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 | 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.

Before the Cross | Eucharist, sacraments at center of vibrant parish life

Too often we think that parish viability is determined by the size of a parish or by its financial resources. Numbers are important, of course, but vibrant parishes are not defined by them. Parishes are spiritual communities. Their health must be measured by spiritual vitality more than by the size of the congregation or its bank account.

Parishes are signs of the presence of God in our world. If a parish has a strong sacramental life, if the holy Eucharist is at the center of the parish's life -- that's a powerful statement about its vitality.

Praying for those who have died is a spiritual work of mercy

Catholic Christians always have believed in the importance of praying for those who have died. We call this a spiritual work of mercy. We also believe that the dead pray for us -- that they intercede for us as advocates. This means, of course, that we believe there is a real relationship that continues to exist between the living and the dead. And like all personal relationships, we believe that our connection (communion) with those who have died is nourished and strengthened by personal, and sometimes intimate, communication.

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