Saint Mary’s students will gather Thursday at 7:30 in the Sacred Heart Chapel in Holy Cross Hall for personal reflection and small-group discussions.Fiat, a Latin word that translates to “so be it” and references “Mary’s yes,” is the name of a new student group on campus started by seniors Amanda Fischer, Claire Conlon and Kathy Stalter and junior Alex Guevara-Stevens.Liz Palmer, the assistant director of campus ministry, said Fiat was created because these students felt there was “a need to have community life and to foster prayer life on campus.”“They specifically promote the Marian virtues on campus … they thought that Fiat would be a great way to integrate Mary into the lives of our students,” Palmer said.Palmer said that while Fiat has been sponsored by Campus Ministry, the students lead in organizing and hosting monthly spiritual events that “are a way for someone to give their story about the intersection of faith and life.”At each event, someone is invited to share a personal reflection on one of the Marian virtues and elaborate on how they feel it relates to their life and the broader community. Students then spend time in small groups reflecting on the talk and discussing how it relates to other parts of their lives.While considering the amount of interest that has been generated so far, Palmer said much of the group’s success is due to the way student leaders have approached members of the campus community.“Something I have been reminded of through the Fiat group is the power of invitation,” she said. “Our Fiat leaders have been doing door-to-door outreach.”The inclusive aspect of this group, which is open to people of all faith backgrounds, is essential to the environment that the members want to achieve.“I love that it offers a personal relationship with God in a communal context,” Palmer said. “As a campus minister, I constantly see the need for community among our students, so that’s my favorite thing about the events, that they are fostering that community.”Fischer, one of the student leaders of Fiat, said she is really excited about what she describes as a “student-led, intentional faith-based community.” During the group‘s monthly “signature” events, participants hear from speakers that talk about the Marian virtue for the month, then engage in small group time and fellowship.She went on to underline Fiat’s goal.“It is so simple, but that is exactly what Jesus did — He built a culture of encounter in a simple way, and that is our aim,” she said.This Friday, members of Fiat will be joined by Beth Hlabse. Hlabse is a mental health counseling intern at Holy Cross College and a research project manager at the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame, and is currently completing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with Divine Mercy University. In her talk, Hlabse will focus on the virtue of “constant mental prayer.”“So many of us don’t really know what prayer is or how to pray,” Hlabse said. “We don’t realize that prayer is the way we live in relationship with God … [and] the way we receive God’s love.”In looking at prayer through this different perspective, Hlabse found parallels with techniques she uses in her profession.“Many of us … fall into patterns of negative and destructive interior dialogue, or ‘self-talk,’” she said.These unhealthy tendencies can be addressed in different ways, Hlabse said, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which assists people in recognizing unproductive thinking and particular stressors or misconceptions that might be causing it. The next step is then to reframe interior dialogue in a more realistic, constructive and positive way, she said.Hlabse will demonstrate “this process of tuning into and reframing our thinking is an opportunity for prayer” in her personal witness talk on Friday.“We can invite God into our headspace and consider how an all-loving God might be asking us to change the way we talk to and view ourselves,” she said.Tags: Beth Hlabse, Campus Ministry, fellowship, Fiat, Mary, prayer
Growers who are anxious to buy large quantities of the newest pecan cultivar, ‘Avalon,’ will likely be disappointed as supplies are low, according to University of Georgia pecan breeder Patrick Conner. The new UGA-bred cultivar will be released this spring.Conner is currently using graft wood from certified, nontopworked trees (those grafted in nursery) to produce Avalon trees. Conner has to see the flowers and nuts of a tree to identify them as being ‘Avalon’ before certifying the tree as a source of graft wood.“That requires you to grow them until they’re 4 or 5 years old, when they flower and fruit. At that point, I can look at them and certify them as true-to-type. Then we can use that wood to produce more trees in the nursery,” he said.A limited number of trees have been certified. In a few years, enough graft wood will be available to produce enough trees to meet demand, Conner said.‘Avalon’ is the first pecan cultivar released by Conner. The cultivar shows strong resistance to pecan scab disease, which is the biggest limiting factor to pecan production in south Georgia. ‘Avalon’ exhibited no signs of scab in sprayed orchards and limited traces of scab in unsprayed orchards during research trials on the UGA Tifton campus.‘Avalon’ is patented by UGA, and four Georgia nurseries are licensed to sell the trees. Conner expects demand for ‘Avalon’ trees to be high because it produces a bigger nut and has shown high resistance to pecan scab.“I really expect it to be quite popular. It’s an easy-to-grow cultivar. It doesn’t seem to have any strong flaws that have to be managed. I think it’s something that can work for a large number of growers, those who have limited acreage as well as those who have large acreage,” Conner said.Growers will only have to apply chemicals a couple of times a year with ‘Avalon,’ Conner said. In extremely wet years, producers can spray susceptible cultivars upwards of 20 times to counter scab disease, which thrives on moisture.“Even with full spray coverage on ‘Desirable’ trees, in a really wet year, you could still get severe damage and crop loss,” Conner said. “’Avalon’ gives you some assurance during a really wet year.”Pecan production has increased dramatically in Georgia over the past decade. An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 new pecan acres have been planted in Georgia over the past five years, according to a recent survey by UGA Cooperative Extension.UGA will host a daylong “Beginners Pecan Production Course” on Tuesday, April 18, at the Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. Attendees can learn more about the ‘Avalon’ cultivar and find out about other factors that impact pecan production. Those interested can register at http://bit.ly/2nKhLV9.Pecans are a high-value crop for Georgia growers. Pecans were worth more than $361 million in farm gate value in 2015, according to the 2015 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report released by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.
Finally the Lakers found a game that wasn’t too long for them.They finished off the Detroit Pistons, 97-85, at Staples Center on Sunday and, sure, it might be a one-day offer. But you never know which win starts a streak.Their defense was righteous, including the way they forced Detroit into a 5-second violation with 4:40 to go and a six-point Lakers lead. They got a nine-assist night from Kobe Bryant, who was given room to hit 3-pointers and finally did so, for an 11-point lead.Amazingly the sellout crowds keep coming and the noise builds just like it was 2001, as if Robert Horry was still rising up at the buzzer. And maybe these seasons of famine have made Lakers fans appreciate every drop. So Detroit is ahead of the Lakers, especially since Drummond says he is inclined to sign with the Pistons long term. He agreed to wait until next season to do so because Van Gundy showed him it would allow the Pistons an extra $13 million to get better.“The most important thing when you do this is to get the right people, both in the front office and in the locker room,” Van Gundy said. “You do that first and then you try to grow the talent without sacrificing the culture. I tell myself to be patient a lot, but myself doesn’t always listen. You try to keep things in perspective. I’m just not real good at it.”Some of the solidity in the room might come from reserves Steve Blake, Aron Baynes, Joel Anthony and Anthony Tolliver, all of whom have won a championship, gone deep into the playoffs or survived the league for seven seasons.The Lakers tried to add bench wisdom this year, too, with Brandon Bass and Louis Williams, although Williams is shooting 31.3 percent and putting it up once every 2 1/2 minutes.But they will never truly start over as long as Bryant, and his salary, are still on the scene. Especially if he is playing intermittently, dressing here, not dressing there, and shooting 33.9 percent when he does play. To the young guys, Bryant is a walking memory, taking up their minutes, unless he can drag his real game out of the trash file and give the struggling Lakers some cover. That is what he did in the second half here, nearly getting a triple-double but still missing 13 of 19 shots.At the very least, the Pistons have cast aside the Shroud of Darko. In 2003, they had the No. 2 pick in the draft, which they got from Memphis in exchange for Otis Thorpe. LeBron James led off that draft, but the Pistons could have taken Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade and probably won a couple more titles. Instead they took an 18-year-old Serbian named Darko Milicic, who couldn’t help the tight fraternity of the mid-2000s Pistons and, as a result, never fit. Milicic played 12 years for six different teams and averaged six points a game.When you get stuck in the wrong NBA lane, nobody is letting you back in. The Pistons are getting back in line. The Lakers, finally, flashed a signal on Sunday. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Pistons weren’t the most welcome visitors. They brought the NBA’s best rebounder in Andre Drummond (19.2 per game, 6.9 more than runner-up DeAndre Jordan) and a stark growth chart, against which to judge the Lakers’ rebuild.In 2008 the Pistons lost the Eastern Conference finals to Boston. They spent the next seven seasons under .500, six of them under .400 and went through five different coaches. In May of 2014, they hired Stan Van Gundy as coach/emperor. Van Gundy has since hired general manager Jeff Bower and two assistant GMs, but nothing happens without his approval.His two seasons have brought extensive landscaping. The Pistons released Josh Smith after they started 5-23 last year, and then won their next seven. They didn’t re-sign Greg Monroe, once known as their cornerstone.They didn’t have a first-round pick in 2014 and picked eighth in 2015, taking Arizona’s Stanley Johnson. Yet former GM Joe Dumars did leave him Drummond and Brandon Jennings, who is coming back from an Achilles injury.Van Gundy also identified Oklahoma City reserve guard Reggie Jackson and joined a four-team trade to get him last winter. Jackson piled up 26 points in the fourth quarter against Portland last week, hitting 10 of 11 shots and Detroit wiped out the Trail Blazers 41-11 in the fourth quarter. Jackson is averaging 21 a game and, it is assumed, could form some fireworks playing alongside Jennings.
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