Corporal Works of Mercy

‘Godsend’ to ex-inmates struggles after cut in state funds

Brian Moore, who spent more than three decades in prison, said he felt that no one cared after he was released from prison for the first time, after 10 years. With the help of the Criminal Justice Ministry, he is on the right track in his life. The ministry, what he calls a “godsend,” helped him get an apartment, job and someone to take care of, his dog Ruby.

Brian Moore spent more than three decades in prison. The first time, he was exonerated after going to jail at age 16 and spending 10 years in prison. But with limited education and skills and resentment about his conviction, he said, he felt no one cared whether he succeeded.

Family's quest to revitalize N.J. town after Hurricane Sandy prompts others to join in

“SquanStrong” volunteers Stephanie Graham, Maura O’Connor and Penny Kaye removed tiles damaged by water and sand during Hurricane Sandy from a residence owned by Michael Parziale in Manasquan, N.J., Dec. 1. A groundswell of volunteers has responded to efforts led by Melissa and Chip Dayton, along with seven of their eight children, to revitalize the town hit hard by Sandy.

MANASQUAN, N.J. -- A Manasquan family's desire to bring new life to their hurricane-stricken shore town has prompted scores of like-minded individuals to join them in their mission of compassion.

Melissa and Chip Dayton, along with seven of their eight children, have volunteered tirelessly with the SquanStrong movement since Sandy's landfall Oct. 29 to revitalize the town and share their faith-filled surplus of compassion in time of need.

Morning, noon or night -- Mercy's e-chaplaincy program widens ministry

Deacon Ken Potzman, director of pastoral services at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, recently checked email requests submitted to Mercy's e-chaplaincy program.

Deacon Ken Potzman clocks 11-hour workdays on average, but it's clear that what he does is more of a ministry than a job.

As director of pastoral services at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Deacon Potzman spends most of his days meeting with patients and their families or employees who need the services of a chaplain. His pool of patients these days has grown wider through a new e-chaplaincy program at the Mercy-sponsored hospital.

St. Vincent de Paul run/walk brings people together

The need to support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Friends of the Poor Walk and Run is as important as ever, organizers point out.

"People are struggling in this economy. We've seen a lot of what we call 'new poor' -- people in the middle class who've now fallen out as well as people at the margins to begin with," said Charles Henderson, a spokesperson with the Society's national council, which has headquarters in St. Louis.

Pastor, parishioners reflect on tragic shooting

A child holds onto a woman at Queen of Peace Church in Aurora, Colo., during a July 22 Mass for the victims of the movie theater shootings in Aurora. Pope Benedict XVI expressed his sadness during his Angelus over the tragedy, saying he was “deeply shocked by the senseless violence.” On July 20 a gunman killed at least a dozen people and injured many more during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie.

AURORA, Colo. — The pastor of an Aurora parish mourning the death of one of their own in a July 20 mass shooting, reassured parishioners of the hope they can find in Christ — even in the darkest times.

"The sun rises in the east," said Father Terry Kissell of St. Michael the Archangel Parish during Mass July 22, referencing Aurora's location east of Denver.

"Though there is darkness and confusion and pain, we can't forget that there will come a new day, a new dawn when there will be no more suffering, no more tears and no more sadness."

Efforts seek to address homelessness

Efforts to help homeless people in suburban areas is widespread.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Charities have extensive efforts in the urban core to assist individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. But they also have an outreach in suburban St. Louis.

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