The foundational principle of Catholic social teaching is the dignity of the human person. From a faith perspective, we strongly affirm this because we believe that every human person is made in the image and likeness of God. But even from a purely human perspective, we are convinced that every human being has rights and responsibilities that come from human nature itself. This double perspective of faith and reason is at the heart of all our Church's social teaching.
Transitional diaconate service: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Oakville
Degrees: Bachelor's in English from University of Missouri-St. Louis, master's in English from Ohio State University, and bachelor's in philosophy, master's in theology and master's in divinity from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary
Home Parish: Curé of Ars in Shrewsbury
Transitional diaconate service: Ascension in Chesterfield
A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Elisha Perez is attending St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, studying general education leading eventually to a degree in occupational therapy. Her hope is to someday volunteer to help other women veterans, perhaps those with spinal cord injuries.
Since leaving after four years of service in the Navy, things haven't been easy for Perez, who has children, ages 2 and 3. She and her children were homeless until she received help from St. Patrick Center to find a place to live.
A Sister of the Most Precious Blood of O'Fallon has written a children's book that she hopes will help people understand the complex topic of microfinancing.
Sister Antoinette "Toni" Temporiti has published "One Potato Two," the story of Mumbi, a young African girl whose mother is able to feed the family thanks to a potato-selling business that was begun through a microfinancing loan.
In 2006, Sister Toni founded Microfinancing Partners in Africa, a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that provides assistance to strengthen and expand microfinancing programs in Africa.