Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri Synod Lutherans stand against sale of baby parts


It would be easier to forget what we have seen, to erase from our memories and our minds what we have heard. But the statements and actions of Planned Parenthood medical directors and technicians, captured on film and released by the Center for Medical Progress, are the kind we will not forget, the kind that cannot be unseen and unheard.

Like millions of Americans, including those in the Roman Catholic Church and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, we have been shaken to the core by what we have witnessed: intact babies, at times still alive, having their body parts harvested as a commodity. We are shocked at the image of tiny hands and feet seen in a glass pie plate. We are horrified at what we have seen and heard. Such actions and attitudes have no place in our society.

While offensive, the degradation of the bodies of these infant human beings is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg. Those fetal tissue and organs are only available for sale because they are being killed through abortion. Over 57 million unborn children have been lost to abortion in our nation since 1973.

The toll of these lives lost is enormous. We are missing sons and daughters, siblings, spouses, coaches, scholars, mentors and friends.

This loss is symptomatic of a loss of respect for human life in our society today. In so many ways, our culture seeks to deny the humanity of the unborn, of the elderly or of someone with a disability.

Together, we stand firm and repeat that every human life is worthy of dignity and respect. We affirm our continued commitment to offer resources to help parents of any faith background who are in need of medical, financial or social service assistance both during pregnancy and after. We stand ready to assist any parent who wishes to make an adoption plan for their child.

Our commitment is to all life in all its stages from conception to natural death. For those men and women who participated in an abortion, we extend to you the words of Jesus: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden …” (Matt. 11:28), and we invite you to experience hope and healing from your experience.

The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson,
Archbishop of St. Louis

The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President,
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


Click here for coverage from the St. Louis Review

Click here to view the press release announcing the statement

Annual “Red Mass” for Judges, Attorneys, and Legal Professionals

September 30, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: Annual Red Mass and reception for members of the judiciary and legal community
When: Sunday, October 4, 2015, 10 a.m.
Who: Archbishop Robert Carlson, principal celebrant; Reverend Nicholas Kastenholz, homilist
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, will celebrate the Annual Red Mass for members of the judiciary and legal community on Sunday, October 4, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis beginning at 10 a.m.

With roots dating to the 13th century, the Red Mass is celebrated in the United States at the opening of the judicial term in October. Attorneys, legal professionals, and those serving in the legislative and judicial branches of government of all faiths are invited to participate in this centuries-old tradition.

"The Red Mass is an opportunity for those in the legal profession to gather as a sign of civic unity and to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit — the source of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and fortitude," Archbishop Carlson said. "It is God, our final and absolute judge, from whom all law and justice flows. In a spirit of humility and mutual trust, all those who are the servants of the law gather at the Red Mass as an expression of their hope that justice will be provided for all."

Reverend Nicholas Kastenholz, J.C.L., judicial vicar for the Metropolitan Tribunal in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Clayton, will deliver the homily. Thomas Buckley and Marie Kenyon are co-chairs of the Red Mass.

A reception for all attendees will follow in Boland Hall.


St. Louis Young Adults to Host Men's & Women's Retreat: Exploring Spirituality in Everyday Life

The first St. Louis Young Adults Men's and Women's Retreat will be held on Saturday, October 17th! This will be a day-long retreat, planned and led by young adults with the goal of helping other young adults deepen their faith in their everyday lives.

The men's retreat will take place at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, and the women's retreat will take place at the Cardinal Rigali Center from 10 am to 5 pm. There will then be a vigil Mass with both groups to conclude the retreat. Lunch and an optional breakfast will be included.

This retreat will include talks, fellowship, reconciliation and Mass; this is a great way to build community and also take time to encounter the Lord. For more details and to register, visit Office of Young Adult Ministry's page, or email

Happy 40th Ordination Anniversary, Fr. Jim Michler!

On Sunday, September 20th, we celebrated the 40th ordination anniversary of Fr. Jim Michler. Fr. Michler has served in our Latin America Apostolate in Bolivia for 22 years. He is currently Senior Associate Pastor of Maria Reina Parish in La Paz, and also works with Marriage Encounter. Fr. Michler, thank you for everything you have done for the people of Bolivia! Fr. Jim Michler's 40th ordination anniversary

Local Celebration of Papal Visit Hosted by Archdiocese of St. Louis

September 16, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Family-friendly “Papapalooza” will include games, food, and music

What: “Papa-palooza”
When: Saturday, September 19, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, 5200 Glennon Dr, St Louis, MO 63119
Who: Catholic & non-Catholic individuals and families from the St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis is hosting “Papa-palooza” on Saturday, September 19, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary (5200 Glennon Dr, 63119) in Shrewsbury. The event is a local celebration of the World Meeting of Families which will be held in Philadelphia next week in conjunction with the first apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the United States.

“Papa-palooza” will be an afternoon of family fun, including celebration of Mass, dinner by P’sghetti’s, and a concert of praise and worship by St. Louis’ own Adam Bitter Band. Families are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs, small-scale outdoor games, and snacks & drinks for the family (no alcohol permitted). Cost is $5 for individuals; $15 for families.

The World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest gathering of Catholic families, which has been held every three years since 1994. The theme of the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families on our society. “Papa-palooza” is intended to give families who cannot attend the World Meeting a way to feel connected to the festivities occurring in Philadelphia.

More information about “Papa-palooza,” including information about a “Flat Francis” contest, can be found at


Statement from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Regarding New Bishop Appointed for Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

September 15, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – This morning the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has appointed The Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr. as the bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph. This news is met with great delight and appreciation. It has been my privilege to work closely with Bishop Johnston in Missouri for the past six years. He is a man of great compassion and kindness, with a deep sense of loyalty to the Catholic faith. His recent pastoral outreach to the parishes within his current Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau is perhaps one of the best models in the United States. When addressing the public, he is always well informed, sensitive and a man of good humor. He will remain in my prayers throughout this transition.


REAP Team to Host "Romantic Revolution Retreat"

The Catholic Youth Apostolate's REAP Team and Office of Youth Ministry will host the "Romantic Revolution Retreat" at the Cardinal Rigali Center on Monday, September 28 from 7 pm to 9 pm.  This retreat is open to young women in grades 7 - 9 interested in learning more about relationships, romance and pure love in today's world. Teen and young adult members of The REAP Team will give testimony to the power and beauty of chastity and how only through living out this virtue can true romance be revived in our world.

Following are a few comments from young women and moms who attended last year's event:

From the teen girls:

-I loved this retreat! It was fun and full of non-stop activities. I think that young people will choose to become chaste.

-I thought it was really fun since it was explained really well.  I learned that chastity is a better way to live.

-I liked it a lot. I can actually use the information in real life.

-I thought it was great. I really like the talks. I will always remember to believe in myself.

-I thought about how much I need God in all my relationships.

From the moms

-I have to let you know the best part of the day was our drive home (approx. 35 minutes), my daughter and I had some great conversations about chastity, God, boys, school and choices!  Here's to keeping the talking going and to continuing the "Romantic Revolution."

-The talks from the teens were most memorable for me.

-I especially liked the male perspective on how men/boys view women.

-Yes, (I grew closer to God) by seeing how one little event may change the future of even one girl and how the word of chastity can be spread so easily and quickly.

Visit the REAP Team's website for more details, or if you have questions, please contact Rachel Allen at (314) 971-3153.

Archdiocese of St. Louis Announces Record Annual Catholic Appeal

September 11, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Nearly $15 million raised with the message of “Peace”

ST. LOUIS – On Friday, Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, announced the record results of nearly $15 million in contributions and pledges to the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) from more than 54,000 Catholic households and the Perpetual Light Society Endowment. The $14.9 million total is an increase of 5.5% from the 2014 appeal, and an increase of about $2.25 million since 2010. Anticipated estate and corporate matching gifts will add to the total.

The results reflect increasing support among Catholics for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its ministries; in fact, 112 parishes improved their participation rates, and 152 parishes surpassed their financial goal. In a region which has seen a rise in violence, the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal theme was appropriately drawn from the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

“The most important part of this success is that we can better respond to those who come to the Church seeking help,” Archbishop Carlson said. “In a community which needs ‘instruments of peace’ more than ever, our ministries feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and educate our children. We are able to care for the living and visible body of Christ through the generosity and faithful stewardship of Catholics in the archdiocese. For that, I am extremely grateful.”

“This program has been successful for many years,” 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal Chair Con McGrath said. “This new level of success is a credit to the great generosity of the people of the archdiocese, the dedication of parishes, pastors, parish chairpersons and all the volunteers who have worked and continue to work as instruments of peace in our region.”

Each spring, the ACA asks Catholics in nearly 200 parishes across the archdiocese to make pledges to support programs for people of all faith traditions. Spanning 10 counties and the City of St. Louis, these programs assist the homeless and hungry, fund scholarships for students in Catholic schools, and support teachers’ salaries. Resources for pro-life programs, assistance for women and their babies, and family counseling are also made available through the appeal. All of the money raised each year through the Annual Catholic Appeal is distributed to these various ministries, schools, and organizations.


 Please contact us for more information if you are interested in finding a story of a person or ministry impacted by the Annual Catholic Appeal in your local area.

For more information about the Annual Catholic Appeal, visit

For coverage of the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, read the St. Louis Review in print or online at

Men's and Women's Retreat - October 17

Register here.

Tell a "Joke With The Pope" and Change the World!

Joke With The PopeTell a joke and change the world! Pope Francis, who will soon be visiting the United States, invites you to "donate" a joke to help children in need, house the homeless, and feed the hungry. The cause with the most jokes will win a $10,000 donation. Joke With The Pope was created by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, the Catholic Church's official support organization for overseas missions.

Upload your video joke or type in your written joke by October 2nd. Be sure to use #JokeWithThePope on social media!

Vist the Joke With The Pope website!

View a brief overview of Joke With The Pope!

Emergency Responders to be Honored at Inaugural Blue Mass on Sunday

September 9, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

Bishop Edward Rice will celebrate Mass to honor living and deceased emergency responders

What: Inaugural Blue Mass to honor emergency responders
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
When: Sunday, September 13, 2015, 10:00 a.m.
Who: Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice and emergency responders from the greater St. Louis region

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Edward Rice, auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, will celebrate the first Blue Mass in the Archdiocese of St. Louis on Sunday, September 13, 2015 to honor all emergency responders. Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency support staff, and other public safety & law enforcement personnel and their families have been invited.

“The work of our emergency responders is a gift that requires much sacrifice,” Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said. “This Mass is one way for the Archdiocese of St. Louis to show support for what these men and women do every day, and in a particular way to say thank you to those who dedicate their lives to serve and protect the citizens of the greater St. Louis region. Their heroic choice to regularly stand between ordinary citizens and dangerous situations is a testament to their goodness and bravery. In living out their profession, they 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 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 firefighters, 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.


If you or someone you know would like to register for the Blue Mass as an emergency responder, please visit

Statement Regarding Annulment Process

September 8, 2015
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Community Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - Today, Pope Francis issued “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (The Lord Jesus, the Gentle Judge) pertaining to the annulment process for the Latin-rite Church. It is not uncommon for the Catholic Church to review and tweak the laws and regulations regarding annulments. Previous popes such as Pius XI, Paul VI and John Paul II also issued revisions.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is studying the document to determine the specific ways in which it will impact the tribunal process and pastoral care of the faithful. We will have a more complete understanding of the changes within the coming days and weeks upon consultation with the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The changes will go into effect on December 8, 2015, in conjunction with the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.


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