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Father O'Toole's Corner


News

Parish News

Would you like to receive the St. Margaret of Scotland Weekly Email Newsletter? Stay on top of current and upcoming events and click here to sign up!

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Dragon Derby Day: A St. Margaret of Scotland School Auction
Join us for a Kentucky Derby-Themed dinner, entertainment, and silent & live auctions to support our parish school on Saturday, May 4th. Click here for more information.

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Announcement of a New Principal

We are excited to announce that Clare Abkemeier will be the next principal of St. Margaret of Scotland School. Read more for a special announcement from Fr. O'Toole.

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Preserving Our Future Campaign

The Preserving Our Future capital campaign is well underway, and the generosity of our St. Margaret of Scotland community is evident! To view our Case Statement and see how you can support the campaign, please click here.

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A reflection on the Mass of Accompaniment and Novena for the Principal Search. What does it mean to accompany?

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Preserving Our Future Campaign Kick-Off

Forget football - this weekend, February 2 and 3, St. Margaret of Scotland is excited to announce the kick-off of our big event, the Preserving Our Future Capital Campaign! We will celebrate the launch of the campaign with donuts, pretzels, refreshments, and a special song in the Church Hall after 10:00 p.m. Mass on Sunday, February 3. Members of the campaign leadership will be on hand to share the progress made already.

Read more about the campaign here.

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Exploring Migration: A Faith Journey

St. Margaret of Scotland Living Justice Ministry Immigration Team will once again be offering the new revised migration series from JustFaith Ministries called: "Exploring Migration: A Faith Journey."

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View the Advent, Christmas, and New Year schedule here.

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Planning Study Results

Please see the attached document to view the results of the St. Margaret of Scotland Planning Study.

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Domestic Church Advent Newsletter

Read the latest Domestic Church newsletter, filled with helpful tips for new and growing families along with upcoming events, here!

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St. Margaret Planning Study

Thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign planning study. We had great response from our parish and school communities. The Steier Group will present their findings and recommendations in the coming week. Shortly thereafter, school and parish leadership will make a decision on our next steps. Stay tuned for the announcement. 

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You can download the 2017-18 Annual Report here.

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Parish Photo Directory Scheduling

Sign up to have your photo taken for the upcoming Parish Photo Directory! We hope to see your shining face!

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Please see the attached flyer for good tips and events geared toward our growing young families.

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Join us for Christmas Worship! On Sunday, December 24, the regular morning Masses (8:00 and 10:00 a.m.) will observe the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Later in the day, we begin the celebration of the Christmas season: Sunday, December 24 - 4:30 p.m. Mass (popular with families) and 10:00 p.m. Mass (preceded at 9:30 p.m with a choral concert). Monday, December 25 - 9:00 a.m. Mass

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A special video was produced to celebrate 100 Years of Beginnings at St. Margaret of Scotland. Click "Read More" or see the sidebar link to view.

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The service of young people as altar servers at the Eucharist not only provides practical assistance to the priest, it enhances their understanding of the sacrament and strengthens their relationship to the Catholic faith. 

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The 2017 St. Margaret Annual Report was released the weekend of September 2 and 3, 2017.

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Centering Prayer

 Centering Prayer is a method of prayer which prepares us to receive the gift of God’s presence, traditionally called contemplative prayer. It consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God’s presence and action within.

Beginning with an introductory workshop presented by parishioner and Contemplative Outreach of St. Louis member Tom Bushlack on Sep. 10 and 17, 2017, a Centering Prayer group will be established to offer sessions a few times each week for parishioners, neighbors and friends to drop in and participate in a brief centering prayer session. 

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St. Margaret of Scotland is looking to update its database of facilities and grounds volunteers to assist our church and school as we continue to grow. The process is super-quick to get involved: simply fill out the four-question form, linked below, with your contact information and areas of specialty, such as moving furniture, painting, electrical, etc. Completing the form does not obligate you to anything; it just helps us know who we can reach out to as projects arise and help is needed. Thank you for your support.

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Evangelizing the Numbers

Recently I shared with the parish an astounding statistic regarding St. Margaret of Scotland: in the last fiscal year (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) 77 infants and children were baptized! The last time we came close to that number for baptisms was 1967 – fifty years ago, when the parish was twice the size it is today. We rejoice that so many families are choosing the Catholic faith for their children. This fact also indicates the repopulation trend happening in the neighborhoods that make up St. Margaret. With this good news, however, comes the challenge of meeting the pastoral needs of our growing parish. How is our faith community to keep pace in helping families stay close to the household of God? What should we be focusing on?

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GiveStL Day is TODAY!!

Today, May 11, is Give STL Day 2017!  Please support the completion of the St. Margaret of Scotland School PlaySpace by donating today before midnight at: https://www.givestlday.org/SMOS

The funds raised today will be used to provide benches, a stone seating wall, and a St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland prayer/gathering space, as well as fund the final stages of the revitalization of our school's outdoor play area.

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2017 ACA:  “One Heart in Charity”

Our  parish family has always been generous in its giving and in the showing of its love and charity to those in its parish and surrounding neighborhoods.  The ACA campaign allows us to reach beyond this and to touch the suffering of the whole diocese, as part of the great church throughout the Archdiocese.    The ACA funds those in need such as the programs of Catholic Charities, Criminal Justice Ministry and Immigrant and Refugee Support, to name just a few.

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Lenten Opportunities

Ash Wednesday (March 1, 2017) marks the beginning of the 40 day journey to Holy Week and the joy of Easter.  We begin with Mass and distribution of ashes at 6:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. (all-school) and 7:00 p.m., but that is only the first step.  To help prepare ourselves for that Easter joy, St. Margaret Church offers several activities and programs to enhance the spiritual journey.  Click the "Read More" link below  to view the complete calendar of events,

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Parish Forum Scheduled

With busy spring just around the corner, please mark your calendars and make plans to attend our Parish Forum, to be held Sunday, March 5.  This annual event has traditionally been an information exchange about what is happening in the parish, as well as an opportunity to voice your interests.  This year, we are excited to include a showcase of our very vibrant ministries.  What better way to exhibit how much is going on right here in our parish! 

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Well Done, St. Margaret!

The first weekend of February was Commitment Weekend at St. Margaret of Scotland for the Archdiocesan-wide capital campaign for education - Beyond Sunday.  Our campaign volunteers, led by John and Kelly Vacca and Marc and Prudence Kramer, along with our staff and Pastor worked very hard to secure advance gifts and present the campaign to the parish at large.  Their work paid off in a very big way.  Keep reading to learn just how big.

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What is Beyond Sunday?

As we approach the 189th anniversary of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we have been blessed with extraordinary growth and an increasingly diverse population, but with this expansion comes new and exciting challenges. Here at St. Margaret we, too, have faced the challenges of growth, and we have responded with faith and joy, recognizing this growth as an opportunity to bring new people to the table of the Lord.

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Clown of God Coming Soon

The classic children’s book The Clown of God, by Tomie DePaola, comes to life in an unconventional musical theatre piece, December 29 and 30 at St. Margaret of Scotland Church.  Presented by Saint Margaret of Scotland Music Ministry, and with assistance from the Missouri Arts Council, The Clown of God combines choral and instrumental music, storytelling, acting, dance and mime for an enjoyable and inspiring experience. The original musical score is by Peter Hesed with lyrics by Tom Kavanaugh.

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A Gift that Paves the Way

This Christmas, give a gift that makes a lasting mark - a personalized paver in our Commemorative Court.  Celebrate your personal or family history in the parish; mark the occassion of a child's baptism, confirmation or graduation; shout glad tidings like a marriage; or remember a loved one who has died.  Read on for more information.

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Recruiting New Altar Servers

The assistance of young people as altar servers at Mass is a ministry of great importance at St. Margaret of Scotland.  They help facilitate a reverent flow to the liturgy and allow the priest as presider of the Eucharist to conduct his role more effectively.  If you are a member of our parish and your child – in 5th through 7th grade – would like to become a server, read on and download the Altar Server Covenant form.

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Families in Faith - Spiritual Direction

As a young person, I had a lot of questions--some might say doubts--about my faith, about when and where I was experiencing God, about what God might be calling me to, about how God worked through the Church, moral life, the world around me.  I'll easily admit that I am a church-nerd: I used to daydream about becoming friends with my parish priest so I could pick his brain and ask him all the questions I had, and I wouldn't feel self-conscious or impertinent or like I was monopolizing his valuable time.  I was fortunate to have godparents, parents and sometimes friends who offered support, knowledge and space for my questions, and who reflected God's nature to me when I needed it.

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GiveStL Day a Huge Success for our Play Space!

It is with disbelief and immense gratitude that we write this today.  Thanks to your outpouring of support, Give STL Day 2016 was able to raise over $19,190.00 for the St. Margaret PlaySpace!!!  The online totals have finally been updated, and our total has far surpassed our wildest dreams!  Read on for to learn how we shattered expectations and earned our place on the event's Leaderboard!

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Ministry Spotlight:  Living Justice

The Living Justice Ministry group at St. Margaret of Scotland serves as the arm of the parish that focuses on many aspects of Catholic Social Teaching and Social Justice.  We are not a group that “does” social justice work for the parish, rather our mission is to provide opportunities for parishioners to live out the social mission of our church. We hope to provide the yeast or leaven from which sprouts faith in action. 

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April First Tuesdays - The Greenhouse Venture

The final two months of our First Tuesday Series (April-May) will take us to the nexus of environmental concern, nutrition and health, and innovative education. April 5, come and learn about The Greenhouse Venture, from SLU professor Donald Stump and our own Tom Purcell, two of the visionaries who are launching this unique project.

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Holy Week and the Triduum Schedule

The summit of the Liturgical Year is the Easter Triduum - from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ's Paschal Mystery. The single celebration of the Triduum marks the end of the Lenten season, and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil.  Read on to view the complete schedule of services.

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Schoola Clothing Drive

We will be collecting gently-used women's and children's clothing and accessories, March 29 through April 1. Please fill a secure, plastic bag with your items and drop it off at our school office during school hours from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

These items will be resold at www.schoola.com and our school earns 40% of the profits. Please only send in what can be resold. A good motto: "If you can give it to a friend, Schoola can resell it."   Keep reading tolearn how to participate!

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Forming Young Women of Faith

On February 18 Archbishop Robert Carlson announced that he is disbanding the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts after a long investigation of concerns regarding Girls Scouts USA and their parent organization, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).  Some of WAGGGS’ advocacy and policy issues are in conflict with the moral teachings of our Catholic faith.  Read on to learn how we are addressing concerns here at St. Margaret and to link to the full text of the Archbishop's letter.

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Lenten Opportunities

Ash Wednesday is February 10.  All are invited to come forward as penitents to receive ashes and hear the reminder that "you are dust, and unto dust you will return," or to "turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."  Masses are at 6:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. (all school) and 7:00 p.m. Download the attached flyer for more Lenten activities to grow your spirituality and your relationship to the community of faith.

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Spirit of St. Margaret Novena

Catholic Schoools Week begins this Sunday with Open House at our Parish School from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Come see the good works, but here at St. Margaret of Scotland we like to start a little early and with prayer.  The Spirit of St. Margaret Novena bookends our celebration of Catholic education, and fortifies us for continuing our parish and school missions for the future.  Read on to view the prayer, written for the 100th anniversary of our parish, and please join us in saying it each day.

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Here. Now. - A St. Margaret Parish Retreat

Our parish retreat will take place Saturday, January 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including a closing Mass with Fr. O'Toole at Pallotine Retreat and Renewal Center.  There is an option to spend the night at Pallotine on Friday for additional intentional time away and fellowship with other retreatants. 

That age old question, "Why are we here?" is rooted in who we are, our unique gifts, and our particular call in a particular place.  Tuning into that sacred call is...

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Chalk Blessings Across the Parish

This year for the Epiphany Masses Fr. O'Toole made up packets of chalk and a brief blessing for families to take home and use to mark the doors of their homes.  The photo shown here is just one of many that were submitted to our Facebook page, sent in by parishioners and visitors who took the opportunity to ask the Lord to bless and keep all who enter their dwelling and to make it a place of warm hospitality.

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First Tuesday in January - Continue the Conversation

The First Tuesday for December featured a talk and by parishioner and artist Anne Manley, as well as a display of some of her paintings.  Her talk and her works weren’t explicitly theological, but I heard echoes of Christian themes throughout.  Continuing with this year's new format for First Tuesday, January will not have a featured speaker, but instead will feature conversation among participants on the themes from last month, particularly the "gift of vulnerabilty."  You do not need to have attended in December to contribute to and benefit from January's discussions.  Read on to learn more about Anne's presentation and the thoughts and themes we'll be breaking open together.

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Introducing Our Newest Altar Servers!

An eager group of nine 5th graders recently received training to assist at the altar during our parish's liturgies.  We welcome Seigo, Ian, Sarah Ann, Greta, Tim, Luke, Margaret, Caeli and Olivia to the ranks of liturgical ministers.  It is very gratifying to see their enthusiasm for volunteering and to see the support their parents are providing as they take on this new responsibility.  

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The Christmas Giving Tree

The St. Margaret’s St. Vincent de Paul Society helps our Neighbors in Need with this year’s Christmas Giving Tree.  Please consider taking an ornament and returning a gift to help our 20 specially chosen client families have a Merrier Christmas. The Deadline for returning gifts is Sunday, December 13, after 10:00 a.m. Mass. Please see SVdP “Elves” after all Masses, or contact Kay Reid 314-776-4095 for more information.

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First Tuesdays Continues the Conversation

How does dinner matter to you?  Everyone has a story worth sharing around food, be it a special recipe, a memorable family dinner, or what the dinner table has come to represent in their life.  We hope you'll join us on November 3 to share your experience, even if you were not able to come to the presentation by local food icons at last month's First Tuesdays.  Read on for a recap of last month's program and come Tuesday, ready to share your own wisdom and listen to your neighbors' insights.

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Cheers to Volunteers!

Volunteers of all kinds were invited to mix and mingle and to share some nibbles and drinks at the St. Margaret of Scotland Cheers to Volunteers event.  It was a time to celebrate all the fearless, tireless and treasured volunteers of the parish and school community. The Volunteer of the Year, Mike Diehl, was recognized with a token of appreciation as well as having his name engraved on the Volunteer of the Year Award Plaque which hangs in the Church Hall.

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Ladies' Auxiliary “dishes it up” in style!

The Ladies' Auxiliary kicked of their new membership year with a general business meeting followed by a potluck dinner in the Church Hall. Members were able to get a glimpse of the new attire available for the ladies to wear as they do what they do best!

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Presenting Purcell Hall!

On Sunday, September 27 the time at last arrived to dedicate and name the new middle school building, born from the efforts of the Faith in Our Future Capital Campaign.  With a beautiful Mass, a joyful procession and prayerful blessing we dedicated the newest of our school buildings - Purcell Hall - to learning and service of the Lord.

Read on for more photographs, details and links to news stories about the day.

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St. Margaret to Host "Protecting God's Children" Class

We are committed to maintaining a safe environment for our children.  On Tuesday, October 6, a workshop will be held at 6:30 p.m. at St. Margaret of Scotland School cafeteria.  If you plan to volunteer at school, for sports, on field trips, art projects, etc., compliance with the Safe Environment Program of the Archdiocese is mandatory  Read on for more information.

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Annual Parish Financial Report

The Parish Finance Committee presents this annual financial report concerning the stewardship of St. Margaret of Scotland’s temporal goods. This report is in accordance with archdiocesan policy and requirements. You will find this report organized by the components of SMOS mission statement so that you may consider the information in relationship to the business of our work to bring forth the kingdom here on earth. The statistics and financial information are tangible results of the intangible value of our daily parish life.

Read More to access the complete Annual Report

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Registration Opens for Basketball and Chess

Basketball and Chess registration is now OPEN (3rd grade-8tmore information by either clicking on the link (http://ezrosters.com/stl-stmos) or visiting the SMOS school site and clicking Athletics and then Athletic News. 

Each team will be filled based on a first come first served basis.  Please do not delay registering your children. 

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School is Open!

In six months, despite unseasonable summer rains and an unexpected brick layers’ strike, St. Margaret’s new middle school building was completed in time for the new school year.  On Monday, August 31 children in our 6th, 7th and 8th grades entered their new classrooms and became the first students to take up their studies in this state-of-the-art facility.  It is an historic moment for Catholic education in the City of St. Louis, as this is the first new free-standing elementary school to open in fifty years.  The project is the fruit of many generous givers – of time, talent and treasure.

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It’s Back to School Time and Our St. Vincent DePaul Clients are Ready!

On Saturday morning, July 25, the Church Hall was busy with kids picking out backpacks for school.  Which one would they choose? Would it be the one with the blinking image of Elsa from the movie Frozen, the Star Wars themed one with a matching lunch box, or the crossover style backpack that was popular with the older children?

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2015 Welcome Event

In June, the parish council hosted a welcome picnic for relatively new parishioners, after the Corpus Christi procession.  Parishioner and photographer Bob Byrne chronicled the event with features and captions highlighting the diversity of neighborhoods from which we come to worship together.  Check out the photo album on our parish Facebook page

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Water, Water Everywhere!

We’ve all had enough rain, yet it keeps coming.  The St. Margaret Church Hall was flooded twice in recent days.  The torrential downpours on June 28 and July 1 sent water cascading down the 39th Street staircases and up through drain points.  Professional crews are on hand to do the clean-up.  Events in the hall, including Sunday donuts, are cancelled for the time being.

Read on for more pictures and information.

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Summer Blood Drive a Success!

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) staff kept busy all afternoon working with our donors, a total of 35 of whom rolled up their sleeves to donate.  Only three of those who attempted to donate  were unable to give for various reasons (low iron etc.) but they were still counted towards our goal. Snacks and a special t-shirt were available to all donors.  Also, each of them will be entered in a special raffle for a 2015 Jeep Patriot, compliments of MVRBC.

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Volunteers In Action

St. Margaret of Scotland is greatly blessed with parishioners and school familes who continue to amaze with their generous gifts of time, talent and treasure.  Recently parishioners and school families came together to work on some much-needed improvements at St. Joseph Hall (the oldest school building).  Read on to learn of all they accomplished!

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Third Quarter Parish Financial Report

The Finance Committee of the parish is committed to keeping you informed of the financial circumstances of St. Margaret of Scotland Church and School.  Attached you will find the 3rd Quarter report with brief explanations of each section.  If you have questions, or desire more information, please check out the Finance Committee's webpage where you can view the policies and procedures that guide the Committee, the pastor and the staff, as well as see contact information for Committee members.

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Summer Help - Much Needed!

It's summer time and school's out.  But when there are no kids in the halls, the work of adults is just beginning.  If you are handy with a screwdriver or are just willing to "pick that up and put it over there," we need your time and talents.  Read on to learn more about volunteer work sessions at our school this June.

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EmpowerU - Free Personal Finance Workshop

Lack of communication is one of the top complaints in households, leading to discord, despair and divorce.  The number one thing people are not communicating about is money.  Even if you don't have a partner or spouse with whom you must work out family finances, money issues and debt can be the source of great stress.  The Church recognizes and cares for those experiencing financial anxiety, and is offering a tool to help.  Read on to learn more.

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What Should the Parish Do?

At the recent Parish Forum, a presentation and discussion revealed needs and opportunities surfacing at St. Margaret of Scotland Church.  The forum was a step in the process of Pastoral Planning now underway to help our parish chart a course for the next three to five years. The powerpoint and notes from the discussion are attached to this article.  Your opinion matters!  Read on to learn how to add your vision to the developing plan.

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Parish Council Elections

The Parish Council serves as an advisor to the Pastor, some are appointed, and some are elected by parishioners.  The attached document contains introductions from several parishioners who have graciously accepted nomination for the 2015 Parish Council Election. Please take time to read about each of them and take time to vote for 3 of them in the upcoming election. 

The election will occur on: Saturday, April 25, 2015, following the 4:30 p.m. Mass and April 26, 2015, following the Sunday liturgies, at 8:00 and at 10:00 a.m.

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2015 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA)

The 2015 ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL begins the weekend of April 11-12 with the showing of the 2015 Archdiocesan video, “Make Me An Instrument.”  It continues the following weekends of April 18-19, April 25-26 and May 2-3 with pledge cards being available to all parishioners after all Masses.  The Archdiocese continues its focus from 2014 to “Build My Church” by asking us to become instruments in the hands of Jesus and His Church; to bring light into darkness, to confront hatred with love, and to offer faith in place of doubt.  We who make a gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal become instruments of God, participating in the Church’s mission to bring peace to those who might otherwise never find the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Join with your brothers and sisters of the Catholic Faith in the Archdiocese of St. Louis this year by making a pledge to those individuals and organizations who benefit from this yearly Appeal, With a pledge of any amount, you become an Instrument of God  Help us to bring peace, hope and love to those who need to see light in their lives of darkness.

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Mad About St. Margaret of Scotland

The School Auction is fast approaching - April 25, 2015.  You will definitely want to be a part of this exciting evening at the Grand Hall on Chouteau.  The night begins with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and the silent auction at 6:00 p.m. and at 7 o'clock, the dinner stations open.  The live auction will start at 8:30 p.m. and includes beautiful artwork, vacations, unique items and opportunities and so much more.  If you can't make the event, get in the Mad Ticket for your chance to win one of three amazing trips.  Read on for all the details.

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Young Professionals Happy Hour!

Come join young professionals from St. Margaret of Scotland for a happy hour!

Thursday, March 19th from 5-7pm at Sasha's on Shaw (4069 Shaw Blvd).

Stop by, say hi, grab a drink, meet someone new, and help us to further build our community of young professionals at St. Margaret of Scotland!

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Pre-School Liturgy Bags

Attention parents of pre-schoolers!  Liturgy bags are now available in the back of church filled with age-appropriate activities, books and toys to help your little ones learn more about the Mass.  Read on to find out more about this new service at St. Margaret of Scotland.

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A Vision of the Future

As we draw closer to breaking ground our architects from The Lawrence Group have provided a detailed rendering of the new middle school, as seen from the intersection of Shaw Blvd. and Lawrence Ave.  This expansion and improvement to our school campus is made possible only by the generous pledges and gifts from hundreds of parishioners, school families, alumni, foundations and friends.  Thank you for your support and, especially, your prayers as this project proceeds towards construction.

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Bless this House

On a cold Monday morning in January the staff of St. Margaret of Scotland gathered on the Rectory front porch for the traditional Epiphany blessing with chalk, using the prayer card and blessed chalk offered at all Epiphany Masses over the weekend.

As Father climbed the ladder and chalked "20+C+M+B+15" on the lintel, Business Manager Marcia Smith-Green offered this prayer:

Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your

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St. Margaret Church Hall to Open as Safe Space

In concert with Metropolitan Congregations United, St. Margaret of Scotland parish has volunteered to be open as a Safe Space for anyone who may feel a need for shelter and prayer in the event that demonstrations or violence occur once the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting is announced.  Our Church Hall will be open from 12:00 Noon until 8:00 p.m.  Read on for more information and a link to the volunteer sign-up sheet.

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New Moms Group is Up and Running…..Literally!!

Our parish has been growing as evidenced by the increased registration of new families and the continuing trend of frequent baptisms. On average, one to two new families register each week. In the past fiscal year there have been 35 baptisms!

According to office staffer, Susan Hannibal, one of the questions frequently asked upon first contact with the SMOS office is, “Does St. Margaret’s have a Moms playgroup for younger children?”  That question has become reality!

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Blessing of the Pets

On Thursday, October 2 Father O'Toole visited St. Margaret School to bless a great assemblage of pets, large and small.  Despite the rain (and the distinct scent of wet dog) the event was a great success!  Some participants quipped that it was raining cats and dogs, others remarked that the rain sprinkled them all like Holy Water.

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Pope Francis’ Book will be Focus of First Tuesdays

From October, 2014 through May, 2015 First Tuesdays at SMOS will consider Pope Francis’ vision for renewing the Church. Theologians, pastoral leaders, and community experts will stimulate conversation on faith in the modern world and the possibilities for the renewal of the Church—especially within the St. Margaret of Scotland community. All are welcome. Reading The Joy of the Gospel is not necessary…but it promises to delight!  Copies will be available for purchase.

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Kemper Foundation Grants $100,000 to St. Margaret of Scotland

In an overwhelmingly enthusiastic endorsement for St. Margaret’s efforts to accommodate the growth of our Catholic school, the Kemper Foundation of St. Louis has given a gift of $100,000 to the “Faith in Our Future” capital campaign.  This generous donation is another example of the Kemper Foundation’s long support of the mission of our parish and school.  With this contribution, the capital campaign has surpassed the $2 million mark in pledges, and it advances the work of making the expansion of our grade school a reality.

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Some of highlights are as follows:

  • In the first year of offering chess, the 5th/6th team won the City-County Championship and Brandon Stanfield took 1st place in that class.
  • In Lacrosse, our 7th/8th grade girls completed the season 8-0 winning the City-County Championship.

Many other teams across our sports had successful seasons representing our parish with Pride.

 

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2014 ACA: “BUILD MY CHURCH”

2014 ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL!  (beginning April 26-27 / ending August 14, 2014), with pledge card sign-ups on: April 26th-27th, May 3rd-4th, May 10th-11th and May 17th-18th.

Listen!  What's that sound?  What going on?  Who are those people?  It's the sound of people across the Archdiocese of St. Louis as we work together to build the Church: to feed and to nourish those who are spiritually and physically hungry; to build a community of people who care for one another and who share in common what God has given individually.

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“The Shamrock and Thistle” – St. Patrick’s Dinner and Entertainment

Don’t miss the third annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner and Night of Entertainment! The St. Margaret Choir invites you to "The Shamrock and Thistle" Irish Pub on Sunday, March 16 in the Church Hall. Enjoy a feast by Hendri's Catering of corned beef and cabbage, ham, carrots, and potatoes, with home-made desserts. The night will also feature a fabulous array of Irish entertainment including song, dance, and fiddle.  Finally, try your luck with the Pot-o-Gold 50/50 raffle, and the Luck-o-the-Irish consolation prizes. 

Call the Rectory at 314-776-0363 for tickets.

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Mission-Steeped Novena to begin Saturday, January 25
Prayer lifts us up, while mission gives legs for walking.  Our mission-steeped Novena offers a way to lift up and walk with our own parish school for Catholic Schools Week.  Read on to learn the details of this nine-day prayer initiative.

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News from St. Margaret of Scotland School
January ushers in preparations for Catholic Schools Week, Open House and registration for the 2014-2015 school year.  Parishioners, with school-aged children or not with school aged-children, are most welcome to join us for Open House.  On Sunday, January 26, from 11:00 to 2:00 we will welcome all who may be interested in getting to know us just a little better. 

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Paving the Way - St. Margaret of Scotland Commemorative Court

As a tribute to the spirit that keeps Saint Margaret of Scotland flourishing and moving forward, a Commemorative Court has been constructed around the northern corners of the church.  Help us pave the way for an even stronger and more vibrant parish community.

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Feasibility Study - The Results Are In
Thank you, again, to all those who participated in the Feasibility Study conducted this past October to help the parish determine how we can best respond to our school's growth and capital needs..  Input was received from parishioners and school families, non-parishioner school families, faculty, staff and leadership.  The final report has been presented by the Steier Group.  Please download the attached file to view their findings.

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South City Collaborative Newsletter
Are you concerned with the future of Catholic education in South St. Louis?  A group of nine parish schools are meeting to address concerns and tackle strategic planning.  This group is known as the City Catholic Collaborative, consisting of pastors and principals at the concerned parishes, along with an extensive list of sub-committees.  Read their monthly newsletter to learn more.

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Summertime - Kids Concert and FUN Raffle

"Summertime - Kids Concert" on Friday, June 21st - presented by the SMOS Choir who is "Singing Our Way to Scotland".  The concert will feature the renowned "MUNY Kids!", as well as the SMOS Youth Chorus and will be held in the Stupp Amphitheater in Tower Grove Park. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30, with the concert from 6:30 to 7:30.  Cost for concert: $15 per family, or $5 per person. Optional dinner: $5 adult, $3 kids. 

Summer-Fun Raffle tickets available.  Winners will be drawn at the concert – need not be present to win.

Call 314-401-3714 for more information.

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Lord, Hear Our Prayer

For over 100 years St. Margaret of Scotland parishioners have been praying for one another’s needs. A brand new feature of the parish website will help us communicate our needs for prayer support and facilitate the ministry of prayer for our community.

Through the website you can participate in the Ministry of Prayer by checking to see who is in need of prayer support, and also by requesting the prayers of the community.

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Temporary Summer Quarters for Our Worship

On Corpus Christi Sunday we will celebrate our identity as Church - the Body of Christ in the world - as well as the presence of Christ in the Eucharist with an annual procession. This year that procession will also temporarily close the door on our Church and relocate our worship to the Church Hall for most of the summer. The Church interior will be painted, and the work is to begin early in June.

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First Tuesdays in the Easter Season

First Tuesdays returns to the school in May. We are delighted to welcome former law enforcement officer Tobias Winright, who is now a Theologian at Saint Louis University AND a parishioner at St. Margaret of Scotland. Come hear about (and discuss) the connections between capital punishment and the liturgy.

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2013 ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL

The 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal is a yearly opportunity to proclaim the Gospel message to the poor and marginalized of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. To the untrained eye, it may seem like just another collection or a fund-raising effort but when seen through the eyes of faith, it becomes a special, faith-filled opportunity to unite with the Archbishop and the many groups and organizations who work to evangelize those throughout the Archdiocese who are less fortunate and in need of material and spiritual help. Come join your church family by pledging to this year's ACA!

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The pastors and principals of ten parishes in South St. Louis, including St. Margaret of Scotland, invited you to participate in a second survey to plan for Catholic education in South St. Louis city. Once again, over 1500 persons responded to the survey by indicating their preferences and rating elements of a quality Catholic education. Thank you for your participation and honest input. The results have been compiled and the following information was noted.

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“Let There Be Light!”

Have you noticed the light bulbs gathering on the board in the back of our church? They represent the progress of our Spring Appeal. Each year the Spring Appeal at St. Margaret helps raise revenue for the general expenses of the parish. This year our goal is $30,000, but with our theme “Let There Be Light,” we hope to raise an additional $18,000 to meet the cost of installing new LED light fixtures in the church ceiling. With each light bulb representing $1,000 you can see how far along we are. To appreciate this appeal, please read on…

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St. Margaret of Scotland Auction – “Taste of the City”

Auction planning and activities are in full swing! Parishioners, school families, and friends of St. Margaret should have received their invitations to our Bi-Annual event on Saturday, April 13, at the Casa Loma Ballroom!

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Second Survey of the City Catholic Collaborative

Last week the pastors and principals of ten parishes, including St. Margaret of Scotland, shared results of the first survey from the planning committee, on parish and school websites. From that information a second survey was developed.

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First Tuesdays in the Octave of Easter - April 2

First Tuesdays is getting edgy...maybe we're going too far...to celebrate Easter, this month only, we're moving to the church!

This means we need your help. We normally have about 50 or so folks for these evenings, but...this is foolishly bold...it would be great to triple that as we gather in the church on April 2 - 6:45 p.m., the Tuesday after Easter.

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In February the City Catholic Collaborative invited parishioners and school families of participating parishes to respond to a survey. This survey sought input regarding Catholic education and its future in the southwest part of our city. Of the 1,618 participants, 145 identified themselves as related to St. Margaret of Scotland. Attached you will find the results in two documents. One provides the overall responses of all parishes. The second gives the feedback from St. Margaret participants.

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St. Margaret Prays: March 11 - 19
In the midst of our school growth planning, the Spirit of St. Margaret Committee invites all to join in the Community Novena for Catholic Education, March 11 – 19, in locations across our St. Margaret community. This Novena is meant to be a prayerful foundation for contemplating the essential mission values of our parish and school, while seeking clarity in mind and spirit amid calls to grow. ALL in our community are invited and urged to participate, whether or not you have children at St. Margaret of Scotland School, for YOU are essential; you are St. Margaret of Scotland! 

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“The Shamrock and Thistle” – St. Patrick’s Dinner and Entertainment - March 17

Don’t miss the second annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner and Night of Entertainment! The St. Margaret Choir invites you to "The Shamrock and Thistle" Irish Pub on Sunday, March 17 in the Church Hall. Enjoy a feast by Hendri's Catering of corned beef and cabbage, ham, carrots, and potatoes, with home-made desserts. The night will also feature a fabulous array of Irish entertainment including song, dance, and fiddle. Finally, try your luck with the “Pot-o-Gold” 50/50 raffle, and the “Luck-o-the-Irish” consolation prizes.

Call the Rectory at 314-776-0363 to RSVP.

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First Tuesdays at St. Margaret – March 5

As the 10 South City parishes continue their conversations about the future of our Catholic schools, First Tuesdays is proud to present on Tuesday, March 5:

Catholic Schools and the Common Good:
New Thoughts on our Mission
Very Rev. Charles Bouchard, O.P.
Provincial of the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Albert the Great; Past President of Aquinas Institute.

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RECONCILIATION WEEKEND 2013

Pope Benedict XVI, on March 7, 2008 stated: “It is precisely this message that must be transmitted: what counts most is to make people understand that in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, whatever the sin committed, if it is humbly recognized and the person involved turns with trust to the priest-confessor, he or she never fails to experience the soothing joy of God's forgiveness.”

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That’s Amore – LoRusso’s Comes to St. Margaret

Join us on Sunday, Feb 24 for a night of fine dining as LoRusso’s Cucina serves a 4-course dinner at St. Margaret of Scotland. Enjoy live music as you dine, and a serenade late in the evening. A babysitting option will be available – reservations required.

This mouth-watering dinner will be served in the Church Hall at the corner of Flad Ave and 39th. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for cocktails and dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. Cost is $25 per person, or $200 per table of 8. *Upgrades available. For reservations call the Rectory at 314-776-0363, or see an St. Margaret chorister.

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The ten parishes with elementary schools in South St. Louis are studying ways to make Catholic education more effective and efficient.  St. Margaret of Scotland is part of the City Catholic Collaborative which is overseeing this work.  They would like you input, whether or not you have children in school.    Your participation is greatly appreciated, and it will help our deliberations.  Please follow the Read More link below to take this brief survey. (Link is now closed)

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Annual Parish Assembly

Sunday, February 10, at 2:00 p.m. in the church hall.

Once a year, the Parish Council hosts a Parish Assembly at St. Margaret to give our community an opportunity to hear about our progress and challenges. The meeting is a good opportunity to hear of the work of the Parish Council and the ministries of our community, and a chance to bring your questions or suggestions to the Parish Council.

We feel confident that you will be grateful for your commitment to our church and our community with your attendance.

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WELCOME TO THE 2013 FESTIVAL OF MINISTRIES

February 9-10, after all Masses and following the 2:00 Parish Forum on Sunday afternoon

- Located in the Parish Hall

Come and experience the rich diversity of the ministries that help make Saint Margaret of Scotland a parish community deeply rooted in the tradition of the Early Church: "they devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers." (Acts 2:42)

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First Tuesdays

Love & Marriage: Valentine’s Day or Ash Wednesday?

First Tuesdays guest speaker is Ann Garrido, D.Min, Associate Professor of Homiletics, Aquinas Institute of Theology. Join us at St. Margaret of Scotland School on Tuesday, February 5 - 6:45p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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Open House at St. Margaret!

The children and teachers of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School invite you to come see our school on January 27 during our Open House from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Come see what we love about being at St. Margaret of Scotland.

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Come have a Blast with HIT LIST!

Wouldn't you like to enjoy all the fun of dancing at a wedding reception with a great band, without having to get all dressed up and bring a gift? Or groove to the great live music of an awesome Parish Picnic - but in JANUARY? Can you imagine the joy of singing along at the top of your lungs to your all-time favorite pop/rock classics?

Well you want to come have a blast with HIT LIST!

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Daddy-Daughter Dance!

Dads, time for a night out with your school-aged sweetie. Join the St. Margaret PTA for this year's Daddy-Daughter Dance, "Pops and Lollies!" on Saturday, January 19 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

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"Alive In Christ!" Scholarship Applications

Scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 school year will be available January 28, 2013. "Alive in Christ!" scholarships provide financial assistance to families who would like their children to attend a Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Scholarship awards amounts are based upon financial need and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

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Second Tuesday! Disabling Perfection

First Tuesdays this month will be on the second Tuesday, January 8 at 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at St. Margaret of Scotland School (3964 Castleman Avenue).

The Guest speaker will be Sr. Marjorie Wisor, OSF. Co-Founder of L’Arche St. Louis, an intentional community of people with and without disabilities sharing life and faith in a shared home.

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Father Robert N. Sherry of Cross Catholic Outreach will be visiting our parish January 19 and 20 to speak at all the Masses on behalf of the poor in developing countries. Cross Catholic Outreach was founded to create a meaningful link between parishes in America and the priests and nuns working in the Church overseas in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

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A Parish Christmas Gift

On Christmas Eve we will unveil and bless a new manger scene for the church. The old nativity set served St. Margaret for several generations, and it was the focus of many prayers and Christmas photographs. Due to their fragile plaster composition, much care was given in the past to repair and repaint the figures.

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Holiday Mass Schedule

Celebration of the Eucharist is always done well at St. Margaret, but at Christmas we really shine! And the church fills up with many visitors, so make certain you arrive in enough time to get a pew, especially on Christmas Eve.

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We have entered into the season of joyful hope: Advent. This time can be a turning point for us if we allow ourselves to hope:

to hope that we can approach God without fear and find what will truly makes us happy;
to hope that the mercy of God will make us whole;
to hope that forgiveness of sins will spark a new life in us;
to hope that God will live among us.

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We have entered into the season of joyful hope: Advent. This time can be a turning point for us if we allow ourselves to hope:
  • to hope that we can approach God without fear and find what will truly makes us happy;
  • to hope that the mercy of God will make us whole;
  • to hope that forgiveness of sins will spark a new life in us;
  • to hope that God will live among us.

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Approaching Holy Day of Obligation

The Virgin Mary under her title the “Immaculate Conception” is the patroness for Catholics in the United States. For this reason the observance of her solemnity on December 8 is a holy day of obligation, meaning all Catholics celebrate this mystery of our faith by attending the Eucharist.

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First Tuesdays - Advent Edition

Have you made your Advent plans yet? First Tuesdays is offering a special Advent edition with a fantastic speaker Dominican Fr. Donald Georgen, and a topic not often associated with the season: The Holy Spirit: Hope in Darkness. Join us at St. Margaret of Scotland School on December 4, 6:45p.m. to 8:00p.m.

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Before We Go Our Separate Ways
November in our Catholic faith calls us to contemplate the “Last Things.” As much as we may prefer to avoid its discussion, death is an inevitable reality. It raises spiritual as well as practical questions that deserve our attention. This workshop at St. Margaret on Tuesday, November 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m. is offered to address many of those questions. You as well as your family will be well served by participation in the topics discussed. Details and how you can register follow.

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Saying good-bye to a friend

With the death of Fr. John Kavanaugh S.J., St. Margaret of Scotland lost a brother in faith, a prophetic preaching voice, a friend who frequented our company at the table of the Lord. John was my teacher at St. Louis University in 1971, and, through family, music, and Church, we have stayed in touch. His life represented to me the struggle of an intelligent and faithful man to live in the world, both as lover and critic, according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Help with Relief Assistance

CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS is responding to the devastation left in the wake of Tropical Storm Sandy. We invite those who want to assist to forward a check to: Catholic Charities Archdiocese of St. Louis, PO Box 952393, St. Louis, Missouri 63195-2393

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First Tuesdays at St. Margaret of Scotland

First Tuesdays is an opportunity to share faith and conversation. This month in the frenzy of Election Day, we hope to set a little time aside to consider our first priority: our destiny in eternal life with God. Guest preacher, Randy Rosenberg, Ph.D., CSJ Endowed Chair in Catholic Thought at Fontbonne University, will present contemporary theological thinking on the afterlife, “Death: What Is It Good For?” Join us at St. Margaret of Scotland School on November 6, 2012. Prayer begins promptly at 6:45 p.m., and the program will end at 8:00 p.m.

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In 2011 St. Margaret of Scotland's St. Vincent DePaul society provided approximately $50,000 worth of basic assistance to more than 800 people in our community.

No work of charity is foreign to the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. They work diligently to find new and creative ways to meet the needs of our neighbors.

There are several opportunities to help the efforts of the St. Vincent DePaul Society this month.

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That was the key message at the parish and school assembly held Sunday afternoon, September 23. Attendees gathered to hear about the challenge of the increased student enrollment to our limited school space. Having studied the issue for nearly a year and conducted conversations with leadership organizations of the parish, it has been decided that we will move forward with a feasibility study to explore the potentiality of new construction on the existing campus to accommodate the present and projected growth of the school. A professional outside source will be used to help us evaluate what is possible for St. Margaret of Scotland. In the coming months you will hear more about this effort to discern how we will proceed with accommodating the growth at St. Margaret School. I ask that you keep yourself informed of the developments.

Choosing to grow means that we have made a fundamental decision to continue moving with what, I believe, the Holy Spirit is bringing to us. Is it a challenge? Yes, but not intimidating, because as the gospel spiritual sings it, “We’ve come this far by faith.” This is indeed an exciting time in the history of our parish.

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St. Margaret of Scotland School is faced with a “good problem”: the growing enrollment of students is challenged by the limited physical capacity of our existing buildings. It is a blessing that so many families choose St. Margaret School and Catholic education for their children. They are attracted to our strong academic program, tradition for communal activity, and attention to the child’s formation as a child of God. With the student population increasing by around twenty each year, an enrollment of well over 400 could be only a few years away.

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Here’s just a sample of things that have been going on at St. Margaret these days:

We've had music from Scotland, Ordinations, Back-To-School barbeques and of course we are all together each weekend for the Eucharist.

There’s always something going on at St. Margaret. Explore this web site to find a way you can get involved!

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