Local News

Speedy Cardinal Ritter launches to victories

Cardinal Ritter College Prep’s Jaylin Hudson battled Bishop DuBourg High School’s Jailen Maxey for control of the basketball. After going into halftime with a 9-point lead, Cardinal Ritter pulled away in the second half for a 70-37 victory.

Fast-paced transitions are a hallmark this year for the Cardinal Ritter College Prep boys basketball team.

For example, against Bishop DuBourg High School Dec. 18, the Ritter team busted out after a 2-point lead in the second quarter, scampering full speed up and down the court to lead by 9 at halftime. Then the Lions of Ritter roared in the second half to a 70-37 win.

Cardinal Ritter, 9-3 on the season, scored more than 70 points seven times and 85 or more points three times so far this season.

Retiring head of senior agency continues to advocate for elderly

Sister Suzanne Wesley, CSJ, is retiring as the executive director at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services. She has served for 15 years in that position. She talked with Ann Jones and Rick Hrach during a staff Christmas party.

As an outspoken advocate for the health and well-being of elderly people, Sister Suzanne Wesley's leadership — which has helped improve the quality of life for thousands of seniors the last 20 years — will be missed as she heads into retirement.

Simbang Gabi is Filipino Advent tradition honoring the Blessed Mother

Parishioners Kevin Eulalia, left, Fely Eulalia and Merlinda Eulalia served Filipino delicacies after a Simbang Gabi Mass Dec. 18. Simbang Gabi is a novena of Masses honoring Mary. The tradition of Simbang Gabi traces back to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the Philippines about 500 years ago. At the time, they had a tradition of celebrating pre-Christmas novena Masses in honor of the Annunciation.

Lily Elznic has fond childhood memories of celebrating Simbang Gabi growing up in the Philippines.

She and her family, who lived about an hour outside of Manila, would head to church for Mass in the early hours of the morning — for nine days straight.

"With all our friends in the neighborhood, we'd all go to the church," she said. "Along the way we'd watch the (Christmas) lights on the houses. After Mass, there would be a line on the street with food vendors — all of our favorite foods. Every morning it was a celebration."

Soccer All-American Steven Bibas of Vianney credits others

Steven Bibas celebrated with teammates after scoring for St. John Vianney in the state semifinal game against Springfield Kickapoo in November. Earlier this month, Bibas was named to the United Soccer Coaches High School All-America Team for the fall 2017 season.

Known for his accomplishments on the soccer field, St. John Vianney High School's Steven Bibas is equally adept at deflecting praise that comes his way.

Earlier this month, Bibas was named to the United Soccer Coaches High School All-America Team for the fall 2017 season. He's one of three players from Missouri named to the team. The others are Billy Hency of Rockwood Summit High School who is Bibas' teammate on Sporting St. Louis Howe club team, and Kyle Ruark of the Class 4 state champions, Rockhurst of Kansas City.

Ascension president/CEO helps meet global needs in Catholic health care

In 1999, the Daughters of Charity National Health System and Sisters of St. Joseph Health System combined forces and sent a clear message in choosing "Ascension Health" as the name of their new entity.

"We wanted to make a statement that this is not about any particular order but this is about the Catholic Church," said Anthony R. Tersigni, president/CEO of St. Louis-based Ascension, which dropped "Health" from its name in 2012.

Ladies of Charity quietly attend to work of serving others

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Inside the spacious hall at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in south St. Louis, several women were busy sorting items and checking distribution plans for an annual Christmas gift-giving to residents of a nearby senior residence.

It's part of the Christmas program, the biggest operation of the year for the parish known for its ministry to poor and homeless people. But even on a typical weekday, members of the Ladies of Charity take part in a half-dozen or so other activities related to the parish outreach.

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