Category Archives: Schools

St. Frederick’s eSports Rocket Team Ranked Nationally

The St. Frederick High School eSports Rocket League Team made it to the National Playoffs for the Fall Majors. They ranked fifth of all schools in the Central United States region where the competition was fiercest. We are very proud of the hard work of these young men. (Pictured from left to right: Carson Copeland, Jack Weir, Ted Brown, Coy Gammage and Will Yarbrough)

Loyola Students Keep Cross at Center of Lent

This time last year, the members of Faith on Fire, the student-led Christian club at Loyola, wanted to give students a focal point for Lent—something that would cause them to pause in the middle of a busy school day and consider the true meaning of the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection. They decided on a cross that stands over six feet tall in the center of the main hall. Michelle Brown, senior theology teacher and Faith on Fire sponsor said of the project, “It was entirely done by the students; no adults were involved with this project at all. Students donated their time and resources to hold bake sales and other fundraisers to purchase the supplies they needed.”

Ben Hyde, class of 2017, donated his afternoons and weekends to build the cross. “This was a true labor of love,” said Brown.

This year the cross will again be the focal point of Lent. Students and faculty gather around the cross every Friday to pray, and each day, there is a question for meditation at the foot of the cross. For example, one day a student may read, “Have you stopped today to thank your Savior for his suffering on your behalf?”

Students are particularly drawn to the cross and appreciate its prominent position in the school. Catholic and non-Catholic students alike value the opportunity to be reminded of Lent and its special significance in the lives of Christians.

“Seeing that cross reminds us that we are to give up things, but we can never give what Jesus gave for us,” said senior Alex Smith. “It shows that God gave His life, which is so much more than giving up candy or diet coke. Even those of us who are not Catholic are reminded of true sacrifice.”  •

St. Frederick Celebrates Feast of St. Nicholas

On December 6 students were asked to leave one shoe outside their classroom door during class. At the end of class, students found sweet goodies in their shoes in honor of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children. St. Nicholas of Myra is a major saint in many European and Eastern countries, and one of the old Christian traditions surrounding his feast day is for kids to leave their shoes out overnight in front of the fireplace, on the windowsill, or outside their bedroom door so that St. Nicholas can fill them with special fruits, candies and other small gifts and treats.

Crawfish Crawl 5k & 10k at SJS

Make plans to attend the St. Joseph School’s Crawfish Crawl on Saturday, March 3, 2018! The 4th Annual 5K and 1-mile fun run has a new addition this year: a 10K route. Besides the run, this family-friendly event will feature face painting, bounce houses, crawfish races, a DJ and delicious food from Shaver’s Catering and Dickey’s BBQ Pit. You can register for the race by going to runsignup.com/Race/LA/Shreveport/StJosephCatholicSchoolCrawfishCrawl5k or stop by Sportspectrum, 6970 Fern Ave., Shreveport, LA 71105. If you are interested in being a sponsor of the 4th Annual Crawfish Crawl, call Greg Beauclair, Director of Marketing and Development at 318-841-8213, or e-mail gbeauclair@sjsfalcons.org.

Improvements Underway for SJB Playground

Playground renovations are coming right along at St. John Berchmans Catholic School. The school offers thanks to all who made donations to help fund this project, including sponsors of the school’s annual Rudolph Run 5k, running participants and those who bought raffle tickets for Christmas class baskets. St. John Berchmans School is installing a 5-foot wrought iron gate to enclose the entire playground, placing new playground tiles around existing equipment and benches, and installing canopies for shade to make recess on hot days more enjoyable for teachers and students alike.

Student of the Year at JGS

Jesus the Good Shepherd School has selected 5th grader, Maggie Rocconi (daughter of Matt & Carrie Rocconi), as Student of the Year for the 2017-2018 school year. Maggie’s exceptional grades, conduct, volunteerism, leadership qualities and outstanding Christian attitude were all factors in her being chosen for this honor. We are so proud of her and wish her the best as she moves on to compete for the North Louisiana Diocesan Student of the Year.

Student of the Year at Our Lady of Fatima

Baylee Mobley is Our Lady of  Fatima School’s 5th grade Student of the Year.

Catholic Schools Week: Help Your Child Get the Most from Life and Education

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by Lisa Cooper

Holding our children for the first time, we are overwhelmed with love, our desire to protect them and to see them experience the lives God has planned for them. As we watch them grow, we feel more and more the weight of responsibility to help them get to heaven—of returning to God these precious souls He shared with us. We strive to afford them with every opportunity to better themselves, to grow in character. We want them to be successful, gaining admission to college and providing for families of their own one day. But often our measure of success falls short of God’s expectation, and so too does our idea of the type of education our children need to get there.

The best education offers much more than academic rigor and opportunities for scholarship. Our children need an education that not only requires excellence of them in the classroom, but also nurtures them in an environment where they are formed as full persons, ready to make a difference in this life.

For generations, Catholics and non-Catholics alike have relied on Catholic education to equip their children with the academic challenge and faith formation essential for success.

Academics: As with any good education, this journey begins with a strong academic foundation. We want our children to be prepared and confident by the time they finish high school, and a Catholic education is the surest path to that end. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 99% of all students who attend Catholic schools graduate, and 86% of them graduate college. On a local level, Catholic school graduates are doing more than earning their way into the nation’s top universities; they’re earning scholarships and credit hours in the process.

But any education pointing only toward the direction of a diploma misses the mark. Fr. Jerry Daigle, Chaplain at St. Frederick High School and diocesan Church Vocations Director, said,  “A good education will teach a lot about the natural world, laying a strong foundation in the arts and sciences, but a Catholic education goes beyond that to help us understand the ‘why’ behind that knowledge.”

Celeste Lirette, a junior at Loyola College Prep, echoes Fr. Daigle as she describes her own involvement in the classroom. “The education I get at Loyola focuses on thinking about things according to their higher purpose. Yes, we learn biology and math, but we examine what we learn in the context of God’s order and plan.”

From an educational perspective, studies show that students who are able to explain the “why” behind a concept are more likely to use and build upon that knowledge. From the vantage point of faith, students who are able to understand that “why” as it relates to God’s purpose are far more likely to stay rooted in their faith throughout their lives.

Community: Ask students what the most important component of their school experience is, and they will probably point to their friends. A Catholic school environment is most likely to provide students with a sense of belonging. Jackson Khur, a senior, says of his experience at Loyola, “I like being part of a smaller school. It feels like a family. The classes are smaller, and I have better access to all my teachers.”

The sense of closeness among Catholic school students isn’t unique to Loyola. Fr. Daigle said of St. Frederick, “We see less conflict. Students are kinder to each other.” That kindness is due in large part to the responsibility to care for each other which comes naturally as students spend each day praying, working and playing alongside one other.

In fact, being part of a smaller school also generates benefits both in and out of the classroom. Two separate studies named in a recent Education World article, “Credit small schools with reducing the negative effects of poverty on student achievement, reducing student violence, increasing parent involvement and making students feel accountable for their behavior and grades.”

Students in Catholic school communities are expected to practice those aspects of the faith which draw them to serve each other. “We aren’t just forming good citizens,” said Fr. Daigle, “we are letting the Holy Spirit flow through the hallways, forming disciples for Christ—and that’s what changes the world.”

Faith: While faith would seem the most obvious talking point with regard to a Catholic education, few realize the significant role Catholic teaching plays in the daily formation of students. Catholic schools support a student’s faith in addition to what they learn at home. As Fr. Daigle points out, the spirit is an important component of the human person, and Catholic schools are uniquely equipped to provide students with the tools they need to be fully formed, intellectually and spiritually.
Infused into every expectation, prayer, teaching experience, act of service or kindness on a Catholic school campus is the reminder of the great “why.” Catholic school students are undergirded with a faith that propels them through their daily lives with a sense of purpose.

Discussing the influence of faith in her everyday student life, Lirette said, “I am able to look at the world through the eyes of faith and discern right from wrong much more clearly because I am encouraged to see everything through faith.” She continued, “Being in Catholic school has protected my faith and has also helped me overcome my fear of standing up for what’s right.”

Campus chaplains also play a crucial role in stirring the faith in Catholic schools by making themselves, and consequently the faith, relatable and accessible in daily life. Whether eating lunch and laughing with students or offering counsel and comfort, priests help bring faith to life in the halls of Catholic schools. Students not only appreciate the presence of priests on campus, they have come to rely on them – turning to these mentors to answer their questions and hear their confessions. They get to see priests as ordinary guys living their faith with joy.

“Having chaplains on campus humanizes the priesthood,” said Fr. Daigle. “Seeing the joy of the priesthood, someone who enjoys life and loves people, allows the Holy Spirit to speak more loudly to those who are actively discerning a vocation.”
The benefits of Catholic education are not exclusive to those students who are Catholic. Students enrolled in Catholic schools, regardless of denomination, find their faith sharpened and supported through Catholic education. Jackson Kuhr, raised in the Baptist church, says his faith has grown stronger because of his interaction with students from different faiths. “We thrive on being part of a community of faith,” Kuhr said. And that community of faith is exactly what Fr. Daigle calls the Catholic school experience. “When all of these faiths come together in one place,” said Fr. Daigle, “it teaches us to worship together as a community of faith in an academic setting.”

Success: The ultimate end of any quality education should be the success of the student. But what constitutes success? Is it the ability to make money and to buy things for ourselves and our families? Do our greatest expectations for our children rest in where they will go to college? Or live? Or work? Rather than ask where our children will be, shouldn’t we also ask who they will be?

Fr. Daigle challenges us to look at success through a different lens – the lens of God’s expectation for us. “Catholic education,” he explained, “gives students the tools for success and shows them how to use those tools to build the society that God wants to build – one where we use our gifts to benefit one another.”

While countless Catholic school alumni have become extraordinary leaders, almost all of them consider what they have done for others as their true mark of success. And they will readily tell you that the seeds of their greatest successes … were planted in Catholic school.

St. John Berchmans Preps for Religion Scholars Bowl

by Ashley Timmons

Former St. John Berchmans School principal, Jo Cazes, hasn’t gone too far. She is busy preparing for SJB’s Religion Scholars Bowl to be held February 1 during Catholic Schools Week.

This is the ninth year SJB has hosted this event. This year, SJB has invited five Catholic schools from around the state to compete. Students from Jesus the Good Shepherd School (Monroe), Our Lady of Fatima School (Monroe), St. Frederick High School (Monroe), St. Mary’s School (Natchitoches), St. Joseph School (Shreveport) and St. John Berchmans will compete by grade level, third through eighth, in the day-long event featuring religious education questions, team activities and skits about the Catholic faith.

The competition will be divided up into a written test, three oral rounds and a skit from each grade level.

Students will work in pairs to take the written test, which will consist of 30 multiple choice and true/false questions. The questions will be on the Mass, Sacraments, people, scripture and other general knowledge questions from religion books.
Moderating the event will be John Mark Willcox, Director of Stewardship and Development, from Diocese of Shreveport. Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Sr. Carol Shively, osu, Associate Superintendent Sr. Ann Middlebrooks, sec, and Deacon John Basco from Cathedral of St. John Berchmans will judge the event. Bishop Michael G. Duca will present the awards.

Cazes is excited about coming back to SJB to coordinate this school favorite for the ninth time. “This is such a great way to build community within our local parish, our diocese and the state,” said Cazes.

Day of the Dead at St. Fred’s

by Grant Johnson, Spanish Club President at St. Frederick High School

The Day of the Dead is a time to celebrate the lives of those who have died. This tradition was Catholicized when the Spanish came to the Americas. It is filled with lots of color and joy. In the Mexican culture, death is not something that is filled with sadness, but a time to remember and honor our deceased loved ones.

The Spanish Club at St. Frederick High School created a traditional “Dia de los Muertos” altar with photos collected from students throughout the school. A large cross, paper flowers, sugar skulls, and many candles were placed on the altar as well. There was a book where students could write the names of their loved ones. The school chaplain, Fr. Jerry Daigle, brought the book with him to the altar and prayed over the names during Mass.

Our Spanish III and IV classes went to Our Lady of Fatima and Jesus the Good Shepherd schools to talk to them about the Day of the Dead. We explained the significance of the celebration and taught them the meanings of all the items on the altar.
Grant Johnson, the Spanish club president said, “Before my Spanish class at St. Frederick, I knew almost nothing about the Day of the Dead and the altar. I have developed an appreciation for this beautiful celebration and I am honored to share it with others.”

The St. Frederick High School Spanish Club has taken part in many other cultural activities as well, including visiting a Latin Food Restaurant to not only eat, but utilize our Spanish skills gained from our classes. We also went to see the movie Coco, a beautiful film by Pixar portraying the customs that make up the Day of the Dead.

St. Frederick High School was recently approved to create a new chapter of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, Los Guerreros de San Féderico (The St. Frederick Warriors).
At St. Frederick, we are gaining the Spanish skills necessary to go out into the world and work in the global economy we now live in.