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, Feb. 22, 2009 - St. Louis will get a new Cardinal soon. Not the baseball variety. The Vatican variety.

But at 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23, the announcement was made that St. Louis native Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan is going to New York.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 18, 2009 - Wednesday afternoon Joshua Kezer, in prison for 14 years on a murder conviction, walked free, after a Cole County judge Tuesday affirmed his innocence. Kezer's appeals lawyer Charles Weiss of the Bryan Cave law firm drove to Jefferson City to welcome him to liberty. Weiss said the state has no evidence to tie Kezer to the murder.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 13, 2009 - The city of St. Louis was founded on Feb. 14, 1764. The community is 245 years ago today.

This morning, a floral wreath will be placed at the statue of the city's founder Pierre Liguest Laclede by members of La Societe Francaise de Saint Louis, as the group has done for years on this date. The statue of the French-born fur trader-leader is immediately west of St. Louis City Hall, facing Market Street.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 7, 2009 - More than 1,000 people gathered at the St. Louis Cathedral Saturday for a Memorial Mass for Bishop Edward O’Donnell.

He died Sunday Feb. 1, shortly after watching the Super Bowl at St. Agnes Home in Kirkwood, where he had lived for several years. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade. He was 77.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 7, 2009 - Karen Butchko says it is "no big deal" that every Sunday she drives about 25 minutes from her home in the Oakville area of south St. Louis County to Madison, Ill., and her parish church. She prays, sings and leads the choir with lifelong parishioners at the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church. She's made the Sunday morning round trip all her life.

"Well maybe not the first six months," she teased.

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.

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