Touchy Topic Tuesday

O The Places You’ll Go (as NOT told by Dr. Seuss)

by Cathy Pankiewicz – originally published in New Wine Press

A few years ago Facebook led me to a lovely post from a woman who wrote about the travels she had anticipated upon the birth of her first child and the one she actually took. Her child was born with Down Syndrome, and the figurative trip to Paris she imagined quickly became one just as lovely, but entirely different. She had fancied a voyage she and baby would take together. It would be one with a mix of blue skies and choppy waters for sure,

Is St. Louis safe?


By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

St. Louis, home of the iconic Gateway Arch and world-famous St. Louis Cardinals, often ranks as one of the most dangerous U.S. cities on ubiquitous lists that try to make sense of violent crime per capita. The lists have their critics, who argue that the process is flawed and would reach a more accurate – and safe – conclusion if list-makers surveyed the entire metropolitan area.

I live in St. Louis and do care about safety, but I am not afraid and don’t feel surrounded by violence.

My Response to Human Trafficking

By Sister Michelle Woodruff, ASC

This month, we remember those who have been or are kept against their will as part of National Human Trafficking awareness.

What is my response to human trafficking as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ? I think of how our community’s founder, St. Maria de Mattias, always spoke of the importance of loving “our dear neighbor.”

Everyone, of course, is our neighbor, if we believe what Jesus said. As an Adorer then, I must be aware of every person around me and the possibility that he or she might need help.

Chicago Gets a Day of Healing

By Sister Donna Liette, CPPS

In the spirit of Pope Francis declaring a Year of Mercy on Dec. 8, we participated in a Chicago-wide day of healing. Several years ago, the group I represent, the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, helped initiate this day of healing.

We gathered with women living in a shelter and listened to their stories of being forgotten, lonely, abused and abandoned by their children’s fathers. They cried for healing, love and the comforts of a home. As they felt heard, I could see their healing begin.


We also assembled a group consisting of Chicago police officers,

These Women Have Seen a Great Light

ReidKBy Sister Kate Reid ASC

December has given me occasions to celebrate three young immigrant women (H, E & T) born anew in spite of hostile circumstances that could have crushed their spirits and blown apart their dreams.

The journey to “no room”: All three were former clients of the Immigration Law Program at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, where I work. I was fortunate to be assigned to help the attorney represent them and help them become lawful permanent residents. They needed a legal advocate because each was married to a U.S.


Touchy Topic Tuesday: Refugees and the Catholic Response

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Fear of “the other” was a stowaway aboard the Mayflower in 1620 and the Arabella 10 years later. Before the Puritans landed in Massachusetts, John Winthrop’s ringing speech, “A Model of Christian Charity,” delivered aboard the Arabella, set the parameters for who’s in and who’s out when he said Boston would be a “city upon a hill” for all to emulate.

Sister Alan Wurth, ASC, shows her support for accepting refugees

That tightly knit community did not look kindly upon outsiders, and their descendants were the nativists of the 19th century who hated Catholics,

Lights During Daytime

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

from freeimages.comA couple of years ago, I started to document “Life in Ordinary Time” through photos that capture the everyday images – throughout the seasons — of my yard, garden and surrounding Shaw neighborhood, as well as nearby Tower Grove Park.

I sat on my front steps one sunny, dusty Fall afternoon waiting for my neighbor, Paul, to deliver free, energy-efficient porch light bulbs that were donated by our electric company.

While I waited, I watched Danny and Bryan, two good neighbors, blow leaves from the sidewalks into the street.

All Saints Day, All Souls Day

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

My favorite season is autumn, with its days of glorious color, harvest, and honey bees humming above the purple asters in the back yard. In his “Ode to Autumn,” the poet, John Keats, writes of a “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” that swells “the gourd and plumps the hazel shells.”  The tender green shades of spring have matured to vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows.

The Catholic Church also celebrates this season of fullness with the Nov. 1 Feast of All Saints and the Nov. 2 Feast of All Souls.

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.