Catholic Charities

BEFORE THE CROSS | Serving people regardless of their faith

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

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson gave his annual Advent Day of Recollection at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on Dec. 6. Parishioners throughout the archdiocese spent time in eucharistic adoration, took part in the sacrament of reconciliation and attended Mass.

Archbishop Carlson continues his series of columns to introduce readers to members of his advisory team with an article on Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

Quietly ministering: Catholic agencies provide practical services and financial aid in Ferguson

In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting death, faith and religion took center stage in Ferguson.

NonCatholic ministers arrived from out of town and held services, conducted press conferences and marched with protesters, seemingly leading the charge for peace and justice.

On the secular side, foundations formed with the mandate of healing St. Louis and its environs.

Worthy enterprises, all.

Catholic Charities to use grant to help Ferguson-area residents

The board of the Missouri Foundation for Health has approved a grant of up to $25,000 for Catholic Charities. The funding will provide case management at the drop-in center in Dellwood for people affected by the street blockings, damages and other disruptions caused by the protests and subsequent violence in Ferguson following the shooting of an unarmed man by a police officer.

Probate commissioner gets award, boosts agency

When Patrick J. Connaghan, probate commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri in St. Louis, received an award at the spring conference of the National College of Probate Judges, he used the opportunity to assist and bring attention to the good works of a Catholic Charities agency.

The Judge Isabella Horton Grant Guardianship Award recognizes and encourages achievements in the field of guardianships of minors and adults. The award is $1,000, along with funding for the recipient to attend the spring conference. Connaghan gave the funds to the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry.

Catholic Family Services helps 'Wild Man' build confidence

Gaining the nickname “Wild Man Willie” for his thrill-seeking adventures, Willie Deuster has been helped by Catholic Family Services and is a big supporter of the Catholic Charities agency supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal and the United Way.

Skydiving, bungee jumping and swimming with dolphins might sound like typical bucket-list wishes, but for 42-year-old Willie Deuster, it's just a way of life.

With such an extensive list of adventurous experiences, one would never guess that Deuster was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects the use of his limbs and makes a wheelchair a necessity for getting around.

It's no wonder he gained the nickname Wild Man Willie with all of his thrill-seeking adventures. In fact, the name stems from Deuster's very first adventure -- skiing -- nearly 10 years ago.

Archbishop to legislators: Follow Pope Francis’ example

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke with Tom Etling, executive director of St. Patrick Center, at the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Legislative Breakfast April 4. The archbishop asked legislators to keep the needs of the poor close to their hearts. The important topics included Medicaid reform and expansion, a moratorium on the death penalty, alternatives to abortion and modest tax credits that help the poor.

Citing Pope Francis' leadership and example, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and other speakers at the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Legislative Breakfast April 4 asked legislators to keep the needs of the poor close to their hearts.

Eighteen state legislators were on hand at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clayton, including the president pro tem of the state Senate and the majority floor leader of the House, plus a staff member from Gov. Jay Nixon's office and Sen. Roy Blunt's office. Also attending were board members of Catholic Charities agencies and others.

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