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.

God is the author of marriage

Guest speakers Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Archbishop Joseph Naumann spoke with Deby Sansone Schlapprizzi during a “talk-show-like” interview at the Respect Life Apostolate’s Commemorate and Commit Dinner March 2 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch Hotel Downtown. The Respect Life Apostolate reported that 701 people attended the event, which was to mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

During the past few years, my brother bishops and I have been writing about marriage with an increasing sense of urgency. Why? Because we believe this fundamental human institution is being threatened by forces that fail to appreciate marriage's importance for individuals, families and society at large.

Sacraments help heal our bodies, souls

Jacob Brock and Daniel Belken, seminarians from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, spoke with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis before entering for Mass on Feb. 22, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle. The Mass was in thanksgiving for the service of Pope Benedict XVI.

For the past three weeks, I have written about the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. With the reception of these great gifts from God, we are reborn spiritually, our sins are forgiven, and we are nourished by our intimate communion with Jesus Christ and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Confirmation makes the new evangelization possible

Bishops administer the Sacrament of Confirmation with a special sense of joy. Yes, it's a lot of work traveling to parishes in all 11 counties of our archdiocese and confirming thousands of young people every year. But it's worth it. Celebrating this particular sacrament allows us to meet the young Church face-to-face, to share with them the special graces of the Holy Spirit and to encourage them to become new evangelists, true witnesses of Christ who confess His name boldly and accept their responsibility to take up the cross and follow Him.

Baptism is God's most beautiful, magnificent gift

On Jan. 31 of Catholic Schools Week, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson visited St. Paul in Fenton to celebrate Mass with students from the schools in Region 4.

"The faithful are born anew by baptism, strengthened by the Sacrament of Confirmation and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life."

Pope Paul VI 

St. Katharine Drexel, a stewardship saint

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson led the prayers of petition during the Jan. 25 Mass for 2,000 youths from the St. Louis Archdiocese. Teens prayed during the Mass before participating in the March for Life.

Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia, Pa., just six years after the death of Rose Philippine Duchesne in St. Charles in 1852. St. Katharine's life, including the years immediately preceding her death, mirror that of St. Rose. Both women were tireless missionaries who established schools and who dedicated themselves to the poor, especially minorities. Both women spent the final years of their lives in retirement, dedicating themselves exclusively to the ministry of prayer.

Anne-Thérèse Guérin, a woman of courage, perseverance and deep faith

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson exchanged a sign of peace with Rev. Dr. Roy C. Moore from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America during an ecumenical prayer service Jan. 22 at All Saints Church in University City. “What does God require of Us?” was the theme for the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Behind the archbishop on the left was Archimandrite Theophan Koja of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, of the the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. Behind the archbishop was Msgr. Michael Witt, pastor of All Saints Parish.

For the past several weeks, I have been writing about women whose courage, perseverance and deep faith helped build the Church in the United States. These American saints were educators, evangelists, pioneer leaders and women of prayer. They were undaunted by illness, physical obstacles, prejudice, poverty or petty jealousy. They discerned God's will in their lives and then refused to let anything get in the way of carrying out the mission entrusted to them by Christ.

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