Living Our Faith

The Living Our Faith section highlights Catholics and Catholic organizations who are living the Catholic faith in their daily lives through their prayer, works, and generous service to the community.

VA chaplains part of 'remarkable work' being done for patients

Father Stu King prayed over U.S. Army Veteran Patrick Hopkins in his room at Veterans Hospital at Jefferson Barracks. Hopkins is recovering from brain surgery and recalled his time of service in Vietnam during the battle of Khe Sanh.

Forty-six years ago Patrick J. Hopkins served in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine hunkered down during the siege of the Khe Sanh base. His recall of the horror he experienced there led in recent years to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Until death do us part: Planning ahead for a loved one's funeral, burial

Planning in advance for a funeral and burial can be uncomfortable for some, but it can save on a lot of difficult decision-making in the long run.

About 10 years ago, Bill Henderson contemplated where he and his wife, Gloria, should be buried after they die. He wanted to get the decision-making out of the way, but circumstances prompted him to put the decision on hold.

More recently, Henderson developed health issues, and the thoughts resurfaced.

Creating love from stones: Lessening tension of police-involved shootings in Shaw neighborhood and Ferguson

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org | Twitter: @aeternusphoto Terri Merideth, a 30 year music teacher at St. Margaret of Scotland School and Parish, found a unique way to contribute to peace in the Shaw neighborhood after the recent unrest following the shooting of a teenager, Vonderrit Myers Jr., by an off duty police officer. She helped Mary Samuelson, the owner of Mama Josephine’s southern style home cooking restraunt on Castleman Avenue prepare a pot of stone soup. Samuelson had about 20 other volunteers from the Shaw neighborhood to make the soup which they delivered to the family of the man who was shot.

In the old folk story of Stone Soup, a group of travelers stop at a village with an empty cooking pot. The villagers initially are unwilling to share any of their food with the hungry travelers, so the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, adding a large stone to it. One by one, the curious villagers stop by to see what they're doing. They each offer a different ingredient, until a delicious pot of hearty soup is produced. It's a lesson in cooperation and the power of a community that comes together.

COMBATING MORAL RELATIVISM

J.S. Onesimo Sandoval presented a talk titled “Changing Demographic Portrait of the American Family” at the Missouri Catholic Conference’s Annual Assembly. The assembly was held  Oct. 4 at the Missouri state Capitol building in Jefferson City. The assembly addressed marriage and family issues in the country with a keynote given by Dr. Ed Hogan, a theologian at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and director of the archdiocesan Paul VI institute.

Relativism is a serious problem in our culture. We've seen evidence in how society views marriage and children. Truth becomes subjective, a product of what the culture desires. No one is wrong, and just about any kind of behavior is acceptable.

But families can be at the forefront of turning around relativism, according to Ed Hogan, director of the archdiocesan Paul VI Institute.

St. Louisan serving at Liberia Mission details hurdles of Ebola breakout

Liberians waited outside the John F. Kennedy Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 18. Pope Francis called for prayers and concrete help for the thousands of people affected by the deadly Ebola virus.

When Joe Sehnert moved to Liberia in 2011, he knew the risks of going to a Third World country.

Ebola wasn't among them; the deadly virus historically has been limited to countries in East and Central Africa.

Transformation happening at St. Charles Lwanga Center

Daija Loggins credits her future to her association with the St. Charles Lwanga center where she began to learn about herself as a black Catholic. Her journey through the Kujenga (meaning “build” in Swahili) program provided leadership development which she, now as a young adult, is helping to pass along as a mentor in the program. Loggins is studying early elementary education at Missouri Baptist University and studied on the campus in St. Louis.

In the 1990's sitcom Seinfeld, Elaine warns an employee that her friend George is a "bad seed."

"A horrible seed," she says. "One of the worst seeds I've ever seen."

Ultimately, she takes it back, describing him as a "fine seed."

Father Art Cavitt might use that term to describe Daniel Crawford, a 21-year-old from Florissant who has transformed himself into a good seed at St. Charles Lwanga Center.

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