GOD'S OUTDOORS | Charitable conservation: Trophy buck rewards hunter, feeds the hungry

Tim Phillips, a parishioner at St. Paul in St. Paul, harvested this 31-point buck on the opening of the Missouri firearms season. While he will mount the head, he donated the meat to a state charity that distributes it to food pantries.

When Tim Phillips harvested the deer of a lifetime, he knew two things: The organic, high-protein meat would go to charity; the 31-point antlers would reside on his wall.

Phillips had been hunting this deer for years. It had been documented by remote trail cameras since 2012. He saw it opening day of the 2014 firearms season, but had to vacate his stand because a friend was getting married that day. A buddy had named the deer "Walter." (Hunters commonly name bucks so that they can speak to each other about an individual deer they're watching over seasons.)

Like St. Hubert, conservationists are called to conversion

Centuries ago, a man was stalking a magnificent stag in the woods, skipping out on Good Friday prayer. The stag stopped and looked right at the hunter — the sort of moment that gets our blood pumping and our limbs shaking. Some call it buck fever. For Hubertus, it was a calling.

In the basket of the stag's glorious rack was a glowing crucifix. He heard a voice warning him to turn to God or face eternity in hell.

National Parks offer spiritual refuge

A view of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is seen from the south rim Sept. 12.

WASHINGTON — From the dramatic vistas of the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the glistening waters of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, national parks have stood as places of wonder, history and culture.

John Muir, considered the father of our national parks, petitioned U.S. lawmakers to set aside such places for preservation, play and prayer.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike," wrote the 19th-century naturalist and philosopher in his book "Yosemite."

At World Youth Day, youth encouraged to take 'path of craziness' toward God's mercy

Kenrick-Glennon seminarians enjoy a mister during a visit to the main square in Krakow. Pictured, from left, are Cole Bestgen, Jacob Brock, Ryan Quarnstrom, Andrew Auer and Joe Detwiler.

The sight of 1.6 million people, on their knees in silent prayer, overwhelmed Nick Lee.

Pope Francis led the evening candlelight prayer vigil and eucharistic adoration July 30 at Campus Misericordiae in Krakow, Poland .

"As Pope Francis was at adoration, there was a pink sunset behind his head," said Lee, director of the archdiocesan Young Adult Ministry. "The monstrance was (the shape) of the Blessed Mother, and the Eucharist was where the womb would be. Seeing 1.6 million silent people holding candles was just amazing. It gave you chills."

Catholic, Jewish groups to hold hunger seder April 8

The archdiocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis are sponsoring a Community Hunger Seder at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

Sacred Heart Family Camp unites families in fun, faith

At first glance, it looked like any other campground. A group of teens was playing volleyball in the courtyard. Several adults sat under the covered awning of a cabin, sipping their morning coffee.

But not far in the distance, a priest sat in a metal chair among the woods as he heard someone's confession. Inside one of the cabins, a woman religious was giving a talk on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This was no ordinary camp.

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