Local News

Taizé at Baptist Church in north St. Louis breaks down barriers

A Taizé service was held at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis. The gathering began with prayer and song. Ramona Neumann, from the archdiocesean Offfice of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, spoke with Regina Franklin, center, and Pat McCarty during a group discussion about trust and fear.

Before Feb. 10, the two Catholics and three Baptists had never met. But after a Taizé service at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis, they opened up.

When they broke off from the larger group to discuss trust and fear, laughter erupted a couple times as they learned a little about their differences and similarities. Other times they listened closely as each described struggles they've had and how those difficulties led to a stronger faith when they realized God was at their side.

Missouri legislation seeks to pre-empt city’s ‘abortion sanctuary’ ordinance

Lisa Johnston  |  lisajohnston@archstl.org  |  twitter: @aeternusphoto

Sponsor of House Bill 174, Rep. Tila Hubrecht from Southeast MO, watched as St. Louis City Ward 06 Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia gave testimony opposing the bill. Ingrassia came to the meeting of the House's Children and Families Committee to voice her concern over pregnancy resource centers. 

Missouri legislators considering a bill on free speech rights of alternative-to-abortion agencies turned to discussion on religious liberty and a recent measure passed in St. Louis City, at a hearing this week at the state Capitol.

House Bill 174, sponsored by Rep. Tila Hubrecht (R-Dexter), would protect the rights of alternatives-to-abortion agencies, such as pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes, to freely assemble and engage in religious practices or speech without government interference. The bill was heard Feb. 14 by members of the Children and Families Committee.

Missouri legislators considering a bill on free speech rights of alternative-to-abortion agencies turned to discussion on religious liberty and a recent measure passed in the City of St. Louis. The discussion came at a hearing Feb. 14 at the state Capitol.

Mayor signs reproductive decisions bill opposed by archdiocese

Lisa Johnston  |  lisajohnston@archstl.org  |  twitter: @aeternusphoto

Ward 08 Alderman Stephen Conway voiced his disapproval for Board Bill 203 during discussion at the Board of Aldermen meeting. The St. Louis City Board of Aldermen voted to perfect Board Bill 203. The proposed St. Louis City ordinance was proposed to prohibit discrimination based on a person's reproductive health decisions or pregnancy. The Archdiocese of St. Louis believes the bill would cause religious persecution and discrimination and violates the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and violates state and federal laws.

Update at 5:20 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 15:

A new law in the City of St. Louis prohibits discrimination based on a person's reproductive decisions or pregnancy.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed the bill passed by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on a 17-10 vote Feb. 10. Several members of the board spoke in opposition, saying it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and causes unnecessary divisiveness.

Young women use the power of one to build a culture of life

From left to right: Molly Judd, Rachel Leininger, Tori Long

The stakes are high. The dynamic is changing. These are bold statements about the pro-life movement, but so are the women you're about to meet. Each one of them shows what it's like to take the Power of One — the theme from this year's March for Life — and reframe the discussion on life issues. Can abortion become unthinkable in our lifetime? Can we create a culture that supports life in all of its stages? Here are their stories:

Molly Judd — The power of a woman's voice

Age: 24

Role: Events and programs coordinator, Office of Laity and Family Life; single

CCVI congregational leader reflects on diversity, charism

Sister Teresa Maya, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, visited Incarnate Word Academy during Mission Week. Her first stop at the school was to mingle through the Mission Carnival, an event which will raise money for the Down Syndrome Association of St Louis. Sister Tere gave her best attempt at the ball toss booth while students gathered around her.

Sister Teresa Maya of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word remembers watching the news in Ferguson unfold from the sisters' motherhouse in San Antonio, Texas, and wondered — worried, actually — how her community could make a difference.

One of the sisters' ministries, Incarnate Word Academy, is in the tiny village of Bel-Nor, about 10 minutes from Ferguson. The all-girls Catholic high school has been present there since 1932.

‘Convent crawl’ gives an experience of diversity in religious life

Sister Brenda Fritz, DC, worked with piano student Nyeal Biedenstein Feb. 6 as part of the after-school Presentation Arts Center at Our Lady of the Presentation Parish in Overland.

The former chapel in the convent building at Our Lady of the Presentation Church years ago was subdivided into two small rooms, an informal entry/waiting area and an office.

Nothing extraordinary about it ... except God's work still happens in that space.

Whereas the sounds of Mass or the silence of prayer once dominated, the musical notes of joy now fill the air. Under the auspice of Sister Brenda Fritz, DC, the parish's music director, the convent has been transformed into the Presentation Arts Center, an arts ministry thriving in its first year.

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