Catholic Charities

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.

Thomas Duff to head Catholic Family Services

Thomas Duff has been named the new executive director of Catholic Family Services.

Duff, a licensed clinical social worker, has more than 14 years of experience working as a clinician and administrator. Since 2006, he has served as a treatment manager and director for United Methodist Children's Home in Mt. Vernon, Ill. He oversaw programmatic and fiscal integrity for a number of programs. Duff is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Illinois Sex Offender Management Board. He also serves as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Illinois.

Theresa Ruzicka to lead Catholic Charities of St. Louis

Theresa Lynch Ruzicka, the new president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, will begin her duties on March 10.

Theresa Lynch Ruzicka will begin work as the new president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis on March 10. She currently is a partner with RubinBrown LLP, working in the Entrepreneurial Services Group.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson made the announcement Feb. 7. Ruzicka served as a board member of Catholic Charities of St. Louis from 2008 until late last year when she applied for the position of president.

Catholics helping people get out of the cold

Three-year-old Travis Harrison Jr. found comfort in the arms of his mother Tylin Green at Room at the Inn in Bridgeton. The homeless shelter is sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence, and is among agencies assisting people this winter

The snow and a "polar vortex" brought the St. Louis area to a standstill in the past week, but Catholic groups kept on moving in their efforts to help people stay out of the cold.

At St. Patrick Center, it's business as usual, helping people who are homeless to get off the streets and out of the winter weather.

"Being part of the city's continuum of care, we're doing what we do every day of the year," said Kelly Peach, senior director of communications at St. Patrick Center.

Radio co-hosts tout Catholic Charities

Jack Lemasters made a contribution to Catholic Charities during the “Add One More Person to Your Christmas List” campaign at Dierbergs in Creve Coeur. Radio station Fresh 102.5 FM and the Archdiocese of St. Louis are presenting a season of Christmas music which runs until the end of the year.

She was supposed to be at work by the time she stopped by to see the Fresh 102.5 FM radio station morning team and donate to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis "Add One More Person to Your Christmas List" campaign.

The radio co-hosts were broadcasting live Dec. 6 from the Dierbergs store in the West Oak shopping center in Creve Coeur.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities have partnered with Fresh 102.5, known as St. Louis' Christmas station, to provide Christmas carols on the station.

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