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'This is the day'

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In a pew with his family, young Liam Corley, age 6, watched intently as the events unfolded around the altar at St. Monica Church.

In the Rite of Dedication, Auxiliary Bishop Mark S. Rivituso blessed the altar, laid in the rectangular marble stone containing a relic, then anointed the stone and the granite surface with sacred chrism.

As the choir, including Liam's sister, Emily, filled the church with song, Bishop Rivituso worked his way around the sacred table, spreading the blessed oil by hand and making sure all four corners and everything in between were covered.

Editorial | Pray for calm and Catholic on

They carry on despite the circumstances.

This issue of the St. Louis Review includes an article about an arson at St. Monica Church in Creve Coeur two days after Christmas that requires cleanup and repairs lasting several weeks.

Yet, they carry on, with Masses and other sacramental matters continuing as scheduled, but in the parish school.

Arson draws parish family, community together

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An arsonist caused only material damage at St. Monica Church in Creve Coeur two days after Christmas, destroying the Nativity scene, perhaps irreparably damaging the altar, and creating smoke and water damage to close the building for a few weeks.

However, the parish suffered no harm in a spiritual sense. Masses and confessions went on as scheduled, just relocated to the adjoining school building — the gymnasium for weekend Masses, and a classroom for daily Masses and confessions.

Prosecutors charge man with church arsons

Father Dale Wunderlich, the rector at the Shrine of St. Joseph, described himself as "very relieved" that a suspect has been arrested in two of seven arsons at St. Louis area churches.

Many share the feeling.

"It's just a great relief not only for the churches that have been hit already, but I think almost any church on the north side is very relieved they don't have to worry it," said Father Wunderlich, who attended the St. Louis Metropolitan Police news conference announcing the arrest and charges Oct. 30.

Church fires: From charred doors grows a brotherhood in Christ

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Update at 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 30 — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives announced the arrest of David Lopez Jackson in connection with two of the seven suspicious fires.

 

Normally, few would associate the two men as being in a brotherhood.One is African-American, in his 40s, the pastor at New Life Missionary Baptist Church.

The other is Anglo-American, in his late 60s, a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and rector of the Shrine of St. Joseph near downtown St. Louis.

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