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Parish Newsletter — Volume 1, Issue 2 |






Safety and Security Updates By Joe Bradley, Communications Coord.


n the summer of 2015, tornado sirens went off during the 5 p.m. Saturday Mass. As some of you may remember, there was a bit of confusion before the chapel was ultimately evacuated and parishioners were moved to safer areas of the building. This event prompted the formation of the Safety and Security Committee at Newman, led by parishioner Jim Tunink. Since the start of 2016, the committee has met more than 35 times to evaluate and improve Newman's emergency and safety procedures. Some actions that have already been taken include: • Tornado drill conducted after 5 p.m. Mass on July 9, 2016 • Emergency Operations Plan created and submitted to several key emergency management personnel • Risk assessment completed identifying the priority areas to address of tornado safety, medical emergencies, and severe weather awareness • New first aid and body fluid spill kits installed • New maps installed indicating fire escape routes, tornado shelter areas and location of emergency equipment • In conjunction with Tri-Parish Health Ministry, members attended Active Shooter Training, Fire Extinguisher Training and a CEP/AED/First Aid Training • PowerPoint slides developed for chapel indicating escape routes associated with tornado and fire emergencies • Flocknote system set up to text parishioners in emergency In the coming months, the committee will be implementing and looking into the following items: • Flip charts in each classroom outlining quick emergency procedures • Placing emergency backpacks in strategic locations • Attending Mental Health First Aid training • Improving communication and signage in the building • Improving our ability to respond to an active shooter • Exploring the Smart 911 system The committee is currently seeking volunteers for the weekend Masses to assume responsibility for implementing the emergency plan at the time of incident and provide leadership until emergency personnel arrive. These volunteers will rotate on a regular schedule like other roles at Mass. Assignments include: • Sit in a designated location during assigned Mass • Follow provided safety guide to help manage emergencies that happen during Mass (tornadoes, intruders, injuries, illnesses) • Coordinate use of the first aid kit, AED, body fluid kit and emergency backpack • Call first responders (911) as needed • Complete an incident report after each event Training will be provided (approximately one hour in length). If you are interested in assisting with this important ministry, please contact Jim Tunink at


Building Improvements


hank you for your patience as we work on improving both the interior and exterior of the Newman Center. As you may have noticed, much of the building has received a fresh coat of paint! This project is mostly wrapped up for the time being. There was also a new filtered water drinking fountain installed on the first floor that has a bottle filler. The new fountain is both energy and water efficient. As of publication, there were 425 water bottles saved from its use. The students are hosting a contest to see who can guess the number of water bottles saved by the end of the semester. On the exterior building, the sidewalk projects are finishing up as the sidewalk along Tiger Avenue has been replaced, as well as the sidewalks leading into the main doors. The ramps in the handicap parking spots have also been replaced. The HVAC system overhaul has also been completed and parishioners have generously donated $138,842.31 to pay down the HVAC debt, using the provided debt envelopes. With all of these major renovations and improvements completed, Fr. Rich reports that we are going to take some time to breathe for a bit before exploring any other projects.


Parish Kids Helping Kids in El Salvador By Emily Shull, Director of Religious Education


ne day when I was packing up to go home, there was a knock at the office door. It was one of our CEP families, the Goldas. Eleanor had just celebrated her 8th birthday and said she had something to give me for El Salvador. Instead of presents, she asked her family to give her money for her birthday and saved some of her own. Her goal was to raise enough to provide one scholarship for a student at the parish school at La Immaculada Conception, the main parish in our sistering region of La Libertad. She was excited because she hadn’t just brought me the $150 for the scholarship but $200. Eleanor had learned about the school during our Vacation Bible School program when we asked each kid who attended to bring in $3 each to support a scholarship, and we easily met our goal. We also saw pictures and heard stories from our college students who visited the school in March 2016. It made a big impression on at least one parish family. This fall, kids made Christmas ornaments to send to El Salvador for the 3rd year in a row. We are very lucky that we have so many students and parishioners who have visited that each homeroom had a speaker who shared pictures and stories about a particular small community they had met before we started on our art projects! Our sister parish ministry has been an amazing opportunity for our kids. While we tell them there are Catholics all over the world, they have now seen pictures and heard stories of real people. They’ve seen pictures of Salvadoran churches and learned about Bl. Oscar Romero, the hero of El Salvador’s people and a giant in their faith. The kids have done fun things like try out Salvadoran dessert. The fourth and fifth graders heard about micro-loan projects that help women in rural areas save money for projects like housing improvements and starting in home

businesses (we “saved” and traded M&Ms). At first we heard a lot of reactions about how poor our friends in El Salvador seem. Although that’s true, kids are starting to see El Salvador friends in living color through the enthusiasm of those who have met them. This relationship is giving our kids a real understanding of living with generosity and solidarity. We’re grateful that many parents support these efforts and come to class for our special El Salvador lessons. We are very excited about getting kids involved in the upcoming Mass of Solidarity at 11 a.m. Sunday, February 19.


Focus on the Creed By Kate Begle, Edge Intern


ast year our wonderful Edge students dove deep into scripture, reading old stories and learning new lessons. This semester our Edge program will focus on the Creed. Throughout our Edge nights, we will focus on what it means to be Catholic. Because we will be learning about the building blocks of our faith, this semester we kicked off our Edge with Lego-themed games and activities. This semester we are also adding a monthly Bible study for all middle schoolers and their parents. These Bible studies will take place the first Sunday of every month after the 11 a.m. Mass. All middle school students are welcome to join us as we continue to learn and grow in our faith together.



Exploring God's Promise This Spring By Emma Timms, Life Teen Intern


or CoMo Life Teen, 2016 brought many wonderful changes to our youth program, and we were so blessed to see the positive effect it had on our students, staff members and volunteers. As we dive head-first into the new year, we are looking at more exciting new things in 2017 to further improve the program and continuously provide a place for high school students to experience the love of Christ through faith and family. FALL 2016 RECAP Fall Retreat 2016 occurred Nov. 4-6, 2016 at Camp Trinity in New Haven, Missouri. The high school students experienced a weekend surrounded by the theme “Timeless,” exploring God’s timelessness in His love and glory. The theme brought forth talks, games and activities based on various decades, such as the ‘80s, ‘90s and present day. The students also had many opportunities to encounter Christ face-to-face through Eucharistic Adoration, Mass and Reconciliation by the lake. With over 54 people involved on the retreat, we were blown away to see the participation double from last year’s retreat. Thank you to all who helped make Fall Retreat possible; your prayers and preparations were felt and heard the entire weekend. Last semester marked the first semester that our new Food Ministry program was put in place. We are so thankful for all the volunteers who prepared meals for the high school students – you are a vital part of the program that helps build community around a family-style dinner table. If you are interested in participating in the Food Ministry program for the 2017 Spring Semester, please visit the Newman website to sign up! WHAT’S NEW: SPRING 2017 CoMo Life Teen is excited to announce our new semester theme: “The Promise.” We will be exploring the promise God makes to us, the promise we make to ourselves and the promise


we make to others through talks and small group time. We are also introducing a new small group system, which we are playfully basing off of the “House System” from Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series! Small groups will be sectioned into teams with students from each grade, high school and parish to create a peer-mentoring ministry. Each team will compete in games and challenges each to win the “House Cup,” or grand prize at the end of the semester. This system is designed to continue strengthening the community we have built as well as provide opportunities to students to become leaders and receive peer support through their teenage years. High school is a challenging time, and our goal at CoMo Life Teen is to provide students with support from others their age as well as our Core Team volunteers so they always have someone to whom they may turn. We are so excited to begin preparations for our Spring Retreat: Luke 18! Luke 18 is a retreat for eighth graders led by high school students as a way of welcoming the incoming high school students into the Life Teen program. Luke 18 is set for April 28-30, 2017 at Our Lady of Lourdes. Please pray for both the high school students and eighth grade students, as well as our many adult chaperones and volunteers who make this retreat possible! We are in our last semester of Confirmation for the 2016-2017 class, and we couldn’t be more excited to see these students continue their path towards this wonderful sacrament. The students have heard several talks from guest speakers and Core Team members about the various teachings of the Church, including prayer, relationships, the Eucharist and more. The students have also experienced a Teaching Mass led by Fr. Joseph. The Confirmation Mass will be held Saturday, May 13th at 11:00 a.m. This date is also the 100th year anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition in Fatima. We are so blessed to be able to celebrate the students’ Confirmation on this holy day!



107 Newman Students Join 12,000+ at SEEK By Anna Lee, FOCUS Missionary

“What do you seek?” is the question posed to students from all walks of life during SEEK, FOCUS’ National Conference. FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) hosts this conference every two years in hopes of bringing college students to an encounter with Jesus Christ. Students from all across the nation are brought together as the Body of Christ in hopes that they may be united in prayer and community. The conference itself consists of talks given by speakers and members of the religious life, adoration, reconciliation and a concert. By the grace of God, 12,000+ students attended this year’s SEEK Conference. Mizzou was well represented with 107 students in attendance. As a FOCUS missionary, SEEK is very near to my heart. My college experience was not centered on Christ, especially in the first two years on campus. I spent most of my time and energy pursuing happiness in the cheap and short-lived thrills of living for the weekends. In 2013, I was brought to one of these conferences. It wasn’t easy to get me there, but once I arrived I witnessed something I had never seen before: college students who were in love with the Lord and had deep purpose in their lives. I was enthralled; where did this joy come from and how could I find it in my life? It wasn’t long before I began to seek answers. My life was transformed before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration. It was an uphill battle moving forward and making changes back on campus, but the Lord was faithful, and today I am serving my second year as a FOCUS missionary at the University of Missouri. Our students had similar experiences to mine this time around. I witnessed as several students came to life. You could tell they had encountered something truly transformative, and it gave them a purpose they didn’t prior have. I want to thank you for your contribution to the Newman Center, because with you these students are learning what it means to be fully alive in Jesus Christ. What a beautiful thing!

Adoration is always a powerful time. Everyone had been excited for all of the other events, but seeing thousands of people burst through the door to get front row seats to see Jesus was incredible. Everyone from babies to grandparents, renowned Catholic speakers to recent converts were in the present moment and giving Him their all. There is no more beautiful sight than Jesus in the monstrance, being adored by 12,000 of His children.” Mary Klarsch MU Junior

It was literally incredible and changed my life. God spoke to me in so many different ways and said, ‘My daughter, you are strong, and you are so loved by Me.’ I don’t know; it was beautiful.” Hannah Rockwell MU Senior


There was a talk I went to on being a modern disciple of Jesus. He talked about what we need to do to transition from being a fan of Jesus and into being a follower of Jesus. This talk transformed the way I saw my faith growing, and I knew that I needed to make a change of how I approached Jesus and how I spent my time with Him." Aly Korabik MU Sophomore


40 Hours of Perpetual Adoration for Life By Theresa Nguyen, Communications Intern


eginning at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, Newman held perpetual adoration in the chapel for 40 consecutive hours to pray for the dignity of life. 40 Hours for Life, as the event is called, coincided with the March for Life that occurred on Friday, January 27 in Washington D.C. The purpose of 40 Hours was to not only to pray for the end to abortion, but also for the protection of life and awareness of all life issues. “It is just a time to pray in thanksgiving for the gift of life and pray for the protection of life,” said Allie Crank, Catholic Student Association social justice chair. Throughout the 40 hours of adoration, talks were given to promote awareness of all life issues, from conception to natural death. Kristen Wood, Mizzou Students for Life President, began the event with a talk on pro-life and the dignity of the unborn. “In the very beginning, in Genesis, we know that God created man in His image, and we’re told our entire lives that God is all powerful, that He has a plan for us, and we are all willed and brought into existence according to God’s plan for us,” Kristen said. “So do we really believe that then? Do we believe it just for ourselves or do we believe it for every single person on this planet that God has put here. Because God would never — in the bible or in scripture — give permission to kill His children right after He brought them into this world.” The rosary was said various times throughout the 40 hours, and pro-life resources were left in the Gathering Space to pray with. On Thursday, Assistant Campus Ministry Director Yvonne Chamberlain gave a talk on the dignity of the homeless. As a long-time volunteer at Room At The Inn, Yvonne reflected on her time and interactions spent at the shelter. “It really is my re-


sponsibility,” she said. “It really is our responsibility as faith individuals to serve the needs of those in our community. Those people may look like us, they may have different experiences from us, but just keep in mind that they have the same right to be respected and to be loved and cared for as we are despite their financial challenges, mental challenges or whatever brings them to these situations.” At least one person was praying in the chapel for every hour of the event. The 40 Hours for Life ended on Friday with a talk given by Abrea Mizer on the dignity of the elderly. A frequent visitor to the Candlelight Nursing Home in Columbia, she told stories about the residents she has come to know — and see Christ in. “Working with the elderly is not glamorous; it is often heartbreaking, frustrating, and completely exhausting,” Abrea said. “They’re forgotten because they’ve become too difficult to take care of or too much of a burden to their families. However, they are people who are doctors, and teachers, farmers, accountants, artists and so much more. They gave their lives to their communities and to their churches and to us. How can we turn away from them and not treat them with the dignity they deserve?” In addition to the 40 Hours for Life, Newman ran a Diaper Drive to donate baby supplies to the My Life Clinic in Columbia. By Sunday evening, the crib was full of diapers, baby wipes and other baby essentials, which did not include the $177 raised by the parish and $550 given by Walmart.


To watch the three 40 Hours for Life talks, visit our Youtube Channel at:

Tickets on sale NOW at:


Growing Our Community By JoAnn Shull, Development Director


hen I began working at the Newman Center in 2008 as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, I found a career that I loved and expected to stay in for the long-haul. How God laughs when we make plans! Over the years, I had the privilege of watching generations of students grow in faith and share their love of God with their friends. It’s a beautiful sight to witness! As many of you who have been here for a few years have likely seen, we are ministering to a larger number college students each year. As a Campus Ministry, we are charged with finding the people and resources to give our young adults the opportunity to discern how God is working in their lives. You, the permanent parishioners, have been incredibly giving of your time, talent, and treasure to benefit our student community. It warms my heart to hear stories of why you have joined Newman – and why you stay. But the student community is growing and is close to expanding beyond the means of what our parish can realistically support financially without undue burden in other ministry areas. In the past year and a half, the staff quickly realized the need for a permanent, sustainable solution to provide the resources we need to minister to our students. Our response was to create a new development office for campus ministry. As Newman took steps to make that need a reality, I also discerned that God was calling me to pursue a career change and I transitioned to the new Development Director this past fall. Many people hear the word “development” and think it’s all about the money. Yes, resources are important, but Catholic de-

velopment work is a ministry of relationship. Although I did and still do love working with the students, I also have experienced great fulfillment in meeting what I like to call our “extended Newman community.” You may not be aware, but there are thousands of alumni, parents, grandparents, former parishioners, and other supporters that care deeply about what happens in our faith home. They want to see Newman flourish and continue to serve our Catholic community here in Columbia. As this new ministry begins, I ask you for three things: 1. Your prayers. This is a different kind of development work than we have done in the past. It is new for Newman and for me. Please pray that the Spirit leads us closer to fulfilling our mission! 2. Your connections. Do you know alumni and/or former parishioners who have moved away that remain fond of the Newman Center? Connect them with me so we can share the Good News of our ministries. 3. Your ideas. Do you know of any businesses, organizations, or individuals who would be interested in supporting our mission through a gift or grant? Your input may be critical to opening a new avenue of partnership for our ministry. Many of you have said that you are parishioners at Newman because you are inspired by the young Church. I have witnessed first-hand the amazing things our students can do – their ability to share their faith, lead their peers, and serve others is what makes me want to come to work every day. Many of you have encountered one of our collegiate parishioners and know first-hand some of these amazing stories. I invite you to continue to support our student community in the way that God is uniquely calling you to serve.



Small Groups, Big Faith: the Return of Resident Small Groups By Theresa Nguyen, Communications Intern


wenty years ago, resident small groups flourished as another avenue for adults at Newman to dive deeper into their faith. When Sister Julie, in charge of resident small groups at the time, left Newman, these small groups fell by the wayside. Inspired by the fruitfulness of student small groups at the campus ministry level, where over 40 small groups meet each week, assistant music director Trent Rash felt that it was time to bring them back. “I honestly think the goal was to get people more invested in the church because I think that when they feel that they have a relationship with others, they feel called to do other things,” Trent says. So last summer, Trent and RCIA coordinator Lisa Rose contacted potential residents and started an intensive, 8-week training for those willing to participate. Five small groups began in September as a 7-week session leading up to Advent. However, most small groups


continued through the year, Trent says, and they even found other small groups that had been continuing since Newman facilitated them 20 years ago. Mary Simon Leuci co-lead a small group during the 7-week session. She says, “We had a goal of growing together in our faith and bringing us all into closer personal relationship with Christ. Several members talked about not ever having been part of such a group and how they hadn’t been sure what to expect, but they felt comfortable and it helped them grow. By the end, people were asking for prayers for family members, and we understood different challenges and experiences from different perspectives.” We sit by people all the time in church, Trent says, but we don’t take the time to really get to know one another. “Do we really know their struggles and what’s on their hearts? That’s what helps us build that community,” he says. “For me, it has helped me find


my faith to become deeper,” says Gary Winter, small group leader. “I study the scripture more deeply. I get different perspectives. I gain more friendships with others. To me it is a win-win situation. The closer I come to God, the more I want to come closer.” In order to continue the growth of these small groups, Lisa and Trent have planned another session to take place during Lent. For those who are interested and have not yet participated, there will be a one-day training session for small group leaders on February 12. Email if you are interested or for more information. “As a student who is involved at Newman, this is so inspirational,” says Hannah Dustman. “To know and see the adult parishioners that we look up to and rely on for support actively pursuing their faith encourages me to do the same and carry it with me even after I graduate.”


Planting the Seeds That One Day Will Grow By Eugenia Nathan, MU Senior


am a gardener. We are all gardeners. This is what I was told when I went to El Salvador three years ago with the St. Thomas More Newman Center. During the first student delegation to La Libertad, other students as well as myself learned what it means to walk with our brothers and sisters many miles away; we learned what it would take to enter into a Sister Parish relationship. I think Blessed Oscar Romero, the bold face and voice for the people of El Salvador, captures what a relationship like this is like when he said, "this is what we are about: we plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise." Three years ago our community partnered with a parish in El Salvador. In that time God has shown me the fruit of the seeds we watered then. We are beginning to see what is growing and what will continue to grow. I believe it is important to recognize these blessings, to celebrate them, then look to our next Lenten project renewed and ready to water what God is giving us to work with.

We have sent three delegations to El Salvador in the last three years and are preparing to send a group of students and parishioners this spring. An El Salvador committee has formed so that we can maintain our sisterhood between the two parishes and plan events here at the Newman Center. We have hosted cultural events such as a ladies brunch and a Pupusa Dinner. At both events parishioners made Salvadoran food, spoke about our mission and listened to participants for ideas on how to make our sisterhood better. Our sisterhood doesn’t just happen with college students and resident parishioners; it has extended to our religious education for elementary and middle school children as well. Children in CEP and EDGE learned about their brothers and sisters in El Salvador, and then made Christmas ornaments to be delivered to kids in the next delegation. Children receiving their First Communion and their families wrote and recorded a prayer to send to the children in El Salvador also receiving the Sacrament. One of the more recent celebrations has

been the completion of our El Salvador wall, located by the water fountains. I invite you to check out the wall and learn more about our sisterhood. THE NEXT SEED Our upcoming Lenten project will be geared towards the development of technical, social and cultural skills for the youth of the department of La Libertad. The aim of the project is to develop two groups of Andean and Popular music, and develop one workshop of silkscreen where young people can generate an income for themselves through the sale of these beautiful products they designed. Additionally the project will include the development of two schools for basic training in computing and English. I am so happy to be sharing this new project with my Newman family. This is a large seed to water — a tall order some might say. I say start with simplicity. Realize that our Newman family

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has made projects like this one possible for the last two Lenten seasons. The prayers, time, talent and treasure we offer up will water the seed that will make education possible for approximately 634 young people and indirectly the 3,150 relatives of the young people and their communities. I invite you to visit the El Salvador table in the Gathering Space this Lent. The El Salvador Committee will be selling coffee and chocolates on the 4th weekend of every month after Masses. Proceeds from these sales will help send parishioners on the next delegation as well as fund a scholarship for kids in El Salvador. At our table you can learn more about El

Salvador, our sister parish, and how you can be a gardener in our Lenten Project. If this is something that lights a small fire within you or it is something you are even a little curious about, I invite you to prayerfully consider if you are called to serve on our upcoming delegation this spring. For more information please feel free to reach out to a volunteer working the tables after Mass or by contacting me at Every day I say a prayer for my community here in Columbia and also my community in El Salvador. How blessed we are to see and experience God’s work unfolding in more than one place!

Newman Supports 20 Families Through Giving Tree Program By Theresa Nguyen, Comm. Intern


he Giving Tree is a yearly opportunity for all parishioners to give back to the community during the holiday season. The tree is decorated with gift tags with instructions to provide presents for those who may not be as fortunate to receive gifts on Christmas. This past year, the Giving Tree sat in the Gathering Space the weekend after Thanksgiving, and all the gift tags were taken within that first weekend! Participation by parishioners allowed each child to receive four gifts and each adult to receive two gifts. In addition, Newman Volunteer Corps provided gifts — including 10 bicycles — and various gift cards to 20 families and 40 residents of Lois Bryant and St. Francis House. Essential supplies were also given to both houses. This would not have been possible without the willingness and contributions of our parishioners! Thank you!



Blood Drive Nears 3,000 Units Donated Since 1983 By Joe Bradley, Communications Coordinator


ixty-five generous donors, including 11 first-timers, turned out to "give the gift of life" at Newman's Winter Blood Drive on January 22. The donors produced 57 units of blood, according to parishioner Bob Heinz, who has been coordinating the blood drives at Newman since 1986. Bob says the annual blood drive dates back to at least 1983. In 2006, a second blood drive was added each year in the winter to help the Red Cross replenish their lower supplies. To date, the Newman Blood Drive has accounted for 2,945 pints of blood. "I'm always impressed by how folks volunteer to help with the drives and how our regular donors always try to donate if they possibly can," Bob says. "The Red Cross supervisor told me that she was surprised by how Newman donors have such sweet dispositions even if they have been waiting for a long time due to many walk-ins after the Masses." According to the Red Cross, 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood. However, only 8 percent of the population chooses to donate. That leaves the Red Cross

in a bind, especially during the winter months when the blood supply starts to run low. One of those 8 percent that chose to give at the Newman Blood Drive was Sara Maslar-Donar (pictured top left), a resident parishioner. Sara says she typically tries to give blood at least once per year, if not more. "As Catholics, we are called to love and love life," Sara says. "And while I don't know who will receive my blood, I love them and want to help in whatever way I can, especially if its helping them live." Sara encourages others to overcome their fears of giving blood because some day, it could be someone you know that is in desperate need for donated blood. "It may not affect you personally now, but one day you'll be grateful to have a loved one back in your life because someone else took one hour out of their day to give blood," Sara says. "You save three lives each time you donate. And one day, it could be your loved one. As for the needle — it's like getting a shot. It feels like a little pin-prick. And you don't have to look!"



Catching Fire from Dominic's Vision

By Sr. Karen, OP, Pastoral Associate


he Dominican Order, founded by St. Dominic de Guzman in Prouille, France in 1206, recently celebrated its 800th anniversary. Newman is home to three Dominican Friars, a Dominican Sister, and a newly formed group of Dominican Associates. Many gathered with the parish on November 4, 2016 to welcome Sr. M. Paul McCaughey, a Springfield, Illinois Dominican Sister, who reflected on ways that Dominic’s founding energy fires our own efforts today. First she reviewed the history of Albigensianism, a heresy gripping Spain, France, Italy and much of Southern Europe in Dominic’s time. Compassion for people caught in the heresy’s grip gave Dominic a passion for Veritas, truth. But his response, Sr. M. Paul noted, flowed not from personal ambition, but from his deep life of prayer. He shared what he received with passion, knowing that faith in the gospel of Jesus gives meaning to life. Desiring an Order totally devoted to preaching the Word, Dominic launched the Order of Preachers. His was a Mendicant Order, not staying in one monastery, but going out two by two to universities and cathedrals to preach. The group gathered in our Multi-Purpose Room responded warmly to Sr. M. Paul’s style. Bob Heinz commented, “My one overall impression was how down to earth she was in her presentation... there was nothing stuffy or pretentious about Sr. Paul.” She recounted how Saints past and present lived our mottos: to praise, to bless, to preach. She said that the same Spirit driving Dominic


and his early followers inspires us today, when truth is often muted by violence and greed. And the four pillars of Dominican life — Community, Prayer, Study, and Preaching — support a lifestyle that brings hope and humanity to those who are served. Authentically lived, Dominican life itself is considered a holy preaching. St. Dominic is called a Gospel Man of Prayer. He knew it was God’s grace that empowered effective preaching, not only in those who preached the Word, but in those who heard it. He shared what he received. “Sr. M. Paul’s message was not wasted on us,” says Phyllis Stoecklein. “We learned more about our relationship with the Dominicans who serve us here at Newman and, at the same time, gained understanding of the long history and deep commitments of O.P.’s as an order serving our Catholic and local communities.” We close this 800th anniversary praying for Dominicans throughout the world, many of whom put their lives on the line for what they believe. We ask God to send men and women to join with Dominicans in their ministry in a church at the service of the world.


Update on Fr. Augustus Tolton's Canonization

By Michele Sisson-White & Avila NilonHendricks, Celebration Co-chairs


t has been almost a year since we had our first Fr. Tolton Celebration Mass here at St. Thomas More Newman Center. It was truly a wonderful celebration and we along with the Fr. Tolton committee felt blessed to be a part of it. We and the committee are presently planning this year’s celebration Mass. We look forward too many of you joining us on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Many of you are probably aware that Mother Teresa of Kolkata was canonized in September and is now St. Teresa of Kolkata. Well, there is a strong hope among many American Catholics that Fr. Augustus Tolton will also be canonized as a Saint. There are 5 steps you must go through to be canonized. 1. ‘Reputation for sainthood’ Friends or relatives can apply posthumously for their loved one to be recognized as having a “reputation for sainthood”, which gets the ball rolling on the full sainthood application process. This usually begins at least five years after a person’s death, though this was not the case for crowd favorites Mother Teresa and John Paul II for whom the timetable has been brought forward. 2. ‘Postulator’ Once the saintly reputation is recognized, the person in question becomes a “Servant of God” and a “postulator” is appointed to collect testimonies, researching writings to come up with a wartsand-all account of that person’s life. The file is then passed to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a Vatican department, where the case must overcome skepticism from a figure tasked with arguing against the candidate’s character - the origin of the expression “devil’s advocate”. 3. ‘Venerable’ If the Vatican gives the go-ahead, the person is no longer “Servant of God” but considered “Venerable” and the search begins for supposed miraculous healings attributed to their name. Doctors and theologians are involved in these Vatican indepth investigations of “miracles” and many candidates are rejected at this stage because other possible causes for the recoveries are found. 4. ‘Blessed’  If Vatican investigators find evidence of what they believe to be a miracle, then the candidate is “beatified” and can be referred to as “blessed”. The beatification ceremony is usually celebrated by senior clergymen in the candidate’s home town and a calendar day for their veneration is assigned.

5. ‘Saint’ Many years can pass between the attribution of a first and a second miracle and some sainthood candidates remain forever at the “blessed” stage. If a second miracle is identified, however, the canonization goes ahead with a Mass that can only be celebrated by the Pope and held in St. Peter’s Basilica. Fr. Tolton has cleared the fourth stage and is now considered Blessed. On Dec. 10, 2016 at St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy, IL, his remains were exhumed as needed for historical verification. Father Tolton’s remains will be put in a casket, then placed in a sealed vault and remain at St. Peters Cemetery for the present. Now that you are up to date on where his canonization stands, we welcome all to pray for its continued movement forward with the below prayer and participate in our upcoming celebration Mass. O God, we give you thanks for your servant and priest, Father Augustus Tolton, who labored among us in times of contradiction, times that were both beautiful and paradoxical. His ministry helped lay the foundation for a truly Catholic gathering in faith in our time. We stand in the shadow of his ministry. May his life continue to inspire us and imbue us with that confidence and hope that will forge a new evangelization for the Church we love.  Father in Heaven, Father Tolton’s suffering service sheds light upon our sorrows; we see them through the prism of your Son’s passion and death. If it be your Will, O God, glorify your servant, Father Tolton, by granting the favor I now request through his intercession (mention your request) so that all may know the goodness of this priest whose memory looms large in the Church he loved. Complete what you have begun in us that we might work for the fulfillment of your kingdom. Not to us the glory, but glory to you O God, through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are our God, living and reigning forever and ever. Amen. — Bishop Joseph N. Perry, 2010



This issue's featured blog is "Be the Best You" which is written by MU Student, Dayle Dickens. You can read more posts by Dayle at

Seven Important Things I Have Learned from a Toddler By Dayle Dickens, MU Student 1. You have to learn to walk before you can run. Helen looooooves to run. If she is wanting to move into another room, she will most likely run there. Running for Helen is new and exciting, and just so much better than walking. Applying this to my life, sometimes it can be difficult to trust the process. I want to see improvements or I want to know what the end result will be. Helen reminds me that change is a gradual process and you truly have to take life one step at a time. 2. Make everyone feel like the most important person in the room. Helen KILLS it with showing others love. Whenever anyone walks into the room, she runs over to them smiling and giggling ready to be scooped into their arms for a big hug. It does not matter if it is her first time meeting you or her twentieth, she will make you feel oh so loved. I want to make everyone I encounter feel this way. I always have liked the quote, “Leave others in a better place than where you found them.” I want to love the people I have been blessed with in my life the very best I can. I hope to become more aware of the people God has given me the opportunity to share His love with each and everyday. 3. Smile and laugh for no reason at all. Helen is always smiling and laughing and it is so contagious. Most of the time I have no idea why she is giggling, but it makes everyone she is around smile too. A simple smile has a ripple effect; smiling at a stranger or even those we love the most in our lives can truly turn someone’s whole day around. Helen has made me more aware of the power in a smile. 4. When you are tired it is time to rest. Whenever Helen is worn out she is DONE. It is so easy to feel like we always have to be doing and going, but if we are power-

ing through the day and we are exhausted, we are not able to give our daily tasks our best effort. When Helen is tired, she takes a nap and then wakes up so refreshed and full of energy. I hope to become more aware of when I am running on empty and need to call it a day or simply take a nap. 5. When you fall, get right back up. Simple enough, right? We hear this one a lot. If you get knocked down, you get right back up again. Helen falls all of the time, but the fear of falling never keeps her from running, climbing, or standing on top of things. You truly never know until you try, and I hope to be more like Helen and fearlessly chase and work towards all of my goals and dreams. 6. Allow others to comfort and love you. I think this one is tough for many people, and it is especially difficult for me. I like to be as independent as I possibly can. Independency is a great quality to have, but letting others love you is SO SO SO important. When Helen is crying or hurting, she doesn’t just sit there by herself. She goes and finds her mom or really anyone who will pick her up and comfort her. She lets others tell her she is okay, hug her, and completely love on her. Seeking for comfort is something we often lose with age. I hope to become more like Helen and be more open to receiving love through the many beautiful people God has placed in my life. 7. Slow down and be in the moment. When I am holding Helen, I am easily reminded of what is most important in life. Helen is so full of love. When I am with Helen, it is easy to put everything else aside and simply just be. The gift of presence is so important, and I want to more fully give my time and attention to the people in my life.

Coming Soon:"What's the Word" A weekly blog series by Newman students on a wide variety of faith-related topics! Stay tuned to




An Overlooked Struggle


By Peter O'Keefe, MU Senior


disability comes with many struggles both for the person suffering from the disability and his or her family. One important but often overlooked struggle is attending Church with someone with a disability. I have often thought about how the estimated rate of autism is 1 in 68 and wondered why I so rarely see anyone exhibit common autism-related behaviors at Mass. I notice this because I have a brother named Will who is 24 and has autism. It can be difficult to take him out in public, especially a place like Church where people are expected to be quiet and still. I know that my family is not alone in this experience. However, Will is one person with his own story. There are many people with autism with entirely different personalities from him. Saying someone has autism tells about as much about a person as saying he or she is from St. Louis. Will has difficulty communicating with people, and he struggles behaviorally. If I ask him what he did over the weekend, he will just respond with “I don’t know.” However, if I ask him to name the restaurant he went to over the weekend and what he got there, he is generally able to answer that, even if I have to ask him a couple times. He also likes asking certain types of questions repetitively. For instance, he often asks me something like “Who likes cookies that starts with a C?” and he wants me to list every C name I know like Carl, Carol, Carlos, etc. Will also flaps his arms and yells out when he is excited or upset. He struggles to express emotions in an appropriate manner, especially when he is sad. There have been many people I have met who have gone out of their way to accommodate Will in all different places, from his barber, to cashiers at Aldi, to parishioners at my Church. However, there have also been times where my family took Will out and people stared, mumbled amongst themselves, or became visibly angry with him. My family rarely brings Will to Church because of his behavioral struggles and because of a lack of understanding from fellow parishioners. We would always sit or stand in the back of Church if he was with us, and if he acted out, one of my parents would step out with him. However, even when he was not acting out and exhibited behaviors like tapping his arm repetitively, some people have gotten annoyed. This is not because they were deliberately trying to make our family feel unwelcome, but rather because they did not understand Will’s disability. Many of the people who were rude to my family are the same people who regularly do service for the community. They simply did not know what Will struggles with. Therefore, I find it important not to point fingers or blame people, but rather to spread awareness of the struggles related to disabilities.

Do You Remember? By Susan Devaney, Parishioner


ome of you old timers may remember that the Newman Center library was located at the back of the lounge just outside the chapel in the original building. The library was established as part of the plan by the Diocese of Jefferson City to create an intellectual study center at Newman. Many of the holdings in the library were secured by Fr. Donald Kemper, who was the pastor of the Newman Center from 1964 to 1975. The library closed when he was reassigned from the Newman Center, but the books and other holdings remained in the old library space. Following his untimely death in 1984, memorial donations totaling $5,000 allowed the library to reopen. In 1994, during renovation of the building and construction of the new church, the library was moved to the second floor on the site of the original chapel. Today, the library holdings number over 4,000 and include an extensive reference collection, CDs, DVDs and books in the areas of theology, church history, scripture, spirituality, ministry, prayer and meditation, ethics, literature and Church teaching. A growing section is books and videos for families and children. Comfortable seating, tables and carrels in the study area provide space for all to study or browse the collection of magazines and newspapers (including those from each Missouri diocese). Library hours are posted in the library window and in the weekly bulletin. Check out the Kemper Library. It is free and open to all.

To search the library database go to:

Enter “Kemper Library” in the Library Name field, and leave the password field blank. WINTER 2017 NEWSLETTER | 15


Santa Claus Comes to (Little) Town By Joe Bradley, Senior Theater Critic

Rating system: out of 5 stars of wonder


ach year, the Newman Center takes a unique spin on the traditional Christmas Pageant by adding a character not usually affiliated with the (religious) Christmas story: Santa Claus. For the first time, this year Santa (played by Kevin Shull, a Newman theater veteran) was joined by Mrs. Claus (played by up and coming actress Margot Burns). Be not afraid though, the star of this show has and always will be the baby Jesus (portrayed by a baby doll, another veteran). The pageant, Santa's Greatest Adventure, was written by Newman parishioner Anna Hargis in 2011. The idea for the show rose out of a common issue — ask many younger kids the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Christmas and the answer is typically Santa. However, rather than pushing Santa off stage, the Claus family plays a key roll in helping children understand the true meaning of Christmas. Santa and Mrs. Claus (first name still mysteriously unknown) are astounded to learn that kids Mike, Grace and Mary (played by prodigies Zach Wright, Ava Newland and Socorro Rodriguez respectively) are unaware of the reason for the season. Santa decides to take the children on a magic journey back in time where the kids witness the angel Gabriel (Kate Waller) visiting Mother Mary (Claire Rash), as well as the birth of Jesus and visits from the


ACTING MUSIC CHOREOGRAPHY SET DESIGN LIGHTING AND TECH shepherds, angels, kings and animals. This year's pageant was under the skilled direction of Mary Klarsh, an MU student in her first year with the company. Jacqueline Rash and Stephanie Suarez returned to help with choreography and movement (the three kings following the yonder star alone should be enough to win them a Tony), and music was directed by Trent Rash. Patrick Pullins once again did a superb job leading the tech crew. Emily Shull, Newman Center Director of Religious Education, wanted to give a special thanks to PACE (www. for allowing Newman to use their microphones and to Maplewood Barn Theater for loaning their spotlight ( Don't miss the next performance in December 2017!


Winter 2017 Parish Newsletter  
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