The eventual winners of a high school Catholic trivia contest mull over questions during the competition Jan. 31 at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Omaha. SUSAN SZALEWSKI/STAFF

Equipping Disciples

High school Quiz Bowl competitors flex their brains – and their hearts

A team of five high school students demonstrated their knowledge of the Catholic faith with a perfect score – correctly answering 80 out of 80 trivia questions – during a Jan. 31 contest at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Omaha.

Most importantly, though, the students showed a heart for their faith by donating half their $3,000 prize to charity.

The winning team of homeschool students Mary Dendinger, Christina Simons, Gabriel Livingston, Henry Niemeyer and Augustine Terneus was one of 27 teams competing at St. Margaret Mary’s High School Quiz Bowl: Catholic Edition.

The Quiz Bowl was designed to encourage study of the Bible, the lives of saints, the sacraments and other aspects of the faith, said Sue Seline, chairwoman of St. Margaret Mary’s faith formation and education committee, which organized the competition.

The Quiz Bowl was “a fun way to go about doing that,” she said.

Half of the questions were Bible-based. Topics included the Old and New Testaments, saints, sacraments and popes.

A professional trivia host in the region, Mike Monday, asked the questions and laid out the rules for the student competitors.

During breaks, he offered other games and prizes. St. Margaret Mary’s pastor, Father Ralph O’Donnell, took part in the fun.

Archbishop George J. Lucas popped in for a portion of the night.

Everyone had their fill of pizza.

Two anonymous donors supplied the generous Quiz Bowl prizes, which attracted students from schools and parishes across the Omaha area.

One donor provided the $3,000 top prize. The other funded donations to the runner-up teams’ charities of choice: $750 for second place, $500 for third and $250 for fourth.

The first-place team – which took the name A Man for All Seasons – had no obligation to give half of their prize money to charity.

But from the minute they signed up, they said, they knew it was the right thing to do.

Their donation went to Heart of a Child Ministries, a pro-life organization that educates students and others by presenting live ultrasounds of babies in the womb.


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