Jennifer Brinker | firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter: @JenniferBrinker
At 15 years old, she lived in a loving household, homeschooled by her family. Young and curious, she decided to study abroad. With her parents, she did some research and found a program. When she arrived at her destination, she quickly discovered she had been lured into a sex trafficking ring. Her father eventually flew overseas to rescue her.
"How we doing, brother?" the supervisor asked the carpenter, who had been busy finishing work on the drywall in a bathroom area of the building.
"Great. We're putting the doorway in," came the reply.
The walls were looking good, sturdy as can be, a perfect fit. Electrical work has been completed. The storefront in a 130-year-old building along Main Street in Troy is being transformed into a satellite office for Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, the largest comprehensive social support agency in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties.
In a jail workout room, heartfelt songs are belted out as the inmate choir members sway to the music.
It's prayerful. It's powerful.
The Second Chance Choir at the Lincoln County Jail has offers from near and far to appear at churches and for community groups. They've gone to nearly 40 places so far. Because of logistics and cost of transportation, they mostly stick to Lincoln and St. Charles Counties.
Jennifer Brinker | email@example.com Photos by Lisa Johnston | firstname.lastname@example.org
As a newly ordained priest, Father Wissam Akiki hasn't been assigned to his first parish yet, but already he's been preparing for another big assignment: He'll be filling in at a parish in Cincinnati during Holy Week, perhaps the most important week in the life of the Church.
Already, his plate has been filled. In addition to assisting at his temporary assignment, St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis, he's been preparing his homilies for Holy Week and tending to another major part of his life -- his wife, Manal, and 8-year-old daughter, Perla.
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.