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Archdiocesan news briefs

Peter and Paul Community Services to take over Biddle House

Peter and Paul Community Services is taking over operations of the Biddle Housing Opportunities Center starting Aug. 1.

Owned by the City of St. Louis and located just north of Downtown St. Louis, Biddle House is a 101-bed, 24-hour emergency shelter for single men. Peter and Paul Community Services will operate the facility under a contract with St. Louis City.

“We bring four decades of experience and the lessons learned at our other shelter and housing programs,” said Peter and Paul Community Services CEO Steve Campbell. “We believe we are well positioned to equip the shelter guests with the tools they need to create stability in their lives and end their homelessness.”

Peter and Paul Community Services previously served as a subcontractor Biddle House from from 2016-18. The nonprofit organization noted that this time it will be able to hire a larger clinical staff, and new positions will include case managers, a drug and alcohol counselor and an occupational therapist.

Peter and Paul Community Services is a nonprofit organization that started in 1981 in the basement of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Soulard with the help of several faith communities, including St. Vincent de Paul, Sts. Peter and Paul and Trinity Lutheran Church.

L’Arche St. Louis receives grant

Consuela Johnson, a new middle school teacher at Sacred Heart School in Troy, handed off a microphone after speaking during an orientation for new teachers at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis Aug. 2 at the Cardinal Rigali Center. At right is Isabelle Armstrong, also a new middle school teacher at Sacred Heart School in Troy.
Photo Credits: Jacob Wiegand
L’Arche St. Louis recently was awarded a grant of $15,000 from St. Martha’s Giving Circle, organized by the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri. The St. Martha’s Giving Circle is an initiative dedicated to bringing Catholic women together to raise awareness and funds for organizations in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and leverages a pooled fund to have a greater philanthropic impact on the selected organizations. 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.

Mass of thanksgiving

St. Anselm’s Cenacle for Life will offer a candlelight Mass of thanksgiving to commemorate the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision. Benedictine Father Aidan McDermott and Abbot Thomas Frerking will concelebrate the Mass at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at St. Louis Abbey Church, 500 South Mason Road in Creve Coeur. Sixty-three lit candles will be placed at the foot of the altar, each one representing more than 1 million babies who have been aborted since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Prayers for women experiencing difficult and unexpected pregnancies will be offered at the Mass.

Basilico Service Award

Good Shepherd Children & Family Services has chosen Rich and Jill Benkelman as the recipients of the John Basilico Service Award. Rich previously served as the board president of Good Shepherd and has chaired the annual Good Shepherd golf tournament since 2009. Rich, Jill and their son, Trey, are longtime volunteers with the agency, cooking turkeys during the holidays, helping new mothers and babies in the maternity shelter and opening their home for special events.

“It is rare to have friends who support your organization as broadly as Rich and Jill have ours,” Good Shepherd executive director Kathy Fowler said. “They are donors, hands-on volunteers and leaders. They have shaped our agency in countless ways for the better.”

The award is named for John Basilico, a charter member of the board of directors who helped merge four nonprofits into what is today Good Sheperd Children & Family Services. Good Shepherd is one of eight federated agencies of Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

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