School families take faith formation seriously

A visit to the Black Madonna Shrine and Grottos in Eureka was chronicled in two pages in a scrapbook the Blanner family created of their visits to various churches and shrines. The family was participating in the pilgrimage challenge issued by the faith development committee of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish.

On the last day of the school year at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque School, Msgr. Norbert Ernst thanked the parents and graduates who joined the students at Mass.

"Thank you Lord that my parents sent me to a Catholic school," was a refrain the parish pastor repeated in a song he sang during the homily May 25. He spoke of the need for a firm foundation in Jesus and His teachings and for being His hands and heart to others.

Pilgrims grow closer to God, each other


Physically tired but spiritually uplifted, the Fatima pilgrims gathered for the closing Mass of their journey at Assumption Church in New Haven on Oct. 13 — fittingly, the 100th anniversary of the sixth and final apparition of our Blessed Mother in Fatima, Portugal.

They were the same individuals who set out five days prior from Immaculate Conception Church in Augusta, with a significant difference. Whereas they began the pilgrimage as strangers, they emerged as family.

Fatima Pilgrimage traces Blessed Mother’s life

Visiting three Marian venues — two churches and a shrine — in a four-day, 45-mile hike, the Fatima Pilgrimage on the Katy Trail will lead about a dozen pilgrims on a "Path to Him through her," as the pilgrimage website states.

"This pilgrimage takes you through Mary's life," said Father Tim Foy, the parochial administrator at St. John the Baptist "Gildehaus" Parish in Villa Ridge.

1,400-mile nautical pilgrimage draws attention to Fatima

Greg Dougherty departed Thunderbolt Marina in Savannah, Ga., Aug. 1. The Kentucky native is rowing from Miami to New York City via the Intracoastal Waterway to spread awareness of the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima apparitions.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Rowing an 18-foot-long open canoe solo along the Intracoastal Waterway from Miami to New York City, Greg Dougherty hopes to draw attention to the centennial of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal.

The craft named the Santa Maria de Fatima packed with bags of food, clothes, emergency gear and a statue of Our Lady of Fatima looks both cramped and small for such a long voyage.

Three pilgrims journey to explore where St. Rose Philippine Duchesne ministered

Map of Missouri with the locations where the pilgrims stopped along the way

Ann Sieben looks exactly like what you'd expect of a pilgrim.

Tanned skin and rosy cheeks are evidence of spending hours under the sun. If her boots could talk, they'd explain that the light coat of dust is from walking on a trail for weeks. Sieben's bright, big smile, though, is a tell-all of the energy and vibrancy it takes for a journey by foot to visit the places where an American saint once lived and worked.

Walk aims to build trust needed for a unified community

The St. Louis community often talks the talk about moving forward beyond its divisions, but now it's time to walk the walk.

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, St. Louisans and others from throughout the Midwest and beyond are invited to participate in a Walk of Trust to the Chaifetz Arena on the St. Louis University campus. It's a first step to move beyond race, region or other divisions.

Marie Kenyon of the archdiocese's Peace and Justice Commission calls the walk "a wonderful opportunity to publicly witness our hope to bring peace to our community."

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