prayer

Pope’s prayer intentions confront ‘culture of indifference’

VATICAN CITY — Last year, more than 13 million people around the world watched Pope Francis explain one of his specific prayer intentions each month.

The 90-second, personal explanations in "The Pope Video," first launched in January 2016, encouraged people to join an estimated 50 million Catholics who already had a more formal relationship with The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network — better known by its former title, the Apostleship of Prayer.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Prayer brings light of hope in dark times

Pope Francis walks near violinists at his general audience Jan. 18 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Prayer has the power to awaken hope in men and women, even in the face of death and destruction, Pope Francis said in his catechesis talk.

VATICAN CITY — Prayer has the power to awaken hope in men and women, even in the face of death and destruction, Pope Francis said.

People often feel unworthy to turn to God when they are in need "as if it were a self-interested prayer and, thus, imperfect," the pope said Jan. 18 at his weekly general audience.

"But God knows our weakness; He knows that we remember Him to ask for help and, with the indulgent smile of a father, He responds graciously," he said.

West County XLT latest example of collaborative spirit in youth ministry

Known as West County XLT, the collaboration of parish-based youth ministry programs rotates at different west St. Louis County parishes. Bishop Robert Hermann was the guest speaker for the group at St. Clement of Rome Dec. 14. Dominic Dolan, 16, from St. Alban Roe Parish, prayed at adoration.

The soothing sound of a guitar wafted through the church and into the vestibule at St. Clement of Rome as Breeze Bonderer and Josie Davis quietly talked.

The high school freshmen were taking a break from their end-of-semester studies to attend West County XLT at the church in Des Peres. The monthly gathering of praise and worship, adoration, confessions and a talk began in November, and rotates among seven West County parishes.

Christian Unity Week service to stress reconciliation

Reconciliation, especially focusing on the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Reformation, will be stressed during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrated this year from Jan. 18-25.

The week will be highlighted on Sunday, Jan. 22, with an ecumenical prayer service and reception at 7 p.m. at St. Justin Martyr Church, 11910 Eddie and Park Road in Sunset Hills. Rev. Michael Malone, Lutheran ecumenical officer, will preach. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will preside.

Women’s group is a ‘fiat’ to spiritual formation

Mary Smith, Ellen Wojcicki and Christine Hoffman, friends from Holy Redeemer in Webster Groves, chatted after the lecture at Fiat Women’s Group. The group invites women to say “yes” to God’s call in their vocation as Catholic women. Fiat meets on the third Thursday of each month at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and includes prayer and a talk from a seminary faculty member.

Just like Mary's "yes," all it took was an affirming nudge from within for Patti Rose to seek a bit of spiritual nourishment on her day off work.

On the third Thursday morning of the month, Rose joins about 50 women at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary to pray the Rosary, followed by a talk from a seminary professor. The Fiat Women's Group formed in February to provide spiritual support in communion with other women — and as an added benefit, they get to witness a slice of seminary life, too.

Churches serve as link to support for police officers

Tom Niebling of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish joined the procession to support police Nov. 21 in south St. Louis. “There’s been so much hatred against police, we’ve got to show them some support,” Niebling said.

The signs outside two neighboring parish churches in south St. Louis expressed the sentiment amplified by hundreds of people who marched along the streets linking the two.

At St. Gabriel Church, the illuminated sign read "Pray of our First Responders." At St. Joan of Arc Church, "Thank You, Officers" was the message of the day.

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