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.

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."

Valle freshmen promote bone-marrow registry

Valle Catholic High School freshmen Neve Cavanaugh, Taylor Oberle and Deidra Flieg worked at the recent bone marrow donor sign-up day at the Ste. Genevieve Parish school, as Denise Mosley, local representative of Be The Match Registry, looked on.

People needing bone marrow transplants have 38 more potential donors, thanks to the freshman class at Valle Catholic High School in Ste. Genevieve.

Under the leadership of class sponsor Mary Okenfuss, the Valle class of 2013 conducted a bone marrow registration day in late November that surpassed its goal of 30 registrants.

"We had a very successful day," said Okenfuss. "We had 38 people register, with at least seven other people who tried to register but couldn't due to health conditions. That was a great turnout."

Donors cite how they have benefitted from giving

Michael Cole knew that a 10-year-old neighbor had kidneys that failed and that she was on dialysis.

So one day he said to the family, "If you need my kidney, let me know."

He was serious but thought his age, 55, and other factors would rule him out.

Three months later, the girl's mother was at his front door, ready to take him up on his offer. So he went for testing and learned he was a match.

Missouri law needs changes, ethicist says

A law passed in Missouri in 2008 on organ donation, called the Revised Uniform Anatomic Gift Act, failed to include changes sought by the Missouri Catholic Conference.

LaSalette Father Edward Richard, vice rector, dean of students and professor of moral theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury, said the Catholic Conference, the public policy agency of the state's bishops, had a number of concerns about the legislation regarding consent.

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