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.

Help Portrait creates lasting memories for those in need

Pam Glass clutched two picture frames as she kept an eye on the little boys running around the gymnasium. As she glanced down at a photo of two of her grandsons, she smiled.

"They never get their pictures taken," Glass said. "They got their smiles on -- I'm so happy."

Glass brought four of her grandchildren last weekend to Garfield Commons at Peter and Paul Community Services for the annual Help Portrait photo session. The photos were an early Christmas gift for herself, she said.

Peter and Paul Community Services debuts safe haven for chronically homeless

Longtime friends Curesa Atkins, left, and Audrey Brown now live across the hallway from each other at Garfield Place Apartments, Peter and Paul Community Services’ new safe haven for chronically homeless individuals in the Benton Park West neighborhood of St. Louis.

This year, Curesa Atkins is going to have one of the best Christmases she's experienced in a long time.

In October, Atkins moved into Garfield Place Apartments, Peter and Paul Community Services' safe haven for chronically homeless individuals, that opened this fall. In the past few weeks, she's been busy decorating her place for Christmas. In the corner, a tree is adorned with silver and red tinsel, and a few gifts are underneath the tree, waiting for their recipients. Her table is set with gleaming holiday china and matching placemats.

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.

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