Catholic St. Louis

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 /J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6 C AT H O L I C S T LO U I S .C O M




JOHN 17: 20–21





A new vision

Father Christopher Martin’s column, “What’s your dream?” in our October/November issue received quite a bit of feedback. Father Martin encouraged readers to think big about new ways of moving forward as the structure of our archdiocese continues to change. Here’s some of your feedback:


hen Jesus commissioned Peter, the rock, to be the first pope, he said, “Upon this rock I will build my Church” (Matthew 16:18). The singularity of the noun is important. Jesus didn’t create churches. He created one. We find many calls to unity in sacred Scripture. Nine paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (813-822) specifically address Church unity, but the concept can be found throughout the document. The Profession of Faith reminds us of our call to be “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” This issue of Catholic St. Louis highlights how many in our archdiocese live this call and challenges us to beONE. Let’s embrace the idea that we don’t just attend a parish, we’re the body of a single Church. It’s a new vision for Catholic St. Louis, the community. This issue also introduces a new vision for Catholic St. Louis, the magazine. We’ve updated our fonts to allow more flexibility in typography and to better fit the tone of stories. The page grid and standing elements, such as columnist photos, have been updated to permit versatility in layout. The nameplate on the cover has been updated. The redesign isn’t a radical departure; it’s an enhancement of the work we’ve been doing all along — to heighten readers’ understanding of the wonderful ministries and people of the archdiocese. Just like the beONE initiative. TEAK PHILLIPS is the director of publications for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He and his family are parishioners of St. Ambrose Church on the Hill. He can be reached at or follow him on Twitter or Instagram: @teakphillips. Catholic St. Louis is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.


Oops! We goofed! The “What’s In a Name?” infographic in the October/November issue omitted Immaculate Conception Parish in Union among the names used the most in our parishes in the archdiocese.


We sincerely regret the error and offer our apologies to Immaculate Conception parishioners and their pastor, Father Joe Post — even though he tripped Catholic St. Louis staff writer Jennifer Brinker in gym class years ago. (They attended St. Gregory Grade School together.)


I have had this thought for almost a year, especially since our full-time school at St. Richard’s recently closed. To me, my dream for Catholic education is to let our kids attend public schools to get their non-religious curriculum, and then have daily after-school religion programs at the parish in which the aspects of our present religious education in the full-time school are taught and lived (textbook learning, liturgies, etc.). Our parents pay for after care now, and sometimes the after care is as expensive as the full-time Catholic schools. Why not have them pay for the after-care at the parish school and get their religious training as well? I think a lot of parents who send their kids to public school really want the daily Catholic education, but can’t afford it.

Mary Blum St. Richard, Creve Coeur I wanted to take a thick, red marker and write a giant YES across your column in Catholic St. Louis magazine. Every word you wrote is 100 percent what the Church in St. Louis needs to be talking about. I am an active member of my parish and mom of two kids in parochial school and two in Catholic high school, so the mystery of church (non) attendance, the crazy-high tuition payments, frustration with archdiocesan leadership whose plans are hard to understand — all of this is near, dear, front and center for me. While we all as average human beings feel nostalgia and are afraid of change, change absolutely has to happen unless we want to watch this Church (at least locally) die a not-so-slow death with the next generation or two. The prospect of radical, refreshing change is exciting. Thank you for being so straightforward without being gloom-and-doom. The future can be so bright!

Stephanie Wobbe St. Stephen Protomartyr


INSIDE December/January



06 We want you! What is beONE?

We explain how this new bold vision for Catholic St. Louis will shape our future Church.


08 Prioritize Be a missionary disciple? Build a culture of leadership? What does it mean? The priorities for beONE, explained.



Being a missionary disciple means thinking in new ways. We are some examples of how parishes are helping spread the Gospel message to the ends of the earth.



Going to the ends of the earth


Sister parishes Several parishes share

their ideas for how to start a meaningful sister parish relationship.

20 Viable, vibrant parishes

Did you participate in the Parish Viability Study? A look at what the study does and what parishes are learning from the experience.

22 The little parish that could

The smallest parish in the archdiocese exceeds its goal — and then some — in supporting Catholic education through the Beyond Sunday campaign.



A diverse Church The archdiocese is full of diversity in languages and culture. See how one parish brings together parishioners for a multicultural experience. An overwhelming welcome

A Syrian family finds comfort in a new life, thanks to the help of the FACES clinic at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

1: Title of Publication: Catholic St. Louis magazine 3: Date of Filing: October 1, 2015 4: Frequency of Issue: Bi-Monthly 7: Location of known office of publication:

20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis MO, 63119 8: Location of headquarters or general business offices of publisher: Same 9: Name and address of publisher and editor: Publisher: Most Reverend Archbishop Robert J. Carlson,

Archbishop of St. Louis Editor: Teak Philips, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, MO 63119 10: Owner: Archdiocese of St. Louis, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, MO 63119 11: Know bondholders and other security holders, own-

ing or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: NONE 15: Average No. Copies Each Issue during Preceding 12 Months: 147,660 A. Total Number of Copies (Net press run): 147,770 3


Build a framework to come alive with the Gospel Imagine what it could be like as we work together as one


magine a man who takes his faith right into the heart of his work. He works for a mortgage company, and does his work to the highest professional standards. But he also realizes that, over and above the professional standards, his work is a ministry.


is the ninth Archbishop of St. Louis. @abp_carlson


Could the Archdiocese of St. Louis be one? The point isn’t that we have to imitate these particular examples. Every person, parish and diocese is unique. The point is that each of these has found a way, in its own circumstance, to come alive with the Gospel, to be a disciple or a community of disciples. Each of us — individual, parish, archdiocese — is called to do that in our own way. Each example raises a question and poses a challenge for us: Can I be one? Can we be one? Humans have more than 200 bones and more than 70 organs. Each has a different role, yet all together they act as one body. What would happen if 184 parishes did that? What would happen if 500,000 Catholics did that? What would happen if each parish and each person was one with the Lord, one with each other, one in what we believe on Sunday and how we act on Monday? Like the bones and organs in the body, none of us would lose our distinctness. But something powerful would happen as each one of us made a unique contribution to the one mission and ministry of Jesus in our place and time. That’s what beONE is about. It isn’t a plan with specific programs. It’s a vision, a framework, a common vocabulary to help us see and act together. Throughout this magazine you’ll read about different elements of the beONE vision: Missionary Discipleship, Promoting Human Dignity and Social Responsibility, Embracing a Culture of Leadership,

He prays for his clients, and isn’t afraid to pray with them. He buys holy water fonts by the dozens, giving them to people at their closing, and teaching them how to bless their homes. Thomas Cobb is such a man. Could you be one? Imagine a woman whose body — like so many others — begins to fail as she ages. She suffers greatly. But — different from most — she puts her suffering to use. She takes people into intercession through her suffering, uniting hers to those of Jesus, and offering them for people’s intentions. Mary Anne French is such a woman. Could you be one? Imagine a parish of 31 households that’s on the verge of closing. But this parish rediscovers itself — through something as simple as cinnamon I dream of a missionary option, that is, a missionary impulse rolls! — becomes re-energized in capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s its mission and is the first parish customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, in the archdiocese to meet a malanguages and structures can be suitably channeled for the jor fund-raising goal, both for its evangelization of today’s world rather than for her selfown benefit and that of Catholic preservation. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, #27) schools. St. Catherine of Alexandria in Coffman is one such parish. Could your parish be one? Imagine a diocese almost five and Securing the Future of Catholic Education. But times smaller than ours that has more seminarians as you do so, understand that this isn’t a new set of than we do. Just 12 percent of the population is Catholic, and there are only 90 parishes. But the peo- tasks to do. We’re already engaged in many tasks! Instead, it’s a ple believe in stewardship so deeply, and understand way to look at those tasks, always asking: How does it as making their whole lives a gift, that many young this help us be one — be a disciple, be one with the men raised in that spiritual environment naturally Lord, be one with each other, be one in the faith we hear and respond to the call to make their lives a gift profess on Sunday and the actions we do on Monday? as priests. The Diocese of Wichita is such a diocese.




PRAYER Eternal Father, at the Last Supper your Son prayed that all who bear His name might be one. Send the Holy Spirit upon us to make us one in Christ. Strengthen our faith in you. Lead us to love one another. Unite our service to our brothers and sisters. And join us together as we build your Church in our midst. Take away divisions that hinder our unity in Christ, so we may, with one mind and voice, as members of one body, praise and glorify you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Illustration by Abigail Witte




WELCOME TO A NEW BOLD VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF CATHOLICS IN ST. LOUIS THE TIME IS NOW for a revitalization of our local Church, so we may experience a greater conversion of hearts, a more robust sense of unity and better engagement in the community. Since its founding as a diocese in 1826, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has grown to 500,000 Catholics, 2,600 clergy and religious, 184 parishes, 114 elementary schools, 27 high schools and eight Catholic Charities agencies. Twenty-three percent of our local population is Catholic and our mission continues in our parishes, schools, social service agencies and partnerships. But we have challenges ahead of us. In the next 10 years, we will have 60 fewer priests. Approximately 5,000 Catholics leave the Church every year. Baptisms and marriages are half of what they were 25 years ago and continue to decline. Enrollment in Catholic schools and parish schools of religion continue to decline.

On top of that, it’s evident we need to promote within our city a more visible witness to peace and social reconciliation and a respect for ALL human life. That’s why we’re launching beONE, a bold vision for Catholic St. Louis. This vision isn’t a new program or strategic plan to create “busy work” for parishes. In many ways, beONE complements what we’re already doing — creating a culture of leadership, advancing missionary discipleship, bolstering human dignity and social responsibility and investing in education. This vision highlights the good work happening in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and unites us in an intentional way. It will help us focus our vision for the future of the Catholic Church in St. Louis and to better understand that we aren’t just 500,000 Catholics in 184 parishes. We are one Body of Christ. As we move forward, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box. We want to hear your ideas for how we as a Church can beONE. Email us at



PROMOTING HUMAN DIGNITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY The shared duty to practice mercy, forgiveness and compassion.

FOSTERING MISSIONARY DISCIPLESHIP The ongoing process of encountering Jesus, growing in our relationship and knowledge of Him and sharing Him constantly. LEAD: MSGR. MARK RIVITUSO, Archdiocesan Vicar General

• All parishes will articulate and implement a local plan for Missionary Discipleship by May 2017.

LEADS: THERESA RUZICKA, President of Catholic Charities of St. Louis and JAVIER OROZCO, Executive Director of Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese

• 30-40 parishes and archdiocesan staff will engage in an annual Peace and Justice Commission intercultural dialogue forum in December 2016. • 75-80 percent of parishes have developed plans and calendar of events with a sister parish that is ethnically, socially and/or economically different from their own by December 2017.



The accountability of all the baptized to use/ share our talents fully to forge new leadership models for the Catholics of St. Louis.

The effort to make quality Catholic education accessible to as many families of school-aged children as possible.

LEAD: NANCY WERNER, Archdiocesan Chancellor

LEADS: KURT NELSON, Superintendent of Catholic Education and MARK GUYOL, President of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri

• 30-40 additional parishes will send at least two participants to the second cohort of the Lay Formation Program in September 2016. • By July 2017, all parishes will prepare a plan for ministry process improvement based upon their completed profile and viability study and analyses of diocesan parish best practices.



• Execute a successful capital campaign — Beyond Sunday — to invest in our parish communities and transform Catholic education throughout the Archdiocese with total pledges to exceed $100 million by June 2017.


2013 SEPTEMBER: Archbishop Robert J. Carlson announces the formation of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri, a public charity to provide longterm support for Catholic education and other future faith-based initiatives within the local Church. SEPTEMBER: First cohort of the Lay Formation Program begins meeting

2014 AUGUST: Archbishop Carlson announces the establishment of a new Peace and Justice Commission

2015 FEBRUARY: Marie Kenyon starts as director of Peace and Justice Commission

2016 MAY: Archdiocese commissions Lay Formation Program’s first cohort SEPTEMBER: 30-40 additional parishes will send at least two participants to the second cohort of the Lay Formation Program DECEMBER: 30-40 parishes and staff will engage in an annual Peace and Justice Commission intercultural dialogue forum


MAY: Archbishop Carlson appoints 27 members of Peace and Justice Commission

MAY: All parishes will articulate and implement a local plan for Missionary Discipleship

JUNE: The Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri launches the “Beyond Sunday” campaign to make Catholic education more affordable

JUNE: The Roman Catholic Foundation will have executed a successful capital campaign (Beyond Sunday) to invest in our parish communities and transform Catholic education throughout the archdiocese with total pledges to exceed $100 million

NOVEMBER: All parishes complete the Parish Viability Study

NOVEMBER: Archdiocese unveils beONE at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Assembly




ENDS OF THE EARTH Missionary discipleship is first step in capturing a love for the faith

Catholic Kids Camp at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in New Melle teaches children how to be “Champions for Christ,” through teaching the faith in fun ways. Camp counselor Jill Norton was playfully tackled by her students during a session.


esus sent the 12 disciples to go forth and spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. Complexities of life today mean discipleship is different now.

A team from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oakville is learning to become better missionary disciples through the Parish Missionary Disciples program, a partnership of the archdiocese and the Catholic Leadership Institute. The group, which began meeting in April, includes leaders from six parishes and individual curia members. One of the first fruits of that training was a night of reflection for ministry leaders at St. Francis of Assisi. The group used the Discipleship Road Map Guide, a short assessment to determine the stage of discipleship each person is at — ranging from a beginning disciple (a desire to grow spiritually) to a disciple maker (someone who makes life decisions in vocation and relationships to fulfill the mission of the Church). Tammy Chumley, evangelization coordinator and youth minister at St. Francis of Assisi, said the 10

program has helped her grow individually and equip parish leaders to help others grow in faith, too. The parish has been participating in Dynamic Catholic Alive, a program of the archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life, which uses as its foundation principles from Matthew Kelly’s book, “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.” The signs are prayer, study, generosity and evangelization. Lessons learned in the program were extended to other parish groups. For example, parents of children in sacramental preparation now attend a night of reflection, not just an information meeting. St. Francis of Assisi also formed a partnership with the two other Oakville parishes — St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Queen of All Saints. The parishes collaborate about once a month. “We try to focus on prayer,” said Chumley. “We have community nights of adoration, praise and worship, reconciliation weekends. In October, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque hosted a sold-out event featuring Matthew Kelly. “We’re all fostering a sense of community,” said Chumley. ‘We are all one Church.”



Dynamic Catholic Alive


he Dynamic Catholic Alive program uses as its foundation Matthew Kelly’s book, “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.” The four signs are prayer, study, generosity and evangelization. Parishes are encouraged to distribute the book — about 60,000 copies already have been — and form study guides to learn about the four signs. Groups currently participating are finishing the year of prayer and will begin the year of study. For more information on the program, visit; to order copies of “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic,” call Andrew Kassebaum at (314) 792-7178.

MAKE A PLAN • Establish a team or designate a coordinator to handle evangelization efforts. • Use the findings of your Parish Viability Study to guide you. • Promote evangelization on your parish website • Attend an upcoming evangelization planning workshop. (Dates to be determined; watch the Office of Laity and Family Life’s website at • Get involved in the Dynamic Catholic, Alive! program (, which is based on Matthew Kelly’s book, “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.” If you’ve already done that, consider Kelly’s newest book, “Rediscover Jesus.” • Read “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord,” Archbishop Robert Carlson’s pastoral letter on evangelization. (Order copies at

Be bold


he kids at Immaculate Heart of Mary were getting ready for a workout of the Catholic kind. On a steamy summer morning, the children arrived at the New Melle church forCatholic Kids Camp. The theme was “Cathletics” — they were training to become “champions” for Christ. The lesson was on fortitude. Youth minister Julie Lassiter asked if they knew what the word meant. “You can hear it in the word ‘fort,’” she said. “What does that word mean?” “Strong,” said one child. “Being brave in the face of trials,” said another. “It’s really hard to share your faith sometimes, when other people don’t feel the same way,” Lassiter said. “The world gives us some big challenges. So what do we do? We turn to God and ask him to guide us.” Immaculate Heart of Mary has about 800 families; there’s no parish school, but there is a parish school of religion. Cooperating with other parishes has always been a way of life at this rural St. Charles County parish. And making connections with the community — well that’s easy. The fall pork sausage dinner is always a draw. The pastor, Father Tom Miller, frequents local hangouts, including Liz’s Bar and Grill or the Bavarian Smoke Haus. Simply having a burger and listening to people can have a profound effect. Two years ago, the parish hosted a “Called and Gifted” workshop to help individuals determine how their God-given gifts can be better used. “We’re trying to wake people up to the gift of their faith,” said Shawn Mueller, the parish’s director of religious education. “You don’t realize how much treasure you have under your feet.” Father Miller said Catholics, who are constantly fighting a “culture of entertainment,” should consider their parishes as family — “to feed and form us, which we should take beyond the parish walls.” Evangelization is about putting yourself out there, all for the love of that personal relationship with Christ. “We live in a culture where people are waiting to be offended,” said Father Miller. “Sometimes you need to get out there and just be bold.”

What is the Parish Missionary Disciples Program?


n effort of the archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life and the Catholic leadership Institute offers a year of intensive training to leaders in six parishes (All Saints in St. Peters, Immaculate Conception in Dardenne Prairie, Immaculate Heart of Mary in New Melle, St. Francis of Assisi in Oakville, St. Joseph in Farmington and St. Peter in Kirkwood) in discipleship and evangelization. Parishes and other individuals are being trained to train other parishes in the future. The meat of the program includes developing spiritual lives, faith sharing, a self-assessment of where they are as disciples, discovering strengths and weaknesses and goal setting. “We want them to be vibrant parishes, said Kassebaum. “With this group, we’re hoping they’re not only becoming disciples, but they’re becoming disciple makers. They will be a lightpost — here’s what a vibrant parish looks like and dynamic disciples look like.”




human dignity AND social responsibility


bout a decade ago, Jim LaVictoire saw a description for his parish’s peace and justice committee. The group technically existed, but wasn’t active. So LaVictoire took matters into his own hands, and with a core group of several others, they resurrected the ministry at St. Cletus Parish in St. Charles. “One of our members had the inspiration to do mission work in El Salvador,” said LaVictoire. The group found an order of women religious who operate a mission in San Salvador and started going on missions. The parish will sponsor its ninth mission in January.



Locally, the ministry got involved in Bridge Bread, a St. Louis-based social enterprise that trains people how to bake bread, with the goal of helping them find permanent employment. Twice a month, the parish orders bread, which is sold after Masses — proceeds go back to the program. Because of the parish’s participation, said LaVictoire, the program has been able to hire at least one new employee. Other initiatives include a STOP (Sharing Our Table of Plenty) Collection, in which different causes are supported; assisting a Ferguson elementary school and outreach to the food pantry at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Ferguson. LaVictoire said the ministry would like to become more involved in helping boost the local community in the wake of the Ferguson unrest. “For those of us involved in this work, you can’t wait for the leadership to do the things you know are important,” said LaVictoire. “We have a lot of support from our parish.”


PEACE AND JUSTICE COMMISSION The archdiocesan Peace and Justice Commission has hit the ground running since it got started earlier this year. Directed by attorney Marie Kenyon, who founded the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry nearly 30 years ago, the commission was established in the wake of the police officer-involved shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The commission addresses social justice issues affecting parishes in different parts of the archdiocese, including immigration, health and social services, the environment and education. Commission members have attended deanery meetings to learn more about what’s going on in parishes and solicit feedback. (A deanery represents a cluster of parishes demographically close to one another; clergy generally attend the meetings.) Kenyon said the commission also has been reviewing the Ferguson Commission Report (Read the full report online at, which provides specific recommendations to address economic, educational and racial inequalities highlighted in the past year and a half since Michael Brown’s death. “When you look at the report, you can see how the archdiocese is part of the solution,” said Kenyon. “We are the biggest school district and the biggest social service provider (Catholic Charities of St. Louis). We’re already doing this, and we’ve been doing it well for a long time.” Left: Father Robert “Rosey” Rosebrough from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Ferguson met with protesters at a prayer service at the site where Michael Brown was shot and killed. Hundreds of people attended the prayer vigil that concluded after a march to Greater St. Mark Family Church.

There are roughly 40 parishes that have some kind of formal social justice committee, and more are expressing an interest, said Kenyon. The week after Pope Francis visited the United States, Kenyon received phone calls from four parishes who were inspired by the pope’s message and wanted to do something more. “We need to take advantage of that,” she said. “There are only so many boxes of food you can give away at the food pantry. We have to start thinking about why the same people are coming every month and what we can do about it. We have to start looking at systemic change.” INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE What does social responsibility mean to you? Is it racial equality? Serving the poor? Striving for peace? Respect for all human life? Next year, the archdiocesan Peace and Justice Commission will host its first intercultural dialogue. Details of the December 2016 gathering are yet to be planned — but archdiocesan leaders want to hear from parishes about the issues that are important to them. “We want them to let us know what social responsibility issues are important,” said Javier Orozco, executive director of Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese. “We want to honor the voices of the parishes in the community. Out of that relationality, the action will surface.” To learn more about the intercultural dialogue in 2016 and offer feedback, contact Javier Orozco at (314) 792-7890 or email; or Marie Kenyon at (314) 792-7062 or PRO-LIFE IN A WHOLE-LIFE WAY Does your parish have a social justice outreach? How about a St. Vincent de Paul conference or a food pantry? Similarly, does your parish have a respect life committee, or someone who coordinates pro-life activities? If the answer is yes, and those ministries have not interacted with one another , it’s time to start thinking about new ways of collaborating. Think of it as being pro-life in a whole life way, said Karen Nolkemper, executive director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate. “Taking Communion to the sick — that’s pro-life,” said Nolkemper. “Assisting at the food pantry — that’s pro-life. Working at the crisis pregnancy center or maternity home — that’s pro-life. Attending a death penalty prayer vigil — that’s pro-life.” “All of these ministries and services are needed as we provide a comprehensive pathway to promoting human dignity and social responsibility,” said Nolkemper. “This further speaks to the truth that the Church is pro-life in a whole-life way.” 13





“It’s really easy to group people together and bring out stereotypes and all that, but when you get to know people individually, you break a lot of that down.” – Don Muetn, St. Anselm Parish

‘A real friendship’

Most Holy Trinity & St. Anselm


t all began with a Thanksgiving theft. A parish on Grand Avenue that would later be incorporated into Most Holy Trinity Parish in north St. Louis had planned a Thanksgiving dinner, but when someone stole all the food, the parish asked for help, and St. Anselm responded. “A bunch of parishioners donated turkeys and fixings and went down and prepared this Thanksgiving meal for the parishioners and said, ‘yeah, we need to get involved in the city and in these parishes that need some help.’ And so (they) created this thing called Grand Endeavor,” explained Don Muetn, Grand Endeavor chairperson and a member of the west St. Louis County parish. The parishes’ relationship grew over the next 25 years around shared Masses, a scholarship fund and annual dinner, trivia nights, parish picnics and retreats, and has led to many deep, personal friendships. “It’s really easy to group people together and bring out stereotypes and all that, but when you get to know people individually, you break a lot of that down,” Muetn said. Now the group is forging new paths to inter-community understanding. Its 2015 retreat focused on racial issues in response to Ferguson. “We thought, well, OK, we’ve got a community of people who are different in many ways … and a measure of trust there, between those two groups of people. So what better way to start with that group and try and really get to the meat of what’s happening?” recounted Bunny Reif, Most Holy Trinity cochair of Grand Endeavor. For Reif, who moved to Most Holy Trinity from St. Anselm a decade ago, the retreat debunked her idea of “color blindness.” “If I say to you, I don’t see your color, I don’t see your nationality, I’m discounting that.” Muetn reflected: “It’s just expanded my horizons.” Muetn’s favorite part of Grand Endeavor is the events where everyone comes together. “Maybe we have different backgrounds or (are) coming from different angles … but when we get together, we’re just friends, and that’s very rewarding.”

‘Similar spirits’

St. Clement of Rome & St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist


hen Father Steve Giljum was transferred to St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Parish in north St. Louis from St. Clement of Rome in Des Peres, he realized his old and new parishes had “similar spirits,” said Jane Brown, of St. Elizabeth. Father Giljum presented the idea of a partnership to both parishes, and a handful of members from each began having meals together, getting to know one another and brainstorming together. “We said … we would want to start out by focusing on the sacraments, and since the Eucharist is something we automatically share in common, then that is the best way to get a solid grounding on this, celebrating Christ,” Brown remembered. St. Clement parishioners carpool to St. Elizabeth for Mass, and the parishes get together for charity events and retreats like ACTS. “We really get to know people on a real, true level, and they have added so much to our ACTS retreats,” said Cynthia Kardesch, the sister parish liaison from St. Clement. Brown said the ACTS community has kept in touch well. Some of the closest bonding, Brown added, has been between the youth groups, who attend the March for Life and other events together. “They just established their relationship, you know, just right away. And we thought, ‘well, if the older heads are not on board, they better get on board, because the kids have got it going!’” Brown laughed. “I think it would be wonderful if this type of a relationship could develop throughout the archdiocese … It only benefits both parishes,” Kardesch reflected. “We have gained as much from St. Elizabeth as they have from us, getting to know the people that we have gotten to know.”

Left: Members of St. Alphonsus “Rock” Church in north St. Louis and Mary Mother of the Church Parish in south St. Louis County gathered this summer to attend a screening of the movie “Selma.” After watching the movie, they discussed race relations. The two are sister parishes, paired together to share in faith and fellowship. 15

‘Do we even know each other?’

Mary Mother of the Church & St. Alphonsus Liguori ‘Rock’


nce a month, members of Mary Mother of the Church in south St. Louis County deliver a donation to the food pantry at St. Alphonsus Liguori “Rock” Church in north St. Louis. It’s been a beautiful partnership for years, as the parishes have extended a charitable hand to help those in need within the Rock’s boundaries. They were paired through a uniting factor — both were founded by the Redemptorist order. Mary Mother of the Church pastor Msgr. James Telthorst said some of his parishioners recently started questioning the purpose of the parish partnership. How could they increase their time spent together? How could the parishes become more intentional with their relationship? “We’re trying to remind ourselves that we say we’re a sister parish, but do we even know each other?” asked Msgr. Telthorst.

Last summer, a group from Mary Mother of the Church went to the Rock for a potluck lunch and screening of the movie, “Selma.” Afterward, they shared stories of life during the civil rights era and the effects of racism on their families, jobs and communities. There wasn’t much time for lengthy discussion, said Rock parishioner Kathy McGinnis, but what took place was good. McGinnis remembered an older woman asking why police in the movie put on gas masks. “I said, ‘They’re throwing tear gas. They’re gassing people. Don’t you remember that?’” Then McGinnis thought of a similar scene happening in Ferguson. “That really hit me,” she said. Any kind of partnership should start with conversations that come naturally, not forced, said Msgr. Telthorst. He sees a clear image of parishes from county, city and rural areas, coming together to share, with the common denominator being the Catholic faith. “It means so much more to get to know people,” he said.

CHOOSING A SISTER PARISH With 11 counties spanning its boundaries, the archdiocese is rich in diversity. Here are some ideas to consider when choosing a parish to partner with:

• Think creatively about

geography that’s different from yours. Are you interested in the city? Do you find yourself visiting quiet places in nature? Think about geographical diversity; the landscape of our faith is rich and diverse.


• Use social media to connect the dots. When researching a

parish, look for its Facebook page, Twitter account or website. What’s represented there? Make a virtual connection to a parish different from yours.

• Consider culture: Are you drawn to

culture, music or food from different parts of the area? Maybe hearing a Gospel choir at a predominantly black church moves you. Or what about a chicken dinner at a rural parish? Go online and learn more about the people who cook that food and make that music. They are the same brothers and sisters in faith.


• Don’t overdo it:

There’s no need to form a parish partnership with an agenda to talk about certain issues. Take the time to discover what you have in common with one another. What’s something unique to your parish that you can share with others?





ickie McCool has always loved her faith. Going to Mass, getting involved at her parish, Assumption in O’Fallon, are part of the whole package deal. After a weekday Mass one morning, Sarah Beams, a pastoral associate at Assumption, approached Mickie and asked if she would consider applying for an open part-time pastoral associate position. “But I don’t have the right education,” McCool remembered telling her. Later on, the pastor, Father Mitch Doyen, asked the same question. He offered this thought: “Oh yeah, because Jesus had a degree, right?” Sure, the Son of God had a leg up on the knowledge of the faith. But the point was perhaps McCool was being called to this new role.


While all of this was happening, McCool was participating in the Lay Formation Program, an initiative of the archdiocesan Paul VI Pontifical Institute to develop leaders at the parish level. The first cohort, which will graduate in May 2016, will be sent forth to serve their parish communities, working in partnership with the pastor, for at least a three-year commitment. Two other Assumption parishioners are taking part: Linda Farhat and Liz Allmeyer. McCool’s new job and her participation in the Lay Formation Program have brought new meaning to her life as a Catholic. One of her jobs as a pastoral associate is overseeing Ellie’s Garden, a community garden established on the grounds of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood this summer. The garden is named after McCool’s 17-year-old daughter, Ellie, who has Rett Syndrome, a neurological disorder. The garden will grow crops to feed the poor, serve as an educational tool for students and parishioners at Assumption and provide an environment that is welcoming to people of all abilities — a prime example of evangelization in action. Growing in faith, McCool said she’s realized her faith has become more internalized. “I was strong in my faith before, but now it’s about the way I can express it. I don’t worry about being in mixed company — where people are with their faith. It’s because I have a richer understanding of my faith.” Father Doyen said recognizing that all members of the Church are part of one Body comes with a deep trust. “Laypeople have taken complete ownership of the mission of the Church,” he said. “They are truly leading it by the way they love one another. There’s a role for the (clergy) clearly, but no more than married people, single people. We all have a role. Once people can catch that, it will be better.”

“Laypeople have taken complete ownership of the mission of the Church,” he said. “They are truly leading it by the way they love one another. There’s a role for the (clergy) clearly, but no more than married people, single people. We all have a role.” – Father Mitch Doyen, pastor of Assumption Parish in O’Fallon


Silvina Baez, an immigrant from Argentina, works in Hispanic ministry at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in St. Charles.


It started with an argument. Silvina Baez was raised Catholic in her native Argentina and since fell away from the Church. Her husband was a non-practicing Jehovah’s Witness. One day, Baez’s husband told her he believed Constantine (you know, the great emperor) founded the Catholic Church. Baez realized that not only did she not know who Constantine was, but she didn’t know much about her faith. (Including the part about St. Peter and the rock.) “I started to educate myself,” she said. “I did it, personally, because I had to show he is wrong, and I am right, and I will convert him,” she joked. Turning serious, Baez added, “I found Jesus in this process. And I realized I’m not going to change anyone. Only Jesus can change (hearts).” A real turning point came when Baez did the Ignatian exercises with her sister. Her sister shared this reflection: “The Catholic Church is like a mother. She only wants you to go to her — nothing less and nothing more. Being a mom, I want what’s best for my kids; in the end, the Church is like that. I would even say it’s your Mommy — with more affection. I welcomed it from there. I fell in love with the Lord, and I really love my mother, the Church.” Baez started to become more involved with her faith, including helping teach parish school of religion, and later as a Bible study group coordinator at her parish, Immaculate Conception in Dardenne Prairie. In 2012, she was hired as a pastoral associate at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Charles, serving the Hispanic community. The pastor, Father Robert Reiker, suggested Baez apply for the lay formation program. She was hesitant at first, admitting she didn’t feel confident to keep up with the lessons; but the experience has turned out to be quite fruitful. I have learned to pray more in a deeper way, and have a more profound love for the Church,” she said. “Sometimes people don’t realize that we are the Church. It’s not only the priests, not only the pope. We are all the Church. So when someone says something disrespectful about the Church, I have to take it personally. It’s like someone talking about my mother.”



Mickie McCool was hired as a part-time pastoral associate at Assumption Parish in O’Fallon as she was going through the Lay Formation Program in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She works with pastor Father Mitch Doyen and other clergy and staff to help minister to a parish of over 3,000 families.

The Lay Formation Program is a three-year program in the archdiocese for Catholic adults active in their parishes. The first cohort with 125 members began meeting once a month in September 2013. The tuition-free program is coordinated through the Paul VI Pontifical Institute. Participants are expected to finish the program eager to serve their parish communities and work in partnership with the pastor. They agree to offer three years of service to the parish. Goals of the program include deepening one’s relationship with Christ and His Body, the Church; foster a deepened awareness of and openness to the actions of God’s grace; develop speaking with others about the Catholic faith; and offer opportunities to raise consciousness of the intimate relationship between the love of God and love of neighbor.


Intellectual: The Paul VI Institute of Catechetical and Pastoral

Studies offers college-level courses year-round to adults who want to deepen their understanding of the Church. The program is accredited by the Vatican Sacred Congregation of the Clergy. Courses are offered online and in person. Topics include the Catechism, understanding the Mass, Scripture, morality. Registration for spring courses will open in January. Paul VI offers a subscription program to parishes. Parishes pay an annual subscription fee, which provides unlimited access to Paul VI courses for all members of the parish and school. Contact your parish to see if it participates, or call Mary Beier with the Paul VI Institute at (314) 792-7454.

Sharing: Sharing your faith with others can be a daunting task, especially when we feel a lack of confidence, said Ed Hogan, director of the Paul VI Institute. Here’s a tip: Keep it simple. Starting with simple conversation can open the door to an opportunity to share the faith in bigger ways. Faith sharing among friendly groups (i.e.: a parish retreat or small faith sharing community) can help a person get out of his or her shell. From there, it’s a matter of asking real questions when you’re having a conversation. “For me, it comes up with people at the Y,” said Hogan. “People will ask, ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ and I say, ‘Well, I’m working on Saturday.’ Boom, we’re off and running.”

Prayer: The Lay Formation Program is pretty

intense. So Rita Slice decided she was going to be a bit “spiritually lazy” during the summer off months. One day, she got a call from Sister Mary Kathleen Ronan, RSM, who asked Slice if she would help facilitate an Oremus prayer group at Holy Spirit Parish in Maryland Heights. Oremus is a DVD series, produced by Ascension Press, that helps people learn how to build a prayer life. Slice was attracted to Father Mark Toups’ message about what prayer is: “It is always our response to Him,” said Slice. “It’s one of those things you know, but to hear it knocked my socks off — how much Jesus really wants us.” Holy Spirit is in its fifth offering of the program. Slice said it’s opened up doors for people who didn’t know how to pray much more than the classic “Haily Mary,” “Our Father” and “Glory Be.” “Remember that we have to have a relationship with (Jesus) in order to be able to talk to Him,” said Slice. “We have to set aside time when building a relationship with our Lord and conversing with Him. That’s like with any relationship, we spend time building it.” For more information, visit or call Judy Shipp with the Paul VI Institute at (314) 792-7460. 19


The future of our parishes Parish Viability Study reveals strengths, weaknesses of archdiocesan parishes



he reality is jarring, but not surprising: As priests age and fewer men are being ordained to replace them, parishes are starting to look at alternative methods of staffing. Earlier this year, all 184 parishes were invited to participate in a Parish Planning and Viability Study, a self-assessment designed to help strengthen themselves and determine possibilities for future parish governance structures, if they’re needed. The 37-page study is a collaboration of the archdiocesan offices of Pastoral Planning, Continuing Education and Formation of Priests and Priest Personnel. It includes a five-step process to rank strengths and weaknesses in the areas of faith, worship and prayer, service and transformation, evangelization and administration. The study process is expected to be completed at the end of this year. Each parish has its own approach to the process, but in general, the assessment is first completed by a smaller group of parish leadership and then disseminated within the wider parish community. While the archdiocese is staring down the barrel of a priest recession, the study’s bigger picture focuses on the identity of parishes and their important role in the life of the local Church, said Father John O’Brien, director of Continuing Education and Formation of Priests. “This is where the local Church happens,” Father O’Brien said of parishes. “It’s where people are gathered around the Eucharist, and are an expression of God’s communion and God’s presence in the world. We want to look at how we can strengthen our parishes and be stronger eucharistic communities.”



When a parish has 100 years of experience under its belt, its historical timeline is a source for discovering what works and what doesn’t. Case in point with St. George Parish in Affton, which is celebrating its centennial milestone this year. So when the parish participated in the Parish Viability Study earlier this year, it gave people a chance to reflect historically on its successes and where it could improve. “We have a big, beautiful church here,” said Father Thomas Robertson, pastor for the past 11 years. “Many of the parishes in the neighborhood (St. Dominic Savio, St. Mark, etc.) came from us. Our neighborhood is made up of people who came after World War II — they bought nice houses then and they still live there. So we have mostly older people in our community now.” In the study process, St. George discovered some of its strongest assets: a 20-year-old perpetual (24/7) adoration chapel; charitable outreach through the Affton Christian Food Pantry, an interfaith effort supported by 14 churches primarily in the 63123 zip code; and its ministry to bring Communion to the sick and homebound. The study also helped the parish recognize in a formal way that it doesn’t have enough people to do everything it wants. The community continues to age — which sometimes presents challenges getting to church for meetings or soliciting volunteers — and while that did not come as a surprise, said Father Robertson, it’s given the parish pause to consider how it can better collaborate with neighboring parishes. “The study really spelled it out for us,” said Father Robertson. “How can we best serve our community as the Body of Christ — and that’s basically what we are prioritizing now. The study was very helpful for that.”

Why are we doing this? When All Souls started its Parish Viability Study, Deacon Sam Lee said one of the first questions people asked was: “Why are we doing this?” After explaining the projected priest shortage (60 fewer priests in the archdiocese in the next 10 years) people realized, “yes there’s an issue. And people say, ‘Well why don’t we have more vocations?’ We can have that discussion, but this is what we’re facing now.” One of the deficits pinpointed in the study was the parish’s lack of connection to Holy Trinity School, which was formed from four north St. Louis County parishes in 2002. All Souls is unique to that situation — while its school closed in 2002 and its students became part of Holy Trinity, the parish remained open. Three others — St. Gregory, St. Kevin and St.


The priesthood The St. Louis Archdiocese has more than

515,000 Catholics.

It is the 40th largest diocese in the country.

When compared with the largest dioceses in the country (those with 300,000+ Catholics), we have the most diocesan priests per capita. Compared to the largest dioceses over the past five years, the St. Louis Archdiocese ranks third in ordinations per capita (per number of Catholics). The archdiocese is expected to have a net loss of six priests per year, or 60 in the next 10 years.

In the past 6-10 years, the archdiocese has averaged almost as many ordinations as it did in the 1980s.

The priests ordained in the 1960s are currently 73-83 years old, and though many are still active,

The priests ordained in the 1970s are currently 6373 years old, and many will be retiring in the next 10 years.

most will retire and/or die in the next 10 years.

Source: Archdiocesan Office of Pastoral Planning

William — closed their churches to become Holy Trinity Parish. As a parish, “sometimes its hit or miss finding out what’s happening in the school, or if there’s a parish mission or fish fry,” said Deacon Lee. Recently, the parish has started advertising in its bulletin more activities from neighboring parishes. The parish also recognized it doesn’t have a formal evangelization team, said Deacon Lee. Matthew Kelly’s book, “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic,” was presented to parishioners at Christmas, but beyond some periphery activities, the idea of evangelization “has not been a part of our consciousness in a formal way. We’re not sure yet what that would look like, but we know this is something that other parishes are dealing with, too.” One area that the parish certainly can be proud of its its social outreach. Whether the St. Vincent de Paul conference, the Christian Action group (which does similar work helping those in need), or visiting those in nursing homes or the homebound, Deacon Lee noted “the outreach in our parish is a very important aspect.” 21


After Mass at St. Catherine of Alexandria, Sarah Heberlie, age 7, proudly showed her mother, Kristy, some papers she made for Bible study. The small parish in Coffman, at one time almost forced to close its doors, became the first parish to exceed the goal of the Beyond Sunday Capital Campaign to support Catholic education.



t. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Coffman isn’t big by any stretch of the imagination. It isn’t even small. “Tiny” is a more appropriate adjective. St. Catherine numbers only 31 households totaling 63 people, smack-dab in the middle of southeast Missouri wine country. About 70 miles south of St. Louis and 20 miles southwest of Ste. Genevieve, it’s the smallest parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. How tiny is it? Well, considering a Metrolink light-rail car has 72 seats, St. Catherine parishioners would fit into one car with room to spare. “If you’re not at Mass on Saturday night, Father worries about you,” joked pastor Father Rickey Valleroy, affectionately known as Father Rickey. Father Rickey celebrates one Mass per week as part-time, nonresident pastor. He’s also pastor at St. Joseph Parish, with 601 registered households, 15 miles


Parishes take stock in importance of Catholic education

down the road in Farmington. He couldn’t live at St. Catherine even if he wanted; the parish is converting its rectory into a retreat center. But then again, St. Catherine parishioners have such a generous nature that if Father Rickey wanted to live at St. Catherine, they’d probably build a new rectory. This “spirit of the parish,” as Father Rickey describes it, was evident in its Beyond Sunday Capital Campaign for the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri.


The parish of three buildings — a church completed in 1920, a 1920s rectory/retreat center and a 1950s parish hall — was the first in archdiocese to reach its Beyond Sunday goal. More like smashed it to smithereens. The parish raised almost 150 percent of its $40,000 goal, with pledges of about $59,000. In the grand scheme, 59 grand is barely a drop in the proverbial bucket — just .059 percent of the campaign’s $100 million goal. But for a parish of less than three-dozen families, it’s phenomenal. St. Catherine perfectly exemplifies an approach beyond just Sunday worship, as well as the archdiocese’s new beONE vision. The archdiocese has 140 schools and 184 parishes, and each is part of something greater — i.e. being one. St. Catherine of Alexandria parishioners get it. They have no school, never did, but 60 percent — or about $35,500 — of their

Beyond Sunday pledges will leave the parish to benefit schools and students elsewhere. (The rest will come back to the parish, to be used for updating and maintaining the three buildings.) They knew that going in but pledged anyway, surpassing their goal in less than a month. “They realize they’re small but (that) they’re part of the archdiocese,” said Father Rickey, who calls Beyond Sunday, St. Catherine style “a wonderful story. If a parish like this can achieve its Beyond Sunday goal, every parish ought to be able to. The spirit at St. Catherine is, well, beyond Sunday.”

The campaign Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has entrusted the Roman Catholic Foundation with securing the future of Catholic education in the archdiocese. The foundation will invest Beyond Sunday pledges in its “The Education Fund” and finance scholarships for students of lowerand middle-class families who might otherwise be unable to afford Catholic school tuition; it’ll also distribute grants to schools for funding top-notch educational programs and classroom innovation. Sixty percent of pledges will go for education, the rest back to the parish. “Catholic education is both essential to the long-term vitality of our faith and to the communities they serve,” stated Archbishop Carlson, who called Beyond Sunday an “historic campaign. … (Catholic schools) play an essential role in the spiritual development of our children and the economic development of places where we live, work and pray.” The education component made for an easy sell when John Adams and Bob Eck, co-chairs of St. Catherine’s campaign, visited fellow parishioners to deliver campaign packets. “‘Scholarships’ is what sold it; that was the main thing,” Adams


What is it: An “historic campaign,” in the words of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, to address two critical funding needs: • The Education Fund, which will increase access to Catholic education for lower- and middle-class families through scholarships and will fund grants for educational programs or classroom innovation. According to the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri, which administers the campaign, 60 percent of parishioners’ pledges will go toward The Education Fund.

• Financial support for archdiocesan parishes. According to the foundation, each parish will use 40 percent of parishioners’ pledges for projects or improvements as determined by the parish.

The goal: to raise more than $100 million over two years.

The campaign currently is in its first “block” of parishes; other parishes will be covered in subsequent “blocks.”

Quotable: “Catholic education is both essential to the long-term vitality of our faith and to the communities they serve. They play an essential role in the spiritual development of our children and the economic development of places where we live, work, and pray.” — Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

Who: The Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri administers the campaign and will manage The Education Fund. For information about Beyond Sunday, visit, call (314) 918-2890, or email

said. “We explained that (the campaign) was about Catholic education, what it would provide, and it kind of took off by itself, basically.” No hard sales, arm twisting or salesmanship was needed. Just kibitzing on a pleasant September Sunday. “It was fun for me to visit everybody,” said Adams, noting that the co-chairs’ task wasn’t difficult because of parishioners’ generous spirit. “It’s easy when you have a bunch of people willing to help,” said Helen McDaniel, head of the parish’s Annual Catholic Appeal.

100-percent participation In “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic” by Matthew Kelly, it is noted that only 7 percent of American Catholics give 80 percent of the money in their parish, and that an improvement of only 1 percent would be huge. No need for that at St. Catherine; participation routinely is 100 percent. Whether archdiocesan campaigns — such as Beyond Sunday or Annual Catholic Appeal — or the parish capital campaign that raised $110,000 to renovate parish buildings a few years ago, 23

Members of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Coffman recently surpassed their goal for the Beyond Sunday Capital Campaign, which will increase access to Catholic education for lower- and middle-class families through scholarships. The campaign also will fund grants for educational programs or classroom innovation.

parishioners reach their goals. And then some. “They’re very generous people, well-formed in their faith,” Father Rickey said. “They’re not just generous in their monetary contributions but … in their time and talent. They love their church.” The parish, which officially was formed in 1919, was in danger of closing before Father Rickey came on board five years ago, first as visiting priest to celebrate weekly Mass then as pastor. “We’re so fortunate Father Rickey was willing to take us under 24

his wing; we’re just absolutely blessed,” said Betty Vogt, a parishioner since 1967. “He rescued us.” The way Father Rickey tells it, St. Catherine rescued itself. At St. Joseph in Farmington, he got to know several former St. Catherine parishioners; they piqued his interest in the rural parish. “I was so impressed with these parishioners, their spirituality and giving heart,” Father Rickey said. “Part of me wanted to know where it came from. It had to be formed somewhere, and that’s what brought me to Coffman. … It all


came from Coffman.” Father Rickey describes his experience as St. Catherine pastor as, simply, “amazing.” Under his stewardship, the parish has thrived. In the past five years, the buildings have been renovated, trees have been planted to memorialize important figures in parish history, and a fall turkey-shoot and the Christmas-season “competition” for Cinnamon Roll Queen of Coffman County have become wildly popular events. St. Catherine was active as a faith community long before Archbishop John J. Glennon made it a parish. In the 1880s, a Vincentian priest regularly traveled on horseback from Perryville to celebrate Mass, and another later came in a horse and buggy. After it became a parish but before the rectory was finished, founding pastor Father John L. Walsh traveled from Ste. Genevieve in style — in a Model T Ford. The Gegg family donated land for the present church and parish buildings, about three miles from land the Herberlie family had donated for the previous mission church. Over the years, the parish has produced three Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and an archdiocesan deacon. The parish went a decade as a mission parish in the mid-20th century and hasn’t had a resident pastor since 1983, but the Little Parish That Could survives and thrives, an example of parishioners being Alive in Christ on days other than Sunday and of being one with the mystical Body of Christ. And who do you think is behind that? For Betty Vogt, the answer is obvious. “It has to be God’s hand,” she said.


BITI JEDNO Izražena vizija za Katolički 하나로 Sent Luis 세인트 루이스 카톨릭

용기있는 비젼

EGYSÉG St. Louis Katolikusainak a bátor víziója/ látásmondja

ETRE UN Une vision audacieuse les catholiques de St. Louis

UNA COSA SOLA Una chiara visione per la St.Louis Cattolica


STANOWILI JEDNO Masses in the archdiocese are celebratedSEAMOS UNO Wyraźna wizja dla Una visión audaz in 10 languages. A 11th language, Katolika z St. Louis para el pueblo American Sign Language, is used at interpreted Masses for the deaf.

Hãy Là Một Một tầm nhìn can đảm cho Công giáo St. Louis

African American: There are approximately 10,500 African American Catholics in the archdiocese. The St. Charles Lwanga Center promotes Catholic spiritual and leadership development within the local African-American community. Other efforts reach out to immigrants from Africa. Hispanic: There are about

45,000 Hispanic Catholics in the archdiocese; The Office of Hispanic Ministry reports that 12 parishes serve the Hispanic community.

Vietnamese: In 2012, 10

members of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Phat Diem, Vietnam, came to St. Louis to establish a community here at the invitation of Archbishop Robert Carlson. The sisters live at Resurrection Parish in south St. Louis, which serves the Vienamese Catholic community. There are approximately 1,000 Vietnamese Catholics in the archdiocese.


Hungarian: In 1957, St. Mary of

Victories, located in Downtown St. Louis, was designated as a home for Hungarian Catholics. Many of them were refugees from Hungary after World War II and the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. Today, the community is very small, but the 11 a.m. Mass on Sundays includes several hymns and one of the readings in Hungarian. The parish hosts a homecoming celebration every year near the feast of St. Stephen of Hungary.

Latin: St. Francis de Sales

Oratory is the largest community of Catholics that follows the Traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. In 2005, then-Archbishop Raymond L. Burke designated the church as oratory entrusted to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Canon Michael Wiener is the oratory rector and episcopal (bishop’s) delegate for the implementation of the Latin Mass in the archdiocese. Approximately 800-1,000 people attend Mass on Sundays, plus more who attend Mass during the week.

DECEMBER 2015/JANUARY 2016 | CATHOLICSTLOUIS.COM 26 CatholicSt. St.Louis Louis /| October/November 2015 / 26 Catholic

Católico de St. Louis ESTOTE UNUM Audax pro catholicis Sancti Ludovici visio

Deaf: The archdiocesan Catholic Deaf Ministry provides outreach to Catholics who are deaf or hard of hearing, including interpreted Masses, which are offered at seven churches in the archdiocese. The ministry is coordinated by Brother Adam Zawadzki, OP Miss. The St. Louis Catholic Deaf Society was founded in 1941 to serve the needs of members of the Catholic deaf community in the St. Louis area. The group, which is based at St. Richard Parish in Creve Coeur, has 56 members and is led by president Paul Blicharz. In addition, the archdiocese has communities of Croatian, Polish, Korean, Italian, Filipino and Czech Catholics. In the past, various parishes served other immigrant populations, including German, Bohemian and Irish Catholics. On Epiphany each year, the Annual Migration Mass is celebrated at St. Pius V Parish in south St. Louis to highlight the unity and diversity of the Church.

Unity Day Mass, picnic brings parishioners together Members of St. Charles Borromeo celebrate cultural diversity


avid Lopez and Jason Kulma went through the buffet line set up under the park shelter and sat at a nearby picnic table with their families.

They soon found that they had something in common. Each had moved to St. Charles several years ago from the Chicago area. They talked about their time living in northern Illinois and where they live today. The families had just taken part in St. Charles Borromeo Parish’s Unity Day Mass at Bales Dusable Park in St Charles and came together for a picnic. The event is a gathering of Anglos who normally attend the English-speaking Masses and Latinos who attend the Mass in Spanish at the parish church. It is a way to celebrate the cultural diversity in the parish. The Mass began with flags carried in a procession representing the countries of origin of parishioners and their ancestors. Songs, the Gospel, the homilies and prayers were said in English and Spanish. The refrain of the opening song was “We are the body of Christ” or “Somos el cuerpo de Cristo.” Lopez looks forward to the event each year. “You eat a lot of different dishes and meet people you didn’t know from the church,” he said. Kulma noted that he appreciates the work it takes to put the event together. Associate pastor Father Robert Menner said that “God sees each one of us as sons and daughters, and that makes all of us brothers


Above: Members of a barbecue/ cooking group at St. Charles Borromeo Parish have formed strong bonds. It is a mix of men from the Irish Hibernians at the parish and men who attend the Mass in Spanish who call themselves the Los Amigos de St. Patrick.

and sisters.” He added in his homily that “the Holy Spirit … makes us one family even though we may speak many languages.” He urged the congregation to reach out to others. The Mass and picnic began eight years ago as a way to get people together. Now, she said, they are together for many other purposes, including Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreats, the parish picnic, a Cinco de Mayo event, a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, dialogue and faithsharing sessions and more. Adolfo Zamores has been involved with organizing the event for four years. “Everyone is working together for unity,” he said. Every year more people join in the fun, “and it feels very comfortable,” Carlos Garcia said. The Hispanic ministry began at the parish in 2001. St. Charles serves about 500 Latino families and 1,500 other families. Over at the barbecue stand on the picnic grounds, Chris Burgoyne, a member of the Hibernians, an Irish-Catholic group, chatted with Raphael Hernandez of the Los Amigos de St. Patrick. The “cooking group,” as the mix of Anglos and Latinos called themselves, have fun while they work. Community, friendship and especially faith are what’s important to the group, Hernandez said. Burgoyne added that “I love it. It’s great.” Most of all, he said, “We’re one.” 27

HOSPITAL CLINIC BRINGS WELCOMING SPIRIT TO REFUGEES SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital addresses multiple health needs


he family of four fled the warfare in Syria, along with a few other family members. They lived in an area of the Mideast where three factions are fighting for control of the territory. Today, no one can get in or out of the area. Power, water, sewer and access to food were affected. Those who step out of their homes could be shot. The family faces other hardships. Mom and dad’s children — a 3-year-old and newborn — have extensive health challenges, including developmental disabilities, heart and vision problems. In Turkey, they rented a small, one-bedroom apartment, with a dozen people living there. Living in a camp set up for refugees would have been far worse accommodations, they said. Life was difficult in Turkey, where attaining a job is a struggle and discrimination against the refugees is evident. “We are humans, like everyone else,” the father said when interviewed at a program in St. Louis highlighting the plight of Syrian refugees. Though the program was focused on the need for the St. Louis community to welcome Syrian refugees, the couple talked about the generosity of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Health care for the children was unavailable in Turkey. But that



The International Institute held a press conference with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to announce its plans to help resettle Syrians displaced by the war. Jailan and her husband Wael arrived in St. Louis via Turkey two months ago with their two disabled sons. The boys, ages 1 and 3, have physical and developmental disabilities.


changed as they came to the United States as refugees, entering this country through legal channels. In St. Louis, their welcome has been overwhelming due mostly to Cardinal Glennon, where the children have received treatment at the FACES (Foreign Adoption Clinic and Educational Services) Clinic. “Everything has been perfect. We didn’t feel as strangers here,” said the husband, whose name is not used to protect remaining family in Syria who could be potential targets of violence if his whereabouts are known. “We’ve been visiting Cardinal Glennon on a daily basis. We have never felt as welcome or treated as well as we have been here.” He and his wife praised Dr. Jennifer S. Ladage, director of the FACES clinic. FACES at Cardinal Glennon is a comprehensive clinic that addresses the medical, physical, emotional and psycho-social needs of internationally adopted children and their families. The clinic was founded as the number of foreign adoptions rose, with more than 20,000 children adopted from outside the United States annually since 2002. Internationally adopted children, as well as refugee children, come with many special health concerns and risks. The refugee portion of the clinic was founded in the fall of 2012. The idea was to meet unaddressed health issues.

“Addressing their needs will help them do better in school,” Ladage said, noting that the children receive basic screening when they arrive but weren’t getting followup care. The initial exam at Cardinal Glennon addresses areas such as iron deficiency and excessive levels of lead in their blood. Many have vision and dental problems. Almost all have vitamin D deficiencies. It soon became clear that the refugee families struggle to make it to specialty follow-up appointments and to administer their children’s prescriptions. Cardinal Glennon obtained a grant from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis to hire a nurse for the refugee clinic who makes home visits. Earlier this fall, with the help of interpreter Mariel Soultan of LAMP (Language Access Metro Project), a Catholic Family Services program, the nurse, Alicia Vaca, visited the home of Ahmed Saleh, his wife, Hanan, and their children, Malak, 3, and Israa, 18 months. Vaca connected with the parents easily, explaining how to administer multivitamins, vitamin D and iron and, with Soultan’s help, instructing them on marking the containers in Arabic. The family fled Syria at the outbreak of war and lived in Jordan four years before arriving in St. Louis in March. Saleh noted that his girls have been treated at Cardinal Glennon since they arrived, including for one daughter’s asthma. Vaca explained to the parents that if their daughter’s iron level stays too low, it could affect her brain development. She asked Saleh to demonstrate how to administer the vitamins. They then talked about their next clinic appointments and the trouble the family is facing with paperwork for enrolling their oldest daughter in school. Vaca said she often visits with one purpose and learns about another concern. Her goal is to educate the parents, “to make sure they understand what they’re giving

COMPASSIONATE CARE SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is a place of faith, hope and healing. With help from the community, the Cardinal Glennon Foundation works to help deliver compassionate care by funding the creation of child-friendly environments with world-class technology. Sandy Koller, executive director of the foundation, points out that in assisting the more than 200,000 sick and injured children each year, the mission of Cardinal Glennon today is the same as it was when it was founded in 1956: “Through our exceptional health

their children, why they’re giving it and to follow up.” She is thankful that she can help: “It keeps me very humble to hear the stories of the extreme circumstances these families have to overcome.” Preventive care is a new concept for the refugees. The clinic’s work is geared to assist the families for their first year after arriving in the country. “It’s helped increase their understanding, comfort and ability to access the health care system,” Ladage said. “They’re receptive, wanting to learn to take good care of their kids.” Often the refugees — mostly from the Middle East, Africa and Burma — will share stories of their circumstances before coming to the United States. “Their stories are just heartbreaking,” Ladage said. She gave an example of family from Somalia with six children. One child has a condition affecting brain development and bringing seizures. Another child has hearing loss and behavioral issues resulting from it. High lead levels also were a problem. The family at first was distrusting, but “we’ve really connected. The home visits were the key,” Ladage said. “It’s very difficult for them. And any time you have a child with developmental needs it can be challenging for the family.” Refugees often start small businesses, helping to improve the economy, Ladage said. Her motives for helping, however, are faith-based. “I believe God has blessed me in ways to use that to improve other people’s lives.” The Bible, she noted, “calls us to support the weak, the marginalized. They’ve been persecuted, have not been able to worship or live with freedom. Nobody is more deserving of support as they start over again.”

care services, we reveal the healing presence of God.” The hospital is the only freestanding Catholic pediatric hospital in the country. It has more than 200 pediatric experts in St. Louis practicing in more than 60 specialties and nationally ranked programs in cardiology, nephrology and gastroenterology. The Tree of Hope and Light Up Glennon campaigns are underway at Cardinal Glennon. See or Contributions also can be sent to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, 3800 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. 29

THE LEADERS “Our diversity urges us to strive for unity. We are challenged to be one and are called to be the agents of change. We are encouraged to enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel and we are dared to passionately live our baptismal call as evangelizers and messengers of peace and justice.” -Sister Jude Ruggeri, ASCJ

“BeONE will take us to a place where we can ask, ‘How am I doing as a disciple of Jesus?’ BeONE is an opportunity to delve deeper, work more intentionally, and answer that question on a personal level, a parish level, and a universal level.” - Julie Ramacciotti

The Magazine of the Archdiocese of St. Louis PUBLISHER


Teak Phillips | @TeakPhillips MAGAZINE STAFF

Jennifer Brinker | @JenniferBrinker Joseph Kenny | @JosephKenny2 Lisa Johnston | @aeternusphoto Stephen Kempf | @StephenKempf Dave Luecking | @stlreviewscribe

“Pray to God daily for a grateful and generous heart. When God calls us to give, it’s an answer to someone else’s prayers.” - Dave Baranowski “I love how St. Louis has such a strong Catholic identity. But sometimes — and I’ve done this too — we get a little territorial. ‘Where’d you go to high school?’ ‘We’re going to destroy Sacred Heart in soccer!’ It’s neat we love our parishes and schools, but what if we thought about how we can work together as a whole archdiocese, too? That’s what I hope beONE can help accomplish: working as one to be disciples of Christ.” - Father Brian Fallon


Catholic St. Louis is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal This publication is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors:


SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital TO RECEIVE CATHOLIC ST. LOUIS,

After months of listening sessions throughout the archdiocese and time for discernment, the Leadership Planning Team helped formalize the vision behind beONE. These are the members of that team: DAVID BARANOWSKI: Director of Stewardship Education; member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oakville JOE BESTGEN: Member of St. Alban Roe Parish in Wildwood; chairman of the Catholic men for Christ Conference FATHER BRIAN FALLON: Assistant Vocation Director with the Vocations Office BRIAN MILLER: Executive Director, Catholic Youth


Apostolate; member of St. Justin Martyr Parish in Sunset Hills JAVIER OROZCO: Executive Director of Intercultural and Interreligious Affairs; member of St. Francis Xavier “College” Church in Midtown KATIE PESHA: Executive director of Communications and Planning; member of St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville

JULIE RAMACCIOTTI: Director of Administration, Holy Spirit Parish in Maryland Heights; member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Ellisville SISTER JUDE RUGGERI, ASCJ: Executive director, Sacred Heart Villa child development center; member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Ambrose Parish on The Hill FATHER THOMAS SANTEN: Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Manchester JOHN SCHWOB: Director of Pastoral Planning; member of Sacred Heart Parish in Valley Park


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CATHOLIC ST. LOUIS, a membership publication of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, is published six times per year in February, April, June, August, October and December, by the Archdiocese of St. Louis at 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, Missouri, 63119. Periodicals postage paid at St. Louis, Missouri and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Catholic St. Louis, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, Missouri, 63119. Postal service permit #06-242. © Catholic St. Louis. Send all subscription information address changes to Catholic St. Louis, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, Missouri, 63119; 314.792.7500 or email ISSN 21682879


December 2015/January 2016

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