By Steve Hilliard
Director of Development and Strategic Planning
Beginning in late spring and continuing through the summer, the Diocese held a naming contest for the new Diocesan high school in Jackson County. More than 150 unique names were submitted and the top three selected. Parishioners and students were given the opportunity to vote for the name they considered the best of the three for the school. More than 530 people voted in the final selection. A random drawing of all who submitted the winning name was then held to determine who would receive the $250 gift card offered to the contest’s winner.
Scott Tucker of St. John LaLande Parish submitted the winning name, St. Michael the Archangel High School. Tucker, a local teacher and coach throughout his adult life, has always wanted to see a new high school built in the area and named for St. Michael the Archangel. He said that if he ever came into a large sum of money, it would be his dream to help launch that school.
Scott declined the gift card and asked that the money be spent to provide teachers at St. Mary’s and Archbishop O’Hara high schools with some break room items.
Part of the entry form asked the reasons behind the name submitted. Tucker explained, “The name Michael signifies “Who is like God?” and was the war cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as “one of the chief princes,” and leaders of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell.
“We have that same battle today against Satan and his followers here on earth. Our new high school is being built to produce young men and women to be leaders and defenders and carry on the fight. St. Michael did not sit still in heaven; he fought, and this is what our children need to understand. It is OK to stand up and fight for what is right.”
Tucker included this version of the prayer to St. Michael with his entry:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.