James Brady Advances to District Semi-finals in Speech Competition

James Brady
James Brady

After winning the local San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club speech contest, sophomore James Brady continued on to the District semi-finals at Orange Coast Community College.  Brady was one of two semi-finalists chosen to go on to the District finals to be held April 20 in Long Beach.

This year’s theme is “Peace Through Service,” Brady’s speech discussed his mission trip to Piura, Peru as a freshman with the JSerra Peru Club.

Congratulations to Michael Elsinadi who placed second at the Rotary Club speech contest.

JSerra Juniors Selected for Prestigious Leadership Program

Ryan Pugh
Ryan Pugh

Two JSerra juniors, Ryan Pugh and Zach Johnson were selected by the San Juan Capistrano American Legion Post 721 to attend California Boys State Program. The week long leadership and civics lab will be held at California State University, Sacramento.

“I am very excited to go to the leadership program,” said Pugh. “It’s inspiring and will be a new found tool for future leadership.”

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson

The Boys State Program is a nationwide program and seeks to educate young men to be the leaders of tomorrow. American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students.

“It’s exciting to start my venture in politics. This will give me a taste of how politics works,” said Johnson, who hopes to work in foreign affairs.

Ryan and Zach will travel to Sacramento in June and represent JSerra where they will become part of the operation of local, county and state government.

Bishop Vann Visits with JSerra Students On-campus

IMG_7027After a class project turned to a real-life experience, the students in Carmen Ribera’s religion class had a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Bishop Kevin Vann.

As part of the coursework in Ribera’s religion class the students were required to research Bishop Vann, who was appointed in 2012, and write him a letter inquiring about various facets of his journey to become a Bishop.

“I told the students we would send Bishop Vann their letters, thinking I would perhaps get a kind note back,” said Ribera. “To my surprise I received a phone call saying that he would like to come visit, I was blown away.”

A few weeks later Bishop Vann arrived on-campus and shared his life’s journey to eventually being appointed a Bishop. Reading from the letters the students sent him, he answered some questions they had submitted from their project.

Student (SQ): What has changed in your everyday life since becoming a Bishop?

Bishop Vann (BV): I think the biggest change has actually been learning to live in different areas. You have to be able to adapt to your surroundings, which can be challenging at times.

SQ: How did you design your coat of arms?

BV: Well each coat of arms is to be specific to each Bishop to express who you are. For mine I choose a blue crest to symbolize Mary, a French cross to symbolize reform, and two keys to symbolize the kingdom of heaven.

SQ: As a Bishop you are at the third level of the holy order, what’s the responsibility like?

BV: There are 1.3 million Catholics in California, a much bigger number then I have had in the past, however I try to not think about it and take it all one day at a time.

SQ: How did you get into your vocation?

BV: I came from a big family that had to sacrifice many things in order for us to attend Catholic schools growing up, which taught me how important it is to have a faith-filled educational background. This to me, translated into the importance of having a real relationship with Christ in my everyday life. I earned a degree in science and worked for a period of time before seeing more and more that Christ is in everything and that is when I joined the church.

SQ: What is one piece of advice you could give to help strengthen your relationship with God?

BV: You have to talk to God, and spend time together investing in your relationship. It is the same as if it were with a friend or spouse.