The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Catholic Graduates 2017

Catholic Schools in Arkansas bid farewell to graduates in May. The schools set the foundation, filled with faith and knowledge, for students go to out and continue to change the world around them. In this section, you'll find stories of perseverance and dedication in exceptional seniors, honor graduates and a list of all Catholic School graduates for 2017. 



Thirty-six seniors graduated from St. Joseph High School in Conway May 14. After the ceremony, which was held in the church sanctuary, the Class of 2017 did the traditional mortar board toss in front of the church steeple.


Helping others defines Leding’s school years

By Dwain Hebda, Published: June 6, 2017   

Braxton Leding had no reason to attend Subiaco Academy. None of his three older brothers did and had it not been for the persistence of his parish priest, Father David Bellinghausen, he probably wouldn’t have given the boarding school a second thought. “(Father Bellinghausen) just kind of hinted about it, wanted me to take a tour and stuff like that,” Leding remembers. “So finally, after putting it off for so long, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll try More... 

Dyslexia won’t hold Brandon Wilson back from dreams

By Aprille Hanson, Published: June 5, 2017   

MORRILTON — Every corner of Brandon Wilson’s life is filled with faith. At Sacred Heart Church in Morrilton, he enjoys serving as a eucharistic minister, an altar server and singing alongside his mother and the whole Kordsmeier family when they occasionally gather as a choir for Mass.  At Sacred Heart School, there’s dedication to prayer, lessons in sportsmanship, friendship with the 22 other graduating seniors and perseverance to be academically successful working with dyslexia. “All around there’s More... 

Ochoa shares her faith through music ministry

By Aprille Hanson, Published: June 3, 2017   

When Rosemarie Ochoa sings during Mass, whether as a cantor at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church in Little Rock or in the chapel at Mount St. Mary Academy, it is “a different kind of prayer,” a way for her to connect to people and God. “Be glad in the Lord; give thanks to God’s name,” Psalm 97, is a favorite responsorial psalm for Ochoa, 18. “It’s very simple in meaning, but I feel it More... 

Rosary, class ring remind Obert of his convictions

By Malea Hargett, Published: June 2, 2017   

Through Catholic Youth Ministry at Immaculate Conception Church in North Little Rock, Drew Obert has learned to be humble. “Wonderfully humble,” as Catholic High counselor Brother Richard Sanker refers to him. Obert, the oldest of three children, was encouraged by his mother to attend CYM in his parish. There he has participated in outreach to the homeless on a regular basis. “It humbles you because I’m going to get in my car and go home. I might More... 

Peter Woodson ‘doesn’t let anything get him down’

By Aprille Hanson, Published: June 1, 2017   

CONWAY — Peter Woodson does his best to be a bright light in an oftentimes dark world. His secrets to success are God, perseverance and positivity. “He’s very important. He put me on this earth,” Woodson said of how important God is in his life. “… I just don’t think about negative things. I just think about the bright side to everything. I try to at least if I can. If there’s not a bright side More... 

St. Joseph Conway graduates 2017

Published: May 31, 2017   

St. Joseph High School graduation was held May 14 in the church. Pastor Father Tony Robbins was the speaker. Three valedictorians were named. They were Amber Elise Briggler, Mary Katherine Hartman and Hunter Rowland Trussell. The salutatorian was Colton Matthew Brorman, son of Wade and Stacy Brorman. He will be attending the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, studying mechanical engineering.   Other graduates were: David George Beck Madison Grace Beck Gage Austin Berger Abigail Grace Covington Gillian Alexandra Creel Nicholas Joseph Davanzo Georgia Lauren Dayer Holly Elizabeth More... 

Catholic High Little Rock graduates 2017

Published: May 31, 2017   

Catholic High School hosted its graduation May 26 on the school’s Roy Davis Field. The graduation speakers were seniors Duncan Louis Diaz and Luke Anthony Wewers. The master of ceremonies was Joseph Paul Bilger. Jackie Dean Sublett was the valedictorian. The salutatorian was Thomas Anthony Howe of North Little Rock. The son of Dr. Laurence J. Howe and the late Karen Gangluff Howe, he plans to study civil engineering at the University of Notre Dame.   Other graduates More... 

Mount St. Mary Academy Little Rock graduates 2017

Published: May 31, 2017   

Patti Drake, a member of Christ the King Church in Little Rock, was the graduation speaker for Mount St. Mary Academy’s ceremony May 25 at Robinson Auditorium. Claire Althoff was named the valedictorian. The salutatorians were Katie O’Malley and Caroline Olivia Coplin-Chudy. O’Malley, daughter of Leslie and Mike O’Malley, plans to study English and education at Southern Methodist University. Coplin-Chudy, daughter of Dennis Chudy and Kimberly Chudy, plans to study biology and psychology at Duke University.   Other More... 

Subiaco Academy graduates 2017

Published: May 31, 2017   

Subiaco Academy’s graduation was held in the inner courtyard of the abbey May 13. Deacon Tim Costello, the diocese’s minister to deacons and member of the Subiaco class of 1979, was the graduation speaker. Axel Kunda Ntamatungiro was the valedictorian. The salutatorian was Jésus Daniel Calvillo, son of Cecilia Calvillo of Fort Smith. He plans to major in aerospace engineering at Emory University in Atlanta.   Other graduates were: Nsisong Archibong David Bolt Aaron Brooks Callum Bruton SongHuan Chen Gavin Cheng Andrew Davis Davis Elliott David Espinosa Zachary More...