Archdiocesan news briefs

'House in a Box'

When tornadoes tore through several communities around Illinois in November, several thousand families suffered property damage with many losing everything. To aid in responding to this need, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul launched its "House in a Box" program on Feb. 20. The national program has supported families after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the Texas wildfires, the Oklahoma tornadoes, the Colorado floods and the West Texas plant explosion. New household furnishings are purchased for families without insurance and for whom it will be difficult to replace everything they lost. The program is sponsored by the Peoria Council of Society of St. Vincent de Paul, with partner funding support from the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the Jewish Federation. Catholic Charities has made its SHARE warehouse available as the distribution center. To contribute to tornado relief, see www.svdpusa.org.

40 Days for Life begins

A kickoff rally was held on Ash Wednesday, March 5, for the spring 40 Days for Life campaign. The campaign, which calls for an end to abortion through prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil outside Planned Parenthood and community outreach, will take place through April 13. There are opportunities to participate in the vigil at Planned Parenthood locations in St. Peters and the Central West End. To sign up or for more information, visit www.coalitionforlifestl.com or call (314) 827-4039.

Shroud of Turin

Mark Antonacci, an expert on the Shroud of Turin, will hold several lectures on the subject at the chapel at De Smet Jesuit High School, 233 N. New Ballas Road in Creve Coeur. Antonacci will speak about his efforts to petition Pope Francis to allow additional testing on the shroud. Lectures will be held at 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, Thursday, April 10, and Monday, May 12, and will continue throughout December of 2014. The presentations are free, but contributions to The Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation will be accepted. Visit www.testtheshroud.com for more information about Antonacci's upcoming presentations or to learn more about The RSF.

Symposium on new evangelization

Benedictine College's Institute for Missionary Activity will host the annual Symposium for Advancing the New Evangelization March 21-22 at the college in Atchison, Kan. The symposium will feature Catholic speakers and dozens of additional papers and presentations from professors, field professionals and clergy. Session topics include Pope Benedict XVI, the HHS mandate, communication, marriage, Thomistic influence and the media. Registration and additional information is available online at www.benedictine.edu/ima.

Chess champs

St. John Vianney High School's varsity and freshman chess teams captured titles at the Gateway Chess Championships, held March 1 in Columbia, Mo. More than 25 high school chess team competed in the event. Vianney's varsity is the defending national chess champion, with this year's national event to be held in April in San Diego. The varsity chess team won 13 of a possible 16 games to win the Missouri title. The team, which has won 13 Missouri titles, is coached by Ed Baur and David Petersen and led by Nick Kreitner, Alex Foley, Jack Lyons, Andrew Krekeler and Nikita Thompson. Both Krekeler and Thompson went 4-0. Other members of the varsity team are: Alex Moellering, John Brennan, Alex Griffin, Matt Woolbright, Aaron Reynolds, Adam Hark, Dan Owensby and Nathan Mittenzwey. The freshman team captured the Grade 9 and Under division title, tying with St. Joseph's Academy for top honors among the freshmen. Both Vianney and St. Joe's finished with 16.5 of a possible 24 points.

Mission of Mercy volunteers

Health-care providers, including dentists, hygienists, assistants, lab technicians, physicians and nurses, and community volunteers are needed to donate their services to hundreds of underserved patients in the area at an upcoming Mission of Mercy free dental services event. Up to 2,000 patients are expected at the clinic Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. The mission is supported by the Missouri Dental Association Foundation. The association asks that volunteers register online from now through mid-April at www.momom.org.

Day of reflection

"Take Lord, Receive," a day of reflection for those with cancer and other chronic diseases as well as for those who care for them will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Il Ritiro Franciscan Retreat in Dittmer. A Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. The presenter is writer and spiritual director Steve Givens, author of "Embraced by God: Facing Chemotherapy with Faith." Givens underwent chemotherapy treatments for three years for a blood disease and is now in remission. Registration is $22 before March 1 and includes lunch. Call (636) 274-0554 or email il.ritiro@gmail.com.

Support for SLU clinic

Each Saturday, St. Louis University medical school students volunteer their time providing free medical services at the Health Resource Center, a clinic that provides care to uninsured and underinsured individuals in north St. Louis. While the treatment is free, the cost to run the clinic is not, so student volunteers are hosting an auction on Saturday, April 12, to help raise funds for the center's annual operating budget. The auction will be at 6 p.m. at Il Monastero, 3050 Olive St., on St. Louis University's campus. The annual auction is the only large fundraiser benefiting the the center and is the main source of operational funds. General admission tickets for the auction are $55. VIP tables for eight are available. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. To purchase tickets online, visit www.stlouisreview.com/rFC. For more information about how to support or receive care at the Health Resource Center, email sluhrc@gmail.com or call (314) 389-0008.

Ageless Remarkable

The St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors System today announced that nominations are now being accepted for seniors to be recognized at its 2014 Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala. The annual event honors outstanding St. Louis area older adults, age 75 and older, for their many incredible contributions on the job front, and in areas such as philanthropy and volunteer service. Nominations are being accepted now through March 10, 2014, via the St. Andrew's website at www.standrews1.com/nomination. Seniors from across the entire St. Louis metropolitan area and Metro East are eligible for recognition at the 2014 gala, which is set for Nov. 9. In addition to serving as St. Andrew's most significant fundraiser of the year, the Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala has played a critical role in helping to reshape the face of aging in the region and transform, enhance and improve the image of older adults in the region.

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