National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Missouri

St. Louis archdiocese cancels speech by visionary who saw the Virigin Mary at Medjugrorje

To Roman Catholic officialdom, it's unclear whether the Virgin Mary appeared to Ivan Dragicevic and five others 34 years ago in a Bosnian village.

What is clear is that Dragicevic won't be appearing Wednesday to speak in St. Charles, as some had hoped.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Robert Carlson addressed a memo to priests and deacons in the archdiocese:

Can Catholic hospitals continue to serve the poor? One program tries

In 1836, several French nuns established hospitals and schools here and in California. Today, an effort is afoot to keep the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange alive.

At the Aquinas Institute of Theology, a small Roman Catholic graduate school next to St. Louis University, doctors, administrators and health care leaders take courses on Bible interpretation; Jesus, church and the healing ministry; and the foundations of morality.

Ascension to set aside $20 million from KC-area hospital sales for indigent care

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The owner of St. Joseph Medical Center and St. Mary's Medical Center has agreed to set aside $20 million from its pending sale of those hospitals for charitable care.

In a news release Wednesday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said nonprofit Ascension Health agreed to the set-aside after concerns raised by his office that the money be made available for acute indigent care.

Executions are down and abolition may not be far behind

It looks like the death penalty may be on life support.

January was set to be the deadliest month for U.S. executions in 2015, but nine of the 15 executions were stopped. In an unprecedented wave, three of the deadliest states -- Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri -- stopped executions planned for last month. February has just begun, but nine of its 12 scheduled executions have been halted.

Last year was not a good year for the death penalty, either, as death sentences hit a 40-year low and executions were at a 20-year low.

Residents near center for troubled priests worry about property values

A quiet street and a quaint three-bedroom home drew Mike Stenzhorn and his family to Dittmer 15 years ago. He and his two children loved the neighborhood in the small community 40 miles southwest of St. Louis.

They didn't put much thought to the Roman Catholic facility across the street -- a small complex of buildings called the Vianney Renewal Center.

Stenzhorn knew the center had something to do with helping struggling priests. In any case, it seemed harmless, and the neighborhood was nice.

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