Symposium on Religious Life scheduled for November 13-14, 2015

Open to all religious, clergy and laity:

A Symposium on Religious Life is scheduled to be held November 13-14, 2015 at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch in Saint Louis, Missouri featuring a variety of exceptional speakers focusing on many aspects of religious life.

 See the attached flyer for details:   CMSWR A Symposium on Religious Life

Memories of Pope Francis' Visit to Bolivia: Fr. Patrick Hayden

Enjoy this first-hand account of Pope Francis' visit to Bolivia (July 8-10), as told by Fr. Patrick Hayden, pastor of Maria Reina Parish in La Paz!

These are truly wonderful days of grace for Bolivia, and for the whole Church. Just yesterday (Sunday), while I was celebrating our 10:30 a.m. Mass with our parishioners, Pope Francis was concluding the Eucharist celebrated in Asunción, Paraguay, with more than a million people in attendance. With this celebration, he also concluded his 8-day Apostolic Visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, where he experienced extremes of heat (104 deg F in Guayaquil, Ecuador, during the Mass he celebrated there last Monday; temperatures in the upper 30 deg F range here in El Alto y La Paz), but everywhere the same warm affection and lively faith. Shortly before he travelled to visit us, he filmed a brief video message in which he told us that he wanted to bring us the loving, tender caress of God and God's love for all, without exception.

In his messages and homilies during this past week, he has encouraged all families and all of God's family to love and care for every member without exception (homily in Guayaquil), insisted that the Eucharist is Christ's example to us of how God's blessing received moves us to share this same blessing, so that all may know God's blessing and that we may never forget how God has always blessed us (homily in Santa Cruz de la Sierra last Friday, on the Gospel of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes), spoken of himself as a sinner forgiven when he visited the famously violent jail of Palmasola in Santa Cruz, telling the prisoners that their incarceration did not exclude them from God's mercy, forgiveness and love, reminded us that Our Lady is the mother of "yes" to God, she who proposes no other plan of obedience to God and of following Jesus other than being attentive in the Spirit to what God in Christ asks of us (homily at the Mass celebrated at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Caacupé, in Paraguay, on Saturday) and warned all leaders that ideologies all too often lead to oppression and dictatorship. These are just some of the highlights of Pope Francis' legacy of word and deed upon which we will be reflecting during the months and years to come. Oh, yes, one more important note: during his meeting with the clergy and religious in Santa Cruz on Thursday afternoon, he gently, but firmly, reminded all of us of how we are to be good, loving, joyful shepherds of God's flock, rather than overbearing, even harsh or unhappy, taskmasters of God's people.

The Holy Father's visit to El Alto and La Paz was to be very became even briefer because of the 1+ hour delay in his departure from Ecuador. So, instead of a four-hour visit, it became something a little more like just three hours. The weeks beforehand were filled with many different meetings, especially for the 3,000+ volunteers who were to be part of the Papal Guard upon Pope Francis' arrival to the downtown of La Paz. The preparation of the volunteers included workshops on first aid and crowd control, a day of mission to communicate the joy of the Holy Father's approaching visit and an evening public prayer service (with more than 1,500 people in attendance in a plaza in the downtown area). The two pictures below, taken last Tuesday afternoon, July 7th, at our St. Jerome Major Seminary, are of the first of the 3,000+ volunteers waiting to receive their vests and credentials, plus a group of our confirmation youth, with their catechist, after they had received their materials for the following day.

Pope Francis Visit to La Paz, BoliviaPope Francis Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

From Monday, July 6th, banners over our parish church invited "María Reina" parishioners and neighbors to "announce, with Francis, the joy of the Gospel". (Orange banner hanging over the entrance to our parish church).

Pope Francis Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

As dean of our Gran Poder deanery, I was responsible for organizing the presence of the four parishes of our deanery at the beginning of the highway from El Alto to La Paz along which Pope Francis would be travelling
in his arrival and departure. With some faithful arriving as early as 5 a.m. at our designated place, and our own parishioners arriving by just before 8 a.m. (part of the way by bus, and part of the way on foot), we together began the day with prayer (picture below).

Pope Francis Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

From there, we worked to install our different banners, since later in the morning the highway was to be closed and pedestrian traffic in the area was to be restricted for reasons of security. Around 10:30 a.m., we moved across the highway to take up our places along the center-line guard rail to begin our long wait for the arrival of the Holy Father. The mood was one of joyful expectation, neighborly, friendly sharing and visiting among the parishioners of the four parishes, as well as with many others who joined us or who passed by us (looking to find their own places farther along the same guard rail). By radio, we were able to follow the conclusion of Pope Francis' visit to Ecuador; at midday, we again met to pray, now a much larger group of people, to accompany the Holy Father on his flight to Bolivia. With joy we received the news that he was flying over the Madidi National Park (an area of virgin forests and abundant flora and fauna) and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Copacabana, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. As you can imagine, the expectation of his impending arrival to Bolivian soil was palpable, bringing almost a reverent silence as we thought we might see his plane arriving at any moment (in the end, his plane landed from the west, escorted by two jet fighters of the Bolivian Air Force)...with the news of his landing, cheers went up all along the highway. We all then got ready for the moment of his passing by us on the highway. At approx. 6:40 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8th, Pope Francis passed by us on his way to meet with our President Morales at the Presidential Palace and diplomatic and civil leaders, with a select group of faithful, at the Metropolitan Cathedral of La Paz.  What an exciting moment that was! It certainly made our 12+ hour day of expectant, joyful waiting worthwhile.

Pope Francis Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

You also see Fr. James Michler with a group of our parishioners, under the beautiful blue sky of our Andean winter.

Pope Francis Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

Also, the parish-in-formation of "St. Barbara"-"St. Ignatius" was present with its people and their identifying banners.

On a rather interesting note, a number of our youth and young adults spent a good part of the day selling the hats which our Archdiocese of La Paz had commissioned to help underwrite some of the expenses related to the Holy Father's visit. Here, you see Ariel and Wilson going about their mission of selling with lots of creativity and enthusiasm (they even made a WhatsApp promotional jingle for the hats...!!!).

Finally, the picture of Pope Francis in the Pope Mobile: some have said that the driver was in competition with the actors of the "Fast and Furious" movie franchise...!!!

Pope Francis Visit to La Paz, Bolivia

God bless you all! God bless Pope Francis, who should be arriving just about now back to Rome...may he enjoy a few days of well-deserved rest after his days with us here in South I said before, tremendous days of grace and joy for us and for the whole Church.

Sincerely yours,
Fr. Patrick Hayden 

Pope Francis Visits South America!

Learn more about Pope Francis' visit to South America by visiting the links below! Pope Francis is visiting Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay from July 5-13, 2015. Stay tuned for more information from our St. Louis priest missionaries in La Paz, Bolivia - and to hear about their experiences of welcoming Pope Francis to Bolivia!

Pope Francis

Catholic News Agency

Vatican - Apostolic Journey




Mass for Consecrated Life Scheduled for Saturday, October 31, 2015

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson cordially invites you to attend
the 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015
10:00 AM
Cathedral Basilica
4431 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO  63108

A reception will follow Mass in upper Boland Hall, adjacent to the Cathedral.

 The 2015 Jubilarians will be recognized at the Mass and reception.

Mission Office of the Archdiocese Wins National Award for Video

July 7, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

“The Forsaken” Produced by Salt River Productions Raises Awareness for Pan y Amor

ST. LOUIS – The Mission Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis was recently named a Bronze winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards for Use of Music and Videography/Cinematography in “The Forsaken,” a documentary about abused and abandoned children in some of the most impoverished countries in the world, such as Uganda and Bolivia.

The documentary was produced by Salt River Production Group and its president, prominent St. Louis media figure Chuck Neff. It focuses on the international work of the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, in particular the Pan y Amor aid program that assists poor, needy, and hungry children throughout the world. In addition to being available online, “The Forsaken” has been broadcast on EWTN multiple times.

“This documentary will open your eyes to the lives of children who have been saved from living on the streets, barely surviving and often going to bed hungry,” said Monsignor Francis Blood, Director of the Mission Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “We are thrilled to receive this national award in partnership with Emmy award-winner Chuck Neff and the Salt River Production. It is a tribute to their professionalism and commitment to the mission of Pan y Amor.”

Pan y Amor is a unique mission aid program that sponsors needy children around the world. Pan y Amor – "bread and love" in Spanish – provides both the physical and the spiritual needs in life to these children. "Pan" refers to the physical needs – food, medicine, clothing, and shelter. "Amor" refers to the spiritual needs – love, care, hope, and spiritual formation based on the principles of life taught by Jesus. Pan y Amor sponsors children primarily in Bolivia, but is also present in Colombia, Kenya and Uganda. More information about the Mission Office and Pan y Amor can be found at

The Telly Awards were founded in 1979 and are the premier awards honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries were submitted, while approximately 25% of entries are chosen as winners of the Bronze Telly. The judges rate each entry on a 10-point scale.  Generally, entries with a score of 9.0 or higher are awarded a “Silver Telly” statuette. Entries with an average score of 7.0 to 8.9 are awarded a “Bronze Telly” statuette for outstanding achievement.  Entries do not compete against each other. Rather, they compete against a high standard of excellence.


Fr. Alkado Pesambili Celebrates the Corpus Christi Procession in Tanzania

Fr. Alkado Pesambili celebrated the Corpus Christi procession in Tanzania. "I thank God I celebrated well the Corpus Christi feast," Fr. Pesambili said. "It was so nice and joyful as you may see in the attachment. I hope you had a nice one too."

Fr. Alkado Pesambili celebrated the Corpus Christi procession in Tanzania.Fr. Alkado Pesambili celebrated the Corpus Christi procession in Tanzania.Fr. Alkado Pesambili celebrated the Corpus Christi procession in Tanzania.


Belize Blog: Seven in the Sun

Check out this great blog about volunteering in Belize:
We know Andy and Julie personally from their living in Belize and attending several Mission Congress experiences with us in St. Louis after their return.  Now they have a limited time back in Belize.  It is exciting to hear from them and we pray for them and their mission in Belize!

Seven in the Sun blog

Archdiocese of St. Louis Selected as a Top Workplace by St. Louis Post-Dispatch

June 29, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis is pleased and proud to announce that it was selected as one of the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Top Workplaces!

Top Workplaces recognizes organizations that are creating work environments where employees love to work.

These outstanding workplaces are determined based on employee feedback through an independent and confidential survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics. This was the archdiocese’s first year participating in the survey.

The mission statement of the archdiocese states the following: “As Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, we are called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be His Church and live His Gospel. With joy, we strive to fulfill our Baptismal calling by prayer and worship, teaching and sharing our faith, serving others, and fostering unity in diversity. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to the responsible stewardship of all God's gifts.” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said, “This honor is a reflection of our wonderful employees and their incredible dedication to this mission.  Their passion for the mission permeates everything they do, including how they work together.”

The diocese of St. Louis was established in 1826 and elevated to an archdiocese in 1847. Eleven counties comprise the archdiocese. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, there are nearly 600,000 registered Catholics, 184 parishes, 753 priests, 1,601 religious, 114 grade schools, 27 high schools, and we provide counseling, comfort, and faith to thousands of people, regardless of faith.


Statement on the Supreme Court Decision

June 26, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decision on marriage:

"The decision issued today by the Supreme Court to effectively change the legal definition of marriage in the United States does not alter the unassailable truth that marriage is, and always will be, the life-long, life-giving union of one man and one woman."


We are Salt and Light!

See video

USCCB's "We are Salt and Light" provides inspiration, resources, and community for Catholics across the U.S. 

In 1993, the USCCB released a beautiful guide to help parishes discern their social ministry and guide them in their work, Communities of Salt and Light, which many parishes across the U.S. are using today to guide their work in charity, justice, and peacemaking. However, a lot of things have changed in the past 20 years, and so the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development at the USCCB has brought hundreds of resources together under one website, We Are Salt and Light. The website is arranged into four major categories: 

One of the most exciting features of the website is that it contains hundreds of success stories about small groups of Catholics across the country who worked together to transform their parish, their community, and their hearts. From a group of teens in Austin, Texas who gather together and pray the Rosary for Mercy whenever there's an execution to a parish in California that hosts foreclosure workshops for struggling families, the stories are very inspiring! And better yet, you have the ability to connect with each group to learn how they did it. 

I know that there is a lot of amazing work being done across our Archdiocese in the way of charity, justice, and peace making. If you are interested in having your parish's work highlighted on We are Salt and Light, please let me know at or 314-367-5500 x1128, and I will pass it along to the JPHD. 

Statement on Dismissal of Criminal Charges Against Fr. Joseph Jiang

June 17, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis has learned that criminal charges against Fr. Joseph Jiang in the City of St. Louis Circuit Court have been dismissed.

The allegation was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by a family who had pursued a claim against the archdiocese related to their child being bullied by other students.

During the investigation into the veracity of the abuse allegation, Fr. Joseph Jiang agreed to undergo an independent polygraph examination. According to the report released, the examiners concluded that Fr. Jiang responded truthfully in his steadfast denials of sexual abuse of a minor at any point in his life, both during his interview and polygraph examination.

Criminal charges against Fr. Jiang involving a separate allegation of inappropriate contact with a high school aged minor were dismissed in November 2013. In the dismissal order the Court noted the evidence established that Fr. Jiang had never been alone with the child. The archdiocese cooperated fully with law enforcement during the investigation of all matters related to Fr. Joseph Jiang.

Details of Fr. Jiang’s canonical status will be reviewed in light of this development.


Catholic Adventure Week - Faith, Fun and High Adventure!

Catholic Adventure Week will be held on July 12-18, 2015 at Swift Explorer of the S-F Scout Ranch, which is near Farmington, Missouri. The weeklong high adventure retreat is sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the BSA, the Office of Youth Ministry, and the Catholic Committee on Scouting, BSA. The theme for 2015 CAW is “Gifts that Keep On Giving”, and the focus of the week will be on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Catholic Venturers and Boy Scouts from around the region are invited to participate in an inspirational week of high adventure/Kodiak training, faith, and fun.  Our goal in providing this week for our Catholic Scouts is to give them the experience of living their faith, growing in their faith, and loving their faith within the Scouting movement and especially out in the wonders of God’s creation. While at CAW, Scouts will be exposed to the entire High Adventure program offered at Swift.  Intertwined with the outstanding program offered by the Swift staff and merit badge program time, there will be opportunities for prayer, religious instruction, and reflection. 

Jennifer Trousdale, Coordinator of Faith Programs for the Office of Youth Ministry, has been helping with Catholic Adventure Week for several years. She says “I think one of the reasons it is successful each year is because we tie in the faith with the fun. Bishop Rice will again be coming down to camp again this year to do Mass. The participation of the seminarians, priests and deacons at this camp always makes for a unique camping experience. The young people will not find anywhere it else!”

For more details, visit the Catholic Adventure Week page, or contact Tom Kroenung at

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