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 | 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.

BEFORE THE CROSS | To protect and serve God's people

Father Mike Boehm

If you start a conversation with Fr. Mike Boehm, ask him about the firefighting plaques that hang in his office. The intensity and joy in his answer will tell you a great deal about the man and his priesthood. While assigned as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Washington, he also volunteered for more than five years as a firefighter for the Washington Fire Department.

BEFORE THE CROSS | A 'refrigerator' promoting Catholic schools

Kurt Nelson, superintendent of schools

Kurt Nelson – new superintendent for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis -- encourages school leaders to "Be a Refrigerator."


1) The refrigerator is in the kitchen, so people congregate near it.

2) People go to the refrigerator in search of refreshment and nourishment.

3) What we attach to our refrigerators tells people who we are, what we do and what we value.

School leaders should be a refrigerator in all three senses: a place to congregate, of refreshment and an advertisement of the school's mission.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Church as a family business

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson blessed the manger scene at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis after the figurine of baby Jesus was placed in the creche. The cathedral was filled to capacity and many people stood. The Archdiocesan Choir sang Christmas hymns and there were readings before Mass.

If you want to start a conversation with Javier Orozco, ask about his parents, Maria and Francisco. The love in his eyes and passion on his face will tell you something about him, even as he tells you about them. "They were the goodness, beauty and truth of God incarnate in my life," he says.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Jesus is the true light of humankind

Jesus is the true light of humankind

At the darkest time of the year, we celebrate the birth of the true light of humankind -- Jesus Christ.

Lights in the darkness are among of the great symbols at this time of year -- and one of the great joys. But our celebration is more than symbolic, it's also historical. Christmas isn't just the projection of a human need for light in the darkness. Jesus Christ, God made man, really came into the world two thousand years ago to save us. His entire life was a light for humankind. Say a prayer for someone you know who needs that light.

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