I am responding to the story “There’s no saving St. Louis” in the July 29 BCR.
As a former BCR journalist, I feel the story was very unprofessional.
Apparently anyone can offer anonymous opinions and quotes.
How sad a story can be published on the front page of the BCR that undermined the integrity of Father Jeffery Stirniman. My husband, Vince, and I, as well as many parishioners at St. Louis are disheartened and appalled by such a display of hurtful information.
One of the Save Our School’s committee members, who did give her name, stated Father “never wanted the school to re-open.”
Father has been unfairly blamed, even though he has presented valid explanations and reasons to his parishioners, why be and the Peoria Diocese determined the need to close the school.
While the SOS committee offered a glimmer of hope and worked very hard to try and keep the school open, when it was determined the school would close, some took this defaming attack and stance against Father Stirniman.
Parents of students at St. Louis aren’t the only ones impacted by the closing of the school. Parishioners are saddened as well.
After reading many concerning comments about Father on FB from people who don’t even know him, I decided to share our experience with Father that will forever have an impact on the lives of my family.
When our son, Danny, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and was admitted to Central DuPage Hospital, I made a heart-wrenching call to Father for prayers. Father came to the hospital to be with us. He spent memorable time with our son, and Danny was so inspired by his initial visit that Danny faced his cancer with less fear and total faith in God. Father walked Danny’s 25-month cancer journey with us all and offered ongoing prayers and support. And before Danny passed away, he came back to the hospital to prepare him to find peace in heaven.
During Father’s 10-plus year tenure at St. Louis, he has helped so many parishioners in the same way. Unfortunately, for some, it seems like his years of service have no significance, and that is such a shame. He baptized our children, married our young people, presided over our funerals, administered the Sacraments, encouraged our elderly, supported the many ministries our church offers, and he truly loved and cared for the students at St. Louis School. And — he will continue to tend to his flock in the same caring and loving ways.
And, no matter what he does, there will always be those who still don’t like him for their own reasons.
The damage created by a few has impacted the public’s perspective of a much loved priest … and our outstanding parish.
This kind of negativity has to stop and definitely should not be promoted in the BCR.
There are many parishioners praying for healing in our parish and for those who carry such negativity in their hearts.