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 | A vocation to the dedicated single life leads to joy and fulfillment

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass for World Mission Sunday Oct. 24 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Representatives of 20 countries who now live in the archdiocese participated in the Mass.

Every baptized Christian is called to follow Jesus, to live as He lived, and to be wholly dedicated to a life of self-giving and surrender to God’s will. The Christian vocation is a way of life that brings great joy and personal fulfillment in spite of the fact that it sometimes involves hardship and difficulties (the Way of the Cross).

Before the cross | Permanent deacons witness to the Lord’s ministries

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson shook hands Oct. 17 with Christopher McCann, 8, during a reception in Boland Hall. Earlier, Archbishop Carlson celebrated the annual White Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for doctors, nurses and others in the medical field. Christopher’s father, Michael McCann, is a medical doctor. From left are members of his family including: Andrea (his mom); Veronica, 3 months; Michael, 18; Christopher, 8; Benedict, 3; and Gisela, 14. In the background is Father Jay Alvarez, a priest of Opus Dei.

Last year when Pope Benedict XVI met with the permanent deacons of the Diocese of Rome, he recalled an incident that occurred at the Second Vatican Council. Each day when the council was in session, the Gospel was enthroned to demonstrate that the council’s proceedings were subject to the authority of God’s Word. One day, Pope Paul VI told those in charge of the opening ceremony that at least one time he would like to be the person who enthroned the Gospel. The liturgists told him no, this is the job of a deacon, not the pope.

Before the cross | A priest is called to surrender all to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson dedicated the new Shrine to the Holy Family at Cedar Creek in Foristell on Oct. 9. About 350 people attended the dedication ceremony. The life-size bronze sculpture of Jesus, Mary and Joseph by local sculptor Cynthia Hitschler depicts that “God made flesh” and reflects the real human love that exists between Joseph and Mary as husband and wife.

Priesthood is a vocation that requires courage and self-sacrifice, but it's also a way of life that is filled with joy and satisfaction.

Before the Cross | Sacrament of Marriage is three-way partnership

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke with representatives from Catholic schools Oct. 5 during a Catholic education listening session at Trinity Catholic High School in Spanish Lake. Attending with the archbishop was Daniel Conway, the archdiocese’s consultant for mission advancement.

Did you know that every sacramental marriage is a three-way partnership? The institution of marriage, which is the bedrock of human society and our most fundamental social unit, is a partnership between a man and a woman. It is a critically important relationship in human life because it provides a loving context for the continuation of our species.

Before the Cross | Consecrated life requires total surrender to Christ's call

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson got some help selecting bandannas for his dogs from Cardinal Ritter College Prep freshman Bryant Bell Sept. 25 at the Making It booth in the Clayton Farmer’s Market. Bryant and fellow Ritter freshman Candice Murdock, behind Bryant, became involved in the Making It project, baking and selling gourmet dog biscuits, while students at Central Catholic High School in North St. Louis. The program will soon move to Holy Trinity School in the Baden neighborhood. The booth also features Angel Baked Cookies, made by neighborhood teens at Sts. Teresa Bridget Parish. Jenu McLucas, a Holy Trinity fifth-grader, stood next to the archbishop.

St. Clare of Assisi ran away from home at age 19 to follow Christ through a way of life that involved a total surrender of everything she knew. Like her friend and mentor, St. Francis, she embraced the Gospel counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience — with a special commitment to poverty as a way of achieving total detachment from material things and from the status and security that a life of wealth and comfort promises but never completely delivers.

Before the Cross | We are called to follow Jesus Christ and to serve Him in diverse ways

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass Sept. 22 before the inaugural Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of Legatus. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, N.D., concelebrated. Deacon Larry Stallings of Incarnate Word Parish assisted. Keynote speaker Bishop Aquila spoke about the importance of unyielding commitment to pro-life issues.

Do you know what your vocation is? Every Christian has one. The vocation, or calling, of every baptized Christian is to follow Jesus Christ and to live as He lived in communion with God and with all God's children — past, present and future.

We all receive the same calling to follow Jesus, but the Lord calls each one of us by name. He knows us — better than we know ourselves — and so He invites us to follow Him in ways that are particularly suited to the gifts, talents and abilities God has given us.

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