Frances Savely named 2013 Catholic School Educator of the Year

At the recent Teacher’s Fall Institute held at Epiphany of the Lord Church in Oklahoma City, the Catholic Foundation awarded its 2013 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley Catholic School Educator of the Year Award to Frances Savely. Frances is a second grade teacher at Saint Eugene Catholic School in Oklahoma City. She has spent the past 27 years involved in the parish and school at Saint Eugene and has taught second grade for the last 19 years.

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Father Stanley Rother Hispanic Cultural Institute launches fall semester

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

The Father Stanley Rother Hispanic Cultural Institute began its sixth year of classes on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Saint Joseph in Norman.  Named for the Okarche native who gave his life in service of the people of Guatemala, the Institute shares Hispanic culture and the Spanish language with attendees. 

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Review: Modern fairy tale – while imaginative and moral – falls short on several levels

“The Shadow of the Bear: A fairy tale retold” by Regina Doman Chesterton Press 2008.

Reviewed by Cara Koenig

Three stars

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Review: “Of Heaven and Earth” represents the Gospel, engages the imagination

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

Good religious art makes us see the Gospel in a new way, by re-introducing us to a familiar scene or glimpsing another aspect of Christ’s humanity.  The exhibit “Of Heaven and Earth,” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art until Nov. 17, does just that, with its paintings from the principal artistic centers of Italy through five centuries, beginning in the 1300s.

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Catholic Relief Services gives humanitarian aid in accordance with Church teaching

By Brianna Osborne

Almost 20 years after the genocide of nearly 1 million of its citizens, hope thrives in the small country of Rwanda. Catholic Relief Services has been the hands and feet of Christ in Rwanda since the 1960s, helping to heal the wounds left by civil war, hunger and poverty.

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Will you have to pay for abortions in your health plan?

By Richard M. Doerflinger

It’s enough to confuse anyone.  Some supporters of the new health care law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) say it will not spend taxpayer funds on abortion coverage.  Yet we’re hearing that Americans purchasing a health plan on the “exchanges” now being set up in most states must pay a monthly surcharge for elective abortions.  What are the facts?

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Catholic Charities’ Archbishop Beltran Scholarship selects inaugural scholars

A Catholic education can often build a bright future for students and their families by developing academic excellence on a faith foundation. In fact, according to recent figures, more than 94 percent of Catholic school graduates pursue higher education, as opposed to just 69 percent of those who attend public school.

Unfortunately for children of lower income families, the benefits of a Catholic school education can be out-of-reach because of financial concerns. To help erase the cost barrier, Catholic Charities established the Archbishop Beltran Scholarship to benefit children at Lawton’s Villanova Apartments wishing to attend Saint Mary’s Catholic School. Villanova Apartments, founded in 2006 as a partnership between Catholic Charities and the City of Lawton, are home to 64 low-income families. 

“For children to be successful, they need a quality education and the support of their parents, their educators and the community. The Beltran scholarship is not just a community service, it’s an opportunity to lift families up through quality education in a faith-filled environment,” said Lawkathra Cox, director of Catholic Charities’ Lawton office.

After reviewing numerous applications, representatives from Catholic Charities and Saint Mary’s selected the scholarship’s inaugural recipients this past summer. The children, who recently entered the 4th, 7th and 8th grades, received tuition to Saint Mary’s for a year and a stipend to buy uniforms and school supplies to equip them for the year ahead. To ensure the students were able to benefit from everything a Catholic education has to offer, the scholarship also covers extracurricular activities and any fees from those activities.

In coming years, Cox hopes to grow the scholarship to support students throughout their scholastic career, as well as expand the program to include additional scholars. Established in 2011 to honor Archbishop Emeritus Eusebius J. Beltran, the scholarship benefits children who live at the Villanova Apartments and whose parents participate in the United Way’s “Success by Six” reading program.

Catholic Charities Clinton office brings hope to Custer County

With a little more than 9,000 people, Clinton, Okla., is a growing community amidst a vast prairie of oil fields, interstates and the occasional casino. For Eileen McGee, office coordinator of Catholic Charities’ Clinton office, it’s also an opportunity to provide help and hope for those in need of counseling.

“Although it’s a wonderful place to live, this area is in dire need of community services, especially those with a focus on mental health. To help fill that gap, the Catholic Charities office offers family counseling, as well as services for those suffering from addiction or violent situations. We’re working to make a difference, one client at a time,” said McGee.

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Catholic Charities Guymon Office connects the community to help those in Oklahoma’s panhandle

Surrounded by Texas, Kansas and New Mexico plains, Oklahoma’s panhandle is a place where people are more likely to learn about current events through their church than on Twitter. To help raise awareness of the services Catholic Charities provides and connect others within the community, Julia Gonzales, director of Catholic Charities’ Guymon office, has created a 14-member advisory council with members from different churches in the area.

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Sanctuary Women’s Development Center offers hope to Oklahoma City’s homeless women

Homeless for more than 10 years, Barbara is one step closer to having a place to call home, thanks to Catholic Charities’ Sanctuary Women’s Development Center.

Like many of Oklahoma City’s long-term homeless, the challenges keeping Barbara (not her real name) from permanent housing were severe. However, with the help of case workers and staff at Sanctuary, she has been able to meet the milestones necessary to qualify for the 100 Thousand Homes Campaign, a national effort to find permanent housing for vulnerable individuals and families, and is on track to be placed in a residence soon. In addition to Barbara, four other Sanctuary clients have been selected to participate in the 100 Thousand Homes program, and will be placed soon.

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