Rest in Peace: Msgr. David A. Ratermann

Our dear friend, Msgr. David A. Ratermann, passed away November 10, 2014 at Regina Cleri in St. Louis. Msgr. Ratermann was a founder of our Latin America Apostolate in Bolivia in 1956. He served as a missionary priest in Bolivia for 50 years. He was a great inspiration and friend to many. May he rest in peace!

Msgr. David A. Ratermann

 


Read the obituary by Jennifer Brinker of the St. Louis Review


About Msgr. David A. Ratermann ...

Msgr. David A. Ratermann was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. He grew up in Saint Liborius Parish and later taught biology at Mercy High School. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1951 and his first parish assignment was Most Blessed Sacrament Parish (1951-1956).

Fr. David Ratermann (left), Fr. Andrew Schierhoff (center) and Msgr. Andrew Kennedy (right) were the first three priests to serve in Bolivia.When the opportunity to work in Bolivia arose, Msgr. Ratermann very enthusiastically volunteered, and was thrilled when Archbishop Joseph Ritter sent him. In 1956, he became one of the first three priests to go to Bolivia, making him a founder of the Latin America Apostolate.

The first commitment of the Latin America Apostolate was to found Cristo Rey Parish in La Paz. Msgr. Ratermann helped to establish this parish and saw its beginnings as a shed with a tin roof and no walls (called "el galpon" in Spanish) transform into a permanent church in 1961. Msgr. Ratermann briefly returned to Saint Louis in 1981, where he served at Most Holy Trinity Parish for 3 months and at St. Luke the Evangelist Parish for 3 years. He went back to Bolivia in 1984 and was stationed in Cochabamba through 2004. In 2004, Msgr. Ratermann retired and returned to La Paz, where he continued to serve at Maria Reina Parish.

Msgr. Ratermann with people in Bolivia.Over the years, Msgr. Ratermann worked with many people through his involvement and service at the Maryknoll Language School, the Maria Reina Health Clinic, and Alcoholics Anonymous. The majority of his time in Bolivia was spent working with the Aymara, the native people of Bolivia who live in the Altiplano region surrounding the mountains.

Msgr. Ratermann confirms a young man in Bolivia.In June 2008, Msgr. Ratermann returned to St. Louis, after 50 years of service in the Latin America Apostolate. He resided at Regina Cleri and continued to promote and share the good news of the Latin America Apostolate with the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

On November 10, 2014 Msgr. Ratermann passed away at Regina Cleri in Saint Louis. He was a great inspiration and friend to many. We are so grateful for his many years of service to the people of Bolivia. May he rest in peace!

Msgr. Ratermann with parishioners at Maria Reina Parish in La Paz, Bolivia.

 

Statement Regarding Archbishop Emeritus Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

November 8, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis extends prayerful congratulations to its former Archbishop and Archbishop Emeritus, His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, as he assumes his new role of cardinal patron of the Knights and Dames of Malta.

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LWANGA CENTER INVITES, UPDATES, AND FR. ART

Join us at the Center as we celebrate National Black Catholic History Month on Sunday, November 16, 2014. At 2:00 p.m. Mrs. Sharon Cooney-Smith of St. Alphonsus "Rock" Parish will lead a discussion on the past and ongoing local history of the National Black Catholic Congress. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP at 314.367.7929.

We will be having our annual one-day retreat for busy people entitled, the Crossroads Retreat on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the Center from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The  $25.00 fee includes materials and meals. RSVP at 314.367.7929.

We are recruiting youth ministry volunteers to assist with planning and implementing our youth programs. Please contact Mrs. Corliss Cox or Fr. Art Cavitt at 314.367.7929

Inquirers have wanted to know about our Executive Director, Rev. Arthur Cavitt and St. Nicholas Parish. On Sunday, November 9, 2014, Fr. Art will be installed as Pastor at the 10:30 a.m. Mass by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Msgr. Mark Rivituso. A reception with light refreshments follows after Mass.  All are invited.

 

 

Antonia M. Ponder Joins the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation as Development Director

Antonia M. Ponder has joined the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation as Development Director for the Archdiocesan Elementary Schools.   In her role, she will be responsible for development, fundraising and marketing at the four Archdiocesan Elementary Schools:  St. Louis the King at the
Cathedral, Most Holy Trinity School and Academy, St. Cecilia School and Academy and St. Louis Catholic Academy. 

Click here to read more.

Jason Scott Embry Named Director of Advancement at the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation

Jason Scott Embry has been named Director of Advancement at the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.

Embry has 19 years of private college and university leadership experience in fundraising, alumni relations
and marketing, primarily in the Midwest and South regions at nationally-ranked institutions. At each of the institutions he has worked, Embry has enhanced and implemented programs that increased alumni participation rates, unrestricted
annual gifts and named endowed funds.

Click here to read more.

Priests, Seminarians, and a Bishop to Compete for Prestigious "Souls and Goals" Soccer Cup

November 5, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: "Souls and Goals" Soccer Match to raise interest in vocations
Where: St. Dominic High School (31 St. Dominic Dr, O'Fallon, MO, 63366)
When: Thursday, November 6, 2014, 7 p.m.
Who: Seminarians, clergy, and Catholics of the Archdiocese of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — Seminarians, priests, and faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will take to the "pitch" on Thursday evening to compete for the 2nd Annual "Souls and Goals" Cup in a match at St. Dominic High School in O'Fallon (31 St. Dominic Dr, O'Fallon, MO, 63366).

The purpose of the match is to raise interest in vocations especially to the Catholic priesthood, but also to religious life in general. Seminarians of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury (kenrick.edu) will compete against a team made up of priests, lay people, and even Bishop Edward Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis.

Of the 61 largest dioceses in the United State, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has the highest number of priests per Catholic, and is 3rd in the number of ordinations per capita over the last five years. The Archdiocese is also home to more than 80 distinct communities of consecrated religious men and women (priests, monks, nuns, etc.).

The match begins at 7 p.m. at St. Dominic High School. Admission free and concessions will be available.

All the information can be found at soulsandgoals.org.

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"Faith in Ferguson" Prayer Vigil to be held Wednesday

November 5, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: "Faith in Ferguson" prayer vigil for peace
Where: January-Wabash Park (501 North Florissant Road, Ferguson, MO 63135)
When: Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 4:30 p.m.
Who: Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, priests, deacons, seminarians, and religious men and women in the Archdiocese of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will join priests, deacons, and seminarians of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as well as men and women of the consecrated religious life in a prayer vigil for peace in Ferguson.

The vigil will begin at 4:30 p.m. in January-Wabash Park (501 North Florissant Road, Ferguson, MO 63135) with the recitation of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. This is the second of three such vigils to be held. The first took place on October 9th. The next vigil will occur in December.

In a call for peace released on October 10, Archbishop Carlson said:

"Christ gave us the blueprint: to love God with all our heart and mind and soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself... We show that respect by having a willingness to sit down together and dialogue, by having the humility to admit our mistakes and say we are sorry, and by praying for one another – yes, praying! Praying that God fills our hearts with love for one another, removes the hate we have allowed to fester there, and teaches us how to express our love in concrete ways."

Members of the media are invited to attend and participate in the prayer vigil.

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Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation Welcomes Two New Employees

October 30, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Jason Scott Embry has been named Director of Advancement at the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, and Antonia M. Ponder has joined the Foundation as Development Director for the Archdiocesan Elementary Schools.

Embry has 19 years of private college and university leadership experience in fundraising, alumni relations and marketing, primarily in the Midwest and South regions at nationally-ranked institutions. At each of the institutions he has worked, Embry has enhanced and implemented programs that increased alumni participation rates, unrestricted annual gifts and named endowed funds.

At the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, Embry will assist with the implementation and execution of all fundraising and development activities and has the responsibility of its major gift program. He will plan, direct and implement a comprehensive plan for developing new sources of revenue from individuals, organizations, major corporate and foundation funders and event sponsors.

“We are delighted to have Jason join our development staff in this leadership position,” stated Sharon Gerken, Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation’s Executive Director. “Jason’s passion and experience will ultimately allow Today and Tomorrow to offer additional scholarships to deserving students”

Embry comes to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation after serving as Executive Director of Development at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Ind.), the nation’s top undergraduate engineering college ranked by U.S. News & World Report for its annual college guidebook.

Antonia M. Ponder, as the new Development Director, will be responsible for development, fundraising and marketing at the four Archdiocesan Elementary Schools:  St. Louis the King at the Cathedral, Most Holy Trinity School and Academy, St. Cecilia School and Academy and St. Louis Catholic Academy. 

Ponder is an alumna of Most Holy Trinity (’89) and Rosati-Kain High School (’93).  Ponder joins the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation after serving as Advancement Director for Rosati-Kain High School.  Ponder joined Rosati-Kain during its first-ever capital campaign and had significant success with fostering alumnae and community partner relationships and accomplishing fundraising goals.  Prior to serving at R-K, Ponder practiced law for 12 years in St. Louis.

Sharon Gerken, Executive Director of Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation noted, “We were thrilled to bring Toni on board to work directly with these schools.  Toni has a unique perspective and understanding regarding the donors connected to this mission and the students we serve at the Archdiocesan Schools having been a student at Most Holy Trinity and Rosati-Kain, but also having been the Advancement Director for an Archdiocesan high school.”

Ponder graduated with a B.A. in political science from Saint Louis University and received her law degree in 1999 from Saint Louis University School of Law.   She and her husband, Mark, have three school-aged children and are parishioners at Immacolata Parish.  They reside in Brentwood.

The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation was founded in 1990 as a 501(c)(3) organization by a concerned group of local corporate and civic leaders. The Foundation provides needs based tuition assistance scholarships to economically disadvantaged children throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Since its inception, the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation has raised more than $35 million for tuition assistance in the form of grants and scholarships for children to attend the private or parochial elementary school of their choice in the city of St. Louis. Learn more about the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation at www.archstl.org/ttef.

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More information about Mr. Embry and Mrs. Ponder can be found in the releases below:

38th Annual Respect Life Convention a Success

On Sunday, October 28th, the Respect Life Apostolate welcomed nearly 800 attendees to its 38th Annual Respect Life Convention.  The day-long convention, held at the St. Charles Convention Center, reflected on the theme "Respect God's Masterpieces."  The day included Mass, luncheon, numerous speakers, exhibits, and an opportunity to network with like-minded pro-lifers.  Present were families, young adults, parish pro-life coordinators, representatives from other area pro-life organizations, and elected officials.

ICD Youth GroupDuring the luncheon program, the winners of the Bishop McNicholas and Cardinal Carberry awards were announced.  The youth group from Immaculate Conception Parish in Dardenne Prairie took home the Bishop McNicholas award for their pro-life service efforts.  The ICD youth group, led by youth minister Kristina Radley, have been regular attendees at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. as well as the monthly Helpers of God's Precious Infants Mass and 40 Days for Life.  The youth have also been involved in a wide variety of service projects focused on upholding the dignity of all human life.   

Photo by Lisa JohnstonThe winners of the Cardinal Carberry award were Emily Newsham and Jim Reardon.  Both Emily and Jim have been long-time volunteers at the Respect Life Convention as well as being involved in the parish pro-life groups and March for Life bus captains.  Jim is a parishoner of St. Alban Roe and was part of the first pro-life gathering in downtown St. Louis in 1973.  For him, the 1973 Roe decision was particularly touching since his youngest son was born in January of 1973.  Emily is a parishoner at St. Paul Parish in St. Paul and has been described by friends as being "100% volunteer with a servant heart."  In accepting the award Emily noted, "When you're in it for life, you're in it for life!"

The highlight of the day was the keynote presented by Melissa Ohden.  Melissa shared how she discovery the real story behind her birth and life, as a survivor of a failed saline abortion.  Far from being tragic or full of hatred, however, Melissa's story showed the beauty of God's remarkable love.  Through God's great timing, she was able to meet her biological paternal grandparents and share with them the joy of her oldest daughter, Olivia.  Her keynote was a reminder that abortion is not an abstract concept, but one with a face and a name and how much our prayers and pro-life efforts can make a difference.  (News coverage of Melissa's address is available here.)

Dr. ReardonFollowing the luncheon and keynote address, attendees had the opportunity to select from a variety of workshop presentations.  Presenters included Dr. David Reardon, Nancy Valko, RN, Tyler McClay, and Sheryl Crosier.  An adoption panel presented the perspectives of those who had made an adoption plan for their child, adoptive parents, and Archdiocesan efforts to assist adoptive families.  Additionally, a panel of young adults presented tips and information to help young people remain pro-life on college campuses and at work.

Attendees also had the opportunity to visit with over 45 exhibitors.  Exhibitors included pro-life organizations and other Catholic vendors sharing information about their programs and services as well as selling merchandise.Knights of Columbus Exhibit

Overall, the day was a great success, allowing attendees to be nourished spiritually and intellectually.  Attendees left armed with new information to share with family, friends, and fellow parishoners and were inspiried to continue building the Culture of Life.  A heartfelt thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who helped make the day possible.  

If you missed the Convention this year, make plans to join us for the 39th Annual Convention next October!

Keynote

Three Catholic School Teachers Honored by Emerson for Excellence in Teaching

October 27, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Sue Brown
Director of Marketing & Enrollment Management for Catholic Education
Phone: 314.792.7304

ST. LOUIS – Three Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese of St. Louis will be honored with the 2014 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

Mr. Stephen Babbitt, Social Studies teacher at St. Gerard Majella Catholic School in Kirkwood; Mr. Dominic D'Urso, English teacher at Duchesne High School in St. Charles; and Ms. Dana Aubuchon, third grade teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in Normandy will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton on Sunday, November 16, 2014 from 4-6 pm.

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards program is sponsored by Emerson, and recognizes more than 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area—from kindergarten teachers to college professors—who are examples of excellence in their field.

Recipients are selected by administrators of their school districts (most of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese are considered as one district) or educational institutions.

Applicants must be full-time teachers, and have taught a minimum of three years in their buildings. One nominee is allowed for every 500 full-time teachers in a district.

This year's honorees representing Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis received the endorsement of their principal, and submitted an essay describing some of the ways they implement what is considered to be best practice instructional methodologies in their classrooms.

"Great teaching is at the heart of great schools and we are tremendously proud of the Catholic school teachers honored this year," said Superintendent of Catholic Education Dr. Kurt Nelson, "We are grateful for Emerson's commitment to recognizing excellent teachers."

#CatholicSTL

Abortion Survivor to Keynote Respect Life Convention on Sunday

October 24, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: 38th Annual Respect Life Convention
Where: St. Charles Convention Center (1 Convention Center Plaza, St Charles, MO 63303)
When: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Who: Keynote speaker, abortion survivor Melissa Ohden; 800 attendees expected

ST. LOUIS – Melissa Ohden, the survivor of a failed saline abortion in 1977 and founder of The Abortion Survivors Network (theabortionsurvivors.com), will deliver the keynote address at the 38th Annual Respect Life Convention on Sunday, October 26, at the St. Charles Convention Center.

More than 800 attendees are expected to attend the convention and hear Melissa's address entitled "A Voice for Life." Her story is full of joy, hope, and love, with a message that goes beyond mere survival to the transformational power of forgiveness. The sold-out lunch and keynote begins at 11:30, but Mass at 9:30 a.m., booths and exhibits, and afternoon workshops beginning at 2:00 p.m. are all free and open to the public.

"Reflecting Pope Francis' message that we are all 'masterpieces of God's creation,' especially the most vulnerable in our society, our Convention's lineup of expert speakers will address topics like why we are pro-life in a whole life way, the beauty of adoption, and how to end abortion with love," said Karen Nolkemper, Executive Director of the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Workshops offered at the Convention include topics such as Ending Abortion with Compassion, The Descent of Ethics, and The Gift of Adoption. For a complete listing of workshops and for more information about the convention, visit stlrespectlife.org.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first diocese in the nation to establish what was then the Pro-Life Committee, now called the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA), following the landmark Roe v Wade decision in 1973. Every October, which is Respect Life month, the RLA hosts its annual convention. The purpose of the convention is to gather, listen, and discuss efforts to respect the dignity and sanctity of life and efforts to build the "Culture of Life" in our society.

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Statement Regarding Rev. John J. Ghio

October 21, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Most Revered Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, announced this week the suspension of retired priest Reverend John J. Ghio due to a recently reported allegation of abuse which was alleged to have occurred in the early 1980’s.

In a letter to parishes of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Carlson said:

“Having consulted with the Promoter of Justice, the Vicar for Priests, and the Review Board of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and to ensure the integrity of the process, I have suspended Father Ghio’s priestly faculties until a canonical process is concluded.”

Father Ghio is currently retired from active ministry and resides in a monitored environment. In keeping with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, to ensure transparency in communicating with the public about the sexual abuse of a minor and as an outreach to potential victims, a bulletin announcement will be made available in parishes where Father Ghio served.

Anyone who wishes to make a report of the sexual abuse of a minor by any priest, deacon or employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis may contact Deacon Phil Hengen, Director of Child and Youth Protection, Archdiocese of St. Louis at 314.792.7704 or phengen@archstl.org. Reports may also be made to the Missouri Division of Social Services Child Abuse Hotline for allegations involving a person who is currently under the age of 18, or to civil authorities for allegations involving a person who is now an adult, but was abused as a minor.

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