The Catholic Commentator earns seven LPA awards

Posted June 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

The Catholic Commentator earned seven Louisiana Press Association awards, which were announced during the annual LPA luncheon on June 16 in New Orleans.

Editor Richard Meek won the Sam Hanna Award for Best Regular Column as well as earning first and second place awards in Best Single Editorial.

Reporter Bonny Van won a third place award in Best News Category for her story on the challenges inmates face upon re-entry into society. 

Graphic designer Nicole Latiolais won three awards, including third place in Best Layout and Design for Giving Across the Diocese, third place in Best Ad Campaign for Anthony’s Deli, and third place in In-Paper Production for a series of promotional ads for The Catholic Commentator.

    Sta. Teresa acercándose a los jovenes hispanos

    La Iglesia de Sta. Teresa en Gonzales se une a la misión de unir fe y cultura, dándole la bienvenida a la población Hispana en su familia de fe.  Una de estas formas es trabajando para fusionar el PSR Hispano (Escuela de Religión de la Parroquia por sus siglas en inglés) y los programas de PSR de la parroquia, y animando a los niños hispanos a que se involucren en la escuela de la Biblia en las vacaciones y con el grupo de jóvenes.

    “Estoy muy emocionado” dijo el Padre Eric Gyan, radiante, quien habló con

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    Metanoia Manor ‘taking care of the children’

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    “Actually, before I came here, one of the girls said, ‘Sister Norma, where are you going?’ And I said I had to go and do a presentation and she said, ‘Can I come?’ I said, ‘Not yet, baby, not yet. Maybe one day you will,’ ” said Sister Norma Nunez SOM during a May meeting of the Women in Spirit at the parish hall of St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge.

    The narrative was more than just an exchange between Sister Norma and the teen girl. Those few words

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    CSJ hosts leadership conference

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Baton Rouge recently served as the destination for students across the country learning about leadership in action at the CSJ|SSJ Leadership Conference. The conference was for students from the Congregation of St. Joseph’s Schools in the United States. Part of their conference included volunteering at SVDP. They served lunch alongside volunteers from the American Association of Retired Persons.

    “I wanted to learn about the world and liked the idea of meeting other kids, getting involved and making a difference,” said Connor Dempsey of Nazareth Academy, a co-ed school in

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    Sexual abuse policy in the Diocese of Baton Rouge

    Churches, schools and youth organizations have an obligation to provide children and youth with a safe place to worship, study or participate in activities sponsored by the Catholic Church.

    In its ongoing effort to ensure that this is being accomplished, the Diocese of Baton Rouge has established an office of Child and Youth Protection. With the establishment of this office, the diocese has also implemented a process for reporting alleged abuse of a minor.

    The Diocese of Baton Rouge has trained professionals available to provide counseling and information about additional care if needed. Information about reporting an

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    Deavers honored at CPA’s Annual Memorial Mass

    Former Catholic Commentator editor Laura Deavers was honored during the annual Catholic Press Association Memorial Mass in Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 15.  

    After Communion, CPA president Joe Towalski read a list of CPA members who had died during the previous year.  

    Deavers, who served as editor of The Catholic Commentator for 30 years, died Sept. 13 at the age of 69. She was a native of Baton Rouge and served as editor from 1984-2013.  

    Laura Deavers

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    RACIAL SOBRIETY

    An estimated 50 people attended an Introducing Racial Sobriety seminar June 9 at St. Michael Parish Hall in Convent. The seminar was sponsored by St Michael and the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office. Father Clarence Williams CPPS, who presents lectures and workshops on racism to civic, educational leaders throughout the United States, South American, Africa and Europe, facilitated the seminar. Father Williams, the author of “Racial Sobriety: Becoming the Change You Want to See,” also presented the seminar on June 8 at the Bishop Robert E. Tracy

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    Beatitudes offers journey for life

    Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Keeping the “dos” and “don’ts” of the Ten Commandments is a good way to stay clear of the sins that can keep one from entering heaven. But to better understand God’s divine purpose behind these biblical laws and achieve the communion with him that they ultimately

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    St. Theresa reaching out to Hispanic youth

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    St. Theresa of Avila Church in Gonzales is joining in the church’s mission of uniting faith with culture by welcoming its Hispanic population into its faith family. One of the ways is merging its Hispanic PSR and parish PSR programs and encouraging Hispanic youth to become involved in the church’s vacation Bible school and youth group.  

    St. Theresa of Avila Church

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    Neighborhood friends

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    The bright, hot summer sun shone like a spotlight on the mom-and-pop neighborhood store Owens Grocery and Market on Balis Street as a large crowd of people gathered to express their gratitude to the store that helped so many of them through the most difficult times. Then broke out a neighborhood party filled with games, food, face painting and a giveaway of 10 bikes to lucky registered

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    PROUD MOMENT


    Assumption celebrates anniversary 
    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

     As menacing, dark clouds gathered on the horizon, Baron LeBrun scanned the grounds at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville. 

     

    Assumption of

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    BISHOP MUENCH FLASHBACK

    Bishop Robert W. Muench celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 29, 2008 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge to mark his 40th anniversary of ordination. Following the Mass, Bishop Muench welcomed family members and friends at a reception. The bishop will celebrate his Golden Jubilee Mass on June 24 at 3 p.m. at the cathedral. Catholic Commentator archives photo

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    Legislature allocates $13 million to OLOL

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital received a nearly $13 million boost from the Louisiana Legislature in the recently completed regular session.  

    Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital a freestanding hospital that will serve children across the Gulf South. Construction is underway, and doors are expected to open in 2019. 

     

    House Bill 2, also

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    Father Joseph Vu appointed pastor

    Father Joseph Vu has been appointed pastor at the cluster parishes of St. Anne Church in Napoleonville, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Plattenville and St. Philomena Church in Labadieville by Bishop Robert W. Muench. Father Vu’s appointment is effective July 2.  

    Father Vu was born Sept. 2, 1987 in Baton Rouge, and graduated from Bishop Sullivan High School in 2005. He was ordained May 25, 2013 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge by Bishop Muench.  

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    Dameans are pitch perfect for 50th reunion concert

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Armed with snacks and bottles of water, more than 50 people lined up to board a chartered bus headed to a music concert in New Orleans on Sunday, June 3.  

    The Dameans, a group of Notre Dame seminary students who became popular in the 1960s and 70s for their Catholic folk music Mass, reunite 50 years later for a concert to benefit the Archdiocese of New Orleans Retreat

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    Deacon Bains’ faith shines through the darkness

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    On July 13, 2002, Frank Bains of Baton Rouge was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Two years later, his life changed in a way he could never have imagined.

    Deacon Frank Bains, right, joined Father Trey Nelson, pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge, to celebrate Mass on Sunday, May 6. It was Deacon Bains’ final Mass before retiring. Photo by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator

     

    “I first noticed it

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    Bishop Muench Flashback

    Bishop Robert W. Muench blessed a time capsule on the grounds of the Catholic Life Center on July 22, 2011. The capsule was buried 50 years after the Papal Bull creating the Diocese of Baton Rouge was signed by St. John Paul XXIII. A seven-inch scrapbook was the first item to be placed in the capsule. Every church, school, department and affiliated apostolate in the diocese was asked to make a page for the scrapbook. Bishop Muench placed the last item, a letter he wrote to the people of the

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    LADIES OF GRACE

    The Constance Butler Chapter 9 Fourth Degree Knights of Peter Claver Ladies of Grace Division scholarship awards program was held April 14 at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Baton Rouge. Seated are scholarship recipients, from left, Alaceia Smothers, Constance Butler Scholarship; Nyah Johnson, Ivy-Beauregard Scholarship; and Breanna Auguster, Bishop Stanley Ott Scholarship. Committee members are Janet St. Cyr Moore, Catherine Flentroy, Theresa Hollins, Delores Price, Betty Camble and Karen Tripeaux. Photo provided by Carla Lewis

    Spiritual nourishment weapon in weight battle

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The triggers can come at any time … after fighting with the spouse or looking for something quick to eat with a carload of kids, blowing a work presentation, sinking into the coach and tuning in a favorite channel or while rooting for the Tigers, Jaguars or Saints during game time with friends and family. But no matter the situation, when one gives into the temptation to overeat, he or she can be weighed down bodily as well as mentally and spiritually with guilt. Through Beneath the Weight, sponsored

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    LAST DAY OF SCHOOl

    Students from Catholic schools through the Diocese of Baton Rouge celebrated the last day of school with Mass, awards, pictures and good-byes for the summer break. Most schools dismissed during the week of May 21. Principal Michael Comeau of Holy Family School in Port Allen visited with students, parents and posed for photos as he closed out the 2017-18 school year. Photo by Bonny Van | The Catholic Commentator

    Irish voters approve referendum allowing abortion

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    A St. Amant teenager preparing to embark on a mission to Ireland said she is heartbroken by that country’s vote opening the door to abortion on demand. Yet, she said, the vote is only further evidence that God is leading her where she is needed. Results from the nationwide referendum showed that 66.4 percent of citizens opted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Irish constitution, while 33.6 percent voted to retain it. Turnout was 64.5 percent. Voters inserted the original amendment in the constitution in 1983 by a margin of 2-1, and it “acknowledges the

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    Prayer service celebrates racial diversity of diocese

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Mellifluous chords of unity filled St. Joseph Cathedral on June 3 during a prayer service that brought together people from all cultures and ethnicities.

    Dancers and drummers from the N’Fungola Sibo African Dance Drum Company in New Orleans electrified the crowd at the beginning of the Our Unity in Diversity and Our Diversity in Unity on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood Our Lord prayer service June 3 at St. Joseph Cathedral. Photos by Richard Meek | The Catholic

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    Blessings on the Bayou comes to Baton Rouge

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The mission work started in the Labadieville area through Blessings on the Bayou is coming to Baton Rouge through the Blessings Mission, sponsored by St. Thomas More Church, June 13-17.

    Father Michael Alello, pastor of STM, began Blessings on the Bayou in 2009 when he was pastor of St. Philomena Church in Labadieville as a way for youth to see that they can serve people “right in their own backyard” by helping those on fixed incomes in the Labadieville, Napoleonville and Thibodaux areas.

    In seven years, approximately 1,000

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    PROJECT BRANT

    Callie Broussard Polozola, chairman of Project Books Readily Available to all in Need of Teaching (BRANT) for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW), distributed books to students at Glen Oaks Park Elementary School in Baton Rouge to take home with them as they prepared for summer break on May 16. Looking on are Glen Oaks librarian Connie Corrill, left, and executive secretary Kashi Sherman. Project BRANT promotes literacy in the home as well as school. Polozola said with the support of

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    Governor signs abortion law

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Louisiana pro-life leaders praised state lawmakers and Gov. John Bel Edwards for passing a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks during the recently completed regular session of the Legislature.

    Governor John Bel Edwards

     

    Senate Bill 181 carries a prison sentence of up to two years for any medical professional who performs an abortion after 15 weeks. Also, women who elect to have abortions after 15 weeks would not face criminal charges. 

    The bill would only take

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    Monthly rosary meeting offers a jambalaya of faith

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    The scent of heavenly roses seasoned with Louisiana’s emblematic dish, jambalaya, formed a banquet for spirit and body at “A Morning with the Blessed Mother” prayer meeting at the home of Betty Robert of Gonzales on May 1.   

    Pictured during the crowning of Mary during A Morning With the Blessed Mother at the Gonzales home of Betty Robert are, from left, vocalist Celeste Veillon, Ruth Hanson

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    Deacon John Vu ordained

    The Catholic Commentator

    A phrase from a simple Vietnamese prayer was an early preview of the calling that Deacon John Vu would ultimately answer.  

    Roughly translated, the prayer, which is traditionally recited at meals, says, “Thank you for this meal. When I become your disciple, I will praise you.”  

    Bishop Robert W. Muench, right, ordained Deacon John Vu as a transitional deacon during ordination ceremonies on May 26 at St.

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    BREAKING THE CHAIN

    Metanoia offers peace  to trafficking victims 

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator 

    “I am their voice.” 

    Sister Norma Nunez SOM joins Father Jeff Bayhi, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Zachary, center, and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the

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    PROJECT BRANT

    Callie Broussard Polozola, chairman of Project Books Readily Available to all in Need of Teaching (BRANT) for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW), distributed books to students at Glen Oaks Park Elementary School in Baton Rouge to take home with them as they prepared for summer break on May 16. Looking on are Glen Oaks librarian Connie Corrill, left, and executive secretary Kashi Sherman. Project BRANT promotes literacy in the home as well as school. Polozola said with the support of the diocese, a donation from

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    Fate of funding unresolved

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    The Louisiana Legislature is likely headed into a third special session of 2018 with the fate of funding for nonpublic schools still hanging in the balance. At risk is $16 million in funding for child nutrition programs and required services, which was not included in an underfunded budget adopted at the conclusion of a special session June 4. Although legislators adopted the budget, an accompanying revenue-raising bill was not. Gov. John Bel Edwards vowed that the bill that was adopted would not be the budget going into the 2018-19 fiscal year beginning July 1. Legislators

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