Archbishop to students: ‘You are a big deal for God’

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron poses at the Feb. 4 Catholic Schools Week Mass with students from Holy Redeemer School in Detroit, which won first place in the Catholic Identity Awards. Courtesy Fr. Dennis Walsh, SOLT

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron poses at the Feb. 4 Catholic Schools Week Mass with students from Holy Redeemer School in Detroit, which won first place in the Catholic Identity Awards.
Courtesy Fr. Dennis Walsh, SOLT

Detroit — The scene at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament was colorful, with school uniforms representing Catholic schools from across the Archdiocese of Detroit on display during the annual Mass for Catholic Schools Week.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron presided over the Feb. 4 Mass, with hundreds of students in attendance to mark the special week, which celebrates the uniqueness and unity of Catholic schools across the country.

“Going to school, you are instructed about being equipped for later on,” Archbishop Vigneron said during his homily, in which he walked through the cathedral, asking students questions. “Your schools are a continuation of Christ’s teachings, equipping you for your mission. With this conviction, we go about in our mission of education.

“Why does the Church have schools? The fire department doesn’t have a school; the post office doesn’t have a school, so why do we have schools? Because you are a big deal for God.”

In the buildup to Catholic Schools Week, students and teachers sold T-shirts, raising $5,372 for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Students also presented the archbishop with a banner representing each school and explaining “what mercy means” to each.

At the end of Mass, schools were recognized with Catholic Identity Awards, based on students’ test scores showing knowledge of their faith. Students take the test in the third, fifth and seventh grades.

Holy Redeemer School in Detroit was the star of the show, scoring in the top three in all three grade levels, and claiming the top overall spot. St. Michael the Archangel School in Livonia and St. Augustine School in Richmond rounded out the top three.

—Dan Meloy