Archbishop Carlson to Offer Votive Mass for Peace and Justice

November 25, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: Votive Mass for Peace and Justice
Where: Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (4431 Lindell Blvd.)
When: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 5:00 p.m.
Who: Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will be the main celebrant

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will offer a special votive Mass for Peace and Justice at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on Tuesday, November 25, at 5:00 p.m.

In a statement released after the announcement of grand jury decision on Monday, Archbishop Carlson said:

“I urge everyone to join me in praying for the Brown family as they continue to grieve the loss of Michael, as well as for police officer Darren Wilson and his family. Both families need prayers now more than ever.

“With profound hope in the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the intercession of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, I ask all the faithful in the Archdiocese of St. Louis as well as all people of faith to join me in praying for peace and justice in our community.”

Members of the media are invited to attend the Mass.

The Mass will stream live online at stlouisreview.com/ferguson

#CatholicSTL

Statement from Archbishop Carlson Regarding Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

November 24, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community 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 Ferguson grand jury decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson.

For several months our community has nervously waited as a grand jury has deliberated the evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. I and other religious and civic leaders have repeatedly called for prayer, peace, and calm. Since the grand jury received the case in August, we have seen offensive and violent outbursts by protesters, and acts of civil disobedience. Despite our calls for peace, which Michael Brown's family have echoed, we continue to see that segments of our community have not fully renounced the tendency to lash out with antagonistic behavior and violence.

I implore each of you: Choose peace! Reject any false and empty hope that violence will solve problems. Violence only creates more violence. Let’s work for a better, stronger, more holy community— one founded upon respect for each other, respect for life, and our shared responsibility for the common good.

In 1979, Saint John Paul II visited the war-torn and weary nation of Ireland to decry years of violence.  “Violence is evil…” the pope said. “Violence is unacceptable as a solution to problems.” How true this saint’s words are. He didn’t merely condemn violence; he also aptly described the depravity of violent behavior by saying:

“Violence is unworthy of man. Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings. Violence is a crime against humanity, for it destroys the very fabric of society.”

Drawing inspiration from St. John Paul II, one of the 20th century’s preeminent figures of hope and peace, I issue the following challenges to members of our community:

  • Commit to learning how to truly love each other. If we do this, then we will learn to love our neighbor. Show children the path of forgiveness and we will see walls of division crumble. Your homes are the foundation of our community. If your homes are full of forgiveness, they will be temples of peace. Our communities, cities, state, and nation will enjoy a lasting, fulfilling peace only if it begins in the home.I again echo the words of St. John Paul II: “make your streets and neighborhoods centers of peace and reconciliation. It would be a crime against youth and their future to let even one child grow up with nothing but the experience of violence and hate.”  
  • Youth, remember that you are not only creating the world of tomorrow, but you are a vital part of the world today. St. Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians: “For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” So, ask yourself: Are you sowing seeds of division, resentment, and discontent? These will only lead to anger and hatred. Choose instead to sow seeds of reconciliation, dignity, honor, and respect. Begin creating the world you want to see. Do not listen to those who instigate aggression. Reject violence. Embrace peace.
  • Please pray. Pray unceasingly for peace. Pray for our leaders and pray for your neighbors. If you feel called to act, do so only after prayer. Blessed Mother Teresa knew the proper formula. She spent a holy hour in prayer every day; it was only after prayer that she would serve. So, too, must it be for us.
  • Finally, I issue this challenge to all religious, political, social and law enforcement leaders: Join me in asking the Lord to make us instruments of peace. We, as leaders, need wisdom, compassion, and courage in order to combat the brokenness and division that confronts us. We must be leaders who help heal, not inflict hurt. We must be leaders who can come together to address issues like family breakdown, racial profiling, quality education, abuses of authority, lack of gainful employment, fear of one another, mistrust of authority, and many other needs. We must ask the tough questions and find lasting solutions.

To that end, I reiterate my commitments which I made at our Mass for Peace and Justice at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on August 20:

  1. My pledge of support, and that of the Archdiocese, to assist the churches in Ferguson and the surrounding area to deal with issues of poverty and racism they have in their hearts.
  2. The establishment of the commission on human rights in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
  3. That the St. Charles Lwanga Center study and offer concrete solutions to decrease violence in our communities.
  4. An ongoing commitment to provide scholarships, so that young people can get a quality education in our Catholic schools.
  5. That each priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to offer a Mass for Peace and Justice.

These are small, initial steps. Long-term solutions will ultimately come about when we are quick to apologize for our faults, and quick to forgive the faults of others.

With the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, I know that many feel hurt, betrayed, forgotten, and powerless. I know anger, disappointment, and resentment, and fear abound in our community at this moment.  But we must accept this decision as the proper functioning of our justice system. In our collective desire for justice, we can be blinded by the poisonous desire for vengeance, which can be contagious and bring a desire for violence. We all want justice, so we should respect the integrity of our system of justice as something that aims for the common good.

This grand jury decision is not an excuse for more violence. Now is the time to channel emotions in a way that helps build up our community, to become more active in your church or religious community, to volunteer at a food pantry or community service organization, to take part in political activity, to mentor a young person. Whatever you do, do not lash out with violence at your brothers and sisters. Do not seek to destroy or divide. Instead, we must come together as a community through prayer, mutual understanding, and forgiveness if we are to obtain peace. Rather than fuel the fires of hatred and division, we should strive for peace in our own hearts and share it with those around us. Violence does not lead to peace; they are opposing forces and cannot coexist.

I urge everyone to join me in praying for the Brown family as they continue to grieve the loss of Michael, as well as for police officer Darren Wilson and his family. Both families need prayers now more than ever.

With profound hope in the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the intercession of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, I ask all the faithful in the Archdiocese of St. Louis as well as all people of faith to join me in praying for peace and justice in our community.

#CatholicSTL

For a list of ways to help Catholic Charities provide assistance to the Ferguson area, please visit ccstl.org/peace.

To view a video of Archbishop Carlson's homily from the Mass for Peace and Justice on Wednesday, August 20th, click here.

To view a video of Archbishop Carlson delivering his remarks during a prayer service at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta the night of the grand jury decision announcement, click here.

For comprehensive and on-going coverage of the situation in Ferguson from the St. Louis Review, visit stlouisreview.com/ferguson.


Archbishop Carlson to Lead Prayer Service in Ferguson

November 24, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: Prayer service and remarks

Where: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church (150 N. Elizabeth Ave, Ferguson, MO 63135)

When: Monday, November 24, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

Who: Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, and parishioners

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will renew his call for peace and deliver remarks on Monday, November 24, at 8:00 p.m. following the announcement of the grand jury decision. He will also spend time in prayer with parishioners of Blessed Teresa and anyone else who needs a quiet place to pray.

Members of the media are invited to attend. 

#CatholicSTL

archstl.org

Young Girls Grow Deeper Understanding Of Mary, Reflect On Selves

Day Of Discipleship

Over two hundred girls active in scouting programs around the St. Louis area gathered last week for Day of Discipleship, a day of prayer and reflection based on a faith-formation program offered by the Office Of Catholic Scouting Ministry called Mary, The First Disciple.

Mary, The First Disciple

Mary, The First Disciple is a Catholic faith-formation program that focuses on Mary as a model of openness and spirituality for young Catholic girls. Although it is popular in scouting programs, it’s available to all Catholic girls in grade levels seven through twelve. The purpose of this formation program is to encourage girls to deepen their understanding of Mary as the earliest follower of Jesus.

Participants worked diligently over the past year or more to complete this formation program, which will formally conclude on Presentation Sunday (March 8, 2015) when they will be awarded at the Cathedral Basilica.

For more information on Mary, The First Disciple, or to purchase the project book that accompanies it, please visit the Office Of Catholic Scouting website.

Day Of Discipleship

Over 170 girls participated in Day Of Discipleship on Saturday, November 15th. The event began with a prayer service at the St. Vincent de Paul chapel in the Rigali Center. Following the prayer service, discussions took place in the form of share groups lead by trained adult moderators. By the end of the day, participants had the opportunity to develop insights into their personalities, friends, parents, and the world around them. It was an opportunity for the girls to grow in appreciation of Mary and to develop a deeper understanding of themselves.

Girls participating in Mary, The First Disciple are required to attend Day Of Discipleship to receive their award. Girls who could not attend Day Of Discipleship had the opportunity to attend Evening Of Discipleship on Thursday, November 20th.

Reason #1 to Support the CCHD

Why support the CCHD collection today? Because YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Donate. Your generous support, in the parish collection and throughout the year, is vital to CCHD's anti-poverty mission and creates real change.

Learn. Take part in Pope Francis’ call to build a culture of encounter with the poor. Meet with and encounter CCHD-funded organizations to learn more about poverty, those affected by it, and our responsibilities as members of the Church.

Accompany. "Never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity." - Pope Francis.  Visit a CCHD-funded organization, learn more, and lend a hand in solidarity.

Pray for those who receive CCHD support and for all our brothers and sisters struggling with poverty: We pray for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, for all who work to address poverty in this country, and for our parish community, that we may follow Christ's example of love and solidarity with the poor.

Reason #2 to Support the CCHD

Why support the CCHD collection this November?

Because CCHD is answering Archbishop Carlson’s call to dismantle systemic racism

Reason #3 to Support the CCHD

 

Why support the CCHD collection this November?

Because St. Louis needs systemic change now more than ever. In addition to funds sent back to St. Louis through grants to local organizations, 25% of your collection dollars stay in the Archdiocese to help eliminate problems close to home. CCHD has responded to the Ferguson Crisis with support and aid for the people most equipped to bring about change.

Reason #4 to Support the CCHD

Why support the CCHD collection this November?

Because Love in Action is more than just Charity

Reason #5 to Support the CCHD

 

Why support the CCHD collection this November?

Because CCHD is a responsible way to help the poor in our communities.We may not know how to respond to the person on the street holding a sign asking for money, but we do know that a contribution to your archdiocesan CCHD collection will go to vetted, responsible organizations working with the poor to lift themselves out of poverty. So they don't have to hold a sign asking for help.

Archbishop Carlson to Preside at Healing Prayer Service for Victims of Abuse

November 19, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: Healing Prayer Service for Victims of Abuse
When: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Where: St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church (6000 Jamieson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63109) 

ST. LOUIS – Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will preside at a healing prayer service for victims of abuse on Wednesday, November 19, at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church (6000 Jamieson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63109). The service begins at 7 p.m.

All who are victims/survivors of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse by anyone –clergy, family, friends, co-workers or strangers– are invited to attend the healing prayer service. In addition, family members and friends of survivors are encouraged to participate, as well as those who are involved in helping abused people, who work to prevent abuse, and who want to pray for healing and reconciliation, and the prevention of abuse.

The archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection in collaboration with the Safe Environment Program and the Office of Sacred Worship are organizing and sponsoring the healing prayer service. This will be the fourth healing prayer service held in the Archdiocese of St. Louis in the last couple years. The first was held in December 2012 at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Richmond Heights, the second was held in January 2013 at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in Oakville, and a third was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in March of this year.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis encourages all persons with reports of misconduct with a minor involving a member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, Director of Child and Youth Protection, at 314.792.7704, the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800.392.3738 or law enforcement officials.

#CatholicSTL 

Reason #6 to Support the CCHD

Why support the CCHD collection this November?

Because children suffer the most from the effects of poverty.


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