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 | Campus ministry connects college students to Christ 

"Catching fire" and "connecting students to Christ" are frequent expressions of Father Bill Kempf. Working with students, forming and shaping them as people and as committed Catholics, is what Father Bill enjoys most about his ministry to students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He believes that campus ministry has the potential to help students come to know, love and serve Christ. He says watching that happen and sharing in a student's experience of spiritual awakening and conversion is a source of hope and real joy.

Before the Cross | Parish youth ministers share Christ with young Church

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson confirmed Alyssa Abernathy, 14, and others April 26 at St. Ferdinand Church in Florissant. Alyssa’s mother, Julie, was her sponsor.

Dan Huss has been a youth minister at Incarnate Word Parish in Chesterfield for 13 years. He gave up his job as an accountant — and took a significant cut in pay — to share Christ with young people. He says he wouldn't go back on that life-changing decision for anything. He thanks God every day for the gift of his vocation as a husband and father of three children and as a minister to the young Church.

Ministry to the young Church is a labor of love and joy 

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson greeted priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis as they entered the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis to celebrate Mass of the Holy Chrism on Holy Thursday, April 21.

This is the first in a series of articles on ministry to the young Church. I want to share with you some of the experiences of three dedicated professionals who minister to young people in very different settings: a Catholic high school, a parish and a college campus.

Liz Miller is a campus minister at Notre Dame High School, a Catholic school in the archdiocese. She says her job is to make sure that students in her school have opportunities to experience God's love for them and, most of all, to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Before the Cross | Jesus’ prayer on Good Friday speaks of both abandonment, hope

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson processed to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis after blessing the palms April 17 before celebrating Palm Sunday Mass.

Jesus died praying. His whole being was handed over to the Father in a profound act of love and worship. As the evangelists Matthew and Mark describe it, the Lord cried out in a loud voice as He hung on the cross uttering the opening words of Psalm 21: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).

The bystanders who heard the Lord's words misunderstood Him. They thought he was calling on Elijah or one of the prophets to come and save Him. They didn't realize that His words of abandonment were also words of profound hope.

Before the Cross | During the Season of Lent

The Church gives us the season of Lent to help us diagnose the soul sickness that affects every one of us to some degree or another. During Lent, the readings at Mass, our prayer, the penitential practices we are called to observe (fasting and abstinence) and the good works we are invited to perform (almsgiving) all help us to admit our sinfulness and to change from a self-centered way of life to lives of generous service.

Before the cross | Do all needed to keep marriage holy 

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke with Greg Meier, left, of St. Bernadette Parish at Jefferson Barracks and his son, Michael Meier, 17, during the Annual Catholic Appeal kick-off dinner April 3 at The Cedars at St. Raymond’s Maronite Catholic Cathedral.

For the past six weeks, I have been reflecting on the Precepts of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church and its compendium list five precepts as follows:

1. Attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and remain free from work or activity that could impede the sanctification of such days.

2. Confess your sins at least once a year.

3. Receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.

4. Observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.

5. Help provide for the needs of the Church.

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