senior living

“Hoppy” lives charism through helping in her community

Loretta “Hoppy” Hopgood, the first School Sisters of Notre Dame associate in North America, rolled an old tire out of a trash heap and into the back of her van to recycle it. She lives out the charism of the SSNDs by keeping the community clean.

Loretta Hopgood slowly drove down the alley behind a strip mall, looking for opportunities to clean up. She passed several overflowing dumpsters, several with old tires and debris scattered next to them.

"We had homeless people living up here," she said, pointing to a covered platform on the back of the building. "And we've got tires over there. See, this is getting piled up."

St. Stephen School provided ‘a foundation for life’

Joan Lawder held a picture of her graduating 1944 class from St. Stephen Protomartyr School in south St. Louis. She has been a parishioner at St. Stephen for almost all of her life, and lives in Holly Hills with her husband, Michael.

It's the 90th anniversary of St. Stephen Protomartyr School in south St. Louis, and Joan Lawder has a multi-layered connection that spans those years.

Neighborhood advocate puts faith into helping the needy

You won't find Arletta Williams' name in historical accounts of St. Louis or its Walk of Fame, but she was there behind the scenes with some significant figures in the city during the last century.

Adult day program is a friendly, home-like place

Dorothy Gipson, left, got a hug from Betsy Jones after they finished playing a game at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services Adult Day Center. The center provides respite for caregivers of the elderly and care, supervision and socialization for adults who have mental or physical impairments, and gives an opportunity for seniors to socialize.

Gloria Bono helped Clarence "Turk" Turley put together a puzzle Oct. 23 at the Cardinal Ritter Senior Services Adult Day Program. A few other friends who also attend the program pitched in as well.

Turley said he likes the people at the center and is unable to choose his favorite activity. "I like it all," he said.

Another participant, Art Jackson, praised Cheryl Woodruff, coordinator of caregiver support service at Cardinal Ritter, for her leadership and organizational abilities. "She's an inspiration," Jackson said. "When I come here, I feel a lot better than when I don't."

Wide-ranging ministry connects seniors with their parish

Josephine Insalaco received a hug from two-year-old Macoy Van Cleave who ran up to her after showing off his dance moves. Also pictured are Helen Schodroski, left, and Carole Brueggemann, right. Students at Assumption Early Learning Center performed songs, dances, shared prayer and read stories with members of the parish’s senior ministry on a recent visit.

Bob McHugh held the attention of the pre-kindergarten class with an animated and interactive reading of "If You Give a Mouse a Brownie" by Laura Numeroff. He drummed with his hand and asked the children about playing a guitar at the appropriate times in the book.

"That's a good book. I'm going to go home and make some brownies," McHugh said with a chuckle as he finished reading.

Devotion to Padre Pio began with a missed Mass

Frank Beletz, right, gathered with family members in 1942 on a leave from the U.S. Army. Here, he's with Katherine, Mary, Morisa and Syl. Frank became interested in St. Padre Pio after members of his squadron attended a Mass celebrated by the saint.

Al Beletz was 16 years old in August 1945, hanging out at a Standard Oil gas station across Big Bend Road from his home in the Old Orchard area of Webster Groves.

The war in Europe was over, and his older brother, Frank, was on his way home on a 30-day leave.

Al listened to Frank's stories, including one in which his squadron bombed his parents' place of birth, Maribor, Slovenia. He learned later that his cousin had been napping in the house once owned by their parents when one of the bombs exploded in the road in front of the house, causing cracks in the ceiling.

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