Archbishop's column

Before the Cross - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Column

'Before The Cross' by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. Archbishop Carlson is the ninth Archbishop of Saint Louis. Listed below are the most recent columns written by Archbishop Carlson; click on the title to read the column. The Archdiocesan website has more information about Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Justice: Giving others their due

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

The simple definition of justice is: giving another their due (what belongs to them).

On a simple level that means if you borrow something from someone you have to give it back. On a deeper level it means giving each person the respect that is due to their human dignity. On the deepest level it means giving God our very selves -- heart and mind and soul and strength.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Prudence: Taking the good and making it the standard of action

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

This is the first in a series of columns about virtues, first the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance; followed by the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity. 

BEFORE THE CROSS | Lent, a season of joy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

The prayers of Mass refer to Lent as a "joyful season." But many people think of Lent as a sad time -- either because they're engaged in prayer, fasting and almsgiving and feel sorry about what they're giving up, or because they aren't engaged in prayer, fasting and almsgiving and feel guilty about what they're not giving up. Why should we -- and how can we -- think of Lent as a joyful season?

BEFORE THE CROSS | Father Smith sees himself as one of the 'pope's foot soldiers'

Father Nick Smith, director of the Office of Sacred Worship and archdiocesan master of ceremonies

While serving at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Lemay, Father Nick Smith taught at St. Mary's High School. While at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and St. Joan of Arc parishes, he taught at Rosati-Kain High School. He was a campus minister and a teacher at St. Louis University. Now, as director of the Office of Sacred Worship and archdiocesan master of ceremonies, he still teaches at St. Louis University. You could say that Father Smith has been a priest and a teacher for 20 years.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Meeting Jesus in the domestic Church

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, marched for life Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.

Do you ever wonder what Jesus was doing during the "hidden years" -- the years between His birth and the beginning of His public ministry? The Bible tells us almost nothing about that time in Jesus' life.

But Julie Bostick knows all about "the hidden years" from personal experience: She spent more than 20 years in finance before becoming the executive director of the Office of Laity and Family Life (OLFL).

"And I hate math!"she said.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Proclaiming Christ in every situation

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson visited Garfield Place Apartments, the safe haven for chronically homeless individuals run by Peter and Paul Community Services that opened this fall. The archbishop celebrated Mass and then blessed the facility.

"Catholic cemeteries are not final resting places," Msgr. Dennis Delaney says. "They are places that whisper hope."

That's a brilliant and poetic and faith-filled insight. It's capable of startling us out of our ordinary language and back into the realities of faith. It points us right to our faith in Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and our hope to follow Him -- exactly what Msgr. Delaney wants to do.

It also provides great insight into how Msgr. Delaney brings a pastor's heart into an administrative position -- something he has spent a lifetime doing.

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