Representing STL: St. Clare of Assisi teens headed to WYD

They did the leg work: car washes, donut sales and even a rummage sale.

But for teens at St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Ellisville, all of that work was worth it to receive a glimpse of the Universal Church next month at World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain.

The parish is believed to have the only youth group from the St. Louis Archdiocese attending WYD.

WYD pilgrims' task: Help pope revive faith in Spain

The World Youth Day Cross is brought into the Cathedral of Our Lady of Almudena during a ceremony in Madrid July 18. Although More than 92 percent of Spain's 46 million citizens are baptized Catholic, observers say the Catholic majority seems to have no or little impact on public life.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI will visit Spain in late August, celebrating the youthfulness and vigor of Catholic faith in a country where the Catholic majority often seems to have little or no impact on modern public life.

The primary focus on the pope's trip Aug. 18-21 will be on Catholic youths from around the globe participating in World Youth Day.

Facebook app, website provide World Youth Day 'Virtual pilgrimage'

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. bishops have launched a Facebook app and a website to serve as a "virtual pilgrimage" to World Youth Day 2011 for those who are staying home.

Users can create an avatar and use it to participate in the "pilgrimage" coinciding with the Aug. 16-21 worldwide youth gathering. A Google map also provides visuals of pilgrims' worldwide origins and shows them on a detailed map of Madrid.

A Facebook fan page for the "Virtual World Youth Day" lets users create their avatar, view live video from Madrid, follow key twitter feeds and blogs and upload photos and videos.

Illinois judge blocksstate attempt to end Catholic foster care

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois judge's July 12 order will allow Catholic Charities to continue its foster care work in three dioceses, despite an attempt by state officials and the governor to end the partnership.

"This is a great win for the 2,000 children under the care of Catholic Charities, protecting these kids from the grave disruption that the state's reckless decision to terminate would have caused," said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel at the Thomas More Society.

Teens 'Rooted' in Christ

More than 6,000 teens from St. Louis and around the country are expected at this year's Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America youth conferences.

There's one more weekend left of the annual summer Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America youth conferences.

The second conference will take place July 15-17 at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. The first weekend was held July 8-10.

More than 6,000 teens from St. Louis and around the country were expected to attend the two sold-out weekends. This year's theme is "Rooted," based on the Book of Colossians.

You can follow this weekend's action online in the following places:

Challenge grabs attention of young adults at gathering

A challenge to enrich their faith grabbed the attention of young adults at a gathering in O’Fallon July 5.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson was the speaker at the twice-monthly get-together of Crossroads St. Charles, an organization that connects young adults through faith and friendship. The group, which meets at Culpepper’s restaurant on Highway K, invites single and married adults from college age to 30-somethings to its gatherings.

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