Parishes

DEAR FATHER | Stewing over whether a parish is burned by a big fish fry

You raise a valid point, to wit, that the penitential nature of these two days ought not to be compromised.

However, there are a couple of points:

• Church law does define Ash Wednesday and Good Friday as days on which Catholics must fast, but not all Catholics. Only those aged 18-59 are obligated to fast, and even then, those whose health would be seriously injured by a strict fast are allowed to consume as much food as necessary.

Deacons’ diaper drive keeps babies covered

Deacon Mike Suden, left, from St. Bridget Parish in Pacific headed up the first deacon Diaper Drive collection last year, Archdiocesan deacons are collecting diapers for organizations who serve the needy in their parishes or nearby parishes.

The bounty from the deacon's Lenten Diaper Drive stays local, which is good news for the Office of the Diaconate.

Otherwise, the archdiocesan office at Cardinal Rigali Center quickly would be overwhelmed.

"They all wouldn't fit in here," joked Deacon Christ Ast, whose office might fit 15 percent of the 125,000 diapers in the inaugural collection last year.

Deaneries encourage common action among parishes

a map of the new deanery

It started with a call to Msgr. Mark Rivituso — a pastor asked about moving his parish to another deanery to join with parishes that were more similar.

It prompted the archdiocese's vicar general — the archbishop's second in command, if you will — to take a closer look at the organization of the archdiocese's 10 deaneries, which span 11 counties and the City of St. Louis.

Arson draws parish family, community together

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An arsonist caused only material damage at St. Monica Church in Creve Coeur two days after Christmas, destroying the Nativity scene, perhaps irreparably damaging the altar, and creating smoke and water damage to close the building for a few weeks.

However, the parish suffered no harm in a spiritual sense. Masses and confessions went on as scheduled, just relocated to the adjoining school building — the gymnasium for weekend Masses, and a classroom for daily Masses and confessions.

St. Charles Borromeo remains a diverse community of acceptance

The Lopez and Kulma families at St. Charles Borromeo Parish enjoyed good food, sunshine and conversation at a picnic after a Unity Day Mass in 2015 at Bales Dusable Park in St Charles. The event is a gathering of people who normally attend the English-speaking Masses and those who attend the Mass in Spanish at the parish church. It is seen as a way to celebrate the cultural diversity in the parish.

When St. Charles Borromeo Parish was founded in 1791, the circumstances upon which it was founded were filled with a rich diversity.

Entire parish, not just a committee, must offer hospitality, says speaker

NEW ORLEANS — You had to laugh.

In a workshop on parish hospitality during the annual conference of the International Catholic Stewardship Council held Oct. 2-5 in New Orleans, Christine Heusinger, associate director of stewardship for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, put up a cartoon on the big screen.

The 1988 cartoon by Steve Phelps is timeless. Standing in the middle aisle of the church are "The Martins," staring down at a pew that is occupied. The problem is, for all intents and purposes, that pew was "The Martins' pew."

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