Christian Hope

Camp brings magic to kids grieving loss of a loved one

Amy Berry proudly displayed a butterfly that landed on her finger during Camp MAGIC last summer. The one-day camp for children ages 6-12 who a grieving the loss of a loved one, is sponsored by SSM Hospice and Home Care Foundation.

Amy Berry loves sharing stories of her older brother, Gus.

Like the times they made super-tall Lego towers. Or how he loved dinosaurs. His favorite was the T-Rex. Gus and Amy got along pretty well for siblings. He called his little sister "Amers" -- and "he was really caring," she said.

Longtime missionaries' return is a cross to bear

Maryknoll Father Joseph W. Halpin was made for parish work, and Most Precious Blood Parish in Guatemala City was the right fit.

"I just liked the work with the people -- nice people, you know," Father Halpin said. They are warm and family-oriented, no pretenses, "very simple people," he said.

Father Halpin returned to his hometown of St. Louis Sept. 15 for kidney dialysis and now is at the Maryknoll health care facility in New York. "I'd rather be down there," he said of his parish. A lot of tears were shed when he said goodbye for the last time.

Catholic Cemeteries reports 2,235 burials in FY 2012-13

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis buried 2,235 individuals during the fiscal year July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.

RESURRECTION in Affton, with 302 acres, was founded in 1929. It had the most burials in the archdiocese with 877.

CALVARY in north St. Louis, with 477 acres, is one of the oldest cemeteries, dating from 1853. It had the second most burials with 703 last year.

SACRED HEART in Florissant dates to 1874 and has 14 acres. It had 201 burials last year.

Catholic Cemeteries offers grave decoration removals

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis offers a decoration removal service at all of its locations.

Removals take place beginning the second Wednesday of the month and continuing the following day, Thursday, from February through November. Removals will begin at 7:30 a.m. There will be no removal period in December or January to allow more time for holiday memorials to remain at grave sites.

When a cemetery holiday falls in a pick-up week, the pick up will be postponed to the following week. (E.g. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, etc.)

Grief resources

• "Journeying through Grief," is a series of four short books by Kenneth C. Haugk and produced by Stephen Ministries, which are sent at four crucial times during the first year after the loss of a loved one. The cost is $9.95 for the set. Visitwww.stephenministries.org to order.

Mass in memory of children Dec. 8

The annual Mass "In Memory of Our Children" will be celebrated on Sunday, Dec. 8.

Father Thomas Santen will celebrate the Mass at 2 p.m. at the Old Cathedral, 209 Walnut St. Downtown on the riverfront.

The Mass is an annual tradition that started in the 1980s and provides families who have lost a child a way to include them in their Christmas observance. Bereaved parents have said the Mass helps them celebrate Christmas with the memory of their child before taking part in holiday activities.

For more information on the Mass, call Rosalyn Hoehn at (636) 391-9374.

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