Archdiocesan news briefs

National Merit semifinalists

Thirty four students from St. Louis-area Catholic high schools are among 318 students statewide to reach the semifinals of the National Merit Scholarship Program, representing 13 of 27 high schools in the archdiocese. St. Louis University High led the way with 14 finalists;, followed by Chaminade College Preparatory School, Cor Jesu Academy and Saint Louis Priory School with three each.

SLUH (14): Christian Augsburger, Niles Bernabe, Philip Cibulka, Joseph Fentress, Edward Gartner, Joseph Laughlin, Marlon Pabello, Robert Schaefer, Matthew Smith, Cameron Spence, Jacob Swyers, Peter Villhard, Salvatore Vitellaro, Ian Wells.

Three each: Chaminade • Michael McGovern, Alec Pfeffer, Justin Remelius; Cor Jesu • Kyla Luechtefeld, Ellen Seeser, Annalise Wagner; Priory • Joseph Donnelly, Dariya Khojasteh, James Orme-Rogers

Two each: De Smet Jesuit • Tmothy Deighton, Patrick Sanchez; Nerinx Hall • Stephanie Fox, Maggie Moran

One each: St. John Vianney • Paul Morrison; CBC • Alexander Sepe; Rosati-Kain • Shayla O'Donnell; St. Joseph's Academy • Caroline Zupan; Ursuline Academy • Alexandria Schomaker; Villa Duchesne • Jessica Lauer; Visitation Academy • Abigale Vandeven.

Upcoming events

Theology of charity

Jesuit Father David Meconi will present "Lest Loves Compete: St. Augustine's Theology of Charity," at the third annual John F. Kavanaugh, SJ, Philosophy for Ministry Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Sinquefield Stateroom at St. Louis University. Father Meconi is an associate professor of theological studies and director of the Edmund Campion Center for Catholic Studies. For more information, call (314) 977-3827 or email

The environment

Sister Cheryl Kemner and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Help will lead a series on "Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home," Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment and human ecology, on four Wednesday evenings at Incarnate Word Parish, 13416 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield. The series will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 through Oct. 19. Attendees don't have to read the encyclical before the first session and don't have to attend all sessions. Nine parishes and the Peace and Justice Commission of the archdiocese are sponsoring the program.

Hebrew Catholics lectures

The Association of Hebrew Catholics will sponsor a free series of lectures on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. beginning Sept. 21, in the Gannon Room of the Cathedral Basilica Rectory. Larry Feingold, associate professor of theology and philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, will present, "On the Eucharist, Part 2." Sessions and their dates include "The Sacrifice of the Mass" (Sept. 21); "Protestant Objections to the Sacrificial Nature of the Mass" (Sept. 28); "Fruits of the Mass" (Oct. 5); "The Participation of the Faithful in the Sacrifice" (Oct. 12); "Effects of Holy Communion" (Oct. 19); "Dispositions for Receiving Holy Communion Fruitfully" (Oct. 26); "Communion and Adoration" (Nov. 2); "Principles of Church Architecture" (Nov. 9). For more information, call (314) 535-4242.

Family FunDay with the Saints

A free Family FunDay with the Saints will take place from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center, 4000 Highway 109 in Eureka. Outdoor activities include a saints scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, storytelling, photo booth, games, and live music by Life Teen musician Kyle Huelsing. Children and adults are encouraged to dress up as their favorite saints. Other participating groups include SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and the archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life. The event will take place rain or shine. RSVPs are requested by emailing For more information, call (636) 938-5390 or visit

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