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16 Compete in Diocesan Regional Catechism Bee


On Thursday, April 18, the Diocese of Gaylord hosted the second Regional Catechism Bee for sixth graders representing our Catholic Schools and once again the level of accomplishment was extremely high.

The event traces its roots to an initiative of the women of the St. Angela's Circle at St. Ann Parish in Cadillac. Two years ago, they organized and hosted a school-wide Catechism Bee during Catholic Schools Week. The event was so successful it was the impetus for establishing a diocesan-wide program for children attending all our Catholic Schools, with the first Regional Catechism Bee held last year in Gaylord.

A Catechism Bee is similar in nature to the more familiar “Spelling Bee” and provides an effective avenue for learning about the faith. In the same manner that students memorize the alphabet, songs and multiplication tables to build a foundation for higher learning, memorizing Sacred Scripture and facts about the Catholic faith can be one of the many building blocks that can help students along their faith formation journey. As students mature, they are able to draw upon those basic blocks and apply them to more complex concepts.

In the context of the “Year of Faith”, this year’s competition generated substantial interest and concretely responded to the Holy Father’s call that we use this year to rediscover the Catechism. All of the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Gaylord were invited to host local Catechism Bees organized in three divisions: Primary (2nd & 3rd grade), Intermediate (4th & 5th grade) and Advanced (6th grade). Many did so as part of their 2013 Catholic Schools Week celebration. Students were provided study questions and worked with their families and friends to master the material.

The eighteen winners in the Advanced Division were invited to Gaylord for the diocesan regional competition, along with family members and school representatives. Bishop Bernard A. Hebda began the day by celebrating Mass at the Cathedral for the contestants and their families. He also served as moderator for the competition while Charles Taylor, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese, served as Master of Ceremonies and Timekeeper for the event.

“I was truly inspired by each of these young people,” Bishop Hebda said. “They had all prepared well and represented their schools with distinction.”

Catechism_Bee_Top_Three.jpgAfter nearly an hour and a half of constant quizzing, Chelewynn Shuart from Holy Family School in East Tawas was named the winner, receiving a $1,000 tuition credit for 7th grade as her prize. Wade Gerberding from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City finished in second place and received a $500 tuition credit, while Celia Star Chief from Manistee Catholic Central School in Manistee finished third, receiving a $250 tuition credit.

Other finalists included: Peter Beard (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School,Traverse City); Olivia Donahue (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School, Traverse City); Joseph Geranen (St. Mary School in Hannah); Adam Grisdale (Bishop Baraga School, Cheboygan); Sophie Hagedorn (St. Mary Cathedral School, Gaylord); Tyler Haggart (Our Lady of the Lake Regional School, Prudenville); Thomas Hegewald (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School, Traverse City); Anne Joy (St. Mary School, Charlevoix); Abigail Kendziorski (St. Francis Xavier School, Petoskey); Trevor Likavec (St. Joseph School, West Branch); Otto Mork (St. Mary School, Lake Leelanau); Alex Netzley (St. Ann School, Cadillac); Sophia Schiepek (St. Ignatius of Loyola School, Rogers City); Nathan Spadafore (St. Francis Xavier School, Petoskey); and Kali Spomer (All Saints School, Alpena),

Taylor had high praise for the students. “They all did so well,” Taylor declared. “Bishop Hebda and I just so proud of all of them!“

Each finalist received a special certificate, a catechism board game, and a copy of the YouCat, the “Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

Catechism Bee Regional Contestants_1.jpg

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