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.

Students inspired by teachers who witness to the faith

The fifth essential mark of a school's Catholic identity is the witness of teachers and staff who inspire students with their Catholic faith. Of all the marks of a school's Catholic identity this is the most important. The witness of faithful women and men is what makes it possible for us to hand on the faith to our young Church and help students reach their full potential as persons made in the image of God.

Our schools provide students a Catholic view of world

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The fourth essential mark of a school's Catholic identity is that a Catholic worldview is reflected in everything that is taught or offered to students experientially. What do I mean by "a Catholic worldview," and why is it an essential characteristic of a school's Catholic identity?

Catholic schools are communities of faith, learning

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The third essential mark of a school's Catholic identity is its active participation in the mission of the larger Church, the one Body of Christ. A Catholic school is a community of faith and learning. It shares in the mission of the family, the domestic Church, by helping parents carry out their primary duty — to educate their children in the faith. A Catholic school also serves as a ministry of its parish, sponsoring community or diocese by helping members of the young Church grow in their knowledge and experience of what it means to be a faithful member of the Body of Christ.

Catholic schools must see Jesus as model of growth, learning

The second essential mark of a Catholic school is its profound conviction that Jesus Christ is the model for all human growth and learning. Catholic schools seek to help every student reach his or her full potential as a human person made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26–27).

Catholic schools must be unapologetic witness to God

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presented Tim Thompson with the St. Louis King Award at the the archbishop’s residence Sept. 28. Thompson was given the award in recognition for his work as the chair of the 2011 Annual Catholic Appeal.

The first essential mark of a school's Catholic identity is that faith in God is proclaimed in everything the school does. This is the supernatural vision that inspires everything that happens in a Catholic school: "We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible" (Nicene Creed). God is the Creator of all that exists -- natural and supernatural. God is our Father, our Brother and the Holy Spirit who forms and sustains each one of us and everything that is.

Before the Cross | Catholic schools are to be rooted in faith

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson arrived in style — on a John Deere tractor — for the closing Mass at SpiritFest, held Sept. 24 at Camp RockyVine in Dutzow. The daylong event for families, which included music, food and fun activities, was sponsored by the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate, the Knights of Columbus and Camp RockyVine.

It is of utmost importance, therefore, that the Church's institutions be genuinely Catholic: Catholic in their self-understanding and Catholic in their identity. All those who share in the apostolates of such institutions, including those who are not of the faith, should show a sincere and respectful appreciation of that mission which is their inspiration and ultimate raison d'être.

-- Pope Benedict XVI

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