Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published January 19, 2012

The Blessed Trinity High School varsity volleyball team presented a check of $4,186.48 to the American Cancer Society.

The team hosted its fourth annual “Serve for the Cure” invitational volleyball tournament to support breast cancer research with the money going to the American Cancer Society. This year, the team’s effort brought in a record donation from the event.

Since 1990, the American Cancer Society, based in Atlanta, has contributed more than $200 million toward breast cancer research.

Greg Donaldson, the national vice president for corporate communications, said, “That would not be possible without the support of millions of Americans, including the BT Titan family. On behalf of my organization, thank you to Blessed Trinity for its support.”

Forty men gathered at the Jesuit Retreat Center at Ignatius House for a discernment retreat hosted by the Office of Vocations Dec. 30-31.

Seminarians gave first-person accounts of their discernment. Brian McNavish, who studies at St. Joseph’s Seminary College in Covington, La., talked about the “First Call” and primary vocation to holiness that everyone should pursue. Father Llane Briese, parochial vicar at St. Peter Chanel, Roswell, talked about the joy of the priesthood. Branson Hipp, a first-year theology student at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., let people know about seminary life, focusing on the four pillars of formation: spiritual, pastoral, human and intellectual. He said a priest is supposed to be a bridge and not an obstacle, and so the formation process is important to become a bridge. He also offered practical advice about what a day in seminary looks like. Father Tim Hepburn, vocations director, talked to the group about how to discern.

Father Tim Hepburn, the vocations director for the Atlanta Archdiocese, left, talks to the nearly 40 men who attended the annual discernment retreat held in December. The men spent some time in prayer and fellowship at the Jesuit Retreat Center at Ignatius House, Atlanta, to consider God’s calling for their life.

There was also a panel discussion on Friday afternoon so men could ask questions about priesthood, seminary, and discernment.

The 26-hour retreat included time for Mass, prayer and reflection, with the Liturgy of the Hours prayed in common, morning, evening and night. Priests were available for confession Friday afternoon. Friday night included a Holy Hour celebrated by transitional deacon, Rev. Mr. Tri Nguyen, who is to be ordained a priest this coming June. Mass was celebrated on Friday and Saturday. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory celebrated the Saturday Mass and lunched with the men.

Annette McDermott, a Girl Scout working toward her Gold Award, which is the highest achievement given by the Scouts, is organizing a cleaning supplies drive to aid Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Refugee Resettlement Program.

The drive is at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Atlanta, before and after all regular Masses on Feb. 4 and 5. The address is 1350 Hearst Drive.

McDermott is a junior at St. Pius X High School. Her family attends the Atlanta parish and she was a student at the parish school.

Natural disasters like the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes, and other discrimination people face in foreign countries, spurred her interest in serving the refugee community, she said.

“I wanted to help make this enormous transition easier for both the refugees and the nonprofit services that guide them,” she said in a press release.

McDermott, 17, worked with Kim Longshore at Catholic Charities Atlanta’s resettlement services to make sure the products are useful to the newcomers.

Last year, the agency assisted more then 250 refugees from 10 countries, including Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, Burma, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, to make a new life in Atlanta, according to its website.

In addition to the cleaning products, clients will receive a how-to-use pamphlet, which McDermott created and that will be printed by Office Depot. Catholic Charities Atlanta will have the 500 guides translated into 100 copies in Burmese, 100 in Bhutanese, 100 in Karen, a language spoken in Burma and Thailand, and 200 in English.

The list of needed supplies includes broom and dustpan; sponges; toilet mats; plunger; rubber gloves; paper towels; steel wool pads; disinfecting wipes; dish soap; dish detergent; laundry detergent; trash bags and liners; chip clips; bug spray; toilet bowl cleaner and toilet brush; bathroom cleaner.

The new mayor of Dunwoody can be found singing in the church choir at St. Jude Church, Sandy Springs.

Mike Davis took office earlier in January.

Davis, his wife, Mary Pat, along with daughter, Carolyn, and grandson, Jonah, attend the parish. The Davis family has been in the parish for 23 years. All four of the Davis daughters graduated from St. Jude School and then St. Pius X High School.

Currently, Davis sits on the Finance Council and sings in the choir. He stepped down from the baptism ministry to free up time for the campaign.

Davis served as president of the men’s club for the past two years.

“It was a fantastic experience. We started a board of directors and a succession program. The men’s club is very successful now with several new programs. We donate several thousand dollars a year to St. Jude programs that we deem worthy,” he wrote in an email.

Asked about the role of faith in his bid for elected office, Davis wrote, “My faith is very important to me. I ran as a businessman running against a politician. I think the problems in this country are due to professional politicians. I trust my moral compass in all that I do. I know that and my Catholic faith will always serve me well as I help lead the city of Dunwoody.”

Gilliane Conklin, a fourth-grader at St. Mary’s School, Rome, earned top prize for her poster in the 2011-2012 MLK Jr. poster and essay contest.

Young people in Catholic schools, kindergarten through fourth grade, were invited to illustrate the biblical verse: “Here I am, Lord. … I will hold your people in my heart.” The contest is co-sponsored by the Office of Catholic Schools and the Office for Black Catholic Ministry.

Gilliane drew a crayon picture of the Earth, with quotes from social reformer Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. Surrounding the edge of the globe are positive sayings in 10 different languages. She also drew the winning poster in the 2010 contest.

Asked about what she knows of King, Gilliane said, “He was a hero and heroes are never forgotten.”

The other winning posters were done by Lauren Haynes, a third-grader at St. Peter Claver Regional School, Decatur, in second place, and Santiago Bondulich, a third-grader at St. Thomas More School, Decatur, in third place.

The Chancery’s Choice poster winners included Gilliane’s design as the winning entry, with Santiago as the second-place poster, and the design of Jani Christopher, a fourth-grader at St. John Neumann Regional School, Lilburn, as the third-place winner.

Essay winners were first place to seventh-grader Elizabeth Collins, of St. Catherine of Siena School, Kennesaw; second place to Audrey Dietrick, eighth-grader at Holy Redeemer School, Johns Creek; and third place to Noh Mengisteab, St. Thomas More School eighth-grader.

Notre Dame Academy fifth-grade boys participated in the Sam Robb Memorial Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament in December. During a break in the competition, the team stopped at St. George Village retirement community for a birthday visit with Msgr. R. Donald Kiernan who is recuperating from a recent illness. Thanks went out to Coach Elizabeth Keddy and team parents Debbie Mentesena and Stephanie Scordino for helping to organize the visit.