Bishops’ statement on execution
The Catholic bishops of Missouri issued a statement following the execution of Ernest Lee Johnson to express disappointment with the decision by the state to move forward with it. “Ernest Lee Johnson’s crimes were heinous and deserve to be punished, yet as Missouri has shown itself to be a pro-life state, we should stop using the death penalty as a means of dealing with violent crimes,” the bishops wrote. “Our sincerest condolences and prayers are with the families of the victims of the terrible crime committed so many years ago. The lives of Mary Bratcher, Mabel Scruggs and Fred Jones deserve honor and remembrance. We pray for the comfort of their loved ones as they are forced to relive the trauma and pain of these crimes through this execution.” When horrendous crimes are committed, the bishops stated, it is easy to call for vengeance and retribution. “It may seem the only fair thing to do is take a life for a life, but the death penalty does not make Missouri a safer or more civil state. As we communicated in our clemency request last month, the death penalty degrades us as a society and teaches our children that violence is the proper response to violence.” See the full statement at bit.ly/303HuiV.
New digs coming soon
L’Arche St. Louis has announced the recent purchase of a property in Brentwood at the corner of McKnight and Litzsinger Roads which will serve as an educational center and administration office. Plans include using a house on the side of the property as a fourth L’Arche home. The property allows L’Arche to expand respite to more families of individuals with an intellectual disability living at home, expand the educational outreach program and plan to host student immersion groups. L’Arche St. Louis is a faith-based community, rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition, of people with and without disabilities who share their lives in profound ways. For information on L’Arche, call (314) 405-8025 or email [email protected].
La Posada Providencia, a ministry for people in crisis from around the world who are seeking legal refuge in the United States, is expected to break ground on a new facility by the end of the year. La Posada, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence in St. Louis, began a capital campaign in 2016 for the facility. La Posada’s three buildings were not designed for their current applications. The Mennonite Disaster Service offered free skilled labor to construct the main building and three dorms or small residences and a donation to cover a portion of the cost of materials. For information on the Hope Lives Here building fund or La Posada, visit lppshelter.org.
Our Lady of Guadalupe for Life will host another Living Rosary for Life at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, at Assumption Church, 4725 Mattis Road in south St. Louis County. The group will pray the Rosary and recognize the anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady to three young children in Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady of Guadalupe for Life is a nonprofit group that sponsors pro-life billboards along St. Louis area highways.
Interfaith Partnership event
The Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis will celebrate St. Louis’ interfaith community at its annual dinner Thursday, Oct. 28. This year’s theme is “Overcoming Adversity Together.” The public is encouraged to attend either virtually or in person at the Hindu Temple of St. Louis’s Cultural and Education Center, 725 Weidman Road in Manchester. (7 p.m. in-person/8 p.m. livestream.) The 2021 fundraiser is hosted by the Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh communities. Interfaith Partnership includes both lay people and clergy, representing 34 religious and ethical communities. The event will include a communal meal prepared by the Sikh community and a program highlighting cultural and religious aspects of the three host communities. In-person attendees must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask except while eating. For information on tickets or sponsorship, visit
new president, CEO
Steve Mackin has been named the new president and chief executive officer for Mercy, a multi-state health care system. He also will serve on the board of directors. Lynn Britton, Mercy’s president and CEO for the past 13 years, and Mackin will work side by side the next few months, spending time in Mercy communities and listening to the opportunities and needs from co-workers, local boards and the people Mercy serves. On April 1, 2022, Mackin will officially become president and CEO, and Britton will take the lead as executive chair of Mercy’s board of directors. David C. Pratt, current board chair, will continue to serve as a board member once the leadership transition is complete. Mackin spent nearly 20 years in senior leadership positions at Cancer Treatment Centers of America before coming to Mercy where he led Mercy Hospital St. Louis.
Dr. David Meiners has been named president of Mercy Hospital St. Louis, its first physician leader, effective Oct. 11. Meiners most recently served as chief administrative officer for Mercy Clinic and as surgery department chair in Mercy’s eastern Missouri region. He previously served in Mercy-wide roles as clinical director of surgical services and as medical director of surgical specialties. His first job at Mercy was as an operating room surgical tech in 1970, where he learned much from his uncle, Dr. Paul Meiners, also a surgeon. He also was influenced by Sister of Mercy Mary Helen Tunnicliff, director of the operating room and his first boss. Mercy Hospital St. Louis, part of Mercy’s east Missouri region, is an 859-bed comprehensive teaching hospital. The 80-acre site houses a nine-level heart and vascular hospital, a cancer center, a comprehensive children’s hospital and a surgery center.
Fontbonne University has announced its new test-free admission policy for incoming freshmen beginning with the fall 2022 semester. Fontbonne’s approach allows students to be considered for general admission to the university without submitting a standardized test score. Requirements for general admission will be based strictly upon the student’s high school grade point average. “Fontbonne has long believed in recognizing and rewarding hardworking students,” said Quinton Clay, vice president of enrollment management, marketing and communications at Fontbonne. “Shifting our general admission criteria to focus on academic performance in the classroom, what I consider to be a four-year payment of sweat-equity, is absolutely the right thing to do.” Students with a 3.0 grade point average will meet the minimum criteria for automatic admission to Fontbonne. For students with less than a 3.0 GPA, Fontbonne will conduct an application review to determine general admission. Fontbonne University was founded in 1923 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.