Former Death Row Inmates to Address Catholic High School Students

September 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: “Teach-In” on the death penalty
WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Kenrick-Glennon Seminary (5200 Glennon Dr, St. Louis, MO 63119)
WHO: Two death row exonerees and Catholic high school students

ST. LOUIS – Two former death row inmates and a former prosecuting attorney-turned Roman Catholic priest will address Catholic high school students about the morality of the death penalty and the Catholic Church’s teaching on the issue on Thursday, September 28.

Reggie Griffin and Joe Amrine spent 23 and 17 years respectively on death row, but were exonerated for crimes they did not commit. Their experiences demonstrate how the death penalty can have tragic impacts on real people and communities. They will share their experiences with students from Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis at a special “teach-in” event organized by the archdiocese’s Peace & Justice Commission, in conjunction with Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Catholic Mobilizing Network, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Also addressing the students will be Fr. James Mason, president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Fr. Mason graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and served as a prosecuting attorney in the Twin Cities-area before being ordained to the priesthood in 2001.

The event comes weeks after Missouri Governor Eric Greitens stayed the execution of Marcellus Williams on August 22 and appointed a Board of Inquiry to further evaluate DNA evidence in the case. The Missouri Catholic Conference responded to the stay of execution by saying: “Mr. Williams’ case exposes the inherent problems with capital murder trials. We appreciate the Governor’s willingness to allow further deliberation on the DNA evidence, and are grateful that he stayed the execution.”

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Relics of Padre Pio on Display in St. Louis

September 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: Relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina available for public veneration
WHEN: Wednesday, September 27, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
WHERE: Assumption (Mattese) Catholic Church (4725 Mattis Road, St. Louis, MO 63128)

ST. LOUIS – Assumption (Mattese) Catholic Church (4725 Mattis Road) will host relics for public veneration of the beloved Capuchin priest St. Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as “Padre Pio,” on Wednesday, September 27, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The event is one stop on a nationwide tour between September 16 and October 8, 2017. Mass will be offered at 7 p.m. by Most Reverend Mark Rivituso, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Padre Pio, a humble Capuchin priest, was blessed by God with the stigmata, the wounds of Christ he bore for 50 years, as well as other gifts such as perfume, bilocation, prophecy, conversion, reading of souls, and miraculous cures. People are still being cured through his intercession in ways that cannot be explained by medicine or science.

The relics of Padre Pio which will be on display for veneration include his glove, crusts of his wounds, gauze with his blood stains, a lock of his hair, his mantle, and a handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died. Attendees will be able to venerate these relics of St. Pio and learn more about his holy life.

In the Catholic Church, relics are physical objects associated with a saint or candidate for sainthood – part of the person’s body or something with which he or she was in contact. Relics are not worshiped, but treated with religious respect. Touching or praying in the presence of such an object helps a faithful individual focus on the saint’s life and virtues, so that through the saint’s prayer or intercession before God, the individual will be drawn closer to God.

St. Pio was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, and baptized Francesco Forgione.  He first expressed his desire for priesthood at age 10. In order to pay for the preparatory education, his father, Grazio Forgione, emigrated to the United States in 1899, where he worked for several years.

The future saint entered the Capuchin order at age 15, taking the name Pio. He was ordained a priest in 1910 at the age of 23. During his lifetime, Padre Pio was known as a mystic with miraculous powers of healing and knowledge, who bore the stigmata.  Stigmata is the term the Catholic Church uses to speak about the wounds an individual receives that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ.  They can appear on the forehead, hands, wrists, and feet.

His stigmata emerged during World War I, after Pope Benedict XV asked Christians to pray for an end to the conflict. Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ pierced his side. A few weeks later, on September 20, 1918, Jesus again appeared to him, and he received the full stigmata. It remained with him until his death on September 23, 1968. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 2002.

The event is sponsored by the Saint Pio Foundation.  More information about St. Pio can be found at saintpiofoundation.org. The Saint Pio Foundation promotes awareness of St. Pio and his mission by working with institutions and ​​individuals who share the same vision to serve “those in need of relief of suffering.” Funds raised by the Saint Pio Foundation are used to provide grants to American Catholic healthcare, educational, social, religious, and cultural partner organizations.

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CYC Sports to Honor Parish Sports Volunteers at 61st Annual CYC Awards Banquet

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 the Catholic Youth Apostolate-CYC Sports Department will host our 61st Annual Awards Dinner. CYC parish volunteers will be recognized for their outstanding service and dedication.  Please make plans to attend this year's event which will be held at the Clayton Plaza Hotel, and help us honor some of the great parish volunteers that have given so much time and effort to the CYC program!

 Please consider purchasing tickets and/or an ad to show support for our dedicated CYC parish volunteers who put in numerous hours keeping the parish sports programs going strong.

 For more details, visit http://www.cycstl.net/events/cyc-sports-banquet or call the CYC Office at (314) 792-7256.

2017 District Person of the Year Award Recipients:

  • Jeff Antrainer - North County District (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)
  • Tom Borich - St. Charles District (Immaculate Conception-Dardenne)
  • Karen & Ed Naeger - South Central District (St. Gabriel the Archangel)
  • Gene Poisson - South County District (St. Joseph-Imperial)
  • Paul Counts - West County District (St. Joseph-Manchester)

2017 Sports Service Award Recipients:

  • Jim Temprano - Baseball Service (South Central District, St. Gerard Majella)
  • Mike Nolan - Basketball Service (South County District, Seven Holy Founders)
  • Bob Wendel - Soccer Service (South County District, St. Bernadette)
  • Tom Schmittgens - Softball Service (St. Charles District, St. Joseph-Cottleville)
  • Joyce Serangeli - Volleyball Service (St. Charles District, St. Elizabeth/St. Robert)
  • Craig Andrews - Lacrosse Service (South Central District, St. Margaret of Scotland)

Archbishop Carlson Calls For Peace Following Stockley Verdict

September 15, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, released the following statement in response to the verdict of Judge Timothy Wilson:

If we want peace and justice, we must come together as a community through prayer, mutual understanding, and forgiveness. While acknowledging the hurt and anger, we must not fuel the fires of hatred and division. We must ask God for peace in our own hearts and share it with those around us. Violence does not lead to peace and justice – they are opposing forces and cannot coexist. I implore each of you to choose peace! Reject the false and empty hope that violence will solve problems. Violence only creates more violence. We must work together for a better, stronger, safer community, one founded upon respect for each other, and one in which we see our neighbor as another self.

#CatholicSTL


 Click here for coverage in the St. Louis Review

Annual Catholic Appeal Sets Record in 2017

September 15, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis push Appeal over $15 million for first time ever

ST. LOUIS — On Friday, Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, announced the results of the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) which raised more than $15 million for the first time ever. Anticipated estate and corporate matching gifts will add to the total. This year's campaign was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The results show continued support among Catholics for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its ministries. The $15,033,045 raised in 2017 exceeds the $13.75 million overall goal, reflecting the generosity of so many donors even in the midst of the Beyond Sunday campaign to support Catholic education.

Archbishop Carlson expressed his gratitude to everyone who contributed: "Thank you! At a time when much is being asked of our Catholic families, your support is making possible so many good works of charity in our community. Your willingness to respond with generosity to the needs of others is a powerful witness of the love and tenderness of Mary, Our Mother."

"The remarkable leadership of our pastors, parish chairs and dedicated volunteers helps ensure that the Church, through the Annual Catholic Appeal, can gather the resources needed to serve others," said Madeleine Appelbaum, Chair of the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal. "So many people in our community depend on you. Thank you for your prayers and efforts. I especially want to thank our Blessed Mother, who has been the inspiration for this year's Appeal from the beginning."

"I am grateful to the pastors and parish chairs who have worked diligently on this Appeal these past few months," said Brian Niebrugge, Executive Director of Stewardship and the Annual Catholic Appeal. "I am also grateful to the team in this office. They are true professionals; second to none! Many people are turning to the Church in their time of need, and the Church can respond generously because so many faithful families and individuals have shared their gifts."

Each spring, the ACA asks Catholics in nearly 200 parishes across the archdiocese to make pledges to support programs, organizations, and ministries for people of all faith traditions. Spanning ten counties and the City of St. Louis, these programs assist the homeless and hungry, provide pro-life resources, support women and their children, and fund Catholic education and family counseling, among other charitable works. All of the money raised each year through the Annual Catholic Appeal is distributed to the various programs, parishes, organizations, and ministries that carry out the important work of the Church.

More information on the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal is available at archstl.org/aca.

#CatholicSTL 

  

 Click here for coverage in the St. Louis Review

Statement Following Hurricane Irma

September 11, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Archbishop Robert J. Carlson issued the following statement in response to the devastation in Florida and elsewhere due to Hurricane Irma:

It is upsetting to see images of destruction from yet another violent hurricane on our shores and beyond. As I said after Hurricane Harvey, I know I speak for every person in the Archdiocese of St. Louis when I say how deeply saddened I am by the death and massive devastation experienced by our brothers and sisters in the South and throughout the Caribbean. It is difficult to comprehend how something so terrible can happen on such a scale. Now, more than ever, we must look to our faith and ask the Lord to carry those who are suffering and who have lost so much.

The nearly 200 parishes in 11 counties of the Archdiocese of St. Louis held a second collection for hurricane relief the first two weekends of September. I have again requested our parishes take up another collection for new relief efforts. One-hundred percent of the funds raised go directly to relief efforts via Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

After Hurricane Harvey, I celebrated Mass for those who have suffered due to the storm, and will do so again for the victims of Hurricane Irma. I ask you to please join your prayer to mine for our brothers and sisters who must now rebuild their lives. After your prayer, please consider how you might be able to provide assistance.

Donations can be made to Catholic Charities of St. Louis and mailed to:

P.O. Box 952393, St. Louis, MO 63195-2393 (be sure to note Hurricane Harvey 2017 or Hurricane Irma 2017).

Donations can also be made through the Catholic Charities website: ccstl.org. (be sure to select either the Hurricane Harvey 2017 fund or Hurricane Irma 2017 fund).

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Emergency Responders to be Honored at Third Annual Blue Mass on Sunday

September 8, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Mass to honor living and deceased emergency responders

What: Third Annual Blue Mass to honor emergency responders
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
When: Sunday, September 10, 2017, 10:00 a.m.
Who: Archbishop Robert Carlson and emergency responders from the greater St. Louis region

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will honor all emergency responders by celebrating the third annual Blue Mass in the Archdiocese of St. Louis on Sunday, September 10, 2017. Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency support staff, and other public safety and law enforcement personnel and their families are invited.

“The work of our emergency responders is a gift that requires much sacrifice,” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said. “In a time when tensions are high, this Mass is one way for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to show support for what these men and women do every day. In a particular way we want to say ‘thank you’ to those who dedicate their lives to serve and protect the citizens of the greater St. Louis region. In living out their profession, these men and women show us the true spirit of what it means to be a follower of Christ.”

The Blue Mass honors men and women currently serving as emergency responders, as well as all those who have died in the line of duty. The Mass is intended to bring a greater awareness of those who serve us so faithfully, often placing others’ lives and safety above their own.

The first Blue Mass was celebrated by Fr. Thomas Dade on September 29, 1934, at St. Patrick Church in Washington, D.C. In attendance were more than 1,000 police and firemen, dressed in their blue uniforms. The tradition of showing gratitude to emergency responders and their families in this way has continued throughout the United States, especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Additional background and information can be found at archstl.org/bluemass.

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Catholics Host Second Annual Pilgrimage Across “Delmar Divide”

September 7, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The North City Deanery Interracial Relations Committee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will host a second annual pilgrimage across Delmar Boulevard on Saturday, September 9, at 9:30 a.m. The purpose of the event is to build relationships and combat racism within the Archdiocese of St. Louis and our region. The theme of the event is “A Cloud of Witnesses: Past and Present” as it will highlight local leaders, past and present, who embolden us to imagine a community without racism.

The pilgrimage will begin at the clock tower on the campus of Saint Louis University and conclude at St. Alphonsus “Rock” Church (1118 N. Grand Blvd), with several stops along the way, including Juvenile Justice Center (Enright & Vandeventer), Cardinal Ritter Prep High School (Grandel Square & Spring), and St. Louis Urban League (3701 Grandel Square). Speakers at the various stops include: Fr. Chris Collins, SJ, SLU Assistant to the President, Mission & Identity; Dr. Jonathan Smith, SLU Vice President, Diversity & Community Engagement; Judge Jimmie Edwards, Circuit Court Judge; Ms. Marie Kenyon, Peace & Justice Commission, Archdiocese of St. Louis; Mrs. Jeanne Trevor, St. Louis’ “First Lady of Jazz”; and Norman White, PhD, Associate Professor Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Both the Archdiocese and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops have named racism as “a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.”

“Encounters with people who look different than us compel us to look more deeply among ourselves, in our pews and our neighborhoods, for evidence of the sin of racism,” Marie Kenyon, director of the Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, said. “We pledge to pray and work always for reconciliation and transformation. We would like to extend this challenge to the St. Louis region and the entire archdiocese because we all must work to intentionally build a community that truly values the dignity and worth of each human person.”

DETAILS
Saturday, September 9

9:30am  Gather at clock tower on campus of Saint Louis University (Lindell & Spring)

9:40am  Pilgrimage begins; stops include:

                                Juvenile Justice Center (Enright & Vandeventer)
                                Gateway Greening (Windsor & Spring)
                                Cardinal Ritter Prep High School (Grandel Square & Spring)
                                St. Louis Urban League (3701 Grandel Square)
                                Jazz at the Bistro (3536 Washington Avenue)
                                Clyde C. Miler Academy (Bell & Grand)
                                St. Alphonsus “Rock” Ligouri Catholic Church

North City Deanery Interracial Relations committee Mission Statement:
Grounded in our shared Catholic faith we want to build relationships across racial lines. We are committed to understanding the reality and history of racism and how it has affected our parish communities. We seek to live out more fully Jesus’ universal prayer: ‘that they may be one.’

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Catholic School Graduates Earn High ACT Scores

September 7, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Class of 2017 at Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis continued to demonstrate high academic achievement with this year’s ACT test results. 

Data released today from ACT show the average composite score for 2017 Catholic school graduates in the archdiocese was 24.8. This is an increase from the 2016 average score of 24.7.   

Individual subject area tests demonstrated strong academic performance across all disciplines. The Catholic high school average score for individual tests are: 

SUBJECT AREA TEST ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS AVERAGE MISSOURI STATE AVERAGE
Composite 24.8 20.4
       English 25.7 19.8
       Mathematics 23.3 19.9
       Reading 25.5 20.8
       Science 24.3 20.5

“We are incredibly proud of our graduates. We measure student success in many ways and the ACT test scores again confirm the outstanding work of our students and teachers,” said Superintendent of Catholic Education Dr. Kurt Nelson. “Achieving this level of success at graduation is the result of hard work during the high school years, building on the strong foundation students receive in our Catholic elementary schools.”

The Catholic high school scores include 2,759 seniors (98.6% of the Class of 2017) from all 27 Catholic high schools in the archdiocese. The archdiocese includes the oldest and largest system of schools in the state of Missouri, with over 38,000 students.

The results for the Class of 2017 continue a long history of academic success in Catholic high schools. In 2016, the Archdiocese of St. Louis composite score exceeded 99% of all Missouri school districts. The Catholic Education Office releases archdiocesan average scores, but not individual school scores. 

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Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Responds to DACA Announcement

September 5, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, today released a statement in response to the Trump administration's plans to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Welcoming the stranger, the immigrant, and the refugee have been long-standing hallmarks of our American way of life and religious convictions. The responsibility to welcome and care for the migrant and refugee are not only public and social virtues, but also find common ground and resolve in faith: "Come you that are blessed by my Father...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (Matthew 25: 34-35). This Gospel mandate to actively reach out and welcome the stranger has guided our Catholic social values and practices for centuries. Throughout our Catholic tradition, we have learned to be attentive to the needs of the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. In faith, we have come to recognize and know the face of Christ in the migrant and refugee.

In this spirit of compassion and solidarity, today, I join my brother Catholic bishops, religious and civic leaders, the larger Catholic community, and people of good will in supporting the estimated 800,000 young people who have benefited from the DACA program. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to be a place of welcome, service, and mutual hospitality, especially to the suffering and most vulnerable among us.

Let us hear the words of Pope Francis anew: "No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities, should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not, I repeat, not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: rather, it is the culture of solidarity that does so; the culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters. And we are all brothers and sisters!"

#CatholicSTL 

Statement Regarding Rev. John R. Campbell

August 31, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, has announced a recently reported allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against retired priest Reverend John Robert “Jack” Campbell, which occurred in the 1960s at Prep Seminary – South in Shrewsbury.

Father Campbell has been retired from ministry since 1989 and currently resides in a private residence. Reports of abuse by Father Campbell were first made in the 1990s, prior to the adoption of the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. Father Campbell is on permanent administrative leave which prohibits him from engaging in priestly ministry.

In keeping with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, to ensure transparency in communicating with the public about allegations of sexual abuse of minors and as an outreach to potential victims, an announcement about this allegation will be made in the archdiocesan newspaper, The St. Louis Review, and in the parishes where Father Campbell served.

We continue to pray for the victims of the grave evil of sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis encourages all persons with reports of abuse of a minor involving a member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Sandra Price, Executive Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection at (314) 792-7271, the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800.392.3738 and/or law enforcement officials.

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Statement Regarding Hurricane Harvey Assistance

August 29, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

From Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – I know I speak for every person in the Archdiocese of St. Louis when I say how deeply saddened I am by the death and massive devastation our brothers and sisters in the South are experiencing in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It is difficult to comprehend how something so terrible can happen on such a scale and it is at times like these we turn in faith and ask the Lord to carry those who are suffering and who have lost so much.

To help the suffering who survived this disaster, I am asking our nearly 200 parishes in 11 counties to have a second collection at all Masses this weekend as well as next weekend. Funds raised will go directly to Catholic relief efforts via Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

If you would like to assist in the efforts, donations should be made to Catholic Charities of St. Louis and mailed to:
P.O. Box 952393, St. Louis, MO 63195-2393 (be sure to note Hurricane Harvey 2017).

Donations can also be made through the Catholic Charities website: ccstl.org/get-involved/donate (be sure to select the Hurricane Harvey 2017 Fund).

I will offer a Mass for those who died in this tragedy, as well as their families and friends who mourn their loss. I ask you to please join your prayer to mine for our neighbors who must now rebuild their lives. 

#CatholicSTL

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