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Diocese Hosts Seventh Annual Regional Catechism Bee


On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Diocese of Gaylord hosted the Seventh Annual Regional Catechism Bee for sixth graders representing our Catholic Schools,

The event grew out of a 2011 Catechism Bee during Catholic Schools Week sponsored by the women of the St. Angela's Circle at St. Ann Parish in Cadillac for children attending St. Ann Catholic School. The idea was well received and became diocesan-wide activity the following year, with sixth grade representatives from each Catholic School in the diocese advancing to a regional competition 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.

Seventeen 6th Grade classroom winners gathered in Gaylord for the diocesan regional competition, along with family members and school representatives. Bishop Steven J. Raica celebrated Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary Cathedral to begin the day.  He then served as Moderator for the Bee while Frank Sander, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Gaylord, served as Master of Ceremonies and Timekeeper for the event.

This year’s winner was Thomas Richardson from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City. He received $1,000 tuition credit for 7th grade as his prize. Kaitlyn Andrews, also from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City, finished in second place and received a $500 tuition credit, while Addison Wangler from St. Joseph School in West Branch finished third, receiving a $250 tuition credit. 

Other finalists included: Luke Adams from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City; Della Bunek from St. Mary Catholic School in Lake Leelanau; Ava Busch from Holy Family Catholic School in East Tawas; Dylan Carpenter from St. Mary-Hannah School in Kingsley; Kaitlyn Crawford from St. Ignatius  of Loyola School in Rogers City; Jack Earl from St. Francis Xavier School in Petoskey; Catherine Hayes from St. Mary Catholic School in Charlevoix; Andre Janisse from Our Lady of the Lake School in Prudenville; Grace Kidd from Manistee Catholic Central  in Manistee; Lucas O’Donnell from St. Francis Xavier School in Petoskey; Annie Paulson from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City; Joe Sheridan from All Saints Catholic School in Alpena; LeMay Sullivan, from St. Mary Cathedral School in Gaylord and Kacie Swiderek from Bishop Baraga School in Cheboygan.

It was Bishop Raica's fourth timer moderating the event. After the Catechism Bee Bishop Bishop Raica said,  “Every time I take part in this event I feel tremendous pride in the students throughout the diocese and the great partnership we share through the academic and faith-based mission of our Catholic schools.” 

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


For more pictures of the Catechism Bee, click here.

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