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.

Bishops urge halt to building of wall, confiscation of land in West Bank

Congress should urge the government of Israel to halt unnecessary confiscation of Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, which would help address the plight of Christian Palestinians in the Cremisan Valley and "renew hope for a just resolution to the conflict," according to the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Arab Christians struggle to get to Bethlehem

A Palestinian sought to sell souvenirs to cars passing through Checkpoint 300, the Israeli separation wall, separating Jerusalem and Bethlehem, West Bank, in December.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- Coming to Bethlehem for Christmas is always like a family reunion for Afif Hazboun.

For example, in December he had been standing in front of the Christmas tree in Manger Square for less than 10 minutes, and already two cousins had greeted him warmly, exchanging news and pleasantries.

A native of Nazareth, the 48-year-old Catholic was following the tradition that his father -- who was born in Bethlehem and went to live in Nazareth -- began with him as a child: Hazboun brings his wife and children to visit the city every Christmas.

Father Ron Chochol picks olives for peace in Palestinian territory

Father Ron Chochol, second from right, picked olives in the West Bank as part of a program to help Palestinians who have trouble harvesting olives because of Israeli restrictions.

Just a few months after a cease-fire ended violence in Israel last year, Father Ron Chochol was in a field in the West Bank territory, literally holding an olive branch -- the symbol of peace.

It wasn't a protest but instead was a sign of solidarity; he was holding branches while picking olives.

Treatment courts close revolving door to prison

Treatment courts began in Missouri in 1993, focusing on helping nonviolent substance-addicted offenders.

The Catholic bishops of Missouri have supported alternative sentencing options such as drug courts, the Missouri re-entry program and probation and parole policies that enhance public safety.

#EatMoreFish - Fish, Fisherman, Lent and Bible Factoids

Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The "bark" (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.

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The warm waters of the Sea of Galilee are home to between 18 and 24 different species of indigenous fish. In 2005, 270 tons of tilapia, locally called "St. Peter's Fish," were caught by fishermen in the sea.

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County counts homeless, helps bring them in from the cold

Angela Hamilton, a client coordinator for Room at the Inn, interviewed Tony and LaMonda at the Hanley Road MetroLink station. With the help of the volunteers, Tony and LaMonda, who have eight children and have been homeless for five years, found shelter. Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

LaMonda and Tony have stayed in a car, in laundromats, in a house that has no electricity, with relatives and hotels when they could get money from begging. They slept in a closet area and a cold basement storage area with rats running around them.
"We were scared, really scared, and I couldn't even sleep," Tony said.
With all the challenges they face, they remain dedicated to each other, able to smile and laugh.

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