Heritage Day Honors Unique History of St. Pius X

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Written by Golden Lines Staff Writer John McKimmy

As part of an early celebration of Catholic Schools Week (January 27-January 31), St. Pius X will hold its annual Heritage Day on Friday, January 24. Heritage Day honors one the founding religious orders of the school. 

St. Pius opened in 1958 as the first co-educational high school in Georgia, and while most other Catholic schools in the state were staffed by only one religious order, St. Pius X had four: the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Each one staffed a different department in the school, in addition to the lay teachers and diocesan priests.

This year’s Heritage Day will benefit the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Students may come out out of uniform for $5, and all money will go directly to supporting this order.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur were founded by St. Julie Billiart in Belgium in the 1800s. According to their website, they are “recognized as outstanding educators,” and  “thousands of Sisters of Notre Dame have taught children and adults over the years on five continents.” They live and work in countries around the world, including Peru, Japan, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Nigeria, and France. 

While many Sisters continue to staff schools, others work with the homeless, AIDS patients, and the elderly, all while carrying out their mission to educate others and “make known God’s goodness, especially among the most impoverished and abandoned people in the world.” 

Catholic Schools Week dates back to 1974. Sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association, its purpose is to promote promote and recognize the importance, the value, and the contributions of Catholic education to the Church and the world.

The celebration of Catholic Schools Week is shared among all Catholic Schools nationwide, but Heritage Day is a special way to honor the unique history of St. Pius X.