Sacraments

‘Truly a treasure’

The Society of the Sacred Heart recently received a 200 year-old ciborium that St. Madeleine Sophie Barat gave to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne to bring to the New World in 1818. The ciborium went to places like Cuba and Venezuela before making its way to St. Louis. Despite St. Rose Philippine Duchesne encountering problems like pirates, the chalice survived and made it to St. Louis.

Two saints, Caribbean pirates and faith-filled Religious of the Sacred Heart.

All three — part of a fantastic journey covering five countries on three continents over two centuries — converged at the Sacred Heart Spirituality Forum recently at St. Louis University, delivering a monumental surprise to the St. Louis-based Province of the United States-Canada.

DEAR FATHER | Act of Contrition gets to the heart of confession

Is confession valid if the priest doesn't hear your Act of Contrition? 

We might remember being told as we grew up that we need to apologize to someone for something we did. Out of personal pride or perhaps anger at what they did to us, our apology was halfhearted at best. We said we were sorry, but in our heart we really weren't, and the way we said our apology most likely reflected our state of mind and heart.

DEAR FATHER | Examples of baptism of desire show more than one way to receive graces

Jesus tells Nicodemus at the beginning of St. John's Gospel, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (John 3:5).

Lowe’s aids St. Agnes sacristan by restoring altar

Ken Grant, a resident and a sacristan St. Agnes Apartments, a Cardinal Ritter Senior Services facility in south St. Louis, was looking to replace a worn-out altar. He got an older altar from the archdiocesan Reclamation Office that was restored, thanks to a community service effort at Lowe’s home improvement store.

God must have wanted a newly refurbished altar.

Or so it seems to residents of St. Agnes Apartments, a Cardinal Ritter Senior Services residence in south St. Louis. They enjoyed a series of fortunate events that led to a sorely needed replacement altar.

Ken Grant is one of two sacristans who set up St. Agnes' multipurpose room each Saturday for Mass, but the altar was unstable. In search of a replacement, Grant contacted Deacon Joe Streckfuss of the archdiocesan Reclamation Center, which stores items — such as altars — from closed parishes and other facilities for re-use in the future.

DEAR FATHER | Confession should drain the wound caused by sin

Growing up, I remember Mother Angelica on EWTN commenting to callers who had been away from the sacrament of reconciliation or were afraid to go that they would feel so good afterward, that they should go out and buy a pizza. Such a comment came from a heart that had approached the sacrament and found peace in the deep mercy of God.

SEEK 2017 inspires college students to evangelize on campuses

Young adults prayed at Mass as part of the Jan. 3-7 biennial SEEK conference in San Antonio, Texas. The event was designed to bring evangelization efforts to college campuses.

SAN ANTONIO — In need of reigniting the fire for his Catholic faith, Jeremy Martins found the flame he needed at SEEK 2017.

"SEEK is the log I was waiting for," said Martins, a junior at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. "It has been two years since a real encounter with Christ."

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