Life issues

Relief efforts uphold dignity of life, priest says

The teacher in a class in Lebanon connected with her students. The class included refugees from Syria. The number of people devastated by the Syrian crisis continues to climb as the conflict continues, but to the Catholic agencies helping the people “the statistics have faces.”

Msgr. Jack Schuler spotted a woman making the sign of the cross before she sang a song for guests at a Catholic Relief Services-supported program that helps migrant workers and refugees in Lebanon. He reached out to her and gave her a blessing.

The Catholic Church's concern for the dignity of all is seen in its response to the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the war in Syria, said Msgr. Schuler, Catholic Charities of St. Louis chaplain and pastor of St. Cronan Parish in south St. Louis. More than 70 percent of Syrian refugees are women and children, according to CRS.

Disciples are needed to proclaim a gospel of life

Archbishop George J. Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha stood with priests during Mass at the Ninth Annual Archbishop’s Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast on May 3, 2018. Archbishop Lucas was the featured keynote speaker for the event. The St. Louis Chapter of Legatus was sponsor of the event.

Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb., was the keynote speaker at the ninth annual Archbishop's Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast Thursday, May 3, at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton.

More than 650 people attended the event, sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of Legatus. It was the largest attendance in the history of the program.

Archbishop Lucas, a native St. Louisan, spoke about what it means to be a disciple in supporting a Gospel of life.

Roman Catholic Foundation tackles end-of-life issues

With two sessions to date and three upcoming, the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri already has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from its seminars, "The Conversation: A Catholic Perspective on End-of-Life Issues."

"We are encouraged by the strong attendance and the positive feedback of the attendees," said Mark Guyol, the Roman Catholic Foundation president/CEO. "Catholics have a high level of interest in learning about these end-of-life topics. Priests are thanking us for informing the faithful about these important issues."

Buffer zone bill in St. Louis City fails

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen rejected a bill that would create a buffer zone around health care facilities, including Planned Parenthood.

Board Bill 34 failed by a vote of 9-15 on April 16, the last day of the aldermanic session.

The full board voted 15-13 to perfect the bill, but for the final vote, several aldermen who previously supported it changed their votes from "yes" to "no" — including Brandon Bosley (Ward 3), Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), Sam Moore (Ward 4) and Lisa Middlebrook (Ward 2).

Bishops urge action on conscience protection for health care workers

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairmen of the U.S. bishops' pro-life and religious freedom committees have asked U.S. Catholics to contact members of Congress and urge them to enact the Conscience Protection Act as part of the funding bill for fiscal year 2018.

Congress faces a March 23 deadline to approve an omnibus appropriations measure that likely would fund the government through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Lawmakers will consider whether to include the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 in the bill.

Cures without cloning

illustration of a stem cell

Father Tad Pacholczyk is convinced that embryonic stem cells will someday cure diseases.

"I often say to people the day is coming when you're going to open the New York Times, and above the fold, it's going to say, 'Embryos cure Parkinson's,' or 'Embryos cure diabetes,'" he said.

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