Deacon Bains’ faith shines through the darkness

Posted June 8, 2018 at 7:00 am

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 down in Manresa (House of Retreats in Convent) in October 2004. My left eye started acting funny,” recalled Deacon Bains. “I had something called NAION or Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy and that was in October of ’04. I didn’t know it at the time but if you have that,

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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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    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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    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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    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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    ‘Getaway’ rejuvenates parish DREs

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Diocese of Baton Rouge provided a “getaway” for directors of religious education who spent a busy year overseeing first Communions, confirmation and Parish School of Religion classes at a Renewing Energy in Spirit Time (R.E.S.T.) retreat May 2 at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center in Ponchatoula.

    The DRE retreat at Rosaryville included a game in which a person had to guess a catechetical-related word they were not able to look at through clues given by their partner. Photo by Debbie Shelley |

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    ‘Getaway’ rejuvenates parish DREs

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Diocese of Baton Rouge provided a “getaway” for directors of religious education who spent a busy year overseeing first Communions, confirmation and Parish School of Religion classes at a Renewing Energy in Spirit Time (R.E.S.T.) retreat May 2 at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center in Ponchatoula. 

    The DRE retreat at Rosaryville included a game in which a person had to guess a catechetical-related word they were not able to look at through clues given by their partner. Photo by Debbie Shelley

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    SLKF Knights council donates $75,000 to vocations

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    A $75,000 donation to the Vocations Office of the Diocese of Baton Rouge highlighted the disbursement of funds from the former Knights of Columbus Father Maynard Hurst Council 9016 at St. Louis King of France Church in Baton Rouge.

    St. Louis King of France Knights of Columbus Council 9016 recently donated $75,000 to the Vocations Office in memory of  Father Maynard Hurst benefitting seminarians as they prepare for their eventual ordination. The council disbursed a little more than $300,000 through Chalice. St. Louis King of France Church closed

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    Nun Run raises money for Rosaryville 

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    By his own account, Buster Matthews figures he has run close to 82,000 miles since taking up the sport in 1979.

    The Dembrun family of Covington finish together at the finish line of the 5th Annual Nun Run at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center on May 12, top. Pictured, from left, are Angela Dembrun, Lucas Dembrun, Joseph Dembrun and Isabella Dembrun. It was the first race the family has run together as a family.

     

    But perhaps few were as special as the brief mile he put in on May 12 when he

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    Works of Mercy helping teen live her dream

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    Kari Stephens’s early childhood memories remain a bit fuzzy, tucked away in a remote corner of her teenage mind.

    Kari Stephens, right, is one of the Works of Mercy Fellows for 2018. The Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Works of Mercy program was created in 1991 as a fundraising effort to continue the good works of Bishop Stanley J. Ott. Works of Mercy recently awarded $5,000 to the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, which funded a senior sponsorship program of which Stephens was a participant. Pictured, from left, are Lucas Spielfogel

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    SPECIAL PRAYER SERVICE

    Priests of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Bishop Robert W. Muench participated in a prayer service at St. Joseph Cathedral on May 9. Bishop Muench and the clergy members shared dinner after the service. On May 16, the permanent deacons of the diocese and their wives participated in a similar prayer service at St. Joseph Chapel at the Bishop Robert E. Tracy Center, which was followed by dinner. Photo by Richard Meek | The Catholic Commentator

    Multicultural service planned

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    On June 3, the feast of Corpus Christi, faithful from throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge will come together as one body, one church in prayer and song for a multicultural prayer service, coordinated by the diocesean Racial Harmony Commission. The feast day, which celebrates the body and blood of Jesus, was chosen specifically for this event.

    “One of the themes of the Eucharist is that the Eucharist is what brings unity to the church,” said Father Tom Clark SJ,VF, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Baton Rouge and

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    St. Elizabeth continues Sodality tradition

    By Bonny Van  

    The Catholic Commentator

    Seventh- and eighth-grade girls of St. Elizabeth School in Paincourtville, dressed in white uniform shirts and pale blue skirts, the color of blue often associated with the mantle worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary, made their way to the front pews of St. Elizabeth Church. They were followed by their male classmates, who were dressed in khaki pants, white dress shirts and pale blue ties. Some of the students were holding the hands of much younger students,

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    HATS OFF!!

    Seniors celebrate graduation 

    By Bonny Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    Group pictures, high-fives, hugs and laughter. It’s a list of ingredients that result in one thing during the month of May: high school graduation. The scene was repeated, over and over, from St. John the Evangelist High School in Plaquemine to Catholic of Pointe Coupee High School in New Roads and Ascension High School in Donaldsonville, even to downtown Baton

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    Bishop Muench Flashback

    Although a native of Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop Robert W. Muench was raised in New Orleans and always enjoyed sharing his Mardi Gras spirit with students in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Above, he is shown several years ago participating in Carnival activities with students at St. John Interparochial School in Plaquemine with Father Cleo Milano, who was pastor at St. John the Evangelist church in Plaquemine from 2002-2013. Catholic Commentator file photo

    Eye on Special Session

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Catholic school officials will be keeping a keen eye on the current special session of the Louisiana Legislature, which convened May 22.  

    Up for grabs is $16 million traditionally allocated by legislators to Catholic schools, including $7.5 million to child nutrition services. The additional funding goes to required services as mandated by the state.  

    If the funding is slashed, and heading into the special session the revenue stream

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    LISTEN TO HARMONY

    The Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge hosted a Sounds of CommUNITY concert on April 29 at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. The concert is part of the Interfaith Federation’s efforts to create harmony through unity, justice and peace. Church parishes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge performed together for the concert. A handbell choir comprised of children from St. Thomas More Church in Baton Rouge and St. Mary Baptist Church in Baton Rouge performed “Amazing Grace” and “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

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    Mother Seton Award winners honored at luncheon

    The Catholic Commentator

    Service to others and especially to Catholic schools in the Diocese of Baton Rouge was the theme of the Diocesan Home & School Luncheon honoring Mother Seton award winners and Students of the Year.  

    Superintendent Dr. Melanie Verges also used the opportunity to give an update on state of diocesan schools and goals that have been set. She explained that goals are updated annually “so that we keep our eyes on growth.”  

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    Band trips, service, sports remembered by seniors

    By Bonnie Van

    The Catholic Commentator

    The first week of May marks the last days of school for seniors at Catholic high schools throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge. And for many, it means looking ahead while reflecting on the past. 

    Pictured, from left, Michael Crick, Andrew Trammell and Hunter Williams talk during lunch break at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. The young men say faith

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    Knights of Peter Claver offer hope at state conference

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    The fervent faith of several hundred Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary members fused into a beacon of hope and courage at the 74th annual Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary State Conference April 20-22 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.  

    Presenting Bishop Robert W. Muench, center, with a plaque of appreciation and wishes for

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