Former Joliet Diocese priest charged with abuse here
A priest of the Joliet Diocese who was removed from ministry in 2002 and later laicized was charged Feb. 21 in St. Louis County with two counts of deviate sexual assault and two counts of sodomy in the assault of a boy in the early 1990s. Fred Lenczycki served as a chaplain of DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton from the early 1990s to 2002, when the Archdiocese of St. Louis asked that he be recalled to Joliet after it learned of allegations of sexual abuse against him in the 1980s. At the time, an archdiocesan spokesman said that their records contained nothing pertaining to the original allegation. The alleged assault from the early 1990s occurred in Bridgeton, according to the charges in St. Louis County. Lenczycki, 74, also resided at parishes in the archdiocese, including St. Blaise Parish in Maryland Heights, North American Martyrs Parish in Florissant and St. George Parish in Affton. He had been removed from his parish in Hinsdale, Ill., in 1984 when the Diocese of Joliet learned of an allegation. A lawsuit was filed in 1997 in Will County Circuit Court alleging that Lenczycki molested an altar boy at St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Hinsdale. The suit has since been settled. The Joliet Diocese reported that he received professional counseling. He later was convicted in Illinois of of aggravated sexual abuse against victims younger than 13, and was living in Berkeley, Ill.
Rice Bowl, the Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. Catholic Relief Services is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Each Lent, we are invited into a season of spiritual reflection and renewal. CRS Rice Bowl is one way for families and faith communities to experience the season of Lent,” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson recently wrote in a letter to parish pastors and administrators promoting the program. Seventy-five percent of Rice Bowl donations support CRS’s humanitarian relief programs in nearly 100 countries. Each diocese that participates keeps 25 percent of the collection to be used for hunger and poverty alleviation programs. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, these funds support food pantries and other programs. For more information, visit www.crsricebowl.org.
The co-captain of Texas Tech’s women’s soccer team, Carly Wickenheiser, a St. Joseph’s Academy graduate, signed to play in Sweden’s Eitettan division with Möron BK. As a college senior, Wickenheiser had a perfect grade-point average, made the Academic All-Big 12 team and had her 50th career start of the soccer team’s senior night. She helped lead her St. Joseph’s Academy squad to a state title in 2014. In a 2015 interview in the St. Louis Review, Wickenheiser said that her approach as an athlete is simple: “You’re just giving the gifts God gave to you back to Him.”
Criminal justice bills
Two criminal justice bills received attention late last month in the Missouri House of Representatives. House Bill 113, sponsored by Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage), passed the House 140-17 and was sent to the Senate. The bill would allow judges to use their discretion to avoid mandatory minimum sentences for offenders who commit certain nonviolent crimes. The judges could instead look at the offender’s character and chances of rehabilitation when determining what sentence would be best. Offenders who commit violent crimes, sexual crimes or crimes with a gun would still be subject to mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The House of Representatives also gave first-round approval to a bill that would allow certain older inmates to gain their freedom. House Bill 352, sponsored by Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-St. Charles), would allow a parole hearing for inmates who have received a life plus 50 years sentence or were 65 years old and had already served a 30-year sentence. The bill awaits final approval in the House. Both bills are supported by the Missouri Catholic Conference.
America’s Public Television Stations presented the Pillar of Public Service Award on Feb. 26 to Jack Galmiche, president and CEO of the Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis. The award honors the station’s civic leadership in bringing the community together to find solutions to issues such as the mortgage crisis and high school graduation rates, engaging teachers and families in science and literacy programs to positively impact school readiness, highlighting the gap between employment skills and available jobs in the St. Louis market, creating the Public Media Commons — an outdoor space for civic dialogue and shared experiences, and chronicling the history and culture of the St. Louis region through locally-produced programming. “Under Jack’s inspiring leadership, Nine Network has set a high standard for every station in our system to pursue the mission of civic leadership,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “Jack characteristically gives all the credit to his talented staff, but it is his vision, his commitment, his passion that underlie Nine Network’s exceptional work.” Galmiche attends St. Joseph Parish in Clayton and St. Francis Xavier (College Church) Parish in Midtown St. Louis.
Doorways is seeking volunteers. The interfaith nonprofit organization supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal provides housing and related supportive services to improve quality of life and health outcomes for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Help is needed with fundraisers, spring cleaning, companionship for residents, crafting, activity assistance, administrative functions and more. Contact Patrick Young at [email protected].
Art on display
“Modes of Expression,” representational, abstract and non-objective art selections from the permanent collection of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, will be on display through July 28 at the museum, 3663 Lindell Blvd. Admission to the museum is free. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Wednesday through Sundays. The exhibition begins with two representational artworks, the portraits of Martha Ann Payne Turner and Lewis Turner painted by George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879) in the late 19th century. They are followed by a landscape by Camille Corot, the most influential of all French landscape painters of the 19th century, and a print by Mary Cassatt, a 19th-century American artists. It moves to modernism and postmodernism.
“Let Your Eye See: Engaging the Divine through Spiritual Art,” is the title of visio divina, a method of praying with sacred images, that will include illuminations of the Saint John’s Bible at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis All Saints Chapel and Franciscan icons at the Tau Center in Kirkwood. The event at the cathedral basilica, 4431 Lindell Blvd. in the Central West End of St. Louis, is limited to 35 people and will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19. The event at Tau Center, 335 S. Kirkwood Road behind PNC Bank, will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9. There is no cost to attend either even, but anyone planning to attend is asked to register at www.fsolph.org/events or call (314) 965-3700.
Gospel of Life
The Tenth Annual Archbishop’s Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast will be hosted by the St. Louis Chapter of Legatus on Wednesday, May 1, at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Jesuit Father Christopher Collins, assistant to the president for mission and identity at Saint Louis University, will be the keynote speaker. Father Collins also is an assistant professor of theological studies at the university and serves as the chair of the board of the Apostleship of Prayer for the United States. The event begins with the Regina Coeli and the Rosary at 6 a.m., followed by Mass, a full-service hot breakfast and Father Collins’ talk, “Behold Him Whom They Have Pierced: Encountering Christ in the Most Vulnerable Among Us.” For registration information, call (314) 792-7047 or email [email protected]
La Salle Retreat Center is hosting its second photo contest, open to amateur photographers of any age. Photos must be taken on the grounds of La Salle, 2101 Rue De LaSalle Drive in Glencoe, from May 1, 2018, to May 10, 2019. Mounted prints and digital copies are to be submitted to La Salle by noon, Friday, May 10. Cash prizes totaling $400 will be awarded to the top five photos. All photos submitted will be used by La Salle for marketing purposes. For more information, visit lasalleretreat.org or call (636) 938-5374.