The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson was installed as Archbishop of St. Louis on June 10, 2009, and was the leader of the local Church for more than 11 years until his successor was installed on August 25, 2020.A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Archbishop Carlson was ordained to the priesthood in 1970 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He went on to receive a master’s degree in divinity from St. Paul Seminary in 1976 and a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America in 1979. Ordained as an auxiliary bishop for his home archdiocese in 1984, he went on to serve as Bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, (1994-2005) and the Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan (2005-2009) prior to his appointment as Archbishop of St. Louis. His passion for education, vocations, youth ministry, and priestly formation have contributed to the growth and vitality of all the Dioceses he has served.
Archbishop Carlson served on several national committees. He previously served as chair of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations and as co-chair of the Mission Advisory Committee for the Institute for Priestly Formation. Archbishop Carlson received the Interfaith Partnership Award in September, 2011. He was also honored with receiving the Joseph Cardinal Ritter Award in February, 2012, the Sister Mary Ann Eckhoff Leadership Award in April, 2012, the Service to the Community Award from the Ecumenical Leadership Council in May, 2012, the Order of Saint Louis King Award in November, 2015 and the Luminary Award for Criminal Justice in June, 2017. In October of 2017, Archbishop Carlson was awarded the 2017 NCEA Seton Award for his outstanding lifetime commitment, support, and service to Catholic Education.