St. Patrick Center CEO leaving
St. Patrick Center announced July 26 that Laurie Phillips will leave her position as chief executive officer at the end of September to care for family members in need of support. “Laurie has demonstrated incredible devotion to St. Patrick Center’s vision and work in homeless services during her four and a half years with the agency,” said Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities. St. Patrick Center is an agency of Catholic Charities of St. Louis. Phillips will consult with the search committee during the transition. Bob Olwig, president of the St. Patrick Center board, praised Phillips for guiding the agency through a Housing First re-structure; becoming the St. Louis region’s lead agency for Coordinated Entry; operating the city’s new emergency men’s shelter for two years; and forming new, relationships with the BJC Healthcare system to launch a Hospital to Housing two-year pilot program. St. Patrick Center provides opportunities for self-sufficiency and dignity to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Michael Pressimone will resign as the president of Fontbonne University following the 2019-20 academic year, citing a desire to move closer to his family. Pressimone assumed office on July 1, 2014. He served previously as vice president of advancement at Alvernia University in Reading, Pa., where he oversaw fundraising and alumni activities. Before that, Pressimone was vice president for institutional advancement at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., and Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. Among other accomplishments at Fontbonne, Pressimone led the purchase of the former John F. Kennedy Catholic High School property in Manchester. The purchase was made to grow enrollment and add athletic fields. He founded the Fontbonne Promise Scholarship, making the university a place of opportunity for academically able but economically disadvantaged students. Pressimone and his wife, Cathy, are active members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in University City where Cathy also serves as pastoral associate. Together they teach a number of sacramental preparation programs and Michael is active in music ministry as cantor and guitarist. He has served on the United Way of Greater St. Louis Board, the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Chaminade College Prep Board and the Academic Affairs Committee of Incarnate Word Academy. The couple has been an active voice in issues of diversity and racial justice, and he serves on the advisory board for Chronicle:Ferguson.
Support for asylum-seekers
The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of the United States of America are calling for the U.S. Congress and the president to address “the separation of children from parents, unsanitary and unsafe detention centers and the squalid living conditions being forced upon asylum seekers” waiting to cross over the U.S.-Mexican border legally. “We urge our fellow citizens and lawmakers to remember that our country has a long history of welcoming and protecting refugees and immigrants,” according to the statement. “Those of us who follow Christ’s teaching believe that it is a Gospel mandate to welcome strangers and care for those in need.”
The Price is right
On July 27, DeAnna Price broke her own American record in the hammer throw at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Her final throw was 78.24 meters (256 feet, 8 inches), breaking the record she set at last year’s outdoor championship. Price is a 2007 graduate of Immaculate Conception School in Old Monroe who, in a visit to her former school, stressed kindness, sportsmanship and trust in God.
Mercy is providing $500,000 in grants to nearly 30 organizations in seven states that serve children, elderly, homeless and uninsured people. Since 1987, Mercy has awarded funds, now totaling more than $15 million, that provide medical care, counseling, housing, meals and more. This year’s grants will benefit more than 48,000 people. Of the 29 grants, 19 are Mercy Caritas (Latin for “charity”) grants that support community-based programs consistent with Mercy’s mission and vision, as well as align with an identified community health need. The remaining 10 grants were awarded to Sisters of Mercy working in direct service to people in poverty. St. Louis-based organizations that will receive grants include Beyond Housing, iFM Community Medicine, Mercy Professional Services, NAMI St. Louis, St. Augustine Wellston Center and St. Louis Crisis Nursery.
Fontbonne Community Connection
The Fontbonne Community Connection (FCC), a women’s giving circle dedicated to funding projects to advance the mission of the Catholic university, is about to hit $1 million in giving, which has funded 160 faculty, staff and student projects. The FCC has been around for 12 years and has approximately 80 members who each contribute a minimum annual gift of $1,000. One hundred percent of each member’s contribution is deposited into a restricted awards fund. The fiscal year-end total determines the amount available for the next year’s awards. Members review project applications and vote on which will get funding. Funding recipients have include the Bosnia Memory Project and Fontbonne’s Eardley Family Clinic for Speech, Language and Hearing.
Bridges info sessions
The Bridges Ignatian Retreat, also known as the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, will be offered at four St. Louis area sites on various days and times beginning in September through May 2020. Free information sessions will be offered Sunday, Aug. 4 and 11 at St. Francis Xavier College Church, Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Annunziata, and Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Webster Groves Christian Church. For addresses and times, visit bridgesfoundation.org/
information-sessions or contact Linda Leib at (314) 313-8283 or
‘Songs of Hope’
Arts & Faith St. Louis is presenting a free concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall to build a harmonious St. Louis. “Songs of Hope,” the ninth annual interreligious concert, will be performed at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd. in St. Louis. Tickets are available for pickup starting an hour before the event. This year’s concert will feature both adult and young singers and musicians from six religious communities, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist vocal ensembles from across the metropolitan area. Also featured will be soprano Christine Brewer, performing new music by composer and clarinetist Stephanie Berg that was recently premiered at Powell Symphony Hall, and an interreligious youth chorus led by Maria Ellis. New this year will be a storyteller chosen in collaboration with the MU Extension Division Storytelling Festival. Arts & Faith St. Louis began in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For more information, contact Barbara Murray at email@example.com or
(314) 533-9900. (The phone number provided to the Review in a previous briefs item was incorrect.)
Marriage on Tap
Vince and Marianne Burkemper will be the featured speakers at the next Marriage on Tap, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Pasta House, 8213 Delmar Blvd. in University City. The Burkempers, members of St. Joseph Parish in Manchester will talk about “Living Our Faith as a Family.” The Burkempers have been married and have three grown children. Cost is $25 per person, which includes a buffet dinner, tax and tip. Cash bar will be available. Sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the evening, is open to all married couples. RSVP by Sept. 13 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit Marriage on Tap STL on Facebook.
The 2019 Annual Assembly of the Missouri Catholic Conference will be held at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City on Saturday, Oct. 5. The theme is “Raising the Next Generation of Catholic Advocates.” Keynote speaker will be David Bereit, former CEO of 40 Days for Life. The next session will be held in the House Chamber, where all attendees of the assembly will gather to hear Catholic advocates who have championed for the common good in varying areas speak about their experiences advocating for poor, unborn, and underserved people. Workshops will follow in the afternoon before the Missouri bishops celebrate Mass at St. Peter Church. The event is free and includes lunch. To register, visit the Annual Assembly 2019 page at www.mocatholic.com.