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Sunday, 08/02/2020 at 1:30 PM

Archdiocesan news briefs

Priest ordained for Maronite Church

Father Michael Andrew Shami, far right, was ordained as a priest for the Maronite Catholic Church May 2 at the Chapel of Our Lady of Ilige in St. Louis. Bishop A. Elias Zaidan, bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, presided at the ordination, assisted by Father John Nahal, rector of St. Raymond’s Cathedral, and Chorbishop Michael Kail.

Father Shami attended the National Maronite Seminary of Our Lady of Lebanon in Washington, D.C., St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, and at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Oriental Institute, both in Rome. He will return to Rome in September to continue doctoral studies in Liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He has been assigned in residence at St. Raymond’s Cathedral as director of Liturgy for the Eparchy.

Father Michael graduated from New York University, where he studied history and philosophy. The Dominican chaplain of the Catholic Center at NYU, Father Allan White, OP, and other priests in New York City, including Msgr. James Root, rector of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral in Brooklyn, were deeply influential in fostering his vocation to the priesthood, according to Father Shami. He immediately pursued seminary following graduation from college. His love for the rich Syriac tradition and proficiency in the sacral language of Syriac Aramaic has prompted Bishop Zaidan to appoint him the director of liturgy and send him for continued studies in liturgy.

Medicaid expansion placed on ballot

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced that Medicaid expansion will be placed on the ballot at the Aug. 4 primary election. Citizens of Missouri filed the initiative petition which would amend the Missouri Constitution to require the state government to provide Medicaid for persons whose income is up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($34,763 per year for a family of four) and who are not eligible for other state insurance coverage. Missouri’s Medicaid program (MO HealthNet) currently provides that low-income able-bodied adults only qualify if they earn less than 22 percent of the federal poverty level ($5,665 per year for a family of four), although there are higher thresholds for children, the elderly and the disabled. Supporters have estimated that between 200,000 to 250,000 additional adults and children would enroll in MO HealthNet under the proposed expansion. The Missouri Catholic Conference, in an effort to uphold the dignity of the human person in accord with Catholic social teaching, is lending its support to the ballot initiative, noting that many low-income earners in Missouri go without health insurance coverage because of the high cost of premiums, even when coverage is available through their work or on the health insurance exchange. This, the MCC states, puts them at risk for chronic health problems and prevents early diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Glennon Sunday

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson is reminding people to contribute to this year’s Glennon Sunday campaign to benefit SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. In a video, Archbishop Carlson noted that since 1956, Cardinal Glennon has devoted itself to a mission of providing exceptional health care and to reveal the healing presence of God to children who are sick and suffering regardless of ability to pay. As chairman of the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation Board of Governors, he said: “I strongly encourage you to join the many faithful who have contributed” to the campaign. Donate by dropping off an envelope with your contribution at your parish, visiting www.glennon.org or calling (314) 577-5605.

ID volunteers sought

Volunteers age 60 and under are needed to help with the St. Francis Xavier (College Church) outreach program that provides assistance with Missouri State IDs and birth certificates for people with limited resources in St. Louis. Having closed the walk-in hours since mid-March to protect the health and safety of program guests and volunteers, the program is now preparing to reopen this month adhering to CDC best practices. Volunteers are sought to help with on-site ID and birth certificate assistance on Tuesdays for at least one two-hour shift. Volunteers will receive in-depth training and ample on-site support. Ideal volunteers must feel comfortable working as close as physical distancing allows with guests who belong to at-risk groups and do not themselves belong to at-risk groups. For information, contact Tess Sanders at [email protected] or (573) 833-4817.

DuBourg gym facelift

The Floyd Hacker Gymnasium at Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis is getting a facelift, including a new floor design created by Chris Pohrer ‘05. Included is installation of new LED lights and a touchscreen panel to control the basketball hoops and the bleachers, with plans to add a new sound system soon. The gym will be ready to go for the start of the fall sports season. Also at DuBourg, despite the challenging circumstances of e-learning, 75% of the students achieved first or second honors. Check out DuBourg’s virtual awards ceremony at bit.ly/3gKGYdG and its spring fine arts show at bit.ly/3dmEbW0.

New Duchesne athletic director

Duchesne High School recently announced the return of alumnus Paul Boschert ‘77 as the school’s athletic director. Boschert takes over for Debi (Westhues) Turner ‘96, who served Duchesne as athletic director for seven years before moving to the dean of student services position upon the retirement of longtime dean Kurt Clodius. Boschert returns to his alma mater after a long career in high school education and athletics that began at Duchesne in 1981. When he first worked at Duchesne, Boschert coached the same three sports he had lettered in while a Pioneer athlete: baseball, basketball, and football. Boschert later coached at other area schools, then served as athletic director at St. Charles West High School and, most recently, at Fort Zumwalt West High School. Boschert has also been St. Charles County’s umpire-in-chief since 1989, overseeing slow-pitch softball umpires, leagues and tournaments, and serving as the liaison between the umpire organization and the recreational directors for all St. Charles County City Parks.

Personal care items needed

St. Patrick Center is continuing to implement key health policies to keep everyone safe, such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance and taking temperatures. The center serving people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness now accepts personal care items in its donation center. Most needed are deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, adult diapers, toilet paper and tissues. The center still cannot accept clothing or household items. Visitation Academy’s recent Virtual Day of Service raised $20,000 for St. Patrick Center. Students and their families, plus faculty staff and alums, took to social media to share how St. Patrick Center is solving homelessness in the community to raise the funds. Donations may be dropped off at St. Patrick Center’s donation center dock at the back (Hadley Street) of the building at 800 N. Tucker Blvd. Items are accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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