St. Monica returns to church after vandalism
Parishioners returned Feb. 25 to celebrate Mass at St. Monica Church for the first time since late December when an arsonist burned its Nativity scene, severly damaged the altar and caused extensive smoke and water damage.
"We're happy to be back; very, very much so," pastor Father Joe Weber said.
After the arson, the parish held sacramental events in its school, with Sunday Masses in the gymnasium. After getting the all-clear Feb. 23, students moved items into the church, which still has few outstanding issues after the 8½-week cleanup. The disposition of the granite and marble altar remains to be determined, plus the church needs a new pulpit and presider's chair, the organ fully cleaned and a security system.
But those are minor details compared to what might have been.
"Everybody is pleased and happy with how (the church) looks," Father Weber said.
Principal named for South City Catholic Academy
South City Catholic Academy, the first partnership school under Archdiocese of St. Louis administration, hired Laura Hirschman as principal in preparation for the 2017-2018 school year. Though the position officially begins July 1, Hirschman will assist archdiocesan leadership in the teacher hiring process already underway for the academy's first year of operation. South City Catholic Academy is the combination of Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Joan of Arc schools and will be located at what is currently the St. Joan of Arc School. Hirschman was a founding team member of Premier Charter School (St. Louis Charter School) and has spent her 17 year career in various roles at the school. Hirschman grew up in Queen of All Saints Parish and graduated from Oakville High School. She earned a bachelor's in communication and a master's in teaching from Truman State University in Kirksville. She also has a master's degree in elementary administration. She resides in Imperial with her husband, Chad, and their daughter. They are active members of St. Joseph Church in Imperial where Hirschman is also a member of the parish school board.
Pallottine Lenten speaker series
The Pallottine Renewal Center will host a Lenten Speaker Series at the center, 15270 Old Halls Ferry Road in Florissant. Topics and speakers are: Thursday, March 9, "Discovering Your Song," Father Robert Rosebrough; Tuesday, March 14, "We Know the Dying; Where is the Rising?" Father Tom Wyrsch; and Wednesday, March 22, "Sinkhole Syndrome: A Christian Tragedy and How to Avoid It," Father Rajpaul Sundararaj. Cost is $25 per session. For information or to register, call (314) 837-7100 or visitwww.pallottinerenewal.org/programs.
Lenten Day of Recollection
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will lead two spiritual conferences as part of a Lenten Day of Recollection from 10 a.m. until about 5:45 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue. Each conference will be followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Evening vespers are at 4:30 p.m. with Mass following at 5 p.m. The day of reflection is free, though goodwill offerings will be accepted to offset the cost of lunch. To register, contact Mary Ann Fox (314) 373-8208.
It Ritiro events
Il Ritiro Franciscan Retreat Center in Dittmer will host a daylong retreat, "The Life of Serenity," on Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sister Alacoque Burger, OSF, will lead retreatants through song, prayer, storytelling and sharing life experiences, with time for private prayer. The center also will host a Lenten Day of Reflection on Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Mary Wainscott, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and former educator, will lead the discussion on the meaning of Lent and its common practices, the significance of Mary and the feast of the Annunciation (March 25), and readings and prayers from the saints. The Stations of the Cross also will be prayed. Cost for either event is $34 ($60 for two), with lunch included and scholarships available. Register at www.il-ritiro.org or call (636) 274-0554.
"Welcoming the Stranger" and citizenship
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet will finish their series, "Welcoming the Stranger" with a look at "On the Road to Citizenship," at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at the motherhouse, 6400 Minnesota Ave. in south St. Louis. Blake Hamilton and Suk Sapkota of the International Institute's employment services will speak. Hamilton will provide information about the refugee resettlement process and how it works. Sapkota will share his personal experience with the resettlement process. The series, which offers the stories of some of the nation's newest arrivals, is sponsored by the CSJ Justice Office. For more information, email@example.com. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (314) 481-8800.
Life in the Spirit Seminar
A Life in the Spirit Seminar will take place on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. from April 19-May 31 at St. Agnes Parish, 40 St. Agnes Dr., in Bloomsdale. The seminar includes teachings and reflections on how to draw closer to God, how to recognize and be open to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and how to deepen prayer and faith life. The group will meet in the school cafeteria, and the cost is free. For more info, contact Lynn Davis at (573) 883-0439 or Janet Schwent at (573) 535-8543.
Nominate a senior
Nominations are now being accepted for seniors to be recognized at the St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors System's 2017 Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala. Each year, the event honors outstanding St. Louis area older adults, age 75+, for their many incredible contributions in their careers and in areas such as philanthropy and volunteer service. Nominations are being accepted through Friday, March 10 at www.standrews1.com. A printable version of the nomination form is also available via the website and may be completed and mailed to the St. Andrew's offices. Seniors from across the entire St. Louis metropolitan area are eligible for recognition at the 2017 gala Saturday, Oct. 28.