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St. Francis of Assisi Youth Club boys win rocket-making prizes
September 19th, 2012
By Catholic San Francisco

A group of 8- to 11-year-old boys from St. Francis of Assisi Parish Youth Club took home honors for rocket making from the San Mateo County Fair this year.

“It was a lot of fun. They are really good kids, really fun to be with,” said seminarian Tom Orlando, who with four other seminarians worked with the boys.

Orlando met Father Lawrence Goode, pastor of the East Palo Alto parish, at a Legion of Mary meeting at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park.

They got talking about rockets. Orlando, 33, a civil engineer, used to build them with the 4-H Club, growing up on a cattle ranch. “He said, ‘We would love it if someone would come over and help the kids build rockets,’ and that’s kind of how it started,” said Orlando.

“It was a good fit,” he said. “I grew up out in the country on a ranch, and that’s something we always did in the country – launching rockets.”

Also helping the boys with the project were four other seminarians, Joseph Nguyen of the Stockton diocese, David Lopez of the Fresno diocese, German Rodriguez of the Monterey diocese, and Edgar Elamparo of the San Jose diocese.

Orlando said Father Goode paid for a 12-pack kit of rockets including a little model rocket engine, a launching pad and a controller.

Most of the kids received either second or third place – and would have received first place except the rockets were a little worse for the wear. “The rockets looked great before we launched them. We launched them several times and they got beat up,” Orlando said.


From September 21, 2012 issue of Catholic San Francisco.



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