School cafeterias putting nutrition on front-burner
Beginning this fall, a bowl of whole, fresh fruit will be waiting for students at the end of the cafeteria line every school day.
The new option, to be offered at the 76 Catholic elementary and high schools enrolled in the National School Lunch program, will supplement the three weekly servings of raw fruit and vegetables local students already receive at lunch.
“If they see (fresh fruit) every day, they’re more likely to take it at some point, so overall it will be a big health benefit,” said Jenny Ridings Montz, nutrition coordinator for School Food and Nutrition Services of New Orleans, Inc., which operates the federally sponsored programs that provide a daily school lunch to 24,000 students and breakfast to 3,100.
St. Cletus quilt to bring warmth, cheer to homeless
When teachers at St. Cletus learned that the inter-disciplinary theme for the 2010-11 school year was “In Your Own Backyard,” they began brainstorming New Orleans-related lessons to teach their students on topics such as Mr. Bingle, the French language and the petroleum industry.
“There were a lot of ideas floating around,” recalls Katie Windham, St. Cletus’ librarian, “and I just thought, 'I kind of want to do something the children maybe don’t realize is here.’”
TEC Congress spotlights resurrection, renewal
Teens and young adults around the archdiocese are familiar with the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat sponsored by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, a three-day weekend filled with prayer, reflections, discussions and activities centered on paschal mystery spirituality.
Keeping the paschal mystery at its core, 90 registrants from dioceses across the nation, representing 18 TEC communities, met at Loyola University New Orleans for the yearly TEC Congress July 15-17 under the theme “Rise, Renew, Rejoice.”
“The Congress provides opportunities for community, prayer and formation,” said Ronald Reiter, executive director of TEC. “It allows us to learn new ideas, meet new friends, reconnect with old friends and share and collaborate in TEC ministry.”
CLCs aim to build community
At the college level, finding a community of people with similar interests can seem like an easy task. In the real world, however, it isn’t always that easy. The desire for community expands rapidly as New Orleans’ young adults struggle to find a place for them to live and grow in the Catholic faith.
Rachel Longest, archdiocesan young adult ministry coordinator, and Laura Quigley, associate chaplain at Loyola University New Orleans, have teamed up to form Christian Life Communities (CLCs) throughout the archdiocese for young adults graduated from college. Already in place at Loyola and Jesuit universities across the country, CLCs consist of groups of six to 10 people and are founded in Ignatian spirituality, grounded in each individual’s own experience and finding God in all things.
“The idea is to engage in discernment together, reflecting on where to find God in your life, so that you can really fulfill God’s mission,” Quigley said.
St. Mary of the Angels stands up to blight, crime
Although blight and crime continue to plague New Orleans at unacceptable levels, city officials informed a gathering of St. Mary of the Angels parishioners that significant strides are being made on both fronts. Those improvements will be temporary fixes, however, if citizens do not actively work with government agencies to end the twin scourges, they said.
Archdiocese offers help to men addicted to pornography
The Archdiocese of New Orleans has established the My House Men's Group to help men end their addiction to pornography.
The group provides a Catholic focus on prayer and recovery in every man's battle for sexual integrity.
The group meets has met anonymously every week since starting in August 2010. About 20 men have participated in the meetings over that period, and usually about eight to 12 men attend each meeting.
Accountability is a major factor in helping the men fight their pornography addiction, the group's organizer said, because for someone lacking accountability, "the sky's the limit."
To read Peter Finney Jr.'s column about the group, click here: