After 123 years, it was time to have an all-school reunion at St. Joseph Catholic Academy, formally St. Joseph Catholic School.
Robert Healey from the class of 1949 took a tour of the school building on Scott Street in Springfield before joining other alums in the all-purpose room. He admitted the building was “big-time different,” but added that there is much that is the same, including the rigorous academics.
From Protestant pastor, to Anglican priest, to Catholic priest
People in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau may be surprised to learn of a priest with a wife and five children. His name is Fr. Chori Jonathin Seraiah. As with most priests, he has a strong devotion to the Eucharist and Our Lady.
Fr. Seraiah is a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was the Vatican’s pastoral response to repeated and persistent inquiries made by Anglican individuals and groups in the US and Canada who, over time, have come to identify the Catholic Church as their home. Those joining the Ordinariate have discerned they are truly Catholic in what they believe and desire full membership in the Catholic Church.
With successful efforts wrapping up on the east side of the Diocese, parishioners in the central section can soon expect to be asked to consider their contributions to the Diocese’s first-ever Capital Endowment Campaign.
Begun in January, the generosity far exceeded the goal for Block 1 of the campaign, according to Gene Aug, Director of Development and Properties. With nearly $8 million already pledged, the 18 eastern parishes reached 131 percent of the goal for that region. Out of 6,999 families, 2,800 families pledged an average of $2,595, demonstrating their willingness to sacrifice today tor the future of their Diocese and the Church. Read more
On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, Bp.-emeritus John J. Leibrecht celebrated his 60th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.
On April 11, the now-retired bishop was honored during a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield, and again on the following Thu., April 14, at St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral in Cape Girardeau. Both events marked the gift of his service to God and the Church.
Enthusiasm about Cursillo is growing in the Diocese. A group of about a dozen Cursillistas—people who have completed a Cursillo Weekend—gathered recently in St. Ambrose Parish in Chaffee to pray for women who were participating in a women’s Cursillo Weekend in St. Louis.
Sharon Essner, who is helping to coordinate the effort to restart a Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, led the group in the song “Here I Am Lord,” followed by prayers for the weekend participants, the team working with them, and the men who would be going soon to a weekend of their own.
When it comes to living the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the folks at Sacred Heart Parish in Caruthersville are thinking outside the box.
The tiny parish, with only 90 families, is taking some big steps in their community by embracing Pope Francis’ call for a Jubilee of Mercy. Seven groups, from the Parish Council to Bible study groups, are each taking a Corporal Act of Mercy and peeling back the layers of its meaning to find an authentic way to express their love for Jesus by intentional acts of love and mercy toward their neighbors, often Spiritual Works of Mercy.
Fr. Jaroslaw Skrzypek and Sr. Darlene Presley, GHMS, have been working closely with the members of Sacred Heart to make this Jubilee of Mercy a reality in Caruthersville. The first group to get a plan together was the Monday Bible Study.
When Walt Biri took early retirement from Proctor and Gamble 14 years ago, he planned to go back to school and pursue something in heating and air conditioning.
So much for plans.
Today, at age 63, Biri spends most of his days teaching RCIA and baptism classes, assisting with funerals, preaching, doing clerical work, and assisting Fr. John Harth, pastor at Immaculate Conception parish in Jackson. Biri, a permanent deacon, also serves as Director of the Permanent Diaconate for the Diocese, helping other men discern their ministry.
“It has been a wonderful journey,” Deacon Biri said of the surprising turn in his life. “It’s a journey from the beginning, and it doesn’t stop. It’s through your ministry that you grow.”
St. John Parish has been the spiritual home of Catholics in Leopold since 1856. A rural community, with only one paved road coming into town, 375 families belong to the church.
Fr. David Coon serves as the pastor of the Leopold parish, as well as the 64 families at the 111-year-old St. Anthony Mission Church in Glennon, about 10 miles away.
The challenges of these small, rural parishes are many, but getting commitments to the Capital Endowment Campaign has not been one of them. In fact, both faith communities reached and exceeded their commitments well before the campaign concluded. Read more
Before Margarita Gagliardi experienced a Cursillo Weekend she was a “Sunday Mass Catholic.” Now, she enjoys a “close relationship with God.”
Gagliardi experienced that weekend nearly 40 years ago, but she continues to grow in her faith thanks to the tools she took away from her Cursillo weekend. She meets each week in her small Cursillo group and at larger monthly Ultreyas.
“Cursillo offers a well-structured way to live the Christian life,” said Fr. Bill Hodgson, the diocesan Cursillo spiritual moderator. “There’s a lot of fads of spiritualities, but Cursillo is really rooted in the Church and the sacraments and a daily discipline of Christian discipleship. Cursillo means ‘short course.’ It is a short course in Christianity.”
When Fred Seitz tells people about his experiences with The Kitchen, Inc., the most common response is, “Aren’t they closed now?”
Seitz, 41, a US Navy veteran who has been able to find housing through The Kitchen and now serves on its Board of Directors, is quick to assure everyone that The Kitchen, Inc., is not only open for business, it is doing great things.
Rorie Orgeron, CEO of The Kitchen, Inc., said the misperception is common since The Kitchen closed its emergency shelter at the Missouri Hotel on Commercial Street in Springfield earlier this year. He wants to change the public perception so everyone knows what The Kitchen is doing for individuals and families to address homelessness.