Archbishop Robert Carlson

Abp. Carlson: We must build bridges to bring others to Christ

In reaching out to people, “you have to be a bridge builder,” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson told the Review while speaking about his efforts as an evangelist during an interview in Saginaw a few weeks before his installation in St. Louis.

The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese, where he was ordained a priest and served as an auxiliary bishop, had recently written that he has “a missionary mentality, not afraid to proclaim the Gospel, invite people to respond, and wanting to see the Church grow and thrive.”

The archbishop told the Review that the Saginaw Diocese does what is called an “October count” where every person is counted in churches four Sundays in a row.

The count shows that the number of people going to church isn’t the same as the number of people listed as Catholics in a diocese.

As a “bridge builder,” he said, “you have to find ways to bring people back. We know from the Scriptures that we have a responsibility to bring Christ to others. There are people wanting to meet Christ. Every Catholic has to be an evangelizer.”

A variety of programs exist to assist with that task, he said, and the Church needs to help people be evangelizers, especially at the parish level.

Catholics share their views from Evening Prayer service

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson walked past a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard at the Evening Prayer service June 9 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

“We were asked to be escorts for city leaders attending the prayer service from the chancery to the cathedral. We are honored to do it. We have 12 Scouts here, including two formerly in our troop who are now Eagle Scouts and come back to do things like this.”

Jeff Reitz

Scout leader
Scout Troop 671
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish in Oakville
 “ We are very excited. This is wonderful.”

Yetta Kilgore
Brenda Moore Jones
Joyce Clark

Family life has always been strong for Archbishop Carlson

The Carlson family, circa 1953, included Robert Sr. and Jeanne, and children Patty, Cathy and Robert Jr.

When Archbishop-elect Robert J. Carlson’s sister learned that he was being appointed as St. Louis’ next archbishop, several things immediately flashed through her mind.

While she’s never visited St. Louis, Cathy Percival of Bloomington, Minn., in a recent interview with the Review, seemed very much in tune with what’s going on in the Gateway City.

“I’m kind of the sports nut in the family, so I thought, ‘Oh yeah, St. Louis Cardinals,’” said the 60-year-old social worker. “There’s the Arch, and wasn’t the women’s (NCAA) Final Four just there?”

Of course, she also couldn’t forget some recent big news about one of St. Louis’ own: Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was just installed as head of the Archdiocese of New York.

Archbishop reaches out to whole community in homily

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson knelt in prayer prior to entering the Cathedral Basilica for an Evening Prayer service June 9

Knights of Columbus, Knights of Malta, Knights of Peter Claver and members of their ladies’ auxiliaries participated. Members of Boy Scout Troop 671 of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish escorted guests from the chancery to the cathedral basilica, sometimes with large umbrellas to ward off the threatening rain.

'Spectacular' installation left attendees feeling good

“At the wonderful luncheon (before the installation Mass), Archbishop Carlson went to every table to greet everyone there. He’s really wonderful and so grateful to be here. He told me (referring to my duties as head of Catholic Charities) that he looked forward to the day when he can spend some quality time with Catholic Charities.”

Msgr. Mark Ullrich

president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
and pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Cross Parish
speaking immediately before the installation Mass.

Catholics applaud their new shepherd's message

Archbishop Robert Carlson delivered the homily at his installation Mass June 10.

The ceremony lasted about two hours and was preceded by a lengthy procession that included a couple dozen bishops and Cardinals Francis George of Chicago and Justin Rigali of Philadelphia. Diocesan and religious priests, including many from Archbishop Carlson’s former dioceses, were in the procession along with deacons, seminarians, equestrian orders and a contingent of ecumenical guests.

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