Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Championship Gesture On 11-11-11

The night of November 11 I was down on the sidelines covering the Glory For Christ Football League Championship game between Holy Spirit Preparatory School and Christian Heritage School.

I couldn’t help but notice that a Holy Spirit student (Ricky Walker) was pushing one of the players, Peter Nagle, around in a wheelchair. Nagle, a freshman and first-year defensive tackle on the varsity team, broke his leg in three places during the semifinal game against Augusta Prep.  

With the help of Walker, Nagle was fully engaged in the game. He rolled through the banner at the beginning of the game with the team, he rolled along the sideline following the action and he also joined the team huddle during the timeouts. “Although it was extremely disappointing for Peter, he is no stranger to pain and inconvenience. Peter has cerebral palsy, but he refuses to use ‘handicap’ as an excuse not to play football,” said assistant coach and school chaplain Father Jason Brooks.

“He (Peter) is a tremendous asset and a great inspiration. He has two desires - one is to be treated like everyone else and the other is to play football,” said head coach James Falcetti. “We rally around Peter. He is a tough kid. He's a warrior.”

Well, Holy Spirit was victorious in the title game. When the clock on the scoreboard reached zero, the fans rushed the field in jubilation. They yelled and screamed and jumped for joy. The players passed the trophy around and kissed it like it was the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy. In the middle of all the hoopla was Nagle.

There was a single moment in the midst of all the celebration that caught my attention. A momentary hush came over the players when nose tackle William Oppermann and defensive line coach Jesse Garcia extended the trophy to Nagle. As soon as Nagle touched and held it, the players and the crowd erupted once again, but this time they were chanting Peter Nagle’s name.

        Peter Nagle, in wheelchair right, is the recipient of a 
        championship gesture during a championship moment. 

All season Father Brooks prayed with the players and coaches. They attempted to teach and shape the young men into good players on the field and students of character and followers of Christ off the field. That gesture, a championship gesture, validated the effort and work of the coaches and chaplain over the 12-week season.

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Check out how Holy Spirit won their first football championship in the Nov. 24 issue of The Georgia Bulletin.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Brief slideshow

The newspaper, which is being edited as I type, has powerful photos and stories that capture the ceremonies surrounding the death of Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue. We also have a centerfold of photos taken of happier times during his 11 years as the spiritual leader for Atlanta's Catholics.

I've put together a brief slideshow of some of the photos. But believe me you'll want to hold on to the next issue of the Georgia Bulletin because the photo journalism is very strong.  - Andrew

Try our video maker at Animoto.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

At Sacred Heart Basilica

ATLANTA - The remains of retired Archbishop John F. Donoghue Wednesday morning entered the Basilica of Sacred Heart allowing people to come and pray. 
Olga Myers, of All Saints, like some 30 others came early to pay respects and “to say farewell to my dear friend of many years.”  
An honor guard of knights of Columbus and St. Peter Claver in plumed hats and swords stood beside the open wooden casket. Six lit candles are beside the casket. A kneeler for people to pay their respects is at the foot of the casket. 
Archbishop Donoghue died on Friday, Nov. 11. He was 83.  

There will be much more about retired Archbishop John F. Donoghue in the next "Georgia Bulletin." Please be on the look out for it.

If you are on Twitter, follow #+Donoghue to get reports throughout the day. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Timeline of Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue

f Archbishop John F. Donoghue served as the spiritual leader for Catholics in and around Atlanta from August 1993 to December 2004. He encouraged the expansion of Catholic schools and instituted the annual Eucharistic Congress.

This timeline is just a brief survey of the milestones of his time as the archbishop.

Atlanta Catholics To Remember Archbishop Donoghue

Here is the schedule for the funeral rites for Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue which begin on Wednesday at the Sacred Heart Basilica, on Peachtree Street.

View Funeral Rites for retired Archbishop John F. Donoghue in a larger map Clergy and parishioners are invited to participate in all of the ceremonies at the Basilica.

The Sacred Heart Basilica is located at 353 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta. As you may know parking is extremely limited, so visitors are strongly encouraged park in the parking lot at 680 W. Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta (the old chancery building) and ride a free shuttle buse.

It will leave every 30 minutes from 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. On Thursday morning, November 17, shuttle buses will be provided from 8:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reflecting On An Old Soul During All Souls Day

On October 16, Nettie Singleton, the oldest living member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Atlanta, passed away at the age of 102 years old. “Ms. Nettie,” as she was affectionately known by her fellow parishioners, was born in Eatonton, Ga., in 1909.

Nettie Singleton attends a 1997 rosary rally.

Singleton enrolled in Our Lady of Lourdes School in 1915, where she attended up through her graduation from eighth grade. She would recall over the years how she met St. Katharine Drexel as a student. Drexel, the founder of the Blessed Sacrament Sisters, helped establish Our Lady of Lourdes School and would make visits from time to time.

Singleton grew up in a family with an African Methodist Episcopal Church background, but she converted to Catholicism in 1933. In his October 22 eulogy, former Our Lady of Lourdes pastor Father John Adamski indicated that the church’s baptism register contains many references to Nettie Singleton as a godmother for others. “Indeed, Nettie constantly sought to help others and share her faith,” said Adamski. For many years she served in a number of church related organizations. Singleton was the first secretary of the Our Lady of Lourdes School PTA.

I photographed Ms. Singleton for the first time in 1997 during an October rosary rally at St. Thomas More Church, Decatur. She was just four score and eight at that time. Altogether I probably photographed her on three different occasions. She would always say, “Baby, I’m going to break your camera.” Well, she never broke my camera, but we would both break out in a laugh.

The last time I photographed Ms. Singleton was for a series of photos that accompanied Andrew Nelson’s 2009 story (Centenarians’ Serving Spirit Hailed On Birthdays). She reached the century mark that year. Her family presented her with an honorary “Doctorate of Evangelism” on her 100th birthday.

Nettie Singleton, right, celebrates her 
100th birthday at Our Lady of Lourdes Church

The funny thing about Ms. Singleton is I believe she stopped aging at a certain point. Her physical appearance in 2009 was not much different from that initial encounter in 1997. “Ms. Nettie” was well preserved and immensely blessed by God. That’s probably why she’s in the All Souls Class of 2011.

May the soul of Nettie Singleton and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.


Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer