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.

Among the best

Anne Kordes converses with Senior Lauren Christman.

Being offered the job as head volleyball coach at St. Louis University was "a huge opportunity" in part because of the excellent programs in St. Louis, said Anne Kordes, whose SLU team has risen to rank among the best in the nation.

"The level of play in St. Louis and around St. Louis is outstanding," Kordes said. "I thought St. Louis would be a good fit. There’s a strong connection with volleyball at the Catholic schools. No doubt, half of our team is from Catholic schools. And if you look around, there are strong programs at public schools around St. Louis as well."

Other large Midwest cities also have strong volleyball programs in Catholic high schools, Kordes noted.

She said it has been easy to recruit students to St. Louis University. "We get these kids on this beautiful campus and tell them what the education is worth and explain to them they’ll have great coaching and an opportunity to win the conference. It’s just snowballed from there."

The Catholic Youth Apostolate’s CYC leagues provide a foundation, giving children the opportunity to play in the third grade, with some parishes offering instructional play as early as kindergarten. Kordes is in contact with coaches who want to bring their players to SLU practices, games or clinics.

Vacation Bible school at St. Joseph open to students with special needs

For the second year, St. Joseph Parish in Manchester will include special-needs children in its vacation Bible school.

The parish will hold its summer Bible school program from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 15-19. The program is aimed at children in kindergarten through fourth grade, with fifth- and sixth-graders as "youth adventurers" and seventh-graders and older as "youth helpers."

Last summer for the first time the program was opened to include special-needs children from St. Joseph and several other parishes. The program was "an overwhelming success," according to Michelle Foster, St. Joseph’s parish school of religion coordinator.

Children with special needs will have a specially designed vacation Bible school program. A committee of teachers, parents and therapists worked to prepare the curriculum and environment to make the vacation Bible school accessible to all students, Foster said. The special-needs class will be taught by special education professionals.

Space is limited. Registration is due April 27; contact Foster at (636) 391-1404 or

Aquinas Institute offers Summer Break classes

Registration is open for Aquinas Institute of Theology’s 2009 summer session. This year’s courses will include "something for everyone," said Dominican Father Richard Peddicord, president of the Dominican-sponsored graduate school of theology and ministry in St. Louis.

Courses include for-credit offerings in theological and ministerial study and non-credit, single-session classes on different aspects of Catholic life and culture. A one-week course on preaching and a weekend formation program also will be given.

Both for-credit and non-credit courses will be offered during the session, which runs from May 18 through Aug. 19.

Programs for credit include one-week, two-week and three-week courses in Scripture, moral theology, spiritual direction, pastoral ministry and technology in ministry, as well as an online Church history course.

The non-credit courses are offered through the new Summer Break@Aquinas initiative as either single classes or continuing sessions. They are: "Getting To Know Catholic St. Louis," Wednesday mornings, May 27-July 15 (excluding June 3) ; and "Bake and Be Blessed," with Benedictine Father Dominic Garramone, well-known PBS-TV host and cookbook author, weekday mornings June 8-12.

For-credit courses are $370 a credit hour.
Single-session Summer Break courses are $75, with a 20 percent discount for five or more sessions or one-session registration for groups of five.

Aquinas will offer its 21st annual Summer Preaching Institute, this year a one-week intensive program, Monday through Friday, June 15-19. The preaching program is aimed at anyone engaged in Christian preaching, including priests, deacons and retreat preachers.

The weekend formation program to explore Dominican spirituality, focusing on St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena, will be June 11-14.

For more information or to register, go to or call (800) 977-3869 or (314) 256-8804. Registration is due April 30.

Aquinas Institute of Theology is at 23 S. Spring Ave. at Forest Park Boulevard in Midtown.

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