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.

Pilot program aimed at improving reading skills shows promise at St. Joan of Arc School in South St. Louis

Third-grade students at St. Joan of Arc School in South St. Louis were assisted recently by their teacher, Georgann Buchanan, in using Reading Plus, an individualized online or software program to improve reading skills.

A supplementary reading program at St. Joan of Arc School in South St. Louis is showing promising results.

The school is in a pilot program for Reading Plus, a software or Internet-based program for reading improvement and assessment which helps struggling readers as well as average and advanced readers become even more proficient.

Local Catholic schools teach values and social skills through ballroom dancing

Students from St Katharine Drexel, St. Frances Cabrini and Our Lady of Guadalupe schools competed in the Colors of the Rainbow Team Match sponsored by St Louis Dancing Classrooms in the parish center at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in South St Louis.

"Dancing with girls isn't that bad." So said Issac Rocheville, a fifth-grader at St. Frances Cabrini Academy in South St. Louis.

In January 2009, Isaac's school became the first in the area to begin participating in St. Louis Dancing Classrooms, a program that uses ballroom dancing lessons to aid fifth-graders' social development.

Abp. Carlson shares his vision for Catholic schools, a 'vibrant community of faith'

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

From Jan. 24-30, we are celebrating the 37th annual Catholic Schools Week. This is a week earlier than the national celebration because of a schedule conflict that I could not change. Local parish and school celebrations may be held the week of Jan. 31.

Archbishop Carlson cites need to join hands in solidarity with Haiti

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson cited the need to join hands in solidarity with the Church of Haiti as he delivered a homily during a Mass Jan. 14 for the victims of the earthquake there two days earlier.

"We come together this morning to mourn the terrible suffering of our brothers and sisters in Haiti ravaged by an earthquake of enormous proportions that has left tens of thousands dead and survivors waiting for the response of the world as they struggle for even the basics of life," Archbishop Carlson noted.

Finding hope in the rubble of Haiti

Sister Limeteze Pierre-Gilles, who grew up in Haiti and is a novice with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in St. Louis, shed a tear as she told of a friend whose baby daughter was killed when she was trapped in their collapsed house. The mother could hear the baby crying in the rubble but could not rescue her. The babysitter was also killed.

There is hope in spite of the suffering in Haiti since an earthquake hit there Jan. 12, several people with ties to the Caribbean nation said.

Sister Limeteze Pierre-Gilles, a novice at the School Sisters of Notre Dame motherhouse in Lemay, tried to hold her emotions in check when telling of aunts, cousins and friends she has not heard from since the quake. "I don't know if they're still alive or not."

'Generous act of love': Teen sets example of thousands seeking transplants

Mary Clynes of Sacred Heart Parish in Florissant, left, put her arm around her daughter, Melissa, 19, Jan. 12, after Melissa came home from dialysis treatment. Melissa is awaiting a second kidney transplant. As an infant she had a heart transplant, and three years ago she received a kidney from her mother, but the kidney was destroyed by a virus.

Melissa Clynes wants to be like other college students, with the regular challenges and experiences they have.

She's on the shy side too, and she prefers to avoid extra attention.

But Melissa's photo is on a flyer posted on public bulletin boards with the headline: "While you're trying to decide if you're going to help ... Melissa's hope of living slowly fades."

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