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

Catholics show solidarity with Ferguson community


Sister Cathy Doherty, pastoral associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, stood inside the church doors and greeted people as they left Sunday Mass on Nov. 16.

One couple lingered for while to chat with the School Sister of Notre Dame, before she thanked them for coming and bid them farewell.

Cardinal Ritter's college-bound rates 'a game-changer'

Jullian Snipes, Karrington Tipler and Eric Davis Jr. walked through the halls of Cardinal Ritter Prep High School. All three take leadership positions within the school and their community.

Positive news greets visitors approaching the entrance to Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School on North Spring Avenue in Midtown St. Louis.

The banner above the front doors touts the school's 11 state sports championships, including its Class 3 basketball title last season. And the school recently won the Class 2, District 2 title in the state football playoffs.

Those are just the school's sporting achievements. Successes in academia are off the charts, impossible to top -- as in, a 100-percent graduation rate and a 100-percent college-bound rate.

Editorial | In it for the long haul

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson led prayers for the "Faith in Ferguson" prayer vigil for peace Nov. 5 at January-Wabash Park in Ferguson.  Priests, deacons, seminarians and religious women and men were among about 150 people who prayed the Rosary and offered a prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. "We are hear to pray for peace, to acknowledge... we need to turn to the Lord and ask God, with the power He can bring to any situation, to bring about healing," Archbishop Carlson said.  "we want to pray that there is healing... Praying day in and day out is a must."  This was the second of three archdiocesan prayer gatherings for Ferguson.  The next vigil will be Dec. 1.  Andre Cooper was given a Catholic education as a youngster and will "never forget" what the Church has done for him and his family.  He wore a rosary around his neck as he came to January-Wabash park to pray with Catholic religious for peace in Ferguson.  His dog is named Hezekiah.

In the summer of 1947, Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter instructed all pastors in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to end segregation in their parish schools.

It was a decision met with disdain from many white Catholics who organized to oppose it before disbanding after Cardinal Ritter held firm. Cardinal Ritter continued his efforts for equality, including a letter in 1965 calling clergy to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the civil rights struggle.

Peace and Justice weekend in Ferguson

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes in Ferguson are changing their respective Mass schedules to be exclusively for "peace and justice" the weekend of November 15-16.

Mixing faith, social time a needed respite for Ferguson community

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parishioner Effie Wolfberger, age 90, claimed to be the oldest participant talking about faith issues at the first Brehouse Theology in Ferguson Nov. 11. She sat with friends, including Dorothy Frese.

Jeanne Baer is pretty convinced God had a plan.

Earlier this year, Baer, a pastoral associate at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and members of the Ferguson parish's Engaged Church Committee had been brainstorming ideas to help engage the Catholic community beyond church walls. A theology-on-tap-type event was proposed. Something to get young people talking about faith issues in a social setting. The historic district on South Florissant Road would be a perfect setting to execute the idea.

And then Ferguson happened.

Catholic schools are preparing for Ferguson grand jury verdict

While the timing of the grand jury decision involving the Michael Brown shooting remains uncertain, Catholic schools in the Ferguson area have prepared in case the ruling comes down with classes in session.

"We have our safety plan in place," said Addie Govero, the principal at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School.

Blessed Teresa is about two miles from the site of Brown's death and subsequent unrest. Our Lady of Guadalupe School is only slightly farther away-- about 2½ miles.

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