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).

#CatholicSTL

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.

#CatholicSTL

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

Peace & Justice Commission Statement Regarding the Events in Charlottesville, VA

August 16, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

The Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St Louis expresses horror and sadness at the events which took place this weekend at the shameful and hate-filled "Unite the Right Rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence instigated by the neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, white nationalists and white-supremacists in their confrontations with counter protestors resulted in three deaths and many injuries. We pray for the victims and their families.

As Catholics, we embrace the seven principles of Catholic social teaching as a central and essential element of our faith. Many of these principles were violated this past weekend. The first of the principles focuses on "Life and Human Dignity". Life and human dignity were clearly attacked this weekend leaving three people dead and many more injured. The principle of "Call to Family, Community and Participation" was violently assaulted by those who would divide our community based on race and creed. The principal of solidarity was also fiercely assailed. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) states "At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul taught that if you want peace, work for justice. The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for our brothers and sisters demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict."

We support the USCCB in its call for peace. We agree with Jesuit Father James Martin who reminds us that racism is a sin, and states that "All Christians, all people of faith, should not only reject it, not only oppose it, but fight against it." We ask you to join us in rejecting all forms of hatred and racism and work with us to actively support the true justice that leads to peace. 

Archdiocese of St. Louis Statement Regarding The Events In Charlottesville, VA

August 14, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

The sad events over the weekend again remind us of the evils of intolerance and injustice.

Racism, or any ideology which seeks to undermine the dignity and worth of human beings simply because of the color of their skin, must be condemned. Our country has a detestable history with regard to the treatment of its citizens, including discrimination and hatred that undermine the God-given dignity of every human person. Unfortunately, some of our fellow citizens cling to these detestable ideas which are fueled by hate and ignorance. We must boldly march forward to a time when “love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss.” (Ps. 85:11)

Just as light scatters the darkness, love and truth scatter evil. As Christians, we know that love and truth are found in the redemptive light of Jesus Christ. The foundation of our faith rests on the mandate Christ left us: to love one another as He loved us. If we choose this path, and follow Christ, He promises that we “may all be one.” But the oft-quoted commandment of Christ to love one’s neighbor is preceded by the oft-neglected commandment to “love God before all else.”

This forgotten admonition, to “love God before all else,” has placed our country, culture, and humanity in the hands of destructive nihilism and evil itself.

In 2014, in the midst of the protests in Ferguson, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said our nation must deal with the sin of racism. That remains true. Racism is a sin because it is contrary to human dignity. What we have seen in Charlottesville, Baltimore, Ferguson, and elsewhere, is the result of a society that has put racism, fascism, nationalism, socialism, individualism, and other ideologies in place of God. These ideologies tear down human dignity because they determine human worth based not as we are, as beloved children of God, but based on race, class, or what one can do with one’s body. This is precisely why we must be adamantly outspoken against the legality of the grave evil of abortion. If we cannot see the connection in our society between the ability to kill a vulnerable, innocent child in the womb and the ability to hate a person based simply on the color of their skin, we are, truly, a nation without hope. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?” How can those of us who live in a society where a woman can kill the child in her very womb be shocked when those who dwell on the fringe of society hate their neighbor because of the color of their skin?

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is committed to being an instrument of justice and peace. We engage daily in works of healing and reconciliation. We are committed to Christ's mission to bring forth his kingdom by prayer and laboring for justice and peace in our nation and world. We pray that all men and women will love one another as Christ loved us.

In addition to our daily, unceasing prayer that everyone be treated as God’s beloved children, we invite you to please join us in our efforts:

  • August 21, 2017: Disciples of Peace & Justice, Rosary commemorating the three-year journey of discipleship after the death of Michael Brown, 6:30 p.m., Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish's Our Lady of Lourdes grotto, 150 N Elizabeth Ave, Ferguson, MO 63135

For information on these events and more, visit archstl.org.


Note: This statement was published as an editorial by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson in the August 21-27, 2017 St. Louis Review and can be found at stlouisreview.com.

Statement on the Passing of Bishop Robert J. Shaheen

August 10, 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 upon the death of Bishop Robert J. Shaheen:

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Bishop Robert J. Shaheen, a good friend and a beloved shepherd of the Maronite Catholic community.

I ask that the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis join me in praying for the repose of the soul of Bishop Shaheen. Bishop Elias Zaidan and the faithful of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

 May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.

#CatholicSTL

Click here for an obituary in the St. Louis Review

EMPOWER St. Louis Training: A Training Day for All Adults Serving in Youth Ministry

Every year around September the Office of Youth Ministry has Training and ongoing Formation for all Youth Ministers, Adult Youth Leaders, Core Members, and Volunteers to better prepare them for the mission field of Youth Ministry. 

Our next Training Day will be Saturday, September 9, 2017. The Office of Youth Ministry is excited to be working with Life Teen this September! This is a day for all adults who serve in youth ministry. Registrations will be made through the Life Teen website, but you do not have to be a Life Teen member to attend. This Empower Training Day is designed to help all types of youth programs and their leaders!

Event: EMPOWER St. Louis Training

Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017

What: This will be a full day of training for all adults working in youth ministry.

Where: Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

Time:  Check-in and breakfast are from 8:20 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  Training will be 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more details, and to register, visit http://stlyouth.org/training.

Statement of Archbishop Carlson on Passing of Senate Bill 5 in Special Session of Missouri Legislature

July 25, 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 at the conclusion of the special session of the Missouri Legislature today:

The passage of Senate Bill 5 by the Missouri Legislature is a welcome resolution to a protracted special session. This important pro-life legislation will save the lives of unborn children, safeguard the health and safety of women, and protect the freedom of pregnancy resource centers to hire whom they choose.

Senate Bill 5, though laudable, does not completely overturn the “abortion sanctuary” ordinance in the City of St. Louis; thus, the lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and others against the City of St. Louis and ordinance 70459 will continue.

Ultimately, the worth of this special session will not be determined by the money spent, but by the number of lives saved, of which we may never have an exact accounting.

In closing, I urge any woman struggling with her pregnancy, or anyone wounded by abortion, to seek hope and healing through the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis by calling 314.792.7555. The Church stands ready to offer assistance to anyone who truly seeks God’s mercy.

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