SteubySTL will draw teens closer to Christ

Jacob Pappas, middle left, and his youth group from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, enjoyed the rock out session that was led by worship leader Adam Bitter. Bitter played covers from the band Walk the Moon and solo artist George Ezra at the Stuebenville St. Louis Mid-America held at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo.,in 2015.

Seventeen years ago, the Steubenville youth conference was humbly born in a gymnasium at Marquette High School in west St. Louis County. The first conference, which drew 987 participants, was less than six months after Pope John Paul II's pastoral visit to St. Louis.

The teens quickly outgrew the space. The following year, it moved to St. Louis University High School — but interest was spreading across the Midwest. In 2002, the conference found its home at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., where it's been held every summer ever since.

Schoolchildren enliven prayer service at Nazareth Living Center

Sophia Sutton talked to Jeannette Faulkenberry before giving her a heart that read “God Loves You.” Nazareth Living Center’s celebration of the World Day of Prayer featured a prayer service with residents and their near-by neighbors, kindergarten students at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Kindergartners lined up neatly in front of the Nazareth Living Center chapel. A few boys struggled to stand still. One girl resisted sucking on her finger. They were nervous and uncomfortable, but all were quiet until it came time to sing.

They had the words and melody just right as they sang "Let the Little Children Come to Me."

The song was appropriate for the occasion, Nazareth's celebration of the 2016 World Day of Prayer — with a theme of "Let the Little Children Come to Me."

Pastors, scout leaders begin to assess future of Girl Scouts

Two weeks since Archbishop Robert J. Carlson issued a letter expressing concerns about Girl Scouts, pastors and scout leaders have begun to discuss the future of scouting in parishes.

The Feb. 18 letter was the latest in a years-long series of communications with Catholics in the archdiocese about concerns with the values and policies of Girl Scouts USA, which Archbishop Carlson has said are "becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values."

Abp. Carlson pushes for switch to Girl Scout alternatives

A new Catholic Committee for Girls Formation is being charged with ministry to all girls in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson announced the new committee in a Feb. 18 letter to priests, scout leaders and the faithful of the archdiocese. The letter reiterated the ongoing concerns with the values and policies of Girl Scouts USA, which he said are "becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values."

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Panel highlights importance of Catholic teaching in voting

Lisa Johnston |
Levi Krauss talked with classmates at St. Vincent de Paul High School in Perryville about the importance of the Catholic vote. Krauss recognized a need for the seniors, who will be able to vote for the first time in the upcoming election, to discuss voting in light of Church teaching, especially social justice teaching.

Guidance counselor Louise Wibbenmeyer described it as a "God moment."

She had been asked to be on senior Levi Krauss's panel to speak about voting with a Catholic perspective with the senior class at St. Vincent de Paul High School in Perryville.

Then she read a column by George Weigel about that very subject in the St. Louis Review dated Jan. 18-24.

So it was that Wibbenmeyer stood in the school library Feb. 11, talking about voting — Catholic style — and quoting Weigel from a column that became prophetic just two days later.


Lisa Johnston | | @aeternusphoto About one thousand GenLifeSTL youths prayed at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis before marching in pilgrimage to pray at the Planned Parenthood facility on Forest Part Blvd. The procession was led by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson as the rosary way prayed. They then returned to the Cathedral for Mass.

In the end, the snow didn’t conquer. Life was victorious.

That was the message shared through the witness and energy of 1,000 teens who came to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for a special Generation Life program hosted by the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate Jan. 23.

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