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Catholics mark Migration Week with welcoming spirit

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Government actions and rhetoric raising fears about immigration and refugee resettlement were countered by Catholics who celebrated National Migration Week Jan. 7-13 by calling for a more welcoming spirit.

Pope Francis, in an address Jan. 8 to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, warned against talking about migrants and migration "only for the sake of stirring up primal fears." The movements of peoples have always existed, and the freedom of movement — to leave one's homeland and to return — is a fundamental human right, he said.

St. Joseph’s Academy senior stands in solidarity with ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Claire Shackleford, one of the Martin Luther King, Jr. models of justice awardees, is a senior at St. Joseph’s Academy and president of their diversity club. She uses the MLK model as an approach to her efforts to participate in nonviolent ways of speaking out against racial injustice. She talked with students in her club at school including her friend, Kaylen Rice.

Last fall, Claire Shackleford and a few other students and teachers from St. Joseph's Academy left school early and went Downtown to attend the Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace and Solidarity.

Led by Archbishop Robert Carlson, the service at Kiener Plaza was a time to pray for peace and healing in St. Louis following a not-guilty verdict in the trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, who had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Clergy appointments for Jan. 8

Rev. Stephen Benden, CSSR, is assigned associate pastor of St. Alphonsus Liguori (Rock) Parish in St. Louis, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Rev. Thomas M. Robertson, senior associate pastor of St. Dominic Savio Parish and St. George Parish, is granted retirement status, with residence at Regina Cleri, effective Jan. 3, 2018. 

Warm hearts reign at residence for the elderly poor

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Just after the New Year, Mary Louise Doetsch sat at a table at the St. Louis Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor folding cloth napkins, with about a dozen or so in a pile waiting for her caring touch. The 89-year-old resident, a former St. Gabriel parishioner in south St. Louis, conversed with other residents in the room, joking and laughing with them.

Doetsch loves everything about the residence, explaining that there's things to do for everyone.

"If you're bored, you're bored because you want to be," she said.

Bond credits God for rise from Kinloch to success

Belinda Bond was the first African-American woman to manufacture, import and wholesale a line of jewelry featuring millionaire Madame CJ Walker for JC Penney. She earlier had a career as an auditor with Southwestern Bell. Now the owner of a consulting firm, she's known as a dynamic, charismatic speaker with an unlimited source of energy and exciting visions for the future.

Catholic agencies address poverty issues, public policy

A forum last month gave Catholics a chance to voice public policy concerns and ideas to legislators ahead of the state legislative session, which convened Jan. 3. The Dec. 11 event in St. Charles County was a collaboration by Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul "to put low-income people in the front of legislators' minds as they go into the session," according to Tamara Kenny, director of advocacy and community engagement at Catholic Charities.

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