Abp. Carlson: We must build bridges to bring others to Christ

In reaching out to people, “you have to be a bridge builder,” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson told the Review while speaking about his efforts as an evangelist during an interview in Saginaw a few weeks before his installation in St. Louis.

The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese, where he was ordained a priest and served as an auxiliary bishop, had recently written that he has “a missionary mentality, not afraid to proclaim the Gospel, invite people to respond, and wanting to see the Church grow and thrive.”

The archbishop told the Review that the Saginaw Diocese does what is called an “October count” where every person is counted in churches four Sundays in a row.

The count shows that the number of people going to church isn’t the same as the number of people listed as Catholics in a diocese.

As a “bridge builder,” he said, “you have to find ways to bring people back. We know from the Scriptures that we have a responsibility to bring Christ to others. There are people wanting to meet Christ. Every Catholic has to be an evangelizer.”

A variety of programs exist to assist with that task, he said, and the Church needs to help people be evangelizers, especially at the parish level.

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