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 | Death forces a ‘shattering encounter with truth’ that can lead to conversion

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson questioned the children during his homily Nov. 9 as he celebrated Mass for St. Louis Catholic Academy at St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist Church in North St. Louis.

There is no more powerful image in all Christian art than Michelangelo’s Pietà. The Mother of Jesus, our mother, holds the crucified Christ in her arms. All earthly hope has been destroyed by the power of sin and death. Still, Mary remains faithful to God’s promises. She grieves profoundly, but she does not let go of the holy hope that sustains her in spite of everything.

Before the cross | The beatitudes show how to live as disciples

Archbishop Robert J Carlson blessed the congregation at St Joan of Arc Church in South St Louis during Mass on October 30. The Archbishop was the celebrant for the Mass that marked the 50th anniversary of the current church building. A dinner at Rose of the Hill followed the Mass. Assisting the archbishop was Deacon Terry Pimmel.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20).

Have you ever asked yourself, "What do I need to do to be really happy?"

When Jesus was asked this question by a wealthy young man, his initial response was: "Keep the commandments." But when the man said he kept the commandments but was looking for more — to be completely or perfectly happy — Jesus proposed that he observe the first beatitude: to become poor in spirit by selling everything he owned and following Jesus.

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.

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