Education

Choose truth, not prestige

Every day, Catholics confront the growth of an anti-life culture, fueled in large part by ignorance of truth and acceptance of relativism. It’s hard enough to defend and hold true to our faith when pressured and surrounded by messages from the media, pop culture and government that are contrary to our core beliefs. But when one of our own institutions ignores the profound risk of supporting anti-Catholic teachings it becomes much more difficult to stand united as one holy Catholic Church. This week, the University of Notre Dame, one of the premier Catholic education institutions in the United States, announced that President Barak Obama would be this year’s commencement speaker. The president also will receive an honorary degree. This invitation isn’t simply a matter of honoring a high-profile public official with differing philosophy on some issues, it’s an absurd affront to the unity Catholics must maintain to further the understanding of the word of God.

Despite criticism, Notre Dame firm on Obama as speaker

WASHINGTON (CNS) — University of Notre Dame officials were standing firm on their choice of President Barack Obama as commencement speaker at the institution’s May 17 graduation, in spite of a large number of Catholics calling on them to rescind the invitation.

The Indiana university, run by the Congregation of Holy Cross, and the White House announced March 20 that Obama would be Notre Dame’s 2009 commencement speaker and confirmed he will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the graduation.

"The invitation to President Obama to be our commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem-cell research," said Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame.

SLU pro-life group names endowment

St. Louis University's Students for Life organization has announced the naming of the Virginia D. Murphy Endowment for Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance.

The announcement was made last month at a talk given by Alveda King, daughter of the late civil rights activist A.D. King and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The endowment, established last fall, will provide resources for SLU students who face the challenges of an unexpected pregnancy and parenting, so they can stay on the path toward earning a degree. Funding will help students cover the costs of tuition, housing, prenatal care,child-care and other areas. The endowment is named after the late Virginia Murphy, a SLU alum and longtime advocate for the defense of the unborn. She was a member of St. Pius V Parish in South St. Louis.

Today and Tomorrow Choirs of Angels Dinner

The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation will hold its fifth annual Choirs of Angels dinner Tuesday evening, April 14, at the Missouri Athletic Club, 405 Washington Ave., in Downtown St. Louis.

Proceeds of the dinner will benefit the needs-based scholarship programs of Today and Tomorrow, which was begun in 1990 to provide partial needsbased scholarships to Catholic school children.

This year’s honorees are Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield and St. Anthony’s Medical Center Foundation.

Homeschool conference set for April 3-4

The annual conference of the St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Association will be held Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4, at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

The conference is designed to introduce Catholic families to the opportunities for homeschooling at all levels. The event includes speakers, workshops, a vendor fair and Mass.

Friday events will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and will include a pizza social for high school students and a panel discussion by homeschool graduates on "Life After Homeschool." Father Christopher Martin, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville, will speak on "Who Will I Be When I Grow Up? Developing Character and Virtues Needed for Any Vocation."

Catholic schools become champs in several sports

Chaminade won its first state basketball title, Borgia won its fifth basketball championship and Christian Brothers College High School took its 11th hockey title.

St. Louis University High School won its 11th state championship and fourth national championship in racquetball. Cor Jesu Academy won its first national championship in racquetball, and Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory’s girls basketball team won its championship. Several other Catholic schools also had good showings in the winter sports season.

Basketball — Chaminade won the Class 5 Boys Basketball Championship with an 80-70 win over Grandview March 14 after a thrilling 66-65 win the day before over Columbia Rock Bridge.

In the title game, Chaminade was up by just one point at halftime, down by a point after the third quarter and pulled ahead in the fourth quarter, outscoring Grandview 27-16 in the quarter. Chaminade was led by Bradley Beal with 30 points and eight rebounds, while Brandon Lockhart added 21 points and Brandon Hannah added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

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