Saint Louis University

The Most Reverend Robert Carlson, archbishop of St. Louis, will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for His Holiness Pope Francis at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd.

Most Reverend Edward Rice, auxiliary bishop of St. Louis; Most Reverend Robert Hermann, auxiliary bishop emeritus of St. Louis; Reverend Monsignor Mark Rivituso, vicar general of St. Louis; and Very Reverend Douglas W. Marcouiller, Jesuit Provincial Superior of the Missouri Province, will concelebrate the Mass.

"Let us come together to offer prayers and support for the new Holy Father, Pope Francis, as he begins his Pontificate as Shepherd of the Universal Church," Archbishop Carlson said. "Catholics around the world and in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have already learned much from the early actions of Pope Francis. We find comfort in the gentleness of his Jesuit spirituality, which is uniquely blended with his devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. His demonstrated humility, service and openness are surely a beacon of hope for all people."

Archbishop Carlson will impart an Apostolic Blessing on those gathered for the Mass of Thanksgiving. This can only be done three times each year. The other two occasions are Christmas and Easter.

The Mass will be streamed live on the archdiocesan website at A recorded version will be available within the hour following Mass at the same web address.