Local News

FROM DARKNESS TO THE LIGHT

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During the sacred Triduum, just before the sun peeks over the horizon, the Religious Sisters of Mercy assemble in the darkness of their convent chapel for prayer. Only a small light beams from 15 candles.

The intimate gathering is quiet and somber, only pierced by their chanting of the Psalms and Lamentations of Jeremiah. One by one, the candles are extinguished as the sisters recall with gratitude the passion and death of Jesus.

Incarnate Word, Chaminade basketball programs soar

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The defending state champions ruled in two state basketball finals involving Catholic schools from the archdiocese. Incarnate Word Academy earned its second consecutive championship in the Class 4 girls game, while Chaminade College Prep fought hard in the boys Class 5 game but lost to defending champion Webster Groves High School.

Incarnate Word's win

‘Ministering, but not administering’

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Approaching 50 years old in the early 1990s, Father Thomas Robertson thought he was all set for retirement, though it was a long way off; he planned to live in a cabin he owned along the Meramec River after leaving parish ministry.

The Flood of '93 wiped out that plan ... and the cabin, too.

Then, as he neared 70, Father Robertson figured he'd settle into a private residence upon retirement. Similarly, Msgr. James Telthorst admitted to having "a couple of dreams" about having a place of his own. Neither envisioned living at Regina Cleri Home for Retired Priests

‘Cornerstone’ of Marygrove helped children heal and grow

In 1983, Msgr. Robert Slattery, then president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, recruited Sister Helen Negri to become the chief operating officer of Marygrove. She began with seven residents and built it to a multifaceted program of residential care for more than 200 children every day (with 1,300 served every year) with behavioral health problems.

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd had just relinquished the agency, and the staff had asked her where the other nuns were — she was it. She gave them her beeper number, and they used it liberally, Sister Helen said with a laugh.

Bed-donation program a hit with struggling families

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Ja'zon Reece, who's almost 3 years old, leaned over and made a small opening in the blinds to look out the window for the two deliverymen from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul carrying mattresses into his apartment.

Ja'zon's mom, Annita Baker, and her three children now have their own apartment after living with relatives and sleeping in the same bed.

Ministry’s refusal to give up on people pays off

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At an apartment in south St. Louis, Jerome Arnold greeted Phillip Melton as if they were old friends. But they'd only met a month earlier, after Melton had been released from prison.

Melton told Arnold that the move was simple, he'd unpacked and even lost weight. Most importantly, he hadn't had an alcoholic drink since he left prison.

"Way to go," Arnold praised Melton, referring to him as, "a good man, a good person, not a hassle."

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