Amber (Scott) McLaughlin was executed by lethal injection by the state of Missouri on Jan. 3 at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre. McLaughlin was convicted of first-degree murder for the 2003 killing of Beverly Guenther in St. Louis County. “I am sorry for what I did,” McLaughlin said in a final, written, statement, according to the Associated Press. “I am a loving and caring person.”
The Missouri bishops and other faith and civic leaders earlier in the month asked Gov. Mike Parson to grant clemency, or to reduce the sentence to life in prison without parole, for McLaughlin.“Looking beyond this particular case, as religious and civic leaders we are also concerned that the use of the death penalty promotes revenge as a principle of criminal justice,” the bishops’ letter said. “As imperfect human beings, the Grace of God is not something we receive because we deserve it; rather, it is something He gives to us freely as an act of mercy.” This was the first 2023 execution in the United States. Leonard Taylor is scheduled to be executed in Missouri on Feb. 7. In 2018, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith added a new directive to the Catechism of the Catholic Church stating that capital punishment is inadmissible in all cases because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.
Catholic artist gathering
The Catholic Artist Network, formed following the Catholic Art Festival in the fall, is hosting a gathering on from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, in the parish hall of Our Lady of Lourdes, 7148 Forsyth Blvd. in University City. The network is open to all Catholic artists and art appreciators. The event will consist of short presentations from a dozen local artists and a potluck lunch with time for networking and fellowship. Visit www.catholicartistnetwork.com for more information.
Vocation talk with SSNDs
The North American Vocation Team of the School Sisters of Notre Dame is hosting an online “Joyful & Alive Conversation” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, via Zoom. Single women ages 18-45 interested in how to discover God’s invitation for their life and/or who are curious about religious life are invited to attend and bring questions. More information and registration for the Zoom link is available at
Marriage Encounter Weekend
Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers weekend experiences for married couples to rekindle romance, enhance meaningful communication, and deepen and renew their commitment. The next in-person Marriage Encounter Weekend experiences will take place Feb. 3-5 and March 31-April 2 at the Courtyard Marriott in St. Peters, and March 17-19 at Villa Maria Retreat Center in Springfield, Illinois. For more information or to sign up, visit wwme.org or call Terry and Eric Engholm at (314) 649-7317.