A year ago, the men and women who serve southern Illinois inmates’ spiritual needs lost their leader, Father Christopher Reuter, OFM. It’s been a year of poignant reminders and a determination to continue to fulfill Father Reuter’s vital work, says Louis Slapshak, associate director for prison ministry for the Diocese of Belleville.
For Dennis Trickey, God’s call came in stillness. Trickey, then a rising junior at Mater Dei Catholic High School, was attending a summer retreat aimed at vocations. As an altar server, Eucharistic minister and lector at his home parish in Pierron, he’d often been told by parishioners and priests that he’d make a good priest, but he hadn’t thought much about it.
For Southern Illinois’ Catholic schools, service and values education are more than just “doing the right thing” – they’re an essential part of imbuing education with Catholic social teaching. The Church has developed seven themes of this teaching, aimed at building a just society and living lives of holiness: The life and dignity of the human person; call to family, community and participation; rights and responsibilities; option for the poor and vulnerable; the dignity of work and rights of workers; solidarity; and care for God’s creation.
Students at Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo are digging deep to help families far away, as they join forces with a non-profit that aids farmers in the developing world in improving their harvests.
The central principle of improvisational theater, or improv, is “saying yes” – following the spontaneous suggestion of your acting partner in a performance, no matter how outlandish it is or where it may lead. That element makes it a great fit with Catholic high school students, says MaryBeth Babcock, who has been teaching improv classes at Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo for about six years.