Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published October 28, 2010

Young people at the Elaine Clark Center for Exceptional Children are exploring a new organic and sensory garden.

From the first harvest of cantaloupe and squash to basil and other edible and medicinal herbs, the children experience harvesting healthy foods. At the same time, there are sensory herbs for children with sensory and cognitive challenges.

The garden was dedicated on Oct. 18 by the Christ Child Society of Atlanta and named Elizabeth’s Garden at the Elaine Clark Center for Exceptional Children, on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in northwest Atlanta.

“It is an outdoor classroom, a living laboratory for children to explore nature with all their senses. Some of these children have never played in the dirt or watched something grow. Now they are seeing, smelling, tasting, touching all the wonders of God’s earth,” said Annemarie Boehnlein, the organization’s president. “It is inspiring to see what the garden has taught these children. Additionally, as a garden, it is ever changing—providing new experiences for the children every day. There is always something new to learn or experience in the garden.”

The name and its “E” shape honor past Christ Child president, Elizabeth Huffner, who died in March 2009 after a 13-month battle with brain cancer. She was a teacher at St. Jude School and an avid lover of children, flowers, green space and gardens.

The special design also will allow children in wheelchairs to access the planting beds.

The Christ Child Society of Atlanta is a chapter of a national nonprofit organization of women that focuses on the needs of children. Members of the organization volunteer in the center’s classrooms and saw the opportunity to use the garden as a teaching tool.

Christ Child members had the money to start the project after being selected at Dunwoody’s Redfield Home and Garden Club’s annual charity auction.

The garden will be handicapped accessible in the future, with paths leading toward the planting bed. Tim Vaughan, a Marist School senior, designed and built the bed as part of his Eagle Scout project.

At the time of the dedication, members of the Christ Child Society had recently planted fall vegetables and plants, including broccoli, lettuce and parsley.

More information about the Christ Child Society of Atlanta can be found at

With some $1,700 to take home, more than bragging rights were on the line.

Our Lady of Mercy High School hosted a Pastor/Parish Challenge for clergy to throw a football through the Mercy Bobcat Paw for tuition vouchers for their parishioners, according to OLM principal Danny Dorsel. The event was part of halftime activities on Friday, Oct. 18.

Who had the best arm to zip a football through the paw? None other than Father Michael Kingery, pastor of Holy Trinity Church.

For throwing the pigskin, Father Kingery earned $800 in scholarship money for the parish community in Peachtree City.

Other competitors for football glory included: Father John Koziol for St. Philip Benizi Church, Jonesboro; Father Ed Thein for St. John the Evangelist Church, Hapeville; Father Eric Hill for Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Decatur; Father Carl Zdancewicz for St. Matthew Church, Tyrone; and Deacon Scott Parker for St. Gabriel Church, Fayetteville.

St. Philip Benizi Church earned a $500 voucher for having the largest number of parishioners in attendance.

Folks supported Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats as the team was defeated by Eagles Landing Christian Academy.

The Queen of Angels School, Roswell, fifth-grade class attended Vocations Day at St. Joseph School and Church on Oct. 12.

All fifth-graders from schools throughout the Atlanta Archdiocese come together for Mass and talks that support future religious vocations.

The students were provided information to promote openness to God’s calling with regard to their vocation.

Father Dan Ketter, parochial vicar at St. Jude the Apostle Church, Sandy Springs, celebrated Mass. Father John Walsh, host pastor of St. Joseph Church, Marietta, concelebrated.

After Mass, Father Ketter spoke to the students, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, a deacon spoke to the boys, and Sister Jacinta and Sister Veronica Ann, of the Nashville Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, spoke to the girls.

Here are some thoughts from Queen of Angels School students’ Vocation Day:

“I had a really fun and prayer-filled day. But my overall favorite part was when the Sisters spoke with us about their life. It really interested me because it’s just so cool to see and talk to people who have devoted their whole life to God. It was life-changing to see people who have answered their vocations and are so happy and are so close to God.  I hope that one day I can live as happy and close to God and answer my vocation like them. I had so much fun at Vocations Day!” –“Katrina”

“During the homily, Father Dan Ketter from St. Jude the Apostle said ‘that careers are easy to do and that they are not important to God.’ Father said ‘that vocations take courage which is doing something even though you are scared to do it. Vocations are hard to find out, but God will help you and tell you what your vocation is going to be.’ Father Dan said something in the homily that clicked in me that I was important to God and my life is important and so is my vocation.” –“Jack”

A wise man once said you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

Keep that in mind at the Texas Hold ‘em Poker fundraiser at St. Ann’s Church, Marietta.

The tournament is on Saturday, Nov. 6, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cards are dealt at 7.

The money goes to the Adopt-a-Family program organized by the Embrace Divorced and Singles Ministry.

Organizers say it’s a great way to meet new friends, have fun, play for prizes. Folks say they’ll teach novices how to play. It costs $20 buy-in or $10 half buy-in. And first prize is $75 with $25 to the second-place finisher.

For more information, contact Mercy at

A graduate of St. Pius X High School just penned his first children’s book.

Christopher Eck, who graduated in 1984, finished “The Story Of Gumbo Yah-Yah the Blue Alligator and the Big Storm,” described in a press release as “a story of hope and overcoming adversity that will endear its main character, Gumbo, to readers young and old alike.”

Gumbo is the youngest of 13 brothers who gets teased by them for being different. Based on the events of Hurricane Katrina, Gumbo runs away from his troubles only to get caught up in the storm and its aftermath. He finds himself in the Big City where he learns his problems are small compared to what he sees around him. He sets out to help those he meets.

Eck, who both wrote and illustrated the book, is donating the proceeds from the book to four charities rebuilding New Orleans neighborhoods, educating children and preserving the culture and sense of place in the Big Easy.

The project is called “Forty for Four on Five,” and Eck hopes to raise at least $40,000 during this fifth anniversary year of the storm for: the St. Bernard Project; the Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Schools; the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans; and Loyola University’s Monroe Library and Center for the Study of New Orleans. Visit for all the information.

To contribute people/items to Notable, please contact Andrew Nelson at or (404) 877-5512.