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Archdiocesan briefs

Suspension of public Masses extended

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has extended the suspension of public Mass through May 8. The archbishop is working with the priest council, other Missouri bishops and government and health officials on a policy for the return to public Mass and is expected to share more with the people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In the meantime, public Mass is not to be offered at any parish within the Archdiocese of St. Louis until a general permission is given to all parishes. Additionally, other public gatherings (such as festivals, picnics, etc.) are banned on parish properties until further notice.

Roman Catholic Foundation

The Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri has reported that in the past few weeks, it has completed grant requests from donor-advised funds at levels normally only seen in December. The foundation has processed 76 grant checks valued at over $500,000. Many are funding COVID-19 relief efforts or supporting archdiocesan parishes, schools and ministries during the pandemic.

Interim superintendent completes service

Sister Nathalie Meyer, OP, has completed her service to the Archdiocese of St. Louis as interim superintendent of the Office of Catholic Education and Formation, assisting with reorganizing and revitalizing the Office of Catholic Education and adding formation to its ministry. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson praised her for her “vision and tireless work to prepare OCEF for its future. Her love and zest for Catholic education will be impactful to the Archdiocese of St. Louis for many years to come.” Todd Sweda has been appointed senior director of the Office of Catholic Education and Formation in addition to his current role as superintendent for secondary education. Serving as co-directors of the office are Maureen DePriest, who will continue as superintendent for elementary education, and Mike Duffy, who will continue as director of finance and planning. They have been working together as a team for almost a year under Sister Nathalie’s supervision.

Walking with Moms in Need

March 25 marked the 25th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, “The Gospel of Life.” The anniversary was also the national launch for the U.S. bishops’ initiative, “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service,” to help pregnant and parenting moms and families.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is involved in the effort to build a culture of life. The first stage of the initiative is a Call to Prayer. Visit bit.ly/3cWgtz9 to see five ways parishes and schools may answer the call to prayer. In May, pastors also will receive a personal invitation and resource packet from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson on how to implement the “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative in parishes.

Prayer in times of stress

Prayer team members with the archdiocesan Catholic Renewal Center are available to talk, pray and share faith with anyone who is experiencing stress and worry during the coronavirus pandemic. The center notes that we turn to our faith in God in these moments, and sometimes talking and praying with a brother or sister in faith is just what we need to ease our mind when we are struggling. The sharing of our faith and the accompaniment of one another on the journey is a core value of the archdiocese. To connect with a prayer team member, email [email protected]

Creative Writing Contest Winners

The finalists and scholarship recipients of the Respect Life Apostolate’s 2020 eighth-grade Creative Writing Contest in April recently were announced. In all, the apostolate received 870 entries. Students were asked to “explain how living the virtue of chastity helps you respect life and plays a part in ending abortion.”

Of the 870 entries, 20 finalists were named. They are: Quinn Apprill-Sokol, St. Gabriel the Archangel; Peyton Lackey, St. Francis Borgia; Margaret Elizabeth Baker, Holy Cross Academy; Henry Martin, St. Gerard Majella; Blake Barnes, St. Alban Roe; Cayleigh Moore, Christ the King; John Paul Chapman, St. Clement of Rome; Tessa Rockafellow, St. Gerard Majella; Maeve Conboy, Holy Cross Academy; Camille Raymo, St. Joseph, Cottleville; Claudia Fisher, Queen of All Saints; Isabella Rowe, St. Alban Roe; Elle Haefner, Queen of All Saints; Sami Simokaitis, Queen of All Saints; Grace Hoy, St. Margaret of Scotland; Gianni Vigna, Incarnate Word; Aidan Kane, Most Sacred Heart, Eureka; Joseph Volmert, St. Francis Borgia PSR/Homeschool; Henry Krey, Immaculate Conception, Dardenne Prairie; Maggie Wright, Ascension, Chesterfield.

Of the finalists, eight were chosen to receive scholarships. Six each received a $1,000 scholarship to attend a Catholic high school. They are Bubba Chapman, Joseph Volmert, Gianni Vigna, Camille Raymo, Aidan Kane, Tessa Rockafellow; Additionally, Maeve Conboy and Elle Haefner, received scholarships that will cover the cost to attend the Steubenville STL Mid-America youth conference.

Schools were also invited to participate in a T-shirt design contest. Homerooms were invited to submit a T-shirt design that visually conveys the meaning of the creative writing topic. The winning homeroom is Seton Regional Grade School.

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