Faith is the key for parishes' support

The extraordinary support by St. Justin parishioners of a family dealing with a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) has been replicated in the past with other parishioners and among Catholics of the archdiocese.

Parishioners at Holy Infant in Ballwin and Queen of All Saints in Oakville are just two of the examples of outreach in recent years. Other parishes have had similar efforts for people who have dealt with similar struggles, including victims of accidents. Employees and residents of Holy Angels Apartments in Bridgeton rallied around a resident who was coping with ALS.

Father Joseph Weber, pastor of St. Justin, noted that among other efforts, parishioners have been praying a rosary for the Larson family every Sunday at 6:15 p.m. at the grotto behind Pauline Books and Media, 9804 Watson Road in Crestwood. "The faith is the key for all of this," he said.

The Office of Readings for St. Callistus has a quote about being here one moment and facing God the next, he said, along with comparing temporary struggles with eternal joy.

The reading, written by St. Cyprian, says:

"Christ protects us; Death is brought on, but eternal life follows. What an honor, what happiness to depart joyfully from this world, to go forth in glory from the anguish and pain, in one moment to close the eyes that looked on the world of men, and in the next to open them at once to look on God and Christ."

The reading referred to martyrdom at the time but also could apply to illness, Father Weber said.

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