The 11th Annual Archbishop’s Gala scheduled for April 23 to benefit the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation was canceled due to the impact of COVID-19, but donations to support scholarship programs came anyway. In April the foundation raised $75,448 in donations after a weeklong virtual Fund a Need campaign, and more than 60 sponsors continued their support of the gala, bringing the total amount raised to $592,628 to benefit the foundation’s scholarship programs. The Today and Tomorrow Foundation provides essential tuition assistance scholarships to children across the St. Louis region. The foundation has already awarded 4,500 elementary school scholarships for the 2020-21 school year, so that no foundation scholar will be forced to leave their chosen private or parochial elementary school due to lack of scholarship. To learn more about the mission of the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation and its supporters, visit www.ttef-stl.org.
The state of Missouri is moving forward with plans to carry out the execution of Walter Barton on May 19. Missouri is the only state planning an execution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states have rescheduled or stayed their executions during the health crisis. The Missouri Catholic Conference has submitted a clemency application in the name of civic and religious leaders based on the merits of the case. In the application, they noted that during the pandemic, Barton has not been able to have visits with family members or his attorneys. The Catholic Conference encourages people to contact Gov. Michael Parson and let him know that carrying out the execution during this pandemic would reflect poorly on Missouri nationally and internationally. Barton was convicted of the stabbing death of Gladys Kuehler, 81, at a mobile home park she managed in Ozark, Mo., in 1981. Members of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty state that Barton has maintained his innocence, and they dispute blood splatter evidence presented at the trial.
Two students from Catholic schools in the archdiocese are winners in the Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Essay Contest. The topic was “Why I’m Pro-Life.” Lydia Brown of St. Agnes School in Bloomsdale was selected as the first-place winner in the sixth-grade division. Her essay was submitted by Bloomsdale Council 1848. Anna Rosenberg of South City Catholic Academy in St. Louis won first place in the seventh-grade division. Her essay was submitted by St. Mary Magdalen Council 453. There were 472 student entries for this contest.
Schools reach out
Students from each grade at Sts. Joachim and Ann School in St. Charles planted seeds in January and watched them grow in the classroom. Last month those plants were planted in the garden at Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service to help serve the agency’s clients. For the past several years the community garden has provided additional fresh produce for families in need of food.
The Visitation Academy community rallied “virtually” to raise resources for St. Patrick Center during the pandemic, raising more than $20,000 during the
#VizVirtualDayofService on April 22 to help people experiencing homelessness.
Since the 1970s, St. John Vianney High School’s junior class has committed three weeks of the school year to social service projects. The commitment to Catholic social teaching continued this school year despite the pandemic. They served from home by making masks for health care workers, writing notes to sick and elderly people, creating baby tags for SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, calling senior citizens and new students, tutoring and mentoring underclassmen and producing video tutorials.
Lead the way
This academic year, St. Francis of Assisi School in Oakville was honored in two categories by Project Lead the Way — PLTW Launch (K-5) and PLTW Gateway (6-8). The program builds knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. The PLTW Distinguished School recognition is based on the number of PLTW curricular offerings, the number of students engaged in PLTW, and student success. Mike Herries, St. Francis’ lead launch teacher, gateway teacher and program coordinator, said “with PLTW students become better critical thinkers, problem solvers, team members, and communicators. Students are allowed to use the PLTW framework and add their own creativity to their work. I have watched student teams take projects in directions I would have never thought of while completing the core requirements of the project. The best part of PLTW is that my students enjoy PLTW and it challenges them.” Herries is a retired engineer and geologist. Eleven Catholic schools in the archdiocese are PLTW schools. Chaminade College Preparatory School also has Distinguished School recognition.
L’Arche St. Louis will host its Fifth Annual (virtual) Breakfast with Friends livestream event on Thursday, May 28. Tune in at: breakfast, 7:30 a.m.; coffee break, 10 a.m.; lunch, noon; afternoon tea, 2:30 p.m.; and supper, 5 p.m. L’Arche St. Louis is a faith-based community, rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, of people with and without disabilities who share their lives in profound ways. The program highlights the community and features emcee Martin Kilcoyne, guest speaker Lisa Cataldo and Executive Director Paula Kilcoyne. Cataldo is the vice president of the board of directors of L’Arche Long Island and maintains a small private psychotherapy practice. She previously taught high school theology at St. Peter’s Prep, a Jesuit boys’ school in Jersey City, N.J. Register for the virtual event at www.larchestlouis.org/breakfast.