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Red Stick Catholic Fest

Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:00 am

By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator 

Gospel messages set to the rhythm of electric guitars, drums and intertwining vocals stirred youth to dance, high-five and hug as they entered the Catholic Life Center for the first Red Stick Catholic Fest on Nov. 10. They spent the day connecting faith with the body, mind and soul. 

With the help of a slingshot, T-shirts flew through the air to Red Stick Catholic Fest attendees hoping to be lucky enough to catch one.


The event was a movement, literally, as rain-saturated grounds at the Baton Rouge State Fairgrounds called for the venue to shift to the Catholic Life Center, and of the Holy Spirit, in showing “why it matters to be Catholic.”  

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    Tanner Pike, a sophomore at St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge, completed the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 322 of St. Alphonsus Church in Greenwell Springs. He completed all requirements including his Eagle Project, which was building four long benches for the carpool breezeway at St. Alphonsus School in Greenwell Springs for the younger students. As an Eagle Scout, Pike plans to continue his commitment and dedication to scouting and community. Pictured, left, are Josh Degraff, coordinator of Eagle advancement for

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    Students help classmate secure bike

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    It was a typical sunny morning when Ainsley Hale, 10, of Greenwell Springs climbed aboard her brand new purple bike for a ride. What was not typical was Ainsley, her bike, or where she was riding.  

    Ainsley Hale, center, smiles with her family and therapist at St. Jude School in Baton Rouge after taking a spin on her donated adaptive bike from the McClindon

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    John Paul and Alex Neal, seventh-graders at St. Alphonsus School in Greenwell Springs and members of BSA Troop 322, along with St. Alphonsus teacher Julie Guillot, visited Redemptorist St. Gerard School in Baton Rouge to demonstrate how to properly fold the American flag. Redemptorist students who participated in the event were seventh-graders Travious Lewis and Gerrick Camel and eighth-graders Zawaskie Myles and Glen Cage. Photo provided by Dr. Cindy Ryals | St. Alphonsus School

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    The Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Schools Office held a Leadership Appreciation Luncheon Nov. 6. Pictured, from left, are Bishop Michael G. Duca; Dr. Melanie Verges, Superintendent of Catholic Schools; and Father Cleo Milano, 2018-19 Distinguished Catholic School Clergy. Photo by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator

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    Third graders at Catholic Elementary School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads participated in a Marshmallow Shooter project to fully understand force and motion. Students constructed their marshmallow shooting machines out of cups, balloons and tape. Pictured are students Olivia Vosburg, left, and Madden Sonnier demonstrating their device. Photo provided by Megan Girlinghouse | Catholic Elementary

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    The Hammond Fire Department visited Pre-K 3 students at Holy Ghost School in Hammond. The children learned how to stop, drop and roll. They also got to sit in the fire truck. Photo provided by Cindy Wager | Holy Ghost School

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    Jamison Traigle, left, and Tre’Von Weber, both seniors at St. John High School in Plaquemine, watch as first graders select treats during Trunk or Treat Oct. 26. Seniors decorate the trunks of their vehicles and pass out goodies to first graders for the annual event. Photo provided by April Hedges | St. John High School  

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    The cross country team at St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge is reaping success both on and off the trails. The SMHS team was tops at the Battlefield Cross Country Festival with the girls’ team taking first place while the boys’ team placed second. Also, the team has an overall GPA average of 3.45. Pictured, from left, are Parker Devries, Betsy Adams, Emma Miller and Michael Martin. Photo provided by LeighAnn King | St. Michael High School

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    Youth invited to serve on parish council

    By  Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    In sync with Pope Francis’ call for the church to listen and walk with young people, three youth have been invited to serve on the parish advisory council for St. Anne Church in Napoleonville, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville and St. Philomena Church in Labadieville. 

    Reece Shelby


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    Bishop Michael G. Duca and Bishop Emeritus Robert W. Muench, along with Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, blessed the new St. John Paul II House on the LSU campus Oct. 24. Three of the nine residents briefly discussed the impact the house, which opened in August, has made in their lives, both personally and spiritually. Father Andrew Merrick, pastor of Christ the King Church and Catholic Center in Baton Rouge, gave a brief history of the St. John Paul II House.

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    Students in grades fifth through eighth at St. Francis Xavier School in Baton Rouge helped clean up Lutheran Cemetery in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Oct. 27. Pictured, Breanna Auguster helps rake the grounds around gravesites.  Photo provided by Paula Johnson | St. Francis Xavier School 

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    Faculty and staff at Catholic Elementary School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads recognize students each quarter for possessing the qualities of a variety of virtues. Students recognized Oct. 9 for the virtues of love and joy are Braden Labatut, Juliet Cotten, Addison Jones, Samuel Gradney, Abigail Ortego, Andrew Jewell, Karlee Ledet, Mason Werchan, Katherine Fontaine, Jacques Lemoine, Jamei St. Cyr, Gunner Lejeune, Evan Leonards, Brant Lejeune, Olivia Cotten, Gemma Jones, Aubrey Devillier, Cooper Walker, Lily Bergeron, Amelia Chauvin, Cameren Chapman, Grant Coursey, Brooke Andre, Jordan Battley, Andrew

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    St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge sophomore Steven Reed recently earned a spot in the Louisiana Music Educators Association All-State Honor Band. Reed is the youngest St. Michael musician to earn a spot in the all-state honor band. He will join the top high school musicians from around the state in a concert during the annual LMEA state conference in November. Photo provided by Leighann King | St. Michael High School

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    Students at Holy Ghost School in Hammond used their October service project to raise money for “Geaux PINK – Join the Fight!”  Students donned pink and donated nearly $1,600 to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center while doing so.  Pictured, from left, front, are Knox Peterman and Ryleigh Fugarino; center row, Collie Sledge, Gracelynn Canzoneri, Layla Hooks and Celia Adams; and, back row, Miley Smith, Konnor Burkes and Ryder Falcon. Photo provided by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School

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    Second-grade students at Mater Dolorosa School in Independence learned about vibrations and pitch in science class. Guest teacher Luke Williamson taught students about the different types of instruments and how they make sounds by using vibrations, and also how to change the pitch. Pictured are students Lauren Alford, Nicholas Amos, Noah Casey, Chase Cotton, Grace Finley, Grayson Gaudet, Ava Johnson, Katy Jo Johnson, Eryn Mackey, Dally Rushing and Williamson.  Photo provided by Erin Mendez | Mater Dolorosa School 

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    St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge students Tanner Pike, 10th-grade and Conner Pike, ninth grade, received the Ad Altere De, one of the highest religious emblems awards a Boy Scout can earn. Pictured with Bishop Michael G. Duca are Pike, left, Matthew Johnson and Pike, with their sponsor, Olga Johnson. Photo provided by Leighann King | SMHS

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    Mentoring among students

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    Early on the morning of Sept. 19, the campus of St. John School in Plaquemine was just beginning to buzz with activity from cars filled with teens pulling up to park on one side of campus, to carpool lines of parents dropping off younger students in another area.  

    Father Gregory Daigle, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemine, gives blessings

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    Several seventh-grade students at St. Jean Vianney School in Baton Rouge qualified to participate in the highly selective Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP). The students scored at the 95th national percentile or higher on their standardized testing and can take the ACT or SAT as a seventh-grader. Those students who qualified, from left, are Cole Mogharrebi, Kaylen Teno, Elise Cormier, Jeanne Warren, Lily Zeringue, Audrey Hair, Henry Breeden and Lizzy Brumfield.  </span id=”1″>Photo provided by Eliska Dumas | St. Jean Vianney

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    Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge first-grade teacher Amy Pickenheim gets assistance from her puppet, Ms. J. Kelly, to explain the importance of punctuation to first-graders William Boudreaux and Madison Johnson, while classmate Addison Massey looks on.  Photo provided by Lisa Cossè | Sacred Heart School

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    New Members

    Court Regina Coeli #2063, Baton Rouge, instituted a new Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge. Adult sponsor Carol Goldsmith and Regent Linda Jones, along with Second Vice State Regent Pam Melancon, were instrumental in instituting the Junior Court, which is one of 10 in the state. The mission of JCDA is to nurture personal and spiritual growth through activities that focus on Christ’s message, service and community. Membership is

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    Back the Blue!

    The August service project for Holy Ghost School in Hammond honored the Hammond Police Department.  For a donation of $1 or more, students wore jeans and a red, white or blue shirt in support of “Back the Blue” campaign.  Members of the police department visited the school’s morning assembly.  Nearly $1,300 was collected from this stewardship.

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    Program allows students the opportunity to dream

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Ceondere Herbert allows himself to dream, envisioning a life as a parasitologist and possibly a singer.  

    Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School students recently gathered at LSU to learn where they would be working as part of the school’s Corporate Work Study Program. The Match Day brought tears from not only students but their parents.

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    Personal Bibles were distributed to sixth-graders at Catholic of Pointe Coupee Elementary School in New Roads during Mass at St. Mary of False River Church in New Roads on Aug. 21. Father Amrit Raj, parochial vicar at St. Joseph, Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Francis churches in Maringouin, then blessed the Bibles. Deemed a rite of passage at CESPC, these students will begin learning the history of the Bible during this school year. Photo provided by Megan Girlinghouse |

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    The St. Michael Jazz Combo from St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge performed at the public reception at the Catholic Life Center following the installation of Bishop Michael G. Duca on Aug. 24. Band members are Ben Messina, Steven Reed, Sam Richard, David Baudauin, Hector Barraza, CJ Gautreaux and Christopher Dugas. The band is under the direction of Dr. Kevin Andry. Photo provided by LeighAnn King | SMHS

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    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Bishop Michael G. Duca, fresh off his installation as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge 48 hours earlier, dipped into his own background to encourage numerous Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts gathered at the annual Catholic Committee on Scouting Religious Award Ceremony at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge on Aug. 26.  


    Boy Scouts

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    Students in grades Pre-K4 through second grade at St. Alphonsus Ligouri School in Greenwell Springs learned soccer skills during a clinic hosted by Baton Rouge Soccer Club. The goal was to introduce the younger students to soccer and help them build interest in the sport. Photo provided by Cindy Ryals | St. Alphonsus School

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    PreK students at St. Jude the Apostle School in Baton Rouge show off their impressions of the New Shepherd for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Bishop Michael G. Duca. Pictured, from left, are Samantha Schexnayder, Jacob Schmeekle and Harper Blanchard. Photo provided by Starr Driesse | St. Jude School

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    In keeping with tradition on the first day of school, PreK-4 students at Holy Ghost School in Hammond released balloons into the air after listening to the story, “Where Do Balloons Go?” Students used their imaginations and drew pictures to show where their balloons went. Pictured, from left, front, are Lucy Pegler, Lainey Dunn and Mary Michael McGibboney; from left, back, Clark Bonfiglio, Hunter Monistere, Wyatt Evans, Brodie Gomez, Jack Keller and Jase Brownlow. Photo provided by Cindy Wager |

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