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

July 25, 2017
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.


Sunday's Performance of Fr. Scheid Players' Production - Fiddler on the Roof - is Sold Out! Tickets Available at Door for Friday & Saturday Performances!

The Catholic Youth Apostolate is pleased to announce that the Fr. William Scheid Players will continue their 38th season with Fiddler on the Roof. Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia.

This year’s cast of over 100 will feature six priests of the Archdiocese, including:

  • Monsignor John Borcic of St. Mary Magdalen Parish
  • Fr. Terry Borgerding of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Marthasville
  • Fr. John Brennell of Seven Holy Founders Parish in Affton
  • Monsignor Norb Ernst of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish
  • Fr. Henry Purcell of Immaculate Conception-Dardenne Parish
  • Fr. Bill Wigand of Regina Cleri

Also performing will be dozens of talented grade school, teenage, and adult performers from 40 different parishes in the Archdiocese!

This year marks the group’s 38th anniversary of presenting Broadway plays, reviews, and musicals featuring Archdiocesan clergy and laity to raise funds for the youth programs of the Catholic Youth Apostolate.

Performance dates are:

  • Friday, July 21 at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, July 23 at 2:00 pm (SOLD OUT!)

All performances will be at Incarnate Word Academy, 2788 Normandy Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63121.

Tickets are available at the door for $15. The Incarnate Word Academy Theatre is handicapped accessible. For additional ticket information, please contact Ann Madden at (314) 846-1060 or email

Thank you for your continued support of the Catholic Youth Apostolate!

Vatican-Approved Pilgrimage Site at Old Cathedral Announced

July 18, 2017
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 designated the Basilica of Saint Louis, King (the “Old Cathedral” at 209 Walnut) and its historic statue of Our Lady of Fatima as a destination for pilgrims in the Archdiocese of St. Louis during the centennial anniversary of the Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, which took place May-October 1917.

Pope Francis granted the opportunity for Catholics to obtain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, during the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima by making a pilgrimage to Portugal, or by visiting with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima that is “solemnly exposed for public veneration” such as the statue in the Basilica.

An official announcement from the World Apostolate of Fatima reads:

“To the faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary.  In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.”

Remaining dates on which Catholics may obtain a plenary indulgence by visiting the Fatima statue in the Basilica are August 13, September 13, and October 13.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an indulgence is “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.” Indulgences can be partial if they remove part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment. With the help of the Church, which is the “minister of redemption,” a properly disposed Christian can obtain an indulgence only under certain prescribed conditions; these include some form of devotion or charitable work, prayers for the pope, participation in Mass, and recourse to the sacraments.

The significance of the Fatima statue in the Basilica dates back to 1970 when John Cardinal Carberry, then-Archbishop of St. Louis, led a delegation of pilgrims to Fatima, 53 years after the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three young shepherd children there. The children saw and spoke to Mary, who urged the entire world to pray fervently. Thousands witnessed miraculous events during the apparitions, including the sun “dancing” in the sky. Upon his return, Cardinal Carberry – the first English-speaking prelate to celebrate Mass at the Fatima shrine – directed that a replica of the Fatima statue be placed in the Basilica. The three-foot statue was a gift from then-Bishop John Venancio of Leiria, Portugal.

The Basilica is open Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. For Mass times and more information, visit


Peace & Justice Commission Statement Regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act

June 27, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis released the following statement regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act:

Christ reminds us that we serve Him directly when we care for the sick and the needy: ..." For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me...." [Matthew 25:35-36].

The Senate is considering legislation which will profoundly affect health care delivery to all Americans. A positive element of the Better Care Reconciliation Act is that it recognizes that abortion is not health care by attempting to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortion or plans that cover it. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this would correct a flaw in the current Affordable Care Act by fully applying the longstanding and widely-supported Hyde Amendment protections.

However, it is also anticipated that this Act will decrease support to Medicaid, which provides medical coverage for low-income persons, many of whom are children or the elderly. Those with pre-existing medical conditions could lose the protections that formerly enabled them to obtain affordable healthcare. In the coming years, it is estimated that 22 million people will lose their health insurance under this Act according to the Congressional Budget Office.

As Catholics, we are called to advocate for the poor and the powerless in our midst. In their response to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the USCCB notes "...It is precisely the detrimental impact on the poor and vulnerable that makes the Senate draft unacceptable as written. An acceptable health care system provides access to all, regardless of their means, and at all stages of life...." Furthermore, the Act fails to put into place conscience protections for all those involved in the health care system.

The Peace and Justice Commission stands with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and people of good will across this country in who are working to address this critical issue. We invite everyone to join with us in prayer that our legislators reflect on the harmful effects that the Act would impose on those our faith requires us to protect and we ask them to responsibly make the changes necessary to protect the poor and the powerless.


Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Responds to Supreme Court Ruling in Trinity v. Comer

June 26, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media 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’s decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Trinity v. Comer affirms the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Churches, schools, and charitable organizations run by religious institutions provide incalculable benefits for our communities. To deny these organizations public benefits simply because they are religious is to deny this reality.

“My hope is that Trinity is a milestone in a re-awakening to the importance of religious liberty in the United States. Though we celebrate today’s decision, we know there is much more work to be done. I pledge to continue the fight for religious liberty when government withholds benefits or imposes burdensome mandates on individuals and institutions.”


Click here to read the statement from the USCCB on Trinity v. Comer

Register Today for the CYC Sports Summit!


Register today for the CYC SPORTS SUMMIT which will take place on Saturday, July 29th from 9 am – 2 pm at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

You know CYC is about a lot more than winning and losing!  Join us for this great day to help you take your coaching beyond the lines and truly impact the lives of the youth that you work with day in and day out. 

Throughout four sessions and table discussions, we will dive deeper into how to integrate faith and athletics - in practices, in games, and in everyday life. There is no better teaching tool than sports! Speakers include Thomas Wurtz from Varsity Catholic, former MLB Pitcher Bobby Keppel, Fr. McGivney High School Volleyball coach and Faith Formation Coordinator Amanda Pirih.

The cost is $10, and registration includes lunch and refreshments. Space is limited. Visit to register today!

Restorative Justice in Catholic Schools Leads Restorative Faith Communities Nationwide

June 12, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: 2017 Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline (VBRD) Summer Institute
WHERE: Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive, Shrewsbury, MO 63119
WHEN: Tuesday – Thursday, June 13-15, 2017

ST. LOUIS – The Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will host the 2017 Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline (VBRD) Summer Institute, June 13-15, 2017, beginning at 8:30 a.m. daily at the Cardinal Rigali Center (20 Archbishop May Drive, 63119).

Over 200 educators from 52 schools will attend this comprehensive training in VBRD, a Catholic response to bullying. This 5th annual summer institute will expand to define and identify restorative faith community life beyond schools.

Teams will be trained to prevent and reduce antisocial behaviors through virtue education and restorative practices, resulting in a consistent message that upholds the dignity of the human person. Parents, school personnel, and parish staff will learn ways to maintain a positive environment in which adults and youth are accountable and responsible for holy habits of human excellence. While discipline is viewed as formative rather than punitive, the quality of all relationships becomes the greatest asset with which to build a happier, more productive community.

Sessions will include: Foundations of VBRD, Restorative Practices, Guiding Principles, Engaging Parents, and Successful Class Meetings. A Restorative Leadership track for administrators will result in establishing implementation action plans for the coming school year that extend to the community. Workshops will run in three tracks tailored to the needs of registrants from novice to expert.

Media is welcome to attend most events. Special events to note:

Tuesday, June 13
3:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Community Reflection on Restorative Practices
Guest Presenter: Monsignor Jack Costello, pastor of St. Peter Parish, Kirkwood.
This event will end with a dinner reception sponsored by Social Action Virtue Education (S.A.V.E.), a community VBRD outreach organization funded through Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and named one of Pope Francis’ World Popular Movements.

Thursday, June 15

8:30 a.m. - Best practices in VBRD showcase features both school and community projects.
11:00 a.m. - Research Team from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, reports findings on impact of VBRD in this first year. Research is underwritten by a grant from Our Sunday Visitor Institute.
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. - A panel discussion on Restorative Communities

  • Kurt Nelson, PhD., Superintendent for Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of St. Louis
  • Father John Mayo, Pastor, Holy Rosary Parish, Warrenton
  • Mrs. Lori Racine, Principal, Holy Rosary School, Warrenton
  • Mrs. Beena Bryant, parent and S.A.V.E. board member, Holy Trinity School, St. Ann

 1:30 p.m. - The event will close with a Commissioning Service led by Father John Mayo Catholic school communities from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and from Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas, and Wisconsin will attend.

“This is our fifth year for this unique training,” said Lynne Lang, Director of School Climate at the Catholic Education Office. “Our returning schools are a testimony to the success of this work in our BeOne initiative. The closing ceremony will recognize schools that implemented VBRD with fidelity in the 2016-17 school year.”


Annual Health and Safety Summit for Catholic Schools

June 6, 2017
For more information contact: 
Sue Brown
Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Catholic Education Office
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: June 8, 2017 – 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Program begins at 8:15 a.m. with welcome and prayer)

ST. LOUIS – The Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will host the annual Health and Safety Summit on Thursday, June 8, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School (500 Woods Mill Rd., Manchester, MO).

Keynote speaker, Julie Smith, an adjunct communications professor at Webster University and board member of the Gateway Media Literacy Partners, will speak on the topic “Why We’re Missing the Point in Digital Citizenship” at 8:30-9:45 a.m. Break-out sessions begin at 9:55 a.m.

A total of 30 presenters are scheduled for morning and afternoon sessions. Topics include “Dealing with Grief,” “Head Injury and Concussion,” and Protecting God’s Children” for certification. The second round of morning break-out sessions begin at 11:05 a.m. Afternoon sessions begin at 1:05 p.m.

The numerous break-out sessions during the conference are intended for a wide-range of attendees including pastors, principals, teachers, Parish School of Religion (PSR) coordinators and catechists, school nurses, maintenance personnel and athletic directors. Currently over 300 participants are registered for the summit, representing Catholic school and parish personnel across the Archdiocese of St. Louis.


Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis's, Norman A. Stack Community Relations Award

JCRC will honor F. Javier Orozco, executive director of intercultural and interreligious affairs for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, with the Norman A. Stack Community Relations Award.
STL Jewish Light story HERE.

Thank you for this recognition, for the friendship and the opportunity to continue building bridges together.


Blessed June 3 Memorial Day of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions!

Gracious God, You have made the blood of the martyrs to be the seed of Christians. May the witness by Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions of their loyalty to Christ in the face of torture, inspire women and men all over the world to live the Christian faith.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, pray for us.

The St. Charles Lwanga Center is now also known as The Archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries.  

Following consultation with Archbishop Robert Carlson, the Center's Board of Directors ratified a revised Constitution and Bylaws, affirming the expanded scope of the Center. Revised texts of the mission statement and history are posted on the Lwanga Center's web page. Display of the revised graphic image including the flame with enhanced identification will occur imminently. We enthusiastically invite you to maintain or increase your participation in the Center's mission. Thank you for your continual prayerful support.

Archbishop Carlson and Archdiocese to be Honored by Criminal Justice Ministry

June 1, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Luminary Award to Recognize Archbishop, Archdiocese for Continued Support

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will be honored at the Criminal Justice Ministry’s Inaugural Recognition Dinner on Thursday, June 1. Archbishop Carlson will receive the Luminary Award for Criminal Justice for the assistance and advocacy provided by the Archdiocese of St. Louis since the founding of the Criminal Justice Ministry in 1979.

Successful clients and the supporters who have helped make the ministry possible will be recognized at the dinner. The dinner will also help fill a $150,000 revenue gap created by a loss of state funding after steep budget cuts in the Missouri Legislature.

The mission of the Criminal Justice Ministry is to improve “the safety and well-being of individuals affected by crime and the criminal justice system, their families and their communities in the Greater St. Louis Area through person-to-person assistance rooted in Jesus Christ’s message of love, reconciliation and hope.”

“We serve, without judgement, the most vulnerable individuals in our community,” said executive director Anthony D'Agostino. Volunteers hold prayer services, Bible study, one-on-one visits, tutoring, anger management classes and more at several county jails and prisons in the St. Louis area. The ministry also assists the immediate needs of recently released ex-offenders by providing bus passes, emergency meds, clothing and hygiene items, referrals to services, and access to housing programs.

Nancy J. McCarthy, recently retired Regional Administrator of the Board of Probation and Parole for the Missouri Department of Corrections and member of the Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is also being honored with an award.

For more information about Criminal Justice Ministry and the Recognition Dinner, visit


Walk of Trust Sunday Intended to Heal Divisions

May 26, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: Walk of Trust
WHEN: Sunday, May 28, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: From Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell) to Chaifetz Arena on campus of Saint Louis University
WHO: Any person of goodwill in the St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS – The greater St. Louis community is invited to participate in a “Walk on Trust” on Sunday, May 28, departing the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis at 2:00 p.m. The walk is part of the weekend-long “St. Louis Pilgrimage of Trust” taking place in St. Louis May 26-29. The walk is intended to be a first step towards healing some of the deep divisions in our community that have surfaced since the unrest in Ferguson.

The Walk of Trust will depart the Cathedral Basilica and head north to Delmar Boulevard, the symbolic “Delmar Divide,” which has for generations been a mark of racial, cultural, and economic division in St. Louis. The route will follow Delmar Boulevard for a few blocks before turning south to Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University. Participating worship locations along the route include Second Presbyterian Church (4501 Westminster Place), Galilee Baptist Church (4300 Delmar Blvd), and Masjid Bilal Mosque (3843 West Pine Mall Boulevard). Anyone is welcome to participate for as much or as little of the walk as possible.

In addition, all churches in St. Louis – Catholic and non-Catholic – are invited to ring their bells when the Walk of Trust begins at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, as a visible mark of unity in our region.

A Taizé prayer service inside Chaifetz Arena will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the conclusion of the walk. Participation in the Walk of Trust is not required to attend the prayer service.

This incredibly important event is open to everyone in our community who wonders “What can I do?” to help heal our community. More information about the Walk of Trust can be found at

Media is invited to attend any portion of the event.


Syndicate content Syndicate content