The fourth Pastoral Assembly in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will take place at the Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, MO 63119, on Saturday, November 23, 2013, from 9 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. Each of the 188 diocesan parishes is invited to send two delegates each to participate in the assembly. Archbishop Carlson’s focus for this year’s assembly is “A Call to Prayer.” Fr. Chris Collins, S.J., will reflect on the inspired leadership of Pope Francis, and Fathers Brian Fischer and Chris Martin will discuss “Encountering God in Prayer.” Archbishop Carlson will also introduce his new pastoral letter on spiritual formation, “Partakers of the Divine Nature.” There is no fee for attending and a box lunch will be provided. So, if you are interested in going and want to be one of the two people representing St. Ann parish, please let me know by Monday, November 11. Call at 314-385-5090 ext. 855.

As you also may know, the Missouri Bishops as well as a number of other groups have formed the Missouri Children’s Education Initiative. It is a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that will pro-vide financial assistance to elementary and secondary school children. Both public and non-public school children are eligible, including Catholic school children. Help is also provided for children with disabilities.

The crux of the ballot initiative is to offer a state in-come tax credit for charitable donations to non-profit education foundations. These community foundations can assist children in any of three ways:
Provide scholarships for children to attend non-public schools, including Catholic schools, offer funds to public schools to bolster the academic programs they offer to children, and enhance special education for children with disabilities. It does so without raising taxes on any Missouri taxpayer; instead, taxpayers will be able to claim a tax credit for 50% of their donation to a Children’s Education Foundation. More information to follow in the weeks ahead.

Reminder – next week’s second collection is for the Archdiocese of the Military. Envelopes and further information are on the tables by the exits.