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Girl Scout Sunday a special day for Immaculate Conception troops

Posted March 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator

The atmosphere on Girl Scout Sunday March 12 at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs was sweetened by cake, cupcakes and pure joy of Girl Scouts from the Denham Springs area celebrating. Their reunion was a happy moment in their ongoing journey of recovery after the bitter days of August 2016 when flood waters wreaked havoc on their homes and sense of normal lives.

Girl Scouts from the Denham Springs area gathered to celebrate Girl Scout Sunday March 12 at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs. After Mass, they went to a reception at the ICC youth hall. It was the first time for many of them to

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    Mater Dolorosa Church Parish in Independence held its St. Joseph Altar on March 19 at the K.C Hall. The community members, led by Cheryl Santangelo, came together to make the traditional Italian cookies, cakes, cannolis, pupukolovas (baked bread dyed with Easter eggs symbolizing the coming of Easter) and many other assorted Frittatas (vegetable dishes).  The main dish served was the traditional pasta Milanese (red gravy) cooked with finocchio and anchovies sprinkled with mudica (toasted bread crumbs and sugar to resemble saw dust).  Twelve

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    Abby Mitchell, left, and Melanie Dietrich, eighth-grade students at Our Lady of Mercy School in Baton Rouge, were the top winners selected from a field of 250 entries in the Knights of Columbus Patriotic Essay Contest. Mitchell was awarded second place and Dietrich captured first for their writing based on the question, “How can I show freedom for my country, the United States of America?” Both students were recently recognized at a banquet where they read their essays and received monetary prizes.

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    Students bring black history to life

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Redemptorist St. Gerard Elementary School students brought to life black “firsts” who influenced and shaped American society during a Black History Month Program, “We Come this Far by Faith: From the Slave House to the White House” Feb. 21 at St. Gerard Majella Church in Baton Rouge.

    Portraying President Barack Obama’s farewell speech, are, London Henry, back,

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    St. Michael chooses new football coach

    St. Michael the Archangel High School has chosen Justin Hutchinson as the Warriors new football coach.

    Hutchinson is a graduate of LSU and has spent the past two years at Denham Springs High School serving as the assistant coach, strength and conditioning coordinator and special teams coordinator. Prior to his time at Denham Springs, Hutchinson spent nine years at Central High School as the assistant coach and special teams coordinator and one year as head coach at Central Middle School.

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    Several seventh-grade students at Holy Ghost School in Hammond qualified for the Duke University Talent Identification Program based upon their standardized test scores and were invited to take the ACT or SAT, the same tests taken by high school students for college admission.  They are, front row from left, Jacob Farrell, Madison Templet, Sarah Graziano, Parker Perrilloux and Kaitlyn LeBlanc; back row from left, Jake Slaton, Braden Moore, Nathan Drummond and Nicholas Faulk. Photo provided by Cindy

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    DYC delivers strong message

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Surpassing the grandest temples around the world is the sanctuary of the human soul. When people unite, their souls fit together like the pieces of a puzzle and show a more complete picture of the kingdom of heaven, youth learned Feb. 18 at the Diocesan Youth Conference, themed, “United: Millions of Temples of Christ and Counting.”


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    Acadian Ambulance EMT Andy LeFebvre, left, examines Thomas Brauner, right, a kindergarten student at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge. LeFebvre, a 1966 graduate of the school, was on campus to discuss health and safety issues with pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students when Thomas lost a tooth.  No first aid was required. Photo provided by Lisa Cosse | Sacred Heart School

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    MBS students produce advertising campaign to help the needy

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    They cheered; they clapped; they even spelled out words: “D to the O to the N-A-T-E.”

    Briley Haydel, a third-grade student at Most Blessed Sacrament School in Baton Rouge, pours additional stock into a pot of soup during her class retreat. Haydel and her classmates were preparing vegetable beef soup and homemade bread for the men at the Bishop Ott

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    Nine Catholic High School seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship finalists for 2017. They are, kneeling from left, Nicholas Mueller, Andrew Ford, Michael Krzystowczyk and Jordan LeBas, and standing, from left, Dominic Maggio, Brian Long, Andrew Schoonmaker, Harold Miller and Matthew Berdon. The students were selected from a nationwide pool of 16,000 semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. As National Merit Scholarship finalists, they have the opportunity to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $33

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    Marcus Roberts, center, an eighth-grade student in the St. Jean Vianney Parish School of Religion, placed second in mathematics in the Region VII Louisiana Science & Engineering Fair. Roberts now moves on to state competition. Photo submitted by Denise Louviere | St. Jean Vianney Church

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    Five students from St. Jean Vianney School in Baton Rouge were selected to perform with other top musicians in sixth through eighth grades from East Baton Rouge Parish. The students were chosen following auditions. They are, from left, Antonio Barazza on alto sax, Ben Messina on trumpet, Hector Barazza on trombone, Steven Reed on French horn and Carolos Suadi on trumpet. Reed placed third overall following his audition and will play principal horn in the concert band. Messina and Hector Barazza were selected for the

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    Students in many Catholic elementary schools participated in the diocese’s annual Quiz Bowl tournament recently. In the fifth- and sixth-grade division, the team from St. Jean Vianney School in Baton Rouge finished third, Holy Family School in Port Allen came in second and students from St. Jude the Apostle School in Baton Rouge captured first place. Pictured above, Dr. Melanie Verges, left, superintendent of Catholic Schools, congratulates St.

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    Essay wins St. Francis Xavier student prestigious award

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The most treasured object in Haley Anderson’s life is pearl-colored and shiny but is not a piece of jewelry or glitzy trinket. It reminds her of her special bond with her father, Peter Anderson Jr. (PJ), who died from colon cancer in December 2014.

    Haley Anderson is pictured with her dad Peter Anderson Jr. (PJ), who died in December 2014. Haley,

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    Students from St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge enjoy their March for Life experience in Washington, D.C. Pictured are, from left, Cameryn Moggio, Taylor Hurdle, Gabby Bella, Eleanore Plater and Kelsie Courville. Photo provided by Sheri Klemm | St. Joseph’s Academy

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    Students from kindergarten through eighth grade at St. Louis King of France School in Baton Rouge participated in the school’s science fair Jan. 23-24. First-year principal Paula Johnson said the fair supports the philosophy of the STREAM Academy at the school. Photo provided by Paula Johnson | St. Louis King of France

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    Political introduction

    Students and chaperones from St. Thomas Aquinas Diocesan Regional High School in Hammond who attended the annual National March for Life in Washington, D.C. had the opportunity to visit with Sen. John Kennedy and congressman Steve Scalise. STA senior Jacob Deliberto said, “Meeting the majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, congressman Scalise, was such an honor. He told us about his job and what he does every day.  We got a private tour of his office and the rest of the Capitol.  As

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    March for Life pilgrims prepare for life-changing experiences

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Newly canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta will accompany in spirit hundreds of young adults and youth from the Diocese of Baton Rouge trekking to Washington, D.C. for March for Life on Jan. 27.

    March for Life is a life-changing experience for many of the hundreds of youth who make the trip to Washington, D.C., to speak out for

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    Holy Ghost School in Hammond recently selected students from each grade level for the school’s Catholicity Award. This award is given to the student who excels in religion class and displays a caring and inclusive attitude toward others. Left photo, students chosen in first through fourth grade are, from left front row, Molly June Thompson, Riley Fitzhugh, Layla Guiteau, Mary-Kate McAndrew, Katie DeLaune, Porter Foster and Zoe Miller; back row, Tanner Anderson, Cassidy

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    Quinn Windam, a student at St. Jean Vianney School in Baton Rouge, participates in a sing-a-long celebration with his grandfather, Jerry Blanchard, during the school’s Grandparents Day Celebration. After the Dec. 16 activity in the church, the grandparents were invited to have cookies and hot chocolate, take pictures and visit classrooms. Photo provided by Bridgette DiGerolamo | St. Jean Vianney School

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    CHS student receives perfect ACT score

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Stephen Gaudin is in an elite group of students. The Catholic High School junior has earned the highest possible composite score on the ACT.

    Stephen Gaudin


    Gaudin’s score of 36 on the college entrance exam is somewhat of a rarity. According to Ed Colby, a spokesperson for the American College Test program, less than one-tenth

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    Those pesky mosquitoes can also be killers, students learn

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Animals such as wolves, sharks, alligators, bears, giant spiders and snakes may have the reputation of being the deadliest animals on Earth and many times are the ones chasing people in their nightmares. But the deadliest animal in the world, according to the World Health Organization, is tiny, the tinier the more deadly, and hangs out with people in the backyard as they barbecue, swim or have evening

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    Colors of the Season

    In the spirit of the Advent season, Jenny Brown’s kindergarten art class at Holy Ghost School in Hammond created Nativity scene illustrations. Displaying their art, from left, Andrew Pellichino, Brantley Hines, Lelia Jones and Wesley Hastings. Photo provided by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School

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    STA students to launch news show

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    As a member of the ESPN generation, Kade Bleakley has long fantasized about anchoring the cable network’s popular SportsCenter.

    St. Thomas Aquinas High School students work the controls in the school’s television studio. Currently, the school’s morning announcements are broadcast from the studio but next semester the students are planning to launch a news show that will include

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    Legendary Catholic High coach Weiner retires

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    After serving three decades as head football coach at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Dale Weiner is retiring from the game. Weiner, who led the Bears to their first LHSAA Division I state championship in 2015, leaves the field as one of only eight Louisiana high school football coaches to reach 300 career wins.

     Dale Weiner


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    St. Aloysius Brownie Troop 10029 held a book drive for local families in need. Third-graders collected donated books, and once collected, the Brownies sorted the books by age, created sets of books by tying them together and attached a decorated written note. More than 250 books were collected, sorted and stacked. The sets were delivered to the Sweet Dreams Shelter for Women and Children and to the St. Aloysius St. Vincent de Paul office. Photo provided by

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    ‘Bucks’ for bikes a lesson for students

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Need to get the attention of some 400 kindergarten through third-grade students?

    Ethan Sutton, left, and Avery Rodrigue, students at St. John Primary School in Prairieville, prepare to bring offertory baskets filled with “Warrior Bucks” during a recent school Mass. Photo provided by Kim Naquin | St. John Primary School


    Trying to explain why it’s

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    Christopher Dugas, seventh-grade student at St. Thomas More School, right, played the Star-Spangled Banner for law enforcement, firemen, military and first-responder parents. These STM parents were honored at a Heroes Breakfast in the Parish Activity Center at St. Thomas More Church, Baton Rouge, on Nov. 16 in thanksgiving for all they do to protect our community. District Attorney Hillar Moore, keynote speaker, expressed appreciation for their service and daily commitment. Photo provided by Tootie Lee | St. Thomas More School

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    St. Michael High School senior athlete Savannah Wininger signs her national letter of intent to play beach volleyball at Louisiana State University. St. Michael teachers, coaches, students and family members, including Wininger’s mom Terri Forsman, attended the signing ceremony in the school’s library on Nov. 16. Wininger, who plays the outside hitter position, has served as her school’s volleyball team captain for the past two years. She was named to the All-District Team her junior and senior years, and received All-Metro Honorable Mention in 2015.

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    Students at St. Francis Xavier Interparochial School shared information about various saints during the school’s Mass on All Saints Day. Pictured from left, Lonnie Brand as St. Francis Xavier, Joseph Murphy as St. Joseph, Stori Woodruff as St. Katherine Drexel and Trishten Ashford as Saint Teresa of Calcutta and  Sister Rosalind Barbeneaux, a religion teacher at the school who sponsored the event. All students are in the fifth grade. Photo provided

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