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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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Click to view PDF file version

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Advent Day of Recollection

Published on 03. Dec, 2010 by in Events, News

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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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MCCCN…

By invitation of Archbishop Carlson, at all the masses next weekend you will be given an opportunity to put your faith into action by joining the Missouri Catholic Conference Citizen’s Network.  The Missouri Catholic Conference is the official public policy agency for the Catholic Church in Missouri.  Its board of directors are the Catholic Bishops of Missouri.

The Missouri Catholic Conference is non-partisan.  It does not endorse or oppose candidates but focuses on issues and legislation.

Through the years, the Missouri Catholic Conference has had many successes, such as enacting a ban on partial birth abortions, expanding health care to the poor and passing a tough new law regulating triple X pornography stores.  But the Conference is only effective if Catholics participate in the MCC Citizen’s Network.  Participation in the network is free.  The MCC only asks that you try to respond to their action alerts by contacting legislators when key votes are pending in the Missouri General Assembly or Congress.

Through this network, Catholics work together to advance the common good by protecting the unborn, assisting the poor and promoting quality education for all school children.  Network members receive regular e-mail updates and alerts on pending issues and legislation.  The Missouri Catholic Conference puts network members in touch with their legislators when key votes are pending.

You will find enrolment forms at the end of the pews at all the masses next weekend.  Fill in those forms and drop them in the collection baskets over the next two Sundays.  You can register by text message – type MCC, your first and last name and email address.  Send your text message to 27126.

As Catholics, we are called to bring the light of Christ into the public square.  This is one very concrete way that you can do this.  As Pope John Paul II said:  Democracy needs virtue.  Democracy serves what is true and right when it safeguards the dignity of every human person, when it respects inviolable and inalienable rights, when it makes the common good the end and criteria regulating all public and social life.  Please prayerfully consider signing up next weekend…

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