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People flock to see ordination of an ‘awesome guy’

Bishop-elect Mark Rivituso joked with Father Leo Spezia from Sacred Heart Eureka Parish after a press conference announcing his appointment as the new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Bishop-elect Rivituso has chosen for his motto, "Caritas Christi Urget Nos," which means "the love of Christ impels us." He will be ordained to the episcopacy in a Mass at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Official announcement of the appointment was made at 5 a.m., March 7, in Rome.

People who came from across the archdiocese to celebrate with Bishop Mark Rivituso May 2 at his episcopal ordination explained the many ways he has touched their lives.

"We love Msgr. Rivituso, soon-to-be bishop Rivituso," said Linda Niederer of St. Theodore Parish in Flint Hill, also speaking for her husband, Alan, and not quite knowing what to call the bishop prior to the ordination Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Divine Mercy Sunday celebrates fullness of Christ’s resurrection

The feast of Divine Mercy, or Divine Mercy Sunday, is observed on the octave of Easter and celebrates the fullness of Christ's Resurrection. This year, the feast will be celebrated April 23.

The feast was initiated by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who kept a diary in the 1930s of Christ's private revelations, telling her of His message of mercy. She wrote that she first saw a vision of Jesus on Feb. 22, 1931. He had rays of mercy streaming from His heart. Christ told her to have an image painted to represent the vision and to write below it, "Jesus, I trust in you!"

Lowe’s aids St. Agnes sacristan by restoring altar

Ken Grant, a resident and a sacristan St. Agnes Apartments, a Cardinal Ritter Senior Services facility in south St. Louis, was looking to replace a worn-out altar. He got an older altar from the archdiocesan Reclamation Office that was restored, thanks to a community service effort at Lowe’s home improvement store.

God must have wanted a newly refurbished altar.

Or so it seems to residents of St. Agnes Apartments, a Cardinal Ritter Senior Services residence in south St. Louis. They enjoyed a series of fortunate events that led to a sorely needed replacement altar.

Ken Grant is one of two sacristans who set up St. Agnes' multipurpose room each Saturday for Mass, but the altar was unstable. In search of a replacement, Grant contacted Deacon Joe Streckfuss of the archdiocesan Reclamation Center, which stores items — such as altars — from closed parishes and other facilities for re-use in the future.

St. Luke to host next St Louis Mass Mob at its Gothic 1920s church

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A large sign advertising a "St. Louis Mass Mob" greets motorists exiting I-64/40 at Bellevue Avenue. Just around the corner, St. Luke the Evangelist, a beautiful 1920s Gothic church, will be the host.

Organizers are hoping to fill all 600 seats for the March 19 Mass Mob, which falls on the feast of St. Joseph. For the past two years, St. Louis Mass Mobs have brought people together for worship and to raise awareness and appreciation for some of the archdiocese's most historic churches. The parishes draw an average of 400-500 people at the Masses.

DEAR FATHER | Bells at Mass bring joyful noise to the Lord, focus attention on altar

We can trace the use of bells in the liturgy back to the liturgy of the Old Testament. In the Book of Exodus, the vestments of the high priest are described in detail. Among the ornamentation on the vestments are alternating pomegranates and bells (Exodus 28:33-35).

God instructed the bells to be sewn on the vestments for two reasons.

1) They were part of the joyful noise made to the Lord, as referenced in Psalm 98:4.

Students eager for parents’ help in growing in faith

Our Lady School eighth-grader Vincent Mueller answered a question from principal Tracy Kempfer in religion class. Mueller and his classmates desire more guidance and help from their parents in preparation for confirmation.

At the beginning of the school year, Tracy Kempfer posed a simple question to eighth-graders at Our Lady School in Festus.

"I asked them, 'What do you need from your parents to help you prepare for confirmation?'" said Kempfer, who teaches religion to the eighth-graders in addition to serving as school principal. "I gave them a piece of paper and they just wrote their thoughts out."

The consensus of the anonymous responses struck at the heart of the Catholic faith and the realities of being Catholic — even a young Catholic — in this day and age. The students wanted their parents to ...

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