Monthly Archives: April 2012

Maronite Patriarch: Pope to Visit Lebanon Sept. 14-16

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter Rai. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

by Catholic News Service

BEIRUT (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI will visit Lebanon Sept. 14-16, Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai announced during Easter Mass at the patriarchal seat in Bkerke, Lebanon. Patriarch Rai said April 8 that the pope will meet with the country’s religious and civil officials, including President Michel Sleiman, a Maronite Catholic. During an open-air Mass in Beirut Sept. 16, the pope will present the apostolic exhortation on the October 2010 special Synod of Bishops, which met under the theme: “Communion and Witness.” In a statement, Sleiman said the pope’s visit would affirm the depth of the “historical relations that tie Lebanon with the (Vatican) and will form an occasion to focus on Lebanon’s position, message and role as a witness of freedom and coexistence.” It marks the pope’s second visit to the Middle East; in May 2009 he visited Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. The announcement comes amid increased concern over the plight of Christians across the Middle East, emigrating in increasing numbers. Of Lebanon’s population of nearly 4 million, approximately 33 percent are Christian, considered a high estimate. Half a century ago, Christians represented about half the population. In Iraq, a Christian exodus since the American-led invasion in 2003 has reduced the Iraqi Christian population by two-thirds. In an interview with Vatican Radio broadcast April 9, Archbisop Paul Sayah, vicar general of the Maronite Patriarchate, said the pope’s visit would “inject a new dynamism,” not only in the Lebanese society and Christians, but in the whole region.

Catholic Residents are New Face of Natural Family Planning

Resident physicians Brooke Jemelka, Gavin Puthoff and Alexis Simon stand around Carmen Hinze as the proud father, Dan, looks on in her recovery room after she delivered her son at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. (CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review)

by Catholic News Service

ST. LOUIS (CNS) — It was a month before she had to decide her specialty in medical school, and Brooke Jemelka found herself at a crossroads. She had been concentrating on pediatrics during her studies at Texas A&M University, but by the end of her third year, she was starting to question what she wanted to do with her life. Then she delivered her first baby, “and my whole life changed,” said Jemelka, a native of Yoakum, TX. As a Catholic, she was involved in pro-life activities, including sidewalk counseling, pro-life rallies and more. It was later that she realized that was preparing the way for a future in obstetrics and gynecology. “I felt like there was no way I could not be doing God’s work,” she said in an interview with the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Today, Jemelka is one of six — yes, six — resident physicians in the OB/GYN Residency Program at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis who plan to specialize in natural family planning, or NFP, in their future practices. As part of their training, the residents currently are caring for uninsured and underinsured women who come to Mercy’s JFK Clinic. Each of them has a different story of how they became involved in medicine, but all of them agree that God put them in the place where they’re at now for a reason. While doctors in St. Louis and around the nation who specialize in natural methods of fertility care are still considered the minority, all of these residents have encountered many women who want to know the truth about their fertility through the use of NFP.

Red Mass to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

The Annual Western Deanery Red Mass, honoring judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers and public officials is in its 20th year.

by John Mark Willcox

For a twentieth year, Red Mass in the Western Deanery will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in downtown Shreveport on Friday, May 4, at 9:00 a.m. This is a votive Mass offered to invoke the Holy Spirit as the source of wisdom, understanding, counsel and fortitude. Red Mass is sponsored annually by the Red Mass Society and Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

The Red Mass is offered throughout the world with the primary purpose of evoking God’s blessing and guidance in the administration of justice. Since the thirteenth century, scarlet vestments have been worn by the celebrants of this Mass which symbolize tongues of fire representing the Holy Spirit.  In ancient times the robes of the attending judges were also bright red, thus providing an additional reason for the name of this event.

Bishop Michael G. Duca will be the principal celebrant and homilist for this year’s Red Mass. He will assist the members of the bar in honoring Samaritan International for their medical ministry and ongoing efforts to promote social justice throughout the world.  Dr. William Norwood will represent Samaritan International for the award having served within the organization for many years.  Dr. Norwood helped to pioneer laparoscopic surgery centers in the former Soviet Union which have greatly reduced mortality rates for surgery in the region. He has also worked with several of our diocesan priests, assisting with some 40 orphanages located in the Ukraine.

The Annual Red Mass is a public, ecumenical worship service and people of all faiths are invited to participate in this special blessing for judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers and public officials.

St. Joseph Student Named State Student of the Year

0512stjoseph

Just an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things. This is Harris LeBlanc, St. Joseph School 8th Grader and St. Joseph Church parishioner. Harris was named the 8th Grade Student of the Year for all private schools in the state of Louisiana. This honor was achieved not only by his exceptional academic performance, but also by his involvement in his church and community. Congratulations to Harris, his parents Cliff and Colleen LeBlanc. He has represented St. Joseph School and the Diocese of Shreveport very well.

Loyola Opens New Cafeteria

For months, Loyola’s students have watched as the newest addition to the Loyola campus – the cafeteria/community center – was being built. On April 3 the Flyers found out that it was worth the wait as the lunch was served in the building for the first time. Students and faculty alike were all thrilled with the new building, which is located behind the gym.

The new cafeteria features 5,000 square feet of dining space and well as a completely modern kitchen and cooking facilities.
Loyola has not had a new dining facility for its students since the present building was constructed in 1938.

The new cafeteria/community center is part of Phase I of the Loyola Forever Capital Campaign. The school gym was renovated during 2011.

St. Fred’s Quiz Bowl Team Won Regional Ranking

The St. Frederick High School Quiz Bowl team competed in Natchitoches on March 31 in the State Quiz Bowl Championship Tournament. Anthony Trombatore, SFHS Quiz Bowl Sponsor and science teacher, led the Warriors to a second place Division IV win. St. Frederick students not only garnered the 2nd place State Ranking, they also earned a 3rd place Invitational Ranking and a 1st place Regional Ranking. The team had a fun year and performed well.  Geaux Warriors!

Jesus the Good Shepherd Students Met Easter Bunny

Jesus the Good Shepherd School’s PreK-4 students enjoyed a visit from the Easter Bunny before they had their annual classroom Easter Egg hunt. The students had a great time taking pictures with the Easter Bunny and hunting for candy-filled eggs. Prior to the Easter Egg Hunt, the students discussed the true meaning of Easter and what that meant to each of them.

St. John Berchmans Students Performed Living Stations

As part of Holy Week, eighth grade students from St. John Berchmans School performed their annual presentation of the Living Stations of the Cross on Holy Thursday in front of the entire student body, family, friends and guests. The eighth grade students wrote the script for the presentation, and re-enacted all 14 stations with music, scriptures and reflections read between each station.

In addition to the Living Stations, St. John Berchmans students of all ages celebrated Easter through various activities including Easter egg hunts in the preschool and kindergarten classes, and an interactive Last Supper lesson and meal for the first grade students.

Our Lady of Fatima Students Perfom Living Stations

Our Lady of Fatima School students in grades 3-6 performed a dramatic depiction of Christ’s journey to Golgotha with the Living Stations of the Cross. The production proved to be a memorable experience for not only the guests in attendance, but also for the children who participated.

St. John Berchmans School Triumphed at Regional Science Olympiad Competition

St. John Berchmans School triumphed at the Regional Science Olympiad Competition in Ruston on March 10, taking first place. The team participated in 23 events and clinched 12 first place medals. The students will compete in the state competition in Hammond, LA on April 28.

St. John’s 7th grader Anastasia Means took first place at the Regional Social Studies Fair on March 8 and will continue to the state contest in Baton Rouge later in April. Our Regional Science Fair winners were Isabella Silvia, 1st Place – Energy & Transportation; Vinny Peavy, 2nd Place – Environmental Management; Adam Cook, 1st Place – Microbiology; and Ben Hyde, 3rd Place – Mathematical Sciences.