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St. Louis Catholics Celebrate Ash Wednesday

News Release

February 25, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

ST. LOUIS CATHOLICS CELEBRATE ASH WEDNESDAY

St. Louis, MO – Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent, which is a period of time during which Catholics prepare for Easter through prayer and penance. On Ash Wednesday, Catholics attend Mass and receive blessed ashes that are imposed upon their foreheads. The ashes are a public sign of sorrow for sinfulness.

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Archdiocese of Saint Louis will Announce Appointment of New Archbishop Through Text Message

News Release

February 23, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS WILL ANNOUNCE NEW ARCHBISHOP THROUGH TEXT MESSAGE

SAINT LOUIS — For the first time, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will share the announcement of the appointment of a new Archbishop via text message. “We’ve asked around, and we believe this might be the first time a diocese in the United States has used this type of technology to share the good news of receiving a new Archbishop”, said Jeff Geerling, Archdiocesan web administrator.

After the Press Office of the Holy See announces His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has made the appointment, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will send a text of the announcement to those who have signed up in advance. Anyone can sign up through the Archdiocesan website www.archstl.org (the signup form is just over to the right, under the quick links).

Traditionally, the Vatican Press Office makes announcements at noon Rome time (5AM St. Louis time). Just minutes after the announcement, the text will be sent with the new Archbishop’s name to those who have registered. “Because people are so mobile, it’s a great way to reach them with the information, and invite them to be a part of such an important event in the Archdiocese of St. Louis!” said Geerling.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has been without an Archbishop since June 27, 2008, when his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Raymond L. Burke to the office of prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. Bishop Robert J. Hermann has been serving as the Archdiocesan Administrator.

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Statement of Bishop Hermann on the Appointment of Most Rev. Timothy Dolan as Archbishop of New York

News Release

February 23, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

STATEMENT OF BISHOP HERMANN ON THE APPOINTMENT OF MOST REV. TIMOTHY DOLAN AS ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK

SAINT LOUIS—“The Archdiocese of St. Louis is very proud that one of its native sons, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, presently Archbishop of Milwaukee, has been chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to be the Archbishop of New York. He has been a stellar priest, an outstanding Rector of the North American College, and a member of the Papal Nunciature in Washington, D.C. He has served as an Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis and as a very faithful and energetic Archbishop of Milwaukee. We proudly extend to him our heartiest congratulations, best wishes, and our promise of prayerful support as he takes on the mission of the Archdiocese of New York.”

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Hundreds of Catholic Boys Scouts Honored for their Work

News Release

February 8, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

HUNDREDS OF CATHOLIC BOYS SCOUTS HONORED FOR THEIR WORK
Boy Scout Sunday Celebrated Across the Country, Archdiocese of St. Louis Largest Sponsor of St. Louis Scouts

What: Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator, will congratulate and award hundreds of local Boy Scouts during a prayer service for their work in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

When: Sunday, February 8, 2009, at 2:30PM

Where: Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO – As part of Scout Sunday, Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator, will recognize the achievements of those participating in and leading Venture Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Awards and emblems earned include the Parvuli Dei (PAR-vuh-LEE Day), which helps boys explore activities in order to discover the presence of God in their daily lives, the Ad Altare Dei (Ad All-TAR-ee Day), which focuses on the Sacraments and helps young men develop a fully Christian way of life, the Pope Pius XII emblem, which helps youth explore their baptismal call to bring about an awareness of their current and future calls from God, and the Archbishop award.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis, through its parishes and schools, is the largest single sponsor of Scouts in the St. Louis area. More than 5000 boys belong to 125 Catholic Cub packs in 11 counties that make up the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Nearly 2400 boys belong to more than 960 Catholic Boy Scout troops. Almost 700 boys and girls belong to 34 Catholic Venture Crews.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis holds a similar ceremony next month for Girl Scouts.

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Bishop from Poland Celebrates Feast Day at St. Agatha Parish

News Release

January 30, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Elizabeth Westhoff
Assistant Director of Communications
Phone: (314) 792-7635

BISHOP FROM POLAND CELEBRATES FEAST DAY AT ST. AGATHA PARISH
Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski of the Diocese of Radom in Poland Honors Patron Saint at Polish Parish

What: Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski will celebrate Mass in honor of the patron saint of St. Agatha Catholic Church, the Polish parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Bishop Robert J. Hermann will be concelebrating.

When: Sunday, January 31, 2009. Mass begins at 11AM. Concert begins at 12:30PM.

Where: St. Agatha Catholic Church, 3239 South 9th Street in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO — Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski of the Diocese of Radom in Poland will honor the patron saint of St. Agatha Catholic Church by celebrating a special Mass with the parishioners. Catholics believe St. Agatha was martyred around 250AD, after she rejected the romantic advances of a Roman and was persecuted by him for her Christian faith.

St. Agatha Catholic Church is the designated parish in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for those of Polish descent who want to celebrate Mass in their native language. Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski is the delegate of the Polish Conference to Polish-speaking Catholics outside of Poland.

Two soloists from the Warsaw Opera Theatre will be participating during Mass and will perform a short concert after Mass.

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Archdiocese of St. Louis Celebrates the Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

News Release

January 16, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS CELEBRATES THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

What: Thirty-third annual Mass to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When: Sunday, January 18, 2009, at 2:30PM

Where: Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell in St. Louis

Who: Bishop Robert Hermann will celebrate Mass. Rev. Kenneth Hamilton, SVD, from Oakland CA will give the Homily.

ST. LOUIS ⎯ As part of its annual national observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Archdiocese of St. Louis celebrates Dr. King’s words, acts, and deeds for social justice with a special Mass. Mass will include a choir consisting of parishioners from across the Archdiocese of St. Louis, brought together solely for this event.

At a reception following the Mass, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will award the second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Model of Justice Awards to 13 area teen-agers, recognizing their commitment to social service.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has historically been committed to social justice causes, including becoming one of the first in the country to integrate its schools and form a Commission on Human Rights.

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Statement Regarding the Removal of Rev. Michael Freymuth

News Release

January 16, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

STATEMENT REGARDING THE REMOVAL OF REV. MICHAEL FREYMUTH
From Monsignior Richard Hanneke, Director of Priest Personnel

“The Archdiocese of St. Louis has been informed of a potential lawsuit involving Rev. Michael Freymuth, who is in residence at Visitation-St. Ann Catholic Church in North St. Louis. The person who may file the lawsuit brought an allegation to the Archdiocese of St. Louis involving Rev. Freymuth in 2005. The Review Board of the Archdiocese of St. Louis (made up of lay people who are involved in law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents and teachers) reviewed the allegation and based upon information available in 2005, determined that the allegation did not constitute sexual abuse.

Because we take all allegations of abuse very seriously, Bishop Robert Hermann has decided to remove Rev. Freymuth from active ministry pending further review.

If anyone has ever experienced abuse involving a clergy member, please contact Deacon Phil Hengen in the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 314-792-7704 or your local authorities.”

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Archdiocese of St. Louis Gathers to Pray on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

News Release

January 16, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS GATHERS TO PRAY ON THE 36TH ANNIVERSARY OF ROE V. WADE

What: Mass and procession to pray for the protection of the unborn on the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision

When: Saturday, January 17, 2009, beginning at 8 a.m.

Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 4431 Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End

St. Louis, MO — Hundreds of Catholics from throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis will gather at
the Cathedral Basilica to pray for the more than 50 million unborn children who have lost their lives by abortion since 1973, their mothers, and our nation in hopes it will adopt public policies that protect the unborn and their mothers.

Following Mass, Bishop Robert Hermann and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants will lead a prayerful procession from the Cathedral Basilica to the Planned Parenthood abortion facility (Forest Park and Boyle). They will pray the rosary along the way as they give public witness to the devastation of abortion. During the Mass, we highlight the LifeLine Coalition, which is a group of social service agencies that provide hands-on support to women in crisis pregnancies.

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Statement of Bishop-Elect Richard F. Stika on His Appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville

News Release

January 12, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

STATEMENT OF BISHOP-ELECT RICHARD F. STIKA ON HIS APPOINTMENT AS BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF KNOXVILLE

KNOXVILLE—Good morning!

It was during the evening of December 16 that I received a phone call from the Apostolic Nuncio informing me that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, had appointed me as the third bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville. It was a very gracious call that began a flood of emotion that now takes me to this special moment with you today!

I've had almost three weeks to prepare for this day...weeks that were filled with great faith-filled moments, as well as many very human moments of joy that I was coming to Knoxville and sadness that I will be leaving a community that I have known for 51 years. However, I was comforted by the fact that I also was traveling with the Church through the season of Advent, a season of joyful expectation, as well as Christmas, which is a reminder of God's love for His people. But three weeks is enough. I'm glad it's now today!

First, I wish to say I am most humbled by this appointment by the Holy Father. From the first moments of my ministry as a priest in St. Louis, I have always been grateful for the tremendous experiences I have witnessed of the goodness of God's people.

To move from my home in St. Louis to Knoxville will be a real change for me. I am usually pretty adaptable to my surroundings. I know that I must contemplate a change of allegiance from the St. Louis Rams to the Tennessee Titans. This is a little easier, as the Rams only won two games this season, but they should be better. I must also pledge a certain loyalty to many state and local teams of Tennessee, especially the Tennessee Volunteers! And I was glad to learn that Knoxville Catholic High School's soccer, tennis, and football teams recently won state championships!

However, I hope you will forgive me if I am not able to pledge loyalty to any baseball team except the St. Louis Cardinals. My Cardinals cap will travel with me as I now prepare to make my home in Knoxville. In fact, I am most blessed to have as one of my parishioners in St. Louis Stan Musial, a Hall of Famer since 1969 who also is a good friend and a true model of a baseball player.

In these last weeks I have spent many, moments in prayer and reflection on this new step in my life. These thoughts included a sense of gratitude to my parents, Frank and Helen Stika, both whom have been called home to God. They—together with so many—are part of this day today as they were part of my formation.

I also remember all the many people who have been so supportive to me throughout my life. In particular I express gratitude to the parishioners of Epiphany of Our Lord, Mary Queen of Peace, the Cathedral Basilica, and also those at the parish where I am now pastor, Church of the Anunziata.

Today I also express special gratitude to Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, my predecessor in the Diocese of Knoxville who now serves as Archbishop of Louisville. In addition, I am pleased that Bishop David Choby of Nashville and Bishop Terry Steib of Memphis are both present with us today, a clear demonstration of the world famous sense of southern hospitality. You may all like to know a bit of shared history I have with Bishop Steib—I had the privilege when I was in seminary of serving at the episcopal ordination of Bishop Steib when he was ordained for service as a bishop in St. Louis. He still looks the same today as he did then!

And, of course, I must also extend deep thanks to Father Al Humbrecht, the administrator of the Diocese of Knoxville these many months, as well as to all those who have assisted him in the leadership of the diocese.

In a special way this morning I greet you, my brother priests of the diocese, as well as the deacons and consecrated religious who serve the people of Knoxville. I am grateful for all the individual contributions of faith, sacrifice, and service that each one of you makes, and I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead.

I would also like to greet the people of various faith communities in East Tennessee, whose collaboration I also look forward to.

Most of all, I greet the people of this great Church of Knoxville. I look forward to the years ahead as we strive to be the face of Jesus to all those we meet. I am most honored to be your bishop. You have waited for this moment for some time, and I pledge to you that, with the help of God, I will not disappoint you.

Finally, in these past few weeks as I have reflected and prayed, one item that has been on my mind especially is a practical one for a new bishop: the episcopal motto and coat of arms. I see my episcopal motto, in some ways, as a statement of who I am as a Christian and how I live my faith. At first I considered "And He made His dwelling among us," which is from Saint John's Gospel. This passage illustrated how I see the Church, with Christ present in our midst.

Eventually, though, my thought process evolved toward the motto, "Jesus, I trust in You." This phrase, taken from the Divine Mercy devotion, reflects my need to trust in Jesus at all moments of my life, especially as I move into the future.

To the people of God of the Diocese of Knoxville, I thank you for your generous commitment in living and preaching the Gospel of Jesus. You ARE the Church—our Lord has given much to you, and the Lord expects much from you and from me.

And so I greet you all and thank you all and pledge myself to you. Please pray for me, that I may be a good servant of the Gospel, a good shepherd of this local Church, and a brother in Christ to all of you.

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Statement of Bishop Hermann on the Appointment of Monsignor Richard F. Stika as Bishop of Knoxville

News Release

January 12, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

STATEMENT OF BISHOP ROBERT J. HERMANN ON THE APPOINTMENT OF THE REV. MONSIGNOR RICHARD F. STIKA AS BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF KNOXVILLE

ST. LOUIS—Today, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has named the Reverend Monsignor Richard F. Stika, priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, pastor of Church of the Annunziata in Ladue, and director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, to the office of Bishop of Knoxville. The Archdiocese of St. Louis is deeply honored to have one of its distinguished priests selected by our Holy Father for the office of Bishop.

As Administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Bishop-elect Stika. I also congratulate the faithful of the Diocese of Knoxville, who is blessed to receive Bishop-elect Stika as Bishop. Bishop-elect Stika is known for his many gifts of leadership. He served as vicar general (1997-2004) and chancellor (1994-2004) in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and secretary to Cardinal Justin Rigali (1994-1997). Bishop-elect Stika has also given distinguished service as the primary coordinator of the visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to St. Louis in 1999. Most recently, he has served in an outstanding way as director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection and as pastor of the Church of the Annunziata in Ladue.

While I am very sorry to lose his immediate collaboration here, I am most confident that he will fulfill the weighty responsibilities of his new office in the Church with great distinction.

Bishop-elect Stika will be missed very much by his brother priests here and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I assure him of my prayers and of the prayers of the faithful of the archdiocese as he prepares to take up his new mission in the Church. May God grant him many happy years as a true shepherd of His flock in the Diocese of Knoxville.

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Reverend Monsignor Richard F. Stika Named Bishop-Elect of Knoxville

News Release

January 12, 2009 For more information contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Anne Steffens
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: (314) 792-7631

REVEREND MONSIGNOR RICHARD F. STIKA NAMED BISHOP-ELECT OF KNOXVILLE
Monsignor Stika is the third Bishop of the Tennessee diocese

ST. LOUIS—Pope Benedict XVI announced at noon today in Rome (5 a.m. St. Louis time) that the Reverend Monsignor Richard F. Stika, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and pastor of Church of the Annunziata in Ladue, has been named Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, which was vacated by Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz, former bishop of Knoxville, who was installed as Archbishop of Louisville in August 2007.

Monsignor Stika will be ordained to the episcopacy on March 19, 2009, in a ceremony at the Knoxville Convention Center, and will subsequently begin his service there. Justin Cardinal Rigali will be the consecrating bishop, assisted by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Bishop Robert Shaheen, Bishop of the Diocese of Our Lady of Lebanon.

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