Father Shawn McKnight Named Bishop of Jefferson City

November 21, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Bishop-designate McKnight will be the fourth bishop of this neighboring diocese

ST. LOUIS – Pope Francis has announced that Father Shawn McKnight of the Wichita, Kansas diocese has been named the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri. This position has been held by the Most Reverend Bishop John Gaydos since June 25, 1997, when Pope John Paul II appointed him as the Bishop of Jefferson City.

Bishop-designate McKnight taught graduate studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, from 2003 to 2008, where he also served as director of liturgy, dean of students, director of formation in the school of theology, and vice-president for development and alumni relations. He currently serves on the faculty of the St. Meinrad Permanent Deacon Formation Program.

He served as chaplain at Newman University in Wichita from 2000 to 2001, where at the same time he was an adjunct professor of theology and visiting scholar at the university’s Bishop Gerber Institute of Catholic Studies.

Bishop-designate McKnight holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Dallas, Master of Arts and master of theology degrees from the Pontifical College Josephinum, and licentiate and doctoral degrees in theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, in Rome.

“I am extremely grateful to Bishop Gaydos for his many years of priestly service to the people of Missouri, both in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of Jefferson City. The people of Jefferson City are blessed to have had a man such as Bishop Gaydos as their shepherd,” said Archbishop Robert Carlson. “They are equally blessed to now receive a man of Bishop-designate McKnight’s quality and dedication. I congratulate him on his new appointment and I ask God to grant both Bishop-elect McKnight and Bishop Gaydos many years of continued, fruitful service leading the souls to the joy of the Gospel.”

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Former RLA Director Archbishop Joseph Naumann Named USCCB Pro-Life Committee Chair

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who served as the director of the St. Louis Respect Life Apostolate from 1985 to 1995, was recently elected to chair the Pro-Life Committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Archbishop Naumann is known for his strong support of St. Pope John Paul II's Culture of Life. He prioritizes pro-life issues in his teaching ministry and regularly challenges pro-abortion public policy and politicians, according to the National Catholic Register.

At the same time, the archbishop has compassion on those facing crisis pregnancies and those caught up in the culture of death.

As the Register reported, "As a young priest, he oversaw the pro-life office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Under his leadership, the archdiocese began the Project Rachel ministry, a post-abortion healing ministry. He also worked to support pregnancy centers and homes for mothers and children."

Read the entire National Catholic Register article here.

Photo credit: Scott Maentz via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) via CNA

Statement Regarding Reverend Dennis B. Zacheis

November 13, 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 received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against retired priest Reverend Dennis B. Zacheis. The acts alleged are said to have occurred in the late 1970s. Archbishop Carlson, in consultation with the Review Board of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has decided for the sake of openness and transparency to make this known. Father Zacheis denies the allegation.

Father Zacheis has been retired from ministry without priestly faculties since 2010, due to alleged irregularities in finances for which he was responsible as pastor of St. Anthony’s in Sullivan. He currently resides in a private residence.

In keeping with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, an announcement about this allegation has been made in the archdiocesan newspaper, The St. Louis Review, and in the parishes where Father Zacheis served.

If you have any questions you may contact Sandra Price, Executive Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection at (314) 792-7271 or sandraprice@archstl.org.

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Statement on the Passing of Sister Antona Ebo

November 11, 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 Sister Antona Ebo, FSM:

I am saddened to hear of the passing of renowned civil rights leader Sister Antona Ebo. We will miss her living example of working for justice in the context of our Catholic faith.

I ask that the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis join me in praying for the repose of the soul of Sister Ebo. Her family, friends, and her religious community will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

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

Sister Ebo was one of the first African-American women to join what was then the Sisters of St. Mary, now the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. She and more than 50 St. Louisans flew down to Selma, Alabama three days after the infamous "Bloody Sunday" when civil rights marchers were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

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Click here for an obituary in the St. Louis Review

Click here for a statement in honor of Sr. Ebo from the Peace & Justice Commission

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, released the following statement upon the death of Sister Antona Ebo, FSM:

I am saddened to hear of the passing of renowned civil rights leader Sister Antona Ebo. We will miss her living example of working for justice in the context of our Catholic faith.

I ask that the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis join me in praying for the repose of the soul of Sister Ebo. Her family, friends, and her religious community will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

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

 

Sister Ebo was one of the first African-American women to join what was then the Sisters of St. Mary, now the Franciscan Sisters of Mary.  She and more than 50 St. Louisans flew down to Selma, Alabama three days after the infamous “Bloody Sunday” when civil rights marchers were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. 

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New Pro-Life Law Goes Into Effect, Despite Attempts by Planned Parenthood to Block its Enforcement

By Jennifer Brinker | jbrinker@archstl.org | twitter: @jenniferbrinker

As a judge denied Planned Parenthood's request to block a portion of Senate Bill 5, demonstrations were held in front of five Planned Parenthood locations Oct. 24 to shine light on Missouri's newest pro-life law, which went into effect the same day.

Jackson County Circuit Court judge Judge S. Margene Burnett denied a request by several Planned Parenthood branches and the ACLU of Missouri for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction of parts of SB 5. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 10, targeted the state's 72-hour waiting period, which they noted will result in "extreme delays" of three or more weeks for women in areas not close to an abortion clinic. The law requires the same physician who will provide the abortion to also give information on the medical risks at least 72 hours earlier.

Pro-life advocates held press conferences Oct. 24 outside of Planned Parenthood locations in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and Joplin. Planned Parenthood has resumed offering abortions in Kansas City and Columbia, and has said it would seek to resume abortions in Springfield and Joplin. Speakers at the St. Louis press conference included Sens. Paul Wieland and Bill Eigel, Pam Fichter of Missouri Right to Life, Reagan Barklage of Students for Life of America, and Stacy Washington of radio talk show Stacy on the Right.

At the event, pro-life advocates drew attention to the 67 ambulance visits to Planned Parenthood in St. Louis since 2009. Participants dressed in all white to symbolize the number of ambulance calls to the facility. Karen Nolkemper, executive director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate said that while there are many unknowns about the calls — including the circumstances that bring women there and what complications they might have experienced — pro-life laws such as SB 5 and witnessing outside of abortion clinics will shine a light on the darkness of abortion.

"Health care is life-affirming," she said. "Health care promotes physical and mental well-being. Health care restores. Abortion is and does none of those things." 

Read the rest of the St. Louis Review article here.

Photo credit: Students for Life

RLA 2017 Award Winners Are Building A Culture of Life!

Each year, the Respect Life Apostolate recognizes indivdiduals and groups who are making outstanding contributions to building up a Culture of Life in St. Louis through our Cardinal Carberry (life-time achievement), Bishop McNicholas (youth group) and Pro-Life Video Challenge (youth and young adults) Awards. Thank you and congratulations to our three 2017 RLA award winners:

Cardinal John J. Carberry Award

Steve Rupp received the 2017 Cardinal Carberry Award, presented to an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the pro-life cause over a life time. As the president of Missouri Right to Life, Steve has been at the forefront of upholding respect life ethics in both the local and state legislature.

He is also a Right START teacher with the RLA, plays Santa Clause for babies and famlies in Mercy's NICU, and is the manager of member support with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis, which offers tremendous help to those in need throughout the archdiocese.

Bishop Joseph A. McNicholas Award

St. Joseph Academy in St. Louis was the recipient of the Bishop McNicholas Award, presented to a Catholic high school or parish youth group taht exmplifies a consistent respect for all life. The academy was noted for their pro-life campus ministry, overseas mission, and homelessness awareness efforts. In addition. proceeds from their Cup of Joe coffee house go to respect life efforts.


Pro-Life Video Challenge

The Youths of St. Ignatius, six students from St. Ignatius Parish in Marthasville, MO won the 2017 Pro-Life Video Challenge Award. Chloe, Cole, Alex, Kali, Jacob, and Hannah's inspirational video was played at the RLA convention. It celebrates the fundamental right to life at all stages: from the unborn and older children to families and seniors. View it here.

Catholics and Lutherans to Commemorate Reformation

October 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will host a joint commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation with an ecumenical prayer service and panel discussion on October 29 and 30.

The ecumenical prayer service will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell) on Sunday, October 29, at 7 p.m. Bishop James Massa of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Bishop Emeritus Donald McCoid of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will preside over this joint commemoration.

On Monday, October 30, Bishops Massa and McCoid will also lead a panel discussion on ecumenical relations between Catholics and Lutherans at the Aquinas Institute of Theology (23 S. Spring Ave.) at 9:30 a.m.

In an invitation letter to local pastors, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Roger R. Gustafson, Bishop of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, wrote: “Our most loving Lord calls us to remember God's tremendous mercy. Only in that merciful light can we remember together our history and work to mend our divisions.”

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Experts to Discuss Science and Theology of the Shroud of Turin

October 24, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Scientific and theological scholars will offer insight and analysis during a panel presentation on the Shroud of Turin on Thursday, October 26, 2017, from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary (5200 Glennon Dr., Shrewsbury, Missouri 63119).

Author and attorney Mark Antonacci has studied the Shroud of Turin for over 35 years. His latest publication, “Test the Shroud,” was released in 2016. Father John Nickolai, Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Imperial, Missouri, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in 1999. His master’s thesis at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary was “Why This Face? The Shroud of Turin and Icons of Christ.”

Also serving on the panel will be scientists Arthur C. Lind and Robert A. Rucker. Lind, a physicist, is one of the world’s leading scientists on the Shroud of Turin. Rucker holds degrees in nuclear engineering and has studied the application of nuclear analysis and computer calculations with regards to the carbon dating of the Shroud.

Attendees will be able to view a replica of the Shroud of Turin, housed permanently at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

The Shroud of Turin is an ancient artifact purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Conflicting scientific tests have not shown conclusively that the Shroud dates to the time of Jesus, nor have they proven the Shroud is a forgery from the Middle Ages as some experts claim. Recent popes have weighed in on the matter. St. John Paul II encouraged more scientific analysis in the 1990s, while Pope Benedict XVI said it was “an icon written in blood” and Pope Francis recently said it was an “icon of love.”

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Archbishop Carlson Announces Historic Settlement with Federal Government

October 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – In a letter released Monday, October 23, Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, announced that the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis, along with more than 70 other religious organizations had entered into an historic settlement with the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury of the United States Government. In a series of lawsuits, the religious organizations challenged Department of Health and Human Services regulations that would have required these entities to provide employee health plans that included contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures, in violation of their religious beliefs.

The historic settlement in effect grants a permanent injunction prohibiting these regulations or any similar future regulations from being enforced against the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Catholic Charities, and the other religious organizations.

“This historic settlement brings to an end many years of litigation, tension, and uncertainty for Catholic institutions,” Archbishop Carlson wrote in the letter. “We have finally prevailed in this unwelcomed fight for religious liberty – a fight which was not of our making.” The entire letter is available at archstl.org/liberty.

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Respect Life Convention Sunday to Rally Pro-Life Supporters

October 20, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: 41st Annual Respect Life Convention
Where: St. Charles Convention Center (1 Convention Center Plaza, St Charles, MO 63303)
When: Sunday, October 22, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Lunch and keynote at 11:30 a.m.
Who: Keynote speaker, John Foppe, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul - St. Louis Council

ST. LOUIS – The 41st Annual Respect Life Convention, hosted by the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, will take place on Sunday, October 22, at the St. Charles Convention Center. John Foppe, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul - St. Louis Council will deliver the keynote address. Nearly 700 attendees are expected to attend the convention.

Born without arms, John Foppe provides a powerful testimony on the dignity and worth of every human life. He once believed he led a miserable, dependent, and limited existence. Today, he operates his own company, travels the world, runs a large non-profit agency, and is a husband and father.

Mass, exhibits, and afternoon workshops are all free and open to the public. The lunch and keynote begin at 11:30 a.m.

The afternoon offers seven dynamic workshops addressing a wide range of life topics including adoption, fetal development, end-of-life issues, and pro-life successes in states across the country. For a complete listing of workshops and for more information about the convention, visit archstl.org/respectlife.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first diocese in the nation to establish what was then the Pro-Life Committee, now called the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA), following the landmark Roe v Wade decision in 1973. Every October, which is Respect Life month, the RLA hosts its annual convention. The purpose of the convention is to gather, listen, and discuss efforts to respect the dignity and sanctity of life and efforts to build the “Culture of Life” in our society.

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The Discipulus Institute Presents "The Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas"

The Discipulus Institute is the leading faith formation program for young adults in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, created by the Office of Young Adult Ministry in collaboration with Paul VI Institute. Discipulus courses are taught by experts in the area of study, and offer a deeper look into topics that will help young adults understand and practice their faith more fully. Course topics range within the realms of theology, philosophy, spirituality/prayer, and Scripture.

Discipulus classes have been wildly successful – drawing even 40 students to a 5 week course on Christology. Why are they so attractive? In speaking with young adults in our ministry, the message has been clear: Young adults crave formation, resources, and community. The Discipulus Institute meets these needs. Not only have attendees received exceptional theological, philosophical, and spiritual formation, but many have also found lasting fellowship in their classmates and even the teachers.

Registration is now open for the newest Discipulus course "The Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas" with Nathan Doerr.  The class will spur discussion and answer questions such as... What is so significant about the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas? Haven’t modern theologians found better ways to express the faith? How is this relevant to my spiritual life today?  Young adults are invited to come and find out the answers to these questions and more in this new Discipulus class that is sure to be illuminating and edifying for all.

The course starts at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary on November 16, from 7-8:30 pm and will meet for five Thursdays until December 21 (no class on Thanksgiving).

 The cost of the class is $25. There is no assigned text for this course. Register here!

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