Patricia Rice | St. Louis Public Radio

Patricia Rice

Patricia Rice is a freelance writer based in St. Louis who has covered religion for many years. She also writes about cultural issues, including opera.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 9, 2011 - Archbishop Robert Carlson will step up the St. Louis Archdiocese's Advent outreach called "Coming Home" to Catholics who no longer attend church. This year, he's doing more than running a couple of ads and planting welcoming signs on church lawns. The primary outreach remain in getting members to invite any Catholic who doesn't attend church regularly to come back for Christmas.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 2, 2011 - Next weekend Union Avenue Opera will present an American opera that for many grandparents and parents was a Christmas Eve television tradition.

In 1951 NBC commissioned composer Gian-Carlo Menotti to write "Amahl and the Night Visitors." Samuel Barber wrote its orchestration. Arturo Toscanini conducted the premiere telecast Dec. 24, 1951. That opera was also the debut of the Hallmark Hall of Fame television presentations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 13, 2011 - Enthusiastic party hosts sometimes claim that they've invited "everyone they know."

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet have gone beyond that. They are inviting what they term the "dear neighbors" whom they've never met.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 20, 2011 - Should the government help people in these tough financial times? A poll by the Gallup Organization released Tuesday morning shows that people who strongly believe that God has a plan for them are less willing than others to have the government send checks to able-bodied, unemployed Americans.

The vocally challenging and fun-filled "La Fille du Regiment" by Donizetti will be taking the stage at Union Avenue Opera.  Then, starting Aug. 20, the atmosphere turns much darker with Tchaikovsky’s three-act tragedy “Pikovaya Dama.”

Daughter of the Regiment

As Haitians look back on the earthquake devastation that remains and look ahead to the hurricane season, they clearly see that a lot of work remains.

About 1.5 million Port au Prince residents (out of the country’s population of 8 million) still sleep in tented camps and spend part of each day standing in line for purified water. Coordination among aid organizations that have been in Haiti for a long time is going well, but that’s not the case with many of the organizations that first came in after the quake.

Dr. Pat Wolff at a clinic.
Provided by Washington University

Six months after Haiti's devastating earthquake, some Haitian institutions are planning for a "new normal."

The tragedy in Haiti has steeled the determination of several seasoned St. Louis volunteers to educate, mentor and help more Haitians become self-sustaining. Haitians must serve their own people and run their own hospitals, schools and society, they said in interviews this week.

Expansions are planned in Haiti for two St. Louis-founded institutions.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Kennedy Center awards have been handed out and the concert celebrating the gifts the award winners have given to America will be shown in a two-hour prime-time special at 8 p.m., Dec. 29 on CBS.

One of Sumner High School's gifts to the world will stand center stage with rock star Bruce Springsteen; actor Robert De Niro; comedian, writer and producer Mel Brooks; and jazz pianist Dave Brubeck.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 22, 2008 - The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is working with its congregations in Arizona, Florida and California to support amendments to those states' constitutions defining and limiting marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 14, 2008 - Salvatore Matano just might be the honored guest at the Hill's Columbus Day Parade next year.

Never mind that on this Columbus Day, we could not find even one Hill resident who had ever heard of the man.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 7, 2008 - Opera lovers across the region, especially in Festus, should get a lift from this happy "local girl makes good" news.

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson, who dazzled audiences when at the last minute she stepped into the cast of "The Tales of Hoffmann" at Opera Theatre of St. Louis last May, has been awarded one of the opera's biggest opportunities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008 - To win votes of faith-based groups across the spectrum of beliefs, the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns have hired special faith outreach staff. Candidates' supporters hold house parties and coffees for members of their faith groups to convey the idea is that "lots of people who share your values" support their candidate.

Jennifer Johnson mezzo soprano 300 pxls 2008
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The sensation of a young singer stepping in for an established star -- a "Star is Born" moment -- is adding excitement to Opera Theatre of St. Louis' production of Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann."

On Sat. night, May 24, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson, 23, steps into the dazzling role of Nicklausse, Hoffmann's great companion and muse in "The Tales of Hoffmann." In February she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council's annual auditions and for the next six weeks she is subbing for a resting mezzo soprano. The role has some of the opera's most beautiful arias.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As Cardinal Edward Egan of New York approaches retirement, the names of two former St. Louis-area bishops are being bandied about as possible replacements. The first is Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, 60, the former bishop of Belleville who left in 2004. If Gregory were named, he would become the first African-American cardinal.

Another beloved former St. Louis region bishop is also being mentioned  -- Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, 58, who left St. Louis in 2002. For years, church leaders have expected this joyful priest to be named to an archdiocese where he would be named a cardinal.

How a bishop is named

May 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Who knows the name of the next New York archbishop? The pope, if he has decided.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Olan Horne, 48, a survivor of clerical sex abuse, believes that Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States marks a turning point in the way victims of sexual abuse are treated in the Catholic Church.

"I saw it in his face, heard his voice. He understands," said Horne, one of six survivors who met Thursday with the pope. Horne spoke with the St. Louis Beacon from his Massachusetts university food service office.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Plenty of concern for God's creation comes from folks in the pews."

Used to be that when a young family considered joining the church, they'd ask about its nursery and check the bathrooms," the Rev. David Mason, pastor of Green Valley Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo., said. "Now they ask if we have gone green. People care."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Green choices often begin at home. When David A. Mollerus, a Southern Baptist, completes his commute from work, he tosses aside his car keys and runs, or walks, to do his errands. His home in New Town of St. Charles is a short walk to a dry cleaner, a grocery, a gym, a farmer's market and a beautiful lake. He bought a home in the densely planned "New Urbanism" community two years ago, in part, to lessen his carbon footprint. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Across the country, evangelical Christians are going green. To be sure, many are still leery about jumping onto a bandwagon already filled with — in their view — ultraliberal, even "unwashed," activists. Yet, in recent months, several national evangelical leaders have urged their fellow believers to protect the environment.