Humane conditions sought
The Criminal Justice Ministry issued a statement July 20 seeking community support for more humane conditions inside jails and prisons. With temperatures consistently in the triple digits, the conditions inside St. Louis' medium security institution, known as the "workhouse," gained attention through protests and media coverage. "Our current system does not prioritize allocating resources to humanize incarcerated individuals. In fact, each year, we ask officers and administrators within the justice system to do more with less. Our jails and prisons are chronically underfunded, overcrowded and lack the necessary resources to provide adequate conditions and services. As a result, the safety and security of all St. Louisans is at risk," the statement noted. The Criminal Justice Ministry provides jail and prison ministry, client re-entry services and advocacy for community safety and criminal justice reform.
Maryville U. underwrites book about Academy of Sacred Heart
The Academy of the Sacred Heart has received $25,000 from Maryville University to underwrite Jane Shannon Cannon's book on the history of the Academy, "Two Hundred Years: A Legacy of Love and Learning." Scheduled for release later this summer, the book was written in advance of the academy's bicentennial next year. Cannon is a former teacher, administrator and alumni director at the academy, and a graduate of Maryville University. The oldest free school west of the Mississippi, the Academy of the Sacred Heart was founded in September 1818 by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, a Religious of the Sacred Heart from France. Maryville also was founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, in 1872. For information about the academy, visit www.ash1818.org. To pre-order the book, visit www.stlouisreview.com/j1o.
Cheryl Flaherty is the new executive director of human resources, a new role responsible for determining the strategic direction and management of all human resources functions for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She will oversee human resource efforts for Catholic Charities, the Catholic Education Office and archdiocesan Curia. Most recently Flaherty was the vice president of human resources for the household products division of Energizer Holdings. A member of St. Peter Parish in Kirkwood, she serves as an RCIA catechist and leader of the Liturgy Committee. Flaherty also is on the board of directors for the Criminal Justice Ministry.
Approximately 2,000 Knights of Columbus and their family members will gather in St. Louis Tuesday-Thursday, Aug. 1-3, for the Knights' 135th international convention. The convention will be held at the America's Center Convention Complex and is not open to the public. It will be the fourth Knights of Columbus international convention to be held in the city, which last hosted the gathering in 1991. The meeting will include a mixture of business, fellowship, prayer and the presentation of international service and achievement awards to individual Knights and Knights councils. The convention opens on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. with a concelebrated Mass led by St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. In light of the Knights' work on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, prelates from the region will attend and will update the Knights and the public about current conditions. Founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the Knights of Columbus has grown to 1.9 million members, with charity as the organization's primary mission.
"When Mental Illness Hits Home," a conference for friends and family members who journey with people with mental illness and for professionals in the mental health field, will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, in the Shrine Visitors Center at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. De Mazenod Drive in Belleville, Ill. Presenters will include Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America, and Alec Pollard, director of the Center for OCD and Anxiety-Related Disorders. Breakout sessions will be held on "Compassion Fatigue: Taking Care of Yourself," "Looking at the Whole Person" and "Medication: One Tool to Wellness." Cost is $40. For information or to register, call (618) 394-6270 or visit www.snows.org/help.
The Seventh Annual Arts and Faith St. Louis Interfaith Concert, "Building Bridges," will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd. in Midtown St. Louis, featuring opera performer Julia Bullock and the 442s, an ensemble including members of our own St. Louis Symphony. The concert also includes young singers and musicians from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Mormon and Sikh faith communities and schools across the St. Louis metropolitan area. A short video will premiere that was begun during the recent Arts & Faith Cave Project and will trace the interfaith journey of teens in St. Louis working to build bridges of understanding. For more information, visit www.ArtsFaithSTL.org or call (314) 533.9900.
The Missouri Catholic Conference, the public policy agency for the Catholic Church in Missouri, is celebrating 50 years as the voice of Missouri's Catholic bishops and citizens in the halls of the state Capitol. An anniversary celebration will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City. The event includes an address by the papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, and workshops on issues of Catholic education, pro-life and social justice. The celebration includes a free, sit-down lunch. Register for the free event at mocatholic.org or call (800) 456-1679.