St. Louis

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,

Touchy Topic Tuesday: No Charge, No Easy Solutions

by Sr. Regina Siegfried

On May 18, The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office released its no-charges report for the police officer who shot VonDerrit Myers, a young man in the Shaw Neighborhood, on Oct. 8, 2014.  The verdict was a natural topic for our Touchy Topics Tuesdays gathering.  We began our discussion group as a result of his death and the unrest in Shaw.  Current protests seemed more agitated outside Shaw than within the neighborhood, although small groups congregated peacefully at the site of the memorial.

Who chooses when to take down that sad,

Touchy Topics: Why Do We Meet?

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Sometimes the topics in my Touchy Topics Tuesdays group get a little prickly, but the tone and mood has of late veered more into the pensive than the argumentative.

1383813_42612206We continue to wonder why we meet. If discussing concerns of our St. Louis neighborhood is the main focus, are we making a difference? Is gathering to drink coffee and chat an hour or two on Tuesday mornings with newly found friends keeping us together?  Can attentive listening solve the sometimes overwhelming issues of the neighborhood, city, and our society? 

Joan Range Honored at St. Louis University

Range JSr. Joan Range, ASC, who died Thursday, May 7, 2015, is being honored Friday, May 8, for co-founding the Women’s and Gender Studies Department of Saint Louis University.

Sr. Joan will receive the university’s annual Founders Award for 2015 along with Dr. Judith Gibbons, for their work in establishing the program. Women’s and Gender Studies became a department this year and in the Fall will launch a master’s degree program.

The two will be honored at a celebration of faculty and students.

Sr. Maria Hughes and Sr. Janet McCann will be present at the award celebration at Saint Louis University on May 8.

Indeed, a Little Touchy

by Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

915558_69460579Two Touchy Topic Tuesdays did get a tad touchy when a few members wanted some meetings devoted to discussions about faith. But what to do when some members are agnostics and atheists? At first the nonbelievers in our group said they might not attend on those Tuesdays, but after our urging – and since we need their perspectives — they agreed to continue coming to the meetings. To complicate matters, interpretations of faith, theology, and Scripture are as divergent as the people gathered around the table.

Although our conversations focus on the city of St.