Below are the latest opinion pieces from the St. Louis Review. Click on a title or the 'Continue Reading' link to read the whole story.

September 1, 2016

Labor Day is a lot like other holidays that are observed on Mondays — we enjoy the time off, or at least the break from traffic if we have to work, but we often don't give much thought to its significance.

The Catholic Church, however, has a lot to say about labor. Work is more than a way to make a living; it's a form of continuing participation in God's creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of worke...

September 1, 2016

After Fontbonne President Michael Pressimone opened the "Take Your Summer Seriously: gathering June 29, Margaret-Mary Moore played guitar and offered a musical rendition of "Open the eyes of my heart," and I followed with a prayer of thanksgiving for allowing this gathering for sharing of the hearts and minds.

We watched the "Eye on the Prize" episode about Emmet Till's murder. Afterward, Father Sean Martin, president of Aquinas Institu...

September 1, 2016

As a white woman, I've had to work hard to understand that I'm privileged in a way that my black brothers and sisters are not. I understand the confusion among many white people about "white privilege." To them, privilege means that individuals or groups receive certain advantages based on occupation or affluence, such as executives who enjoy economic advantages greater than the working class. These positions allow ex...

August 25, 2016

St. Louis is losing an important ministry. On Aug. 24, the Little Sisters of the Poor announced they are leaving St. Louis after almost 150 years of serving the poor elderly. The reason? Too few sisters.

We've heard this before. Generations ago, many Catholic schools were run by a sister. Catholic health care ministries were run by religious, not corporations.

There has been a significant decline in religious vocations among wome...

August 25, 2016

The world is awakening in rural Kentucky, and I feel honored to watch. Especially in this place.

As they have for more than a century and a half, the bells of the Abbey of Gethsemani rang bright and early. As they will throughout the week, they summoned me to Morning Prayer and Holy Mass with the Trappist monks and my quartet of friends. The sun won't rise officially here for another half-hour, so only a faint light in the sky is visibl...

August 25, 2016

A common mantra in journalism today is engagement. It's a back-and-forth exchange: journalists publish information, readers respond, journalists respond back, readers respond to that response. This commonly occurs on social media because the digital interface is easy and immediate.

This engagement was established long before the Internet, however. It's a common practice in journalism. In print publications, it usually appears in the "Op...

August 18, 2016

It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

MaryPat St. Jean from Boston, Mass., recently wrote "The Blessing of 'Unanswered Prayers': An Adoption Story" for the U.S. bishops' For Your Marriage website. MaryPat and her husband, Tom, adopted four children.

The adoption application process, at times, felt profoundly invasive, she wrote. "There are some challenges that are unique to adoptive mothers and fathers. It is difficult to explain...

August 18, 2016

Living in the 21st century, it's easy to look back at history and note the advances, disappointments, struggles and difficulties produced by each historical age. We know the significance the printing press had for popular learning and the development of language in written form. We also point to the industrial revolution as bringing about considerable social mobility, transforming family life from an agrarian society to an urban culture. And i...

August 18, 2016

I love watching the Olympics. While the competition is intense, I am also drawn in by the beauty of the host country, the pageantry of the opening ceremonies, and the stories behind the athletes. This year's games have been more inspiring because faith has been more visible.

Let's start with the breathtaking topography of Rio de Janeiro. Topping this mountainous landscape is the statue of Christ the Redeemer, his arms open wide to the w...

August 15, 2016

Common sense and the need to support our law-enforcement community are reasons legislators need to sustain Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill loosening the state's gun laws. The bill, among other changes, would remove the requirement to obtain a permit and training in order to carry a concealed firearm.

Under current law, a person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons if he or she carries a concealed knife, firearm, blackjack, or...

August 11, 2016

One can't overstate how strange and perplexing this U.S. election season has been.

The call to fear and isolationism, the occasional drumbeat of nationalism approaching xenophobia depresses me. Have we heard the whispers of scapegoating of certain people — especially those of a different religion?

I found it so consoling that in the midst of the campaign season, a Sunday Gospel reading in July yielded the parable of the good Sama...

August 11, 2016

In July, I traveled to Serbia, Greece and Lebanon to review the refugee situation now that the borders to Northern Europe are closed. While the flow of people has diminished, it has not ceased. Migration is now largely dependent on traffickers who charge individuals 4,000 to 6,000 euros to facilitate illegal crossings.

Most of the refugees I met in Serbia were young Syrian men in their 20s who were desperate to find work. They were weig...

August 4, 2016

Many of us probably view a suggestion from the pope as just that — a suggestion. But Pope Francis' strong urging at World Youth Day to leave a mark on the world by practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy is based on the Gospel, and it's what we are called to do.

The corporal works of mercy found in the teachings of Jesus give us a model for how to treat others — as if they are Christ in disguise. We are asked to feed the hu...

August 4, 2016

It was a rough July, on a national scale, marked by division: shootings, protests, funerals, conventions.

Whether you tuned into Trump and Clinton, clicked over to the late-night comics or braced for sharp Facebook exchanges, you likely felt a sense of separation, of people moving further apart, digging in their heels and drawing circles around their camps.

"At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than th...

August 4, 2016

They wore patches with "BH" on their uniform sleeve. Dedicated the season to their former coach. Played their hearts out.

But the St. Margaret Mary Alacoque seventh-grade baseball team probably didn't count on the storybook season ending at the CYC cadet closed championship game July 22.

The team's beloved coach, Bill Hessi, died at age 50 after a work-related accident on Aug. 11 last year, survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and th...

July 28, 2016

Ah Canada. It has the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Rockies, French-speaking Quebec and fishing villages. Mexico and the Caribbean islands have beachfront resorts.

But South America? Bolivia, with its high altitude and rainforests? Who goes there?

There's a vast continent to our south, and in landlocked Bolivia more than 45 priests from St. Louis have served in the Latin America Apostolate the past 60 years, joined in 1959 by missiona...

July 28, 2016

With World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland, over the course of the last week of July, thoughts naturally turn to Pope St. John Paul II and his pilgrimages to his Polish homeland.

The first, the "Nine Days" of June 1979, in which the pope ignited a revolution of conscience, was the pivot on which the history of the late 20th century turned in a nobler direction. In 1983, as Poland suffered under martial law, St. John Paul reignited hope...

July 28, 2016

My soul longing, I close my Bible. My desire is to rest — not to relax and take it easy, but to actively find a properly holy place of rest in my heart, mind and soul. I'm not seeking to recline on a Caribbean beach or to cast my gaze down upon a lush, green valley from atop a steep mountain, though surely those can be holy places.

My desire at this moment is both simpler and more challenging than that. As I sit on my bedroom's "prayer...