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Archdiocesan news briefs

Virtual gala

The Cardinal Ritter College Prep “Celebrating Success in Urban Education” virtual gala will livestream on Wednesday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show at 6:15 p.m. The virtual gala is free to view on the CRCP YouTube page and will feature video segments from Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, President Tamiko Armstead, Principal Craige Edwards, donors Joe Conran and Merry and Jim Mosebacher, as well as student and alumni testimonials and student music performances. All are welcome to register free to view the event and make a Fund a Need gift at cardinalritterprep.org. ​The mission of the archdiocesan high school is to provide an exceptional Catholic educational experience to youth that instills attitudes of success and self-worth through faith development, academic excellence and leadership. It is known for high graduation rates and college persistence rates that surpass the national average.

MCC supports three bills

The Missouri Catholic Conference is supporting state House bills on job possibilities for people with felony convictions, early parole for geriatric inmates and benevolent tax credits. The House Rules-Administrative Oversight passed HB 316, sponsored by Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville), which states that Missouri cannot prohibit a person from participating in the sale of alcohol or selling lottery tickets solely on the basis of a felony conviction. This bill will open up job opportunities at grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants for ex-offenders. The MCC supports the bill because it would give ex-offenders a fresh start; the opportunity to showcase their skills of dependability, trustworthiness and good work habits; and would help prevent recidivism. The bill now goes to the House for further debate.

The MCC supported HB 277, which would allow for some geriatric inmates to get a parole hearing, testifying that the bill would correct a discrepancy in the criminal code and bring some balance to the sentencing structure. It would also save state resources spent on health care for these individuals, the Catholic Conference testified at a hearing in the House Special Committee on Criminal Justice. Sponsored by Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-St. Charles), the bill only applies to inmates who received a sentence of life plus 50 years without parole. In 1985, the law was changed to allow persons receiving a life sentence to be eligible for parole after serving 30 years, rather than 50. Those individuals sentenced before 1985 remained ineligible for parole until they served at least 50 years. The Department of Corrections estimates that about 54 elderly offenders would fall into this category.

The Senate Economic Development Committee considered SB 155, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester), which would expand the tax credits for donations to domestic violence shelters and maternity homes. Current law authorizes a tax credit for contributions to domestic violence shelters equal to 50% of the contribution, with a maximum annual amount of $2 million. SB 155 would increase the tax credit to 70% and remove the annual cumulative limit. The bill would also add rape crisis centers to the facilities eligible for the tax credit. SB 155 raises the tax credit for contributions to maternity homes from 50% to 70% and removes the annual cumulative limit (current set at $3.5 million). The MCC submitted testimony, stating that the bill provides a cost-effective way for the State of Missouri to support women in need and promote a culture of life.

New cooperative agreement

Aquinas Institute of Theology and the Western Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) recently entered into a ministerial cooperation and facilities sharing agreement to further their respective educational and religious missions. A memorandum of understanding provides further direction for future collaboration between the two Catholic entities.

“This new venture represents most importantly a promising partnership between Aquinas Institute and the Vincentian priests and brothers for strengthening our respective missions by collaborating on projects where institutional and mission goals coincide, especially in the areas of education, formation, and evangelization” said Father Mark Wedig, OP, president of Aquinas Institute.

Aquinas and the Vincentians share the same building in Midtown St. Louis for their respective administrative, ministry and academic offices. They also plan to share faculty and programming, as well as local and regional outreach for the initial and ongoing formation of ordained ministers in the Church. “The Vincentians have had a long mission tradition in the St. Louis Archdiocese and elsewhere in serving the formation and education needs of the clergy. This mission to the clergy is near and dear to the heart of our Holy Founder, St. Vincent DePaul. The partnership with Aquinas renews our mission and commitment of service to the clergy,” said Father Patrick McDevitt, provincial superior of the Vincentians’ Western Province.

New Alumni Association

Five members have been named to the newly revived Alumni Association Board of Bishop DuBourg High School. They will spearhead the Alumni Association’s direction and activities for a two-year term. Teri Diehl, ‘87, is the president and Jamie Frisella, ‘91, is the vice president. Marie (Hessi) McCloskey, ‘81, Amy Gassel, ‘92, and Catie Ward, ‘13, are the other members.

Mercy adding outpatient center

After several years of planning, Mercy recently broke ground on a multi-specialty center across from Mercy Hospital St. Louis. With more than 272,000 square feet of space, the high-tech, five-level outpatient center will include functions such as a single point of care, ensuring patients can get everything they need without adding another stop, and virtual visitors when family members or loved ones can’t be physically present with the patient. Specialties will include bariatrics, gastroenterology, neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, reconstructive surgery and urology. There will be additional services to support care such as weight and wellness programming, imaging services and a surgery center.

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