Archive for the ‘Archbishop Robert J. Carlson’ Category

A tribute to my late classmate, + Father Todd Anthony Reitmeyer

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
+ Rev. Todd A. Reitmeyer
+ Rev. Todd A. Reitmeyer

The Reverend Father Todd Anthony Reitmeyer

May 13, 1969 – May 24, 2006

Father Todd, then-Bishop Carlson and myself: June 13, 2003

Father Todd, then-Bishop Carlson and myself: June 13, 2003

As I approach my 10th Anniversary on the Feast of St. Anthony this Thursday, I cannot help but post a memorial to my only classmate in the Diocese of Sioux Falls (we were ordained deacons and priests together), the late Fr. Todd Anthony Reitmeyer, who was born on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in 1969 and died on the Feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians (the Patroness of my current assignment in Salem, SD) in 2006 due to a jet ski accident while on vacation in Austin, Texas (his home town).  Then-Bishop (of Saginaw, Michigan) Robert J. Carlson celebrated his Funeral Mass, concelebrating with then-Bishop (of Austin, Texas) Gregory Aymond.  Fr. Todd was a wonderful Priest and had become a good friend after Ordination (I went to Mount St. Mary’s, Emmitsburg and he to the North American College in Rome).  I miss him still. If he hasn’t made it to heaven, may the good God bring him there very soon through the prayers of the Holy Mother of God.

Fr. M. E. Lawrence

Fr. Reitmeyer’s Obituary from 2006:

Father Reitmeyer was born on May 13, 1969 to David and Phyllis Reitmeyer in Virginia. His father was in the military so the family moved some, but eventually settled in the Austin, Texas area. His father suffered a stroke and died in 1992. He graduated from Texas A&M, and earned a Masters degree in counseling from Northwest Missouri State. His discernment of his vocation led him to meet Bishop Robert Carlson, and eventually Todd moved to South Dakota, living in Faulkton with then pastor Father Terry Anderson for several months before entering the seminary. He attended St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, MN before studying Theology at North American College in Rome.
He was ordained on June 13, 2003 at St. Joseph Cathedral by Bishop Robert Carlson. His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Michael, Sioux Falls. He then became administrator of St. Michael, Herreid, St. Anthony, Selby and St. Joseph, Eureka where he served from January of 2004 until June of 2005. For the past year he has served as administrator at St. Thomas, Faulkton and St. Boniface, Seneca, as well as sacramental minister for St. Joseph, Orient. He served as spiritual director for St. Margaret Fellowship, the association of Catholic home school families since August 2003.

“I think we all need to be ready spiritually and we have to keep it in our minds that we know not the day nor the hour. I have been thinking a lot about death personally and I want to teach people more about it …”

Fr. Todd Reitmeyer (“A Son Becomes a Father” January 2006 )


Thursday, June 30: Day of Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Ad multos annos, Holy Father!

Ad multos annos, Holy Father!

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of his Priestly Ordination on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.  In honor of his anniversary, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy suggested Catholic clergy and faithful be invited to participate in Eucharistic Adoration with the intention of praying for the sanctification of the clergy and for the gift of new and holy priestly vocations.

 Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York highlighted the importance of this celebration: “An increase in number and sanctity of the priests in service to our dioceses is a sign of health and vitality in the Church,” he said. “Prayer for vocations is ‘a worthy intention’ and an appropriate spiritual sacrifice in gratitude for the example and service of Pope Benedict XVI.”

 “This is an exceptional opportunity to give thanks for our Holy Father, to pray for all of our priests, and to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, chairman for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “The Holy Father has been an outstanding model of priestly ministry and service to the Church. In his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, he reminded the faithful that we all have a responsibility to pray for vocations. This is a great opportunity to do just that.”

We will have this day of prayer at Salem on Thursday, June 30th, the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which is also the Worldwide Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of the Clergy).  In addition to our regular 7:00 pm Holy Hour in preparation for First Friday, we will have Solemn Eucharistic Adoration following the 8:15 am Holy Mass until Benediction at the conclusion of the 7:00pm Holy Hour.

 Praying for vocations to the Priesthood and for the sanctification of the clergy is very important!  Why?  Without Priests, there would be no Holy Mass, no parishes or Parish Organizations, no Parish School, etc.  Therefore, 2 or more representatives of the following parish organizations are to be present in church during the following hours of Eucharistic Adoration:

9:00 – 10:00 am   ……………  The Christian Mothers

10:00 – 11:00 am   …………. . The Catholic Foresters

11:00 – 12 noon   ………………  The Legion of Mary

12:00 – 1:00 pm     ……………  The Christian Mothers

1:00 – 2:00 pm   ………………….   The Altar Society

2:00 – 3:00 pm    …………    St. Mary School Faculty

3:00 – 4:00 pm   …………   St. Mary School Children

4:00 – 5:00 pm   ………………   Jr. Christian Mothers

5:00 – 6:00 pm   ……  St. Mary F.A.S.T. Organization

6:00 – 7:00 pm   …….. St. Mary Knights of Columbus

7:00 pm Public Holy Hour ……  ALL PARISHIONERS!

For more information, please contact Darlene in the Parish Office.  During the scheduled times above, there will be no formal prayers, except during the 3:00-4:00pm adoration for the school children, when Fr. Lawrence will conduct a special Holy Hour for them.  Also, anyone can come throughout the day for prayer, not just organization members.

January 4th: Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The feast of the first American-born Canonized Saint, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, was celebrated on Tuesday, January 4th.  A statue of Mother Seton, and her first-class holy relic, were honored in the sanctuary at Salem during and after Holy Mass.  This is a special feast, since our parochial school children attend Mass every morning and Mother Seton is honored as the Foundress of the Catholic School System in the United States (along with St. John N. Neumann, the 4th Bishop of Philadelphia).  Likewise, the Priest of Salem is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD (on Mary’s Mountain, which overlooks St. Joseph’s Valley in Emmitsburg, home to Mother Seton’s Basilica and National Shrine).  Mother Seton taught catechism up on the Mount, near the current location of the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

With praise and thanksgiving to God, the Priest of Salem would like the readers of Salemcatholic to know that Mother Seton’s intercession brought about the 1996 cure from very serious bladder cancer of the eighth Bishop of Sioux Falls, the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, who ordained the Priest of Salem.  During the Canon of today’s Mass, at the Memento of the Living, the health and happiness of this same good and holy successor of the Apostles was offered to the Father with much devotion.  Thankfully, from her place in heavenly glory, Mother Seton is still caring for our former bishop and his health – so much so that he is now courageously serving the Lord Jesus as the 9th Archbishop of St. Louis, once home to many of Mother Seton’s daughters in religion.  Ad multos annos, Your Grace!


Catechesis on the 5th Commandment

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Archbishop Carlson ordains 8 Priests this Summer

From Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis:

God’s law in the Old Testament is clear and unambiguous: You shall not kill. Jesus is even more demanding: Every one who is angry is liable to judgment.

Sins against the Fifth Commandment are easy to commit. Any time we think, speak or act out of anger or hatred or jealousy or revenge, we abuse God’s commandment that we respect His most precious gift, the gift of life — especially human life.

Human life is sacred because, from its beginning until its natural end, it involves the creative action of God. The Fifth Commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. God alone is the Lord of life. No one has the right to end arbitrarily what God has begun, and sustained, through the gift of His love.

In the account of Abel’s murder by Cain (Genesis 4:8-12), Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in humankind, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of recorded history. God declares this as wicked, and He asks the question to be answered over the ages: “What have you done?” Today this question is asked not only of those who kill someone, but also of those responsible for violence, anger, hatred and vengeance in any form.

It is a shame that there are so many violent words expressed between members of the same family day in and day out. Anger and intolerance are also pervasive in our Church and in society. Such attitudes are destructive and sinful. They are of the Evil One and not of God.

The Fifth Commandment does not stop someone from self defense, because someone who defends his or her own life is not guilty of murder. Legitimate defense can be not only a right but also a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or the security of a nation. We risk our lives to protect ourselves and others because we value human life and freedom so dearly. They are gifts from God that we are bound to cherish and defend.

Since the first century, the Church has addressed the moral evil of abortion and the killing of a defenseless baby in the womb. People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment. You cannot be “pro-choice” (pro-abortion) and remain a Catholic in good standing. That’s why the Church asks those who maintain this position not to receive holy Communion. We are not being mean or judgmental, we are simply acknowledging the fact that such a stance is objectively and seriously sinful and is radically inconsistent with the Christian way of life.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council said, “God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and human life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes” (“Gaudium et Spes,” No. 51.3). That’s why formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life (see canons 1398,1314, and 1323-1324).

The Fifth Commandment also directs us to work for justice and peace — avoiding war whenever possible — and to limit the use of capital punishment to the most extreme (and rare) circumstances required to protect human life. Only God has the right to take the life of another human being. When we take that action into our own hands — in self-defense or in defense of others — we had better be sure that all other options have been exhausted!

In addition, euthanasia or deliberately taking of the life of someone who is sick, dying, disabled or mentally ill is morally unacceptable. The Church calls for the ordinary care owed to a sick person, but medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous or extraordinary are not necessary. If you are unsure about the moral implications of health care procedures that are being proposed for someone you love, contact your pastor or the archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate. They will be happy to help you consider approaches that are in accordance with our Church’s teaching about care for those who are sick or dying.

Taking proper care of our health, respecting others and showing respect for the dead are all matters covered by the Fifth Commandment’s demand that we reverence God’s most precious gift — human life.

Lives of Unwanted Especially Sacred

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Archbishop Carlson at Communion in St. Peter's, Rome

The Archbishop’s Column (from the Catholic Review)

January 13, 2010

by The Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis

Have you ever felt unwanted? It’s a horrible feeling that strikes at the heart of your soul. Rejection is always painful, but to be rejected for who you are is perhaps the most painful experience a human being can have.

When I was in grade school, we played games where two boys representing the leaders of opposing teams would take turns choosing their teammates. I was never the first boy chosen, but I also wasn’t the last. I wonder how that boy felt? Did he wonder why he wasn’t good enough? Did he feel guilty or angry or ashamed? As awful as it must have been to be the last boy chosen, he at least got to play with us. He wasn’t totally rejected (even if we didn’t know how to make him feel really wanted).

What about the boys and girls who were never chosen at all — the unborn, the handicapped, the homeless children who couldn’t go to school?

In his encyclical “Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life),” Pope John Paul II writes, “By his incarnation, the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being. This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God … but also the incomparable value of every human person” (“Evangelium Vitae,” #2).

Every human life is sacred. Every person is a child of God who possesses incomparable dignity and worth, no matter his or her state in life or personal gifts and talents. Regardless of who we are; what our background is; the state of our physical, emotional or mental health; our accomplishments; our race, religion or cultural heritage; our age; or our social status; every individual human being is precious in the sight of God and should also be valuable in the eyes of fellow human beings.

No one is unwanted by God. His love embraces all. Think for a moment of the power of that statement. Can it really be true that the God who made the universe in all its vastness and complexity knows and loves each and every one of us, including (or perhaps especially) those of us who have been rejected by parents, families, communities or society as a whole?

Can it really be true that God sees in us (all of us, everyone of us) something that is worth more than we can possible imagine — something that far exceeds silver or gold, power or prestige, fame or fortune?


Every human is wanted by God because every person has been given the gift of life. This gift is a share in God’s own being that is more precious than anything we can possibly imagine. Life itself is the treasure given to us by God to be nurtured and protected and shared generously with others. Nothing on earth is more valuable than human life. That’s why deliberately taking a human life by murder, abortion, euthanasia, infanticide or any other means is such a grave sin. God alone gives life and only He can take it back again.

No one is unwanted by God. That’s why we reverence all life, why we help the handicapped and care for the infirm and the elderly, why we encourage and assist women with unplanned pregnancies through the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Fund and why we speak out forcefully against all attempts to treat society’s unwanted human beings as somehow less valuable than they truly are in the sight of God.

No one is unwanted in God’s family. We don’t always show it as clearly as we should, but all are welcome. All are valued. All are members of the Body of Christ, the Church.

All life is sacred — especially those who feel unwanted or who have been rejected by the unjust, unloving and inhuman laws, policies and social practices of this and every other age.

As Pope John Paul taught us, “Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can … come to recognize … the sacred value of human life from the very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and political community itself are founded” (“Evangelium Vitae,” #2).

When God chooses His team, everyone is first. No one has to wonder, “Does God really want me?” God wants everyone. That means He wants you and me, and every human being who has ever lived, and everyone who is yet to be conceived.

“Therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice, and cleaving to Him; for that means life to you and length of days” (Dt 30:16, 19-20).

St. Louis: Holy Sepulchre Meeting

Monday, September 28th, 2009

From September 16 through 24, I attended the annual meeting of the Northern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.  This year’s meeting was held in St. Louis, MO.  Here are some photographs from the closing Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis  in the “Rome of the West” :

Photos from the Installion of Archbishop Carlson in St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009