catholic charities

Board member helps agency that aided him at his birth, adoption

Fifty years ago, Marty Tobben's biological mother placed him for adoption with Villa Maria, then an agency of Catholic Charities. He grew up in a loving household with his adoptive parents, Bob and Mary Tobben of Washington and two siblings.

Now he's giving back to Catholic Charities as a board member of Good Shepherd Children and Family Services, which connects children with families and keeps families connected through foster care, expectant parent support, adoption and maternity shelter. Good Shepherd includes the functions of the former Villa Maria maternity program.

Catholic groups mobilizing to help in Hurricane Harvey's aftermath

Residents wade through floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey Aug. 28 in Beaumont Place, Texas. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters) See

Editor's note: Updated on Aug. 29 with information about special collection in Archdiocese of St. Louis Sept. 2-3 and Sept. 9-10.

Texas parishioners shocked by devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey

Tim Freiberg walked through debris of his destroyed garage Aug. 26 after Hurricane Harvey struck Rockport, Texas. Floodwaters rose as high as 20 feet in some areas after record-breaking rainfall of as much as 28 inches in 24 hours fell in Texas.

HOUSTON -- With floodwater as high as 20 feet from swelling bayous and waterways, thousands of homes in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston flooded as Tropical Storm Harvey continued to batter southeast Texas Aug. 28.

Bishops from dioceses along the mid-Texas Gulf Coast, including Victoria and Galveston-Houston, granted dispensations from regular Mass Sunday obligations Aug. 27.

Catholic Charities makes headway in addressing poverty

St. Patrick Center and Pacific Dental Services Foundation held a free mobile dentistry clinic for clients. Dr.Adam Battaglia examined a clients teeth and said all he needed was a good cleaning.

Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, is proud of her organization's efforts to help break the cycle of poverty, empowering people to make permanent changes in their lives and support their efforts to lead self-sufficient, dignified lives.

Ruzicka was interviewed by the St. Louis Review after being named among the recipients of the Most Influential Business Women Awards from the St. Louis Business Journal. The award was presented to her Aug. 11.

School supplies help Pathways families get off to good start

Ramona Brown brought her children to choose backpacks for school at the Catholic Charities Pathway to Progress initiative. She held her 1-year-old baby, Heaven, while Isaiah, a fourth-grader, checked out what was inside his new bag. “I want to be a doctor,” said Isaiah, while his older brother Chris said he has “basketball blood” but also wants to be an architect. Another brother Jacob says he wants to become a successful businessman.

With three boys heading back to school, Ramona Brown credits for Catholic Charities of St. Louis taking "a lot of headaches off me," after learning about the variety of school supplies in backpacks the children received Aug. 9.

Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul poised to help those impacted by flooding

Sandbags were removed surrounding the S. Central Avenue business district at Dreyer Ave. in Eureka. The wall of sandbags reached 7-8 feet and were successful in helping with the flood. In a virtual replay of floods in the final week of December 2015, flooding along the Meramec River, its tributaries and the Mississippi River inundated the St. Louis area in the first week of May, closing Interstates 44 and 55 and turning Eureka and Fenton into islands. Homes and businesses from Pacific and points west to Arnold in the south and beyond were devastated.

Catholic Charities of St. Louis has stepped in to assist in the long-term recovery efforts of those affected by recent flooding in the St. Louis region.

Hundreds of households and businesses in the 11 counties of the Archdiocese of St. Louis have experienced damage from the flooding, many of them previously impacted by flooding in late December 2015/early January 2016.

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