The Little Sisters of the Poor stay grounded in the knowledge that they are carrying on the work of their foundress.
In 1839 St. Jeanne Jugan, a poor 47-year old working woman in post-revolutionary France, shared a small apartment with a friend. They took in an infirm, blind, elderly neighbor who had been left alone when her sister was dying in the hospital. Soon they began caring for other elderly, and girls from the neighborhood joined in providing care.
It seemed like a typical day at St. Simon School in south St. Louis County when students gathered for an all-school Mass. After all, it's something that the school does on a weekly basis. But on this day, at the end of Mass, about two dozen students received an award for their service to others.
One of the recipients, Ellie Wobbe, regularly goes with her family to help at several nursing homes. They assist with activities and just visit with residents. The experience has opened her eyes to the idea that service is more than just helping someone in need.
Late last year the City of St. Louis awarded Depaul USA operating grants for the Project More and Project Plus programs to continue providing housing and services to 70 formerly homeless men and women in St. Louis.
Catholic education in the United States has always faced significant hurdles, and the current challenges will be overcome as well, according to an associate professor of education at St. Louis University.