Year of Mercy Begins Sunday in Archdiocese of St. Louis

December 7, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: Ceremonial opening of the center narthex doors of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
Where: Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (4431 Lindell Blvd.)
When: Sunday, December 13, before 10 a.m. Mass.
Who: Most Reverend Edward Rice, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
Why: To begin the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, announced by Pope Francis in April

ST. LOUIS – Most Reverend Edward Rice, auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, will open the center narthex doors of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in a special ceremony Sunday, December 13, prior to the regularly scheduled 10 a.m. Mass. The ceremony will mark the local beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The doors were sealed on September 8, to remind the faithful to prepare their hearts for the Jubilee.

In April, Pope Francis declared the Catholic Church would celebrate a “Holy Year,” known as an “Extraordinary Jubilee Year,” dedicated to the virtue of Mercy. The “Year of Mercy,” as it has been deemed, will begin on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015, when the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican will be opened. However, on November 29, during his recent trip to Africa, Pope Francis also symbolically opened the Holy Door in a special ceremony at the cathedral of Bangui, Central African Republic. The Year of Mercy will conclude on Sunday, November 20, 2016, which is the end of the Catholic Church’s liturgical year, The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

The idea of a “Jubilee Year” traces its origins to the Israelites who celebrated a Jubilee every fifty years according to scriptural custom. Pope Boniface VIII called for the first recorded “ordinary Jubilee” in 1300. Twenty-five ordinary Jubilees have been called since, roughly every 25 years, though an “extraordinary” Jubilee can be called by a pontiff at any time. Pope John Paul II declared the most recent extraordinary Jubilee in 1983, while the most recent ordinary Jubilee Year took place in 2000.

One of the traditions for a Jubilee Year is the ceremonial opening of the Holy Door in each of the four major basilicas in Rome, including St. Peter’s Basilica. The opening, passing through, and sealing of the Holy Door at the end of the Jubilee Year have become significant elements in the Church’s Jubilee Year celebrations with special graces and what is called a “Jubilee Indulgence” offered to pilgrims who make the journey.

Because most Catholics will be unable to make a pilgrimage during this Jubilee Year to visit the four major basilicas in Rome, for the first time in history Pope Francis has asked for a Holy Door in every diocese around the world, especially in the minor basilicas. Diocesan bishops also have the authority to establish other sacred places or special churches that can be pilgrimage locations.

Pilgrimage sites in the Archdiocese of St. Louis include our two minor basilicas - the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis and the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France - and seven other local pilgrimage sites.

More information about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, including a calendar of events and a complete list of local pilgrimage sites, can be found at archstl.org/mercy.

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Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis Hosting Christmas Events in December

December 4, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Nicole Heerlein
Communications Specialist, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Phone: 314.373.8205

Mother church of Archdiocese of St. Louis to host several must-attend events during Advent and Christmas Seasons

What: December Masses & Events at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
Where: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell Blvd.)
When: Various dates

ST. LOUIS – The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis will be full of Christmas joy in the month of December as it plays host to a wide variety of events including Masses, prayer services, and concerts.

December 6: Lessons & Carols
An afternoon of readings and music with the Archdiocesan Choirs; His Excellency, Edward M. Rice, Presiding. Event is free and open to the public.

December 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Holy day of Obligation)
Masses: 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

December 12 & 13: Christmas at the Cathedral
Christmas concerts featuring the SONOS Handbell Ensemble & Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano, with the Archdiocesan Choir.
Ticket information: 314-533-7662 or cathedralconcerts.org

December 13: Jubilee Year of Mercy
10:00 a.m. Mass-Opening of Holy Doors to commence the Jubilee Year of Mercy
(additional information to come)

December 19: Advent Day of Recollection with Archbishop Carlson
Features sessions to reflect upon the season of Advent. Event is free but registration is required.
To register or for additional information, please contact Laura Voegelie at laurav@cathedralstl.org

December 24 & 25: Christmas Masses (Holy day of Obligation)
Dec. 24: 5:00 p.m. (Vigil)
11:00 p.m., Musical program leads into Midnight Mass 

Dec. 25: 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 Noon

Additional event information can be found at cathedralstl.org.

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Bestselling Author and Catholic Convert to Speak at St. Louis Church

November 19, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

WHAT: “The Four Signs” by Dr. Allen Hunt,
WHERE: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 7701 Highway N., Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368
WHEN: Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
WHO: Dr. Allen Hunt, author of Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor and Catholic convert; more than 400 expected to attend

ST. LOUIS – Dr. Allen Hunt, Catholic convert and bestselling author of Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor and Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody will present “The Four Signs” at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Dardenne Prairie on Saturday, November 21, at 9 a.m.

Based on The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, the best-selling book by internationally-renowned speaker Matthew Kelly, “The Four Signs” event delves into the four life-giving spiritual habits of the Catholic faith. The event will help Catholics master these four signs and teach them to apply the four signs in their parishes and community. Tickets can be purchased by calling 314.792.7178.

Dr. Allen Hunt serves alongside Matthew Kelly as the Vice-President of Strategy and Content at the Dynamic Catholic Institute. Allen stepped aside July 1, 2007, as Senior Pastor at Mount Pisgah, a congregation serving more than 15,000 persons each week through all of its ministries in Alpharetta, Georgia, outside Atlanta. On January 6, 2008, on the Feast of the Epiphany, Allen converted to Catholicism. Allen and his wife, Anita, live in Atlanta. They have two grown daughters.

In October, Matthew Kelly spoke to sold-out crowds at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kirkwood and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish in Oakville.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has partnered with the Dynamic Catholic Institute to launch a four-year program called “Dynamic Catholic, Alive!” which will focus on four key areas of Catholic life: prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization. More information can be found at archstl.org/dynamic.

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What is CCHD?

See video

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by funding community programs that encourage independence. CCHD does this by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. Click here for more information on the mission of CCHD.

CCHD PosterPrograms that assist those that are marginalized to speak out and improve their communities are funded by the generous support of Catholics in the United States. Each year, Catholics around the country donate to the annual CCHD collection, which is held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Money raised from the collection is then distributed to community organizations to support their anti-poverty initiatives. To qualify for CCHD grant money, applicant organizations must not, in any way, support or promote activities that work against Catholic values. Grants to local anti-poverty efforts are screened, awarded, and monitored in close partnership with local Catholic dioceses. Click here to learn more about how collection funds are distributed to anti-poverty programs. 

This year, the collection to support CCHD will be held on November 19th and 20th. You are essential to its success. Your generous donations will give those in poverty the support they need to make lasting changes. Together, we can make a difference both locally and nationally. Please donate prayerfully and generously.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "The Eucharist commits us to the poor" (#1397). The Eucharist, celebrated as a community, teaches us about human dignity, calls us to right relationship with God, ourselves and others, and sends us on a mission to help transform our communities, neighborhoods, and world. The work of CCHD is an example of "Eucharistic" living. 

"To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus." - Pope Francis

From the USCCB website.

Priests and Seminarians to Compete for Coveted “Souls and Goals” Soccer Cup

November 5, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: “Souls and Goals” Soccer Match to raise interest in vocations
Where: St. Dominic High School (31 St. Dominic Dr, O'Fallon, MO 63366)
When: Thursday, November 5, 2015, 7 p.m.
Who: Seminarians, clergy, and Catholics of the Archdiocese of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — Seminarians, priests, and Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis will take to the “pitch” on Thursday evening to compete for the 3rd Annual “Souls and Goals” Cup in a match at St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon.

Seminarians of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury (kenrick.edu) will compete against a team made up of priests and lay people. The seminarians have won both previous matches by scores of 2-0 and 6-1. However, the priests and lay people are expected to make a strong showing this year.

The purpose of the match is to raise interest in vocations especially to the Catholic priesthood, but also to religious life in general.

Of the 62 largest dioceses in the United State, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has the highest number of priests per Catholic (1per 1,533), and is 3rd in the average number of ordinations per capita over the last five years. The archdiocese is also home to more than 80 distinct communities, or orders, of consecrated religious men and women (priests, brothers, and sisters). In 2013, Pope Francis declared a “Year of Consecrated Life” which ends in February 2016.

Programming begins at 6:30 p.m. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Admission is free and concessions will be available. More than 1,000 people have packed the stands each of the past two years and another large crowd is expected.

All the information can be found at soulsandgoals.org.

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Statement Regarding Purported “Live” Exorcism in St. Louis

October 29, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS - The cable network “Destination America” reportedly plans to air a purported exorcism live on national television on Friday, October 30, from a home in St. Louis which was associated with the well-known exorcism of “Roland Doe” in 1949.

Given the public nature of this event, the Archdiocese of St. Louis – which is not involved in this dangerous endeavor – deems it necessary to educate and warn the public about the dangers of participating in such activities. 

“No exorcism can take place without the authority of the local Roman Catholic ordinary,” said auxiliary bishop emeritus Robert Hermann.

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, has not granted the necessary permissions – known as “faculties” – to any priests or bishops for the purpose of this televised event. Anyone involved in this production who claims to be a member of the Catholic clergy is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of St. Louis nor are they operating under the authority of the Vatican.

Any purported exorcism by spiritualists, paranormal investigators, mediums, or non-Catholic clerics for the purposes of entertainment trivializes this ancient rite of the Roman Catholic Church and the very real danger of evil.

“Any attempt to use the solemn Rite of Exorcism as entertainment exposes all participators to the danger of future hidden satanic attack,” said Bishop Hermann. “We cannot play games with Satan and expect to win.”

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Catholic Educators To Be Honored By Emerson For Excellence In Teaching

October 26, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Sue Brown
Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Catholic Education Office
Phone: 314.792.7304

ST. LOUIS – The Catholic Education Center has announced that four out of more than 2,000 full-time Catholic school educators will be honored this year with the prestigious 2015 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. They join 96 other St. Louis metropolitan area educators “from kindergarten to college professors—who are examples of excellence in their field,” according to the Emerson website.

Recipients are selected by the chief administrators of their school districts. The employing educational institution must be located in the St. Louis metropolitan area, which is defined to include: (in Missouri) Franklin County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County; and (in Illinois) Jersey County, Madison County, Monroe County, and St. Clair County.

In a memo sent to all principals last week, Dr. Kurt Nelson, Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis wrote, “I am pleased to announce the 2015 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awardees representing Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. These educators represent the standard of excellence held by Catholic school administrators and teaching colleagues across the Archdiocese.”

“The Catholic Education Center is most grateful to Emerson for its sponsorship of this recognition program, and celebrates with this year’s honorees, their school and parish communities, their families and friends.”

“Each honoree has been invited to attend a special award ceremony on November 22, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton. All Emerson teachers have received a personal letter from Emerson informing them of their award along with an invitation to the award ceremony and reception for them and one guest.”

This year’s Emerson Teachers of Excellence:

  • Ms. Jennifer Jung--Holy Cross Academy – Our Lady of Providence Campus, Grade 3 (Self-Contained Classroom)
  • Mr. Kevin O’Brien--Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, Mathematics
  • Ms. Julie Thompson--St. Ann Catholic School, Math and Social Studies, Grades 6-8
  • Ms. Sarah Weber--Ste. Genevieve du Bois School, Grade 5 (4-6 English)

Emerson, which has its world headquarters in St. Louis, has sponsored this program since 1989 as part of its commitment to promote quality education throughout the St. Louis area.

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Legislative Expert to Address Respect Life Convention on Sunday

October 23, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: 39th Annual Respect Life Convention
Where: St. Charles Convention Center (1 Convention Center Plaza, St Charles, MO 63303)
When: Sunday, October 25, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Lunch and keynote at 11:30 a.m.
Who: Keynote speaker, Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., President and CEO of Americans United for Life (AUL)

ST. LOUIS – The 39th Annual Respect Life Convention, hosted by the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, will take place on Sunday, October 25, at the St. Charles Convention Center. Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., President and CEO of Americans United For Life (AUL), will deliver the keynote address. Nearly 800 attendees are expected to attend the convention.

Americans United for Life (aul.org) is heralded as one of the chief legal architects of the pro-life movement. Dr. Yoest’s keynote presentation will offer insight into the success of pro-life laws enacted since 2011 through a state-based legislative strategy.

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

Workshops offered at the convention will address topics such as physician-assisted suicide, youth in the pro-life movement, and moving beyond debate to dialogue. For a complete listing of workshops and for more information about the convention, visit stlrespectlife.org.

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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THURSDAY MORNING FIRE AT ST. JOSEPH SHRINE MARKS SECOND CATHOLIC CHURCH HIT BY ARSONISTS

October 22, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

 Arsonist Setting Fires at Local Churches is Non-Sectarian

ST. LOUIS – The recent rash of church fires in St. Louis are saddening acts of violence in a community already devastated by violence and division. The fire Thursday morning at the Shrine of St. Joseph marks the second Catholic Church in St. Louis to have been targeted, after St. Augustine was hit last week. 

It is unimaginable why these acts of violence have taken place at churches which are vitally important parts of our community. The doors of St. Augustine and the Shrine of St. Joseph can be replaced. We are thankful that no one was injured in these incidents. We will pray for and forgive those who have committed these acts.

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Internationally Renowned Catholic Author to Speak at Two St. Louis Churches

October 21, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Matthew Kelly, the internationally renowned Catholic evangelist and author of Rediscover Jesus and The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, will speak to sold-out crowds at two St. Louis-area Catholic churches on Friday, October 23, and Saturday, October 24.

On Friday, Mr. Kelly will present “Living Everyday with Passion and Purpose” at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kirkwood (243 W. Argonne Dr.) beginning at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, Mr. Kelly will give the same presentation to approximately 1,000 people at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish (4900 Ringer Road) beginning at 9:00 a.m. Both events are sold out.

Mr. Kelly’s “Passion and Purpose” events will invite attendees to identify God's voice in their lives and the specific purpose for which we have all been created. He inspires attendees to apply the genius of Catholicism to every aspect of life, including prayer & spirituality, work, dating & marriage, personal finances, health & well being, parenting, and community involvement.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Matthew Kelly has dedicated his life to helping people and organizations become the-best-version-of-themselves. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker, bestselling author, and business consultant. His books have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists, and have sold in excess of three million copies. Mr. Kelly founded The Dynamic Catholic Institute to research why Catholics engage or disengage and explore what it will take to establish vibrant Catholic communities in the 21st Century.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has partnered with the Dynamic Catholic Institute to launch a four-year program called “Dynamic Catholic, Alive!” which will focus on four key areas of Catholic life: prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization. More information can be found at archstl.org/dynamic.

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Archbishop Carlson Releases Pastoral Statement on Immigration and Mercy

October 12, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

ST. LOUIS – Most Revered Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, has issued a pastoral statement on immigration and mercy to “reaffirm” his “commitment to accompany” immigrants and refugees in the St. Louis area. The statement was released in light of growing concern “about the language and rhetoric of discrimination, hate and alienation.”

“In my visits and conversations with our Hispanic sisters and brothers, in particular, I have heard how difficult, painful and divisive this rhetoric of hate has been, and how it is creating an atmosphere of anxiety, withdrawal and fear,” the statement reads.

In the statement, Archbishop Carlson calls upon others to join him “in expressing our solidarity and hope” with the immigrant and refugee communities in the region.

The full statement, in both English and Spanish, can be found at archstl.org/archstl/page/most-reverend-robert-j-carlson.

In a memo to priests of the archdiocese, Archbishop Carlson requested that the statement be read in English and Spanish at all parishes that offer Masses in both languages.

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Annual “White Mass” on Sunday to Honor Health Care Professionals

October 8, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

New Rector of Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis to be Installed During Mass

WHAT: Annual White Mass to honor health care professionals
WHO: Archbishop Robert Carlson, principal celebrant; health care professionals will be in attendance
WHEN: Sunday, October 11, 2015, at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)

 ST. LOUIS – Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will celebrate the annual “White Mass” this Sunday, October 11, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis beginning at 10 a.m. The Mass is associated with St. Luke, the patron of physicians and surgeons, whose feast day is October 18.

Prior to Mass, Catholic Medical Association members wearing their white coats will meet at 9 a.m. in front of Planned Parenthood (4251 Forest Park Blvd.) to pray the Rosary.

All Catholic physicians, nurses, physician assistants, emergency medical personnel, and other healthcare professionals and their families are invited to attend the Mass.

During Mass, Monsignor Joseph Simon will be installed as the new rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Monsignor Simon replaces the late Monsignor Joseph Pins who passed away in June.

A reception welcoming both the healthcare community and the newly appointed rector of the Cathedral Basilica will immediately follow Mass in Boland Hall.

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