Marching through Mardi Gras – Parading with pizzazz with the Krewe of Carrollton on Feb. 16, the Dominican band, color guard and cheerleaders dance and perform for the crowds on St. Charles Ave.
During the 2020 parade season, the Dominican performance groups demonstrated their talents while marching in parades. They marched in multiple parades including Le Krewe d’Etat, along with the Krewes of Babylon and Okeanos. For the first time this year, they marched with the Krewe of Carrollton. With these krewes, Dominican performance groups walked around 4.5-7 miles each in each parade.
“I loved seeing my friends and family cheering me on from the street,” said freshmen Kelci Lewis, who plays snare drum. “It always brought a smile to my face and kept me going.”
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
This new commandment is at the root of Discipleship, a group that has taken root at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
The Discipleship group, the brainchild of junior Gracie Bott and encouraged by Campus Minister Ms. Claire Gallagher (‘04), consists of students following Christ and bringing others along to follow the same message. “I wanted to start Discipleship because I wanted a way for students to encounter God on their own time,” said Bott.
Discipleship has shown many students alternate ways of prayer and how to incorporate that prayer into their lives. The meetings begin with a “3-Minute Retreat” inspired by the Jesuit Ministry of Loyola Press. This form of prayer features a Bible passage followed by reflection questions. Then, the discussion begins. The students share insights about their daily lives and how they follow Christ through their actions and thoughts.
Ms. Gallagher stresses that the Discipleship group has an open-door policy. Discipleship reaches not only upperclassmen, but students of all grade levels. “Attending the Discipleship meetings gives me an opportunity to talk about my faith in a non-judgmental place with people who feel the same way as I do,” said sophomore Jenna Thomas. Enriched by the conversations at the meetings, Thomas says she has grown closer to God and other students.
The Discipleship open-door policy applies to all — even to those studying to become priests at the nearby Notre Dame Seminary.
The Discipleship group has welcomed many seminarians to sit in at the meetings and experience this form of prayer and bonding. By including the seminarians at the group’s meetings, DHS students new perspectives coming from people outside of the walls of Dominican.
Seminarian David Keran has enjoyed being included in the Discipleship group. “I have very much been inspired by witnessing not just your lives of faith in Discipleship but also by how you all share your experiences of faith,” said Mr. Keran. “I am at once impressed by how seriously and joyfully you all are engaged in following the Lord, as well as by how joyfully you share those experiences.”
Just as the seminarians are encouraged to experience the group’s meeting, the members of Discipleship were invited to the seminary.
On Feb. 12, members from the group took a field trip across Burdette St. to the Notre Dame Seminary for a morning prayer service and a tour of the building. There, they saw a game room, tennis courts, a gym and a place to for the seminarians to hang out in their free time. They also toured the classrooms, chapels and library.
Dominican Discipleship has humbled all those involved, according to Ms. Gallagher. “Moderating the meetings has been a humbling experience for me,” said Ms. Gallagher. “It gives me the opportunity to get to know the students and their love for Christ. I have watched them grow and find different ways to share their faith. It truly makes me feel like a spiritual mother to all of them.”
As many members would say, come and experience what Discipleship is about. The door is always open.
Dominican’s soccer team wrapped up a terrific season, ending at in the playoff semi-final game. The team advanced to the semi-finals of the playoffs with a record of 19-2-8.
The team made it to the semi-final match against Northshore after an nail-biter in the quarter-final round. During that game against St. Joseph Academy, a final goal granted the team a spot in the semi-finals.
In the game against St. Joseph, the score was tied 1-1, and the time was ticking away. Junior and team co-captain Stella French made an outstanding pass to sophomore Bradley Hughes, who then scored a perfect goal to help push the team to victory.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it,” said Hughes. “I knew I needed to get the ball in the goal, and that was my main focus.”
With this focused approach, this year’s season was a success. The team credits its dedication to their coach, Mr. Al Silvas. Highlighting the season was Mr. Silvas’s 300th win as a coach.
Mr. Silvas reached that milestone on Jan. 4 when Dominican defeated St. Louis Catholic with a final score of 4-1. After coaching at Dominican for 11 years, 218 of his victorious games were won during his time at Dominican.
Mr. Silvas credited the players he’s coached over the years for their willingness to do their best. He also acknowledged the “positive outlook and culture all the girls bring to the team, and all the work they put in.” The team sacrificed three months’ worth of sweat and muscle aches to reach the playoffs this season. Freshman and goalie Olivia Icamina said, “The hard work and determination put in during games and practices are what helps us to be better soccer players and a better team.”
Each January, Dominican students travel to Washington D.C. and participate in the National March for Life. As a part of the New Orleans Archdiocese, Dominican students and teachers traveled with a total of 650 travelers from New Orleans to march for the right to life.
Along with tens of thousands, the DHS pilgrims marched from Capitol Hill to the Supreme Court building. This year’s march marked the 47th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in all 50 states. Though many students understood the significance of the trip, they were unprepared for the true impact of the experience.
For senior Celeste Schonberg, it was awe-inspiring to
see the number of people the march itself brings together. “I felt a sense of
solidarity from all of the people coming from all over the nation to fight for
a singular cause,” she said.
This cause, to be exact, is the fight to show that every human being has the right to life and therefore should not be killed by another entity. The march protests all infringements of the right to life, such as abortion and euthanasia.
Through rallies and events, Dominican marchers learned about what being Pro-Life means. On Jan. 23, students attended the Louisiana Right to Life Geaux Forth Rally. The event, held at the Warner Theater, was hosted by Ms. Mia Bordlee (’15) and Ms. Amanda Montesano, Co-Directors of the Louisiana Right to Life Youth Programs.
Ms. Montesano shared with the students and chaperones that she was the survivor of an abortion. As an adopted child, she had always assumed that her birth mother had chosen life for her. However, upon meeting her mother, Ms. Montesano learned the shocking reality of her birth.
Her birth mother told her that she had survived an attempted abortion. Ms. Montesano also learned the sad truth that she had a twin sibling whom she lost to the abortion. This tragic experience taught Ms. Montesano the true significance of life.
In addition to the speakers at the Geaux Forth Rally, Louisiana State Senator Ms. Katrina Jackson also stopped by share her thoughts on the March for Life as well as commend Louisiana for being the number one Pro-Life state in the nation.
Traveling from one rally to the next, students gained a deeper understanding of what is means to be Pro-Life. Ms. Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, spoke to the crowd of 10,000 during the “Life is VERY Good” event. Although most of her family was massacred, her faith propelled her to forgive even those who committed the malicious crime. She left the students with this powerful message giving them not only the significance of life to think about but also everything that comes with it.
Unified, the students selflessly marched for life. Many said that they will cherish the memories they made during this trip.
“This trip encouraged me and affirmed my beliefs,” said junior Mackenzie Paradis. “The actual firsthand experience of marching for something I cared about so deeply gave me a breakthrough that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Because of her dedication to serving others, Camille Claire (C.C.) Truxillo is the Archdiocese of New Orleans Eighth Grader of the Year.
Out of all the nominees, “I was honored and flattered they chose me. This is really cool!” said Truxillo. She understands the importance of being an involved Dominican student because of the example of her mother, Mrs. Theresa Bertucci Truxillo (’97).
always keeps herself busy with school activities and extracurriculars. At
school, Truxillo is an Alpha Honor Roll student and is involved in Campus
Ministry, Academic Games, Discipleship, Student Ambassadors, Dominican’s Band,
Jazz Band, Junior Classical League and the Cross Country team. Outside of
school, she participates in Irish dancing, St. Pius X CYO and altar serves at
St. Pius X Church.
Truxillo came recommended for this honor by numerous teachers to DHS Counselor Mrs. Dione Prince. Because of Truxillo’s involvement, Mrs. Prince knew she was the perfect candidate. “Her character is what stood out to me. She is giving, kind and focused on her faith,” said Mrs. Prince.
journey doesn’t stop here. Since being recognized by the Archdiocese, Truxillo
moves on to the state level, where she may be recognized as the state of
Louisiana’s Eighth Grader of the Year.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans was looking for someone who is a strong, well-rounded and exceptional Catholic eighth grader. They found all these qualities in C.C. Truxillo just down the block at Dominican.
Named to the District IV
Senior Honor Choir, senior Elise Bourg, juniors Ellie Karcher and Kamryn
Gervais, freshman Carol Alley and senior Pelarr Edwards prepare to sing their
next choral piece at a concert on Loyola’s campus.
On Sun. Jan. 26, these Dominican
students donned their black dresses and pearls to perform alongside other honor
choir students in Loyola’s Roussel Hall. The concert showcased honor choir
students from the Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes who were all
exclusively selected to be members of the chorus.
Dr. Meg Frasier, the head
of Loyola’s music department and this year’s choral clinician, taught these students
in an advanced setting, giving them a chance to experience how a choir works in
college and beyond. After only a week of rehearsal, these high school voices
blended in a harmonious performance, making the final product even more
Dr. Frasier directed the
chorus in a variety of musical styles. They sang a wide range of songs spanning from the gospel
piece “Ride On, King Jesus” composed by Moses Hogan to a choral edition of
Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes.”
Bourg, who is now a veteran honor choir
member, ended this high school experience on a high note. “This was my fifth and final district
honor choir, and one of my absolute favorites,” said Bourg. “I’m so thankful
for the experiences and friends honor choir has given me.”
Sr. Bea Tiboldi, O.P., vocation outreach minister for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, talks to Mrs. Aline Delgado’s senior Vocations class about discerning whether or not to enter the sisterhood.
In January, Sr. Bea spoke with the students
about discernment and her road to becoming a member of the Dominican Sisters of
Peace. Discernment, the ability to judge
the thoughts and intentions of one’s heart, is an important factor in choosing
a vocation. “Discernment is a process,” said Sr Bea, “and God wants you to be
the best of what He’s given you.”
Sr. Bea’s journey to sisterhood began
when she was fifteen, though she did not enter an order until she was an adult.
As a teen, Sr. Bea was overcome with emotions during Mass one day, knowing how
much God loved her. However, the time for her to enter the sisterhood occurred
much later. She entered an order later in her adult years after being a teacher
and helping underprivileged students.
She looked at 32 congregations and felt her calling after coming across the
Dominican Sisters of Peace.
“Responding to the needs in my community was a big priority,” said Sister Bea, “and choosing the Dominican Sisters of Peace was the best way to start.”
Explaining the challenges with discernment, Sr. Bea discussed what students can do to work through the discernment process. “Practice to serve humbly and learn how to be there for others,” said Sr. Bea. “Work with your feelings and be attentive to your emotions.”
Carefully executing a dissection in
Biology II, seniors Kennedy Payne and Abigail Pratt dig deep to get the dirt on
In January, Mrs. Madelyn Maldonado’s Biology II class got familiar with the inner workings of an earthworm. The students put their goggles on and got their gloves dirty to see the annelid’s organs and learn about the functions of the earthworm’s system.
According to Mrs. Maldonado, labs are beneficial because “they are something other than just listening to a description.” When dissecting, “the students get to take action just like a real biologist would,” said Mrs. Maldonado.
Students were excited to see what they learned on paper come alive – in a dead worm. Junior Jenna Essa found that the most interesting part of the lab was how “an animal can seem so simple, but actually have such complex insides once you get up close and personal.”
On Nov. 19, the DHS Cross Country
team took fifth place at the LHSAA State Meet in Natchitoches, LA. Additionally,
DHS sophomore Kelsey Major earned the state runner up medal with a time of
The team sent seven runners to compete in the state meet: eighth graders Bryce Couvillon and Morgan Trauth; freshman Roma McAlear, sophomores Major and Madison Trauth; junior Izzy Dischner; and senior Erin Sequiera.
“The girls ran extremely well, and everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do. We had raced well prior to state. I’m proud of them.” said Ms. Ashlyn Ciolino (’07), cross country coach. The Dominican runners beat the sixth-place team by 85 points.
Major was focused on the team’s success as well as her own success, especially after recovering from last year’s ACL injury. Speeding past two runners in the last 800 meters of her race, Major ended her season with her second-place time.
“She ran a smart race,” said Ms.
Ciolino. “In the beginning, she let them pass her. However, in the last 800
meters, she passed the last two girls and secured a great time.”
In addition to Major’s accomplishment,
senior Tessa Paul was recognized for making the LHSAA All Academic Composite
In order to earn a spot on that team, Paul earned the required 4.0 to be honored at the LHSAA state event. Paul has been on the cross-country team all five years of her Dominican career, and she knows what it takes to work hard. “Putting effort in everything I did was not easy, but it helped,” said Paul.
Paul realizes how close she has
become to her team over the years. “It definitely feels like being in a family.
The support from coaches and teammates has made it all worthwhile,” said Paul.
With the team’s seniors graduating in the spring, Ms. Ciolino has many hopes for the young team. Their signature hard work will continue this summer in order to prepare for next season.
“Next season, I’ll be to working even harder,” said Major. “I’m extremely proud of myself and my team. So, I’m even more motivated.”