history

Sister of St. Joseph deliver gifts from 1896

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Discolored by oxidation, the copper box had been sealed within a time capsule since 1896 in the foundation of the chapel at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet's former Our Lady of Good Counsel Convent at 1849 Cass Avenue, popularly known as the Clemens House of Samuel Clemens fame — aka Hannibal's Mark Twain.

Now, it was about a half-mile to the west at 1421 Jefferson Avenue in the St. Louis Fire Department Headquarters' media center, sitting on a table covered with white paper and awaiting its grand reveal.

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

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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.

A bishop’s efforts led to origins of St. Louis University

St. Louis University was located in this building at Washington and Ninth Streets in Downtown St. Louis until moving to its current campus in 1888.

St. Louis University grew from a few dozen students in a rented house to 13,000 students on campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain.

Bishop Louis William DuBourg founded the university in 1818 as St. Louis Academy. It was considered the first institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi.

Housed in a private residence near the Mississippi River, it later was known as St. Louis College.

TWENTY SOMETHING | ‘Priest holes’ and history lessons help us embrace our ancient faith

Nicholas Owen was canonized 364 years after his death.

Such is often the case with the Catholic Church, charged with curating a 2,000-year treasure trove of saints and stories, rovers and relics.

Owen's tale is unlike any other. Born in Oxford, England, in the mid-16th century, his devout family prepared him well for his remarkable life's work. His father was as a carpenter who taught him the trade. Two older brothers became priests, bringing the sacraments to a hungry community.

TWENTY SOMETHING | History and humility: an old man’s plea to young adults

The old man with the typewriter would like to say to certain people among us: Don't be a blockhead.

David McCullough's bestselling new book, "The American Spirit," takes up a cause he has long championed, lends it added urgency and aims it squarely at young adults.

"We are raising a generation of young Americans who are by and large historically illiterate," McCullough writes.

Volunteering with Honor Flight is highlight for DB student

Wil Heimberger dressed as a World War II-era soldier at a recent Honor Flight homecoming in front of a display with memorabilia he brought. The Bishop DuBourg High School student volunteers with the Honor Flight organization.

Bishop DuBourg High School has an authority on an important era in U.S. history — World War II — although Wil Heimberger isn't a teacher or a visitor from that era.

Heimberger is a student who's taken his interest beyond a hobby to volunteer at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services' Mother of Perpetual Help assisted living and the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight.

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