Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Symphony Sounds Fill The Sanctuary

Last week I attended the November 29 rehearsal for the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra at St. Benedict Church, Johns Creek. The orchestra was rehearsing for its seventh annual Christmas Gala and Holiday Pops Concert, which took place at the parish on December 1.

A 56-voice choir was there to accompany the orchestra’s 45 musicians. The orchestra is conducted by J. Wayne Baughman, who also serves as the music director at St. Benedict Church.

While I was present they rehearsed songs like “White Christmas,” “Ave Maria,” “A Star of Bethlehem,” and “Somewhere in My Memory.” The last two are John Williams’ compositions from the 1990 motion picture soundtrack of the movie “Home Alone.” It was a nostalgic moment because our children loved the movie and its music when they were young, and so did I.

Below is a bit of audio from the rehearsal. Hear the orchestra and chorus perform “A Star of Bethlehem.” You’ll also hear Baughman’s voice as he gives them some feedback.

(Concert Photo Courtesy of the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra)

Look in the December 6 issue of The Georgia Bulletin for Andrew Nelson’s profile on J. Wayne Baughman.

You can also find additional rehearsal photos on the photo gallery of our website.

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Friday, October 12, 2012

Video: Year of Faith Opens for Catholics

Reporter Andrew Nelson shot this video at yesterday's Year of Faith Opening Mass.

You can learn more about the Year of Faith at our Web site,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Golden Anniversary of Vatican Council II

Prayer to Saint Raphael

This prayer was recently discussed at a recent luncheon hosted by the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia. Professor Emeritus of English at Georgia State University William Sessions spoke about Flannery O’Conner and his writing her authorized biography.

Saint Raphael

Prayer to Saint Raphael 

O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for,

those who are waiting for us: Raphael, Angel of happy

meeting, lead us by the hand toward those we are 

looking for. May all our movements be guided by your

Light and transfigured with your joy. 

Angle, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now

address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled

Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, 

crushed by the separations and the sorrows of life, we feel

the need of calling you and of pleading for the 

protection of your wings, so that we may not be as

strangers in the provinces of joy, all ignorant of the

concerns of our country. Remember the weak, you

who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the 

region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, 

Always serene and bright with 

Resplendent glory of God.

Flannery O’Conner found this prayer by Ernest Hello in Dorothy Day’s “Catholic Worker” and quoted it in a letter dated 14 July 1964, less than a month before her death. The letter is included in “The Habit of Being,” edited by Sally Fitzgerald, 1979.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Anti-scarecrow" St. Francis of Assisi Welcomes Birds

Clair Stallman, of the Georgia Tech Grad Students and Young Professionals group, puts a bird on the St. Francis of Assisi “anti-scarecrow” that is part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden's Scarecrows in the Garden.

Ga. Tech Students Plant St. Francis Scarecrow to Welcome the Birds

The Atlanta Botanical Garden's annual Scarecrows in the Garden in October features a notable Catholic scarecrow.

But since St Francis of Assisi has a reputation of loving all creatures, great and small, graduate students are calling him an anti-scarecrow. And as fate would have it, Thursday, Oct. 4, was the opening night for Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit, it was also the feast of St. Francis.

The Georgia Tech Grad Students and Young Professionals group put their brains together to build the scarecrow, including using birdseeds for its hands.

Michelle Ediger, a leader with the Graduate Student and Young Professional group, said she saw an email from the Atlanta Botanical Garden looking for organizations to participate so they did the work.

It was Christine Moran, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, who came up with St. Francis. She asked, "Wouldn’t a Catholic scarecrow be an anti-scarecrow… i.e. St. Francis of Assisi with birds flocking to him? "

The three-year old Graduate Student and Young Professional group is based at the Georgia Tech Catholic Center. It provides opportunities for Catholic graduate students to live their faith, from Bible study and building a home for Habitat for Humanity to an annual "pilgrimage" to a corn maze and carve pumpkins.

“Graduate student life is often busy and stressful, and our students connect with others that share the same situation. We also have an opportunity to help mentor and minister to the undergraduate students at Tech,” said Ediger, a graduate student at Georgia State University.

You can learn more about the Catholic graduate student group at its Web site,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Leader of Pax Christi

Sister Patricia Chappell leads Pax Christi USA, the Catholic peace organization. She's been the executive director for nine months and as member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for 35.

Sister Patricia spoke with the Georgia Bulletin about the organization and about her life as a religious sister.

The interactive photo above will give you links to Web sites and to her interview with Andrew Nelson.

Have a listen. Read more about Pax Christi in Georgia in the Georgia Bulletin.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Map of Atlanta's Catholic Bookstore

View Catholic Gift Shops and Books in a full screen map

This map helps you find Atlanta Catholic bookstores near you.

It's a companion to our story in this week's edition. We talk to bookstore owners how they compete with online retailers.

Please read the story on our Web site.

Thanks for reading and subscribing to the Georgia Bulletin.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Helping at a Friend's Funeral

Yolanda Colin, September 1962 - August 2012
In "As Befits a Man," Langston Hughes wrote
I don’t mind dying—
But I’d hate to die all alone!
The pew sitters were shoulder to shoulder Saturday. Ushers brought out extra chairs and still people filled the back of the church, two and three people deep.

Certainly, Yolanda Colin didn’t die alone.

I was honored to be a pallbearer at her Aug. 25 funeral. I like being a pallbearer. It is the last time I can help a friend. It is one small way I can help deliver them to their final place of rest.

Part of my responsibilities with others was to prepare her casket for the airplane that would fly her remains to her native New Orleans. We tightened the straps around the cardboard box surrounding her ornate casket before the hearse pulled away to the airport.  

I met Yolanda in 2006. I was a newcomer to St. Anthony of Padua Church, Atlanta. It was the annual Men’s Day Celebration. At the conclusion of Mass, the priest called all the men up to the foot of the altar for a blessing.

At that point, I developed a profound fascination with the floor. Hand to God, I never stared so intently at my shoes and the floor then in those moments. I had just moved from New Hampshire and I can tell you how many times men at my former parishes had been called to the front of the faith community for a blessing. Zero.

And at this point I should say, I am white. Most folks in the parish are not. St. Anthony is home to a vibrant black Catholic community.

So, to review: Altar calls were not something I did. Ever. I was new. I was conscious that I would be the only white person amongst the two-dozen men.

Some how Yolanda caught my eye as we shared a pew. With her were her two young boys, who are now teenagers. She nodded that I should go up. I politely tried to brush her off. Thanks, but I’m studying very intently whether I need a new pair of shoes, I hope my actions showed. 

She persisted. Certainly, she must have me mistaken for someone else, I thought in my mind.  

But gently, with a whisper to go and a small wave with her hand, she got me out of my pew. I joined the group.

St. Anthony since that fall day has been my home.

I treasure that memory of how this woman kindly reached out and made me take a step I never would have taken on my own.

We visited last on Sunday, Aug. 19, as she rested in hospice. I thanked her. We smiled over  the memory. I showed her pictures of my newborn. She told me to plant a kiss on the youngster's big toe. So said, so done.

Archbishop Oscar Romero, of El Salvador, is said to have paraphrased St. John of the Cross, in his words:  
“In the evening of life you will be judged on love.” 
I hope that as Yolanda moved from this life that her kindness to me was written in big bold letters in the book of life. 

--Andrew Nelson

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Photos from Mitchell Estate

We have additional photos related to the Margaret Mitchell estate to share. 

The gift to the Archdiocese of Atlanta has gotten a lot of attention, as we knew it would. We are happy to share what we can.   

Here are two additional photos:

The photo above is a signed copy of "Gone With the Wind" from Margaret Mitchell to her father, Eugene. The book was published on June 30, 1936 so she gave her father, an Atlanta lawyer, this copy before the book went on sale.   

Here is the beautiful tea set that belonged to Mitchell. (I'll have more information about this next week. )

UPDATE - I ask an answer from the Archives Department at the Atlanta Archdiocese and in return I get great information.  Here's what archivist Angelique M. Richardson wrote:
The tea and coffee set was passed down to Margaret from her mother, May Belle.
The set is done in the Repousse pattern, the oldest sterling silver pattern in the United States. We were lucky enough to have found the complete tea and coffee service.
The tea and coffee set is mentioned in an inventory created by Margaret that we got a copy of from the University of Georgia. In the inventory at UGA she describes the tea set as follows:
Quadruple Plated Tea and Coffee Service—Tray has handles, length 18 1/8 x 14 ¼ inches. Center design shows an oblong with a spiderweb in lower righthand corner, initials “MBM” in script. Two Pots, identical, 6 ½ inches high, each engraved on lid “MBM,” top section of pots repousse design, bottom incised. Two-handled Sugar Bowl same design, no monogram, top missing ever since I can remember, circumference at widest part approximately 15 ½ inches. Waste Bowl same size and design as sugar bowl, minus handles, engraved “MBM.” Cream Pitcher same design, initialed “MBM,” 4 ¾ inches high, approximately 12 inches in circumference, handle. Bottom of each piece bears stamp in circle “Barbour Bros. Co. Silver Quadruple.” There is also stamped or scratched into the bottom of each piece “987,” on the pots the number “6” appears above the “987.” On bottom of one pot “Mitchell” is scratched in printed letters.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Atlanta Marks Anniversary Of Margaret Mitchell’s Death

The Georgia Bulletin comes out this week on the 63rd anniversary of Margaret Mitchell’s death, August 16. The writer’s short-lived life of nearly 49 years was ended five days after a car struck her at the intersection of 13th and Peachtree Street. I recently traced some Atlanta landmarks that are closely associated with Mitchell. The cool thing is you can still drive by them today. On the other hand, if you want to save somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.61 per gallon in gas, you can view them on the Google Map of Martha Mitchell’s Atlanta provided below. Also check out the August 16 issue of The Georgia Bulletin to discover the connection between the Mitchell family and the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

View Margaret Mitchell's Atlanta in a larger map

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Msgr. Walter Donovan Remembered as a "Pioneer Priest."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reconnecting With An Old Friend and Making New Ones

I recently visited the Shallowford Terrace location of Good Shepherd Services, where I reconnected with Sister Christine Truong My Hanh. Sister Christine is the executive director of Good Shepherd Services, a community based charity she founded in 1993.

While many of the people they serve are from the Vietnamese community, their help to the poor and underserved extends far beyond nationality, color, or religious affiliation. Shallowford Terrace is the original office location for Good Shepherd Services, which serves DeKalb County; however, today they also have locations in Clayton and Gwinnett counties. Good Shepherd offers a number of programs for adults, the elderly and youth. The programs include services like citizenship preparation classes, domestic violence and anger management, counseling and education, social support and an after-school tutoring program. 

I stopped by to photograph the summer program for youth, which like Good Shepherd Services, started in 1993 out of the Woodgate Apartments on Chamblee Dunwoody Road. “I value the importance of the program because it speaks to the mission of Good Shepherd Services and my order, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd,” said Sister Christine.

The first time I met Sister Christine was in 1999 when The Georgia Bulletin did a feature story on Good Shepherd Services. Some 13 years later, she continues to tirelessly work to serve the abused, the needy and children at risk.

During my most recent visit I made some new friends, including this year’s participants in the summer program for youth. There were 18 young people in the program, ranging in age 6 to 15, and they were affable, eager to learn and having lots of fun. 

The summer program provides a nurturing environment for the kids, where they read, write, perform math exercises, work on art and craft projects, take field trips and socialize.

I was there on the last day of this summer’s program. The kids were very appreciative of Sister Christine and their summer program instructors. During a party on the last day of the program, they presented flowers to Sister Christine and Kim Matthews, one of the instructors for the middle school children. They also presented handcrafted thank you notes to Sister Christine with heartfelt expressions of love and warmth for her and her ministry on their behalf.

The August 2 issue of The Georgia Bulletin will include a photo spread of my visit to the Good Shepherd summer youth program.  

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Georgia Olympians with Catholic Roots

If you are an Olympic fan, make sure to be on the lookout for Team USA swimmers Kathleen Hersey and Eric Shanteau. Both have roots in the Catholic community in Atlanta.

Kathleen graduated from the Marist School, class of 2008. She was a member of the swim team and also competed with Swim Atlanta. She left state records in her wake, with 3 individual state titles in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley, breaking school, state and national prep school records.

It is her second Olympic appearance. "The Georgia Bulletin" wrote about her at the 2008 Olympics. Read it

Her twitter page includes a Bible verse from the prophet Jeremiah 29:11, which is, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”

Her race, the 200-meter butterfly, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 31.

Eric is a native of Lilburn, but lives in California now. His mother, who declined to be interviewed, attends Holy Cross Church, Atlanta.

He holds the fastest American time for the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke. He’ll be competing in London in the 100-meter breaststroke, scheduled for Saturday July 28.

You can follow them on Twitter at @Shanteau and @kathleenhersey

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Wonderfully Made"

A week ago Tuesday, I heard the first cries of my daughter.

She was 10 days early when she arrived with long fingers and a full head of dark hair at 6:16 p.m.  People tell me that won't be the last time my life is turned sideways by a child.

She's called "Bean" by loved ones.  Her given name is Mae.

Rewind 20 minutes. I was cooling my heels in a waiting room at Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, as my wife was taken care of by the hospital staff for the birth. Two thoughts came to my jumbled mind before a nurse directed me to seat on a stool by my wife's head. 

The first was Psalm 139. I had heard it as Mass in June and it spoke to me as if it were written just for me. I had copied it to my iPhone so I recited it as I waited. 
“Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.

R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.

R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.”
I recalled hearing it at Mass and it stuck with me. My wife and I often spoke in awe how unfolding away from our eyes our cells merged and a small person was “made in secret.”

The second thought that filled my thoughts, in addition to concern for my wife’s well being, was the chain of events that brought me to standing in a hospital gown with blue booties.

I thought of my father waiting for my arrival. My grandfather waiting for him. My great-grandfather waiting for him. That long line of men whose names are lost in the fog of history, but whose decisions and dreams shaped my life. And that is only half the family tree. While the men waited, the women did the hard work. 

We are not here by ourselves. We stand on the shoulders of those whose names we never know.

Now, I admit I look a bit awkward. But in my defense, it was the first time in memory I ever held a baby that weighed less than six pounds. Even my cats tip the scales at 10 pounds.

Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Interview with Carolyn Woo, leader of Catholic Relief Services,

I recently interviewed the leader of Catholic Relief Services, the international development arm of the  Catholic Church in the United States.

Carolyn Woo, a native of Hong Kong, took over the position early in 2012. She’s the first woman to lead the Baltimore-based agency. She was the dean of the Mendoza Business College, at the University of Notre Dame, from 1997-2011.

In the first clip, she talks about what spurred her to apply for the position at CRS.

Here she talks about a program CRS runs in Haiti that encourages entrepreneurship and helps rebuild neighborhoods.

You can see her complete interview in the July 5 edition of The Georgia Bulletin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eucharistic Procession

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about the Archdiocese of Atlanta's annual Eucharistic Congress is the vibrant faith that is displayed by local Catholics. Represented are various cultures and languages who all come together to recognize their oneness in the faith and the unifying belief of Christ's true presence in the Eucharist.

While many remember the sights and sounds of the event, one thing that always impresses me is the silence that falls over the usually noisy halls of the Georgia International Convention Center when the Blessed Sacrament makes its rounds to the different tracks. Below is a short video clip of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory processing the Eucharist back into the Adoration Chapel following Saturday morning's activities.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Sweet Surprise At The Ordination

The June 2 ordination was nearly over when out from the sacristy came newly ordained priests Father Tri Nguyen and Father Mark Starr, each holding a vase with a gold satin bow of mondial white roses. They walked off the altar and presented the flowers to their mothers. It was a touching moment and a real surprise for the moms, and it brought a rousing round of applause from the congregation.

Such a presentation is not a normal part of the ordination program. The Cathedral of Christ the King Flower Guild, under the leadership of Linda Seitz and Jane Murray, approached pastor Father Frank McNamee with the idea of presenting the mothers with a vase of flowers at the ordination. Father McNamee, in turn, shared the idea with Deacon Whitney Robichaux, master of ceremonies for the ordination, and with the ordination candidates. Everybody was supportive and on board with it.

Flower guild members Kathy Ledlie and Norine McCahey put the arrangements together. “The mondial white rose is a premium rose that opens well and it’s used quite often at the cathedral,” said Seitz. She said the flowers were meant to recognize the women who helped nurture their sons from birth and willingly gave them to the church.

Trying to fight by tears once again, Patricia Starr holds her vase of mondial white roses as the congregation applauds the mothers of the newly ordained priests. In a moment of surprise, the mothers were presented with flowers from their sons.

“It was great to have that special moment to thank her for being my mother and raising me in the faith,” said Father Mark. His mother Patricia was emotional throughout the ordination. She was often seen clinching a handful of Kleenex as she wiped away tears of joy. He thought the highlight of the ordination for her was watching her son prostrated before the altar during the Litany of the Saints, but Father Mark said she really loved the flowers too. That evening when the family went out to celebrate at dinner she brought the flowers along with her.

“It was simply a way to show her my appreciation for all that she has done for me since I was a baby,” said Father Tri. “No gift or words can adequately describe my gratitude for all she’s done, but the flowers were a small way to express my feelings.”

Father Tri Nguyen said it's hard to fully express his gratitude toward his mother Mary Thao, but the flowers were a small token of his appreciation for all that she has done for him.

The Flower Guild’s idea turned out to be the right touch. It was well received by the mothers and judging by the thunderous applause, the gesture was welcomed by those in attendance at the 2012 Rite of Ordination to the Priesthood.

The Amen of nature is always a flower.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Note: See Andrew Nelson’s story in the June 7 issue of The Georgia Bulletin for more information about this ordination and see Stephen O’Kane’s story in the same issue about the May 26 transitional diaconate ordination.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

'Morehouse Man' Wears a Roman Collar

Congratulations to Father Christopher Rhodes, who was recently ordained  a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville. 
Dallas native Rhodes, 34, is a convert to Catholicism and a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, St. Meinrad and Catholic University of America. He will begin as associate pastor of St. Augustine Church in Lebanon and Holy Name of Mary Church in Calvary.
In 2007,  I wrote about him and two other men discerning a call to the priesthood who worshiped at Lyke House. (You can read the story.)

Rhodes said Lyke House shows the universal features of the Catholic Church. As the only black seminarian at St. Meinrad Seminary, Rhodes at times shares a different point of view of the church from his fellow seminarians with insights gained from Lyke House. “They may have their perspective, but I have another perspective to add to theirs,” he said.
Rhodes, also a graduate of Morehouse College, converted to Catholicism at Lyke House and is now a seminarian. He and Brother John were college roommates before he graduated in 2002.
“I felt right at home because of the culture and because of the rich faith tradition,” said Rhodes about Lyke House.
He grew up in Dallas, worshipping in a charismatic Protestant expression. As a young man, his minister called him out of the congregation and announced Rhodes would lead God’s people one day. At Morehouse he worshipped at King Chapel, the spiritual center at the college, which is rooted in the Baptist church.
He first found Lyke House as a place to study, but was eventually drawn into its spiritual life. After exploring the faith for two years, Rhodes joined the Catholic Church in 2000. At Lyke House, he participated in the choir, on the liturgy committee, as a minister assistant.
He is studying to be a priest for the Louisville Archdiocese. He attends St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Rhodes spent four years in the U.S. Army as an officer after college and also hopes to become a military chaplain.
He is a strong advocate for campus ministry. Rhodes, 29, said students are forming their own values, many for the first time after leaving home. Campus ministry inserts the idea of lifelong formation within the church, he said.
Update: Of the two other Lyke House men, Desmond Drummer continues his studies in seminary for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  I am waiting to hear  From John Phillips. 
In regards to my vocation journey, I have taken a leave from the Dominican order.

I am finishing my masters in sacred theology while working in the DC area. I have not given up on my call, but I will be working with a spiritual director to help me discern my vocation journey from this point forward.

I am extremely thankful for all those who have supported me in this journey, especially my Atlanta Catholic family.

I would appreciate your prayers as I move forward with my call.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blessed John XXXIII at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Carrollton

I took a recent road trip to Carrollton, home of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. I drove there to gather details about the community's 50th anniversary. The parish is profiled in the May 24 edition of "The Georgia Bulletin."

I also found this unique statue on its campus of Blessed John XXXIII, who convened the Second Vatican Council. You can learn more about him and the parish in the photo below.  --Andrew

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Month of May Is A Sports Bonanza

March brings the “Madness” of the NCAA basketball tournament, but that’s just one sport. May, on the other hand, is jammed packed with a host of sporting events. The first two legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown, The Kentucky Derby and The Preakness, are run the first Saturday and the third Saturday of May, respectively.

In the National Hockey League (NHL) the Stanley Cup playoffs are down to four teams: the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. In the National Basketball Association (NBA) six teams remain vying for a spot in the NBA finals. In the Western Conference it’s the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the Eastern Conference it’s the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat.

For golf fans, earlier in the month there was the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C., and The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. This week it’s the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor, Mich. And those are just some of the big ones.

This weekend, Pentecost Sunday, the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For baseball enthusiasts there’s a plethora of Major League Baseball games in May, because the league still has a long way to go in its 162-game regular season.

But what I enjoy most about May is covering and watching the state high school playoffs. Unfortunately, I was only able to make one playoff game this year - the May 16 girls semifinal soccer match between Atlanta’s Marist School and Peachtree City’s McIntosh High School. McIntosh defeated Marist 3-1, and McIntosh would go on to defeat Whitewater High School, Fayetteville, to win the Class AAAA championship.

Marist School's Stephanie Krouskos (#9) tries to gain possession of the ball over McIntosh High School's Hannah Hartman. McIntosh scored one goal in the first half and two in the second to defeat Marist in the state soccer semifinals 3-1, May 16.

A number of our Catholic schools made it to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in sports like baseball, lacrosse, soccer and tennis. The boys soccer team at Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fayetteville, had never advanced past the first round, but this year they reached the Elite 8 for the first time in the school’s history. Mercy, too, would go on to lose to the eventual state champion in Class A, Aquinas High School of Augusta.

In the June 7 issue of The Georgia Bulletin we will provide our readers with a recap of the Catholic school teams that were either state champions or state runner up.

Congratulations to all the teams, athletic directors, coaches, managers and players who competed during the 2011-2012 school year.

In closing I’ll leave you with a quote from former professional tennis player Boris Becker:

“I love winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.”

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Friday, May 11, 2012

Award-Winning Lobster Bisque

In the May 10 edition of the Georgia Bulletin, we featured in the Notable column, the first cook-off by the Southside Ultreya first Men’s Cook-off

Thom Miller won first place for his lobster bisque. He kindly shared the recipe. So, if you want to try your hand at it, below is the how-to for the award-winning dish.  


Thom’s Lobster Bisque

½ lb. onion, finely diced
½ lb. leek, finely diced
¼ lb. celery, finely diced
2 ½ lbs. lobster carcasses, rough chopped
1 cup tomato paste
1 lb. butter
12 oz. all purpose flour
2 tsp. paprika
2 qt, light cream, scalded
4 oz. Sherry wine
2 oz. Brandy
to taste;  salt, white pepper, Knorr’s vegetable bouillon cubes, Old Bay Seasoning, and Lowrey’s seasoned salt


Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add lobsters head first and boil until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Using tongs, transfer lobsters to large bowl.  Reserve two cups cooking liquid.  Cool lobsters.

Working over large bowl to catch juices, cut off lobster tails and claws.  Crack tail and claw shells and remove lobster meat.  Closely chop lobster meat: cover and chill in fridge.  Coarsely chop lobster shells and bodies: transfer to medium bowl.  Reserve the juices from lobsters in a large bowl.

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions, leeks & celery until translucent.  Add the chopped lobster pieces and cook until they turn completely red in color, about 8 minutes.  Add the paste and cook for about five minutes, stirring often.  Add the paprika and the flour and stir until smooth.  Cook for five more minutes.  Add one gallon of water, reserved 2 cups lobster cooking liquid and lobster juices and bring to a boil stirring often until smooth.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 45 minutes. 

Strain the bisque in a large strainer, crushing the shells to extract their flavor.  Finish the bisque with the scalded cream, the Sherry and Brandy.  Adjust the flavor to taste with blend of items noted.  Do not re-boil once the cream has been added.  You may desire to thicken with 2 tsp. corn starch.  Hold hot at 160 – 180 degrees F.  Serve in warm crocks garnished with the cooked lobster meat.