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Handmade grottos stand out at Black Madonna shrine

Black Madonna Shrine and Grottos in Eureka

Made necessary by a closed highway, a short detour won't stop thousands of people — including some from around the world — from visiting the Black Madonna Shrine and Grottos in Eureka this year.

The closure of Highway FF near Eureka means visitors need to travel through Pacific south on Highway F. The short delay is worth it to see the shrine and grottos that one man, Brother Bronislaus Luszcz of the Franciscan Missionary Brothers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, created through 22 years of work. Equally impressive is the work a small staff is doing to preserve it.

CBC links service, leadership in Lasallian tradition

CBC High School junior Ryan Wittenauer, right, and other members of the class of 2015 leadership council were inducted into office during the CBC Class of 2015 Leadership Service at the school in Town and Country. Members of the junior class were presented with class rings and crosses and were charged to be leaders, both on campus and in the world outside CBC.

Ryan Wittenauer is going places.

And so are 227 other juniors at Christian Brothers College High School in Town and Country. They are finishing their school year by spending parts of the next three weeks in community service, from mission trips across the country to helping their neighbors in St. Louis.

A program May 9 at the school also made clear that these students now are leaders of the school, role models as members of the senior class next year.

Educating, sacrificing and continuing

Abby Shepard, Mary Lorenz and Emma Hingle looked into the time capsule the students at St. Peter in Kirkwood will bury at the school as they celebrate 150 years of existence. The second-graders wrote notes explaining their school now and what they predict it to be in 25 years. The consensus of the class’ futuristic prediction was there would be “electric” pencils, brain writers, robots for teachers and a new playground at the school.

Depending upon traffic, the trip from Downtown to Kirkwood takes about 20 minutes. Back in the early 1860s, the trip took hours as travelers on horseback or by horse-drawn buggies navigated the dusty and sometimes muddy Boone Trail, the site many years later of Highway 40.

Life was rough and harsh, to say the least, in the new pioneer community of Kirkwood. The brand-spanking-new Pacific Railroad ran through town and split St. Peter Parish property where St. Peter Cemetery is on present-day Geyer Road.

Cardinal Burke teacher awardee relishes fun, hands-on learning

Kathy Reid, the first-grade teacher at St. Ann School in Normandy, helped Ashurra Nash during a phonics game in the classroom. Reid will be among 11 recipients of the Cardinal Raymond L. Burke Teacher Recognition Award in May.

In Kathy Reid's first-grade class at St. Ann School in Normandy, students don't just count the days they've been in school -- they sing about them.

Reid leads her students with a guitar on a sing-along, marking the 147th day in the classroom this year. It's that kind of fun, hands-on approach that Reid said she prefers to use with her students, and she's seeing the fruits of those efforts.

Easter Vigil 2014

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org   Easter vigil Mass, a great and solemn liturgy of the Easter Triduum tradition, begins after dark on Holy Saturday and is the Church's first occasion to celebrate the resurrected Christ for Easter Sunday.  The liturgy begins outside of the church where an Easter fire is lit and a new Paschal candle is blessed for the forthcoming year. The candle is carried in procession by a Deacon into a dark church, stopping three times to chant an acclamation "The Light of Christ" to which the congregation replies "Thanks be to God". This ancient and dramatic rite of the Church is known as the Lucernarium. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson held a candle whose flame was lit from the Paschal candle as he entered the darkness at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. An Easter proclamation was chanted by the Deacon from the pulpit as the congregation holds their individual candles: "O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human."During Easter vigil Mass in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, 1,153 persons were received into the Church.

Work brigade, choir providing inmates a second chance

Inmates at the Lincoln County Jail are helping to renovate the new offices of Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Services in Troy, Mo. The men are also a part of the Second Chance Choir which has been performing around the area. Johnnie Nixon, left, and Scott Pratt were covered in drywall spackle dust as they were building a new handicap accessible bathroom on the premises.

"How we doing, brother?" the supervisor asked the carpenter, who had been busy finishing work on the drywall in a bathroom area of the building.

"Great. We're putting the doorway in," came the reply.

The walls were looking good, sturdy as can be, a perfect fit. Electrical work has been completed. The storefront in a 130-year-old building along Main Street in Troy is being transformed into a satellite office for Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, the largest comprehensive social support agency in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties.

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