Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

"Anti-scarecrow" St. Francis of Assisi Welcomes Birds

Published October 9, 2012

Clair Stallman, of the Georgia Tech Grad Students and Young Professionals group, puts a bird on the St. Francis of Assisi “anti-scarecrow” that is part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Scarecrows in the Garden.

Ga. Tech Students Plant St. Francis Scarecrow to Welcome the Birds

The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual Scarecrows in the Garden in October features a notable Catholic scarecrow.

But since St Francis of Assisi has a reputation of loving all creatures, great and small, graduate students are calling him an anti-scarecrow. And as fate would have it, Thursday, Oct. 4, was the opening night for Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit, it was also the feast of St. Francis.

The Georgia Tech Grad Students and Young Professionals group put their brains together to build the scarecrow, including using birdseeds for its hands.

Michelle Ediger, a leader with the Graduate Student and Young Professional group, said she saw an email from the Atlanta Botanical Garden looking for organizations to participate so they did the work.

It was Christine Moran, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, who came up with St. Francis. She asked, “Wouldn’t a Catholic scarecrow be an anti-scarecrow… i.e. St. Francis of Assisi with birds flocking to him? ”

The three-year old Graduate Student and Young Professional group is based at the Georgia Tech Catholic Center. It provides opportunities for Catholic graduate students to live their faith, from Bible study and building a home for Habitat for Humanity to an annual “pilgrimage” to a corn maze and carve pumpkins.

“Graduate student life is often busy and stressful, and our students connect with others that share the same situation. We also have an opportunity to help mentor and minister to the undergraduate students at Tech,” said Ediger, a graduate student at Georgia State University.

You can learn more about the Catholic graduate student group at its Web site,

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