Laying of the wreaths
Jack Feise, an eighth-grader at Our Lady of Lourdes School in University City, recently completed a Confirmation service project by volunteering to place holiday wreaths on the graves of military veterans at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
Jack participated in Wreaths Across America, a national effort in which wreaths are placed on veterans' graves at cemeteries and memorial sites across America. Last year, wreaths were placed at more than 1.2 million veterans' graves at more than 1,100 sites in all 50 states.
Jack volunteered with his uncle and Confirmation sponsor, Col. Richard T. Brady of the U.S. Marine Corps. The two were at Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 16 and laid about two dozen wreaths.
"In my confirmation prep, I've learned the importance of serving God and others," Jack wrote in an email. "For the service project with my sponsor, we chose to honor those who served their country. I was in awe of the number of graves at Arlington. It was inspiring to see the number of volunteers that came together that day to reach a common goal in honoring those who served our nation, and it was even more significant doing it with my uncle, who is in the Marine Corps."
St. Patrick Center is asking supporters this year to donate $20, an amount when combined could end homelessness for an additional 20 families. Contributions may be sent to St. Patrick Center, 800 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63101. Society of St. Vincent de Paul conferences also are hard at work trying to supply housing for homeless people or keep clients housed. For example, the conference at Queen of All Saints Parish is seeking to help a homeless woman who was photographed in a St. Louis Review article about the Ladies of Charity at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in south St. Louis. Contributions can be sent to the parish conference, with Rachel X. in the memo line, at Queen of All Saints, 6603 Christopher Drive, St. Louis, MO 63129.
STL Sisters essay contest winners
The fifth annual Stories of Our St. Louis Sisters essay contest produced a record number of entries and winners. Sponsored by the Incarnate Word Foundation, the contest draws attention to the important contributions of women religious in the archdiocese. Each student essay focused on a woman religious who has had an influence in their lives. The following students were awarded Amazon gift cards at a Nov. 14 ceremony at Incarnate Word Academy: Marian Middle School: Amirra Burks; St. Stephen Protomartyr: Ada Laury; St. Agnes School: Megan Barnes; Incarnate Word Academy: Grace Gettemeier; Trinity High School: Valerie Manganelli; Christ Prince of Peace School: Kate Underwood; Cor Jesu Academy: Anna Boatman and Lauren Ferrari; St. Vincent de Paul School, Dutzow : Aaron Keene and Kathryn Isgrigg; Visitation Academy: Ruth McKee, Anna Piasecki, Lily Cofer, Claire Fulton, Emma Masetti, Izzy DeStefano and Maggie Mooney; Holy Infant School: Caitlin Dunne and Ryan Lensmeyer; Most Sacred Heart School, Eureka: Krista Schuessler, Samantha Korte, Samuel Indelicato and Reid Latall; St. Theodore School: Haley Hunsel; Good Shepherd School: Lilianna Patterson; St. Joseph School, Josephville: Laura Wilson and Grace Worth. Teachers of the students also received Amazon gift cards, and St. Joseph School in Josephville was selected at random as the winner of a $3,000 grant.
Incarnate Word Foundation grants
Several Catholic agencies and institutions were among 29 recipients of Incarnate Word Foundation grants. The grants were announced at a breakfast reception in December. Recipients included Incarnate Word Academy, Marian Middle School, St. Anthony Food Pantry, St. Frances Cabrini Academy and St. Francis Community Services-Southside Center. Grant recipients support Incarnate Word Foundation's mission of empowering the poor and marginalized, especially women, children and seniors, to attain quality of life.
School changes coming
Father Michael Lydon, president of Bishop DuBourg High School, announced Dec. 14 that the 2017-18 school year is his last at the school and that he most likely will be reassigned to a parish setting. For 20 years (1987-95, 2006-17), he has served DuBourg as a religion teacher, coordinator of the Class of 1992, golf and racquetball coach, campus minister, vice president for faith formation, and president. DuBourg, he wrote, "is a wonderful place with a lovely community," adding that enrollment has stabilized for the last two years and looks promising for next year, the DB Forever Annual Fund has doubled, a new gym roof with air conditioning has been installed, most classrooms have been air conditioned, and the biology lab has become a STEM lab. These improvements, he noted, were funded by many generous alumni, benefactors and the Annual Catholic Appeal of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Earlier, another noted educator, Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School Principal Michael Blackshear, announced his retirement at the end of the school year. His most important educational truism is: "Students care how much you know, when they know how much you care." Blackshear has spent more than 35 years as an educator, athletic director and administrator. He grew up in a large, supportive family that taught him to value both education and faith.
Mass to mark anniversary of Bishop DuBourg's arrival
A Mass to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Bishop William DuBourg in St. Genevieve will be celebrated at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1, at Ste. Genevieve Church, 49 DuBourg Place in Ste. Genevieve. On Jan. 1, 1818, William Louis Valentine DuBourg, bishop of the newly formed Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, arrived in Ste. Genevieve, on the journey to St. Louis for his installation as bishop. On his visit in the small settlement, Bishop DuBourg offered his first Pontifical High Mass in his diocese in the Church of Ste. Genevieve. The Mass at Ste. Genevieve will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine Latin Mass), essentially the same as the Mass Bishop DuBourg celebrated in 1818. Msgr. Eugene Morris will be the celebrant, and Church historian Msgr. Michael Witt will be the homilist.