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 | Parish's mission: to transform us into holy people of Christ

This is my final article on the seven signs of a vibrant Catholic parish. I believe that parishes are Alive in Christ when: 1) the holy Eucharist and the sacraments are at the center of parish life; 2) they are schools of prayer and spirituality; 3) they hand on the faith to future generations; 4) they reach out beyond parish boundaries; 5) they proclaim the Gospel in action as well as in words; 6) they have collaborative leaders and exercise good stewardship of all God's gifts; and 7) they transform parishioners, making a real difference in the way they live on a daily basis.

Before the Cross | Vibrant parishes have collaborative leaders, exercise good stewardship

What's your definition of a good pastor? A man of prayer? One who cares for his parishioners? A collaborative leader? Someone who delivers inspiring (but short) homilies? A good manager of the parish's money -- who doesn't ask too often?

What Jesus demands of us, His pastors, is clearly spelled out in the Gospel. He wants us to be holy and to serve rather than be served. He wants us to be teachers (using both words and actions) and to be pastoral ministers who live out in our daily lives the Gospel we proclaim, and the sacraments we administer, in His name.

Before the Cross | Vibrant parishes are welcoming communities

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson congratulated Father John Horn, SJ, after he was installed Sept. 1 as the new president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary at a Mass at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

Vibrant Catholic parishes are welcoming, hospitable and committed to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others. As Blessed John Paul II reminded us, the Church proposes. She does not impose her beliefs or her practices on anyone. We take our faith seriously. We believe that Jesus Christ is truly the way, the truth and the life. We want to share our beliefs, and our way of life, with everyone -- without imposing but also without minimizing the moral values and doctrinal principles that are at the heart of our Catholic faith and practice.

Before the Cross | Vibrant parishes reach beyond parish boundaries


"I have always been struck by Matthew's 25th chapter which provides the only scene of the last judgment in Fr. Jeff Vomundthe Gospels. In it, Jesus asks his followers to recognize Him particularly in the least of our brothers and sisters. So our call to social justice is rooted in nothing less than Jesus' challenge to see him in one another.

Before the Cross | Vibrant parishes hand on the faith to future generations

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presented certificates to those being honored at the 14th Annual Catholic Women’s Recognition Awards at The Church of the Immacolata in Richmond Heights Aug. 21. Fifty-one women were recognized for their contributions to the Church.

Vibrant Catholic parishes continue the teaching ministry of Jesus. They help adults, youth and children in diverse regions of our archdiocese come to a deeper understanding of God's plan for human life and for all creation.

Vibrant parishes are schools of prayer, spirituality

Most of us learned to pray at home. That's the way it should be. The Christian home is a domestic church. It is the place where we first learn to communicate with God and to venerate our Blessed Mother Mary and all the saints.

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