Click here to see COVID-19 updates

Archbishop's Appeal

The Archbishop’s Appeal is the annual fundraising campaign that provides supplemental financial assistance to institutions, programs and ministries affiliated with the Catholic Church throughout the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Learn More about the Archbishop’s Appeal Make a Donation to the Archbishop’s Appeal.
  • 4,500,000
  • 4,000,000
  • 3,000,000
  • 2,000,000
  • 1,000,000


​Central Catholic honors Marianist Heritage Week 2021

February 08, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: In the Press, Breaking News

Central Catholic honors Marianist Heritage Week 2021

January 18 – January 22

By Esteban Serrano ’22, The Pep Online Newspaper lead editor, Central Catholic High School

Before Father Don Cowie, SM, passed away, he was recorded reiterating a wonderful prayer that ties with the celebration of Marianist Heritage Week. He started off the prayer by saying, “Lord Jesus, through Your Mother, You inspired Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, our founder, to awaken the sleeping faith of a generation, of young men and women. Under his guidance, these young people became united in a brotherhood, and committed to apostolic work. Their goodness was contagious.”

During Marianist Heritage Week, schools across the world that are associated with the Society of Mary celebrate this specific week to honor Chaminade, and his present and profound legacy. Of course, this year was vague due to the pandemic, and usual celebrations during the week had to be cancelled in hopes of returning next year, but it didn’t prevent our community honoring Marianist Heritage Week, and the week culminated with a wonderful mass in the Mother Adele Chapel.

Luke Hoenigman, teaches the story of Blessed Chaminade every year to his students, as a part of their Introductions to Catholicism course. He was asked about the effect that Marianist Heritage Week has on him, as a religion teacher at Central. He says, “I find Marianist Heritage Week very meaningful, especially as a religion teacher. Father Chaminade was bringing the message of Christ to the people of France in a time of great need. The Revolution left many of the people feeling hopeless, and Chaminade’s simple message of love of Christ through Mary rekindled the faith in so many people.” He continues, “We are living in difficult times now, and like Chaminade, our task as teachers is to bring a message of hope through the Gospel to our students.” He says personally, “This week is important to me because I feel a connection to the whole Marianist world. All Marianist high schools, universities, and other institutions are honoring Chaminade’s legacy the week of the 22nd. Being part of something so much bigger than myself has been a tremendous blessing in my life.”

Why the week is so important to Marianist schools across the globe was answered by Father Sean Downing, SM. He says, “This is an important week for all Marianist institutions because we remember our foundation. We remember, celebrate, and worship in gratitude for the great gift of our Marianist charism to the world.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for celebrations to take place. In fact, student presence at the school was halted an extra week following a spike in the case count in San Antonio. Hoenigman responds to the year being thrown off. “It is unfortunate that we can’t celebrate as we normally would, but again, I think of Chaminade. While he was in hiding, Chaminade often had to perform Sacraments in less than ideal conditions, yet he still performed the sacraments. Though I would much prefer to have Marianist Heritage Week with all the students present, we still find ways to ensure that this week is sacred.”

The Marianists were founded in the year 1817. This year marks the 204th anniversary of the tradition that Blessed Chaminade created. Father Sean was asked if he could infer Chaminade’s reactions to the celebrations if he was still with us today. He responded, “I think he would be humbled by all of the celebrations. But he would use it as an opportunity to remind us to always let Mary guide us to her Son, Jesus. He would also challenge and inspire the Marianist family to continue the mission today because the world needs the Marianist charism as much now as it did during the time of Chaminade’s life.”

The week concluded with a mass that was made available to school staff in person, and students online via YouTube. Annual Marianist awards for years of service were rewarded to some teachers following the Mass.