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 | Social justice begins with the family

After ordaining six men to the priesthood May 25, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson handed them their first assignments.

As part of our observance of the Year of Faith, I am writing about the Catholic Church's social teaching. As I noted last week, the fundamental principle on which all our social teaching is based is the dignity of the human person. We Christians believe that the dignity of the person begins -- and ends -- with the family, which the Church teaches is "the first and essential cell of human society."

BEFORE THE CROSS | Dignity of human person is foundation of Catholic social teaching


The foundational principle of Catholic social teaching is the dignity of the human person. From a faith perspective, we strongly affirm this because we believe that every human person is made in the image and likeness of God. But even from a purely human perspective, we are convinced that every human being has rights and responsibilities that come from human nature itself. This double perspective of faith and reason is at the heart of all our Church's social teaching.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Sacredness of human life underlies Catholic social teaching

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presented a diploma to Rev. Mr. John Nickolai during the recent gradution Mass and ceremony at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Deacon Nickolai will be ordained a priest on May 25 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis with five other men from the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

You'll recall that last fall, as part of our observance of the Year of Faith, I wrote a series of articles based on the Apostles' Creed. In Lent, I reflected on the sacraments. During the next two months, I'd like to offer practical reflections on what has come to be known as Catholic social teaching.

Following an outline recommended by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I'll organize my articles based on the following themes:

BEFORE THE CROSS | God's divine love and mercy are the source of all our Easter joy

Kenrick-Glennon seminarian Rev. Mr. David Hogan gave Archbishop Robert J. Carlson his oath of obedience as he was ordained as a transitional deacon. Deacon Hogan was among six new transitional deacons ordained for the St. Louis Archdiocese during a May 4 Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

This is a special time in the Church's year of grace -- the time between Easter and Pentecost. During these weeks, we celebrate with joy our Lord's Resurrection from the dead. We also anticipate that truly momentous occasion when Christ sent the Holy Spirit to enflame the hearts of His disciples and to send them out to the whole world to evangelize and to carry on His work of healing and bringing hope to all.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Christians called to be ambassadors of joy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson blessed a new plaque at Regina Cleri, an archdiocesan residence for retired priests. The plaque expresses gratitude from the retired priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to the Annual Catholic Appeal and all the donors who have contributed so generously to the residence. The plaque describes continued prayers from all the priests living there.

Robert F. Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of Green Bay, Wis. He is a full-time pastor, a poet and a very popular speaker. In 1999, St. Anthony Messenger Press published a little book by Bishop Morneau called "A Retreat with C.S. Lewis." The first chapter of this book, which corresponds to the first day of the retreat, is called, "The Great Surprise: Joy."

Before the Cross | Our lasting joy comes through the Resurrection

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson addressed the crowd at the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate’s Creative Writing Contest Awards Assembly 2013, held April 24 at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. Four student winners were recognized and awarded with scholarships.

When I began this series of articles reflecting on Easter joy, I mentioned that heartfelt joy is an integral part of life in Christ. I also recalled that our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has pointed out that during the baroque period, the Church's liturgy used to include "the risus paschalis, the Easter laughter." In those days the Easter homily had to contain a story that made people laugh, so that the church resounded with joyful laughter.

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