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April 25, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Around the Diocese

Franciscan School of Theology names
eighth president


Rev. Michael Joseph Higgins, TOR

Rev. Michael Joseph Higgins, TOR, was selected as the eighth president of the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside.

Father Higgins will take over the presidency in August after the five-year service of Franciscan friar Joseph Chinnici, OFM, who led the school's move in 2013 from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, to Old Mission San Luis Rey.

Father Higgins served in Rome as minister general of the Franciscan Third Order Regular Friars from 2007 to 2013 and as vicar provincial from 2001 to 2007. In 2014 he served at the FST as special assistant to the president and dean and was vice president for Academic Affairs this past year.

Father Higgins served with the Army Signal Corps in Vietnam, then entered the Sacred Heart Province of the Third Order Regular in 1978. He was graduated with a master of divinity degree from St. Michael's College, a master of sacred theology degree from Regis College, both member schools of the University of Toronto, and a master of arts in formative spirituality from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. His ordination to the priesthood in 1985 was followed by service in collegiate education and religious formation for both friars and lay members of the Franciscan family.

He was graduated with a doctoral degree in sacred theology with a specialization in Franciscan spiritualty from the Antonianum in Rome in 1999. This was later complemented in 2007 by a doctoral degree in higher educational administration through Capella University.

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Danielle and Nicole Nader's plastic-eating worms

James Jolin's Vitamin C project

Alexander and Elizabeth Wackowski 's artificial pancreas
Courtesy photos

St. Perpetua students shine at 2016 Science Fair



Students from St. Perpetua School in Lafayette showcased their knowledge at the 2016 Contra Costa Science and Engineering Fair.

Danielle and Nicole Nader won first place in the Engineering category for their project exploring the use of mealworms to deal with the world's plastic problem.

James Jolin won second place in the Physical Science category for his project studying which produce had the highest amount of Vitamin C. Alexander and Elizabeth Wackowski won fourth place in the Engineering category for their project in which they created an artificial pancreas to find a possible solution for people living with diabetes.

The Naders and James have been invited to apply to the National Science Fair in Washington, DC, in October and the Naders have also been invited to compete in the State Science Fair in Los Angeles in May. St. Perpetua's science teacher, Natalie Deininger, was on hand to support the hard work of her students.

Through a hands-on science approach in a fully equipped science laboratory, students learn to understand their place in the world and their impact on the environment, while developing the ability to form hypotheses, make observations, collect data and draw conclusions. They also have access to the Garden of Learning outdoor classroom environment for hands-on experiences in science and environmental awareness.

All St. Perpetua junior high students presented their science fair experiments at an annual school fair in January. The top six projects went on to compete at the Oakland diocese science fair, where the Wackowskis, Naders, and James Jolin won in their various categories and advanced to the county fair.

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