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.

St. Thomas Aquinas proclaims the Eucharistic mystery

Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium" is a hymn written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is also sung on Holy Thursday during the procession from the church to the place where the Blessed Sacrament is kept until Good Friday.

Before the Cross | Eucharist, sum and summit of our faith

I've decided to write about the Eucharist during the summer months since in this lectionary cycle, we will hear at Sunday Mass the Bread of Life discourse from St. John's Gospel. But rather than simply describe what this great sacrament means to us using abstract theological language, I'm going to write about 12 women and men who dedicated their lives to Christ and who were distinguished in their love for the Blessed Sacrament. I hope that their lives can serve as an inspiration for us as we deepen our understanding of, and our devotion to, this marvelous mystery of our faith.

Mary, blessed among women, witnesses to the risen Christ

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson handed Seminarian Zachary Povis a bible as he instituted him in the ministry of Lector. Povis will be leaving in July to study at the North American College in Rome as he furthers his studies for the priesthood.

"All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers"(Acts 1:14). 

St. Paul witnessed to the Lord's resurrection by his words and his example

Archbishop Robert Carlson celebrated Mass recently at the new convent of the Lovers of the Holy Cross at Resurrection Parish in South St. Louis. The archbishop blessed the convent and stayed for a visit with the sisters, who recently immigrated to St. Louis and began their ministry.

Last week, I wrote about St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. One of the great ironies of Christian history is the fact that Saul of Tarsus, who after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus was to become "the first Christian theologian" and one of the Church's greatest missionaries, was present at the stoning of Stephen as an opponent of those who were followers of Jesus (cf. Acts 7:58).

Before the Cross | St. Stephen, first martyr, gives faithful witness to Christ

Transitional deacons John Nickolai, Brother Pio Enudu, Christopher Seiler, Charles Samson, Ray Buehler and Michael Benz gathered around Archbishop Robert J. Carlson after their ordination May 5. All were ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, except Brother Pio Enudu, who was ordained for the Society of Our Mother of Peace. Rev. Mr. Samson and Rev. Mr. Seiler are students at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The other men attend Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury.

During these weeks between Easter and Pentecost, I am writing about those women and men who were witnesses to the Lord's resurrection. Our faith is not based on abstract concepts. It is grounded in the eyewitness testimony of those who actually encountered the risen Jesus and then shared their experience with us.

Seeing is not the only form of believing

More than 300 supporters attended the Archbishop’s Gala for the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, held April 26 at the Missouri Athletic Club in Downtown St. Louis. Archbishop Carlson, who received the Sr. Mary Ann Eckhoff Leadership Award at the event, has made Catholic education his first priority and has been a strong supporter of Today and Tomorrow’s annual gala, which benefits its scholarship programs.

This year’s gala raised approximately $350,000 to provide tuition help for economically disadvantaged families with children in Catholic and other faith-based and private schools in the St. Louis region.

“The main objective of Alive in Christ is to grow Catholic education in every region of our archdiocese by strengthening Catholic identity, increasing enrollments and developing new financial resources,” Archbishop Carlson has said. “One of the best ways to achieve this ambitious objective is to make scholarships and tuition assistance available to Catholic families and others who otherwise could not afford a Catholic school education for their children.”

For more information on the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation or to donate, go online to the website at or call (314) 792-7621. Today and Tomorrow is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal.

Those of us who have had a profound personal encounter with Jesus are compelled to share that experience with others. We have "seen the Lord," and so our faith is deepened and enriched. We share this experience with others, and as a result others have their faith strengthened and renewed.

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