It is so nice to know that there will be another Catholic Evangelist in St. Louis very soon.
As you might already know, Archbishop Elect Robert Carlson, formerly Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, will be the 10th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. A date has not yet been set for his installation at the time of this blog.
So much has been said about this man of God over the past several days on line as well as through blogs and conversations in and around the St. Louis metro area. I personally reached out to a dear friend and brother in Christ who is a Catholic Bishop in one of the Southern State Dioceses, who called Archbishop Elect Carlson a "nononsense type of guy, what you see is what you get". Bishop Carlson was further catagorized as very "Spiritual and Pastoral", which is excactly what we need here in St. Louis.
Bishop Carlson will succeed a true Giant in the Catholic Church both here and abroad in Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, who in my humble opinion was and truly is a wonderful Spritual Father and great Shepherd. He was a very quite and reserve man in public, who (to my knowledge) never raised his voice even amid strong and fierce criticizm that was truly unjust and undeserved, but as a true Man of God, Archbishop Burke would continue to offer it up, pray for those who said what they said and he NEVER waivered from the Truth.
I recently came across an article on The Catholic Spirit which called Archbishop Elect Carlson an Evangelist! Praise the LORD for another Catholic Evangelist in St. Louis! The article continued in saying, “[Archbishop Carlson] is a bishop, but he’s also an evangelist. He’s not afraid to proclaim the Gospel and invite people to make a response,” the article stated. “He’s got a missionary mentality. He wants to see the church grow and thrive.”
This is exactly what St. Louis needs as well as the rest of the Catholic Community in the United States. The key is not just to proclaim the Gospel, but to invite people to make a response. This, in my opinion, is where we as Catholic's lack in not being more invitational to others, reaching out and inviting them to fellowhip with us and especially just inviting others and Catholic's as well, to have that 'relationship' with Christ. I have spoken and even preached on this many times, that we as Catholic's have to have a 'deep, intimate relationship with Christ', we have to welcome Him into our lives; every aspect of our lives and not keep Him locked in a box at Church.
It pleases my heart to know their will be a Shepherd coming to St. Louis who truly understands the 'relationship' aspect with Christ in the Eucharist and reaching out to others, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We (Catholics) must learn to be more invitational to others if we are going to fulfill Christ's Missionary Mandate to us.
Evangelist Carlson, (Your Excellency), thank you for coming, thank you for saying Yes and thank you for your leadership. We welcome you with open arms and look forward to serving our community with a deeper love of Christ, through your leadership and your example.
Praise be Jesus Christ now and forevermore... let the Church say...AMEN!
Catholic Evangelist Richard Lane