Archbishop Robert Carlson

Making Archbishop's coat of arms proud tradition for company

EJ Kraus, a cabinet maker at Classic Woodworking Inc., put together Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's coat of arms

At Classic Woodworking Inc. in South St. Louis, project manager Bill Kennebeck has seen it all.

For more than 30 years, the business has produced thousands of woodworking projects in residential and commercial places — from the Federal Reserve Building to the offices of St. Louis Rams executives and high-end private homes.

But nothing brings a smile to Kennebeck’s face more than doing a project for the Catholic Church.

This week, Classic Woodworking completed work on Archbishop Robert J. Carlson’s coat of arms. The oak plaque with hand-painted brass pieces was hung in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for the archbishop’s installation June 10. A smaller version of his coat of arms also will be hung in the Old Cathedral Downtown.

Kennebeck, a member of St. James the Greater Parish in South St. Louis, noted that Classic Woodworking has made a coat of arms for Archbishop Raymond L. Burke and Bishop Edward K. Braxton when they both served in St. Louis. Archbishop Burke is currently the prefect for the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. Bishop Braxton now leads the Diocese of Belleville, Ill.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's coat of arms

Archbishop Carlson's Coat of Arms

The garb of wheat on his personal arms represents his native Minneapolis (the “miller of the Midwest”) and the green field alludes to the plains as well as recalling the liturgical color symbolizing hope.

The crescent represents his devotion to Mary, and the Latin cross is a symbol of faith. The upper portion of the shield is taken from the arms associated with the bishop’s family and the waves in base allude to the Sioux River and recall his service as bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Installation committee describes what went into planning

Msgr. Robert Jovanovic

Msgr. Jovanovic, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in St. Charles, is a member of the installation committee overseeing hotel accommodations for many of the out-of-town guests.

Abp. Carlson: Despite economy, we must focus on giving hope

With the jobless rate at its highest point in 36 years, the Church should focus on providing hope for people, Archbishop Robert Carlson said.

Interviewed in Saginaw, Mich., where he led a diocese that has seen years of job losses, Archbishop Carlson said “the be-all-and-end-all of who we are isn’t that we do or don’t have a job or that we’re successful or not successful. It’s faith.”

That perspective needs to be shared with people as well as giving them the help they need to survive in challenging situations, he said.

He underlined the importance of helping people.

“It’s kind of like when I started the Mother Teresa Fund (in Saginaw). You tell women they should bring their baby into the world. That’s great, but you have to help them so they can do it. We help them get in touch with all the social services and then take care of what isn’t available.”

Priests in the know expect great things from Abp. Carlson

When the news was announced that Bishop Robert J. Carlson was named archbishop of St. Louis, many began asking — What is his personality like? And in what direction will he take the Archdiocese of St. Louis?

Several priests who have ties to the Archdiocese of St. Louis already have had the chance to see firsthand what Archbishop-elect Carlson is like. And all of them said to expect great things from our new leader. Here are their stories:

Simply 'Bishop' known for inspiring faith, generosity

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson distributed Communion to a girl last month at a Confirmation in his former diocese of Saginaw, Michigan

“When he asks, people find it it in their hearts to say yes,” Hogan said.

Working for Archbishop Carlson has been a grace-filled experience because he provides the guidance, encouragement and freedom to work well, Hogan said. “It’s hard to find all that in one administrator.”

Yet the newly installed St. Louis archbishop is a good priest, and that is his first focus, he said.

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