Billboards for justice
Incarnate Word Foundation is sponsoring billboards across the St. Louis area with a message from the St. Louis Catholic Sisters calling for racial justice and requesting prayer to end hatred and violence. The congregations are: Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O’Fallon, Franciscan Sisters of Mary, Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, Ursuline Sisters, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Congregation of Divine Providence, Daughters of Charity, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis is hosting a Diaper Giveaway at several locations on Saturday, July 18. Size 1 diapers will be available to individuals, couples and families with unborn and infant children and those that minister to them. Diapers are available on a first come, first-served basis. Pickup locations and times include St. John the Baptist Parish in St. Louis from 9-11 a.m.; Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Ferguson from 10 a.m.-noon; and St. Peter Parish in St. Charles from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The giveaway is a join effort of the archdiocesan Office of the Permanent Diaconate, Respect Life Apostolate, Peace and Justice Commission, all of which are supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal. For more information, contact Cynthia Haehnel at (314) 778-0628 or email [email protected]
SLU names vice president of mission and identity
Jesuit Father David Suwalsky, chair of the Department of Theological Studies, has been named vice president for mission and identity for Saint Louis University. Father Suwalsky was previously named to head the Office of Mission and Identity in May. “The importance of the Office of Mission and Identity cannot be overstated, especially during this time of great uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the long overdue reckoning of our country’s history, especially in matters of racial equity and social justice,” SLU President Fred Pestello said. “Making his role a vice presidential position will help solidify the importance of mission and identity both within SLU and in the St. Louis community.” Father Suwalsky earned his doctorate in American Studies from SLU in 2010. He holds a master of theology degree from in the American religious experience from Harvard University, a master of divinity degree from Boston College, and a master’s degree in history from SLU. Father Suwalsky succeeds Jesuit Father Christopher Collins.
Three Catholic hospitals are among four from the 11 counties of the Archdiocese of St. Louis listed among the top 10 hospitals in Missouri by the Lown Institute Hospitals Index, which helps hospitals better serve and support their communities. The nonprofit measured civic leadership, which assesses a commitment to equity, inclusion and community health; value of care, which measures use of unnecessary services; and quality of care, which evaluates patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction. The three Catholic hospitals scoring high are Mercy Hospital Washington, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and Mercy Hospital St. Louis. The other hospital in the area among the top 10 was Parkland Health Center in Farmington. The Institute’s news release states that its index is the first hospital ranking to measure inclusivity, or the degree to which a hospital is caring for patients of color and of lower income or education. It is also measures the ratio of executive compensation to that of employees without advanced degrees. “At a time when communities are relying on them like never before, hospitals must rethink what it means to be great,” said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute. “COVID-19 highlights how hospitals are essential community partners for anyone in need. To be great, however, a hospital cannot only provide care that’s high in quality. It must also deliver value and advance equality.”
Alternatives to Abortion funding approved
Governor Mike Parson recently signed a law fully funding Missouri’s Alternatives to Abortion program, which will give pregnancy help centers and maternity homes $6.46 million dollars in the next fiscal year to support women, children and families. The program provides a variety of services to pregnant women, including counseling, prenatal care, emergency housing, job placement assistance and adoption referrals when requested.
St. Patrick Center’s Shamrock Club is trying a new lunch service model effective July 13. Volunteers will serve a hot casserole “to-go” meal to clients at lunchtime. Lunch service volunteers are sought to assist with packaging hot meals into disposable containers and distributing them to clients. Three volunteers maximum are needed each weekday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. All volunteers must comply with enhanced safety measures by taking a wellness survey upon entry, getting a temperature check and wearing a mask at all times. To sign up or for more information, contact Sarah Webb at [email protected] with the subject line “Shamrock Lunch Service.”
Ursuline Sisters mission new leaders
The Ursuline Sisters of the Central Province USA missioned a new leadership team with a prayer service on June 9 at the Ursulines’ provincial offices in Kirkwood. Serving for the next five years are Sister Elisa Ryan, provincial; Sister Jean Hopman, councilor; and Sister Peggy Moore, councilor. The Ursuline Sisters of the Central Province are part of a worldwide congregation, the Ursulines of the Roman Union, whose sisters serve on six continents and in 36 countries. Central Province communities are in Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas, Massachusetts and Maine.