St. Bernadette Parish Lenten Project 2023
Furnishing of Children’s Ward at Notre Dame Clinic – Nsawam, Ghana, West Africa
Our project is to furnish the new children’s ward at Notre Dame Clinic. Beds, cots for the smaller children, bedside stands and curtains are all needed. When the staff was told St. Bernadette Parish in St. Louis was going to raise funds for the ward, they immediately declared that the name for the children’s ward would be St. Bernadette Children’s Ward. Our goal is to raise $6,000 toward the furnishings for this space.
UPDATE: Our Lenten Project was a great success!
Our total for the furnishing of a children’s ward in Nsawam, Ghana is $11,211. Whatever is more than needed for the children will be used to buy beds for the women’s ward. What a blessing! Thank you for your great generosity!
Notre Dame Clinic was started in 1975 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame as a mobile clinic serving the people in several villages around Adoagyiri-Nsawam in Ghana West Africa. After a short time, a static clinic was set up in two small rooms under the verandah of the Catholic Youth Organization building. The clinic functioned from here for the next 18 years, attending to over 100 patients daily.
In 1993 the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua gave an abandoned primary school building to be used as the clinic. With a grant from Germany, the building was totally renovated into an outpatient clinic. A small medical lab was added in 1998 and the patients were very happy they did not have to go to the government hospital for lab work.
The staff who began the clinic with the SSND sister were mostly trained on the job. The one who began with the sister who started the clinic continued to work for 43 years. Another was sent to study midwifery. Gradually more staff was added and others sent for study. With the addition of midwifery services more space was needed and a maternity ward was added in 2011.
The mission of the clinic is to continue the healing ministry of Christ by the provision of holistic quality health care for all people, especially the poor, elderly, women and children. The affordable, efficient and effective medical care is based on Catholic principles.
As times changed so did the needs of the clinic. Twenty-four hour service was added in 2020 when a doctor was transferred to the clinic and extra staff were assigned. Patients were now able to stay for care. Because of a lack of space, a temporary wall was put up to divide in half the maternity ward, which had eight beds. Male, female and children are all kept in the same small ward which is not ideal and offers no privacy.
As staff was added, such as a mental health nurse, administrator and ENT nurse all had to share space. Because of this, grants were found to begin construction of a new two story building which would house offices upstairs and separate wards for men, women and children downstairs. Now all that is left is to furnish these wards so when construction is completed this summer, they will be ready for use.
During this Lent, find ways to reach out across the world to touch the lives of sick children in Ghana. Forego a dinner out so that a child with malaria can get treatment. Or give up going to the movies for Lent so a baby who is anemic can get the help she needs. By furnishing the ward at this clinic, children will have a place to stay for medical care for many years to come.
Watch the board in the front of church to see our progress. For each $50 donated, a piece of the puzzle will be added until the picture is complete.
Thank you to all who attended our 75th Jubilee mass and banquet on September 24!
Watch the recordings from our Jubilee events:
- Jubilee mass https://boxcast.tv/channel/hfurqmlntlsdjemdrm4k?b=l9y9rbwrch1ejxsa9r5f
- Jubilee dinner https://boxcast.tv/channel/hfurqmlntlsdjemdrm4k?b=zyc2nru0i6mgazevgcex
- Parish Mission
St. Bernadette Church, 75th Jubilee, 1947–2022
Our Parish of St. Bernadette was founded in September of 1947 by Father John Feckter. The very first mass took place on September 14, 1947. In 2022, we proudly celebrated 75 years as a parish serving the Jefferson Barracks area of Lemay, Missouri. Our jubilee celebration kicked off with a special feast day mass and brunch on February 20 in honor of St. Bernadette Soubirous' Feast Day (February 18). The grand finale took place September 24 with big a celebration of the Eucharist with Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski and a dinner to commemorate the very first mass held at St. Bernadette.
View photo galleries from our past Jubilee events:
From a participant in our bible study group: “What bible class means to me.”
I look forward to Bible class every week! Fr. Bob walks us through the Sunday readings with is excellent background in the Scriptures and his visits to the Holy Land to help us understand the meaning and application of the Sunday readings and a chance to ask questions and grow in our faith. I value this spiritual opportunity and hope others will as well. P.S. No background or Bible knowledge needed; just come as you are (with your Bible).
Religious Men & Women Being Considered for Canonization
Ven. Nelson Baker
Born February 16, 1842, in New York, his home community of Buffalo would eventually name Father Nelson Baker "Buffalo's most influential citizen of the 20th century." Before being ordained a priest, Baker served in the Civil War as a Union soldier in the 74th regiment of the New York State Militia. Following his time as a soldier, Baker started a successful feed and grain business with a veteran friend, joined the St. Vincent De Paul Society, and started taking Latin classes. He entered Our Lady of Angels Seminary — now Niagara University — on September 2, 1869, and was ordained on March 19, 1876, by Bishop Stephen Ryan at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Buffalo.
After donating his life savings to alleviate the debt accrued by the orphanages and other institutions Father Baker was entrusted with, his devotion to Our Lady of Victory inspired him to begin The Association of Our Lady of Victory. Via this charitable organization, Baker hand-wrote thousands of letters that went out to Catholics across America soliciting donations to support the facilities. Catholics everywhere joined the Association of Our Lady of Victory with their twenty-five cent annual membership dues.
Father Baker’s community of faithful financial supporters continued to help him build resources for those in need. He tripled the number of children in his orphanages, built a home for unwed mothers, began a maternity hospital that eventually became a full-service hospital, built a debt-free church for worship and gathering nearby and more! His vision became a safe location for destitute people to come and be cared for. Once the Great Depression hit, it is estimated that 500,000 people were fed at his church, Our Lady of Victory, during those years. In his 90’s, he shifted focus to the service and education of black Americans traveling north for work and opportunity.
Following his death on July 29, 1936, between 300,000 and 500,000 people visited to pay their respects before his funeral. The many Our Lady of Victory outreach institutions he championed can still be found operating today in Lackawanna, New York. Father Baker was declared Venerable in 2011 and is still awaiting sainthood.
Prayer for the Cause of V. Father Nelson Baker
Lord, you gave us Your Servant Nelson Baker as an example of service to the poor, homeless and the young. By Father Baker's ardent concern for those in need, inflame our hearts and lives with compassion for the poor, justice for the oppressed, hope for the troubled and courage to those in doubt.
We pray through the intercession of Our Lady of Victory, if it be Your will, that Your Servant, Nelson Baker, may one day be canonized.