office of laity and family life

Catholic Women for Christ Conference

More than 1,000 women gathered for the 7th annual Catholic Women for Christ Conference Feb. 27 at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University. This year's speakers included Elizabeth Ficocelli, C. Vanessa White and Sister Elizabeth Beussink, TOR. The conference was sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and included lectures, fellowship, healing prayer and Eucharistic adoration. 

Men, Women for Christ conferences coming up

Men for Christ

The 2016 Catholic Men for Christ Conference will be held Saturday, Feb. 6, featuring Tom Peterson, Steve Bollman, Msgr. Eugene Morris and David Williams, along with master of ceremonies Zip Rzeppa. The conference opens at 8:30 a.m. and closes with a vigil Mass at 4 p.m., all at the Peabody Opera House, 1440 Market Street in Downtown St. Louis. Registration fee is $45, or $15 for high school and college men. For more information and to register, visit

St. Louisians reflect on 'inspiring trip'

Pilgrims from the Archdiocese of St. Louis attended the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia on a pilgrimage with the archdiocesan Office of Laity and Family Life. Thousands of people attended the Mass.

Being with families from across the globe at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia was a thrill for the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Julie Bostick, executive director of the archdiocese's Office of Laity and Family Life, said the diverse group "came together as one Catholic family, worshiping and having a good time together."

Bostick was among those who were mesmerized by Pope Francis' talk about the challenges and love that come with being part of a family. His "beautiful, off-the-cuff talk" Sept. 26 "brought tears to my eyes," Bostick said.

Papa-palooza afternoon of family fun is a hit

Franciscan of the Martyr St. George Sister M. Pieta, right, prepared for a game of Hula-palooza Sept. 19 at Papa-palooza, the local celebration in honor of the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis' visit to the United States at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. The game, similar to musical chairs, involved competitors circling hula hoops on the ground until the music stopped.

Mike and Mary Blum's five children went fishing at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary on Sept. 19 -- sort of, anyway.

The children, two of them wearing St. Paul in Fenton uniforms after just arriving from a soccer game, took part in the "Fishers of Men (People)" game. The version of a Hungry, Hungry Hippo game -- having children guided around on a small, rolling platform and a basket to capture wiffle balls -- was marked by a sign that included a Scripture reference to Jesus' call to two fishermen-disciples to follow Him.

Comforting and nurturing to show the love of God

Debbie Gartner, a parishioner at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, assists the parish in pastoral ministry to seniors and coordinates a volunteer group that serves dinner at Sts. Peter and Paul Shelter twice a month. Gartner will receive a Catholic Women Award on Aug. 2. “I want the men to know that they matter, that they still have value, that they are important,” she said.

Debbie Gartner doesn't want anyone to feel invisible.

That's why she'll drop everything late at night to keep vigil with dying Immaculate Heart of Mary parishioners, write letters or scour St. Louis for obscure supplies -- like chef's coats and size 16 shoes -- for the homeless men at Sts. Peter and Paul Shelter.

This labor often is only visible to those receiving its fruits, so Father Brad Modde, former pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in St. Louis, nominated Gartner for a Catholic Women's Award, which she will receive Aug. 2.

Bishop Rice to celebrate Humanae Vitae Mass July 19

Bishop Edward M. Rice will celebrate the 47th annual Humanae Vitae Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in the Central West End. A catered dinner by Pasta House and family-friendly magic show will follow in Boland Hall. The event is sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Natural Family Planning. For more information, including tickets for the dinner, call (314) 997-7576. 

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