St. Louis Archdiocese

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square in May 2013

Approximately 800 St. Louis Catholics on Saturday sang, played, prayed and had their photo taken with a life-size flat poster of a smiling Pope Francis at Papa-palooza on the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary grounds in Shrewsbury. The archdiocesan-wide, church picnic was aimed to give St. Louisans a family celebration in advance of the international Vatican's World Meeting of Families, which begins Tuesday in Philadelphia. 

File photo of Pope Francis
Flickr | Christus Vincit

The new pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first-ever Jesuit pope and the first non-European pope of the modern era.  He is the first to adopt the name Francis.

Pope Francis now leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Host Don Marsh spoke with a variety of guests to talk about the meaning behind Pope Francis’ selection and about some of the major controversial issues within the Church, including clergy sexual abuse, the role of women and same sex marriage.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson says some schools in the archdiocese will have to close in the years ahead to sustain Missouri's oldest and largest school system.

"I just think it's inevitable when you look at the number of children families are having," he said.

The Archbishop said school consolidations are also likely to play a bigger part in addressing shrinking enrollment and tuition revenue, as when three south county elementary schools consolidated last year to create Holy Cross Academy. 

St. Louis Public Radio file photo
  • MetroLink is running regular service this morning across both tracks at the scene of an accident that happened yesterday in Pagedale. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that several injuries were reported after a MetroLink light rail train hit a tow truck stalled at a crossing. The eastbound train struck the flatbed truck around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Passengers reported seeing at least five people being taken to hospitals by ambulance. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams said she was told the injuries did not appear to be serious. The tow truck was unoccupied. Investigators are trying to figure out why it stalled on the tracks.
  • The new arms control treaty with Russia approved by the Senate Wednesday had the support of Democrats in the Missouri and Illinois delegations, but not the Republicans. The treaty would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and resume on-site inspections that expired a year ago. Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined Dick Durbin of Illinois in voting for the START treaty, which she calls critical to the national security of the United States. Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri did not cast a vote on the treaty, while Mark Kirk of Illinois voted no.

"The relationship with Russia is key in terms of us getting the missile defense systems in place that can check Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, if in fact they decide that they will either utilize the nuclear weapons they have, the case in Pakistan, or continue to move towards nuclear capability, in the case of North Korea and Iran." - Sen. Claire McCaskill

  • St. Archbishop Robert Carlson is continuing work on what he has called his top priority - improving Catholic schools in the region. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that for the past year, Carlson has been meeting with parents, teachers, pastors and national experts. The goal is to develop strategies to improve Catholic education in the St. Louis Archdiocese, where enrollment in its 11 counties has been steadily declining for four decades. The newspaper says Carlson is positioning the St. Louis Archdiocese to follow the lead of other large Catholic school systems that have restructured to stop the loss of students.

"We don't have to sit by and let this happen. Let's grow this system again." - Archbishop Robert Carlson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.