little sisters of the poor

Trump administration expands exemptions on contraceptive mandate

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration Oct. 6 issued interim rules expanding the exemption to the contraceptive mandate for religious employers, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, who object on moral grounds to covering contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs and devices in their employee health insurance.

Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops praised the action as "a return to common sense, long-standing federal practice and peaceful coexistence between church and state."

Little Sisters of the Poor still need help from the community

Although the Little Sisters of the Poor announced last year they would withdraw from ministry at their St. Louis Residence, they are still serving the needy elderly there and need assistance. Sister Joseph Maureen Hobin, LSP, joked with 99-year-old resident Thelma McCafferty before a Mardi Gras party. McCafferty was born and raised just a few blocks from the sisters’ St. Louis Residence.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have a clear and simple message to share with the St. Louis community: They're still here and they still need your help.

In August, the sisters announced a plan to withdraw from their ministry in St. Louis after 147 years. They cited an aging community and decrease in sufficient vocations to effectively staff their residence for the needy elderly in north St. Louis.

Crying 'buckets of tears' | Little Sisters of the Poor withdrawing from St. Louis residence

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Patricia Stenger looked at five senior living facilities before she found the Little Sisters of the Poor. She knew their residence was place she wanted to call home.

Stenger, who moved into the Old North St. Louis residence in March, became tearful when she learned the sisters were withdrawing from their ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis after 147 years.

Little Sisters of the Poor announce they are departing from residence in St. Louis

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The Little Sisters of the Poor are withdrawing from their ministry of caring for the elderly poor in the Archdiocese of St. Louis after 147 years of service.

The sisters cited a decrease in sufficient vocations to effectively staff the residence in north St. Louis, in the spirit of the community's foundress St. Jeanne Jugan.

"We are eternally grateful for the support and love we received during our many years in St. Louis," said Mother Gonzague Castro, local superior. "We love the city nearly as much as we love the people we work with and care for."

Supreme Court sends HHS mandate case back to lower courts

Women religious and others demonstrated against the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate March 23 near the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court May 16 sent the Zubik v. Burwell case, which challenges the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive requirement for employers, back to the lower courts.

The justices' unanimous decision, explained in a nine-page unsigned opinion, was based on the information that both sides submitted a week after oral arguments were heard in the case about how and if contraceptive insurance coverage could be obtained by employees through their insurance companies without directly involving religious employers who object to this coverage.

Letter to the editor

Violated

Alas, we are told that our own government does not believe that a violation of the Little Sisters of the Poor's beliefs is a violation of their religious liberty. Just when we think that the Obama administration could not possibly become any more lost at sea than it already is, we hear this. Never underestimate the danger of those who absolutely refuse to see the light.

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