January 2021 News & Notes

A Warm Welcome to New Members of the Pallottine Team

Meet Our New Housekeeping Manager AnnMarie Rhodes!

AnnMarie joined us as our new Housekeeping Manager in December 2020. She came to us from Holiday Inn Route 66 where she was a Room Divisions Manager for 10 years. When I asked her what encouraged her to join our team, she said “I was brought to Pallottine to continue my area of expertise but also with peace of mind in a beautiful setting.”

AnnMarie has a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren. Her daughter Danyel, a highly motivated college student, recently became visually impaired. She and AnnMarie spend a lot of time together learning new skills, tools and the latest adaptive technologies that will empower Danyel  to meet her goals and ambitions.

We’re are happy to have AnnMarie  join our team. She is outgoing, a self-starter, a people-person, and has a hilarious sense of humor!

A Greeting From Our New Board Member Jeff Finnegan

I was born into a family of eight, raised in North St. Louis County and attended Sts. John and James Parish and School in Ferguson.  After graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School in Florissant in 1979, I spent four years pursuing a degree in engineering/architecture before entering seminary training in 1983.  After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Sociology, I spent three years at Kenrick Theological Seminary in St. Louis until taking a position as Pastoral Associate at Sts. John and James Church in 1989 until 2005.

Since then I have been Pastoral Associate and Director of Youth Ministry at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Ferguson.  I volunteer at the City Workhouse Medium Security Jail and am currently on the Criminal Justice Ministry (CJM) board and active in Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC) retreat community.

Besides doing a lot of walking and hiking, I often seek out microbreweries to try.

Pallottine has been a long-standing center of hospitality for the HEC retreats, and I have over 30 years of powerful memories in this facility!

I am honored to join the PRC in their mission to provide a sense of welcome to all, and to stand as a resource in North St. Louis County to gather folks of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds. During my time serving on the board I hope to represent the communities for which I have a privilege of ministering and to offer any skills and ideas that will support the mission.

From Our Sponsors

My Life Today is Found Between These Two Bookends

by Thomas W. Cummins

Driving up Old Halls Ferry Road, I always look for the cross atop the steeple on the chapel of the Pallottine Renewal Center (PRC). That is the moment for me when a sense of peace begins to set in. Once I am on the long, tree-lined drive leading up to the Center, the spiritual calm sought by so many retreatants and visitors is definitely present.

My involvement with the PRC began in early 2010. So the past eleven years have provided many opportunities to enjoy all the center has to offer. The Pallottine Missionary Sisters chose a wonderful site, and the dedicated staff over the past fifty years have built it into just the place to truly Refresh, Renew, and Reflect. Such a welcoming and hospitable environment is made all the more special by the pastoral setting, the wildlife, woodland trials, and the sunsets,

Being at the PRC provides quite a contrast to the prison where I minister to incarcerated men as a volunteer chaplain. My assignment at Potosi Correctional Center is to visit with the men in solitary isolation. These are men who are alone in their cells 23 hours per day, seven days each week. Oh how they enjoy a visitor at their door, someone to talk to other than whoever may be in neighboring cells.

While the prison isolation wing is bleak and oppressive – bare concrete, locked solid steel doors, no TVs or clocks – there can also be found a tranquility and sense of calm. This is not to paint a rosy picture because there is much anxiety, loneliness, and whatever torment one might associate with social separation. Yet there is time for introspection and reflection.

Many of the offenders devote their time to study of scripture, creative writing, working on correspondence courses, drawing. I absolutely love spending time in their housing units. In Matthew 25:36, Jesus says, “When I was in prison you visited me.” My experience has taught me that is not a figure of speech. I can actually feel and benefit from the divine presence and the grace embodied in those 800 men.

My life today is found between those two bookends: the Pallottine Renewal Center and the Potosi Correctional Center. In both can be found manifestations of God’s grace. Both provide opportunities for many to respond to and embrace the holy longing. I am grateful for having been called to these life-giving ministries, and to participate in spiritual healing and growth.


Ever Wondered About the Old House and Farm Next to PRC?

by Peggy Kruse, Old Jamestown Association History Committee

Pallottine is located in Old Jamestown, which is a Census Designated Place (CDP) in unincorporated St. Louis County,  pretty much all of the 63034 zip code.  Old Jamestown has a long and rich history including American Indians, pioneer settlers, German farmers, prominent people, and suburbanites.  The property next door is a great representation of that history.

In the late 1700s, the Spanish government granted the land a Missouri pioneer family. The property passed through several owners until it was eventually purchased by Nicholas Blacklock Douglass and his wife, Margaret Patterson in 1858.

Douglass built the house that still partially stands and is referred to the Douglass-Tunstall House by local historians. He built it in the Federal/Greek revival style: an L-shape, one room wide in both directions. Built by slave labor, it was constructed of brick that was fired in kilns right on the property. Each of its 12 rooms had a brick fireplace.  The slave quarters were two upstairs rooms in the back of the house: female slaves in one room, men in the other. A solid 36-inch masonry wall the rooms were separated the rooms and each had its own stairway.
In 1885 Herman C. Rosenkoetter, one of the many German farmers who had come to Old Jamestown in the mid-1800s, purchased the farm, then nearly 200 acres.  In 1910, he farmed about 300 acres, specializing in growing fruit. In 1940, prominent area residents Oscar and Velma Hammer, bought the house and 100 acres surrounding it.  In the 1950s, they established Hammer’s Farm and Old Halls Ferry Stable. After the Hammers died, their son inherited the property and continued to operate the farm/stable until selling it in 2018.

The old Hammer’s Farm sign is still standing at the entrance of the property, but it is now owned by Old Jamestown residents  Russell and Amanda Inman who continue to operate the stables. While it still partially stands, the Tunstall-Douglass House was unfortunately irreparably damaged in 2014 from a fire and made it inhabitable. The remaining structure can be seen from Old Halls Ferry next to the stable.

Tunstall-Douglass House in mid 1900s
Tunstall-Douglass House today