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Author Archive: Stephanie H. To

Stephanie To has worked for the Archdiocese of St. Louis's Respect Life Apostolate since 2014. Previously, she was a litigation attorney in a mid-sized law firm in St. Louis for nearly six years. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, a M.A. in bioethics and health policy from Loyola University in Chicago, and a J.D. with certificates in health law and health care ethics from Saint Louis University. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys playing the violin and singing in her parish choir.

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Suffering and the Christ of Good Friday

April 14, AD2017 2 Comments
Suffering and the Christ of Good Friday

It has frequently been said that Good Friday is meaningless without Easter Sunday. Certainly this statement is true for, as St. Paul explains, if Christ has not risen, our faith is in vain (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14). We must not overlook the fact, however, that Easter Sunday is not possible without Good Friday. As much […]

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Will He Find Faith on This Earth?

March 7, AD2017 10 Comments
Will He Find Faith on This Earth?

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on this earth?” – Luke 18:8 Jesus concludes the parable of the persistent widow with this rather peculiar rhetorical question. It is odd for our faith tells us the Church will endure until the end of time, even in the face of persecution. At the […]

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Of Babes and Martyrs

December 26, AD2016 2 Comments
Of Babes and Martyrs

One of the great joys of being Catholic is that Christmas last eight days, followed by a whole season for Christmas.While others grudgingly pack away the ornaments and tinsel on December 26, we have many more days of celebrating left. A Trio of Martyrs The liturgical calendar, however, takes an interesting turn once after December […]

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Mary’s Emptiness in the Immaculate Conception

November 28, AD2016 1 Comment
Mary’s Emptiness in the Immaculate Conception

There are numerous jokes and memes about the unique situations Mary may have found herself because of the divinity of her son such as Mary telling the Child Jesus to get in the bathwater, not just walk on it. As we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I have always wondered about the unique […]

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Coming to Know the Voice of God

October 26, AD2016 2 Comments
Coming to Know the Voice of God

Many people never listen to God’s voice because they do not know He speaks to them. God however, does speak to us today. But can we hear His voice above everything else that may try to grab our attention? Do we recognize his voice? How do we know if it is truly God speaking to us? […]

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A True Catholic Hero: Jerome Lejeune

September 30, AD2016 2 Comments
A True Catholic Hero: Jerome Lejeune

We have a dearth of public, real-life heroes. Most public figures, whether in entertainment or politics, fall far from the mark when it comes to someone we should imitate. We may be able to find examples of heroes such as Captain America or Iron Man but, in many ways, their heroism fails to really guide our […]

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Replace Spiritual Mediocrity with Heroic Courage

August 27, AD2016 0 Comments
Replace Spiritual Mediocrity with Heroic Courage

Spend ten minutes watching the news, searching the Internet, or reading the paper and one is likely to become disgusted and discouraged. Our response can be simply to give up, accepting things for what they are, losing hope that things can be better. Sadly, this mentality of mediocrity and settling can readily transfer into our […]

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Visitation: Seeing Christ in Others and Bringing Christ to Others

July 26, AD2016 1 Comment
Visitation: Seeing Christ in Others and Bringing Christ to Others

“Are you a Martha or a Mary?” This Martha-Mary juxtaposition from the Gospel of Luke is quite well-known. Martha is the archetype for the active life: busy about the work of service. Meanwhile, Mary is the archetype for the contemplative life: sitting at the feet of Jesus. Though Jesus tells Martha that “Mary has chosen the better […]

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Breaking Down Whole Woman’s Health: A Critical Abortion Ruling

June 28, AD2016 1 Comment
Breaking Down Whole Woman’s Health: A Critical Abortion Ruling

Like many other Catholics and other people involved in pro-life work, I was greatly disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), though, not wholly surprised. The decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is arguably the most important judicial decision on abortion since the 2007 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, […]

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Priests: A Spiritual Fatherhood

June 19, AD2016 75 Comments
Priests: A Spiritual Fatherhood

As we pause to give thanks today for our fathers, those with us and those who have gone before us, let us take a moment to thank our spiritual fathers, the priests in our parish and those who have made a positive impact on our lives. This article highlights three aspects of the spiritual fatherhood […]

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God’s Power and Mercy

May 30, AD2016 0 Comments
God’s Power and Mercy

In the Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 30, a. 4, St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “It is proper to God to exercise mercy, and he manifests his omnipotence particularly in this way.” At first glance, it seems odd to equate God’s mercy with power. When we think of God’s power, we are drawn more to images of […]

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Conscience Rights: Sounding the Warning

May 2, AD2016 1 Comment
Conscience Rights: Sounding the Warning

The last several years have seen a dramatic attack on respect for individual conscience when one’s conscience is based upon theistic principles. The attacks upon Catholic health care organizations and health care providers have become more frequent and persistent. This trend should be of grave concern to all who desire to maintain a democratic society […]

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The Annunciation: A Pattern for Our Lives

April 4, AD2016 0 Comments
The Annunciation: A Pattern for Our Lives

The feast of the Annunciation is one of the highlights of the liturgical year because, through it, salvation was made possible for all of humanity, through all time. Without it, Christmas and Easter would not have been possible. Yet, the Annunciation revolves around the assent of will by a teenage girl. Much commentary has been […]

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How To Get Over Your Fear of Confession

March 7, AD2016 1 Comment
How To Get Over Your Fear of Confession

Confession. Sin. Reconciliation. Do those words strike fear in you? We may know that we are supposed to go to the Sacrament of Confession at least once a year and whenever we have committed a mortal sin. During this season of Lent, we are encouraged to make a good Confession in preparation for Easter. Still, for […]

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Seeking God in Our Disappointment

February 8, AD2016 1 Comment
Seeking God in Our Disappointment

  “Why did God let that happen??” We have all had the experience of pondering why something bad or disappointing happened to us. It is even more frustrating when our plans do not come to fruition despite the goal being good and worthy and our best efforts being put forth. If the disappointment concerns something […]

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A March for Life, A March of Hope

January 15, AD2016 1 Comment
A March for Life, A March of Hope

January 22 marks the 43rd anniversary of the tragic legalization of abortion on demand in our country via two Supreme Court decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. For the forty-third year, hundreds of thousands will be gathering in our nation’s capital to urge our elected officials to end the senseless killing of unborn […]

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The Year of Mercy and the Gospel of Life

December 19, AD2015 3 Comments
The Year of Mercy and the Gospel of Life

On April 11, 2015, Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy in Misericordiae vultus. When one thinks of mercy, particularly in the context of our Catholic faith, forgiveness and the Sacrament of Confession come to mind. Something deeper, however, is going on. At its core, this Jubilee Year of Mercy focuses us on restoring our […]

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Thanksgiving: Our Duty and Our Salvation

November 26, AD2015 4 Comments
Thanksgiving: Our Duty and Our Salvation

“What do you say?” Every parent has probably said that phrase at least a hundred times to their child, a reminder for the child to say thank you. As I child, my parents were insistent I write thank you notes to relatives and friends for gifts received. While I disliked what seemed like another chore […]

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Christian Relationships and the Communion of Saints

November 8, AD2015 0 Comments
Christian Relationships and the Communion of Saints

Not too long ago, the rector of the local Cathedral died after a battle with cancer. Though not entirely unexpected, his departure from this life affected me deeply. At his funeral, his usual chair next to the choir stalls remained empty, an absence that spoke louder than any words spoken by the Archbishop during the […]

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Every Life Is Worth Living

October 15, AD2015 1 Comment
Every Life Is Worth Living

October is Respect Life month in the United States. It begins a new, year-long cycle of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Respect Life Program. The theme for this year’s Respect Life Program is “Every Life is Worth Living.” What an appropriate theme in light of many current events including the continued release of undercover […]

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