme evokes energy, holiness and momentum. It will be incorporated into events, communications and materials throughout the school year.

“Our Catholic schools strive each day to be lights in our community and our Archdiocese,” said Archbishop Blase J. Cupich. “I want to welcome back our students, families, faculty and staff, and I ask God's blessings that all may be true to our heritage of helping one another grow in wisdom, age and grace before God and others.”

Schools will celebrate the beginning of the school year with various events: picnics, family nights and special guests. Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, will participate in several back to school events, including:

Today, Monday, August 8: The Academy of St. Benedict the African (6020 S. Laflin Avenue, Chicago) will host a back to school BBQ today, Monday, August 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. for new and returning families, and members of the Chicago Police Department’s District 7 to thank the Chicago Police Department for supporting the school. Dr. Rigg will participate in the event.

Wednesday, August 17: On its first day of school, Wednesday, August 17, St. Mary Star of the Sea School (6424 S. Kenneth, Chicago) will host an appreciation event for school parents, family members and community members who serve in the Chicago Police Department. The school has asked the members of the Chicago Police Department to arrive at school at 7:40 a.m. when the pastor will bestow a blessing on the officers. Students, faculty, staff and Dr. Rigg will join in the blessing and have an opportunity to express their gratitude for the Chicago Police Department and their dedication to keeping the city safe. The school will also present the officers with a certificate of appreciation.

Monday, August 22: St. Nicholas of Tolentine (3741 W. 62nd Street, Chicago) will kick-off its 2016/17 school year with a red carpet event. Students will walk the red carpet and be blessed by the pastor, as they arrive at 7:30 a.m. for the first day of school. Dr. Rigg will ring the school bell to start the school year, an annual tradition. 

Monday, August 29: Pope Francis Global Academy will host its inaugural school Mass on Monday, August 29 at 10 a.m. at St. Tarcissus Church (6020 W. Ardmore Avenue, Chicago). Archbishop Cupich will officiate the Mass. Dr. Rigg will attend the Mass and will tour Pope Francis Global Academy’s North Campus (6040 W. Ardmore Avenue, Chicago) following the Mass. Pope Francis Global Academy is a collaborative effort among four founding member schools and was designed to deliver an experience of academic excellence, while growing the Catholic presence in the community.

Wednesday, August 31: Dr. Rigg will join students, faculty and staff from Holy Family Catholic Academy (2515 Palatine Road, Inverness) for one of its first all-school Masses of the 2016/2017 school year on Wednesday, August 31 at 9 a.m. Dr. Rigg will tour the school following the Mass.

“We are thrilled to begin the 2016/17 school year,” said Dr. Rigg. “Our Catholic schools embody God's light, spreading this light to our students and families through spiritual formation and academic instruction. We are inspiring the next generation to recognize and grow their light, and to carry this light courageously into the world.”

To learn more about the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools, visit:

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