Missouri Catholic Church Apologizes for Controversial Militia Ad in Bulletin

In a recent incident that has stirred controversy, Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, Missouri, inadvertently included an advertisement for a local militia group in its church bulletin. The ad, promoting the "Yokel Militia" and encouraging parishioners to join for firearms and survival skills training, sparked significant concern and backlash from the community and church officials. Father Larry Huber, the church’s pastor, quickly apologized, stating the ad was published without his knowledge and does not align with the church’s values. The Archdiocese of St. Louis also condemned the ad, emphasizing its inappropriateness for church communications. This incident has highlighted the need for stricter vetting processes for church bulletin content to prevent similar occurrences in the future​ (Ascension Catholic Church)​​ (City of Chesterfield)​​ (MapQuest)​.

The article from the Daily Mail discusses an incident at Ascension Catholic Church in Chesterfield, Missouri, where a controversial advertisement for a local militia group appeared in the church bulletin. The ad promoted the "Yokel Militia," encouraging parishioners to join the group for training in firearms and survival skills, which raised concerns among the community.

The church's pastor, Father Larry Huber, apologized for the ad, explaining that it was included without his knowledge and did not reflect the church's values. The Archdiocese of St. Louis also condemned the ad, emphasizing that it was not appropriate for church communications.

This incident has sparked a broader conversation about the vetting of bulletin content and the potential implications of such advertisements within religious communities.

For more details, you can refer to the Daily Mail article and other sources like Ascension Catholic Church's website and the Chesterfield city website​ (Ascension Catholic Church)​​ (City of Chesterfield)​​ (MapQuest)​.

A digital bulletin can help avoid incidents like the unauthorized militia advertisement at Ascension Catholic Church through several key advantages:

1. Enhanced Editorial Control:

Digital bulletins allow for centralized and streamlined content management. Church administrators can implement workflows where content is reviewed and approved by multiple people before publication. This reduces the chances of inappropriate content slipping through unnoticed.

2. Real-Time Updates and Corrections:

With digital bulletins, mistakes can be quickly corrected. If an inappropriate ad is mistakenly published, it can be removed or edited in real time, minimizing the impact and preventing further distribution of the content.

3. Content Filtering and Approval Systems:

Digital platforms can incorporate automated content filtering tools to detect and flag potentially inappropriate or sensitive content. Administrators can set up keywords or phrases that trigger reviews, ensuring any controversial material is scrutinized before it reaches the congregation.

4. Accessibility and Reach:

Digital bulletins can be accessed by parishioners online, ensuring that all members, including those who might not attend services regularly, are kept informed. This can increase engagement and oversight, as more eyes on the content can help identify and report issues quickly.

5. Integration with Church Management Software:

Many digital bulletin platforms can be integrated with church management software, allowing for better coordination between different church activities and communications. This ensures that all announcements align with the church’s mission and values.

6. Environmentally Friendly and Cost-Effective:

Transitioning to digital bulletins reduces paper usage and printing costs. This not only supports environmental sustainability but also allows resources to be reallocated to other church initiatives.

7. Security Measures:

Digital platforms can implement security measures such as access controls, ensuring only authorized personnel can add or modify bulletin content. This prevents unauthorized additions, like the militia ad, from being included.

Implementation Example:

St. Mary’s Church Digital Bulletin System: St. Mary’s Church implemented a digital bulletin system that includes a multi-tier approval process. Every piece of content submitted by ministry leaders or parish members is first reviewed by the content editor, then by the pastoral council. The system also uses keyword filtering to flag content related to weapons or political groups. As a result, the church has successfully maintained the integrity of its communications, ensuring all content aligns with its values.


By adopting digital bulletins, churches can greatly enhance their content management and approval processes, ensuring that all communications are appropriate, accurate, and aligned with their mission. This not only prevents incidents like the unauthorized militia ad but also fosters greater trust and engagement within the church community.

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