Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment of The Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson as Archbishop of St. Louis. Bishop Carlson is currently Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw Michigan.Huzzah!!! By all accounts I have seen, Bishop Carlson is a dedicated pastor who did great work encouraging priestly vocations and Catholic schools in Saginaw.
This excellent article gives many clues about Carlson's pastoral approach:
Carlson is said to be distressed when he meets Catholics who have worked to advance their knowledge of professional skills and a wide range of topics from politics, hobbies, cooking to sports but have made no effort as an adult to learn about their faith. Those letter writers showed “clear examples of the erosion in Catholic formation for the last two generations,”Those words speak to what I have observed in the Church during my few months here. St. Louis is a very Catholic town in terms of lovely buildings, tall steeples, and prestigious private high schools, but many STL natives make their faith only a nominal affair. Their Catholic education ended when nuns stopped grading their tests.
I am unable to form much of a personal opinion about Archbishop Burke, but I do know that he was a very authoritative, at times polarizing, figure. There are some people here who adored him, but there are also many who still love to hate him. It sounds like Bishop Carlson knows what is needed to bring about much needed healing.
“Kindness, courtesy, meekness, gentleness, humility, patience, prudence and eager concern are the virtues which must describe the pastoral ministry of the bishop."
Welcome to St. Louis, Archbishop Carlson!