‘God’s Hands’ reach from Tinley, Ill. to cemetery here

Jack Ruane, a parishioner at St. Julie Billiart Church in Tinley Park, Ill., helped clear overgrowth from the grounds of Greenwood Cemetery. He was part of a group of volunteers from St. Julie Billiart working to help with maintenance at the historic African-American cemetery.

Seth Huisenga swung a sickle to slash overgrown weeds, some of them twice his height.

He made good progress with the simple tool, clearing an overgrown area of Greenwood Cemetery in the north St. Louis County suburb of Hillsdale. He discovered a headstone of a 1 1/2 year-old child who died Sept. 16, 1976. "At least it's uncovered now," Huisenga said.

Peace and Justice commissioners get their hands dirty

After vandalism a few weeks ago at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, the Peace & Justice Commission considered putting out a statement in support of the archdiocese's Jewish brethren.

But just a statement seemed inadequate on top of the commission's other statements — on a variety of issues — over the past 18 months, since being officially commissioned by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson in August 2015.

Plus, the archbishop had called Catholic St. Louisans to action after the vandalism, to not only help clean up the historic cemetery but tangibly demonstrate support for the Jewish community.

Catholics help clean up vandalized historic Jewish cemetery

Nancy Wagoner, a resident of University City, and Father William Dotson of St. Patrick Parish in Wentzville, cleaned up leaves at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City. Wagoner has lived in University City her whole life, and described it as a “very diverse community.” A member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City, Wagoner has friends from high school whose parents are buried at the cemetery. “I just felt called to come home,” she said.

Represented by seminarians, priests, deacons, students and laity, Catholic St. Louisans stood with Jewish brethren in the aftermath of vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City.

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