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Fairchild finds excitement, challenges in ‘dream job’

Posted July 29, 2020 at 2:29 am

By Richard Meek 

The Catholic Commentator 

Fund raising in an era when the Catholic Church has recently come under scrutiny and a historic pandemic is endangering the economy can admittedly appear daunting but Gwen Fairchild, freshly-minted director of stewardship for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, eagerly embraces those challenges.  

Gwen Fairchild

 

Difficulties await, but Fairchild said her job is perhaps made a bit easier because of the multitude of services the diocese continues to provide, even in these uncertain times. She said spreading the word of those success stories, whether through video conference calls or webinars, is pivotal.  

Fairchild, an Oklahoma native who moved to Sunshine in 1972 and converted

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    STA student earns diocesan KC award

    Juliette LeRay, a St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School in Hammond Class of 2020 graduate was selected as the overall Diocese of Baton Rouge Knights of Columbus Catholic Youth Leadership Award and Scholarship Winner.  

    LeRay initially was selected for the KC Hammond JFK Council #2952 CYLA and moved on to be selected as the diocesan winner.  

    The Catholic Youth Leadership Award and Scholarship is provided by the Knights of Columbus in recognition of service and

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    Reynaud’s calling to diaconate formed at young age

    (Six new permanent deacons are scheduled to be ordained Aug. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. This is the final of a series on each of the deacon candidates.)  

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    As Mark Reynaud prepares for his ordination as a permanent deacon, his mind goes back to his fourth-grade year as an altar server at St. Agnes Church in Jefferson.  

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    Fairchild finds excitement, challenges in ‘dream job’

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Fund raising in an era when the Catholic Church has recently come under scrutiny and a historic pandemic is endangering the economy can admittedly appear daunting but Gwen Fairchild, freshly-minted director of stewardship for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, eagerly embraces those challenges.  

    Gwen Fairchild

     

    Difficulties await, but Fairchild said her job is perhaps made a bit

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    Special ed director cites teachers as program’s strength

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Kristy Monsour, the new program administrator of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Special Education REACH program and Resource Lab Services, has spent the summer visiting schools and learning about their unique gifts.  

    Kristy Monsour

     

    She’s also been forming relationships with the administration and staff of the schools in order to help children with special needs obtain a quality education.  

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    Pastoral appointments announced

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Bishop Michael G. Duca, upon consultation with and the recommendation of the Clergy Personnel Board,  announced several pastoral changes July 5.  

    Father Joshua Johnson

     

    The appointments include:  

    Father Joshua Johnson, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, effective Aug. 1;  

    Father Jamin David, Vicar for Strategic Planning, effective Aug. 1;  

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    Deacon candidate to bring faith to Hispanic community

    (Six new permanent deacons are scheduled to be ordained Aug. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. This is the fifth of a series on each of the deacon candidates.)  

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Gabriel Rico, left, and his wife Arlene Rico

     

    Sensing a need for spiritual direction in the Hispanic community Gabriel Rico looked to his own Catholic faith to serve the people he so

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    RCIA CELEBRATION

    Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge welcomed its RCIA candidates and catechumens into full communion with the church on June 23. Receiving the sacrament of confirmation from OLOM pastor Father Cleo Milano is Lydia Roberts, accompanied by her sponsor, Adele Dalmau. Photo provided by Christy Haldane  

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    Candidato a diácono para traer fe a la comunidad hispana

    Por Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Viendo la necesidad de una dirección espiritual en la comunidad hispana, Gabriel Rico recurrió a su propia fe católica para servir a las personas que realmente ama.  

    Gabriel Rico y su esposa Arlene Rico 

     

    Rico, quién nació en Colombia, vivió en California y arribó a Baton Rouge hace seis años, dice que después de mucha oración el mensaje en su corazón es

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    SIGN OF HOPE

    The St. Alphonsus Church in Greenwell Springs Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society recently re-opened its food pantry after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Food recipients and volunteers were happy to come together again.  Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator 

    Statement of Ncaddhm on George Floyd and the protests

    We, the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry, join in solidarity with our Catholic community and leadership, and people of good will in expressing our commitment to the work of racial justice and reconciliation. The meaningless and heartless killing of George Floyd retells us, once again, that the systemic evil and sin of racism is still very much alive in our hearts and communities. Similarly, the protests that are taking place in our neighborhoods and cities, and the expressions of frustration and rage are a stark invitation to the work of

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    Declaración de Ncaddhm sobre George Floyd y las protestas

    Nosotros, la Asociación Católica Nacional de Directores Diocesanos para el Ministerio Hispano, nos unimos en solidaridad con nuestra comunidad y liderazgo católico, y personas de buena voluntad para expresar nuestro compromiso con el trabajo de justicia racial y reconciliación. El asesinato sin sentido y sin corazón de George Floyd nos vuelve a decir, una vez más, que el mal sistémico y el pecado del racismo todavía están muy vivos en nuestros corazones y comunidades. Del mismo modo, las protestas que tienen lugar en nuestros vecindarios y ciudades, y las expresiones de frustración y

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    ST. GABRIEL CONFIRMATION

    Bishop Michael G. Duca confirmed youth at St. Gabriel Church in St. Gabriel on June 18. Pictured are, from left, top row, Deacon Kirk Duplantis, Bishop Duca and Father Charles Landry, pastor; and, bottom row, Samantha Waldroup, Michael Torres, Hunter Crochet, Reed Williams, Haley Marcott and Christopher and Isaac Duplantis. Photo provided by Myra Tircuit

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    FIRST COMMUNION

    Ninety-five second graders received first Communion at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge between June 16 – June 24. Pictured with OLM pastor Father Cleo Milano are, from left, Liam Perrault, Emilia Davros, Ava Keown and Lucien Myers. Photo by Darlene Aguillard

    FranU funds well in Zimbabwe

    Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University’s Campus Ministry in Baton Rouge raised $1,000 to help build a well for the new Sacred Heart College in Gweru, Zimbabwe run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.  

    For the past five years, FranU’s Campus Ministry has focused on advocating and bringing awareness to global issues that also have a local impact. The ministry raises money for whichever cause they adopt and then donates the funds to an organization that supports that issue. 

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    Oschwald measures success by heavenly standards

    (Six new permanent deacons are scheduled to be ordained Aug. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. This is the fourth of a series on each of the deacon candidates.)  

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Ehren “Wheeler” Oschwald changed his measurement of success from earthly treasures to heavenly ones and now has a more enriched life that has also enriched his faith.  

    Bishop Michael G. Duca will ordain Oschwald a

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    COVID-19 forces changes at St. Vincent de Paul

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Potential health threats rising from the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in major changes at the homeless shelters and other facilities operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, according to president and CEO Michael Acaldo.  

    Michael Acaldo, president and CEO of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, walks through one of the rooms of the Bishop Ott Sweet Dreams

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    SEASON OF GOOD CHEER 

     

    Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge distributed bikes and bags filled with gifts to more than 400 families for its 2019 Community Comes Together for Christmas Program. Families were sponsored by area church and community organizations. Photo by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator

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    RHS alumni pitch in to help St. Gerard

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator  

    A group of Redemptorist High School alumni, who continue to remain loyal to their school, have rallied to express support for their alma mater’s elementary school, Redemptorist St. Gerard School in Baton Rouge.  

    The grounds of Redemptorist St. Gerard School in Baton Rouge were spruced up during a two-day cleanup effort just before school started Aug. 7. A new sign, donated by

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    SECULAR FRANCISCAN PROFESSION

    Father Charlie Landry, pastor of St. Gabriel Church in St. Gabriel, questions Debbie Shelley and Jimmie Pappa on their intent to embrace the Gospel way of life by following the words and example of St. Francis of Assisi as they made their profession to the Secular Franciscan Order at the Ollie Steele Manor chapel in Baton Rouge on Sunday, June 23. Pappa and Shelley were joined by family, friends and members of the local St. Joseph’s Fraternity. Photo by Richard Meek

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    Patriotic essay winners

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator 

    “The first place winner of the Patriotic Essay for the diocese (of Baton Rouge) and the winner of $300 in prize money – Landry Mayeaux!” announced David Goldsmith, of the Bishop Stanley J. Ott Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, following the school Mass at St. Jude the Apostle in Baton Rouge on Feb. 20.  

     

    St. Jude School had five

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    Society of St. Vincent de Paul shutters Government St. store

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

    A Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s retail outlet in Baton Rouge closed its doors in January after the property was sold to a new owner, according to executive director Michael Acaldo.

    The Society of St. Vincent de Paul closed the doors on its Government Street retail store location in Baton Rouge in January. The closure came as a

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    COMMISSION ON RACIAL HARMONY

    Bishop Michael G. Duca, pictured far right, listens to discussions at a meeting of the Diocesan Commission on Racial Harmony. Also attending the meeting, pictured clockwise from the bishop, were Father Rick Andrus, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge; Father Tom Clark, co-chair of the commission and pastor of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Baton Rouge; Fr. Josh Johnson, co-chair of the commission and pastor of Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant; Deacon Alfred Adams of St. Joseph

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    MEMORIAL OAK

    On Jan. 31, in conjunction with Baton Rouge Green’s Arbor Day, St. Jean Vianney Church in Baton Rouge hosted the planting of a memorial oak tree in honor of John Melancon, who was actively involved in the parish and community. Deacon Brent Duplessis led a blessing ceremony, which was attended by Melancon’s family, friends and students of St. Jean Vianney School. Photo provided by Denise Louviere | St. John Vianney Church

    Bishop Michael G. Duca’s Sacrament of Confirmation 2019 Winter Schedule

    Friday, Jan. 18                      7:00 PM                 Immaculate Conception,
    Denham Springs

    Monday, Jan. 21                    7:00 PM                St. Theresa of Avila, Gonzales

    Tuesday, Jan. 22                   7:00 PM                St. Mark, Gonzales

    Thursday, Jan. 24                7:00 PM       

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    Noted actor sees God’s hand in latest role

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Moments before taking the stage, a familiar feeling of nervousness that often morphed into anxiety engulfed Jim Coleman.  

    Jim Coleman captured Father August Tolton’s love for the Eucharist on his journey to becoming the first African-American priest in America during the production, “Tolton: From Slave to Priest.” Photo by Debbie Shelley | The Catholic Commentator 

     

    He immediately dialed in his

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    SITTING IN SANTA’S LAP

    Josiah Franklin, 7 months, sits in Bishop Michael G. Duca’s lap before the bishop gives him a gift at the bishop’s distribution of gifts to children of families in need at the St. Vincent de Paul Society on Dec. 22. Approximately 5,600 gifts were collected that were sorted and wrapped by about 800 volunteers, according to SVDP CEO and Executive Director Michael Acaldo. “The success of the effort started with the smile on the bishop’s and children’s faces,” said Acaldo. Bishop Duca carries on a tradition that

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    LIGHTING THE WAY

     

     

     

    St. Joseph’s Academy/Catholic High School | Baton Rouge 

    Catholic Elementary of Pointe Coupee | New Roads 

    Sacred Heart of Jesus School | Baton Rouge 

    St. Aloysius School | Baton Rouge 

    St. Alphonsus School

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    Full of Grace Cafe offers coffee, hope

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator   

    The newly opened Full of Grace Café at Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant is a collective dream of its parishioners and pastor Father Josh Johnson that is meeting the needs of the less fortunate and giving them hope for a better future. 

    Bishop Michael Duca blesses the new Full of Grace Café as well as the people attending the ceremony.  Photo

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    Continuing Formation Days upcoming

    Dear People of God of the Diocese of Baton Rouge,

    The upcoming annual Continuing Formation days for our priests are Jan. 14-17. These days represent an important occasion for our priests’ renewal and growth in intellectual and spiritual formation, emotional maturity and physical well-being. Since these days are offered once a year and is a commitment by the diocese for their on-going formation, participation by our active priests is mandatory. 

    With the guidance of the Diocesan

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