lay organizations

Silent Night volunteers aid patients' families

For the third year, the nonprofit organization Silent Night provided food, beverages, music and a comfort on Christmas Eve to family members of patients in intensive care units in Missouri hospitals.

Silent Night was started in 2008 by Carolynne Kieffer of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Parish. The program is made possible by area restaurants, catering services and other businesses that provide, and in some cases deliver, food to the hospital for families who find themselves waiting with their loved ones at the hospital on Christmas Eve. Volunteers play an essential role also.

SVDP awards grants to help needy in four states

The National Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, based in St. Louis, awarded $20,000 in grants Jan. 18 to help eight communities in four states.

Ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, the grants are part of the Society's annual Friends of the Poor grant program and will provide assistance to the needy, including food, utility bills, housing and rent assistance, and medicine.

Legionaries to leave Gateway Academy

Gateway Academy, a private Catholic elementary school in Chesterfield, will no longer be directed by the Legionaries of Christ, the religious congregation associated with the school. The Legionaries, who are leaving St. Louis on July 1, are in the process of transferring control of school operations to the lay members of the school's board of directors. That transfer is expected to be complete within the next 30 days, said Steve Notestine, one of four lay board members.

Gateway will remain open this school year and will reopen for the 2011-2012 school year, Notestine said.

Mo. Knights of Columbus initiate Ultrasound Initiative for pregnancy resource centers

Program will fund sonography equipment for pregnancy centers

The Missouri Knights of Columbus have launched a program that will help place ultrasound machines into pregnancy resource centers across the state.

Liturgical composers to meet; public event planned this month

Leading Catholic composers will gather at the Stroble Center for Liturgy at St. Louis University later this month for the 14th annual Liturgical Composers Forum.

The forum is a professional academy of women and men who write hymns, songs and acclamations for the Roman Catholic Mass. The group includes published composers from across North America and England representing various styles of traditional and contemporary music. Attendees will include David Haas, Roc O'Connor, Rory Cooney, Jaime Cortez, Janet Whitaker and many others.

Jesuit volunteers praised as ‘friends with the poor’

Mary Carlson, left, and Darlene Luebbert, both former Jesuit Volunteer Corps members, looked at materials on the Jesuits at an event Jan. 9 honoring volunteers with three Jesuit service organizations. Jesuit Father Douglas Marcouiller, provincial of the Missouri Province, said at a Mass beforehand that the volunteers “see the spirit of God working in the world.”

Father Douglas Marcouiller, provincial of the Jesuits’ Missouri Province, refers to lay volunteers who serve in the Alum Service Corps, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as “a close-knit group of friends — friends with each other and the poor.”

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