By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN In the New Ulm Diocese and throughout the nation, Catholic schools, including Holy Trinity in Winsted, will celebrate the 38th annual Catholic Schools Week, Sunday, Jan. 30 to Saturday, Feb. 5.
This year’s theme, “A+ for America Catholic Schools” focuses on the contribution that Catholic schools make to the nation because of their traditional high academic standards and high graduation rates, all supported by strong moral values, according to the National Catholic Educational Association website.
“Catholic Schools Week is a great way for the church to share the wonderful treasure we have in our parishes,” Holy Trinity Parish Priest Fr. Tony Hesse said. “Not only are our kids blessed to have a good solid education (just look at our ACT scores), but we are also able to center it all around Christ. For it is in and through Christ, that we are truly A+.”
Since the fall of 1883, Holy Trinity School has provided Catholic education in Winsted.
In 1921, high school courses were added to the curriculum and in 1924, Holy Trinity presented its first graduating class. Today, more than 2,000 students have graduated from Holy Trinity High School.
Holy Trinity Marketing Manager Julie Fasching has compiled a list of several valued traits she attributes directly to students receiving a Catholic education.
Along with the list, she gives an example of an experience at Holy Trinity which helps to instill each of the qualities important to students becoming successful adults.
• Leadership Holy Trinity juniors become sacramental big brothers and sisters to second-graders in elementary school. As both classes prepare for Confirmation and First Communion, the older students meet with the younger students during the year and work on special projects. In many cases, this special mentoring relationship continues on for years.
“Being a role model to younger students helps us mature,” Holy Trinity junior Chris Condon said.
• Service Holy Trinity High School students participate in fall and spring service days each year. They help area residents with yard work and learn the value of service.
“Service teaches you how important it is to give to others,” seventh-grader Roman Heimerl said.
• Citizenship The Holy Trinity advanced biology class discovers how to be good stewards of natural resources and the environment.
“Learning how to preserve our resources means the world is better for generations to come,” senior Dena Harrison said.
• Devotion Holy Trinity School recently converted a former classroom into a chapel on the third floor of the high school. This chapel, complete with tabernacle, will provide the true presence of Christ inside the school building.
“Being devoted to God means making Him a part of your life,” fifth grader Grace Dietrich said.
• Prayer Many Holy Trinity students participate in the contemporary music choir. They perform at weekly Mass and offer their talents to praise God through music.
“Singing is like a musical prayer,” choir member Thomas Maresh said.
• Academia Students at Holy Trinity have the benefit of advanced classroom technology for their presentations and reports. Teachers and students alike enjoy using the interactive white boards for all aspects of class.
“White boards are fun. We can watch movies on them,” said first-grader Andrew Fasching.
• Faith Celebrating the Catholic faith is an important part of life at Holy Trinity School. Weekly Mass provides the opportunity for the whole school to worship together and share in the Eucharist.
“At Holy Trinity, faith is part of our daily life,” eighth-grader Allison Condon said.
Holy Trinity Elementary Principal Cathy Millerbernd is a Holy Trinity graduate who is proud of the school’s history. She welcomes the chance Catholic Schools Week gives to students to learn more about the benefits of their Catholic education.
“This special week allows Holy Trinity and all Catholic schools the opportunity to demonstrate our high academic standards, our strong moral values, as well as taking part in lots of fun dress-up days and special events to celebrate,” Millerbernd said adding “Holy Trinity School is A+ for America.”