By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published April 29, 2010
A group of Blessed Trinity High School students and parents, accompanied by Father Augustine Tran, traveled to South Africa on a mission trip.
The students were Zach Kloss, Thomas and Kate McCormick, Caitlin and Charlotte Hodges, Sean Damaska and James Rose.
The group stayed in thatched bungalows about a 30-minute drive from Johannesburg during their visit. They left on Good Friday and returned a week later.
This trip started with the vision of a few dads who had been to South Africa and worked with its people. Organizers wanted to bring the experience to the students at the Roswell high school. Fundraisers and planning for the trip started last fall.
There were memorable moments on the trip, including playing soccer with children living with HIV, praying in Zulu, feeding neglected senior citizens.
Folks were surprised visitors from America would travel great distances to spend time with them. As their gift to the students, young and old South Africans shared their culture through folk songs.
There were also times of laughter, including when a pastor on Easter Sunday introduced them as the group visiting from Alaska.
“I am grateful to be part of this movement of cooperation, fellowship and progress—progress toward the ideal society, where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not just the rights of every man and woman, but the substance of every man and woman’s life story from conception to the final breath given by the God who made us all,” he wrote.
He was unable to attend the March celebration to unveil the magazine cover. Father Edward Branch went on his behalf.
Also, the archbishop was recently appointed the chairman of the board of the National Catholic Educational Association. This is a four-year term and his appointment became effective during the recent NCEA convention in Minneapolis. He succeeded Archbishop Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
The National Catholic Educational Association represents 200,000 Catholic educators serving 7.6 million students in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, in religious education programs, in seminaries and in colleges and universities.
Catholic Charities Atlanta said farewell to one of its program directors as Susan Stevenot Sullivan moves to a post at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ office in Washington, D.C.
Sullivan worked for four years at Catholic Charities as the Parish & Social Justice Ministries’ program director.
She starts work as the associate director of education and outreach for the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the USCCB. Sullivan is to lead the education and outreach staff to help bishops strengthen their efforts to share Catholic social teaching, to educate about poverty and the mission of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Her team also has the task of informing and involving diocesan and other Catholic leaders in effective education, grassroots advocacy and action on the Catholic social mission.
“I wish Susan continued blessings on her new job for the USCCB,” said Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory. “This new position is a wonderful opportunity for her professionally, but is also a great loss for Catholic Charities Atlanta and our archdiocese.”
Sullivan expanded Just Faith, Justice for Immigrants, justice formation for the diaconate, initiatives for Catholic Relief Services, and revised the Just a Bit social justice monthly newsletter. She helped organize local ecumenical and interfaith gatherings around social justice issues and also hosted the national Social Action Summer Institute. She also worked with the archdiocesan Communications Office on social justice events including Faithful Citizenship and Catholic Day at the Capitol.
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