Concert connects with parish’s military history

Oakville High School band member Christina Meier, right, a parishioner at St. Bernadette Parish in south St. Louis County, performed at a special concert by the Oakville Band at the parish. St. Bernadette hosted the event, which included several parishioners among the band members, to support and help raise money for the band’s upcoming trip to France next year as part of the events marking the 75th anniversary of the Allied Forces landings at Normandy for D-Day.

The young band members held their instruments and stood at attention as a color guard from the Missouri National Guard marched onto the ballfield at St. Bernadette Parish in south St. Louis County.

In the background, underneath a blue sky, were thousands of white grave markers in neat rows among green grass.

St. Justin Martyr Parish puts faith into action


Liz Golomski easily could have remained at home, supervising an outdoor service project for her and her husband, Steve.

But there was absolutely no way she would do that. She has received too many benefits from being served that it was only natural for her to give back in service to others, to live the words of Jesus Christ as quoted by St. Luke in Acts 20:35.

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Sanctuary makeover is an extraordinary work of art

Bishop Mark Rivituso consecrated the main altar of St. Barnabas the Apostle Church in O’Fallon April 30 after the interior was redecorated recently. Father Raymond Hager, pastor of St. Barnabas, worked with craftsmen and parishioners to transform the inside of the church.

With a jar of gold latex paint in hand, Father Raymond Hager carefully applied the finishing touches to a 5-foot statue of St. Barnabas. Within a matter of weeks, the figure was transformed from a solid piece of acacia wood to a work of art.

This certainly wasn't the first time the priest witnessed something transform from ordinary to extraordinary.

St. John Paul II Parish formed by merger of two parishes in Affton

St. John Paul II is the new name of the merged St. Dominic Savio and St. George Parishes in Affton. 

Parishioners had submitted choices for a new name for the parish along with a rationale for that name. A parish communications committee and pastor Father Paul Rothschild narrowed the choices to four and submitted the names to Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

The two parishes will begin worshiping together at St. George Church on Sunday, May 20.

Editorial | Parishes may close but their faith lives on

From a purely human standpoint, the closing of Immaculate Conception Parish in St. Mary brings a sense of sadness and perhaps grief, similar to the passing of a trusted, long-time friend.

Dating to its founding in 1874, the parish had been home as residents of St. Mary celebrated the rhythms of life — baptisms to funerals, with every significant sacramental life event in between. They received the sacraments, attended the parish school, got married, went to picnics and socials, played bingo, quilted and just plain enjoyed life.

Long-forgotten bell rings in school’s rich history

Leona Scharfenberg, 94, donated this century-old school bell back to St. John’s-Gildehaus School after keeping it safe in her home for nearly 60 years. From the early 1900s the bell was used by the educators to summon children to recess, meals and prayer before being replaced by an electronic bell in 1961. Shortly after, Sister Aniceta Loeffler gave the bell to Scharfenberg, who was a school cook.

The schoolyard bell, its distinguishing mark — a two-inch crack at its base — and the story behind it might have been lost to history, leaving it as just a relic from a bygone era similar to any school bell at a flea market or antique store near you.

But then, Leona Scharfenberg stepped forward with the unique and interesting backstory.

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