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SWEET DREAMS SHELTER EXPANSION

Posted March 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

The St. Vincent de Paul Society held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of its Bishop Ott Sweet Dreams Shelter for Women and Children on March 27. Construction began immediately and the expansion should be completed by the end of the year, said Michael Acaldo, SVDP president and CEO. The addition will double the amount of beds from 36 to 72. Shoveling dirt are, from left, Bishop Robert W. Muench; Virginia Berry Green, SVDP executive board member; Crystal Chatelain, board member and council president; Dan Bevan, president, CFO, treasurer and trustee of Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation; Jan Ross, vice president of grants administration, Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation; Sister Carolyn Brady CSJ; Cary Kearny, board member; Monika Gerhart, urban development director for the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Community Development; Sister Joan Laplace CSJ; Kim and

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    SENIOR SERVING

    Ollie Steele Burden Manor Nursing Facility, part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, hosted its annual St. Joseph’s Day Altar on Thursday, March 16. Residents, visitors and staff munched on fruit, bread, cake, specialty cookies and more. Photo provided by Caroline Isemann | Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center

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    Bishop Muench welcomes RCIA candidates in ceremony

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    “You are welcomed, embraced, supported and loved,” Bishop Robert W. Muench told the nearly 500 candidates and catechumens during a Rite of Election welcoming ceremony March 5 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.

    “Here I am Lord,” respond the catechumens who will enter the church at the Easter Vigil Mass at church parishes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge after being questioned by Bishop Robert W. Muench

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    St. Thomas Aquinas announces new principal

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Charles (Pat) Sanguinetti, a longtime Catholic educator, has been chosen as incoming principal at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional High School in Hammond.

    Charles (Pat) Sanguinetti

     

    Sanguinetti, who has served as principal at Cathedral School in Natchez, Mississippi for the past 15 years, will begin at STA on July 1, according to Dr. Melanie Verges, superintendent of

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    OLOL announces residents on Match Day

    Sixty-five new residents will be serving their residency during the next year at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, hospital officials announced.

    The residents were revealed at the hospital’s Match Day celebration, in which Our Lady of the Lake joined other academic medical centers around the country in learning which residents were matched to different graduate medical education programs nationwide.

    Our Lady of the Lake is the largest academic medical center in the region. Each year, more than

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    WOW FACTOR

    New St. George church inspiring

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Bishop Robert W. Muench tilted his head upward, first to the left, awe partnering with joy to create a broadening smile. As if on cue, the bishop then looked up to the right, his facial expression telegraphing his exuberance.

    St. George Church Parish administrator Martin Hernandez, background, welcomes Bishop Robert W. Muench, foreground, at the start

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    USCCB grant helps Cristo Rey to return to Redemptorist site

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School in Baton Rouge is coming home, and much sooner than anyone expected.

    Crisco Rey president Brian Moscona could hardly contain his excitement as he relayed the news on March 23 that the school, which was driven from its north Baton Rouge site by floodwaters this past summer, should be operational in August with

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    Historic St. Clare house part of the Audubon Pilgrimage

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Seen for months in brochures, newsprint and other media campaigns promoting the 46th annual Audubon Pilgrimage, the rectory at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in St. Francisville is starting to make a name for itself.

    Visitors ascend the front steps of St. Clare during the first day of the Audubon Pilgrimage. For the first time,

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    WEARING THE GREEN

    Bishop Robert W. Muench waved, tossed beads and extended well wishes to parade goers in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 18 in Baton Rouge. Large crowds of people gathered for the parade, which kicked off at Hundred Oaks Avenue at Acadian Thruway and wrapped up several hours later on Perkins Road. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

    Finding joy in the darkness of Lent

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Viewing the beauty of Ireland last September from Croagh Patrick, where St. Patrick fasted on the summit for 40 days in the fifth century, Father Jason Palermo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in French Settlement and St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Maurepas, and his fellow pilgrims experienced a much needed “highlight experience.”

    The trip up “the hill,” accompanied with a visit to St. Patrick’s well, was something Father Palermo drew refreshment

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    Discalced Carmelites focus on contemplative prayer

    Fourth in a series of articles

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Father Bonaventure Saucer OCD, provincial delegate, welcomes Clara Gillespie, who has completed a year of study as a aspirant, into the next two years of formation. She received the large ceremonial scapular in this clothing ceremony. On the right is formation director Frances Locker. Photo provided by Dana Barton

     

    St. Teresa of Avila

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    Baskets show joy of Easter season

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Stepping into Pat Hill’s home this time of the year is like walking into an Easter wonderland.

    Surrounded by dozens of filled Easter baskets in her home, Pat Hill prepares to place Easter grass and other assorted items into a new basket for the St. Vincent de Paul Build a Basket program.

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    Father Collins remembered as ‘peoples’ priest during memorial Mass

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Remembered as a “peoples’ priest,” Father Michael Collins’ life was celebrated during a memorial Mass on March 13 at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Baton Rouge.

    Paying homage to his Irish roots, “Amazing Grace” was performed on bagpipes before the memorial Mass celebrating the life of Father Michael Collins. Father Collins died March 8. Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator

    Several hundred people gathered to

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    St. Aloysius Church to celebrate 24 Hours for the Lord

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    When St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge hosted the first “24 Hours for the Lord” in the Diocese of Baton Rouge last year, they received an overwhelming response from people who came to experience God’s love and mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, said event organizers.

    “We received countless testimonies from men and women who recounted how they came in the church with many burdens

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    CENTURY OR MEMORIES

    St. Agnes celebrates 100 years as a church family

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    A hearty round of applause might seem an unusual way to begin Mass.

    Highlighting the recessional of the 100th anniversary Mass, this photo also shows the architecture of St. Agnes Church. Completed in 1951, the church uses a Romanesque style with repeating archways. When it was completed in 1951,

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    Redemptorist’s demolition makes way for Cristo Rey’s future

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Where the exuberant voices of teenagers once echoed, silence reigns.

    Contractors have spent the past several weeks taking down the old Redemporist High School. Photos by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator

     

     

    During the past several weeks a construction crew has been painstakingly demolishing the gym and classroom buildings at the former Redemptorist High

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    SPREADING JOY

    Seniors delight in St. Joseph altar

    By Rachel Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Missy Marchand is proof that if you want something done, all you have to do is ask.

    Father Jason Palermo, pastor of St. Joseph Church in French Settlement, blesses a St. Joseph altar at Azalea Estates of Gonzales,

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    Thousands gather to celebrate Mass at new St. George church

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    With a simple question of “What do you think?” Father Mike Schatzle ushered in a new era at St. George Church in Baton Rouge.

    Pastor Father Mike Schatzle walks down the aisle as he celebrates the first weekend of Masses in the new St. George Church in Baton Rouge. Photos by Richard Meek

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    Governor’s wife turns to the ‘word’ of God to find solace in trying times

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    In a time of social media frenzy, there’s a lot of “chatter” as people voice their opinions and debunk others’ and rant on traditional or social media in the hopes of 15 minutes of fame. What is often more needed is a simple, meaningful word from God that captures the essence of the virtues and qualities needed to address what the future may hold, said Donna Edward, wife

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    RITE OF ELECTION

    Nearly 500 baptized and non-baptized individuals attended a welcoming ceremony March 5 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. Bishop Robert W.Muench celebrated the Rite of Election and Call to Conversion of Candidates rites, one held at 1 p.m. and the other at 4:30 p.m. An article concerning the ceremony will be in the March 31 issue of The Catholic Commentator. Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator

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    Secular Franciscans satisfy spiritual hunger

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Secular Franciscan Patsy Burgess’ hunger for a closer relationship with God intensified as she continued her education and training in ministering to youth as a catechist and youth minister.

    Making a profession to the Secular Franciscans Order is a joyful celebration for the newly professed as well as their fraternity family. Pictured at their profession in June 2014

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    KNITTED BLESSINGS

    Father Joshua Johnson, parochial vicar at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge, offers a special blessing over various knitted shawls, caps and other items during vigil Mass at the church on Feb. 4. The items were handcrafted by parishioners involved in St. Aloysius’ Prayer Shawl Ministry and are for anyone who is ill or in need of comfort. During Masses at St. Aloysius Feb. 4-5, parishioners were invited to look at the blessed items and take any they needed. Joyce Boone, one of

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    Homeless find message of hope in Father Burns’ words

    By Rachele Smith

    The Catholic Commentator

    Some six months ago, “Tony” moved to Baton Rouge from his hometown of New Orleans. As a youth, Tony was a high school football standout. He received a full scholarship to play ball at a small college in Arkansas, but homesick, he returned to the Crescent City shortly after enrolling.

    Father Gerald Burns, a retired priest

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    CELEBRATING MARRIAGE

    St. Mark Church in Gonzales recently held its annual Honor Marriage evening. The event, which is held near Valentine’s Day, honors St. Mark parishioners that have been married for 15 years and longer. The evening began with a Mass which was followed by dinner and dancing. Each of the approximately 50 couples were presented with a certificate to honor their years of marriage. Photo by Jimmy Sanchez

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    Men’s conference offers tips for spiritual battle plan

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Men of the Catholic Church must be willing to be soldiers on the frontline in the battle against enemies of the spiritual life, which include lust of the flesh, lust of the world and the pride of life.

    Nearly 600 individuals attended the inaugural Men of the Immaculata Men’s Conference on Feb. 11 at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church

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    KC volunteers help pregnancy center reopen after flood

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    As August’s heavy rains turned into historic flooding, fear gripped Dorothy Wallis, not so much out of concern for her house, which would take on a foot of water, but for a ministry she birthed and has since nurtured for nearly 40 years.

    Several Knights of Columbus councils assisted Dorothy Wallis in helping her reopen the Crisis

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    Third Order of Mary carries out the mission of the Blessed Mother

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Second in a series

    Members of the Third Order of Mary honor the special connection Mary has with her son, Jesus, and her powerful prayers of intercessions on their behalf. Photo provided by Diana LeBlanc

     

    It was a heaven-made connection that led to a closer relationship to Jesus through

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    Employee unification program helps serve local communities

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    “Happy New Year” and “Free Cabbage” read the signs held by members of the volunteer group #lettucehelp, who stood on the roadside in downtown Hammond the day before New Year’s Eve and handed out more than 500 pounds of cabbage. The group had been brainstorming ideas to take #lettucehelp further in the New Year at the Salad Station Corporate office in Hammond. Suddenly the idea came to give

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    Lent offers spiritual opportunity to hear the Lord’s voice

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Second in a series

    Lent can often be perceived as a season of sacrifice, those dreadful 40 days giving up one’s favorite culinary yet sinful delights or perhaps even adult beverages.

    Some even offer that Lent is a time of spiritual darkness before the promise of the new life of resurrection.

    But those 40 days can also be a

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