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 | You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth

From left, Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice, Rev. Mr. Fadi Auro, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Paula Willenbrink, Sister Mary Charles Mayer, RSM, and Judith Stegman of the U.S. Association of Consecrated Virgins, are shown after the Mass of Consecration.

This is the first in a series of four articles I will be writing on the subject of evangelization.

Recent popes (especially Paul VI, Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI) have made evangelization a top priority for our Church. Evangelization is central to our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ. If we do not evangelize well, we fail in our most important responsibility as Christians in today’s world.

Before the Cross | Christ is a treasure to be shared with others

Msgr. David Ratermann, left, talked with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson before a Mass celebrating the 60th anniversary of Msgr. Ratermann’s ordination to the priesthood. The Mass was celebrated May 30 at Sacred Heart Church in Valley Park.

A month ago, on the Second Sunday of Easter, we celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. This great feast was especially joyful because it was the occasion of Blessed John Paul II's beatification. There are many reasons to celebrate the life and ministry of this holy man, including his fervent commitment to prayer, his love for all God's people regardless of race or nationality, his extraordinary service to the Universal Church and his witness to the meaning of suffering.

Before the Cross | All are called to serve the poor and the homeless 

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, center, and Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice, right, celebrated Mass honoring graduates from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary on May 2. From left to right, the seminarians are Joseph Kelly, David Miloscia, Zac Povis and Peter Fonseca.

When is the last time you took in a homeless person or family? When did you last provide clothing for someone who had nothing to wear?

These are not specialized services or ministries that require an advanced degree. To clothe the naked and shelter the homeless are the third and fourth corporal works of mercy. These are acts of charity that all of us are called to perform — out of gratitude to God for His goodness to us and because we care about all our sisters and brothers, especially those who are most in need of our help.

Before the Cross | Apart from God's mercy there is no other source of hope 

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson gave the keynote talk May 9 at events opening the annual Senior Adult Week observed at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services. This year’s theme was “Living Today for a Better Tomorrow.” Cardinal Ritter, the largest agency of Catholic Charities of St. Louis, specializes in creative care for the elderly in St. Louis City and five surrounding counties. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life for older people through comprehensive social, health and senior services.

For the next three weeks, I will be writing about the seven corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked and shelter the homeless, to visit the sick and imprisoned, and to bury the dead. These very practical expressions of Christian discipleship reveal the fundamental fact of God's love for us as it is manifested in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Before He ascended to His Father, the Lord instructed all who wish to follow Him to do as He did: To be merciful as God is merciful — not only in our attitudes but in our actions as well.

Before the Cross | Campus ministry connects college students to Christ 

"Catching fire" and "connecting students to Christ" are frequent expressions of Father Bill Kempf. Working with students, forming and shaping them as people and as committed Catholics, is what Father Bill enjoys most about his ministry to students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He believes that campus ministry has the potential to help students come to know, love and serve Christ. He says watching that happen and sharing in a student's experience of spiritual awakening and conversion is a source of hope and real joy.

Before the Cross | Parish youth ministers share Christ with young Church

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson confirmed Alyssa Abernathy, 14, and others April 26 at St. Ferdinand Church in Florissant. Alyssa’s mother, Julie, was her sponsor.

Dan Huss has been a youth minister at Incarnate Word Parish in Chesterfield for 13 years. He gave up his job as an accountant — and took a significant cut in pay — to share Christ with young people. He says he wouldn't go back on that life-changing decision for anything. He thanks God every day for the gift of his vocation as a husband and father of three children and as a minister to the young Church.

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