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.

As election time nears, turn to prayer, says Archbishop

A man exits a voting booth in Laconia, N.H..

Less than a month remains before the Nov. 8 election.

Take a deep breath. We're almost there.

In the past year, Catholics have been discerning, forming their consciences in advance of this monumental presidential vote. Some have firmly made up their minds, and others are still considering their options. And yet some have suggested this election is such a mess that they might sit it out.

DEAR FATHER | Peace given through prayer helps us overcome worry

To worry is to think about problems, especially because we think something bad might happen. Immediately in this definition we see that worry is mostly a self-centered activity, focusing exclusively on my thoughts. Also, notice how worry presupposes that we are anticipating an outcome to the situation we are thinking about.

Both of these elements about worry contradict the meaning of prayer. When we pray, we do not just say these things to ourselves, but we share them with another: God. We share them with Him in prayer because we believe that He has control of the situation.

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