Thursday, September 18, 2014
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School Notes: Salutes, puppies and art

His first salute
BEAUFORT—U.S. Navy Ensign Connor T. Murphy graduated recently from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Murphy gave his first salute to his sister, Molly, who is an ROTC midshipman at the University of South Carolina. Ensign Murphy will proceed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where he will serve aboard the USS Hopper. He is the son of Peter and Kathleen Murphy and a parishioner of St. Peter Church.

St. Anthony reaches out
GREENVILLE—Students at St. Anthony of Padua donated their coins throughout the school year to help raise money for the Sisters of St. Francis Mission in Kenya, Africa. The Sisters of St. Francis operate two schools in Kenya and have many children that need support. The students’ collection of $500, with a donor match of $500, will help provide education, shoes, clothing, warm blankets, food and medical and dental aid. The Sisters of St. Francis expressed their gratitude to the school children for their generous hearts.
In other community outreach, the school held its annual Music and Art Festival, kicking off with a choral concert. One of the highlights was a clinic where students explored a variety of musical instruments with lessons from several area musicians and instructors. The enrichment program also included demonstrations provided by local visual artists to introduce students to photography, drawing, collage and ceramics. This unique opportunity was made possible by funds from the Metropolitan Arts Council and Indie Craft Parade.
Also, the sixth-graders took a service field trip to the Greenville Humane Society. They toured the facility, learned about the mission of the animal shelter, provided volunteer time, and met some of the cute pups available for adoption.

Blake wins faith art contest
COLUMBIA—Laura Blake, who attends South Carolina Connections Academy, was selected as the first-place winner in the ninth-grade division of the 2014 U.S. “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest, a national competition that encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose. Sponsored by Family Rosary, the 19th annual contest attracted more than 1,100 finalists and more than 22,000 entries.

Lady Bishops earn all-star spots
CHARLESTON—Eran Artigues and Julia Shahid, alumna of Charleston Catholic and recent graduates of Bishop England, earned top sporting honors along with several of their teammates.
Eran, who played shortstop for Bishop England, was selected to the Class 3A/2A South Softball Team for the annual North-South all-star games. She was also named Class AA All-State, along with teammate Elena Salmorin, who is a rising sophomore.
In soccer, Julia was chosen for the All-Lowcountry Soccer Team, along with teammates Regan Van Metre, Erin Moriarty and Logan Leask.

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Fortnight for Freedom contest winning essay

Diocese of Charleston's Office of Family Life sponsored an essay contest connected with the Fortnight for Freedom. Here is the winning essay.

Religious Freedom:  Our First Amendment Right

By Caroline Daly

Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase “separation of church and state” in a letter to his friend concerning the first amendment to the Constitution.  This phrase has since been passed down through the generations and manipulated to fit the needs of society.  Few people today realize that the purpose of the separation of church and state was to protect religion, not government.  Still, “separation of church and state” has become a sort of rallying cry to ensure that the morals of religion do not find their way into the mechanics of politics.  Thus society has come to view religion as bothersome and religious freedom as insignificant, causing two of America’s founding principles to lose their meanings as defined by the constitution.

American cultural trends are ephemeral.  In a nation where viral videos and social media reign, everything from fashion and celebrity to reform movements and social change is fluctuating. The United States is an ocean with an ever-encroaching tide. Religion, however, is a boulder, strong and sturdy, that reaches from the depths of the ocean to the heights of the clouds.  It is no wonder then that religion is viewed as an obstacle by society.  Its morals and standards create structure, constancy, and tradition that juxtapose the chaos, fickleness, and modernity of society.  Society constantly demands that religion change.  Its waves beat against the stone boulder insistently.  If religion says God created everyone, society says God created gay love.  If religion says God is the ultimate judge, society says no one can rightly judge another. The precepts of religion are constantly manipulated and challenged to conform to the impulses of this world.

Because of the relationship between society and religion, freedom of religion is often constrained.  Too often, individuals are denied their constitutional right because of the conflict between religion and popular culture.  The morality of religion requires action from its adherents to stand up against society’s whims.  It requires people to cling to the boulder of their faith amidst the relentless waves of social evolution.  When those with strong moral conviction take a stand against gay marriage, abortion, or contraceptives, they are often ridiculed by society.  “Personal rights” have trump religious rights in society’s eyes.  For example, the Affordable Care Act requires businesses to supply contraceptives to their female workers despite their religious convictions.  In this case, the societal “right” to birth control supersedes the legal right to practice religion.

Culture has transformed religion and religious freedom from sacred rights to imposing annoyances.  America has lost touch with her origins; she has forgotten that religious freedom is a constitutional right upon which the nation was built.  Society sees religion’s refusal to conform as an injustice while in reality it is an act of valor.  The Constitution reflects the sanctity religion once had in America through its efforts to extend religious freedom to all its citizens.  This is where the true meaning of religion is found in the nation, not in the varying viewpoints of each generation but in the very document that guides our nation.

Religion is often considered antiquated in today’s culture, and as a result, religious freedom has become almost meaningless.  These views, however, are the opposite of those upon which the country was framed.  Generation after generation has upheld the ideals written in the Constitution.  But the future of America’s freedom is in jeopardy.  It is up to my generation to safeguard the rights that those before us have fought so hard to protect.  Only when America realizes the importance of her constitutional rights and vows to protect them will religion once again be regarded sacred.


School notes

St. Joseph’s captures state titles
GREENVILLE—The baseball and soccer teams at St. Joseph’s Catholic School nabbed the 1A state championships for the third consecutive year.

The boys’ soccer team crushed Charleston Charter School 10-0 in the state final at River Bluff High School in Lexington on May 24. Christopher Heijjer, Josh Bertelsman, Brennan Koslow, Ryan Bertling, Alex Luzzatti and Gene Langan, all seniors, led the Knights to a 20-4-1 record and helped outscore their opponents in the three final games 30-0. Their only losses in the season were against Class AAAA teams.

The varsity boys’ baseball team defeated Latta High 3-2 on May 21 in the most competitive game of the tournament. The team finished the playoffs with an 8-0 record and outscored their opponents 59-4. On an individual basis, Brennan Koslow was named 1A Region Soccer Player of the Year and signed to play with Niagara University in New York. He is the son of Susie and Michael Koslow of Simpsonville and a member of St. Mary Magdalene Church.

In baseball, Alex Malsch, a senior, earned the title of 1A Region Baseball Player of the Year and signed to play at Wofford College in Spartanburg. He is the son of John and Phyllis Malsch of Greer and a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Church.

St. Anne soars to global finals
SUMTER—A group of third-graders from St. Anne won first place in the elementary division of the Destination Imagination regional tournament held in Flat Rock, N.C. The girls, who call themselves the St. Anne Polka Dot Panthers, won the DaVinci Award for creativity and advanced to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., where they competed against more than 8,000 students from 45 states, seven Canadian provinces and 13 other countries. As the only team from South Carolina, they had the honor of carrying the state flag in the opening ceremonies.

Nativity joins Memory Walk
JAMES ISLAND—Students in seventh and eighth grade at Nativity School joined Bishop Gadsden residents, families and employees in the annual Memory Walk to benefit the
Alzheimer’s Association. The school raised $175 through ice cream sales and a dress down day and donated it to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of the residents of the retirement community.

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School Notes: Zoos, archers and scholarships


St. Anthony students bring zoo animals home ... sort of

GREENVILLE—St. Anthony of Padua School received a grant from The Metropolitan Arts Council recently that helped provide an “art-tastic” trip to the Greenville Zoo for the€ fifth- and sixth-graders. Out€fitted with sketchbooks provided by the grant, the children practiced a technique called “en plein air” or in the open air, and sketched the animals they saw.

Archers hit the mark for nationals

DIOCESE—Students from Bishop England High School in Charleston and Divine Redeemer in Hanahan were right on target at the National Archery in the Schools Program tournament held in Columbia recently.

Holly Hildenbrand, a senior at Bishop England, won the $1,000 scholarship at the tournament with the highest score for senior girls in the state. She will compete at the national competition in Kentucky on May 9.

Also, three archers from Divine Redeemer earned top marks to advance to the national competition. They are Mac Lambert and James Busche, both seventh-graders, and Michelle Lam, fourth grade.

Hudak, Lyons earn scholarships

GREENVILLE—Katie Hudak and Drew Lyons were chosen as the recipients of the St. Joseph’s Scholar Award.

This scholarship is awarded annually by St. Joseph’s Catholic School to two incoming freshmen for academic excellence. Katie is the daughter of Craig and Judy Hudak of Greenville. She currently attends St. Joseph’s and is a member of St. Mary Magdalene Church. Drew is the son of Bobby and Nikki Lyons of Gaffney. He currently attends St. Paul the Apostle in Spartanburg and is a member of Sacred Heart Church.

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School Graduation 2014

Four schools in the diocese are about to celebrate their seniors with Masses and commencement exercises. The following schools will hold their Graduation 2014

Bishop England High School, Charleston:

The Baccalaureate Mass is May 25 at 4 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 5 Saint Teresa Drive.

Graduation is June 6 at 10 a.m. at The Citadel's McAlister Field House.

Cardinal Newman School, Columbia:

The Baccalaureate Mass is May 23 at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph Church gymnasium, 3600 Devine St.

Graduation is May 24 at 4 p.m. at the Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St.

St. Joseph's Catholic School, Greenville:

The Baccalaureate Mass is May 30 at 6 p.m. at the school, 100 St. Joseph's Drive.

Graduation is May 31 at 10 a.m., also at the school.

St. Francis Xavier High School, Sumter:

The Baccalaureate Mass is May 30 at 7 p.m. at St. Anne Church, 216 E. Liberty St.

Graduation is May 31 at 7 p.m. at the Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St.


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