St. Louis

Touchy Topic Tuesday, St. Louis, neighborhood safety

Light Up the Block

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

On a crisp fall day when it was still quite dark, I strolled up and down my block to check who had porch lights on. As I took note, I thought about all the people in the neighborhood who work diligently for our safety.

There’s Paul, chair of the Shaw Neighborhood safety committee, who spearheaded the project for free porch lights to light up our blocks. Ameren, the local electric company, will provide free energy-efficient porch lights for anyone who wants one.

Paul posted flyers on all our doors so that we could sign up for a free bulb.

Touchy Topic Tuesday broken toy

Church of the Broken Toys

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Our pastor sometimes refers to our parish in St. Louis as “the church of the broken toys.”  As sad as his observation may sound, it holds a lot of truth.

Touchy Topic Tuesday broken toy

Most parishes are home to the healthy as well as to the suffering, the lonely, and the lost, who can sometimes be overlooked. It’s the privilege and job of the pastor and staff to seek out the wounded and the healthy and to incorporate all more fully into the healing, teaching, and service ministry of the Risen Christ.

Cancer and the Mystic Within

janisBy Sr. Janis Yaekel, ASC

I am Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC and I have pancreatic cancer. In fact, I have lived with cancer since 2012. I hope to share in my blog my journey and my reflections on the presence of God in my life. It is my hope that those who read my entries will find strength for their own journeys. 


Last Friday, I attended a workshop entitled: “Surviving and Thriving with Pancreatic Cancer.”  This is a yearly event put on by Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in collaboration with the Cancer Support Community of Greater St.

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Immigration: A Festival of Nations

image from freeimages.comby Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Tower Grove Park, a city gem of a Victorian walking park, hosts the International Institute’s Festival of Nations every year at the end of August.  The park’s gracefully curving roads are crowded tent-to-tent with food and craft booths from more nations than you can count.  Open grassy areas sprout stages for ethnic dances, drums, and storytelling.  Thousands of people visit to sample excellent food, beautiful arts, and lively music.  Cars constantly troll the neighborhood streets surrounding the park looking for that elusive parking spot while residents’ autos hunker down in that cherished location,

Thank a Teacher

la-habana-6-1450639-1599x2404by Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Cicadas rasp their hymns to the waning days of summer. The big yellow buses rumble on their routes through crowded city streets and winding rural roads to collect students who wonder how the summer days evaporated.

Last week I walked through St. Louis University’s campus before attending part of student orientation at Aquinas Institute where I teach a class to a group of intercommunity novices. It was an adrenaline rush, a deep feeling of being at home, a profound understanding of why I love teaching.

I also recently attended a benefit concert/reunion of a high-school band;

Atomic Bombs and Police Shootings: An Anniversary

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Three events — distant, distinct, and yet somehow related — have converged since Aug. 6, the Catholic feast of the Transfiguration and the 70th anniversary of the day the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Aug. 9 marked the one-year anniversary of the police shooting death of Michael Brown, which led to protests, riots, marches and disturbances that rocked Ferguson and the nation.

Except for a violent eruption the night of Aug. 9, the day in Ferguson and St. Louis was more peaceful and reflective than the violence that marred last year.

Remembering Srebrenica

U.S. Adorers of the Blood of Christ join the world community in marking an atrocity 20 years ago this week, in July 1995. That’s when thousands of Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

The massacre of innocents by a Serbian paramilitary unit has been called the worst human rights atrocity in Europe since World War II.  In addition, tens of thousands of Bosnian women, children and elderly were forcibly removed; women were raped.

Thousands of survivors of the Bosnian War ended up in St.

Snitches, Transgender Women and Rachel Dolezal

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

A recent Touchy Topics Tuesday gathering addressed several truly sensitive issues ranging from concern about a restless quadrant of the neighborhood to national newsmakers.  A couple of evenings of gunshots in that twitchy segment of our Shaw neighborhood where the target won’t cooperate with the police had us wondering what causes people to not want to talk to the police.

Is it fear, a refusal to be a snitch, or apprehension about retaliation?  We couldn’t begin to know the thought processes that a target of gunshots must be experiencing.

Touchy Topic Tuesday: The Homeless Out There and Within

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

St. Vincent De Paul, my parish, steeped in the Vincentian charism of seeking and finding the neediest of society, ministers in a variety of ways to people who come to us for social services.

Many of the folks who walk through our doors are homeless, the most unnoticed and most easily forgotten and ignored people in our society.  But they are people with names, stories, families, and a longing for a place to belong.  Often ravaged by mental illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction, “the homeless” are much more than a shadowy category. 

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Nextdoor

By Sr. Regina Siegfried ASC

Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods in the United States.  I imagine it as a huge backyard fence or kitchen table over which neighbors can chat, exchange items, and keep a vigilant eye on each other.

It might be a limping excuse for an actual face-to-face conversation, but it does serve a purpose in our social-networking culture. Nextdoor Shaw is my local service that keeps our neighborhood informed of events, lost pets, suspicious activity, and free items placed in alleys for anyone who wants them.

shawAlthough the tone is generally civil and courteous,