immaculate conception parish

Editorial | Parishes may close but their faith lives on

From a purely human standpoint, the closing of Immaculate Conception Parish in St. Mary brings a sense of sadness and perhaps grief, similar to the passing of a trusted, long-time friend.

Dating to its founding in 1874, the parish had been home as residents of St. Mary celebrated the rhythms of life — baptisms to funerals, with every significant sacramental life event in between. They received the sacraments, attended the parish school, got married, went to picnics and socials, played bingo, quilted and just plain enjoyed life.

Book's message led to commitment to Catholicism

Erick Todd, center, is a candidate undergoing RCIA instruction at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie. Todd was inspired to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults after reading the book “Rediscover Catholicism,” given to him as a present last Christmas at the parish. He stood with other candidates and their sponsors before leaving Mass to study about the Catholic faith.

Baptized in the Methodist faith, as a child he attended church with his parents. In his teens and college years, he no longer attended church regularly.

"I went away from the path a little bit, you could say," said Erick Todd.

He became involved with a nondenominational church for a while but still didn't feel comfortable. Then he met his wife, Karla, a Catholic, and began going to Mass with her.

They've been married for eight years, and his introduction to Catholicism continued. "The last few years I was always pondering if that was something I wanted to commit to," he said.

Passion & purpose: Parish efforts are reinvigorating

Stacey Hennessy planted a seed, just a little seed, and now look at what's happened.

The seed has sprouted into a full-fledged effort at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie, reinvigorating members of the parish and awakening others to the beauty of the Catholic faith.

Editorial | Rediscovering Catholicism: Parishes sieze opportunity to evangelize others

Internationally known Catholic speaker and author Matthew Kelly notes that 32 percent of people at Christmas Mass only come to church once a year. This is our best chance to re-engage them, he said.

That was on the minds of parishioners at Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie when they distributed copies of Kelly's book, "Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion and Purpose," after Christmas Masses last year.

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