Stories on how the Catholic Church is responding to events in Ferguson

Faith in Ferguson prayer service

The next Faith in Ferguson prayer service on February 17 at 4:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 1115 S. Florissant Road, 63121.

Faith in Ferguson prayer services are monthly prayer services held in Ferguson to prayer for peace in the area. Father Art Cavitt, executive director of the St. Charles Lwanga Center and pastor of St. Nicholas Parish in Downtown St. Louis, will lead the reflection. 

Reflection on U.S. 'racial divide' is personal for Bishop Braxton

Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Ill., delivered the homily at the opening Mass at the National Black Catholic Congress XI in 2012 in Indianapolis.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- In a 19-page reflection on the "racial divide" in the United States, Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, who is African-American, said he twice had been the victim of what he considered to be unjust police attitudes.

The episodes "made me very conscious of the fact that simply by being me, I could be the cause of suspicion and concern without doing anything wrong," Bishop Braxton wrote in "The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015," issued Jan. 1.

A message of acceptance and hope in Ferguson

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish hosted “Faith in Ferguson,” a monthly community prayer gathering focusing on peace and healing. Jeff Finnegan, pastoral associate and youth minister from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, prayed at the service. Msgr. Jack Schuler, former pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe and current director of mission integration of Catholic Charities in St. Louis, preached at the prayer service.

Let's cut right to the chase:

Perhaps divine providence played a role in ...

No. No. Not strong enough.

Delete "perhaps." Done.

Also, "played a role." Gone.

State it definitively:

Divine providence was at work in the placement of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson.

There. Plain and simple. No ifs, ands or buts. It makes perfect sense.

Marie Kenyon named director of new Peace and Justice Commission

Marie Kenyon, director of the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, has been named director of the new Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Marie Kenyon has been named director of the newly formed Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson made the announcement Jan. 6.

Kenyon, who for almost three decades has directed the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, will join the staff of the Office of General Counsel for the archdiocese. She begins her new role Feb. 16.

Parish 'safe space': a place to decipher protests

St. Louis University students Laura Downing and Nebu Kolenchy talked in the parish center at St. Francis Xavier (College Church) Parish on the SLU campus, where the volunteers were staffing a “safe space” where students and others stopped in to discuss the issues surrounding protests and turmoil in St. Louis following a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson.

A student came to the "safe space" at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church on the St. Louis University campus and asked to volunteer. People had gathered here during the turmoil following the announcement that a grand jury did not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The sanctuary already had enough help, but the student decided to stay and talk.

Ferguson business owner 'overwhelmed by love, kindness, service'

Eugene Gillis plays his trumpet in front of the burned-out shell of Juantia's Fashions R Boutique on Nov. 28 along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson. After the violence of Nov. 2, Gillis wanted to brighten the mood and engage onlookers in positive conversation.

Plywood covered the broken front windows of her restaurant, the back door served as the main entrance, and no diners appeared on this afternoon.

Yet, Maria Flores counted her blessings.

"God was watching over us," Flores said, standing in the intact dining area at El Palenque restaurant about a block from the Ferguson Police Department.

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