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Sunday, August 14, 2022
HomeNewsArchives@ School: Sts. Peter and Paul Students Celebrate Life

@ School: Sts. Peter and Paul Students Celebrate Life

Sts. Peter and Paul students take part int eh schools traditional March down Main Street. (Photo from the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School website)Little more than a third – in fact, 39.5 percent – of students who graduated from public high schools across the country last year went on to college, according to the website for the National Catholic Education Association. But almost 85 percent of graduates from U.S. Catholic high schools did.

On St. Thomas, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, the average was even better. Last spring, 13 seniors graduated. One joined the Coast Guard, and the other 12 all entered college.

“Catholic schools raise the standards” was the theme this year for Catholic Schools Week, which was celebrated in the territory and across the nation last week.

At Sts. Peter and Paul, activities emphasized both academic and religious standards.

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As president of the student council, senior Brenon Joseph helped organize events and played a key role at several of them, including writing and giving his own “State of the School Address” which, he revealed, he was hard at work polishing at midnight the night before he delivered it to schoolmates and faculty.

He and 10 other students also made a presentation to the rest of the school about their experiences at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., earlier in January. The Sts. Peter and Paul group joined 22 other Virgin Islands students and about 500,000 youth from other U.S. jurisdictions for three days in the nation’s capital to show support for the pro-life movement. Activities included a march to Capitol Hill. The rally drew little media attention, Joseph said, but “the effect was still good.”

He was much happier with the response from fellow students to Wednesday’s presentation. The 11 students who went on the trip have just started a Pro Life Club at Sts. Peter and Paul, and he believes many others will join.

“We’re trying to educate the public” about the issue, he said.

Another highlight of the week was the induction ceremony for 10 new members of the National Honor Society. The five sophomores, four juniors and one senior join 15 other students at the school who are already members.

On Tuesday, students had the rare opportunity to hear a homily delivered by Sean Cardinal O’Malley, archbishop of Boston. The cardinal, who served as bishop in St. Thomas from 1984 to 1992, was in the territory to receive the diocese’s Keys and Sword Award the previous weekend. Illness forced him to cancel his appearance at the award gala, making his appearance and homily at the Mass all the more special.

Other events of the week included a day of prayer, an open house during which students served visitors a lavish breakfast, a campus clean-up, and the traditional school march down Main Street. The celebration concluded Saturday with International Night. Students prepared and served dinner featuring Latin, West Indian, American, French, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Filipino and Italian cuisines.

The roots of Catholic education on St. Thomas go back to 1860 and a Belgian Redemptorist priest, Fr. DeBuggenoms. Sts. Peter and Paul was founded in 1924 as an elementary school. The high school was started in 1946 and graduated its first class in 1950.

Today it has 225 students, 70 in primary grades, 66 in middle school and 89 in high school. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Sts. Peter and Paul is the only Catholic school on St. Thomas. St. Croix has three: St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s schools.

Nationally, there are 5,636 Catholic elementary schools and 1,205 secondary. More than 2 million U.S. students attend Catholic schools.

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Sts. Peter and Paul students take part int eh schools traditional March down Main Street. (Photo from the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School website)Little more than a third – in fact, 39.5 percent – of students who graduated from public high schools across the country last year went on to college, according to the website for the National Catholic Education Association. But almost 85 percent of graduates from U.S. Catholic high schools did.

On St. Thomas, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, the average was even better. Last spring, 13 seniors graduated. One joined the Coast Guard, and the other 12 all entered college.

“Catholic schools raise the standards” was the theme this year for Catholic Schools Week, which was celebrated in the territory and across the nation last week.

At Sts. Peter and Paul, activities emphasized both academic and religious standards.

As president of the student council, senior Brenon Joseph helped organize events and played a key role at several of them, including writing and giving his own “State of the School Address” which, he revealed, he was hard at work polishing at midnight the night before he delivered it to schoolmates and faculty.

He and 10 other students also made a presentation to the rest of the school about their experiences at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., earlier in January. The Sts. Peter and Paul group joined 22 other Virgin Islands students and about 500,000 youth from other U.S. jurisdictions for three days in the nation’s capital to show support for the pro-life movement. Activities included a march to Capitol Hill. The rally drew little media attention, Joseph said, but “the effect was still good.”

He was much happier with the response from fellow students to Wednesday’s presentation. The 11 students who went on the trip have just started a Pro Life Club at Sts. Peter and Paul, and he believes many others will join.

“We’re trying to educate the public” about the issue, he said.

Another highlight of the week was the induction ceremony for 10 new members of the National Honor Society. The five sophomores, four juniors and one senior join 15 other students at the school who are already members.

On Tuesday, students had the rare opportunity to hear a homily delivered by Sean Cardinal O’Malley, archbishop of Boston. The cardinal, who served as bishop in St. Thomas from 1984 to 1992, was in the territory to receive the diocese’s Keys and Sword Award the previous weekend. Illness forced him to cancel his appearance at the award gala, making his appearance and homily at the Mass all the more special.

Other events of the week included a day of prayer, an open house during which students served visitors a lavish breakfast, a campus clean-up, and the traditional school march down Main Street. The celebration concluded Saturday with International Night. Students prepared and served dinner featuring Latin, West Indian, American, French, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Filipino and Italian cuisines.

The roots of Catholic education on St. Thomas go back to 1860 and a Belgian Redemptorist priest, Fr. DeBuggenoms. Sts. Peter and Paul was founded in 1924 as an elementary school. The high school was started in 1946 and graduated its first class in 1950.

Today it has 225 students, 70 in primary grades, 66 in middle school and 89 in high school. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Sts. Peter and Paul is the only Catholic school on St. Thomas. St. Croix has three: St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s schools.

Nationally, there are 5,636 Catholic elementary schools and 1,205 secondary. More than 2 million U.S. students attend Catholic schools.