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Posted December 22, 2017 at 12:00 am

Middle school students at Mater Dolorosa School in Independence were paid a special visit by a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. Robert Johnson, father of third-grader Kori Johnson, along with LTC Jacques Comeaux, WO1 James Cardin, SGT Joshua McNeese and SPS Cameron Ockman planned the event. Students were able to sit inside the helicopters, ask questions and take pictures. The students returned to class to write about their experience. Photo provided by Erin Mendez/Mater Dolorosa School

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    Students spread the love with bags to the needy

    The Catholic Commentator

    In a season of waiting, watching and preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the preparational aspect of Advent can sometimes take over and take hold of day-to-day activities. From school concerts, parties and church events to shopping, decorating and planning for guests, the Christmas season can be the busiest time of year for many. 

    Freshmen at St. Michael

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    Fifth-grade students at St. Peter Chanel Interparochial School in Paulina recently designed their own writer’s notebooks. The notebooks are used to record the students’ favorite quotes, dreams, idea and experiences. Photo provided by Paula Poche | St. Peter Chanel School

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    A wonderful surprise for students at Mater Dolorosa School in Independence happened recently when pilot Jacob Dreher, father of students Andrew and Sarah Dreher, and co-pilot Eric Monteset landed in the baseball field and spoke to the children about saying no to drugs! Photo provided by Erin Mendez | Mater Dolorosa School

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    Members of Girl Scout Troop #12644 from Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room. Pictured front row from left, Gretchen Payne, Brennan Colbert, Tayler Brown, Morgan Johnson. Back row from left, Kennedy Papillion, Chloe Christophe, Derianah Williams, Sheridyn Carr, McKenzie Hamilton, Madison Rambo. Photo provided by Kimberly Papillion

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    A Work of Art

    Harper Ricker, an eighth-grader at St. Jean Vianney School in Baton Rouge, holds a framed replica of her winning artwork, which will be used for Christmas cards for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Dr. Melanie Verges, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the diocese, presented the award to Ricker on Dec. 1. Photo provided by Judith Farr | St. Jean Vianney School 

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    Kinsley McCrory, fom left, Cianna Newton, Bronwyn Doan, Bella Theriot, Kylie Bates and Riley Fitzhugh proudly show off their plaque after being named the NIAL (Northshore Independent Athletic League) Cross Country champs in the elementary division.  The third- and forth-grade students attend Holy Ghost School in Hammond. Photo provided by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School 

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    Students receive ‘cheesy’ award for good behavior

    The Catholic Commentator 

    “We need all students that are to eat pizza with the principal to head to the cafeteria.” And, with that announcement, made once a month from the principal’s office at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge, students that do their best in ways that cannot be measured by a grade are given a moment of recognition. And, once they arrive in the cafeteria, that special time

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    America Heritage teaches girls Catholic virtues

    The Catholic Commentator

    Members of the newly formed American Heritage Girls LA Troop 1943 served up smiles along with meals as they bustled between the kitchen, serving line and tables at the shelter for homeless women and their children at St. Agnes Church in Baton Rouge on Nov. 10. 

    Members of American Heritage Girls LA Troop 1943 served dinner to homeless

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    Seventh- and eighth-grade students at St. Joseph School in Pontchatoula hold a banner they made for the Hammond Veterans Booster Club Banner Project.  The students were happily surprised to get their banner back with signatures from so many veterans.  Photo provided by Melissa Thomas | St. Joseph School

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    Students in grades pre-K–third at St. Peter Chanel School in Paulina recently observed Fire Prevention Week with a visit by members of the St. James Fire Department. Students learned about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire at their home or school. They were also able to see a fire truck and hear the sirens. Pictured from left, second-graders Reese Roussel, Kiptyn Luminais and Caitlyn Simon hold onto fire fighting equipment as they pose with firefighters.

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    Students at Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville celebrate being voted Best Private School in Ascension Parish in the Ascension Publication’s Official People’s Choice Award. Photo provided by John Beck | Ascension Catholic School

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    Fourth-grade students in the accelerated resource program at Holy Ghost School in Hammond, studying inventions and inventors, had to create their own board games as part of the lesson. In their designs, students had to create their own directions on how to play the game, the game board and game pieces. Students rotated through each game so they could play all of their classmates’ games. Pictured, from bottom left, Annie Fritz, Pietro Moreira, Miley Smith and Cianna Newton try out a game called “Questiontopia.”

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    40 DAYS

    St. Jude the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge adopted Oct. 16 for the Baton Rouge 40 Days for Life Campaign. St. Jude School signed up to observe an hour in prayer.  Representatives from school service organizations are pictured, from left, Ann Marie Benoit and Ava Kathryn Nesbit were chosen to be present for the vigil, carrying with them the intentions of the student body for respect life initiatives. Photo provided by Starr Driesse | St. Jude School

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    Fire Safety

    Kindergarten students at St. Alphonsus School in Greenwell Springs enjoyed a visit from the Central Fire Department, complete with a high-five from firefighter Jordan Byrd. Photo provided by Dr. Cynthia Ryals  | St. Alphonsus School

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    Students at Holy Ghost School in Hammond ‘Sock it to Drugs!’ during Red Ribbon Week.  Pictured, from left are,  Kaylee Sedberry, Brennan Bankston, Caroline Beard, Paisley Collett, Eliza Foster, Ashlynn Forrest and Katherine Amos. Photo provided by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School

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    Left, Third-grader Jalia Baptiste participated in the vocabulary parade at St. Francis Xavier School in Baton Rouge. Students wore costumes depicting their vocabulary word. Baptiste’s word was ‘telescope.’ Right, pictured, from left are, Kindergarteners Christopher Whitlock, Zadariah Johnson and Princeton Criss show their word skills in the vocabulary parade at St. Francis Xavier School in Baton Rouge on Nov. 3.

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    Student at St. Michael High School in Baton Rouge participated in “Warriors for Life Week,” which focused on ending racism, human trafficking, suicide and abortion. After praying a living multicultural rosary for life, students watched the pro-life documentary, “I Lived on Parker Avenue,” the true story of David Scotton who was almost aborted but given up for adoption. Scotton spoke to students after the film. Photo provided by Emily Froeba | St. Michael High School

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    Competition helps students to tackle hunger

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Posters, cheers, skits and rap songs; it’s the typical lead up to a sports event between schools, but this was a competition with a cause. Students at Most Blessed Sacrament and St. Jean Vianney schools, both in Baton Rouge, were getting classmates fired up to participate in the Tuna Tackle, a competition created to tackle hunger.

    Mason Dolan high-fives students

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    Students in pre-K 3 and pre-K 4 at Mater Dolorosa School in Independence bring pets to school for a blessing by Deacon Roger Navarra. Photo provided by Erin Mendez



    Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge held its annual Living Rosary on Oct. 4 at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Sixth- and seventh-grade students formed the rosary while eighth-grade students led the student body, faculty and parents in praying the rosary. Photo provided by Lisa Cossé

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    Students and faculty from Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School recently spent part of their weekend cleaning up the Sweet Olive Cemetery in Baton Rouge. Those involved in the community service project were: Anthony Martinez, his father, Antonio Martinez; Orlin Alvarez; Jadarion Davis; Jamone Williams; Johnathan Williams; Joshua Ramirez; principal Claire Willis and her kids; and teachers Stephen Weilbacher, Missy Durham and Mark Becker. Photo provided by Kendall Hebert

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    Students at St. Louis King of France School in Baton Rouge raised money for Hurricane Harvey victims. The students raised $2,500 in funds and supplies. Photo provided by Paula Johnson | St. Louis King of France

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    Third-grade students at Holy Ghost in Hammond visit the church’s prayer garden to observe plant and animal interactions. The students are studying ecosystems in their science classes. Photo provided by Cindy Wagner 



    Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge inducted 15 new members into its Beta Club in a ceremony Sept. 27. For the second straight year, the school has also been named a National Beta School of Distinction for increasing its membership by 10 percent. Pictured are, from left front row, Blake Hester, Charles Tramonte, Anna Grace Chapman, Alex Christofi, Kourtni Hughes, Frances Rhodes, Jemma Wood; second row, Claire Graves, Preston Stoeckle, Gabi Barbin, Leslie Stevens, Kayla Dowden, Peter Mascari, Ann Claire Harris, Alyssa Keowen; third row, Claire Perrault,

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    FOCUS hopes to spark fire of faith at LSU


    The Catholic Commentator  

    When it comes to reaching the 30,000 students at LSU with the Gospel, “the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few,” according to Father Andrew Merrick, pastor of Christ the King Church and Student Center in Baton Rouge. CTK is sending out more workers into the vineyard and expanding its outreach through working with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS),

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    St. Jean Vianney School in Baton Rouge honored all first responders during its first First Responder Mass followed by a reception Sept. 8. Photo provided by Adele Kleinpeter | St. Jean Vianney School

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    The Dad’s Club of Holy Ghost School in Hammond works to help Holy Ghost  with projects designed to enrich the school experience of its students. From scholarships to beautification of the campus, these projects are made possible through various fundraisers throughout the year. The money raised by the Holy Ghost Dad’s Club from the previous school year, along with generous contributions, was used to rebuild the wooden deck used by the middle school and junior high students. Standing with pride on their finished project are, from left, front row, Ernie Thibodeaux, Rick Sedberry, and

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    Students, faculty and staff of Mater Dolorosa School in Independence celebrated the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Mater Dolorosa. The day began with Mass followed by Our Lady of Sorrow’s mysteries of the rosary on the front lawn of the school grounds.   Photo provided by Erin Mendez 

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    Local attorney Ashley Sandage visited Holy Ghost School’s English 1 students on Aug. 17. After completing Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” students at the Hammond school discussed the literary work and participated in a mock jury and voir dire, a legal phrase that refers to a procedure connected with the selection of a jury for a trial.  Students then questioned Sandage about the field of law. Photo provided by Cindy Wagner | Holy Ghost School