church

St. Raphael’s Lenten project becomes an answer to prayers for Puerto Rican parish recovering from hurricane

San José Chapel, one of eight chapels under the pastoral care of Parroquia San Rafael in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, suffered the most extensive damage of all the chapels. Located close to the sea, a hurricane Sept. 20 ripped off material that covered the roof, flooding the inside of the chapel. The chapel’s padded chairs were damaged and several doors also needed repair.

More than four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, Father Jorge Virella was feeling stressed as he worried about how his parish, San Rafael in Quebradillas, was going to come up with the funding to restore several chapels.

At the same time, about 2,000 miles away in St. Louis, Father Bob Reiker had cracked open the Official Catholic Directory, looking for a church in Puerto Rico where his parishioners at St. Raphael the Archangel could send donations from their recent Lenten project.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Witness of Colombian people a wealth for the Church

Pope Francis touched near his eye as he talked with Father Leonardo Sapienza, regent of the papal household, during his general audience Sept. 13 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope’s face was bruised from hitting the popemobile when it stopped suddenly during his trip in Colombia.

VATICAN CITY — Colombia's long and arduous path toward reconciliation and a lasting peace after nearly half a century of war is a sign of hope for all Christians, Pope Francis said.

POPE’S MESSAGE | ‘Perfect’ Catholics who despise others is sad situation

Pope Francis greeted the crowd at his weekly audience Aug. 9 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Continuing his series of audience talks about Christian hope, the pope reflected on Jesus’ “scandalous gesture” of forgiving the sinful woman.

VATICAN CITY — God didn't choose perfect people to form His Church, but rather sinners who have experienced His love and forgiveness, Pope Francis said.

The Gospel of Luke's account of Jesus forgiving the sinful woman shows how His actions went against the general mentality of his time, a "clear separation" between the pure and impure, the pope said Aug. 9 at his weekly general audience.

"There were some scribes, those who believed they were perfect," the pope said. "And I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad."

Churches attacked, crisis worsens in Central African Republic

OXFORD, England — A Catholic aid worker warned of a worsening crisis in the Central African Republic, as church centers are attacked and more armed groups fight over territory and resources.

"Perhaps the situation is better in Bangui, the capital, but elsewhere conditions are deteriorating dramatically as conflicts multiply," said Christophe Droeven, country representative for the U.S.-based Catholic Relief Services.

St. Mark Parish moving to site of its school off Union Road

Brian Bradshaw, right, and his brother Harold Bradshaw, the owner of Hubzco Welding, worked on installing the railing by the alter in St. Mark Church on July 21. The church was the former Mary Queen of the Universe Church before the merger to form St. Mark, and will be the new home for St. Mark as the parish is reuniting church and school on one property.

St. Mark Church in south St. Louis County is on the move — literally.

The parish church and offices soon will be reunited with its school and rectory about a mile and a half away, at the former Mary Queen of the Universe Parish at 4230 Ripa Ave.

Our Lady of the Presentation to host Mass Mob

When the first Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of the Presentation more than 100 years ago, the community made do with what it had — a temporary altar made of two boards, a soap box for a tabernacle, a pew and a simple crucifix.

The parish has come a long way, becoming a beacon for the Catholic faithful in the north St. Louis County community of Overland. The parish will celebrate its history at the next St. Louis Mass Mob on Sunday, July 9.

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