When Deacon Joe Streckfuss took charge of the archdiocesan Reclamation Center two years ago, one of the first things he confronted was the bank of sacred items -- altars, tabernacles, kneelers -- no longer being used in churches. He realized the rich history attached to each item, and he said it moved him.
A celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis is under way, and its Catholic beginnings and connections are being highlighted.
A civic organization, stl250, serves as the master of ceremonies for the 2014 celebration. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has established Catholicstl250, with efforts to commemorate the contributions of the Church and Catholics in St. Louis over the past 250 years.
A Mass on New Year's Eve kicked off the events and a lecture series at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park began Feb. 19.
The St. Louis Cardinals are sponsoring the Archdiocese of St. Louis Night at the Ballpark on Monday, June 2.
The team will take on the Kansas City Royals at 7:10 p.m. Included with the purchase of each ticket is a voucher for a special-edition themed Cardinals ballcap. The hats are available in adult or children's sizes and will be available for pickup in the Ford Plaza at Busch Stadium from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. on June 2.
The archdiocesan Catholic Education Center's Department of Religious Education has two programs that parishes may use during Lent to help people respond to the call of Pope Francis to reach out to others in the spirit of the New Evangelization.
The first program is titled "Catholicism: The New Evangelization" and is presented by Father Robert Barron. The Education Office noted that Father Barron has been described as the new Archbishop Fulton Sheen, a popular evangelizer with a weekly TV show in the 1950s.
An endowment fund established several years ago for the Latin America Apostolate of the archdiocese has made its first disbursements, and a renewed effort seeks to grow the fund beyond its initial contributions.
"The endowment fund provides a way to supplement the funding of the missionary work of our priests in Bolivia," said Msgr. Francis X. Blood, director of the archdiocese's Mission Office. Funds for emergency pastoral needs for families and individuals in crisis situations is desperately needed there, he said.