What do a man on Long Island, a resident of Ballwin, and a priest from Argentina have in common? The answer: They have all been served selflessly by a St. Louis Catholic school graduate in the past month.
Joseph Kenny | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @josephkenny2
Catholic school students are the beneficiaries of legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon ending discrimination against them in the A+ scholarship program, according to the principals of two high schools that had advocated for the change.
"The real winner here is the kids," said Kevin Mabie, principal of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in Washington. "Our kids were being denied something that really was their right."
Catholic education runs in Beth Zoellner's family, so it's no surprise that Beth and husband Jason's three children — Autumn, Tyler and Reese — are in St. Vincent de Paul School in Perryville.
As of May 27, Autumn, 16, is a rising junior in the high school, with Tyler, 12, entering seventh grade and Reese, 9, fourth.
Beth Zoellner graduated high school from St. Vincent de Paul in 1997, and her mom and dad, Dianne and Larry Brown, graduated in 1969. Beth's grandmother Rosettia Bohnert only went to school through eighth grade but it was in a Catholic school.
The cafeteria scene looked like any gathering at Any School USA, just peer boys and girls sitting around a table and either watching video games on smart phones or nibbling on the day's delicacies — meatball sandwiches and chips washed down with soda pops, juices or sports drinks.
In other words, nothing special.
But this was a novel scene, with students from three schools mingling and beingOne, so to speak, enjoying each other's company and fare from an area food truck.
Last weekend the Church celebrated Pentecost. This feast commemorates the occasion of the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles in the form of tongues of fire — therefore red is the liturgical color for the day. So you can imagine that the seniors participating in Bishop DuBourg High School's Baccalaureate Mass on this year's Feast of Pentecost were an impressive sight at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in their red and white graduation robes.