Youth, religious, priests encourage each other at conference to hear call

By Sean Gallagher
INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) – The theme of the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis was “Called,” so it was appropriate that the more than 20,000 Catholic youth gathered Nov. 16-18 from across the country gave a bit more attention to the many priests and men and women religious who prayed with them, listened to inspiring presentations with them and had fun with them during the conference.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Members of McComb St. Alphonsus Parish, (l-r) Ajay Vijayakumar, Jacob Harvey, Gina VanNorman, Adrianna Medina, Emily Mullen, Todd Mullen and Shellie Mullen carry a banner into the opening ceremonies of the National Catholic Youth Conference. (Photo credit to Natalie Hoefer/The Criterion).

Maybe God was using that interaction to call the youth to give prayerful reflection to a religious vocation. “Here we’re able to see their real personalities come out,” said Lillieyne Thompson of the Gary Diocese. “They’re seen more as real people and not just as holy figures. You see how they’re cool and do normal things like everyone else does.
“It helps me realize that I can follow God. You can have a fun life, be yourself without the peer pressure of high school,” she told The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. “Seeing how cool all the priests are is so inspiring.”
Six young people from McComb St. Alphonsus Parish made the trip with three parish chaperones. The most common reaction among these teens was excitement to be around so many other Catholics.
“Once I understood how enormous our community was, I understood how powerful it was too. Seeing well- known men and women from across the country share their stories and wisdom, helped me realize that Catholicism is bigger than my home town of McComb or even the convention. Catholicism is truly shown in the community,” said Todd Hoang in an email to Mississippi Catholic. The high school senior said it rejuvenated his faith.
“It was an unforgettable experience. My favorite part was being surrounded by so many Catholics my age who are all longing for that relationship with God. It’s so comforting knowing that the Catholic community is so much larger than what we think it is. We are not alone on this journey. I left Indy thankful for friends, my Catholic faith and the love Jesus has for each and every single one of us,” said Shellie Mullen.
Mullen and Ajay Vijayakumar both reflected on how encouraged they were to see how universal the Catholic faith is. “Although we were from different parts of the country, everyone came together to share our faith. I am so glad that I got a chance to meet other Catholics from the whole nation and join them in song and prayer. It was a spiritually life-changing experience for me,” said Vijayakumar.
The priests and religious present at NCYC also represented more dioceses and religious communities than any of the young participants could know in their homes.
“There’s a lot of not knowing what’s out there,” said Oliver Severance of the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska. “Coming to a place like this, you get to realize that they’re not super far away, stuck in an abbey somewhere. It makes them more accessible. Once you get that realization, it’s easier to go from not knowing what your vocation is to starting to discern and then choose one.”
Salesian Brother Damien Ho of Orange, New Jersey, agreed.
“A lot of young people don’t recognize that they have a vocation or might not even want to know what it is unless they get exposed to different religious groups or missionary groups,” he said. “People here are willing to share about their vocations. The best way to get more vocations is to share about each other’s vocations.
“It’s encouraging, because, as Salesians, we work with young people. So when we see young people see that they have a potential to be better, to become saints, then that’s when our mission gets fulfilled.”
Other religious at NCYC shared the encouragement experienced by Brother Damien.
“Young people today are so open to their faith and seem to have a passion for living it, not only in the Church, but also in service,” said Sister Jean Rhoads, a Daughter of Charity, who lives in Evansville, and serves as a vocations director for her order. “I am hope-filled and encouraged by that. Is this not the most exciting thing in the church today?”
Seminarian Liam Hosty can speak to the effect that NCYC can have on young people trying to hear God’s call in their lives.
He attended two of the conferences while a student at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis. At the time, he was thinking that God might be calling him to the priesthood, but he wasn’t sure about it.
“I told a couple of priests at NCYC that I was thinking about going to seminary,” said Hosty, a sophomore at Bishop Simon Brute College Seminary and Marian University, both in Indianapolis. “I’d say to them, ‘I’m thinking about going to seminary. What do you think?’ Each time, the answer was, ‘Yes. I think you’d be a great fit.'”
He added, “It definitely ramped up my faith. It was absolutely incredible to witness 20,000 youths on fire from all across the country, seeing amazing speakers and having the sacraments available.”
As a seminarian, he participated in his third straight NCYC, but this time as a volunteer, assisting at liturgies and in the room in the Indiana Convention Center where dozens of priests and bishops heard confession.
“It’s life-giving just seeing the young church alive,” Hosty said. “It’s incredible. It’s really cool to be on the other side of the fence trying to help out and kind of give back what all the seminarians and priests gave to me in NCYC.”

(Gallagher is a reporter at The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Wendy Blue, youth minister for St. Alphonsus contributed to this story)

Bishop adds holiday calls to communication lineup

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz made a few phone calls Thanksgiving week, a few thousand phone calls. For the first time, the bishop tried out an automated call system to send a Thanksgiving greeting to parishioners. Anyone who had a home number on file with their parish received a call. Bishop Kopacz recorded the messages earlier in the month.
The response was overwhelming. The chancery offices were inundated with calls to ask about the program and thank the bishop for the message. “I felt like this was a good way to greet people on a special holiday as we entered the season of Advent,” said the bishop. “I love traveling to the parishes and meeting people – this was a good way to keep in touch, so to speak,” he added.
“We initiated this program to bring people together and stay connected,” said Rebecca Harris, Director of Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Jackson. She coordinated the program. “During the holidays when we gather with family and friends, we often give thanks. We wanted people to know we are thankful for them, for their faith and for all they do in our parishes, schools and missions,” added Harris. The parishes and the chancery work together to track membership through an online database program called ParishSoft. Both the office of Stewardship and Development and Mississippi Catholic use that database to get addresses and contact information for people in the parishes.
A second call will go out with a Christmas message on December 22. Those who wish to be on the call list should make sure their home land line phone numbers are on file with their parishes. Or you can email your cell phone number and expressed permission to Rebecca.harris@jacksondiocese.org. Those who do not wish to receive a call please email Rebecca Harris.

#iGiveCatholic beats national goal, local participants laud their results

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – The Diocese of Jackson raised more than $92,000 in one day during the #iGiveCatholic 24-hour giving blitz held on Giving Tuesday, November 28. Jackson ranked fourth of all the dioceses involved The national campaign raised $2.6 million. Seventeen dioceses and archdioceses participated, a huge jump from last year, in the online giving effort which started in the Archdiocese of New Orleans three years ago.
The Office of Stewardship and Development coordinates the effort and pays the participation fee for the Jackson diocese. Christopher Luke, coordinator of stewardship, is the project leader. He set up what he called a ‘war room’ in the chancery office to watch the leaderboards live, encourage participants, manage the social media presence and interact with the media. Not only did the effort raise money, a television story in Jackson and print stories in other communities raised awareness of the work of the Catholic church throughout the state.

Callie Combs, development director for the Archdiocese of New Orleans coordinates the national effort. She said the success in Jackson proves that anyone can make this campaign work. “You get the tools – it’s all about how you use them and how you market this,” she said. #iGiveCatholic offers graphics, a social media calendar and suggestions for marketing on its website. Many parishes and organizations use those images and suggestions to spread the word about their projects. Combs added that this is a great opportunity to increase participation and awareness among those who want to help, but may not have deep pockets. “You can give $25 and you are making a difference,” she said.
Jackson St. Richard School edged out Madison St. Francis of Assisi Parish as top earner this year. The school raised almost $10,000 for lab equipment for their Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering and Mathematics (STREAM) lab. Development Director Wendi Shearer said the school used a combination of traditional and non-traditional tactics to alert people to the campaign. “We understand that while the #igivecatholic campaign has been designed as a social media push, not all of our parents and parishioners are active on the Facebook/Twitter/YouTube platforms. Acknowledging this, we leveraged some of the other resources offered by the #igivecatholic team – flyers, signage, and the oldest tactic there is – picking up the phone and calling people,” she explained.
St. Francis Parish leaders will make a joyful noise with the more than $9,000 they raised to repair the electronics controlling their bells as well as to purchase song books for their youth. The parish posted videos to social media throughout the day explaining the projects they wanted to complete and having a little fun. “The biggest key to success was setting clear, definable, and reachable goals,” said Sallie Ann Inman, office manager for the parish. She called it a team effort. Once they identified their projects, the staff got estimates for the work so they had exact amounts to raise.
“These goals were definitely discussed in advance of Giving Tuesday so that we had at least two weekends to put the word out to the parish from the pulpit and in the bulletin. We also promoted the project on our Facebook page and sending out text notifications on the MyParish App. We leaned heavily on social media in general, and Facebook in particular. Our priests got involved by making videos about our projects that were posted on our Facebook page,” said Inman. Staff members were watching the results throughout the day and posted about once an hour. She said the real success was getting more people interested and involved in two important parish projects.
Jackson Sister Thea Bowman School almost doubled the amount they raised last year. Shae Robinson, principal, said they posted messages and updates all the way up to midnight. “We decided this year to just let the accomplishments of the students speak for why people should give to Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School. We invited people to stop by for a visit and tour our school. Once we get a conversation started, we never miss an opportunity to promote our school or the iGiveCatholic global on-line giving day. I feel we were really successful this year, because we have people who truly support the mission of our school,” she said.
Starkville St. Joseph ended up raising more than $8,000 for a new roof. Other top earners included Cleveland Our Lady of Victories Parish, and the Carmelite Monastery in Jackson.

Catholic Day at Capitol returns in 2018

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Catholic Charities will again host Catholic Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Mental health is the keystone topic for the event. Angela Ladner from the Mississippi Psychiatric Association and Joy Hogge of Mississippi Families as Allies are the main speakers.
Catholic Day at the Capitol was founded as a way for Catholics from across the state to address their lawmakers. A team from Catholic Charities identifies key issues related to Catholic Social Teaching which the legislators may have on their agenda for the year. The committee then gathers resources for those who can advocate on behalf of the church and those who may be impacted.
In the last two years the event has gotten a makeover. The team used to be called the Poverty Task Force. It is now called the Faith in Action Team (FIAT) and hopes to bring Catholic Social Teaching to the forefront of social justice work throughout the diocese.
Sue Allen, coordinator for social justice ministry for Catholic Charities of Jackson, has been traveling to parishes in each deanery offering workshops about Catholic Social Teaching and about advocacy in general. She believes empowered and educated people can do more by meeting their lawmakers at home than by coming to the capitol during the busy session. In this way, Catholic Day at the Capitol becomes a day for people to gather and learn about key issues and take that information back to their parishes and communities, where they can advocate for better care for everyone.
Registration will open soon on the Catholic Charities website. Look in the next Mississippi Catholic for a full preview of speakers and a schedule for the day.

Mississippi Catholic 2018 Publication Schedule

The staff at Mississippi Catholic is looking forward to a busy and productive 2018. As always, we invite participation from faithful from across the diocese. Please submit your stories, photos and events so we can include them in the paper.
The publication schedule for 2018 follows.

Look for special sections this year marking Catholic Schools Week, two priestly ordinations, graduations and the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation.
Send submissions to editor@mississippicatholic.com. Send information three to four weeks before or within one week after an event. Ads are due one week prior to publication. Visit the paper online at www.mississippicatholic.com.
The staff here at Mississippi Catholic would like to thank you, our readers, for your prayer and support and wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Parish calendar of events

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT

FORT SMITH, Ark, St. Scholastica Monastery, 3-day silent directed retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, January 4-7, 2018, Presenter: Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB. It is a time to practice silence in order to make room for God to work in your life and by this, to strengthen your relationship with Him. Cost: $300.00. A $50.00 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required at the time of registration. Lodging and meals are included. Deadline for registration is December 20. Details: retreats@stscho.org or www.stscho.org/retreats
CULLMAN, Ala., Benedictine Sisters Retreat Center, Advent day of reflection, Wednesday, December 6, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. An opportunity to ponder your heart’s longing for God in the context of the scripture readings for the Sundays of Advent. Retreat Director: Sister Kathleen Gallas, O.S.B. Cost: $30, includes lunch and refreshments. Details: contact Sister Magdalena Craig, OSB, at (256) 615-6114, www.shmon.org.
GREENWOOD Locus Benedictus Spirituality Center and the Redemptorists of Greenwood announce the Second Bilingual Pilgrimage for Life and Family on Saturday, January 20, 2018. All faiths are welcome. The day begins with gathering from 9-10 a.m., a rally from 10-11 a.m., a three-mile pilgrimage on the grounds of Locus Benedictus, with an ecumenical prayer service before a picnic lunch. After the lunch we celebrate Mass in the shrine. Details: (662) 299-1232 or www.locusbenedictus.org.
The Gleaners, an all-faith organization, is celebrating 30 years of contributions to the Jackson-Metro area. Gloria Bomar Martinson named this service after the Biblical story of peasant women picking up the remnants in fields in the Book of Ruth. The organization needs around $50,000 per year for expenses. Tax-exempt donations can be made by check to: P.O. Box 9883, Jackson, MS 39286, phone number (601) 956-4740. Details: Rita Martinson, Lisa W. Davis or Joseph N. Goodell at rrmbm@bellsouth.net (601) 942-0772.
JACKSON Candlelight prayer vigils sponsored by Pastors for Life Mississippi and Pro-Life Mississippi, Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 6 p.m. in the Rotunda of the State Capitol at 400 High Street. Details: plm@ProLifeMississippi.org or (601) 956-8636.
DIAMONDHEAD (Gulf Coast) prayer vigil (see above), Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 6 pm. At Twin Lakes Pavilion, 4040 Twin Lakes Lane. Details: Bill Blaisdell, (228) 255-9835 or bbillblais2@aol.com.
TUPELO prayer vigil (see above), Saturday, January 20, 2018, 6 p.m. Fairpark across from City Hall, Details: Tanya Britton at (601) 672-7010 or tebritton1@yahoo.com.
JACKSON Catholic Charities Adoption program is selling T-shirts and journals. The shirts are purple with an adoption message on the back. The journals are soft bound and have a back pocket. Shirts are $15; journals are $15 or $25 for both. Details: www.catholiccharitiesjackson.org
LAFAYETTE, La, Holy Spirit Women’s Retreat, January 26-28, 2018, Dr. Mary Healy and Father Bill Henry will be featured at the annual Holy Spirit Women’s Retreat at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lafayette. The theme is “Gather in upper room with Mary”. There will also be a Life in the Spirit seminar presented by Deacon Larry Oney, his wife Andi, and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO) team. Patti Mansfield will also be featured at this retreat. This retreat is sponsored by CCRNO and serves hundreds of women from throughout the Gulf South. Weekend and Saturday commuters are welcome. Register online at www.ccrno.org or call (504) 828-1368.

PARISH, SCHOOL AND FAMILY EVENTS

AMORY St. Helen, Mission Mississippi, Saturday, December 16 at 8-9 a.m. pancake breakfast and wrapping of gifts for two families. Details: (662) 256-8392.
BROOKHAVEN St. Francis, Ladies of St. Francis Morning Retreat, Saturday, December 16, 9 a.m. – noon. Guest Speaker: Mary Louise Jones. Details: church office (601) 833-1799.
JACKSON St. Richard, Christmas candle-light service, a special Christmas remembrance for deceased loved ones, Thursday, December 14, 6:30 p.m. in Foley Hall. Open to all, regardless of how long ago the death occurred or your church affiliation. Please RSVP as soon as possible so that preparations can be made. Details: Linda Lalor (601) 853-8840, Suzie Cranston (601) 982-5464 or Nancy McGhee (601) 942-2078 or ncmcghee@bellsouth.net.
SOUTHAVEN Christ the King, Posada, Monday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to join in the procession with Mary and Joseph in their search for shelter. The night will end with hot chocolate and sweet bread. Details: (662) 342-1073.

YOUTH BRIEFS

NATCHEZ St. Mary Basilica, Christmas Pageant during Christmas Eve 4 p.m. family Mass. Practice Monday, December 18 at 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Details: Katherine Callon at kecestia@yahoo.com.

VICKSBURG St. Paul, Children’s Christmas Pageant during the Christmas Eve Mass. Children of all ages and teenagers are needed and are encouraged to participate. Practice will be each Sunday at 10 am in Glynn Hall. Details: Candice Reeder (601) 529-0018 or Allyson Johnston at (601) 218-9952.

Ospino to speak at National Migration Week events

By Maureen Smith
Parishes in northeast Mississippi will mark National Migration Week, January 7-13, 2018, with five days of educational programing, liturgy and celebrations.. The week offers the faithful a chance to learn more about refugees and migrants in their midst.
The keynote presenter for the week is Hosffman Ospino, an associate professor of theology at Boston College, the director of the V National Encuentro, a member and consultant to the National Catholic Educational Association and the USCCB. He has written several books about Hispanic ministry and Hispanic Catholic identity.
A committee made up of lay ministers Danna Johnson and Raquel Thompson and pastors Father Tim Murphy and Father Mario Solarzano came up with the programs.
“When (Pontotoc) St. Christopher Parish was part of the Glenmary Missioners ministry, it was contacted by Dr. Hosffman Ospino to be part of a national survey of churches with large Hispanic populations. Dr. Ospino is one of the leading experts in Hispanic ministry practices, trends and planning for future ministry in the United States, said Father Murphy, pastor at Tupelo St. James.
“Our Planning Committee has used his research and articles. We asked Danna Johnson to contact him and explore the possibility of a presentation in northeast Mississippi. Beyond all odds, he was available during National Migration Week 2018, and was willing to join us,” he added.
See sidebar for full schedule. For more information about the programs, call the parish at 662-842-4881.

St. Joe state champions

JACKSON – Greenville St. Joseph football players hoist the MAIS championship trophy after the game on Thursday, Nov. 16. This is the first state championship for the Fighting Irish. (Photo by Chris Todd of the Clarion Ledger)

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Greenville St. Joseph’s football team won its first MAIS state championship on Thursday, Nov. 16 in Jackson. The Fighting Irish beat Tri-County Academy 44-14. The team dominated all of their playoff opponents.
The honors don’t stop there. Three our seniors. Brice Johnson (QB), Jonathan Jordan (WR) and JoQuez Sanders (LB) were selected for the 2017 MAIS All Star Game. The boys reported to Jackson on Tuesday, Nov 28, to be honored at an awards banquet Thursday, Nov 30 and participate in the MAIS All-Star Game Friday, Dec 1 at Jackson Preperatory School.
Congratulations to the Greenville community on the big win.

Diocese sponsors Civil Rights Museum exhibit

By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – A pair of new museums set to open Dec. 9-10 in Jackson will tell the story of Mississippi and of the Civil Rights movement here – including the role the Catholic Church played in the movement. The Diocese of Jackson has sponsored an exhibit in the Civil Rights museum.
The Museum of Mississippi History takes visitors back to the earliest days of this land, including the stories of the Native Americans who hunted and traded here. The exhibits run all the way through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum zeroes in on a 30-year period in history, 1945-1976, when the state was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement to gain civil liberties and equal rights for African Americans. The Civil Rights Museum is the first state-sponsored museum of its kind in the United States.

JACKSON – The exterior of the two museums sitting side-by-side in downtown Jackson. (Photo by Tereza Ma)

“In the early stages of the two-museums project, Bishop Joseph Kopacz asked Bishop Emeritus Joseph Latino and me to meet with Former Governor William Winter, Kane Ditto, former mayor of Jackson; and Trey Porter, director of development for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH); to discuss how the diocese could be a part of these two museums,” said Mary Woodward, diocesan chancellor. “Because of the church’s connection with the history of the state, especially in the Civil Rights Movement, Bishop Kopacz and Bishop Emeritus Latino believed the diocese should be integrally involved.”
Ultimately, the diocese offered to sponsor one of the permanent exhibits focusing on the Sovereignty Files as a gift to the State of Mississippi to mark the bicentennial. “We chose the Sovereignty Files exhibit because many of our Catholic clergy and faithful are included in the files that were kept by the State Sovereignty Commission, created in 1956, to maintain tabs on ‘subversives and outside agitators,’” Woodward continued. “The objective of the commission was to preserve segregation under the guise of defending sovereignty from interference by the federal government. Basically, the commission became a spy agency for the State of Mississippi in a time when segregation was beginning to be challenged publicly. Priests were followed, and citations in the files reflect various clergy and lay Catholics attending gatherings at Tougaloo College and being active in speaking out for civil rights and against racism,” Woodward added.
“It was a scary time; I even found my father’s name in the files, which are available online through the MDAH web site. These files show how racism was a state-sponsored system. As Catholics, we should be very proud of how the church stood for justice in a very difficult time in our country’s and state’s past. Hopefully, this will inspire us to continue to speak out and work for justice, because as we have seen over the past year, racism still is just below the surface,” Woodward concluded.
The diocesan office is not the only contributor to the effort, Valencia Hall of Natchez Holy Family Parish, is on the board of trustees for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and for the two-museum project. She came of age during the movement and her family participated in a key moment in Natchez’ Civil Rights history.
She said she has been delighted to watch the project rise up from a hole in the ground.
She recalls her pastor, Father William Morrissey, SSJ, was on many watchlists. “I remember Father Jonathan Doyle, who was an associate pastor, and Father Morrissey were in fear for their lives sometimes,” said Hall. Morrissey was the first white officer in the NAACP. During his time in Natchez, he allowed the NAACP to meet at the parish, sponsored integrated youth gatherings and spearheaded the integration of Catholic schools in Natchez at the urging of then Bishop Richard Oliver Gerow.
“Father Morrissey asked my parents to enroll us in Cathedral School to integrate the school,” said Hall. “I found out later that Bishop Gerow picked the families he wanted to approach so not too many families would integrate at one time,” she added. Hall and her sister left Holy Family, an all African-American school, to attend the all-white Cathedral. After a year, the pair did not want to return, but their parents insisted.
“I think it was the best decision for our education. It introduced us to people of different economic backgrounds and people of different color,” said Hall. She still laments that the effort was not reciprocal. No white students were asked to integrate Holy Family school.
The efforts of the Hall family did have an impact she herself can attest to. “I made a friend there – she and I will be friends until the day we die,” said Hall. Every day at recess, Hall and her friend would have to wait before they could play together. Her friend’s mother made a habit of walking to the playground at recess time to make sure her daughter was not playing with the black children. Once the mother left, Hall and her friend could play. Hall grew up and went away to school, eventually returning to Natchez.
“When I came back in 2001, I was at a celebration at St. Mary’s and my friend’s parents were the first to come up to me. Her mother gave me a huge hug. They embraced me and welcomed me home, and I thought, ‘this can’t be the same mother,’” she said. “That was a profound moment for me as an adult. They literally embraced me and I knew I could – I had – forgiven her.”
Hall said the exhibits in both museums are powerful. “This will be emotional for some people. They will look and ask why this is here, why do we have to look at it. The why is because of the profound impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the state and the nation.” Hall said the artifacts pull no punches. They include burned crosses and a lynching display. Some parts, however, recall the hope and progress the state has made. “Where the light shines in from the skylight, and you can hear ‘This Little Light of Mine’ playing. It’s wonderful,” she added.
She is delighted that the diocese supported the project and thinks the sovereignty exhibit is the perfect one to sponsor given the true nature of the church’s role in the movement. “The greatest contribution of the diocese is that we (the church) fought for the integrity and equality for all people.”
The museums are located in downtown Jackson. Details on tickets and hours are available on the website: http://give2mississippimuseums.com

St. Richard artists recognized

A pair of St. Richard School students were honored in a statewide art competition the second week of November. The Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) partnered with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), Governor Phil Bryant’s office and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to sponsor the competition marking the 200th birthday of the state. K-12 students submitted entries in the areas of visual arts, music and poetry.
The St. Richard students were honored at the Bicentennial Celebration: Peggy Steckler, fifth grader, won first place in the K-6 poetry category, and Steele Davis, fourth grader, won first place in the K-5 Visual Arts category. “I am so proud of all of our winners”, said Jana Perry, Director of Education and Programs. “St. Richard Catholic School does a wonderful job with their students.” Jennifer David, St. Richard’s Principal, was pleased when she received the news: “We are always so proud of our students, and this is no exception. These awards are a reflection of the skills our children learn when working with the incredible staff on the St. Richard family.”