Aug 8, 2019
From the desk of Fr Stephen
Since I have been at the Rock, I have encountered many different groups trying, in their own way, to make the city and neighborhoods of St. Louis better. I have been impressed by the social outreach at the parish, and I want to encourage folks to seek new ways for outreach. I was approached by someone this past week who asked me about starting up the health ministry again. In this ministry, we have a chance to improve the health of our members, but also of those in the neighborhood. A lot of the time it is about education that brings about the desired result. The Community Women Against Hardship does this in a great way.
As well as trying to help people in the area physically, I think it is important to continue to clean the area physically. It seems that the further north you go, the neighborhoods get more blighted. This is unfortunate. A couple of months back we had the Mayor here on our property. If I was thinking at the time I would have liked to talk to her about this part of the city. I don’t see any reason why our neighborhood shouldn’t look nice like other parts of the city. It’s almost as if people say “This is north St. Louis, it’s supposed to look like this.” Well I’m not buying it. We need to talk to the Alderwoman and demand that things change. It is true that the more you see something the more you get used to it, but I don’t want to get used to the trash on the streets, and the poor and homeless who walk them.
I think we need to do a better job ourselves here at the parish to get out and pick up trash along Grand Blvd. In the past we have had Project Nehemiah, but we need a lot more than this. If we did this on a weekly basis with shirts on our backs announcing who we are, word would get around the neighborhood that we are actually trying to do something. It takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of people willing to get their hands dirty to change what has always been, but we must try. Any effort is better than letting it continue the way it is.
I want to thank those who helped with the back to school giveaway. It is hard to believe school will be starting soon. Where did the summer go? I also want to thank the Social Justice ministry for helping out with Grill to Glory last week. I am hoping that more ministries will want to get involved. Again, we are looking for people willing to make a difference, and also willing to come down to the Rock on days other than Sunday. These are the types of things that get people, especially young people interested in coming to church. They want to see their efforts make a difference. I will be gone all week vacationing in Wisconsin. Have a good week.