Archbishop Carlson of St. Louis

WDTPRS congratulates the people of St. Louis on the appointment of His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Carlson as their new Archbishop.

Before going to the D. of Sioux Falls, then to Saginaw, Archbishop Carlson was a priest and then auxiliary of my native place St. Paul & Minneapolis.  He played a key role in my vocation during a very dark hour.  The traces of that experience left their mark even in the design of my chalice.

Archbp. Carlson is one of the handful bishops for whom after every Mass I say a Memorare.

I hope you will, in your charity, stop what you are doing and say a prayer for him right now, to support him in his new and heavy mandate for the Church in St. Louis.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TNCath says:

    What a wonderful appointment! Prayers and best wishes to the new archbishop. Ad multos annos!

  2. Jim of Bowie says:

    Another great appointment by the Holy Father.

    Laudetur Iesus Christus!

  3. Tim Ferguson says:

    and don’t forget to include the diocese of Saginaw in your prayers. The diocese has seen much good accomplished these last few years under Bishop Carlson – more ordinations and seminarians than they’ve had for years (Saginaw is my home diocese). Pray that the good work Bishop Carlson began, of dragging the Church in Saginaw out of the 1970’s will continue under whoever his successor is.

    This is great news for Kenrick Seminary!

  4. What was the dark hour if you don’t mind sharing? [Maybe some other time. This entry is about the people of St. Louis and their new Archbishop.]

  5. Congratulations to Bishop Carlson and the people of St. Louis.

    Also named was a new bishop for Syracuse (NY):

    Appointed Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Ogdensburg, U.S.A., as bishop of Syracuse (area 14,915, population 1,199,000, Catholics 352,000, priests 310, permanent deacons 85, religious 536), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop James M. Moynihan, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

    Is anyone familiar with Bishop Cunningham?

  6. jarhead462 says:

    Prayers on their way!

    Semper Fi!

  7. Jon says:


    Many thanks for sharing the personal story.

    St. Louis, being the jewel of a diocese that Archbishop Burke left it, is very important to rest of the country; especially regarding liturgy.

    This morning upon learning of Bishop Carlson’s election I did a quick search, and found that there are no Traditional Masses celebrated regularly in Saginaw. This had me worried, but then again I’m aware of the difficult realities that Bishop Carlson inherited there from his late predecessor. [I think everyone would do well to avoid the trap of “funnel vision”. Even more dangerous than “tunnel vision”, people with “funnel vision” tend to reduce their focus to a single issue.]

    Your support sweeps away the worries. I’ll gladly storm heaven for the good archbishop.

  8. Bryan says:

    Ad maiorem Dei gloriam!

    A rosary is on its way for Abp. Carlson and the faithful of St. Louis for his protection and strength in the face of the tasks facing him.

  9. Truly a blessed day this is. I woke up around 5, with a bit of an allergy attack. IT was made all the easier when I looked down at my phone and found we had a new Shepherd. I think we are in very capable hands once more. Everything has just seemed so empty the last 9 months without a presence like Archbishop Burke. I think His Excellency ABP Carlson will carry the torch on nicely

  10. joe says:

    Much like Jon, I didn’t know Thing One about Bp. Carlson, and I came by on the off chance some additional light would be shed here.

    It was!

    My Angelus will be offered for him.


  11. JJH says:

    Congratulations to St. Louis, and to Kansas City for getting to keep Bishop Finn!!!

  12. Dr. Eric says:

    I had never heard of His Grace, but I went to the Saginaw website and he has written more than a few pastoral letters and has put out some very good booklets that look very slick (in a good way) that would appeal to 21st century Catholics. I will pray for him as soon as I finish this post!

  13. What a great archdiocese to step into, I’m sure he will be strengthened by the many strong Catholics there.

    He will be in my prayers and it is nice that St. Louis finally has an archbishop again! Thank you Papa!

  14. RichR says:

    I will lift up prayers today for him.

    As an aside, I am curious. Is being an archbishop related solely to the archdiocese you have jurisdiction over? If an archbishop is relocated to a regular diocese, is he “demoted” to a “bishop”?

  15. Axios! Axios! Axios!

    A truly worthy appointment and a blessing to the flock. God grant him many years in health and salvation!

  16. Fr. Gary V. says:

    My prayers and congratulations to Archbp. elect Carlson.
    He was the bishop who installed me & my classmates at the
    seminary to the order of Acolytes.

  17. Giovanni says:

    The tragedy of St. Boniface Church in his diocease is rather sad. It is amazing to me how badly run that Church is. I saw a rare video you can see how badly the church has been gutted. Wreckovation in its most damaging.

  18. irishgirl says:

    Congratulations to the new Archbishop of St. Louis!

    And finally, a new Bishop for Syracuse!

    Thank you, dear Papa Benedict!

  19. SwiftAvila says:

    Your words about our new shepherd are very encouraging.

    I can’t believe I didn’t check my phone this morning for my appointment text-message from the Archdiocese. *smacks forehead* Can’t wait to get the scoop on his installation Mass at choir practice tonight.

  20. Peggy says:

    Congratulations to the Abp-elect and to the faithful of St. Louis! I also want to recognize the good work and fearlessness of Bp. Harmon (speaking out on life etc) in the interim. I pray that he is well rewarded as well. He will make a great shepherd.

  21. Peggy says:

    Oops. It’s Bp. Hermann.

  22. James says:

    Fr. Z.,

    Have you heard about this position on the Trady mass? We here in STL are wondering.

  23. Joan Ellen says:

    Said 3 Golden Hail Marys in thanksgiving. Will include Abp. Carlson in my daily Memorare for Abp. Burke.

  24. Joshua says:

    St. Louis getting a wonderful bishop. Pray for the people of Saginaw that they get as wonderful a successor as Bishop Carlson was.

    This morning upon learning of Bishop Carlson’s election I did a quick search, and found that there are no Traditional Masses celebrated regularly in Saginaw.

    You have to cut him some slack. So much of his work was just getting the standard mass back to being said traditionally. Saginaw was a mess before his arrival.

  25. Flambeaux says:

    Laudamus and Te Deum!

  26. John says:

    This is a wonderful and well deserved appointment for Bishop Carlson who worked prayerfully and diligently to bring about reform and renewal in the diocese of Saginaw. One great diocese is blessed with a strong traditional bishop, one struggling diocese is left to God’s mercy. Our trust is in Jesus the Christ. He will win the day!

  27. Athelstane says:

    “Saginaw was a mess before his arrival.”

    Understatement of the year.

  28. Prayers ascending for Bishop Carlson!

  29. James says:

    When Carlson was bishop of Sioux Falls, he had the indult Mass in his cathedral.

  30. TJM says:

    Archbishop Carlson must be good since he has high praise from Father Z. I am happy for the people of St. Louis. I agree that as bishop of Saginaw
    Bishop Carlson really had his hands full. There were a large number of leftists in that Diocese. Tom

  31. Catholicman says:

    For what it’s worth, Archbishop-elect Carlson granted permission for the celebration of the then-called Tridentine Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD in 2004. This was just prior to his appointment to Saginaw. He was my bishop when I lived in Sioux Falls from 1994-2004 and I was always very impressed. A true Shepard who speaks and defends the Faith of the Church. I remember well when he requested that Tom Daschle stop referring to himself as a Catholic in his Senate campaign due to his adamant pro-abortion position.

  32. eric frankovitch says:

    What happened to the TLM in Sioux Falls? Wasn’t the Fraternity forced out?

  33. John says:

    I believe that in the Sioux Falls there were TLMs for a number of years even before 2004. For a time it was offered in Madison, SD.

    Certainly the appointment of Bp. Carlson is a “win” for “our side.”

  34. Phil says:

    “This morning upon learning of Bishop Carlson’s election I did a quick search, and found that there are no Traditional Masses celebrated regularly in Saginaw.”

    Isn’t the Ordinary Form of the One Roman Rite also the “Traditional Mass?”

    The One Mass is the One Mass. They are the same. Correct?

  35. JC says:

    If Fr. Richard McBrien is complaining and calling Bishop Carlson a follower of Archbishop Burke’s steps, it has to be very good news…

    Congrats to St. Louis!

  36. TJM says:

    JC – if McBrien is complaining, then I am very, very, very happy. Tom

  37. TJM says:

    Phil, I think you know what is meant by that term. It sounds like you’re looking for a quarrel. Tom

  38. Clement says:

    “…isn’t the Ordinary Form of the One Roman Rite also the “Traditional Mass?”

    No, The “Extraordinary Form”, is.

    Ecce Sacerdos Magnus to Episcopus Carlsonus!!!

  39. Brendan says:

    I was woken up this morning by a text message announcing the appointment. I was very pleased and know St. Louis will do great under the new Archbishop.

    I live in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, close to the Diocese of Saginaw, so I have heard about the Bishop Carlson. I have heard wonderful things about him. Before he arrived there were something like 4 seminarians, now there are over 20.

    Saginaw was a mess, but Grand Rapids isn’t too much better.

  40. Steve says:

    “What happened to the TLM in Sioux Falls? Wasn’t the Fraternity forced out?”

    Sioux Falls’ Cathedral website still lists the EF of the Mass:

    FSSP is in Rapid City, SD.

  41. momoften says:

    The great Bishop Carlson had a lot of clean up in Saginaw following Bishops Uetner reign. It was quite a mess, and he had such a battle from sources I have had privy to…even with his own
    priests in Saginaw. God Bless him, he is a such a Holy and Humble Man-St Louis has been privileged with another great archbishop. I pray for his health and his continued success in leading the flock of St Louis.

  42. Sean says:

    The one thing that concerns me (and I don’t know anything about it) is the fact that Archbishop Carlson was appointed as the head of the USCCB committee on the Charismatic Renewal.

  43. TJM says:

    Charismatic Renewal. Is that movement still around? I thought that met a natural death in the early 1980s. Tom

  44. Father Totton says:

    Wherever His Excellency has been, Bp. Carlson is known to be a true Father to his priests – very deliberately so, beginning with their time in the seminary. Abp. Burke had a similar concern for his priests / seminarians. I think this bodes well for continuity in the gateway city. I am also pleased that it was not a different Robert, who will remain ordinary in the western half of Missouri.

  45. Father Totton says:

    LET ME BE CLEAR, I am pleased that we in Kansas City will not lose our good shepherd.

  46. Jim of Bowie says:

    You’re correct Father Totten. He said at his press conference that it has always been his policy to never ordain a man whom he did not know well and personally.

  47. Phil says:

    “No, The “Extraordinary Form”, is.”

    Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope) stated that “an average Christian without specialist liturgical formation would find it difficult to distinguish between a Mass sung in Latin according to the old Missal and a sung Latin Mass according to the new Missal.”

    The “Traditional” Mass was reformed by Pope Paul VI (as voted on during Vatican II). The Ordinary Form of the One Roman Rite was not simply “invented” out of thin air.

    The One Roman Rite was reformed and emerged from Vatican II as the Ordinary Form. That Rite exists in Ordinary Form.

    The One Roman Rite also is found in the Extraordinary Form. One Rite. Two Forms.

  48. Patrizia says:

    Traditional Mass?–a form of words and rubrics 400 years old in a 2000-year old Church, out of a 4000-year old Covenant with our Eternal God?

    Traditional Mass, in this 2000-year old Church which has 28 (I think) Rites, each of which, I heard, has more than one form of celebrating the one Mass Jesus gave us at the Last Supper?

    What wording did St. Peter use? Now, that would be traditional with a capital T! Apparently, God is not concerned that we know that.

    Et cetera/and so forth!! (How do you say et cetera in Greek, or Arabic?–when I was a kid, people would often say, “the Greeks had a word for that,” though at the moment I can’t recall or more likely never knew why).

    Having grown up with the Latin Mass in the 1940’s, 1950’s (gradually English added from the 1950’s), 1960’s and now 1970 variations of the wording of prayers, I have loved them all–happy with the Latin, then even happier with English (and glad to not see most people fitting a rosary in its midst! me with my Missal with both languages). Even more, I love the great increase of readings from the New Testament, and the adding of Old Testament readings.

    I am now looking forward to better translation, but see the need to improve BOTH the EF and OF. Would love our HF Benedict to do that on his watch. We are human. Only God is perfect. For us, the Holy Spirit is above all patient. God be praised, in all languages and places–God our Father, Jesus who gives us Himself in the Mass, and the Holy Sprit who brings him to us.

  49. Phil says:

    When did THE “Traditional Mass” become THE “Traditional Mass”?

    Does anybody disagree with the following?

    1. The truly ancient Traditonal Roman Mass was offered in Greek.
    2. The Eucharistic Prayer was prayed aloud.
    3. Communion was distributed in the hand.
    4. The Gifts were brought to the altar by laymen.
    5. Eucharistic Prayer II was used at Rome and is older than the Roman Canon.

    The Pope teaches that there’s just ONE Roman Rite. The difference between the reformed Rite (reformed by Pope Paul VI in line with Vatican II directives) and the so-called “Traditional” Mass is virtually unnoticeable.

    Cardinal Ratzinger (our Pope, of course) stated that “an average Christian without specialist liturgical formation would find it difficult to distinguish between a Mass sung in Latin according to the old Missal and a sung Latin Mass according to the new Missal.”

    The so-called “Traditional Mass” that the majority of Latin Catholics encountered was the Low Mass. The Low Mass was far removed from the Latin Church’s authentic liturgical tradition.

    Cardinal Ratzinger said of the Low Mass: “On the other hand, it must be admitted that the celebration of the old liturgy had strayed too far into a private individualism, and that communication between priest and people was insufficient.

    “I have great respect for our forefathers who at Low Mass said the “Prayers during Mass” contained in their prayer books, but certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of liturgical celebration.

    “Perhaps these reductionist forms of celebration are the real reason that the disappearance of the old liturgical books was of no importance in many countries and caused no sorrow. One was never in contact with the liturgy itself.”

    The Low Mass is the Mass that the majority of “traditionalists” encounter. Therefore, the majority of “traditionalists” do not encounter the authentic Latin Church liturgical tradition.

  50. Remember folks too, that Benedict is striving to create the “reform of the reform”, and that both forms of the mass, are still part of the same right.

    Also, keep in mind, the mess his former diocese was in. You arent going to (and please forgive the expression) plunk down a traditional (Extraordinary Form) mass in a diocese that could barely handle celebrating the “Novus Ordo” form.

    Think about it folks, all of us who go to the EF masses know our faith rock solid, atleast we can quote the catechism, the girm, and canon law with the best of them. Sadly not everyone understands their faith so well, especially adults (which this Shepherd has promised will be one of this focuses). Baby steps I say. Get them to understand the mass period, then expose them to the EF, then they understand both forms even better, as the two compliment, and will eventually evolve each other

    This Bishop is Good for St louis, one, because Pope Benedict says so, two, he is very much a people person. His Excellency (who I am a big fan of) Raymond burke, did what he needed to do in turbulent times here. Sure we didnt have the problems Saginaw had, but, we had equal problems. Also as one who lives in this diocese, we definately have areas we could work on, one is bringing the Traditionalists and the bulk catholic crowd together. Both view each other with trepidation, and it s unfortunate. That is a rift that needs to be healed (and not just in St Louis)

    Personally, If I could pray for anything of any bishop, its that he could teach Solidly on the Eucharist, and develop and encourage the faithful’s care for it. You make people understand the Eucharist, then they will understand the mass. Then the average traditionalist will be able to walk into a Novus ordo, and not notice the difference, likewise, the average Novus Ordo Catholic, who doesnt have a catechism memorized, will be able to “stand in fear and trembling”.

    The best part is we have a new Bishop, who is very excited to be here, and is most importantly personable. That’s something we need more then anythingespecially given the political climate of the Nation too.

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