Statement on Pope Francis' Exhortation 'Amoris Laetitia'

April 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis welcomes the post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia, "The Joy of Love: On Love in the Family," released today by the Holy Father. The exhortation is, among other things, a universal call to promote, encourage, and support the family as the most fundamental unit of society. As Pope Francis said in September 2015: “The family is the answer because it is the cell of society that balances the personal and communal dimensions…”

The Holy Father has also challenged bishops, pastors, and the faithful around the world to seek ways in which families of various circumstances may be better "integrated" into the life of the Church.

We look forward to thoroughly studying the document and examining how Pope Francis is calling us to “return marriage and the family to the place of honor” as he has previously stated.

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Archbishop Carlson Announces Excellence in Communication Award Recipients

March 31, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis media and communications professionals Chuck Neff and Tom Kavanaugh have been selected as the 2016 Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Excellence in Communication Award recipients. The award is a way for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to recognize the important role of the media and communication professionals in our local community as they work to inspire positive change in response to the significant issues facing our society today. This is the fourth year of the awards.

Chuck Neff, a veteran TV journalist, is currently the host of The Inner Life, a daily show on the Catholic network, Relevant Radio, and the president of Salt River Production Group (saltriverproductions.com), a collaboration of nationally acclaimed, award-winning production professionals committed to creating high quality faith and values programming.

In 1999, Neff was extensively involved in the Pastoral Visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis. He coordinated the TV pool coverage for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He also served as Executive Producer in the production of “Gateway to Faith,” the official video of the Holy Father’s visit to St. Louis.

Neff and his wife Judy have four children and nine grandchildren. They are members of Incarnate Word Parish in Chesterfield.

Tom Kavanaugh has had a lifetime of experience in the communication field, much of it involving religious and non-profit organizations in the St. Louis area.

After seven years as a teacher in St. Louis Archdiocesan schools, Kavanaugh worked as Director of Community and Public Relations at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital before moving into the field of marketing communications – as partner with Ahearn, Kavanaugh and Associates, President of Triune Communications, and currently as Creative Director of iU Creative—specializing in Catholic non-profits, specifically in education and healthcare. It was in this capacity that Kavanaugh designed the “Life Rose” logo for Missouri Right to Life.

In the early 1970s Kavanaugh began his other role as movie critic for the St. Louis Review, an assignment he held for over thirty years.

Kavanaugh and his wife Maureen are members of Our Lady of Sorrows parish in south city. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Neff and Kavanaugh join previous awards winners including KSDK meteorologist Mike Roberts, the late Martin Duggan, and St. Louis media personality Wendy Wiese. Two winners are selected from a pool of nominees each year - one Catholic and one secular. The winners are honored at a ceremony with Archbishop Carlson every summer. For more information about the award and to see a complete list of previous winners, visit archstl.org/excellence.

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Two St. Louis Leaders Named Outstanding Catholic Educators by National Catholic Educational Association

March 28, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Reverend Monsignor Jack Costello, pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Kirkwood, and David Laughlin, president of Saint Louis University High School, along with 30 other individuals from around the country, will be honored as outstanding Catholic educators on Tuesday, March 29 by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

The awards will be presented at a dinner during the NCEA’s annual Convention and Expo, held this year in San Diego, March 29-31. In announcing the 32 recipients of the 2016 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Awards, the NCEA said the purpose of the award is to “highlight the outstanding work of Catholic school educators in communities across the country.”

Among the awardees are Catholic school leaders, teachers, principals and presidents, pastors, diocesan superintendents, school boards and home school associations.

NCEA’s 2016 Convention and Expo is the largest private-education association gathering in the nation. The annual convention draws more than 4,500 members and participants from Catholic school communities including elementary and secondary school teachers and principals, religious education programs as well as diocesan offices, church pastors, superintendents, school boards.  The convention is a forum to exchange ideas, hear about current research and data related to Catholic education and learn about new technology and resources.

Representatives from the Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis are in San Diego this week to welcome attendees to the 2017 NCEA Convention and Expo to be held in St. Louis.

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St. Louis Catholics Prepare to Celebrate Easter

March 24, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis community is invited to join Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and around the world in the solemn celebration of Holy Week, which began with Palm Sunday on March 20.

The week is highlighted by the commemoration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, Christ’s Passion and death on Good Friday, and culminates in the joy of His resurrection on Easter Sunday.

A diverse selection of Holy Week celebrations can be found in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, with liturgies and services in nine different languages, including English, Spanish, and Latin; the principal celebrations of Holy Week take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

For a listing of convenient locations and times of Holy Week and Easter celebrations, including those at the Cathedral Basilica, please contact the Office of Communications and Planning.

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FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES: Holy Week is the week preceding Easter and the final week of Lent, beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Holy Week includes:

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Holy Wednesday or Spy Wednesday, in reference to Judas Iscariot's intent to betray Jesus.

Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, are known as the Triduum-- the period which commemorates the Passion and death of Christ. 

Holy Thursday, which commemorates the Last Supper and initiates the Easter Triduum. This Mass is normally celebrated in the evening, which, according to Jewish tradition, is when Friday begins, as the Last Supper was held on the feast of Passover.

Good Friday commemorates Christ’s passion, crucifixion, and death in reparation for the sins of all mankind.

Holy Saturday, or the Easter Vigil, is the final day of Lent, of Holy Week, and of the Easter Triduum, and is the day we commemorate Christ lying in the tomb. The Easter Vigil Mass, takes place after sundown on Holy Saturday, actually belongs to Easter Sunday, since liturgically each day begins at sundown on the previous day. The ceremonies of the Easter Vigil include the blessing of new fire and the lighting of the Easter Candle, also known as the Paschal Candle.

Easter Sunday is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year, commemorating the resurrection of Christ. Easter is also the oldest feast of the Christian Church, as old as Christianity, the connecting link between the Old and New Testaments. We celebrate Christ’s resurrection as the moment where salvation was given to all who believe.

Statement on the Passing of Joe Garagiola

March 24, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - Archbishop Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis extend prayerful condolences to the family of former St. Louis Cardinal and broadcaster Mr. Joe Garagiola. We pray for repose of the soul of Mr. Garagiola and the Garagiola family during this difficult time.

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Archdiocese of St. Louis and Little Sisters of the Poor to Hold Joint Press Conference on Religious Liberty

March 22, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: Press Conference
WHERE: Little Sisters of the Poor St. Louis Residence (3225 N. Florissant Avenue, St Louis, MO 63107)
WHEN: Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 12 p.m.
WHO: Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice and the Little Sisters of the Poor
WHY: To address the oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the case of Little Sisters v. Burwell

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Little Sisters of the Poor will hold a joint press conference on Wednesday, March 23, at the Little Sisters St. Louis Residence (3225 N. Florissant Avenue, St Louis, MO 63107) beginning at 12 p.m.

Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, Mother Gonzague, mother superior of the Little Sisters of the Poor in St. Louis, and Sr. Marysia Weber, director of the Office of Consecrated Life, Archdiocese of St. Louis, will comment on the case and the state of religious liberty in the United States.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday.

Members of the media are invited to attend. An RSVP is requested.

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Special Palm Sunday Mass at Historic Downtown Church

March 17, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Catholics around the world will gather this weekend to celebrate Palm Sunday, the day Christians recall Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem when His followers scattered palms in His path. In St. Louis, Historic St. Mary of Victories Catholic Church in downtown will play host to a special “Mass Mob” on Palm Sunday, March 20 at 10 a.m. The second oldest church in the City of St. Louis has stood at the corner of 3rd and Gratiot since construction began in 1843.

This will be the sixth St. Louis Mass Mob after the first one took place at Most Holy Trinity in April 2015. Mass Mobs are scheduled, grassroots gatherings at historic urban Catholic churches with the intent of drawing hundreds of people to attend Mass and support these churches where crowds are normally very small. The Palm Sunday Mass at St. Mary of Victories will feature English, Latin and Hungarian elements - as well as Gregorian chant and a Hungarian choir.

Complimentary coffee, donuts, and Hungarian pastries will be available after Mass. The church will also hold a cookie sale with products from Dad's Cookies, The Missouri Baking Company, Vitale's Bakery, Lubeley's Bakery, McArthur's Bakery, Diana's Bakery, and more.

Palm Sunday begins the solemn celebration of Holy Week, which includes the commemoration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, Christ’s passion and death on Good Friday, and culminates in the joy of His resurrection on Easter Sunday.

More information about Historic St. Mary of Victories can be found at smov.info. More information about St. Louis Mass Mobs can be found at facebook.com/stlouismassmob.

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Archdiocese to Offer Masses in Honor of Catholics Martyred in Yemen

March 11, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis will celebrate three Masses on Monday, March 14, 2016 to honor the four sisters of the Missionaries of Charity and more than a dozen other victims who were martyred in Yemen on Friday, March 4. The massacre took place in a nursing home operated by the Missionaries of Charity, though reportedly none of the residents were harmed.

 The times and locations of the Masses are as follows:

8:00 a.m. – Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell, 63108)
Celebrated by Most Reverend Robert Hermann, Auxiliary Bishop-Emeritus

11:45 a.m. – Cardinal Rigali Center Chapel (20 Archbishop May Dr., 63119)
Celebrated by Reverend Msgr. John Shamleffer

6:00 p.m. – Sts. Teresa and Bridget Parish (3636 N. Market, 63113)
Celebrated by Most Reverend Edward Rice, Auxiliary Bishop

The Missionaries of Charity have a convent in north St. Louis where they operate a soup kitchen, a night shelter for women, and an after school program for children. The sisters are anticipated to be in attendance at the 6:00 p.m. Mass at Sts. Teresa and Bridget Parish.

These Masses are being offered as an act of solidarity and support in prayer for the Missionaries of Charity in the archdiocese and throughout the world. Even those who cannot attend are encouraged to pray for the repose of the souls of these sisters, and for all Christians who face persecution around the world.

“The Missionaries of Charity truly are the hands of Christ in our world today,” said Sr. Marysia Weber, director of the Office of Consecrated Life in the archdiocese. “Their martyrdom is a reminder that the Gospel is not welcome everywhere, but we as Christians are called to live our faith in the public square, regardless of the consequences.”

#CatholicSTL

Click here for a flier for the Masses

Archdiocese of St. Louis to Host Weekend of Reconciliation

March 3, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - Catholic churches across the Archdiocese of St. Louis will take part in a "Reconciliation Initiative" this weekend, March 4-5, in conjunction with the Year of Mercy and the season of Lent. More than 50 parishes will offer 75 scheduled opportunities throughout the weekend for Catholics to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, also known as confession.

In 2014, during a regular audience with Vatican pilgrims, Pope Francis encouraged the assembled crowds to "Be courageous, and go to confession." For Catholics, the basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God, to list our sins with true sorrow before the priest, and to desire forgiveness.

"Forgiveness is not something we can give ourselves," added Pope Francis. "One asks it of another person, and in confession, we ask forgiveness from Jesus."

The Gospels demonstrate the importance of the forgiveness of our sins. Lives of saints prove that the person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and a need for the sacrament of reconciliation. The consequences of Original Sin leave within us an inclination towards evil, and we often commit actual sins, both mortal and venial.

Catholics who need help, especially who have been away from the sacrament for some time, can simply ask the priest to help guide them through steps to make a good confession.

A complete list of parishes and more information about the sacrament of reconciliation can be found at archstl.org/confession. More information about the Year of Mercy can be found at archstl.org/mercy. 

#CatholicSTL

Statement on Archbishop Carlson’s Letter Regarding Girl Scouts

February 19, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – On Thursday, February 18, Archbishop Carlson released a letter regarding the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ relationship with the Girl Scouts. The letter asks parishes to evaluate the effectiveness of Girl Scout troops in promoting the Catholic faith and forming young women of virtue. Although this letter specifically addresses Girl Scouts, we continue to evaluate the mission effectiveness of all our youth outreach. So as to be inclusive of other faith-based groups and organizations dedicated to the formation of young girls, the letter announces the creation of a Catholic Committee for Girls’ Formation replacing the Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts. Archbishop Carlson has already selected co-chairs for this new committee and its work has recently begun.

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Peace and Justice Commission Formed

At a Mass for Peace and Justice on August 20, 2014, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson announced that he was re-establishing a human rights commission in the Archdiocese of St. Louis with the goal to address societal issues such as poverty, racial tension, and lack of education.

“Peace and justice are the hallmarks of a society that knows, loves and serves God above all else,” said Archbishop Carlson. “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.”

St. Louis attorney Marie Kenyon was named as director of the newly-established Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis 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.

“It is an honor to be entrusted with the leadership of such an important ministry,” Kenyon said. “CLAM has been my life’s work for 28 years. On a daily basis we were confronted with issues of race, poverty, lack of education, and immigration. For Archbishop Carlson to ask me to lead this new Commission proves just how serious he is in addressing the systemic problems within these issues.”

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.

Catholic Charities Moving to New Location in St. Louis

February 16, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – The offices of Catholic Charities – Archdiocese of St. Louis will soon move into the former chancery building of the Archdiocese of St. Louis next to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis at 4445 Lindell Blvd. The mid-century modern building, affectionately known as the “Round House,” will provide Catholic Charities with much needed space for staff, meeting and training rooms.

“Catholic Charities remains committed to serving the City of St. Louis and our entire region,” said Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities. “This more functional and prominent location will better support the mission and operations of Catholic Charities of St. Louis and our eight federated agencies as we serve people in need, especially those who are poor and vulnerable.”

The “Round House” was designed by architect Charles P. Guariglia as the main chancery building for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Since its completion in 1961, the building has continually housed archdiocesan ministries and offices, most recently the Catholic Education Office. To make room for Catholic Charities, Catholic Education offices will be moved to the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

The “Round House” will be vacated by the Catholic Education Office this week. Catholic Charities will move in later this summer, but a final date has not been set.

The building Catholic Charities currently inhabits, the “Monsignor Butler Building,” located at 4532 Lindell Boulevard, after its use as a private residence, was purchased by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and was the first home of the St. Louis Register newspaper. In the 1980's, under Archbishop John L. May, Catholic Charities relocated from its then-offices in the archdiocesan office building at 4140 Lindell Boulevard to the Monsignor Butler Building which was given that name in recognition of Monsignor John J. Butler who was the founding-father of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The archdiocese intends to put the Butler Building on the market after Catholic Charities has moved.

Catholic Charities of St. Louis has been helping people in need since 1912. Organized as a federation of eight agencies, Catholic Charities assists 124,000 people annually in the 11 counties of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Catholic Charities seeks to break the cycle of poverty, abuse and neglect, empower people to make positive, permanent changes and support them to lead self-sufficient, dignified lives.

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