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 | We must keep our Catholic schools growing

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson greeted Sister Deloris of the Immaculate Heart before he celebrated Holy Mass Saturday in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the first profession of vows for Sister Deloris of the Immaculate Heart and Sister Magdalen of St. Jerome, both members of the Contemplative Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Florissant. In the background is Father Robert Szydlowski, senior associate at St. Martin de Porres Parish in Hazelwood.

In January when I published my vision for Catholic schools, I wrote: "We cannot be content with the status quo or, worse, with declining enrollments in our schools. To truly be Alive in Christ our schools must be vibrant centers of evangelization and missionary activity. Promoting growth is not optional — no matter how difficult the challenges."

Archbishop's Calendar | August 27, 2010

Here is the weekly schedule for Archbishop Robert J. Carlson:

Saturday, August 28

11 a.m. Celebrant and homilist for Diamond Jubilee Mass, Contemplative Sisters of Good Shepherd, Florissant

4:30 p.m. Celebrant and homilist for Mass honoring Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's birth, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta parish, Ferguson

Sunday, August 29

5 p.m. Celebrant and homilist for Mass honoring 50th anniversary of parish, St. Sabina Church, Florissant

Tuesday, August 31

Before the cross | A trinity of essential characteristics define identity of Catholic schools

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass in the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul at the Cardinal Rigali Center on Aug. 25, the feast of St. Louis IX. St. Louis IX, the patron saint of the archdiocese, ruled France in the middle of the 13th century and was canonized in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII. To read more about St. Louis, see stlouisreview.com/Cv9.

What are the fundamental characteristics of a Catholic school? What constitutes a school's "Catholic identity"?

It's not the externals — the crucifixes on the classroom walls, the pictures and statues of the saints, the habits worn by the Sisters or the little boxes or rice bowls used to collect money for the missions. These are important physical symbols (sacramentals) that remind us of deeper truths, but they are not the essential things that make a school Catholic.

Before the cross | Catholic schools express hope when they are Alive in Christ!

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke with Bob and Peggy McGartland of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish at the celebration for the Federation of Catholic Schools in the Northeast Deanery Aug. 11. The McGartlands were incolved in the early stages of planning for what would become the federation. The presentation was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall on the Old St Ferdinand Shrine property. A reception and tours of the shrine followed the presentation.

During my first year as archbishop of St. Louis, I visited many schools and learned a lot about the rich tradition and history of Catholic education in this part of the country. Who could fail to be impressed by, and grateful for, the heritage that is ours? We all owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the women and men — clergy, religious and laypeople — who built our schools and who have sustained our commitment to Catholic education for nearly 200 years in spite of many obstacles!

Archbishop's Calendar | August 20, 2010

Here is the weekly schedule for Archbishop Robert J. Carlson:

Saturday, Aug. 21

5 p.m. Celebrant and homilist for Mass, Cathedral Basilica, Central West End

Sunday, Aug. 22

2 p.m. Celebrant for Mass honoring 350th anniversary of the death of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, Cathedral Basilica, Central West End

5 p.m. Close of Forty Hours for the 125th Anniversary of the parish, St. Rose of Lima Parish, DeSoto

Before the Cross | Amassing earthly goods without limits is not God's plan for us

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson greeted Catholic educators after the Aug. 9 Mass at St. Francis Xavier “College” Church that opened the annual Religious Education Institute, held on the campus of St. Louis University in Midtown St. Louis. The institute, presented by the archdiocesan Catholic Education Office and sponsored by SLU’s Department of Theological Studies, drew about 1,400 religious educators from all around the archdiocese. The all-day institute included workshop sessions, speakers and a keynote address by Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Portland, Maine.

Last week I observed that the final two commandments of the Decalogue are concerned with sins of desire, or concupiscence. I also pointed out that, in our Church's catechetical tradition, the Ninth Commandment forbids inappropriate desires of the flesh while the Tenth Commandment forbids inappropriate desire for material things — coveting another's goods.

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