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 | We, too, can experience St. Paul's remarkable conversion

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson blessed Birthright Counseling St. Louis’ Midtown facility at 3946 Lindell Blvd. This is the newest of Birthright’s four locations in St. Louis. Birthright counsels and cares for women facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies and ministers to more than 3,000 women annually.

During the weeks between Easter and Pentecost, I plan to write a series of reflections on the great missionary and evangelist St. Paul. All Christians owe a debt of gratitude to this remarkable man whose conversion meant so much for the development of the early Church and whose teaching continues to instruct, inspire and engage us 2,000 years later. Of course, Paul would be the first to say that his conversion and his subsequent ministry was not his doing but the grace of Christ working in him.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Easter is the season of joy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke at the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Legislative Breakfast April 4 and asked legislators to keep the needs of the poor close to their hearts. The important topics included Medicaid reform and expansion, a moratorium on the death penalty, alternatives to abortion and modest tax credits that help the poor.

During the six weeks of Lent, I offered a series of reflections on the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"). In my first article, I wrote that during Lent it is especially appropriate for us to reflect prayerfully on the obstacles that get in our way as we journey toward the joy of heaven. Now, when we celebrate the great feast of Easter, we have a chance to experience some small share of the joy that will be ours abundantly and forever in the kingdom of heaven.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Pope Francis challenges us to be 'spirit-filled evangelizers'

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson led evening prayer at St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis before a dinner to kick off the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal. The theme of this year’s appeal is “Build My Church.” To learn more about the appeal and watch a video from Archbishop Carlson, see

This is my final Lenten reflection on Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"). I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of this amazingly rich document, so if you have not already done so, I encourage you to read it prayerfully during the coming Easter season.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Faith in Jesus Christ is deeply personal, but it is not private

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

We are baptized into a family of faith, the Church, and we live out our Christian discipleship in communion with all our sisters and brothers (living and deceased) who make up the one Body of Christ. The social, or communal, dimension of Catholic belief and practice is every bit as important as the individual, or personal, dimension of Christian life.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Good homilies inspire us to proclaim the Gospel to all

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass on the feast day of St. Joseph at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Downtown St. Louis. 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the Vatican-approved miracle which took place at the Shrine of St. Joseph that resulted in sainthood for St. Peter Claver.

These weeks of Lent, I am reflecting on Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"). The largest section of the Holy Father's chapter on proclaiming the Gospel is devoted to the Sunday homily. This is appropriate. The homily is the principal way that the Good News of Jesus Christ is communicated week in and week out.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Obstacles to experiencing The Joy of the Gospel

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke during a healing prayer service held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Washington March 6. At the event, which was open to the public, Archbishop Carlson apologized and prayed for those who have been harmed or touched by abuse in any way.

Lent is an appropriate time for us to reflect on the obstacles that can prevent us from experiencing the fullness of Easter joy. That's why the Church provides us with this penitential season and urges us to devote serious time to prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

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