More Than 7,000 Teens from Across the Country to Descend on Springfield

July 10, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

 

 

Steubenville Youth Conferences to take place at Missouri State University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Over the course of two weekends, approximately 7,400 teens, youth ministers, chaperones, and volunteers will attend the Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America youth conferences on the campus of Missouri State University. The first conference will be held July 11-13, and the second conference the following weekend July 18-20.

The Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America Youth Conferences are Catholic youth conferences held twice each summer in Springfield, Missouri, and are co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis Office of Youth Ministry and the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Franciscan University will hold 20 Steubenville conferences in 11 states and Canada this year. The conferences feature several inspirational speakers, live music from top recording artists, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

"Each year the Steubenville Conferences continue to grow. It is awesome to behold how the Holy Spirit opens the hearts of the youth through their participation in Mass, adoration and confession. It's amazing to see the teens growing in their intimacy with Christ through the actions of the Holy Spirit," said Fr. Brian Fischer, Executive Director of the Catholic Youth Apostolate for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Attendees and non-attendees alike can follow the conferences on social media using #SteubySTL, by following @SteubySTL on twitter and instagram, or by “liking” the facebook page. The conference also has accounts on vine and flickr, as well as a live blog which will provide regular updates and doses of inspiration from the event.

Fr. Fischer and Tom Lancia, Director of the Office of Youth Ministry, can be available for interviews upon request.

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Day of Service

Join us for a day of service with St. Vincent De Paul!

 

The SVDP - STLYA Day of Service is on July 26th!! Details below.  Contact STLYA@archtl.org with any questions or concerns.

Paper Products Drive 
8:45 am - 1 pm 
St. Vincent de Paul Parish 
1408 South 10th Street, St. Louis, MO 63104

Schedule:
8:45 am: Gather at St. Vincent de Paul Parish
9:00 am: Mass (tentative)
10:00 am: Volunteers assemble boxes/baskets of paper products 
11:00 am-1:00 pm: Teams of volunteers distribute boxes/baskets 
Once finished, group will gather for reflection and then venture out to lunch.

Sign-up at: 
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EZDZUyUr_6aFfk6o2uB-zwnn33ZpfmMBUrbZLwj02ho/edit

ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS RELEASE ON JOSEPH ROSS

July 7, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Watch live streaming video from archstl at livestream.com

Today the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the sole plaintiff, a female known as Jane Doe 92, agreed to settle her lawsuit. A protective order in the case has precluded the Archdiocese from commenting on this matter until now. By the terms of the settlement agreement, other than this statement, the Archdiocese will not make any further statements or comments regarding this matter. At the request of the Plaintiff, the terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

 
The Archdiocese has vigorously defended this case because it believes Jane Doe 92's claims and allegations are false. Specifically, the Archdiocese denies that Jane Doe 92 was ever abused by Joseph Ross, a priest who was removed from ministry in 2002. We do not say this lightly. Jane Doe 92 made allegations in this case that her own family members dispute. She said her father witnessed the abuse by Ross and did nothing to stop it; her father denied this allegation under oath. In addition, Jane Doe 92 has been diagnosed, by her own treating doctors, with a medical condition that causes her to falsify claims, exaggerate symptoms and make inconsistent statements. Her own doctors and expert witnesses voiced doubts about her allegations and noted that they contained multiple inconsistencies. We simply do not believe her allegations are true.

 
In addition, as documented in public records, Jane Doe 92's criminal charges against Father Ross were dropped by the government because the prosecution believed it could not prove her case. Father Ross was not the only person Jane Doe 92 has accused of rape. She previously alleged she was raped by another person. The government declined to prosecute charges against that person as well due to lack of evidence.


The purpose of a trial is to determine the truth. To allow the jury in this case to determine the truth, the Archdiocese actively sought to have Jane Doe 92's treating doctors testify at trial because the Archdiocese believed the treating doctors would support the Archdiocese's position that the abuse of Jane Doe 92 did not happen. Plaintiff took the highly unusual step of trying to block those doctors from testifying at trial.


Dozens of witnesses, including a highly-respected judge and a former police officer, were prepared to offer testimony that would make clear that Jane Doe 92's allegations of abuse could not have occurred.


While the Archdiocese does not believe that Jane Doe 92 was abused by Joseph Ross, it has publicly acknowledged that this man abused other boys in the 1970's and 80's. The Archdiocese publicly announced in 2002 that it was removing Joseph Ross from ministry based on his 1988 guilty plea to a misdemeanor based on touching a young boy on the buttocks and kissing him. After that guilty plea in 1988, Ross was sent by the Archdiocese for in-patient treatment at a highly respected medical facility. The doctors who treated Ross confirmed he was not attracted to children, was not a pedophile, and recommended his return to ministry. The Archdiocese relied on those doctors when it returned him to ministry in 1989. Other than Plaintiff, no other person has alleged they were abused by Ross since his treatment ended in 1989. Although no other allegations of abuse were made against Ross between 1988 and 2002, Ross was removed from ministry under "zero tolerance" standards adopted by the Archdiocese in 2002 in the wake of clear changes in society's and the medical community's views on the ability to treat child abusers. When Ross' removal from ministry was announced publicly in 2002, then-Bishop Dolan and then-Archbishop Rigali repeatedly and publicly implored any victims to come forward. Five young men did come forward in 2002 in response to these public requests, alleging that they were abused by Ross in the 1970's.

To be clear, the Archdiocese is not defending Ross. He is a known abuser, which is illegal, wrong and shameful. The Archdiocese does, however, have an obligation to defend itself against claims it believes are false, and instead use its money for charitable work and to heal all legitimate victims of sexual abuse.


The Archdiocese has agreed to today's settlement in order to allow the Archdiocese and Jane Doe 92 to move on from this difficult point. We strongly believe there is no healing that can come from three weeks of trial dwelling on Fr. Ross' bad history, or Jane Doe 92's very personal issues. The settlement is obviously also intended to allow the Church to move past this matter – a costly legal fight which is not good for the Church, its parishioners, or the community as a whole. It is time for all parties to move forward.


The Archdiocese is fully committed to caring for all victims of abuse and strongly believes that assistance must be offered to all victims throughout society, regardless of whether those victims were abused by perpetrators in religious organizations, service clubs, public schools or family members. The Archdiocese and Archbishop Robert Carlson remain committed to eradicating the terrible and inherent societal evil of child abuse. Therefore, consistent with its long-standing practices, the Archdiocese will continue to support victims of abuse and to help heal the injuries suffered by legitimate victims of these decades-old issues. 

Niagara Foundation Family Iftar Dinners

We  pray for our Muslim sisters and brothers as they celebrate this Holy Month of Ramadan.

Please see the invitation to participate in this year’s  Family Iftar Dinners. 

Niagara Iftar dinners

Sr. Christine Amaa

Sr. Christine Amaa is a member of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Diocese of Juba, South Sudan. She was recently in the Archdiocese of St. Louis for mission appeals, that took place through our program called the Missionary Plan of Cooperation. To learn more about Sr. Christine, watch the video below, or click here to read our latest newsletter!

U.S. District Court Grants Injunction for Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities

July 1, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis have been granted a preliminary injunction by the United States Eastern District Court in their lawsuit challenging the legality of the unjust HHS mandate. The injunction was issued on Monday evening on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision affirming religious liberty as it applies to closely held for-profit organizations.

The injunction states in part, “Plaintiffs have shown they are likely to succeed on their RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] claim… the Court finds it in the public interest to preserve the status quo and enjoin enforcement of the mandate…”

The archdiocese is grateful for this temporary relief from the burden of the HHS mandate. This injunction simply preserves our God-given rights that should not have been infringed upon in the first place. Under the leadership of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, every other imaginable option to correct this problem had been pursued prior to this lawsuit being filed. Any scenario that forces us to violate our moral convictions is unacceptable.

Despite opinions to the contrary, the contention with the HHS mandate is about religious liberty, our first, most-cherished freedom. During this, the week in which we celebrate the founding of our country, it is important to remember the words of one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, when he said, “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to men than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprise of civil authority.”

Access to contraceptives and abortifacients should never trump the right to religious freedom as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. The Catholic Church has always been on the forefront of providing quality health care for all. She will continue to do so, unless burdensome government regulations and heavy fines that would be incurred by the enforcement of the HHS mandate go into effect.

As Archbishop Carlson has previously stated, “Our freedom of religion requires constant vigilance or else it will be lost.”

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Archdiocese of St. Louis Welcomes Supreme Court Decision on HHS Mandate

June 30, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis welcomes today’s decision from the Supreme Court in striking down the unjust HHS mandate as it applies to closely held for-profit organizations having to provide abortifacients, sterilizations, and contraceptives in their health plans.

Although this decision does not directly impact the archdiocese itself as an entity, we recognize the decision is an important victory for religious liberty as it guarantees employers and business owners of all faiths, including Catholics within the archdiocese, the ability to conduct business in accordance with their beliefs.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis originally filed suit in 2012 challenging the constitutionality of the mandate, but was re-filed in 2013 when proposed accommodations did not provide any substantive change from the original regulation requiring health plans sponsored by religiously affiliated entities to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion inducing drugs to which we have objected. As of this writing, the archdiocese still awaits a ruling on its case.

The USCCB and Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to advocate for comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. We continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, comprehensive health care reform legislation that protects religious liberty and conscience rights, that does not use federal funds to pay for elective abortions or plans that cover these procedures, and that treats immigrant workers and their families fairly. The Affordable Care Act, in its current form, does not meet these criteria.

Until we can secure absolute protections for the faithful to practice their faith in the public sphere as guaranteed in the First Amendment, we cannot and will not surrender our campaign for conscience rights. We will continue to demand religious liberty and protection of our first, most-cherished freedom.

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CYC Baseball/Softball "Spirit of Saint Louis Games" Celebrate the Spirit of Our City's Patron Saint

The CYC Baseball/Softball Spirit of St. Louis Games were held at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque parish this past weekend. Buzz Swanston, Assistant Director of CYC Sports commented that “Although it was a hot Saturday in June, thanks to all the great work by the SMMA Athletic Association hosting the Spirit Games, the girls and boys enjoyed themselves and got to meet new friends.”

The Spirit Games are played at the end of each of the CYC's main sporting seasons. Parishes participating in the CYC program are invited to send at least one 8th grade boy and girl to be a part of the games. These players join with other players from their CYC District to take part in friendly competition with teams from other Districts.

The young people chosen to be part of the Spirit Games are living examples of the spirit and principles the CYC has endeavored to teach the youth of the Archdiocese for over 65 years.  They have shown the dedication to their faith, strength of character and leadership that marked the life of our city's patron saint. 

The CYC sponsors annual Spirit Games for baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and basketball.  Spirit Games participants receive a special certificate and a t-shirt and, most importantly, the knowledge that they are living their lives in the spirit of Saint Louis.

STATEMENT FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF ST. LOUIS REGARDING SAME-SEX CIVIL CEREMONY PERFORMED IN CITY OF ST. LOUIS

June 26, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis is disappointed in the decision by the City of St. Louis to grant civil marriage licenses to four same sex couples on Wednesday night. It is disheartening to see our wonderful city, named after the great Catholic civil leader St. King Louis IX, so eagerly cast aside the laws of our state and disregard the laws of nature. The fact is, the union of two men or the union of two women is not the same as the union of a woman and a man.

Loving a person does not mean accepting all their behaviors. The Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. Persons who struggle with same-sex attraction must be loved with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. At the same time, the Catholic faith teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality -- whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, priest or lay person. Part of that responsibility means understanding that sex is to be reserved for marriage, and that marriage between a man and a woman is the only kind of union from which children can come.

The Catholic faith teaches that we are defined by something far deeper than sexual orientation: we are defined by our identity as children of God. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he said, ‘Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord’s loving heart.’ We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to pray that our culture will grow in the love of God, and that our actions and laws will respect the laws of nature and its creator.

ANNUAL CORPUS CHRISTI PROCESSION AT CATHEDRAL BASILICA ON SUNDAY

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

Feast of Corpus Christi Commemorates the Body of Christ in the Eucharist

ST. LOUIS - The premier Corpus Christi procession in St. Louis will immediately follow the 5 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on Sunday, June 22. The procession will travel throughout the neighborhood surrounding the Cathedral.

The term “Corpus Christi” is Latin for “the body of Christ” and the celebration of this great feast dates back to the 13th century. The solemn celebration commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.

The main feature of the celebration of Corpus Christi is the solemn procession with a monstrance containing the Holy Eucharist in the form of a consecrated host. The annual procession is one of the Catholic Church’s most dramatic public displays of the faith. In addition to the Cathedral, parishes across the Archdiocese of St. Louis will hold their own celebration of Corpus Christi.

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CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF SAINT LOUIS NAMED CITY’S TOP LANDMARK

June 18, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Travel advice website TripAdvisor has given the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis a 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award as the 11th best landmark in the country. The Cathedral Basilica – also known as the “new” Cathedral – also currently holds the top ranking for landmarks in the City of St. Louis.

“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral, we are humbled that the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis has been named the 11th best landmark in the country, and ranked #1 landmark in St. Louis,” Nicole Heerlein, Communications Specialist for the Cathedral, said. “We are grateful to all who have visited and provided such glowing reviews. We look forward to welcoming all future visitors in our next 100 years.”

Built from 1907-1914, with the final mosaic installed in 1988, the Cathedral is known to have one of the largest collections of mosaics in the Western Hemisphere. The TripAdvisor award places it among other famous landmarks in the national list including Gettysburg National Military Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the New York Public Library.

According to a press release from TripAdvisor, “Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for landmark and park attractions worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.”

Masses and tours are offered daily at the Cathedral. The gift shop and mosaic museum are open daily as well. Upcoming events to commemorate the Cathedral’s 100th anniversary will be announced at a later date. For more information about the Cathedral Basilica, visit www.cathedralstl.org.

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STATEMENT FROM ARCHBISHOP CARLSON ON RECENT DEPOSITION CONTROVERSY

June 13, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - His Excellency, Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, released the following letter regarding the recent deposition controversy:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I wish to respond to certain misconceptions stemming from a deposition that I gave in a case regarding alleged sexual abuse by a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis nearly thirty years ago. I wish to set the record straight.

I understand this situation has caused concern and frustration for many people, and for that I apologize. Abuse of any kind is a serious moral offense and a crime. As always, I encourage anyone who has suffered abuse to bring it to the attention of law enforcement first and foremost and additionally to the Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection so that justice and assistance can be rendered.

Sexual abuse of children is deplorable and is never to be tolerated. Actions speak louder than words and my record on this issue speaks for itself. I am committed to the safety of children and have shown compassion for victims. I have promoted and enacted codes of ethical conduct, extensive safe environment programs and ongoing training for clergy to heighten their awareness of this issue.

In the deposition last month, I misunderstood a series of questions that were presented to me. I wish to clarify that situation now. I fully understand, and have understood for my entire adult life, as I stated in other sections of this same deposition, sexual abuse is a grave evil and a criminal offense.

I reiterate my commitment to protect children from sexual abuse. I support mandatory child abuse reporting laws, to which the Archdiocese strictly adheres.

I feel truly blessed to be your Archbishop, and I am grateful for your daily prayers and loving support. I renew my commitment to leading the Archdiocese of St. Louis in serving and protecting the entire community so that more people can come to know the love of Christ. Please pray with me that the blessings of the Holy Trinity be with all the people of St. Louis, especially those who may be suffering and in need.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop of St. Louis

 

Click here to download a copy of the letter.

 

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