Project Life Returns!

Next week, 117 teens from around the Archdiocese and their adult leaders and chaperones will participate in the Office of Youth Ministry’s annual week-long service retreat. Project Life gathers teens from various backgrounds to be transformed by the Gospel call to love one another through service to those in need. Throughout the course of the week, teens (aka "Feet Washers") come to know and recognize Jesus Christ in themselves and in the people they serve.

The teens and their leaders will be based out of Villa Duchesne High School and will volunteer at 31 different service sites in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and in Illinois.  These include Southside Senior Ministries, Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, Karen House, Our Lady’s Inn, several parish vacation Bible Schools, and LifeBridge, a camp for children with disabilities.

Please keep the teens and the many people they will be serving in your prayers. Through spiritual programming, great music, hard work, and good times Project Life has become an awesome event that allows Christ to speak and work through them in ways they would never have imagined!

Seven Participants Chosen for Inaugural Urban Teaching Program

June 3, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Billiken Teacher Corps Places Graduate Students in Urban Catholic School Classrooms

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis and the College of Education and Public Service at Saint Louis University recently named the seven members of the inaugural Billiken Teacher Corps program. The service-based program is a collaboration between the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Saint Louis University to place graduate students in urban Catholic school classrooms.

“We are excited about this inaugural class,” said Dr. John James, Director of the Institute for Catholic Education at SLU. “At its heart, the Billiken Teacher Corps is about service, but combined with teaching experience, this program will offer a unique opportunity for these faith-driven college graduates to have a transformative impact on Catholic schools in the St. Louis metro area.”

The seven members of the inaugural Billiken Teacher Corps are:

Sarah Staten – St. Louis (University of Notre Dame)
Teaching math and religion at St. Louis the King Cathedral School, 6-8th grades

Elise Earley – Ballwin (University of Missouri – Columbia)
Teaching science at St. Cecilia School, 6-8th grades

Jennifer Bruns – Cincinnati, OH (Xavier University)
Teaching science at Christ the Light of Nations, 4-8th grades

Kelsey Kerr – Lisle, IL (Saint Louis University)
Teaching at St. Francis Cabrini, 3rd grade

Michelle Ehrhard – St. Charles (Truman State University)
Teaching at Holy Trinity School, 3-4th grades

Mitch McCurren – Zionsville, IN (Saint Louis University)
Teaching biology and theology at St. Mary’s High School

Marjorie Plurad – Webster Groves (Columbia College – Chicago)
Teaching at Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3rd grade

The program has been in planning and development for a few years and is modeled after programs at other schools, including Notre Dame where the program began. Nationwide, about a dozen other Catholic colleges and universities have similar programs.

In addition to gaining valuable hands-on teaching experience, the Corps members will work towards a master’s degree in education during the two-year program. They will live in the former convent at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in South City and begin their teaching assignments in fall 2015.


Introduction to “Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide”

A free opportunity to learn about an excellent parish program for divorced Catholics, “The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide,” is offered from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, at the Cardinal Rigali Center. This introductory opportunity is designed for clergy, religious, parish staff, and anyone currently ministering to the divorced and separated or interested in supporting the program. Please RSVP to Deacon Jim Russell if you plan to attend—314-792-7173, or See flyer for details. - Flyer July 11 Event.pdf

Annual Health and Safety Summit for Catholic Schools

June 2, 2015
For more information contact: 
Sue Brown
Director of Marketing & Enrollment Management for Catholic Education
Phone: 314.792.7304

What: Archdiocese of St. Louis Health and Safety Summit
Where: John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, 500 Woods Mill Rd., Manchester, MO
When: Thursday, June 4, 2015 – 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Program begins at 8:15 a.m. with welcome and prayer.)

ST. LOUIS – The Catholic Education Center will host the sixth annual Archdiocese of St. Louis Health and Safety Summit on Thursday, June 4, 2015, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School (500 Woods Mill Rd., Manchester, MO.)

Officers Mike Fumagalli, Corey Zavorka, and Stephen Spear will deliver the keynote address Effective School Security Measures from 8:30-9:45 a.m. Their presentation will cover security awareness, effective emergency planning, and solutions to the daily challenges of protecting students, staff, and visitors. Break-out sessions begin at 9:55 a.m.
Currently over 350 participants are registered for the summit, representing Catholic school and parish personnel across the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

"Registration continues to grow each year due to the popularity and timeliness of the program's topics," said Dr. David Shelton, Director of Administrative Services at the Catholic Education Center.

A total of 30 presenters are scheduled for morning and afternoon sessions. Topics include Heart Saver AED/CPR Training, information on head injuries and concussions, allergies, and perimeter safety for schools and churches. A complete list of topics can be found in the attached program.


Watch The Forsaken on EWTN - June 5th at 5:00pm

View The Forsaken on EWTN on Friday, June 5th at 5:00 pm! The Forsaken is our 30-minute documentary about Pan y Amor, our missionary aid program assisting needy children in Bolivia, Colombia, Kenya and Uganda. Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of children by watching this inspirational show.

The Forsaken on EWTN


You are invited to join us for the patronal celebration of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions on this Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Mass will be at 6:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Church (adjacent to the Center). Concelebrants should bring an alb and red stole. Reception and open house follows at the Lwanga Center. Please R.S.V.P. to the Center at (314) 367-7929. Singers and instrumentalists are invited to participate in the collaborative liturgical music ministry for the evening. Rehearsal will occur in the church on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. prior to Mass. Please let Mr. Eugene Thomas, music director know of your intention to participate through emailing him at      Also, registrations are being accepted for the Kujenga XIV Youth Conference for high school teens being held at Fontbonne University July 17-19, 2015. Final payment due June 12. Contact the Lwanga Center for applications and information.


Archbishop Carlson to Ordain Six Men to Sacred Priesthood

May 21, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Mass of Priestly Ordination will take place on Saturday, May 23, 2015

What: Priestly Ordinations for the Archdiocese of St. Louis
Who: Six men will receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders
When: 10 a.m., Saturday, May 23, 2015
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)

ST. LOUIS – Six seminarians will be ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood by Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, on Saturday, May 23.

Archbishop Carlson will confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders on Reverend Mr. Peter Fonseca, Reverend Mr. Daniel Kavanagh, Reverend Mr. David Miloscia, Reverend Mr. Alexander Nord, Reverend Mr. Zachary Povis, and Reverend Mr. Edward Voltz.

The six candidates for ordination, or ordinands, will receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in culmination of several years of rigorous study and spiritual development at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Five of the candidates graduated from Kenrick School of Theology with a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Divinity, while Rev. Mr. Zach Povis is currently studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and will graduate in 2016.

The candidates each followed the calling to sacred ministry in different ways, with most having entered the seminary after studying or working in unrelated fields such as electrical engineering, business administration, mathematics, and physics. All six men share a common desire to follow God’s will and share the joy of the Gospel of Christ with others through their priestly ministry.

“The first year of their priesthood will be marked in an extraordinary way as they help us all celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis,” President-Rector Rev. John Horn, S.J. said. “They promise to be joy-filled heralds of Jesus' Presence as Mercy.”

Part of the rite of ordination includes the laying on of hands by the bishop, a tradition that began with the original Twelve Apostles and has continued in an unbroken line throughout the entire 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church. The new priests receive supernatural graces through the Sacrament of Holy Orders whereby they are able to act in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) when they hear confessions and offer the sacrifice of the Mass, which is a bloodless re-enactment of Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday.

The Mass of Priestly Ordination begins at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 4431 Lindell Boulevard, in the Central West End. Additional background information about the rite of ordination and a live-stream of the Mass and ceremony can be found at


Join us at Summer Lovin'...July 25, 2015...Mass, Dinner and Magic for the Whole Family!

Celebrate the love in your family and join your faithful #CatholicSTL friends for a fun evening with mass, dinner and magic at the Cathedral Basilica on Saturday, July 25, 2015.

We begin at 5 p.m. with mass in the cathedral celebrated by Bishop Rice. After mass, we will enjoy a pasta dinner and family-friendly magic show in Boland Hall. All families are welcome and encouraged to attend. It promises to be a great evening for fellowship with families that celebrate life and living according to God's plan. Lock in this opportunity for family fun on your calendar now and bring your kids to experience an great night with good friends.

Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for kids age 3-11 or a maximum of $50 per family paid at the door. Advance reservations are required. RSVP by July 22 by calling the Office of Natural Family Planning at 314-997-7576 or email

This event is sponsored by the Humanae Vitae Association of the Office of Natural Family Planning.

Catholic Charities of St. Louis Welcomes New Chief Financial Officer

May 15, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Mr. Mark Vogt started as the new Chief Financial Officer for Catholic Charities of St. Louis on Monday, May 11.

“We are excited to have Mark joining the Catholic Charities team,” stated Theresa Ruzicka, President of Catholic Charities of St. Louis. “His extensive financial experience and passion for the Catholic faith will be a tremendous asset to Catholic Charities, and will help us achieve our mission to serve those in need.”

Mr. Vogt comes to Catholic Charities after thirty years of experience with the noted auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Since 1996, Mr. Vogt has served as an assurance partner in the firm’s Sao Paulo, Brazil office. While there, he was active for ten years with the United Way of Brazil, including four years as president of the Board of Directors.

His areas of expertise include internal controls, budgeting, accounting, taxes, financial planning, project management and business operations. He is fluent in Portuguese and conversational in Spanish. He also brings experience with leading education and training sessions.

Mr. Vogt is originally from St. Charles, Missouri and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Saint Louis University. He also earned a Master of Accounting Science degree from the University of Illinois.

Catholic Charities of St. Louis (CCSTL) has been helping people in need since 1912. Organized as a federation of eight agencies, Catholic Charities assists 147,000 people annually through more than 100 programs at 50 sites. CCSTL serves 11 counties in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The Catholic Charities Central Office provides advocacy, financial, accreditation, human resources, training, communications, quality assurance and fund development assistance for the eight organizations that make up the Catholic Charities Federation. Our goal is clear: we seek to break the cycle of poverty, abuse and neglect, to empower people to make permanent changes in their lives, and support people to lead self-sufficient, dignified lives.


Members of New Peace and Justice Commission Announced

May 14, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Twenty-Seven Member Commission Tasked with Addressing Issues of Social Justice

ST. LOUIS – The 27 members of the newly-established Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis were announced Thursday by Director Marie Kenyon.

The Commission was originally announced at a Mass for Peace and Justice on August 20, 2014, when Archbishop Robert J. Carlson declared his intention to address societal issues through the new commission, such as family breakdown, poverty, racial tension, and lack of education.

Attorney Marie Kenyon was appointed director of the Peace and Justice Commission in January 2015. Prior to her appointment on the Commission, Kenyon was the managing attorney of Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, a ministry serving the legal needs of low-income clients throughout the archdiocese.

In a memo announcing Kenyon as director, the Archbishop stated, “Peace and justice are the hallmarks of a society that knows, loves and serves God above all else. I urge this new Commission to assist the citizens and public officials throughout all eleven counties of our archdiocese in the effort to achieve peace and justice for all.”

Archbishop Carlson has appointed 27 individuals to serve as members of the Commission. The Commission is comprised of 18 men and nine women, with minorities well-represented.  Members of the Commission include lay persons, clergy, religious sisters, police officers, attorneys, and educators.

The Commission will develop its priorities by looking at how issues affecting our region specifically impact the family. As Catholics we believe as Pope Francis states "the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and belong to one another.” By working to help strengthen the family, the Commission hopes to help build stronger communities and a peaceful and just region and world.

Members of Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis

Marie Kenyon - Director of the Peace and Justice Commission

Fr. Don Anstoetter - Part-time professor, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

Fr. Michael Boehm - Vicar for Priests, Archdiocese of St. Louis

Ray Boshara - Senior advisor & director of the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank

Patrick E. Carron - President/CEO Perry County Memorial Hospital

Christine Chadwick - Former Executive Director, FOCUS St. Louis

Fr. Christopher Collins, SJ - Director, Catholic Studies Program; Assistant Professor, Theological Studies St. Louis University

Angel O. Costa - Real Estate Investor

Sr. Cathy Doherty, SSND - Pastoral Associate, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (Ferguson)

Deacon John Heithaus - Chief Development Officer, Family Resource Center

Jessica Hoskins - Criminal Defense Attorney

Captain Daniel Howard - Commander of District 4 of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Chief Direk L. Hunt - Perryville Police Department

Thomas J. Irwin - Executive Director, Civic Progress

Felicia Jones - Federal Public Defender

Dr. Barbara A. Lutey - Assistant Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine

Nancy J. McCarthy - Regional Administrator, Board of Probation and Parole, Missouri Department of Corrections

Thomas Miller - Edward Jones Resource Analyst

Barbara A. Morrow - Director of Business Services, Harris-Stowe State University

Sr. Ellen Orf, CPPS - General Councilor, Sisters of the Most Precious Blood

Sr. Christian Price, ASCJ - Director of Faith Formation, St. Alban Roe Parish

Dr. Jason Q. Purnell - Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Social Work Studies, Public Health and Health Disparities

Peter Salsich, Jr. - Professor-Emeritus, St. Louis University School of Law

Fr. Carl Scheble - Pastor, St. John the Baptist Church

Jim Schmieder - Assistant City Administrator, Union, Missouri

Daniel H. Vatterott - Morgan Stanley Vice President, Financial Advisor

Patrick White - President, Greater St. Louis Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Dr. Joseph Worth - Vice President of Student Affairs, St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley



Archbishop Carlson Welcomes Bishop Sirba to St. Louis

May 12, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Archbishop Carlson Welcomes Bishop Sirba to St. Louis

Bishop of Duluth to Keynote Sixth Annual Legatus Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast

Who: Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Most Reverend Paul D. Sirba, Bishop of Duluth (MN)
What: Sixth Annual Archbishop’s Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast, Hosted by Legatus
Where: The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis, 100 Carondelet Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63105
When: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 6 a.m. - 9 a.m.

ST. LOUIS – Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and the St. Louis chapter of Legatus will welcome His Excellency, the Most Reverend Paul D. Sirba, Bishop of Duluth, to St. Louis on Wednesday for the Sixth Annual Archbishop’s Gospel of Life Prayer Breakfast.

“Bishop Sirba is a leader in promoting the dignity and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death,” Archbishop Carlson said. “I am blessed to call him a friend and ally in this fight.”

Bishop Sirba will address more than 600 attendees, including St. Louis-area Catholics and business men and women on the importance of protecting the dignity of human life with a keynote entitled "The Joy of the Gospel of Life in a Throwaway Culture."

“I look forward to coming to St. Louis to visit my mentor and friend, Archbishop Carlson, and the good people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis,” Bishop Sirba said. “Sharing the Joy of the Gospel of Life is a passion of mine.”

Bishop Sirba was ordained December 14, 2009 as the ninth bishop of Duluth, Minnesota. The Diocese of Duluth represents more than 56,000 Catholics and 92 parishes throughout ten counties of northeastern Minnesota.

Legatus is an international organization of practicing Catholic laymen and laywomen, comprised of CEOs, presidents, managing partners and business owners, with their spouses, from the business community and professional enterprises. The group’s mission is to study, live and spread the Catholic faith in the business, professional and personal lives of its members.


We Cannot do Everything

$90 million has been cut from the Dept. of Social Services 

 6500 children will lose their access to basic needs in January, 2016

Cities and municipalities could lose their ability to listen to their residents and raise the minimum wage or set benefits standards--such as paid maternity leave--to support working families. 

All of this has happened just in our state in the last 3 weeks. And 300,000 Missourians will continue to live without access to health care because our lawmakers did not expand Medicaid.

 If we widened the lens of injustice, we would also see pain and despair caused by racial and economic disparity in Baltimore; a drought in California that is hurting poor Latino migrant workers the most and large fracking corporations the least; hundreds of African and Middle Eastern migrants drowning in the Mediterranean; and 213 Nigerian girls, recently rescued from their captors, pregnant with the children of their kidnappers and abusers. 

That's enough sorrow to make someone throw up her hands and cry, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" 

Yesterday afternoon, after learning about the legislature's veto override of SB 24 but before heading up to the "Faith in Ferguson" monthly prayer service at Our Lady of Guadalupe, I sat in my car and prayed aloud, "God, I'm here to build your kingdom, I'm here to do your will, I'm here to bring glad tidings to the poor and proclaim liberty to the captives, but I'm failing. I must be the wrong person for the task." 

I arrived at Our Lady of Guadalupe heartbroken. I cried on my friend's shoulder; I told God that I didn't really mean it as I sang the opening song, "Here I am, Lord."

However, this month's "Faith in Ferguson" was incredibly special. First of all, it was Cinquo de Mayo, so Marie Kenyon, the new director of the Archdiocese's Peace and Justice Commission, reflected on the need for greater Catholic participation in the fight for just and humane immigration reform. Also, May 23 is the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and Sr. Cathy Doherty had put together a beautiful liturgy that honored him.

Archbishop RomeroArchbishop Romero lived among the poorest and most marginalized people in El Salvador. He not only provided them with basic needs, but he also spoke out against the political structures that were oppressing them. On the radio, he delivered sermons where he condemned the human rights abuses of the military and El Salvadorean government, even though he was receiving death threats. He even asked President Jimmy Carter to stop sending military aid to El Salvador--but President Carter did not listen. Archbishop Romero continued to work--in spite of the hopelessness that surrounded the situation in El Salvador--until he was assassinated on March 24, 1980. 

During the prayer service, I found myself saying, "Give me the courage to continue going forth, as Romero did."

Towards the end of "Faith in Ferguson," we prayed the what is often called "The Romero Prayer." It is lengthy, so I will not copy it all here. But here are a few lines: 

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work. 

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. 

 This morning I woke up and prayed, "Okay God, I'm here to do your will, but you need to help me feel a sense of liberation after I try and fail to change so many of our legislators' disregard for the poor. Please remind me that I cannot do everything." 

I still don't know if this was the "right" prayer, but it got me back to my office today. It also gave me the hope to organize some of our clergy and lay people to call their representatives and tell them to VOTE NO on that bill that would take away the ability of cities and municipalities to raise the minimum wage. 

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

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