Bishop DuBourg’s arrival 200 years ago helped transform St. Louis into the ‘Rome of the West’


In the second decade of the 1800s, Catholicism was teetering in the future Archdiocese of St. Louis.

"Catholics in the area had 'calloused hearts' and 'extreme indifferentism,'" an archdiocesan history reports. "There were few priests, religion practice was spasmodic and the quality of faith was uneven."

The church, at the site of the current Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, "was a tumbledown log building which needed a lot of repair." And the rectory was little more than a shack or barn, without doors, floors, windows and furniture.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Growing as effective witnesses to Jesus Christ

A phrase I hear too often is "I don't feel comfortable evangelizing."

This expresses a significant challenge in the world today: excessive desire for comfort and convenience. Christianity often is not comfortable. A relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church can be difficult. Being Christian means being willing to practice fasting and mortification, and proclaiming the news of salvation through words and actions — whether we feel like it or not. The cross is the most perfect sign of the Christian life because it shows us how we will rise. There is no running from the cross.

Service is labor of love for K of C member

Russel Smith is the blood drive chairman for the Webster Groves Knights of Columbus and is passionate about his position and the Knights. He collected money outside of Dierbergs supermarket to help children.

Russel A. Smith stood outside the Dierbergs grocery store in Shrewsbury Oct. 9 collecting funds for the Knights of Columbus annual Tootsie Roll drive for people with developmental disabilities.

Smith enjoys helping with the Knights' causes such as this one, which benefits the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. But his passion is serving as blood drive chairman for the Webster Groves Knights of Columbus Council 2119. Since he began as chairman, the number of blood donors to his council's drives has skyrocketed.

Reluctant volunteer among women’s award honorees

Mary Ann Kamler, center, a St. Francis Borgia parishioner, finished prayer with the sign of the cross after she distributed Communion to Mary and Roman Wunderlich July 25 at Mercy Hospital in Washington. Kamler has been volunteering as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at the hospital for 17 years.

Mary Ann Kamler didn't think she could serve in a role of taking Communion to hospital patients.

She was an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at her parish, St. Francis Borgia in Washington, and about 14 years ago one of the women religious working at what is now Mercy Hospital in Washington asked her to take on the additional role with the pastoral care department of the hospital. "They go around every day and call on everyone who's Catholic," Kamler said. "(Someone) said, 'Oh, just go with me sometime,' so I did."

Cultural trends open the door to spreading the joy of the Gospel

Being creative in evangelization means thinking differently, and reaching others in new ways. Sometimes it means connecting via outlets popular in the secular culture.

Take for instance last summer, when Pokemon Go was all the rage. The mobile game, which uses augmented reality to collect virtual creatures, attracted millions of users — driving swarms of players to unsuspecting churches, businesses and other landmarks. A number of parishes in the archdiocese welcomed visitors who stopped on their grounds in search of virtual Poke Stops.



One of Yuliana Lule's favorite songs from the Steubenville youth conference is "Lead Me to the Cross."

This summer, she immortalized the main line from that song by inscribing it on a rock painted bright yellow. But it didn't stop there — Yuliana and friends from her youth group have created more rocky works of art with inspiring messages and images to share with their friends at the SteubenvilleSTL Mid-America Youth Conference in Springfield, Mo.

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