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Core Coordinating Circle Members

Carla Mae Streeter 


Carla Mae Streeter

Carla Mae is professor emerita at Aquinas Institute of Theology, a graduate school of Ministry and Leadership in the Dominican Tradition associated with St. Louis University. She is Convener of CompassionateSTL and chair of the CSTL Coordinating Circle, the flexible gathering of Core CSTL Members and Partners which meets to report on and direct CSTL efforts and activities. She is one of the founders of CSTL along with the Rev. David Mehl (retired).

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David Oughton

Dr. David Oughton has taught many courses in the world's religions at Saint Louis University.  He has been the president of Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis. David has attended the Parliaments of World Religion in 1993 (Chicago), 1999 (Cape Town), 2004 (Barcelona), 2009 (Melbourne), 2014 (Salt Lake City), and 2018 (Toronto). He was part of the 2013 St. Louis Group that went to Louisville to help St. Louis begin the process of becoming a Compassionate City.


Katherine Van Uum

Katherine was trained as a historian and philosopher of science. She has taught on the college level. In her research, Katherine welcomes the shift of cognitive and neuroscience research towards health and wellness paradigms, and views the science of compassion is a part of that shift. She has been vital to CSTL in helping the group to keep a science-based focus. 


Philip Deitch

Philip has a 50 year-plus career as a human rights advocate that goes back to his 8th grade. He is active in a broad range of efforts impacting civil rights and equality, environmental justice, arts diversity, and coalition work by the Jewish and other spiritual communities.
As a volunteer photographer he has built an archive of over 200,000 images documenting community social justice work.  Philip is the official photographer for CSTL, and Note-t
aker for its Coordinating Circle Meetings.


Jack Sisk

Jack is the founder and executive director of The Living Insights Center, a universal religious and spiritual center which honors and nurtures the beliefs of each individual, and promotes understanding and appreciation of all spiritual traditions. A Hindu for 56 years, Jack is very active at The Hindu Temple of St. Louis. He represents the Hindu tradition as well as Living Insights on the Board of The Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis.  


Batya Abramson-Goldstein

Batya served the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) from 1988 to 2016, retiring in that year as its Executive Director.She served on the Cabinet of Interfaith Partnership including a term as Chair, was a founding member of Arts & Faith St. Louis, and served as chair of the Interfaith Breakfast Dialogue Group until her retirement in 2016. Retirement has not ended her continued support for efforts that build up the St. Louis region


Beth Damsgaard-Rodriguez

Beth has been active in interfaith work for many years. She is currently CEO and Interfaith Consultant at Interfaith Quest, an organization that provides interactive leadership focused on interactive leadership opportunities for youth representing a diversity of faith, races and cultures. Beth was a vital part of CSTL’s visioning and planning as it created its ten-year plan, and in encouraging her young members to become Partners in building the grass-roots base in the effort to make St. Louis a compassionate city.


Maryl Walters, CSB, MTS

Maryl is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher; an interfaith activist as a Cabinet Member of Interfaith Partnership in St. Louis, a member of the Interreligious Relations Convening Table of the National Council of Churches, participating in Jewish-, Muslim-, Sikh-, Hindu-, and Buddhist-Christian dialogues at the national level. Maryl has been active with CSTL from the Louisville visit on, gifting us with her networking skills and contacts.


Stephen DiSalvo

Stephen has led Maryville University’s Office of Service & Spiritual Life since fall 2006, supporting students of all or no religious affiliation, providing multiple opportunities to participate in volunteer service. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism in 1988, a Master’s Degree in Special Education in 1998 at the University of Missouri. He earned a Master of Divinity in 2005 at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Lo. He is tech savvy, and oversees the CSTL Facebook page.

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