The Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis recently released a statement regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act, citing the scriptural call to care for others and noting that the proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate "will profoundly affect health care delivery to all Americans." A positive element is that the legislation recognizes that abortion isn't health care and to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions or plans that cover it, correcting a flaw in the current Affordable Care Act by fully applying the longstanding and widely-supported Hyde Amendment protections, the commission stated. "However, it is also anticipated that this act will decrease support to Medicaid, which provides medical coverage for low-income persons, many of whom are children or the elderly. Those with pre-existing medical conditions could lose the protections that formerly enabled them to obtain affordable health care. ... As Catholics, we are called to advocate for the poor and the powerless in our midst." The committee cited a statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops pointing to the "detrimental impact on the poor and vulnerable that makes the Senate draft unacceptable as written."
An open house and blessing of the new facilities for St. Francis Community Services Southside Center at St. John the Baptist Parish in south St. Louis was held June 29. The Southside Center supports and strengthens immigrant families from throughout the region, while also addressing needs in the diverse Bevo neighborhood. St. Francis Community Services helps people overcome poverty through legal aid, youth programs, bilingual mental health counseling, case management and more. A Catholic Charities agency, it assists people regardless of faith. The Annual Catholic Appeal and Catholic Charities contributed to the cost of renovating the former parish high school for use by the agency.
The St. Anthony's Medical Center Foundation has been rename the Boniface Foundation, and the foundation's first act is a contribution of $15 million to the hospital which recently affiliated with Mercy. The Boniface name is a tribute to the history of medical care provided by the Franciscan Sisters of Germany. The first hospital operated by the sisters was St. Boniface Hospital in south St. Louis, which was named for the parish that brought the sisters over from Germany. The Franciscan Sisters operated St. Boniface from 1873-77, followed by Pius Hospital, little St. Anthony's Hospital and old St. Anthony's Hospital, all in south St. Louis. After the order relinquished control of the hospital, St. Anthony's Medical Center was built in south St. Louis County and opened in 1975. The foundation was established in 1999. "St. Anthony's, like Mercy, has a heritage of sisters who gave their lives to the service of others," said Mike McCurry, newly appointed president of St. Anthony's, as well as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Mercy. Winthrop Reed III, an attorney, is chairman of the newly formed Boniface Foundation Board of Directors.
St. Ann Novena has new home
The 92nd annual novena to St. Ann, July 18-26 will take place at a new location this summer. The novena and shrine to St. Ann was relocated to St. Nicholas Parish, 701 N. 18th Street, after the closure of Visitation-St. Ann Shrine Parish in July 2016. Novena times during the week are 12:15 and 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, July 22, the novena will begin at 5 p.m., and on Sunday, July 23, novena times are 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. All scheduled times include Mass. The devotion to St. Ann, mother of the Blessed Mother and grandmother of Jesus, began in 1903 at St. Ann Parish, at the corner of Page and Whittier. Initially, three days of special prayers preceded to her feast day, July 26. In 1926, Father James Douglas initiated a semi-annual novena. The events grew to more 5,000 participants in the 1940s, but had dwindled in the 1980s and '90s. In 1992, the parish merged with Visitation Parish. Relics and devotions were moved to the new home of the shrine at Taylor and Evans. The original St. Ann statue with part of its marble stand is at the entrance to the lower chapel in the All Souls Mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery. In 2016, the St. Ann Shrine moved to St. Nicholas, where the legacy of devotion to St. Ann in St. Louis continues.
Coach It Right
The Coach It Right soccer clinic sponsored by the St. Louis Sports Commission's Sportsmanship Foundation will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, July 24, at Memorial Hall at Blanchette Park, 1900 W. Randolph St. in St. Charles, and repeated at 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at St. Gerard Majella Parish, 1971 Dougherty Ferry Road in Kirkwood, and Wednesday, Aug. 23, at St. Peters City Hall, One St. Peters Centre Blvd. in St. Peters. The clinics are taught by Missouri Youth Soccer Association coaching director Denny Vaninger, and coaches who attend will receive the youth coaching certificate. The clinic is free to coaches and parents, but space is limited. To register, visit www.stlouisreview.com/jqg. For information, call (314) 345-5130.
'The eighth sacrament'
Ascension Church in Chesterfield will host a presentation and book signing by Father Mathew Cheruparambil for his book, "The Eighth Sacrament," at 7 p.m. Friday, July 28. Father Mathew shares his reflections on how participation in the seven Sacraments of the Church transforms our lives into symbols of God's grace to others, thus we become the "eighth sacrament." A former associate pastor at Ascension Parish, Father Mathew now is associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Manchester. He wrote the book under his pen name, Reverend Mathew C. John. The free presentation is open to all, and books will be available to purchase. The church is at 230 Santa Maria Drive in Chesterfield.
Changing the Ferguson narrative
Featuring photography of Henry Chaney, an art exhibit, "Changing the Narrative," will run Friday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 27 at Good Shepherd Gallery, 252 S. Florissant Road in Ferguson. Rather than focusing on violence, rioting and looting in the aftermath of Michael Brown's death in an officer-involved shooting, Chaney viewed the protests through a different lens, focusing on positive aspects of a difficult time. Respectful conversations between protesters and police, non-violent protests, pastors in prayer and more show "a difference in what mainstream media displayed and events untold to the public." Chaney also addresses the narrative society weaves about African-Americans, showing photos that reflect the beauty and strength of blacks. The opening reception will be 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, and the gallery will host a special event featuring police chaplain and pastor Jose Aguayo of Billy Graham Ministries and Chaney from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. For information, contact Sister Glynis at (314) 522-1155 or [email protected].
Our Common Home
"Caring for Our Common Home: The Environment" will be presented from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, in the Guild Center at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. De Mazenod Dr. in Belleville, Ill. Presenters include Jean Ponzi, green resources manager for the Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center; Mike Roberts, former KSDK-Channel 5 meteorologist; Peter Raven, senior science advisor for the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Science; and Vic Hamer, founder of Give Me Water Lord. Cost is $20. To register or for more information, call (618) 394-6270 or email [email protected].
"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 Dr. 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.
Help future priests through the 25th Annual Convivium Mass and Dinner Auction Saturday, Nov. 4. Mass will be celebrated at 4:30 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Joseph at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, 5200 Glennon Drive in Shrewsbury, and the dinner and auction are at 6 p.m. at the Chase Park Plaza, 212 Kingshighway Blvd. in the Central West End of St. Louis. Proceeds support the seminary's annual operational budget of the seminary, the Kenrick Student Life Association, the Cardinal Glennon College Student Activity Fund and seminarian retreats. For information or to donate items, become a sponsor, advertise or make a contribution, visit www.kenrick.edu/convivium. To request an invitation, contact [email protected] or call (314) 792-7436.
St. Patrick Center is sponsoring a Veterans Day 5K event in downtown St. Louis on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11. Participants may run or walk in honor of the veterans in their lives as well as St. Patrick Center's clients who are veterans. Registration is $25 prior to Oct. 2, $30 after that date and $35 on race day. The timed 5K, one-mile run/walk and free kid's dash, held in conjunction with the St. Louis Regional Veterans Day Observance Ceremony and Parade, will begin at Soldier's Memorial. Participants are guaranteed a T-shirt if registered before Oct. 2. The registration fee supports St. Patrick Center's efforts to assist veterans in the St. Louis region who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. For more information about participating, volunteering and sponsorship, visit www.stlouisreview.com/jq2 or contact Katie Joseph at [email protected] or (314) 802-1976.