Virtual holiday meal
Gift cards for virtual holiday meal for clients of the Criminal Justice Ministry are being provided in lieu of the usual pot-luck in-person holiday dinner event. Donors are sought to contribute a gift card or toward the purchase of a card for clients to have a meal on their own. For information, email
[email protected] or call (314) 652-8062 ext. 111. Cards or contributions may be sent to the Criminal Justice Ministry, 1104 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis MO 63104.
Members of the Catholic Filipino community in the archdiocese will celebrate Simbang Gabi, a 9-day celebration of the Pregnancy of Mary and in preparation for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus. Masses will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 15-23 at Sacred Heart Church in Valley Park. The joyful celebration dates to the 17th century in the Philippines, when Masses “de Aguinaldo” (now known as “Simbang Gabi”), were celebrated in the early hours of the morning or dawn on the nine days before Christmas. The celebrations including the singing of the Gloria and Christmas carols. Mass celebrants wear white vestments. Space in church will be limited because of COVID-19 guidelines; Masses will be livestreamed via Facebook at SacredHeartParishVP or at sacredheartvp.org.
Behold Ministry is hosting “Surviving Divorce: Hope and Healing for the Catholic Family,” a 12-week DVD program featuring Catholic experts and lay men and women on the journey to healing. The program is intended for anyone going through the divorce process now or those who have been divorced for many years. The program begins at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie on Jan. 5 from 7-9 p.m. Contact Debi Jones-Orf at [email protected] for more information. Another program starts at the Cardinal Rigali Center on Jan. 7 from 7-9 p.m. Contact Don Gayou at [email protected] or call (314) 406-3098 for more information.
St. Patrick Center, a Catholic Charities agency, needs volunteers to assist in its annual Christmas Wishes Family Sponsorship Program which provides more than 450 St. Patrick Center clients and their families with Christmas gifts. Volunteers assist with gift distribution on Thursday, Dec. 17. All volunteers must wear masks, social distance and follow other safety measures. Groups are welcome. St. Patrick Center also is recruiting volunteers for Trevisano Teddy Bear Christmas Land to benefit St. Patrick Center. The family’s display in Crestwood includes thousands of lights, 100+ teddy bears, animations and Christmas music. Volunteers manage the donation box outside Thursday through Sunday evenings until Christmas for a 6-8 p.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m. or 7:30-9:30 p.m. shift. To sign up or for more information, contact Sarah Webb at
Musial Awards on CBS
The Musial Awards presented by Maryville University will be televised at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26, on KMOV-TV, Channel 4. The program honoring people for sportsmanship will air nationwide on CBS stations. The honorees include Hank Aaron with the 2020 Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award, Bubba Wallace with the Musial Award for Extraordinary Character and 10 others who embody class and character.
Birthright Counseling STL, which provides free, professional counseling and other supports to women facing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021. The organization is inviting schools to participate in its 50/50/50 Challenge from Jan. 1-Feb. 15. The goal is to have 50 schools to sign up 50 participants (including students, teachers and staff) to each collect $50 for Birthright. Donations may be made in honor of a student, teacher, or staff member online at birthrightstl.org/50-50-50/. Checks may be made to Birthright Counseling STL (include student/teacher/staff name and school with the check). For more information, email [email protected]
Restore, Rekindle, Renew
Restore, Rekindle and Renew Enrichment is a seven-week virtual enrichment experience for married couples and priests offered by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. The program will be offered from 7-9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays Beginning Jan. 18 through Feb. 8. Apply online at www.stl-wwme.org or call (314) 649-7317.
Billiken Teacher Corps expands
Beginning in 2021, the Billiken Teacher Corps at Saint Louis University will send teachers to St. Patrick Catholic School in Springfield, Illinois. This is the first time the program has partnered with a school outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Since 2015, the Billiken Teacher has placed new teachers in St. Louis Catholic schools. This year the corps placed 12 teachers in 10 schools in St. Louis. Gary Ritter, dean of SLU’s School of Education, said St. Patrick serves a community similar to the teacher corps’ other partner schools. The Billiken Teacher Corps recruits recent college graduates who want to teach in underserved communities. Teachers commit to the program for two years. They serve as full-time teachers during the school year and as part-time graduate students, earning a master of arts in teaching degree from SLU — with full tuition remission — at the end of the program. Included is a stipend, lodging, instructional coaching, faith formation, a school mentor and a university supervisor to all its fellows. “The success of our program is measured by the ability of our teachers to be witnesses of faith and instructional leaders,” said Jesuit Father Ronny O’Dwyer, assistant to the dean for Catholic School Initiatives. For information, contact Angela Moret at
[email protected] The priority application deadline is Jan. 25, 2021; applications will be rolling after that date.
Du Bois on board
Tom Du Bois has joined the Archdiocese of St. Louis as the director of building and real estate. He and his predecessor, Randy Rathert, will share the role through January to ensure a smooth transition, at which time Rathert will enter into a part-time retirement and a role in the near term assisting with other projects. Du Bois is a licensed architect with significant experience in design, construction, and facilities management. He has worked as an owner’s representative in a similar capacity to that which he will fulfill with the archdiocese.