home Archive A Review of the News and Events in 2014 in the Local Diocesan Church

A Review of the News and Events in 2014 in the Local Diocesan Church

Parish celebrations and closing liturgies were in the limelight in The Messenger’s 2014  issues.

Celebrating anniversaries were St. Stephen, Caseyville (120th); Sacred Heart, Du Quoin (100th); Sacred Heart, Dupo (100th), Corpus Christi, Shiloh, (100th).

Ground was broken for the construction of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks Church in Ridgway. In the implementation of the Pastoral Plan for Parish Renewal and Restructuring final liturgies were celebrated at St. Leo Parish in Modoc; Immaculate Conception Parish in Bridgeport; St. Francis Xavier Parish in St. Francisville; St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Grand Chain; St. Mary Parish in Mound City, Immaculate Conception Parish in Madonnaville.

Holy Angels Shelter in East St. Louis celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Faith in action was recognized in a variety of environments, including faith in the marketplace, by volunteers in senior institutions and homes, by diocesan youth participating in service projects in and out of the diocese

Members of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ religious community, who ministered in the diocese for over 100 years, “came home” to southern Illinois to reconnect with friends and family.


Parishes were in the limelight in January issues of The Messenger. The Jan. 30 issue featured the 120th anniversary  celebration of St. Stephen Parish in Caseyville. In the same issue Bishop Edward K. Braxton decreed the March 3 suppression of St. Leo Parish in Modoc, and announced the planned suppression of four other diocesan parishes on the same date.

The annual Vocations section included an interview with Father Nicholas Junker, the diocesan vocations director in the Jan. 16 issue.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ announced a bus tour to the diocese to revisit the places they served and reconnect with the people of the diocese.

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade diocesan adults and youth participated in the annual Washington D.C., March for Life and in diocesan marches in Carbondale and Carlyle.

Also reported in January:

• St. Barbara Parish in Okawville Youth Ministry has presented more than $6,000 to the Pregnancy Care Center in Belleville over the years through their annual Baby Bottle Project. The project was the avenue Nashville Knights of Columbus used to present $1,146 to the Washington County Right to Life organization.

• Mascoutah’s Holy Childhood Catholic School’s student Nicholas Waldroup’s birthday letter to Pope Francis was chosen by Bishop Braxton to send to the pope. Students at parish schools were invited by the bishop to write the letters.

•Father Clyde Grogan retired Jan. 1 as the Senior Associate Pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Ruma, St. John the Baptist Parish in Red Bud and chaplain for the Adorers regional center in Ruma, with residence at the Hincke Home in Belleville for retired priests.

• Holy Trinity School in Fairview Heights celebrated its 10th anniversary by initiating a new recognition called the “Hall of Light.”

•Winners in the Belleville Area Right to Life’s essay contest were Madisen Bruening, 17, Caroline Cowgill, 16, Molly Reitano, 15, and Robbie Stock, 13. Money awarded covers the bus cost to the annual pro-life march and rally in Washington, D.C., joining several busloads of diocesan participants. Pro-life rallies were also held in Carbondale, sponsored by the Jackson County Knights of Columbus, and Carlyle, sponsored by Clinton County Citizens for Life.

• The annual Martin Luther King celebration was held Jan. 19 at St. Augustine of Hippo Parish in East. St. Louis.

• January obituaries: Sister Vivian Brand, PHJC; Sister Alvina Schott, ASC; Father Gerald McGovern, OMI; Father Gerard Bolduc, OMI; Lorraine LaChance.


In a continuing implementation of the Pastoral Plan for Parish Renewal and Restructuring, parishioners, friends and relatives gathered for a final liturgy Feb. 2 at Immaculate Conception Church in Bridgeport and Feb. 16 at St. Francis Xavier Church in St. Francisville. February issues also included the formal decrees by Bishop Braxton suppressing the Bridgeport and St. Francisville parishes, St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in  Grand Chain and St. Mary Parish in Mound City, effective March 3.

The Feb. 13 issue included the annual Catholic Schools Week supplement. Students and parishioners at St. Theresa of Avila Parish in Salem held a reception for Lonnie White, the parish’s organist for 47 years. The supplement included a summary and photos of activities during the week, including Grandparents Day, with 600 people participating at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Herrin; Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese invited area Catholic schools to join them for an all-school liturgy. Students at St. Mary-St. Augustine School in Belleville received a personal tour of the parish’s food pantry, to which students donate items.

An insert in the Feb. 27 issue focused on the 2014 Catholic Service and Ministry Appeal, including a report on the 2013 Appeal with $1,102,504.72 pledged and $1,047,581.52 collected and distributed. Appeal recipients Sister Thea Bowman Catholic School in East St. Louis, the Office of Hispanic Ministry, the Office of Worship, and the Newman Catholic Student Center were included in a Messenger feature.

• February obituary: Sister Agnella Stratman, ASC.


Lenten journeys toward Easter were evidenced in the March issues of The Messenger. At the annual Rite of Election, Bishop Braxton welcomed catechumens and candidates March 9 at St. Peter Cathedral.

At St. Clare School in O’Fallon each homeroom class constructed a cross, with active parent involvement, working on it as a community of faith.

A closing liturgy was celebrated Feb. 22 at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Grand Chain. The following day a closing liturgy was celebrated at St. Mary Parish in Mound City. The suppressed parishes joined St. Patrick Parish in Cairo.

Ground was broken March 1 for construction of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks Church in Ridgway, on the site of St. Joseph Church, which was destroyed in a 2012 tornado. St. Kateri would be home to Gallatin County Catholics who worshipped in Shawneetown, Equality, Pond Settlement and Ridgway.

Also reported in March:

• The March 13 issue included the annual Spanish supplement.

• Parishioners of St. Bruno Parish in Pinckneyville celebrated the 100th birthday of Louise Fontana with a Mass of Thanksgiving and luncheon at the Knights of Columbus hall.

• The Diocesan Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013 were included in the March 27 issue.

• The March 27 issue also announced that the annual St. Vincent de Paul dinner theater, supporting its feeding programs, was scheduled for April 12.

• In a letter to diocesan clergy, Bishop Braxton encouraged discussion of Pope Francis’s exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel,” and met with 11 clergy for a reflection on the document at his residence.

• Bishop Braxton chose a letter from Grace Floerke, a student at SS. Peter and Paul School in Waterloo, to forward to Pope Francis on the first anniversary of his election.

• March obituary: Sister Rita Ann Frey, ASC.


The annual Easter Greetings supplement included the traditional welcoming of the diocese’s catechumens and candidates who would be baptized or welcomed into full communion at parishes’ Easter Vigils.

Almost 300 youth and youth ministry leaders gathered March 28-30 for the annual Diocesan Youth Conference. Keynote speaker Chris Padgett told youth: “Having, keeping and sharing faith is “not a sprint, not a marathon, but an epic triathlon.” Workshop leaders included Wendy and Jon Brough,who talked about how their faith was tested when the former Belleville police officer sustained life-threatening injuries in 2002 in the line of duty, surviving with loss of sight and facial disfigurement.

A feature in the April 24 Spring Senior Living supplement focused on ministry in nursing homes and to the homebound, with St. Stephen, Caseyville parishioners Kay and David Benson as a living example. The supplement also included a nutritionist and pharmacist team at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville working with mostly elderly people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Also reported in April:

• St. Joseph Hospital in Breese took the opportunity of National Catholic Sisters Week in March to recognize the communities of women religious who are part of the hospital’s past, present and future. Communities include the Holy Cross Sisters who sponsored the facility from 1921 to 1986, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, the Notre Dame Sisters and the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis.

• Knights of Columbus Council #9890 in Benton received the Father McGivney Award recognizing membership recruitment and retention and the Columbian Award symbolizing excellence in volunteer programming activities.

• Knights of Columbus councils in the East Vicariate sponsored their 41st Mother’s Day dinner which continues to support Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis and currently the Human Service Center of Red Bud.

• St. Teresa Parish in Belleville expanded its preschool program by taking over St. John’s Daycare on Lebanon Avenue for the 2014-2015 school year.


The Messenger’s annual Graduation Supplement in the May 22 issue saluted 24 valedictorians and salutatorians and congratulated graduates from the diocese’s three Catholic high schools and Catholic graduates from public schools throughout the diocese.

Harrisburg High School’s valedictorian Hannah Robinson, the oldest of the Robinsons’ eight adopted daughters from Asia, was featured in the supplement.

Recipients of the Bishop’s Discipleship Award, presented after a May Baccalaureate Mass at St. Peter Cathedral, were seniors Rachel Meyersdorfer, Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville; Jessica Altadonna, Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo; and Zoe Timmermann, Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese.

A Memorial Day feature shared the memories of Barbara Marlin, whose brother Cpl. Steven Moll was killed in a Vietnam War helicopter crash.

Also reported in May:

• Sister Vicki Bergkamp, ASC, Professor of Business and Chair of the Business Division at Newman University, Wichita, Kan., was the presenter at an economics workshop April 26 at the Adorers Ruma Center in Ruma.

• A Health and Fitness section in the May 8 issue included summaries of parishes’ health and bereavement ministries and the Sleep Disorders Center at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro.

• St. Augustine Parish in Belleville celebrated the second anniversary April 17 of the Prayer Shawl Ministry.

• In an interview with The Messenger Bishop Braxton announced a dinner to be held June 27 to benefit Catholic education and to commemorate the bishop’s 70th birthday.

• The Family Center in East St. Louis began work on the 19th house for someone who would otherwise be unable to afford a home. Sister Carol Lehmkuhl directs the Center.

• May obituary: Father Walter Nesbit, SJ.


Celebrating personal and institutional anniversaries highlighted June issues of The Messenger.

The June 19 issue included the Jubilee supplement featuring the June 2 diocesan celebration for priests observing anniversaries and congratulatory messages.

Diocesan priests celebrating anniversaries of ordination in 2014 were: Father Jerome Hibner, Father James Van Oss and Father Dennis Voss; (50); Msgr. Kenneth Schaefer, Father Charles Tuttle, Father David Voelker, Msgr. Marvin Volk, Father Eugene Wojcik (40); and Father Jack Joyce (25).

Parishioners and friends gathered June 14 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sacred Heart Parish in Dupo with pastor Father Paul Wienhoff as celebrant and homilist at the 4 p.m. liturgy.

The June 6 issue included Bishop Braxton’s decree suppressing Immaculate Conception Parish, Madonnaville, continuing the diocesan Pastoral Plan for Parish Renewal and Restructuring. A final parish liturgy was celebrated April 27.

Also reported in June:

• The June 5 issue included a salute to 23 Catholic valedictorians and salutatorians from Mater Dei Catholic High School and from public high schools in Carlyle, Salem and Waterloo. (Information was not available for the May Graduation Supplement).

• The issue also featured the May 22 confirmation by Bishop Braxton of young people from St. Augustine of Hippo Parish in East St. Louis and St. Stephen Parish in Caseyville, one of the bishop’s Easter season confirmations.

• Parishioners at St. Felicitas parish in Beaver Prairie were featured planting potatoes in one of their monthly service projects. Harvested, the potatoes will be donated to a local food pantry. Another project includes casseroles for Cosgrove’s Kitchen in East St. Louis.

• Deacon Thomas and Sandee Powers completed three training sessions in the diocese for a new Pre-Cana program.

• Twenty diocesan parishes responded to a Messenger inquiry about Vacation Bible Schools, including St. Mary Parish in Carlyle where over 100 youngsters took part in the parish’s program.

• The diocesan Ministry to the Sick and Aged hosted its annual picnic June 11  for nursing home residents,  with about 200 residents and staff from 15 regional nursing homes participating.

• June obituaries: Sister Celeste Compas, ASC; Sister Margaret Hanon, PHJC; Sister Adele Hulling, SSND.


In honor of Bishop Braxton’s 70th birthday, a Catholic Education Benefit dinner, held June 27 at St. Clair Country Club, raised more than $100,000, with more than 300 guests participating.

Members of The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ religious community “came home” to southern Illinois  June 26-29, to reconnect with friends and family. The PHJCs ministered in the diocese for well over 100 years, and about 300 young women from diocesan parishes joined the community.

Also reported in July:

• St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville announced plans to build a new hospital in O’Fallon.

• About 150 young people and adults participated in a June 14 diocesan Hispanic youth gathering at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Belleville.

• Corpus Christi Parish in Shiloh closed its 100-year anniversary celebration.

• A July 3 feature on the diocese’s  Camp Ondessonk included information about its scholarship program.

• Deacon Richard Bagby was named the Centralia Correctional Center Volunteer of the Year.

• The ASC Ruma Center hosted an Inter Assembly Congress for ASC leaders from around the world.

• The introduction to Bishop Braxton’s response to parish partnerships with Vicariate Letters was published in the July 31 issue.

• Diocesan ministers participated in the National Association of Pastoral Musicians conference held in St. Louis.

• Four new parish school principals were introduced in the July 31 Catholic Education supplement, which also included an update on the use of technology at diocesan schools.

• Continuing a tradition, young people from St. Mary Parish in Mt. Vernon spent a week of mission in Cairo assisting residents.

• July obituaries: Sister Stephen Brueggeman (Frances Josephine), PHJC; Sister Aloise Meurer, SSND; Sister Rita Knittel, SSND; Sister Carina Vetter, SL; Edward Hechenberger.


Two traditional supplements highlighted August issues of The Messenger.

Local features in the Aug. 14 Senior Living supplement included: the important contributions of Millstadt’s St. James Parish’s Over 50 Club; Lindsay Koch’s yoga class at St. Mary in Carlyle; Jeanne Haar’s long-time and continuing ministry with the Ministry to the Sick and Aged; and Bill Knapp’s (former diocesan finance officer) advice on the importance of financial planning.

The Religious Jubilee supplement recognized 83 women and men religious celebrating jubilees in 2014, extending gratitude and congratulations for over 4,700 years of religious life and ministry. In a feature, Sister Mary Louise Degenhart, ASC and Sister Edith Schneider, PHJC spoke of sharing their hopes, dreams and lives with others, near and far.

Also reported in August:

• A group of 35 youth and 13 adults from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Herrin and surrounding parishes continued a tradition by spending  a service week in Memphis.

• Catholic Urban Programs continued a 30-year tradition of hosting a summer picnic for seniors in East St. Louis.

• Father Eusebius Mbidoaka was welcomed into the diocese and appointed Sacramental Minister of St. John the Baptist Parish in West Frankfort and St. Aloysius-Sacred Heart Parish in Royalton-Zeigler.

• More than 800 people participated in a rally in East St. Louis — sponsored by United Congregations of Metro East (representing 32 congregations) who work on social justice issues — to talk about life issues for the poor and holding politicians accountable.

• Athena Grace Heap, who spent the first 28 days of her life on a heart lung bypass machine, was the inspiration for a “give back” blood drive in her honor.

• Diocesan parish picnics, famous for their quilt bingos and suppers, continued a tradition begun in the late 1800s.

• August obituary: Sister Madeleine Laurent, ASC.


Supplements in The Messenger’s September issues focused on journeys of faith in environments as different as the marketplace and the classroom.

Seven people were recognized in The Messenger’s annual Faith in the Marketplace dinner. Recognized for taking their faith into the marketplace were: Jeffrey Bair, St. George Parish, New Baden; Tom and Dede Cordie, St. Luke Parish, Belleville; Carol Carlson, St. Nicholas Parish, O’Fallon; Diane Goffinet, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Herrin; John Kabat, St. Barbara Parish, Scheller; and Jeff Ripperda,  St. Andrew Parish, Murphysboro.

The annual Religious Education Supplement included ways in which parishes reach out to youth to help parents form them in faith. The religious education program at three Clinton County parishes — St. Dominic and St. Augustine in Breese and St. Anthony in Beckemeyer — used the ARK symbol to visualize its theme “Acts of Random Kindness.”

Also reported in September:

• Holy Angels Shelter in East St. Louis announced plans to celebrate and remember the shelter’s ministry on its 30th anniversary.

Bishop Braxton celebrated the annual freshmen liturgy with young people from the diocese’s three Catholic high schools Sept. 7 at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville.

• Friends of Inez Wilson, longtime member of St. Regis Parish in East St. Louis, celebrated her 104th birthday at St. Paul’s Home in Belleville.

• Diocesan employees, present and former, gathered Aug. 27 to say farewell to Mildred Phillips, housekeeper for three bishops.

• More than 250 people gathered at Our Lady of the Snows shrine at the

annual St. Vincent de Paul “Walk for the Poor.” A later walk was scheduled in O’Fallon.

• September obituary: Sister M. Wilma Goeckner, ASC.


The Messenger’s October issues were fundamental: Respect life, education, gratitude.

The October 9 issue included the annual Respect Life and High School Open House sections.

The Respect Life section voiced testimonies and support for life “from conception to natural death” and included a feature article with involved personnel commenting from a human dignity viewpoint on immigration, poverty, and prison ministry.

The High School Open House section welcomed prospective students and noted the historical value and success of Catholic schools.

The October 23 issue included the annual Priest Appreciation supplement with people expressing gratitude in commentary and ads for individual priests’ ministry personally experienced by parishes and parishioners.

The Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò visited the diocese, celebrating the opening liturgy for the National Assembly of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, which convenes each year at Our Lady of the Snows shrine.

About 160 women participated in the Belleville Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s Oct. 8 annual convention at St. Mary Parish in Mt. Vernon. The new president of the organization is Karen Endicott, a member of St. Clement Parish in McLeansboro.

The annual Diocesan Education Convention was held Oct. 10 at Holy Trinity Parish in Fairview Heights. Among anniversary recognitions were educators celebrating 40 years in Catholic education. They were:  Judy Haberl, SS. Peter and Paul School, Waterloo; Rosemary Huelsmann, Mater Dei Catholic High School, Breese; Mary Kloess, Althoff Catholic High School, Belleville; Sharon Needham, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Belleville; Father Charles Tuttle, Mater Dei; and Karen Waterman, Immaculate Conception School, Waterloo.

Also reported in October:

• Bishop Braxton accepted 10 men — eight from the Belleville diocese — as candidates in the Belleville diocesan diaconate program during an Oct. 11 liturgy at St. Peter Cathedral.

• In an Oct. 23 feature Sister Raphael Ann Drone, ASC, returning from her ministry in Liberia, talked about the Ebola epidemic that has devastated that country.

• Bishop Braxton celebrated the annual Red Mass Oct. 3 at St. Peter Cathedral.

• Hispanic ministry leaders in the diocese gathered Oct. 14 to discuss the “present reality” in the diocese and suggest ways to move forward in ministry.

• The annual Blessing of the Harvest: a Thanksgiving Prayer Service was held Oct. 7 at the Wayne and Ellen Weber farm near Wendelin.

• John and Bobbie Laker were the 2014 recipients of the Southern Illinois Association of Priests Ichthus Award, presented Oct. 19 at the annual Family and Friends Dinner.

• October obituaries: Sister Adelia Goeckner, ASC; Sister Kathryn Hoener, SSND; Sister Veronica Komorowski, SSND.


The Messenger’s Nov. 6  Hope and Healing section included features addressing consequences of mental illness and the death of a child.

The theme “When Mental Illness Hits Home,” was addressed at an annual mental illness conference at Our Lady of the Snows shrine. Topics included: self care for those who care for people with mental illness, social security and Medicaid and crisis intervention with the police.

A feature focused on a monthly memorial service and a SHARE program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese supporting parents of children who have died before or after birth.

Bishop Braxton commented on the Synod of Bishops on the Family and recommended several documents to better understand the synodal process. The Nov. 20 issue included his “Prayer of Praise for Thanksgiving Day.”

During an Oct. 29-31 visit to the diocese, the Most Rev. Fortunatus Nwachukwu, Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua and a native of Nigeria met with diocesan and Nigerian priests serving in the diocese at a luncheon hosted by Bishop Braxton.

Also reported in November:

• The diocese announced the creation of a new Catholic school involving three Belleville parishes — St. Peter Cathedral, St. Augustine and St. Mary. Preschool through grade four will be housed at St. Augustine, with grades five through eight at Cathedral. St. Mary will be the site for all three parishes’ religious education programs.

• Holy Angels Shelter in East St. Louis celebrated the 30th anniversary of its opening.

• Bishop Paul Ssemogerere of the diocese of Kasana-Luweroin Uganda visited Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Herrin, which has a 14-year relationship with the Ugandan diocese.

• Diocesan employees celebrating milestone anniversaries were recognized at an employee gathering. Recognized for 40 years of service were Father Eugene Neff and Patty Schilling; for 25 years Kathy Schrage; for 20 years Jeanette Dempsey and Mike Jennings. Six employees were recognized for 15 years of service; four for 10 years and four for five years.

• Local Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants were awarded to eight organizations and institutions.

• Fifty people participated in a two-day seminar Nov. 6-7 at St. Joseph Parish in Marion on the Ministry of Presiding at Prayer for deacons and lay leaders to be certified to lead Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest.

• About 120 people participated in the Oct. 27 Murphysboro Knights of Columbus 27th annual Pro-Life Dinner in Murphysboro. Recognized for their years of pro-life work were: Father Leo Hayes; Tony and Susan Sena; and Ray (posthumously) and Marie Nowacki. Featured speaker was Father Nicholas Junker, diocesan vocations director.

• A Nov. 20 feature focused on the spirituality of Native Americans, including varying celebrations of Thanksgiving.

• The Social Concerns Committee of St. Rose Parish in St. Rose sponsored a Fair Trade sale after the Oct. 25-26 weekend liturgies.

• October obituaries: Sister Mary Audrey Wood, ASC; Colette Kennett; Catherine Heap.


Christmas reflections and greetings, including Bishop Braxton’s annual reflection, filled the pages of the Dec. 19 Christmas Greetings supplement.

The Dec. 4 issue included a memorial tribute to Colette Kennett, diocesan youth director for 30 years, who died Nov. 13, from friends and co-workers.

Included in the Dec. 18 Christmas Greetings supplement were the winners of the Knights of Columbus “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest. Winners from first to fifth were: Ximena Aparicio, St. Damian PSR, Damiansville; Elayna Jackson, St. Mary PSR, Trenton; Martha Aparicio, St. Damian PSR, Damiansville; Gabriel Kay, St. Mary PSR, Trenton; Natalie Lynch, St. Damian PSR, Damiansville.

Also included in the supplement were the winners of The Messenger’s “Christmas Essay Contest.” They were: Elani Riley, Our Lady of Queen of Peace Catholic School, Belleville; Henry Schulte, Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Columbia; Kenzie Hahn, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Red Bud; Nathan Lanter, Holy Childhood Parish PSR, Mascoutah. Honorable Mention: Haley Fizer, St. Agatha Catholic School, New Athens; Caitlyn Chor, Holy Trinity Catholic School, Fairview Heights.

Bishop Braxton announced that the name of the new Catholic school in Belleville will be Notre Dame.

Also reported in December:

• Volunteers prepared, served and distributed thousands of Thanksgiving dinners at diocesan institutions and parishes, with coverage of the annual ecumenical Thanksgiving dinner at St. Luke Parish in Belleville.

• Bishop Braxton continued his regular visits to Catholic schools, with a visit to St. John the Baptist School in West Frankfort highlighted in the Dec. 4 issue.

•The famous Way of Lights Christmas display with its more than 1,000,000 lights and other attractions was scheduled to continue until Jan. 2, 2015 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville.

• Favorite family recipes were included in the Dec. 4 issue.

• Immaculate Conception School, Columbia teacher Tiffany Green was among Metro-St. Louis teachers honored by Emerson Electric with the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

• Corpus Christi Parish in Shiloh continued its Holiday Hilltop 5K run Dec. 13, benefitting a child with serious illness. Proceeds were donated to Anne Marie Fraser, a parishioner at St. Teresa in Belleville, who is battling a form of bone cancer.

• The St. Vincent de Paul Society donated coats Nov. 24 for the entire family at their store in East St. Louis.

• Parishioners of St. Augustine Parish in East St. Louis discussed possible local responses to the violence and racial tensions in the country, especially those in Ferguson, Mo.

• Camp Ondessonk broke ground for a new mini-camp for 8-10-year-olds.

• An Ecumenical Gathering  sponsored by St. Luke Parish in Belleville was scheduled Dec. 21 at Hough Park Pavilion in Belleville, remembering those who have died on the streets unprotected from the cold and heat.

• December obituaries: Sister Susanne Hornung, SSND; Msgr. Hyacinth Mazuchowski.

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