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 | Synod tries to better explain, not change, Church teaching

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke to Brother Aidan McDermott and Brother Cuthbert Elliott at the Mass in which the two Benedictines were ordained as transitional deacons. The men will continue their studies toward the priesthood at the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Louis.

In this final article on the family, I want to reflect on the extraordinary Synod of Bishops that the Holy Father has called for the coming fall. The theme of the synod is "the pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelization."

Let's begin by recalling a conversation Jesus had with his disciples. One day He asked them, "Who do people say that I am?" They reported the things they had heard: that He was John the Baptist, or Elijah or one of the prophets.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Approaching end-of-life care as people of faith

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated an exposition and benediction as part of a novena Aug. 5 at the Monastery of St. Clare in south St. Louis County.

As we continue this series on the family, I'd like to reflect about one aspect of our care for family members at the end of life.

In a brilliant and challenging article many years ago, Lutheran theologian Gilbert Meilaender wrote,"I want to burden my loved ones."

His analysis started with the response people often give when they hear a story of someone near the end of life who is sustained by feeding tubes or, more drastically, a ventilator: "I wouldn't want to live like that. I don't want to burden my loved ones."

BEFORE THE CROSS | Our first reaction should be to act with love


As I continue this series on the family, I'd like to reflect on the reality of broken families.

The ideal situation for a family, both morally and statistically, is a "two-parent, intact household" -- children living with their mother and father.

But we know well that, for a variety of reasons, the ideal situation isn't always what happens. There's death. There's divorce. There's having children outside of marriage. There are many factors in our fallen world that complicate things. How do we approach a broken world as people of faith?

BEFORE THE CROSS | Families mirror the fruitful nature of the Trinity

Five sisters of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Phat Diem made their perpetual religious professions at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in south St. Louis on July 19. The community came to the Archdiocese from Vietnam by invitation of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, who was the principal celebrant of the Mass. The five religious are, from left, Sister Teresa Din Thi Cuc, Sister Maria Vu Thi Diep, Sister Tran Thi Khuyen, Sister Maria Nguyen Thi Thuy and Sister Anna Vu Thi Thuyen.

As I continue this series on the family, I want to reflect about children in the family. I do so with a special awareness that July 20-26 was designated Natural Family Planning Week by the U.S. bishops.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Marriage: The first building block of family life

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass for the Steubenville Youth Conference on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield July 12. Over the course of two weekends, approximately 7,400 teens, youth ministers, chaperones and volunteers are expected to attend the annual event.

Continuing this series on the family, I want to reflect about the relationship between husband and wife -- the first building block of family life.

Whether married or not, most of us have engaged in some kind of service work. And service work -- even when it tires us physically -- is spiritually energizing. Why should that be the case?

BEFORE THE CROSS | Family Life: Relationships shape our whole life

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

As we enter into the heart (and the heat!) of the St. Louis summer, when many of us spend some extra time with our families, I want to reflect with you on family life.

I propose that we begin with what's right in front of us at this time of year: July 4 -- Independence Day.

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