By Katrina Genereux & Janelle Gergen, OND
Three juniors from Sacred Heart School in East Grand Forks added to the joy of Catholic Schools Week by bringing home the championship trophy from the Regional Know Your Faith competition held at Trinity Catholic School in Dickinson, N.D., Jan. 30. This was the competition’s ninth year.
Not only did Bill White, Jack White and Lily Zimprich win, they earned 1,600 points, the most of any team in the competition’s nine-year history, according to Tim Brooke, a Social Studies and Theology Teacher at Sacred Heart School. Brooke is from Dickinson and graduated from Trinity Catholic School. When he began working at Sacred Heart School, he contacted the North Dakota schools to see if Sacred Heart could be included in the competition.
“It was kind of nice for me to go to Dickinson Trinity, my alma mater and then win it at Dickinson Trinity in our second year being part of the competition, and not only winning it, but scoring the most points in competition history,” Brooke said. “They wagered all their points for the last question. They didn’t even play it safe. They wanted to go big or go home.”
The final question was: Between 1900-1999, a period of 100 years, how many popes took the name Pius, and of those popes, which one of them by name reigned the longest? The answer: three popes took the name Pius and Pius XII reigned the longest.
This was Sacred Heart School’s second time competing in Know Your Faith. Last year three freshmen represented the school and took second place.
Other schools vying for the title were: Trinity Catholic School; Shanley High School, Fargo; Bishop Ryan Catholic School, Minot; and St. Mary’s Central High School, Bismarck.
“Every class from every school all take a 75-point multiple choice test that tests their knowledge of the Catholic faith,” said Brooke.
“We take the top three scores from every class and those top three students get to represent their class in the local Know Your Faith championship,” he said.
The Whites and Zimprich won the local competition, becoming representatives of Sacred Heart School at the regional championship.
“The winning class gets to take their entire class to wherever is hosting the regional championship,” Brooke said. The entire class was unable to attend because of sports conflicts, but five members made the trip to support their classmates.
Brooke said his advice for the students preparing to compete was to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“I had them last year in my theology class, so you could say that’s part of prepping them, but other than that, I think their parents gave them a lot of material to study,” Brooke said.
The competition consists of three rounds of five questions, ending with a final question where the teams wager points.
“I do remember going in and standing there and shaking a little bit and then we went up and sat down and I was like, ‘OK, we’ve got this. This is no different than it was at Sacred Heart’,” said Jack White.
“I was really confident in my team because we just did so good at home that I wasn’t really that nervous,” said his brother, Bill White.
“My dad has been to Shanley, he knows the kind of religious training they have, so he didn’t know how well we were prepared for it and he was pretty shocked that we knew a lot of it,” said Zimprich.
The team from Sacred Heart School answered 14 of the 15 regular round questions correctly.
Jack said the final question wasn’t the hardest, but it was the most stressful because a wrong answer would have left them with zero points.
The experience was more than just fun and games.
“I think the biggest thing I know for Billy and I, was mom and dad have always really stressed the faith at home, so if there would be one thing that I could tell anybody, it would be parents: really try to teach the faith, and kids: really take a vested interest in it because at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to count,” Jack said.