April 5, 2016~Year 9, No. 34

NHS Students Prepare for Internships

Over the past decade, NHS students have served each summer as interns, undertaking various projects that benefit the community and build workplace skills for the intern.  This year, 6 Nazareth High School girls have accepted internships that will keep them busy around the community (as well as Christine Damron, who will be interning in Tulia)!

Each of the Nazareth interns interviewed for and were selected to carry out specific projects that fit with their skills and interests, while benefiting Holy Family Church and the local community.

Katherine Fulkerson will take over the weekly publication of Swift Kicks for the next 12 months.

April Schmucker will serve as Garden manager with production going to Holy Family Food Pantry, as well as supervising youth volunteers for bi-weekly food distribution days.

Emily Heitschmidt will coordinate Recognition of Volunteers through stories and photos, and make revisions and developing a series of Nazareth community maps and information regarding Holy Family Cemetery.

Leilanni Cordova and Blakely Gerber will plan and deliver a series of Technology Trainings for CCD catechists and update Holy Family Cemetery maps.

Since 2006, nearly a dozen high school and college students from Nazareth have participated in Ogallala Commons Community Internship Program.  Each intern gained work experience, skill development, and career exploration by conducting a 100-230 hour internship during the summer months.  Interns earn a stipend for their internship work ranging from $1,800-$2,300.

Picture1Junior Katherine Fulkerson

Picture2Sophomore Leilanni Cordova

Picture3Freshman April Schmucker

Picture4Sophomore Emily Heitschmidt

Picture5Sophomore Blakely Gerber




There is no fooling, as April 1 in Castro County opened with somber reminders to help stop child abuse here and now. Nazareth, Dimmitt, and Hart placed multiple blue flags within the towns as stark reminders that child abuse and neglect is not just a national or state problem, but it is also right here in the county. The number of flags represents local cases monitored here in our area by Child Protective Services. The statistics are frightening as they tell the story of hurt and even death. Nationally an estimated 683,000 children were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect. Of these children, three- quarters (75.3 percent) were neglected, more than 17 percent (17.2 percent) were physically abused, and just under 10 percent (8.4 percent) were sexually abused. Child deaths are the most tragic results of maltreatment. In FFY 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died due to abuse or neglect. Of the children who died, 72.9 percent suffered neglect and 43.9 percent suffered physical abuse. Deaths from child abuse and neglect in Texas soared 31 percent to 280 last fiscal year, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Reports also target the Panhandle of Texas as exceptionally high in abuse cases.

Child sexual abuse is a crime of secrecy which, tragically, breeds within our communities because it’s difficult to talk about. That’s why conversation—openly discussing this issue—is the most effective tool we have to eradicate child abuse. Adults must be courageous to discuss this issue openly. According to the Bridge Program of Amarillo, some general indicators of abuse or neglect include: change in behavior, grades; high-risk behaviors; running away, low self-esteem; and suicide attempts. If you know of a child suffering from abuse or neglect, or even suspect it, you can report it at 800-252-5400. For more information on Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit http://www.childwelfare.gov



Palm Sunday, April 9, calls all Christians into a week of recognition of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. In Nazareth, at 9:15 a.m. that day Holy Family Church hosts Bishop Patrick Zurek of Catholic Diocese of Amarillo as he celebrates with 13 of our 8th grade students and two adults the Sacrament of Faith Confirmation. Along with the Confirmation, there will be a Blessing and Procession of Palms into the church and the Gospel proclamation of the Passion of Jesus Christ from Matthew (27:11-54). The youth have been preparing for this day by two years of Faith Formation.

Holy Thursday, April 13th, commemorates the Last Supper of the Lord, his loving action of washing the feet of his disciples, and his prayerful retreat into the Garden of Olives. Holy Family Church service that evening is at 7 p.m. and will also include a special outreach ministry to the sick, shut-ins, and elders of the community in which flowers and greeting cards are hand-delivered and a collection is taken for the We Care Food Bank of Nazareth.

Good Friday, April 14th, recalls that fateful day of Christ’s death on the cross bringing salvation to all. The afternoon service at Holy Family will be at 3 p.m. and will be the Way of the Cross (outdoors weather permitting). The evening service at 7 p.m. brings the assembly at Holy Family to the Solemn reading of the Christ’s Passion according to John (18:1-19:42), and veneration of the Wood of the Cross “on which hung the Savior of the world.”

Holy Saturday, The Vigil of the Resurrection, April 15, at 8:15 p.m. celebrates the Light of Risen Life in Christ entering the darkness of our world signified by the New Fire and the Pascal Candle. The Old Testament prophets’ predictions of the coming of the Messiah are read leading to the Easter proclamation of Christ rising from the dead. It is at this service that more than a dozen newcomers to the faith will celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. A special reception follows that ceremony in the Community Hall.

Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of Christ Mass, will be celebrated on April 16th, at 9:15 a.m. in the Holy Family Church with the Easter Proclamation from John’s Gospel (20:1-9), Renewal of Baptismal Promises, and the Eucharist.

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