Respect Life Creative Writing Contest
Eighth graders in the Archdiocese of St. Louis recently participated in the annual Respect Life Creative Writing Contest. A partnership of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate and Office of Education and Formation, the contest invited participants to reflect, pray, research and write about the Gospel of Life and the virtue of chastity for scholarships and other awards.
In 2023, hundreds of eighth graders from 41 Catholic schools, PSR programs and homeschool programs submitted entries. Of these, 125 students earned the ranking of parish/school finalist and were sent into the Respect Life Apostolate for further judging. At the April 19 student awards luncheon with Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, 18 archdiocesan finalists were honored for their accomplishments. Seven students also were awarded a Catholic youth event or high school scholarship. To read the scholarship winners’ entries, visit
Scholarship winners included:
• Bishop Edward J. O’Donnell Scholarship: Dominic Keys (St. Margaret of Scotland Parish/St. John Paul II Preparatory), who will be attending St. John Paul II Preparatory;
• Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship: Eleanor Hilton (Sacred Heart Parish & School in Valley Park), who will be attending Cor Jesu Academy;
• Mary Forrestal Hennessey/Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship: Leila Palmejar (St. Joan of Arc Parish/South City Catholic Academy), who will be attending Nerinx Hall;
• Respect Life Apostolate Scholarship: Sydney Gutleber (St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville/The St. Austin School), who will be attending St. Dominic High School.
Students earning a scholarship to the Steubenville STL Mid-America Youth Conference include Matalyn Basler, St. Cletus Parish & School; Gianna Heddell, Epiphany of Our Lord Parish/St. John Paul II Preparatory; and Patrick Mueller, St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish & School.
Archdiocesan finalists include Evelyn Baker, Immaculate Conception Parish & School in Dardenne Prairie; Matalyn Basler, St. Cletus Parish & School; Trevor Basler, St. Agnes Parish/Valle Catholic School; Sophie Beishir, St. Ferdinand Parish/All Saints Academy; Drew Bertrand, St. Patrick Parish & School; Clayton Chambers, Ascension Parish & School; Emaline Guntli, St. Clare of Assisi Parish & School; Sydney Gutleber, St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville/The St. Austin School; Gianna Heddell, Epiphany of Our Lord Parish/St. John Paul II Preparatory; Eleanor Hilton, Sacred Heart Parish & School in Valley Park; Elizabeth Homyk, St. Gertrude Parish & School; Dominic Keys, St. Margaret of Scotland Parish/St. John Paul II Preparatory; Patrick Mueller, St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish & School; Leila Palmejar, St. Joan of Arc Parish/South City Catholic Academy; Isabelle Perez, St. Gerard Majella Parish & School; Madelyn Redd, Queen of All Saints Parish & School; Mario Ruggeri II, St. Gabriel the Archangel School & Parish; and Sophia Vermiglio, St. Joseph Parish Cottleville/The St. Austin School.
Bee Bash at La Salle
Celebrate World Bee Day at La Salle Retreat Center, 2101 Rue De LaSalle Drive in Wildwood on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with food, live music, crafts and vendors. Learn from master gardeners and local beekeepers about the importance of bees, starting your own hive and gardening tips and tricks. For more information, go to www.lasalleretreat.org
Young Catholic Professionals
The St. Louis chapter of Young Catholic Professionals will host a panel discussion, “Leading a Career and a Family with a Faith Focus,” from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 4924 Bancroft Ave. in St. Louis. (Confessions will be heard from 6-7 p.m.) Britt Burkard, principal engineer with Parsons Corporation, Julie Scott Soffner, executive director of the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, and Terri Lux, co-founder and owner of Impact Architectural Lighting, will discuss leading a career and a family with a faith focus. To register or learn more, visit www.ycpstlouis.org.
The Next Chapter
The Next Chapter Program is a six-month program for people who are approaching retirement or who are recently retired. The program assists individuals who are discerning who God is calling them to be and what God is calling them to do in their next chapter of life. The program is grounded in Ignatian spirituality and is sponsored by the Office of Ignatian Spirituality of the Jesuits USA Central & Southern Province. The next cohort will begin in October. Information sessions will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 25 and June 5 at Mercy Conference and Retreat Center, 2039 Geyer Road in Frontenac. To RSVP for an information session, email Tom Auffenberg at
[email protected] For more information, see