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From our Archbishop:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have accepted the recommendation of the Review Board of the Archdiocese of St. Louis in its determination that a report alleging the sexual abuse of a minor by the late Father Alexander Lippert in the early 1970s is considered credible. Father Lippert died in April 2000, prior to any allegations being made against him. Although he is unable to offer a defense, the allegation against Fr. Lippert is considered “credible though unsubstantiated” because there was enough evidence to conclude that the abuse could have occurred as reported.

Father Lippert’s priestly assignments in the Archdiocese of St. Louis were as follows:

April 1956 Assistant pastor, Holy Guardian Angels
July 1959 Immaculate Conception, Union
1961 St. Liborius
1963 St. Teresa (in residence)
1965 St. Ferdinand, Florissant (in residence)
May 1968 St. Aloysius, Spanish Lake
July 1970 Requested leave of absence; took up residence at St. Paul the Apostle, Pine Lawn
June 1980 Associate pastor, Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France
Nov. 1980 Administrator, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Coffman
May 1983 Associate pastor, St. Ambrose
April 1986 Associate pastor, St. Thomas of Aquinas
July 1988 Sick leave
Jan. 1991 Relieved of priestly duties and granted retirement.

Anyone who wishes to make a report of the sexual abuse of a minor by Father Lippert or by any other priest, deacon or employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis may contact De-con Phil Hengen, Director of Child and Youth Protection, Archdiocese of St. Louis at 314.792.7704 or [email protected] Reports may also be made to the Missouri Division of Social Services Child Abuse Hotline at 800.392.3738 for allegations involving a person who is currently under the age of 18, or to civil authorities for allegations involving a person who is now an adult, but was abused as a minor.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis

Because Fr. Lippert served at St. Paul’s in Pine Lawn, we are, by extension and consolidation, the successor to that parish. As a part of my/our responsibility in creating and maintaining a safe environment, being transparent and reaching out to potential victims, we have supplied this information to one and all. Fr. Bill

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A letter from the Archbishop:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis wrote: “The Church which ‘goes forth’ is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative…and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads, and welcome the outcast.” (#24)

Since 1956, the Archdiocese of St. Louis has been going forth by sending priests to serve as missionaries in Bolivia. During my pastoral visits to Bolivia in 2012 and 2013, I have been greatly impressed by the joy of our missionaries and their great work in proclaiming the Gospel.

Three of our missionaries serve primarily in Maria Reina Parish in La Paz. In addition to preaching the Gospel and celebrating the sacraments in the main church and in various chapels, they also help train the laity to serve as catechists, lay leaders, and missionary disciples, as well as train seminarians in La Paz for the priesthood. Maria Reina also has a health clinic that serves 5,000 who need medical/dental care and access to medicines and food. There is also a lunch program to serve children who otherwise would suffer malnourishment. In addition to their work in La Paz, our missionaries also travel 45 miles outside La Paz to the parish called St. James (Santiago). Parishioners are Aymara—one of the indigenous peoples of Bolivia—with their own language and culture. There are 30 villages in the parish, each with its own chapel. There is no resident priest due to the severe shortage of native priests.

Since his retirement last year, Bishop Emeritus Morgan Casey continues to serve 6 months of the year in the Vicariate of the Pando where there are 250,000 people. Just a few months ago, this area suffered from terrible flooding that displaced over 3,500 families and severely damaged the only retreat center of the Vicariate.

All of this missionary work is possible through generous support of the faithful of our Archdiocese in the annual collection for the Latin America Apostolate. This year the collection is today, August 3, 2014. Please be generous so that our St. Louis priest missionaries in Bolivia can continue to proclaim The Joy of the Gospel.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson

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From THE PASTOR of our Archdiocese…

In a very short time, we will go to the polls to elect officials for various national, state and local offices. In addition, in the State of Missouri, we will also be asked to vote on Proposition A, which concerns City Earnings Tax. As you prepare to vote and to inform yourself about the issues on the ballot, I would like to offer some information on Proposition A.

The earnings tax is authorized by the State for the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. It came into use to replace revenue lost when the urban areas suffered as people moved to the suburbs. Both cities have experienced urban decay common to large cities in the United States. Along with this urban decay came a deteriorating tax base as property values dropped. The costs of maintaining the city’s aging infrastructure: streets, sidewalks, sewer, water, police and fire protection rose as the tax base dropped. Both cities have a disproportional population of minorities, poor elderly, low-income families and homeless.

These two cities struggle to provide support for their own citizens, while expected by the people who live outside the city to provide all the benefits of a large community. These benefits include museums, zoos, safe streets, sports arenas, and entertainment venues and an expressway to carry them away from the problems of the urban areas.

The earnings tax is a way for these two cities to fund services by taxing those who earn their living in the city and enjoy all the benefits the city offers.

The intent of Proposition A is to force Kansas City and St. Louis to develop a referendum on the earnings tax. The proponents of Proposition A insist they are only asking the cities to let the people vote on keeping the tax in place. They offer no suggestion on how the vital services of the city should be funded. This will force St. Louis and Kansas City to raise the sales tax.

Throughout the nation various Catholic Conferences have condemned the use of sales taxes to pay for civil services because of its regressive nature. An example: A person with income of $10,000 pays the same sales tax on toothpaste as a person with $100,000. Earnings taxes are applied progressively as those with the greatest resources are asked to commit proportionately with their income to the common good of the people.

I believe that Proposition A will put the poor and vulnerable at risk. I suggest you prayerfully consider this before voting on Proposition A.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop of St. Louis

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October 15, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We will celebrate World Mission Sunday on October 24th. This is the one Sunday of the year when Catholics worldwide pray and sacrifice for Missionaries in over 1,150 mission territories who depend on this support in order to share the message of the Gospel.

In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Benedict observes: “Like the Greek pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the people of our time too, ask believers not only to ‘speak’ of Jesus, but to ‘make Jesus seen’.

Missionaries worldwide make Jesus seen in striking ways. Here are some examples:

  • The Little Sisters of Jesus delivered food to local families in Haiti after the earthquake.
  • Sister Julie of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Karachi, Pakistan helps educate the little children on the roads of Pakistan so that they can earn their living instead of begging.
  • A native Priest of Bluefields, Nicaragua said: “I was inspired by the missionaries I met when I was growing up. Now I am a missionary in my own country.”

Please be generous to the special collection for World Mission Sunday on October 24th. May our prayers and support enable Missionaries “not only to speak of Jesus, but to make Jesus seen.” May God reward you for having a missionary heart!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

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

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September 19, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today our Archdiocese observes its 10th Annual Stewardship Awareness Sunday.  Stewardship awareness should happen every Sunday—and every day of the week—but this annual reminder is an excellent opportunity for me to once again say thank you to each of you for your generous stewardship of all God’s gifts!

Stewardship Awareness Sunday is also a time for each of us to remember that everything we have is a gift from God—our minds and hearts, our skills and talents and all our material possessions all comes as free gifts from a generous and loving God.  On this day we are reminded in a special way that we own nothing.  God owns everything, and He shares His gifts with us so that we can share them with others.

Once we accept that everything truly belongs to God, there are two appropriate responses:

The first is to be filled with gratitude for all the blessings God shares with us so generously.

The second is to recognize that we have a responsibility to use our gifts wisely and well in the way that God wants.

Gratitude and responsibility are fundamental characteristics of a Christian steward. Both demand that we be people of prayer.

When we pray, especially in the Eucharist, we give God thanks and praise. We acknowledge His goodness to us, and we express our profound gratitude for all His abundant blessings.

When we pray, we should seek God’s will for the development and use of all His gifts to us. We can only know how God wants us to use our gifts if we turn to Him every day in prayer and ask Him.   

That’s why the theme for this 10th annual Stewardship Sunday is Stewardship: Start with Prayer. Earlier this year I met with more than 300 pastors and stewardship leaders from all regions of our Archdiocese and I asked them to set aside the year 2010 as a time when we all reflect prayerfully on what stewardship means to us individually and as a Church.

Today I am asking you, and every Catholic in our Archdiocese, to join me in reflecting prayerfully on all God’s blessings and on His will for how we develop and share them with others.

Let’s start with prayer.  I encourage you to begin every day with this simple prayer:  Thank you, Father, for all your blessings. And then pray: Lord, what do you want me to do with all the gifts you have given me? Listen to God’s answer. He speaks to us—not necessarily in words—in the stillness of our hearts.

I believe that prayer will lead us all to greater participation in our parishes and a stronger desire to “pay back” God’s goodness by sharing our gifts with our Church and our world.

As I mention in my article in this week’s St. Louis Review, we can never really pay God back for all His goodness to us, but it’s my experience that when we embrace stewardship wholeheartedly through a life of prayer and active participation in our Church’s mission, we find great joy.  Our lives change for the better.  We feel less stress and much more peace because we have given everything back to God and allowed Him to take charge of everything – exactly as He should.

This is my hope and prayer for you on this Stewardship Awareness Sunday.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop of St. Louis

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September 5, 2010

Dear Friends in Christ,

I appeal to you today to give generously to the National Collection for The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Catholic University is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops and chartered by the Vatican.  As such, it has a special responsibility to educate future leaders for our Church and our nation.  In this sense, The Catholic University of America belongs to all of us in the Church, regardless of where we live.

The financial sacrifices required of Catholic parents to provide a truly Catholic college education are enormous.  All of the funds received through this collection underwrite the financial aid program at the university.  Simply put, your contributions directly benefit students at Catholic University from all over the United States, including our own archdiocese, by funding scholarships for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.  Last year, nearly 3,000 students at CUA received scholarship support through the funds raised via the National Collection for Catholic University.

Students at Catholic University receive personalized attention in a wide variety of programs, combining an excellent liberal arts curriculum with courses in their major fields of study. Grounded in the philosophy of the Catholic intellectual tradition, these students are well prepared for success in life and ready to make a difference in today’s world.

Thank you for your support of The Catholic University of America.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop of St. Louis

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