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Archdiocesan news briefs

Archbishop Rozanski, bishops emphasize recommitment to Catholic-Jewish relations

Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski and members of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs reaffirmed their commitment to the Church’s relationship with the Jewish community in a statement issued Nov. 28.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI issued “Nostra Aetate,” the Vatican’s declaration on other world religions, which was a key milestone in the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism. “In the nearly six decades since the promulgation of ‘Nostra Aetate,’ the relationship between the Church and the Jewish people has continued to grow and strengthen with mutual respect and admiration,” the bishops stated. “In each of these exchanges, leaders in the Catholic and Jewish faiths have learned to encounter each other in a spirit of good will and a sincere desire to encourage our respective faithful to live together in a society increasingly diverse in its racial, ethnic, religious and political makeup.”

Citing a re-emergence of acts of anti-Semitism, the bishops also wrote that they denounce “any rhetoric which seeks to demonize or dehumanize the Jewish people or Judaism as a religious tradition. We continue to remind ourselves of the shared spiritual patrimony that remains the foundation of our relationship with the Jewish people.” To read the full statement, visit stlreview.com/3ucLjOF.

Kevin Johnson executed

Kevin Johnson was executed by lethal injection by the state of Missouri on Nov. 29 at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre. Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder for the 2005 killing of police Sgt. William McEntee in Kirkwood. While the lethal injection was administered, Johnson’s spiritual adviser, Baptist pastor Darryl Gray, read passages from the Bible and prayed, according to the Associated Press.

The Missouri bishops and other faith and civic leaders earlier in the month asked Gov. Mike Parson to grant clemency, or to reduce the sentence to life in prison without parole, for Johnson. “Beyond the aspect of this particular case, as civic and religious leaders, we are concerned that the use of the death penalty promotes revenge as a principle of justice to resolve social problems,” the bishops’ letter said.

This was the second execution in the state of Missouri in 2022 and the 17th nationally this year. The next Missouri execution dates are set for Jan. 3 and Feb. 7. In 2018, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith added a new directive to the Catechism of the Catholic Church stating that capital punishment is inadmissible in all cases because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.

All Things New listening session feedback

The listening session presentations for each planning area, including the proposed draft models for parishes, have been published online at allthingsnew.archstl.org/ Planning-Process/Planning-Areas (or scan the QR code above). Each planning area’s page includes an overview and map of the planning area and links to the presentation slides, videos and maps of the draft models.

Each planning area’s page also includes a link to provide feedback about the draft models after attending a listening session or viewing the materials online. The survey asks specific questions about the draft models shared and also includes space to provide more in-depth narrative feedback about models or suggest alternative draft models. The planning area feedback link is open through Dec. 31.

Advent Day of Recollection

Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski will lead an Advent Day of Recollection on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The day will begin with an opening conference from Archbishop Rozanski at 1 p.m., followed by a second conference from Sister M. Karolyn Nunes, FSGM, at 2 p.m. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will follow the second conference. A sung Vespers and Benediction will take place at 4:15 p.m., and confessions will be available throughout the afternoon until Mass at 5 p.m.

Giving thanks

Members of the Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliaries of the St. Louis Central Committee served more than 150 meals on Thanksgiving Day to neighbors near St. Matthew the Apostle Church in the Ville neighborhood of St. Louis. The annual tradition was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic but restarted this year. The gathering was for anyone in the community who was interested in a meal. Jerilyn Bell served as chair of the event.

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