A Renaissance in Catholic Education During Annual Catholic Schools Week

February 8, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

New Choices. More Scholarships. Stronger Schools.

ST. LOUIS - As the Archdiocese of St. Louis celebrated Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 29-Feb. 4), it ushered in a new era—a renaissance in Catholic education—for its schools in the City of St. Louis and, eventually, throughout the archdiocese.

The name of this first partnership school, South City Catholic Academy, was announced January 29, the start of Catholic Schools Week, to a very large and excited group who had been eagerly awaiting the announcement. South City Catholic Academy is the combination of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Joan of Arc Schools and is located in the previous St. Joan of Arc school location.

“I have been very pleased to see parents and parishioners collaborating and building strong partnerships to create a new school that will ensure long-term, high-quality Catholic education for their children,” stated Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

These partnership schools will stress academic excellence and strong Catholic formation for children; affordability for families and parishes; in locations accessible to and meeting needs of families in neighborhoods; and the efficient and effective use of resources, with educational and religious educational programs of similar quality in all of the schools.

“Over the past year, new energy has been put into preparing a plan for schools in the City of St. Louis. Combined with new financial resources from gifts to the Beyond Sunday campaign, existing resources from the Today and Tomorrow Foundation and the Annual Catholic Appeal and new leadership for Catholic Schools from the Catholic Education Office, there is new life in our schools,” said Maureen DePriest, Associate Superintendent for Elementary School Administration and Director of City Catholic Elementary Schools.

St. James the Greater grade school, originally included in the partnership school plan, will remain open as a parish-based elementary school at its site for the 2017-18 school year.  After a significant anonymous donation was made to keep the school open, a memorandum of understanding was entered into by St. James the Greater Parish and the Archdiocese of St. Louis allowing the school to operate as a parish-based school for the next school year. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will not be providing any operating grants to the school after the 2016-17 school year and the school will have to have significant ongoing development efforts in order to balance its budget every year.

As the Archdiocese of St. Louis approaches its 200th anniversary in 2018 of providing Catholic education in St. Louis, it continues to work toward ushering in a new era—a renaissance in Catholic education.

“The vision of having various school models, other than just parish parochial schools, is one way the Archdiocese of St. Louis can provide resources, personnel and funding necessary to ensure that all educational and religious education programs in all of the schools throughout the city are of similar quality,” stated Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. “Introducing this new school model will provide the necessary leadership, support and direction at the school level to maintain quality Catholic schools for our children and for the next 200 years of Catholic education in St. Louis.”

For more information about the renaissance in Catholic education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, visit archstl.org/renaissance.

#CatholicSTL

"Heart Speaks to Heart" at Annual Youth Minister Retreat

The Office of Youth Ministry is hosting its annual Adult Youth Leader Retreat this weekend, Feb. 10-12, 2017. The event will take place at the beautiful King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville, Il. The approximate 30 retreatants and leaders will be reflecting on the theme for the weekend, which is Cor ad cor loquitur - "Heart Speaks to Heart"

The host for the weekend is Fr. Paul Hoesing, the Dean of Seminarians and Director of Human Formation at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Read what Seminarian, Scott Schilmoeller, had to say about Fr. Hoesing in Kenrick-Glennon Herald Magazine (page 10.)

Please keep all of the participants in prayer this weekend. Since youth leaders spend a great deal of time ministering to others, this is a great opportunity for them to take time for themselves and to be spiritually nourished and refreshed.

Retiro Sacerdotal.

 

Si en lo más profundo de tu corazón sientes curiosidad por aprender más sobre cómo responder a una vocación al sacerdocio, te invitamos al retiro que se llevará a cabo en el seminario arquidiocesano los días 17, 18 y 19 de febrero. El retiro será en inglés, para varones entre 18 y 36 años de edad. Para mayor información envía un mensaje al correo electrónico en el volante, o comunícate con el director de la oficina de vocaciones en el seminario, el Padre Brian Fallon. 


Archdiocese of St. Louis Responds to Boy Scouts of America Transgender Policy

January 31, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis is deeply saddened and disturbed by the decision of Boy Scouts of America to allow girls struggling with gender dysphoria into their troops.

For more than a century, Boy Scouts has been an organization dedicated to honor, service, and “duty to God.” However, it is impossible to speak of a scout’s “duty to God” while at the same time failing to recognize the fundamental order of God’s creation.

The fact is that human beings are born with a sexual identity and not merely a “gender identity” of one’s choosing. This sexual identity affects the totality of the person in the unity of his or her body and soul, and it greatly affects one’s capacity to love and be loved.

Pope Francis reminds of these fundamental truths in his recent encyclical, Laudato Si’:

“The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different.” (Laudato Si’ 155)

For many years the Boy Scouts of America has been an organization that could be trusted with the formation for our youth. This policy directive is the latest in a troubling pattern of behavior exhibited by the Boy Scouts of America. It is clear that as they move in the ways of the world they are becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values.

We are in the process of evaluating the effect of this new policy on the troops affiliated with the archdiocese. We will continue to be in dialogue with Boy Scouts of America in hopes that they will recognize their error and rededicate themselves to serving the needs of the boys in the organization.

The archdiocese remains committed to Catholic teaching on gender identity that is rooted in Scripture, tradition, and the natural law.

#CatholicSTL

Statement Regarding Recent Executive Order on Refugees and Migrants

January 30, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, today released a statement on the recent executive order on refugees and migrants signed by President Donald Trump.

The recent executive order to turn away refugees and to narrow or close our nation’s doors to our migrant sisters and brothers who are fleeing  hunger, hardships, violence and persecution does not represent the best of our Catholic and American values and ideals. As Catholics, we appreciate the sensitivity shown to Christians who are fleeing persecution, but we are disheartened and alarmed by actions that target and profile others because of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the religion they profess and the land they call home. 

The notion that a thriving society would benefit from biased policies and practices based on ignorance, fear and a disordered nationalism corrodes the very essence of our American spirit and impoverishes our democratic life. As citizens of this great land and as member of the Catholic community, we are particularly concerned about our Muslim sisters and brothers whose lives are becoming increasingly difficult and whose safety is being threatened by this recent turn of events in our structures of government and society.

Welcoming the stranger, the immigrant, and the refugee have been long-standing hallmarks of our American way of life and religious convictions. Over the years, civic, government, religious institutions, and organizations in our nation and region have trusted the thorough vetting process in place, and together have labored to help resettle families, men, women and children from many parts of the world. And, in our experience of integrating our migrant and refugee sisters and brothers into our common way of life, we have seen our families, neighborhoods, cities, and faith communities flourish. 

The responsibility to welcome and care for the migrant and refugee are not only public and social virtues, but also find common ground and resolve in faith: “Come you that are blessed by my Father…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25: 34-35). This Gospel mandate to actively reach out and welcome the stranger has guided our Catholic social values and practices for centuries. Throughout our Catholic tradition, we have learned to be attentive to the needs of the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. In faith, we have come to recognize and know the face of Christ in the migrant and refugee.

Furthermore, as Catholics we believe that our responsibility to help the most vulnerable means helping those in need, especially those who in our day are forcibly being displaced from their homes and are experiencing incredible difficulties. Our commitment to life and religious freedom teaches us that we must welcome all faiths and cultures at our shores and doors, mindful of the inherent dignity found in them and ready to grow in God’s grace. In faith, we believe that each person, regardless of their official status, is made in the image and likeness of God, and as such deserves to be treated with respect, justice, and love. 

In this spirit of compassion and solidarity, today, I join my brother Catholic bishops, religious and civic leaders, the larger Catholic community and people of good will in opposing the executive order which seeks to narrow and close the doors to our most vulnerable migrants and refugees. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to be a place of welcome, service, and mutual hospitality, especially to the suffering and most vulnerable among us.

Let us hear the words of Pope Francis anew: “No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities, should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not, I repeat, not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: rather, it is the culture of solidarity that does so; the culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters. And we are all brothers and sisters!”

#CatholicSTL

Click here for coverage in the St. Louis Review.

Thousands of St. Louisans to Attend March for Life in Washington

January 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

After severe weather impacted 2016 trip, enthusiasm remains for 2017

ST. LOUIS — Roughly 2,100 teenagers, young adults, adult chaperones, volunteers, Catholic priests, seminarians, and other pro-life supporters will make the trek to Washington, D.C. for the 44th annual March for Life on Friday, January 27 as part of the “Generation Life” Pilgrimage planned through the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Separate St. Louis groups totaling approximately 300 youth will attend the Youth Rally and Mass for Life at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Several hundred other St. Louisans are expected to attend by other means.

The March for Life commemorates the tragic anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, which has led to more than 58 million abortions in the United States. Many of the pilgrims had planned to attend the March for Life in 2016, but the “Generation Life” pilgrimage and other trips were cancelled due to a severe snowstorm that hit the Nation’s Capital the weekend of the March.

In total, the roughly 3,000 St. Louisans expected to travel to Washington represent at least 60 parishes and schools in the archdiocese.

The Catholic Youth Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has planned and coordinated the “Generation Life” trip since 2013, including last year’s snowed out trip. This year’s 2,100 pilgrims will depart on 38 busses from six different locations around the St. Louis area in the evening of Wednesday, January 25. Media is invited to attend the launch. Please contact the Archdiocese of St. Louis Communications Office for more details.

Friends, family members, media, and anyone remaining in St. Louis can be part of the action on social media by following @GenLifeSTL and using #GenLifeSTL on twitter and Instagram, “liking” the GenLifeSTL facebook page, and on the GenLifeSTL blog, genlifestl365.com. Some of the activities will be livestreamed.

GenLife participants, or representatives of the archdiocese, can be made available for interviews upon request.

#CatholicSTL

First Hand-Illuminated Bible in 500 Years on Display in St. Louis During 2017

January 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Locations around Archdiocese of St. Louis to host St. John’s Bible

ST. LOUIS – The St. John’s Bible Heritage Edition – the first hand-illuminated bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in 500 years – will be on display at several locations around the Archdiocese of St. Louis during 2017. The massive piece of art includes 1,165 pages and 160 illuminations. Newsweek Magazine has called it “America’s Book of Kells.”

The St. John’s Bible was commissioned by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota in the 1990s and was completed in 2011. The original manuscript of seven volumes remains at St. John’s University, but 299 sets were created as a “Heritage Edition” for travel and display around the world.

The St. John’s Bible was the vision of artist and calligrapher Donald Jackson, who led the international team that painstakingly created every aspect of the manuscript. Jackson is the scribe of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and is one of the world’s foremost calligraphers. He has described an “illumination” as the way light plays off of the pages as they are turned.

The Gospels and Acts volume will be the on display in St. Louis throughout 2017 at locations including the Cardinal Rigali Center, St. Louis Priory School, Mercy Hospital, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Initial public events at the Cardinal Rigali Center (20 Archbishop May Dr.) include:

Tuesday, January 31, 6-8:30 p.m. - Presentation by Tim Ternes, director of The Saint John's Bible at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minn., hosted by the archdiocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Wednesday, February 1, 12:15-1:30 p.m. - A “Brown Bag Lunch” and presentation by Tim Ternes will be held at the Cardinal Rigali Center. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch.

Thursday, February 2, 6:30-9:30 p.m. - St. Louis Young Adults will present a special edition of Theology on Tap, "The Illuminated Word,” with a presentation from Tim Ternes. Food and drinks provided.

More information about the St. John’s Bible and events as they are scheduled can be found at archstl.org/bible. Photos of the St. John’s Bible and imagery of the illuminations are available upon request.

#CatholicSTL

Lead. Learn. Proclaim.

Four educational leaders in Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of St. Louis will be honored this year with a Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award for dedication and commitment to excellence. 

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) will present these awards at a special reception and dinner at the annual convention to be hosted here in St. Louis at America’s Center, April 18-20.

We are proud to recognize the following educators:

  • Kathleen Hertlein, Theology Teacher and Academic Dean at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
  • The Saint Louis University High School Campus Ministry Team
  • Reverend Ralph A. Siefert, S.M ., President of Chaminade College Preparatory High School
  • Kathleen Stinehart, Teacher at Ursuline Academy

These men and women were chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators, as well as diocesan leaders and organizations who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy, as well as exceptional ability, dedication and results.

“It takes dedicated people in the schools, the dioceses, the parishes and the communities to carry out the mission of faith formation in Catholic schools. They are the living messengers of God’s purpose from generation to generation,” said Jim Pavlacka, NCEA Director of Leadership Development.

The staff of the Catholic Education Office has been planning for this event for almost two years, and we are happy to report that registration is strong! We are proud of our history, and excited to share it, along with our plans for the future.

Watch for more NCEA news as this historic event draws near! Read The e-Vangelizer at archstl.org!

Archbishop Carlson Announces Excellence in Communication Award Recipient

January 20, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis radio personality Fred Bodimer has been selected as the 2017 Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Excellence in Communication Award recipient. The award is a way for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to recognize the important role of the media and communications professionals in our local community as they work to inspire positive change in response to the significant issues facing our society today. This is the fifth year of the award.

Bodimer is the Health and Religion editor for KMOX Radio and executive producer for The Mark Reardon Show, Total Information PM, Total Information AM Saturday, and all election night coverage. He joined KMOX in 1982 after graduating from the University of Missouri at Columbia, School of Journalism.

Over the past three decades at KMOX, Bodimer has interviewed many of the world's religious leaders including the Reverend Dr. Billy Graham, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Reverend Joel Osteen. He has also covered and interviewed all the St. Louis Catholic leaders from Archbishop May to Archbishop Carlson.

Bodimer covered Mother Teresa's visit to St. Louis in 1988 and coordinated the station’s award winning coverage of Pope John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis in 1999.

He has been married to Marie Dilg for 21 years. They have two sons: Shane and Noah. He also served as President and an Elder for 25 years at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in south St. Louis.

Bodimer joins an impressive list of award recipients, including former KSDK meteorologist Mike Roberts, the late media icon Martin Duggan, and St. Louis media personality Wendy Wiese. Bodimer will be honored at a luncheon with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson following the annual Mass for Media Professionals at the Cardinal Rigali Center on January 24, the Feast Day of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists. All media and communications professionals are invited to the Mass.

For more information about the award and to see a complete list of previous winners, visit archstl.org/excellence.

#CatholicSTL

Annual Memorial Mass Remembers Abortion Victims

January 19, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Mass at Cathedral Basilica on Saturday Commemorates Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

WHAT: Annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Mass, hosted by the Respect Life Apostolate
WHERE: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
WHEN: Saturday, January 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
WHO: Archbishop Robert Carlson and more than 500 pro-life supporters

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will celebrate the annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Mass on Saturday, January 21, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s tragic Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 1973, which legalized abortion in the United States. The Mass is hosted by the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The Mass will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be preceded by a procession of 44 individuals, one for every year since 1973, to represent the more than 57 million children lost due to abortion in the past 44 years. A solemn rosary procession to Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Boulevard will follow Mass. More than 500 people are expected to attend.

“We have a rich history of defending the unborn in the Archdiocese of St. Louis,” said Karen Nolkemper, Executive Director of the Respect Life Apostolate. “Despite enormous progress, the pro-life movement locally and nationally still faces stiff resistance. This annual Mass offers us an opportunity, through prayer and public witness, to re-commit to defending life and transforming our culture.”

Next week, hundreds of thousands of pro-life pilgrims will descend on Washington, D.C. for the 44th annual March for Life. More than 2,100 students, volunteers, and chaperones from Catholic schools and parishes will depart the St. Louis area on Wednesday, January 25. The annual pilgrimage from St. Louis, known as “Generation Life” or “GenLifeSTL” since 2013, is organized by the Catholic Youth Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first in the nation to establish a Respect Life Apostolate (RLA) following the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. The purpose of the RLA is to promote the Catholic Church’s teachings on respect for and legal protection of every human life from conception to natural death by coordinating educational, spiritual, pastoral, and public policy advocacy efforts with particular focus on those issues in the culture that threaten life - abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and unethical advances in scientific technology. In addition to the annual Memorial Mass in January, the RLA hosts its annual convention in October, which is Respect Life Month.

#CatholicSTL

“Doc, you look a little young…”

Ste. Genevieve du Bois Catholic School seventh graders put their marketing skills into “practice,” literally, in collaboration with Junior Achievement (JA) and Purina to create a mini-storefront Pet Adoption Center simulation booth at the recent JA BizTown.

Students ran their simulated business for a day discovering “real world” economics, business finance, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

Visitors to the booth chose a pet profile on a simulated Petfinder website, which was matched to a microchipped stuffed dog or cat.

Student “veterinary technicians” walked visitors through the benefits of pet adoption, performed a “medical exam” on the “pet” and made food recommendations (Purina, of course!) based on the pet’s age and dietary needs.

Read more GOOD NEWS about Catholic education at http://archstl.org/education/page/e-vangelizer

Mass for the Preservation of Peace and Justice on Sunday

January 12, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: Mass for the Preservation of Peace and Justice
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
When: Sunday, January 15, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
Who: Archbishop Robert Carlson, celebrant; Rev. Arthur Cavitt, homilist

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will celebrate the annual Mass for the Preservation of Peace and Justice at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 15, the day before the observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Rev. Arthur Cavitt, Executive Director of the St. Charles Lwanga Center, a Catholic ministry rooted in the African-American community, will deliver the homily. This marks the archdiocese’s 41st annual commemoration of the birth and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We keep hearing the Lord say, ‘Come and you will see’ that with the Lord by our side, we continue to change the face of the earth for the better,” said Fr. Cavitt in his spirited homily for the 2015 Mass. “Yes Lord, there are servants who are listening, and will be part of renewing the face of the earth.”

A reception and awards presentation ceremony for the 10th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Model of Justice Honorees will take place in Boland Hall after Mass. A complete list of honorees can be found on the website of the St. Louis Review.

Members of the media are invited to attend. For additional information about the event call the St. Charles Lwanga Center at 314-367-7929.

#CatholicSTL

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