Jul 132015

Caring for CarolineBy Beverly Kinkade

I do not know if you are aware of the excruciating journey our founding rector, Howard Park, and his family are following. Howard’s granddaughter, Caroline, has been diagnosed with an extremely rare, incurable disease called Batten’s Disease. Her family became aware of this tragedy only in 2013.

Caroline is just 14. She was born a happy, healthy baby. When she was in kindergarten she started demonstrating some autistic behaviors and learning disabilities and was diagnosed with that disease. She did however continue to make slow progress in school. In second grade she began having Grand-Mal seizures and was diagnosed with a seizure disorder, which for the most part has been managed with medication. She has had several hospital stays due to complications from medicines; however, she has been stable for the past year.

In third grade she ran in 2 – 5K runs with her older sister, who could barely keep up with her, she was so fast. By fourth grade she started having difficulty with balance and was not able to run anymore. She saw doctors in the movement disorder clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. After much testing including MRI and spinal taps, no reason for her motor regression could be found. When she was in fifth grade, Kelly and Than started noticing she was having difficulty seeing and locating objects. She received a retinal test and the results showed no retinal response. Caroline was blind. Because of the retinal test, they suggested she be tested for something called Batten’s Disease. She received a genetic blood test and in July of 2013 she was diagnosed positive for Batten Disease. By this time she was using a walker for stability to walk, and several months after her diagnosis she was using a wheelchair full time. She is currently 14 years old, unable to walk and totally blind. Her speech has slowed to 1-2 words and her mental ability has diminished significantly. Caroline attends a school for special needs children in St. Louis County.

On a personal level, my family is uniquely connected to Howard Park’s. My only child, Dan, was best man for Than, Howard’s son. Than was Dan’s best man as well. Than is also godfather’s for my son’s two boys.

Family and Friends of the Park Family are hosting an event, “Caring for Caroline” at the Atomic Cowboy Restaurant on Thursday, August 13th, to raise funds to benefit Caroline and the Batten Disease Support & Research Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit. All donated funds go directly to supporting Caroline and BDSRA. The family is hopeful of purchasing a special lift van to transport Caroline, as well as to donate funds to BDSRA for additional research of this dreaded disease.

St. Martin’s has always been there for our members and their families and this is a very special opportunity for us as a caring parish. We are asking all of you to look into your hearts to make a donation and/or contribution to the silent auction occurring at the fundraiser. We are also asking as many of our St. Martin parishioners as possible to attend the August 13th event. Your support will definitely make a difference in Caroline’s life, and be such an appropriate way to show our ongoing love and support of our founding Rector’s family. Please do what you can……

We hope that we can count on your support. Please email me for an auction donation form or for more information.

Beverly Kinkade 

Caring for Caroline—Fundraiser Volunteer

Jul 082015

The Peace Meal Project is a free, fellowship meal for all held every Saturday evening at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tower Grove. More volunteers are needed for the July 18th meal, which is sponsored by St. Martin’s.  The format will be the same as before with a minimum of seven to nine people needed to work the two shifts:  Shift #1 – 2:00-4:00pm, Prepare meal & clean up.

Shift #2 – 4:00-6:00pm, Serve meal & clean up.

Volunteers are more than welcome to carpool from St. Martin’s.

To sign up, please email Larry Corneliusfood and fellowship or give him a call at 636-458-5723.


Jun 252015

Eight new corps members have been selected from a field of 33 applicants into the  2015-16 class at Deaconess Anne House. Director Rebecca Ragland said, “This experience taught me how many amazing, insightful and visionary women and men are ready to invest in our community!”

Learn more about Deaconess Anne House and read the impressive biographies of these eight young leaders.

Deaconess Anne

Jun 032015

Come and celebrate the beginning of summer at Episcopal City Mission‘s Summer Celebration the evening of Friday, June 19th, on the grounds of Grace Episcopal Church in Kirkwood. There will be plenty of great food and family-friendly attractions including a petting zoo, balloon artist, and a bounce house. Tickets are $15 per adult, $5 for children ages 5-12 (children under 5 are free), with a $50 family maximum.

Tickets can be purchased from Jeff Klieve (314-705-6644) or by calling ECM at 314-436-3545. Please join in the fun while supporting ECM’s work with youth in detention.

Feb 262015

Food Pantry Sunday
(The second Sunday of each month)

Please help our friends and neighbors in need by donating non-perishable food and toiletry items. You can drop the items off at church at any time (in the basket in the coat closet) and we will bless them on the second Sunday of each month.

Our donations go to Circle of Concern’s Food Pantry, where they are distributed throughout the West County community.

Current needs include:  dry dinners, pasta sauce, dry pasta, canned meats, condiments, bar soap, peanut butter, jelly.

Thanks for your generosity!

May 052014

St. Martin’s is responsible for one meal each quarter. We need people to prepare, serve and clean-up for each of the dates. (May 10th, July 19th, Oct 4th, and Dec 13th). Currently there is a sign-up sheet in Park Hall for the May 10thdate only. You can sign-up by shift depending on you skill and time available. The meal is served at St. Johns. Carpooling is available. For more detail see Wayne Peters or Dana Griggs.