- Associated Press - Friday, January 23, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - The Archdiocese of Chicago will celebrate its annual Catholic Schools Week beginning Sunday.

Archdiocese officials say the theme for this year’s observance is “communities of faith, knowledge and service.” The nationwide celebration of Catholic schools will feature special Masses, open houses and visits from new civic representatives at the 244 schools in Cook and Lake counties.

Interim Superintendent Mary Kearney says the 84,000 students in the school system outperform state and national averages on standardized tests. She says the schools are “developing intelligent, compassionate, service-oriented leaders.”

The Archdiocese of Chicago has the largest diocesan school system in the nation.

Catholic Schools Week was first established in 1974 to recognize Catholic education.

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