Access to education
This fall, Access Academies will add a scholarship to its College and Career Success Initiative. Open to all its students starting in their senior year of high school, the scholarship will provide up to $3,500 per student. In 2018, Access launched the initiative, expanding formal counseling, mentoring and support for each student from seven to 11-plus years. Students are required to complete a series of tasks each semester to remain eligible, from completing the FAFSA and maintaining a minimum GPA, to more career-oriented requirements such as conducting an informational interview and holding a part-time job. Access was founded in 2005 by St. Louisans convinced that education was the most enduring path out of poverty. Embracing a model that emphasized extended school days, a challenging enrichment curriculum and hands-on counseling, they started the first academy with 15 students in a single middle school. Today, Access partners with four middle schools and 25 private high schools and it serves more than 500 students across the St. Louis metropolitan area.
on George Floyd’s death
The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province issued a statement on the death of George Floyd, calling for prayer and justice, including changes to local policies and practices that promote or perpetuate racial bias. The sisters also have pledged to pray, speak out, educate, advocate and take decisive action in collaboration with others to establish justice.
“True peace is not about an absence of conflict; it requires right relationships,” they wrote. “It requires a recognition that all are equal. It requires a system that supports and reinforces that recognition. Decades of segregation, discrimination and racial injustice, manifesting in poverty, police brutality, poor education and economic opportunities, poor health care and unsafe streets, must be addressed and painstakingly dismantled. Until there is justice, our communities will never know a true peace.”
To read the full statement, see www.ssndcp.org/racism-statement. To learn more about the sisters’ advocacy work, visit
St. Genesius theater camp
The Marianist Retreat and Conference Center will host a free virtual workshop for children as part of the St. Genesius Camp on Monday, June 15. Ages 6-12 will meet from 9 a.m.-noon for virtual workshop classes in movement, acting and voice; Ages 13-18 will meet from 1-3 p.m. Workshops will be taught by professional performers and educators Julie Hickey and Rose Fischer.
The in-person St. Genesius Theater Camp is still scheduled July 20-22. Modifications will be made to the camp in adherence with local health guidelines. Tuition will not be collected until the day of camp in case there is a change in plans due to COVID-19 regulations. For more information, contact Julie Hickey at (314) 302-1508 or [email protected].
Online women’s summit
Leah Darrow, founder of LUX U, Catholic evangelist and former model, will host the LUX Virtual Women’s Summit June 19-21. The virtual summit is a live online gathering for women that brings together Catholic women leaders and evangelists who will extend their witness of faith to help the “virtual sisterhood” become brighter lights in a time of darkness.
Featuring live keynotes and breakout sessions, the event offers VIP level passes, a digital workbook and a digital store. Speakers include Jackie Francois Angel, Lila Rose, Liz Wheeler, Gia Chacon, Sister Miriam James, Lisa Canning, Sister Helena Burns, Chika Anyanwu, Mary Lenaburg, Katie Prejean McGrady, Patricia Sandoval and others.
The early bird pricing for the general pass is $49 featuring access to live keynotes, recorded breakout sessions, and access to the LUX Summit Store. The VIP pass is available for $89. For more information or to register, visit www.theluxsummit.com.
Village of the Blue Rose founder and executive director Rose Gronemeyer died June 7 at The Village of the Blue Rose in Clarksville, Missouri. Gronemeyer was the heart and soul of The Village of the Blue Rose since its inception in the early 1990s. She was a special education teacher at Sacred Heart School in Florissant for nearly four decades before opening the village to provide a safe, nurturing environment for young adults with special needs. A note on the village’s website stated that “she personified love, dedicating her life to teaching, advocating for, and caring for people with special needs. For the last 52 years, Rose either taught or lived with special needs young adults — her ‘Blue Roses’ — always focusing more on their potential than their limitations.”
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, adapted for persons in all walks of life over a nine-month period, are offered through the Bridges Foundation based in St. Louis. The retreat combines small weekly gatherings, a commitment to daily prayer following the Exercises, and one-on-one meetings with a trained prayer companion. This year because of the health pandemic, retreatants will be able to meet weekly with a prayer companion virtually or in person, and all group meetings will be offered online via Zoom.
The retreat runs from September to May and coincides with the Church’s liturgical calendar. Virtual, “live” Zoom-based information sessions are being offered in connection with five St. Louis-area sites on various days throughout the summer, beginning in July. Contact executive director Linda Leib at (314) 313-8283 or by email at
[email protected] to receive a Zoom invitation to one of the sessions.
Alternative to MCC assembly
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures, the Missouri Catholic Conference cancelled its 2020 Annual Assembly scheduled for the Missouri State Capitol Oct. 3. A virtual alternative is being held in its place with a public policy course in a serial podcast format. These podcast episodes will feature Catholic speakers and address topics important to faith in the public policy arena, similar to the workshops offered at the annual assembly.