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Archdiocesan news briefs

Honoring first responders

Students at St. Joseph School in Imperial held a patriotic assembly Sept. 16 to honor first responders in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Prayers, patriotic musical presentations and several presentations were part of the day. Emergency vehicles from local agencies were on display. First responders also received a small token of appreciation from the collective donations of the students.

Grant for Trinity students

The Incarnate Word Foundation Board approved a $42,000 grant to help provide tuition assistance for previous Trinity Catholic High School students wanting to continue their Catholic education. Scholarship money will be granted to the following Catholic high schools to assist these transfer students: Incarnate Word Academy, St. Louis University High School, Christian Brothers College High School, Chaminade College Preparatory School and St. Joseph’s Academy. The Archdiocese of St. Louis is also providing $43,000 in financial support toward registration fees for each of the former 86 Trinity students who are continuing their education in Catholic high schools in the St. Louis area for the 2021-22 school year. “I am grateful for the generosity of the Incarnate Word Foundation in providing support for our students and families who value the quality, faith-based education that our St. Louis-area Catholic schools provide,” Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski said in a statement. “This gift helps further our mission to make a Catholic education accessible to as many students as possible. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to walk hand-in-hand with all of our students who are in transition in this new school year.”

Fontbonne inauguration

Fontbonne University inaugurated its 15th president, Nancy H. Blattner, on Sept. 19. Blattner assumed the role of president in July 2020, but her inauguration was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Blattner’s connection with Fontbonne began in 2004 when she became vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty until 2009. Then she assumed the presidency of Caldwell University, a Catholic Dominican university in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she served for 11 years. A lifelong Catholic and devout CSJ Associate, Blattner fell in love with Catholic higher education during her initial tenure at Fontbonne. “Fontbonne was my first opportunity to be in a Catholic institution of higher education, and I knew from that point on, I never wanted to leave Catholic higher ed,” Blattner said. Blattner’s presidential duties have been well underway for the past 14 months. Blattner shared some of her aspirations include growing the undergraduate population, continuing to encourage diversity across campus, and showcasing the academic reputation of Fontbonne. This summer, Blattner initiated the vision for the Summer Scholars Program, which afforded participants an opportunity to take two college-level courses for free over a four-week period. She introduced the Refresh program, a free opportunity for first-year students to retake and improve their grades in a designated course, while also building upon knowledge and skills. Blattner has championed the efforts to expand academic and sports offerings. Included is the introduction of a new bachelor’s degree program in nursing as well as the formation of a collegiate sprint football program, both set to launch in fall 2022.

Souls and Goals

The annual Souls and Goals soccer game will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, at Chaminade College Preparatory School, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in Creve Coeur. The match pits Kenrick-Glennon seminarians against archdiocesan priests. The event is free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. For information, visit www.soulsandgoals.org.

Holy hour for vocations

A Holy Hour for priestly and religious vocations will take place from 7-8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1, at the Monastery of St. Clare, 200 Marycrest Drive in south St. Louis County. The monastery is located off of Telegraph Road; the entrance to the chapel is next to the Goddard daycare center.

Murphys Don’t Quit book

Colleen Murphy has written “Murphys Don’t Quit: 5 Keys to Unlocking Hope When Life Seems Hopeless,” a book about her family’s fight for resilience during the years-long efforts to restore the mind, body, and spirit of her daughter Lauren, who experienced a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car in 2013.

The story shares Lauren’s journey from a semi-vegetative state, to learning to walk and talk again and pushing through a severe language disorder, to becoming a motivational speaker. The Murphys are members of Assumption Parish in O’Fallon; Lauren also is a 2006 graduate of Incarnate Word Academy. The book will be released on Oct. 5. For more information on where to order, see murphysdontquit.com.

Red Mass

The Archdiocesan Red Mass is Sunday, Oct. 3, at 10 a.m. followed by a reception; it will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue in the Central West End of St. Louis. The Red Mass is celebrated annually for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, law school professors and students and government officials. The archdiocese will follow the guidance of the city of St. Louis on mask requirements. Bishop Shelton Fabre of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux will serve as homilist. Bishop Fabre is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and serves as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for African-American Catholics. For information, contact Jennifer Stanard at (314) 792-7812 or [email protected]

Clemency submission

With the Oct. 5 execution date of Ernest Johnson drawing closer, the Missouri Catholic Conference has submitted a clemency application on his behalf to Gov. Mike Parson. The application was signed by civic and religious leaders, including the Catholic bishops of Missouri, the leaders of the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Methodist Church and others. In the application, the signers stressed that Johnson meets the state statutory and clinical standards to be diagnosed with an intellectual disability and, therefore, it is constitutionally and morally wrong for him to be executed. The signers, who oppose all executions, stated that the death penalty destroys human life and encourages violence as a solution to societal problems. The Missouri Catholic Conference is asking people to contact Parson to explain that Johnson meets all standards of intellectual disability under Missouri law and should be ineligible for execution. Call (573) 751-3222 or email governor.mo.gov/contact-us.

Concern for creation

A virtual discussion entitled “Concern for Creation: A Planet in Crisis” will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. The host is Mike Roberts, a former KSDK-TV meteorologist, and the sponsors are St. Francis Xavier (College Church) Parish andSt. Mark’s Lutheran Church ELCA. The discussion of climate change in 2021 will draw from diverse perspectives, including the environmental encyclical “Laudato Si’” as well as Pentagon planners. Reserve a spot at bit.ly/churchclimatechange.

In memorium

A memorial Mass for Eugene Schnell, a teacher at Rosary/Trinity High School will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 1424 First Capitol Drive South in St. Charles. Schnell died in June at age 84. He taught architecture and robotics. Schnell also played a pivotal role with the Boy Scouts of America and was a seasonal staff member at Philmont Scout Ranch. His grace, leadership and understanding for the students made him a trusted advocate. Visitation will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the church. Father Mark Whitman will celebrate the memorial Mass. Anyone who would like to have a role at the Mass, including the Liturgy for the Mass, is asked to email [email protected] A funeral luncheon will follow the memorial Mass in the parish hall. A memorial scholarship was created by the many former Philmont staff who worked with Schnell during the summers of his 36-year tenure at Philmont. Visit bit.ly/3klEtSN.

Youth conference

Spirit Alive Youth Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15 and 16, at St. Joseph Parish, 1390 Josephville Road in Wentzville. Spirit Alive is for Catholic teens across the St. Louis archdiocese and beyond. The high-energy weekend is focused on fun, fellowship and building a stronger relationship with Christ. More information is available at spiritaliveyouthconference.com or by calling (636) 293-7149.

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