One of the most colorful and certainly entertaining annual celebrations in the Diocese of Baton Rouge is the Vietnamese New Year. The Vietnamese community, which has played an integral role in the Diocese of Baton Rouge for the past six decades, traditionally gathers at Sts. Anthony of Padua and Le Van Phung Church in Baton Rouge to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year. Bishop Michael G. Duca is shown enjoying the performances of the Vietnamese dancers in January 2020. File photo by Richard Meek
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge ushered in a new era of health care when it began seeing patients at its new Cancer Institute on Dec. 20. Four days earlier, OLOL chaplain Father Donatus Ajoko blessed the 19,500-square-foot building that will serve patients for imaging, non-oncology infusion, palliative care, oncology infusion and OLOL Physician Group Medical Oncology. Patients previously received that care in the Mary Bird Perkins building although it was administered by Our Lady of the Lake.
Because COVID-19 and the Omicron variant is now surging across the country with increased community transmission and hospitalizations, now is the time to begin taking action to protect our healthcare workforce and prepare as a community for what we anticipate to come. To protect our workforce and ensure the continuity of care for our community, Our Lady of the Lake is reinstituting several mitigation measures effective immediately: Masks will be required for all patients, team members and guests inside ALL of our locations, clinical and non-clinical
Pro-life leaders praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Dec. 10 that Texas abortions providers can legally challenge the state’s ban on most abortions but the justices did not issue a stay, thus allowing the current law to remain in effect.
Children and families at Immaculate Conception Church in Denham Springs enjoyed a pancake and sausage breakfast with St. Nick on Dec. 5 with proceeds going toward sending youth to the Vigil for Life that will take place in the Diocese of Baton Rouge in January. Greg Oivanki, an ever-popular choice to portray St. Nick, heard the wish list of many children that day. Photo provided by Rosalyn Duplantis
Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge is participating in a school-wide Advent activity called “Make Jesus’ Manger Soft with Kindness.” Students and teachers are performing kind deeds at home, school or anywhere else and when they do a kind deed they can add a piece of hay into Jesus’ manger. The more kind deeds, the more hay, and the softer the manger is for Jesus. The goal is to see how soft they can make baby Jesus’ manger. Second grader Jorge Oseguera is shown placing a piece of hay in the manger after helping his parents around the house during a recent weekend. Photo submitted by Wendy Milam | Sacred Heart School
Has anyone seen the Thanksgiving Turkey? Catholic of Pointe Coupee school officials went looking in the first-grade classrooms but didn’t see a single turkey! The Turkey in Disguise project has been a decade long tradition for CPC’s first grade classes. First-grade students look forward to November each year because they are eager to disguise their turkey. Students are instructed to disguise the turkey in any way that they want but there is just one rule: it cannot look like a turkey! Photo submitted by Megan Girlinghouse | Catholic of Pointe Coupee
Helping families at Thanksgiving is an annual project for the St. Rose de Lima Catholic Daughters in St. Amant. Forty-one families requested help this past Thanksgiving from the Food Pantry at Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant. Student organizations at St. Amant High School, Lakeside Primary and St. Amant Primary and Middle Schools all held canned food drives in November to help the Catholic Daughters fill up their baskets with non-perishable items to go with turkey, sides and dessert fixings. The Youth Ministry at Holy Rosary also collected canned goods, decorated large boxes to hold all the food, helped with sorting cans, and helped out on the day the food was distributed. Alice Aymond, Wes Keller and Ava King work together to load up a wagon with bread, milk, eggs and of course, turkey. Photo submitted by Debi Graham | St. Rose de Lima Catholic Daughters
In this Year of St. Joseph, students at St. Alphonsus Liguori School in Greenwell Springs are participating in a monthly activity to honor the foster father of Jesus. In October, the church celebrated Respect Life month. St. Joseph protected the baby Jesus when he was most vulnerable. Students combined the two events into their project for the month of October. Second-graders asked students to bring in baby items for the Women’s New Life Clinic in Baton Rouge. Diapers, wipes, bibs, blankets, and other baby items were collected along with cash donations to help this clinic which supports life. Photo submitted by Nicole Husser | St. Alphonsus
The community comes together in an outpouring of love and support by collecting toys that Bishop Michael G. Duca will distribute to children in need at the St. Vincent de Paul Society Dining Room on Dec. 18.