Sunday, April 30, 2006

A History of Jefferson County, Missouri

Just south of Saint Louis County, Missouri, is Jefferson County, named in honor of, and during the lifetime of, President Thomas Jefferson, who was greatly admired by early American settlers in the Louisiana Territory.

This county is becoming increasingly suburban in the northerneastern part, but still has extensive rural areas, wilderness, and industrial towns that date from the early 19th century. This county primarily has the character of the Ozarks, and has many narrow, often dangerous, roads, and scenic vistas.

Following are extracts from Goodspeed's History, published in 1888. See
A little more than a hundred years ago the territory comprising Jefferson County was the undisputed home of the wild men of the forest and the native animals. The territory however at that time belonged to Spain and was under control of a Spanish Governor, who made liberal offers of land to persons who desired to settle permanently in the county.

...In 1776 St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve had become trading posts of considerable importance, but the country lying between was filled with savage Indians and wild animals, thus making a journey overland between these points extremely hazardous. Francisco Cruzat, who was the lieutenant-governor of Upper Louisiana, desirous of removing the perils of the journey, offered a donation of 1,050 arpents of land to any one who would establish and keep a ferry across the Meramec. Jean Baptiste Gomoche, a Frenchman, accepted this offer, and established a ferry across the Meramec, at what is still known as the Lower Ferry, about a mile above the mouth of that river. For this service Gomoche was granted the tract of land at the mouth of the Meramec, which includes the bridge across that stream and Jefferson Station of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railway. At the same time a trail was marked out on the west side of the Mississippi from St. Louis to Ste. Genevieve passing lengthwise through what is now Jefferson County. This trail was called the King's trace. It crossed the Meramec at Gomoche's ferry, and was the first highway marked out in the territory of Jefferson County.

...John Boli settled on Romine Creek in 1788. He built a log hut, and opened a little piece of land. He was driven away from his home several times by the Indians, and his cabin was burned by them. John Piatt settled on Big River, not far from P. P. Byrne's mill, prior to 1790. In that year he was driven from his home by the Indians, and he remained away till 1800, when he returned. In 1801 he was again driven away, and several of his neighbors were killed by the Indians in 1803."

In 1790 the Indians became so troublesome that the settlers organized for defense, and built a rude fortification on Saline Creek near Thomas Tyler's cabin.

James Head settled at House's Springs in 1795. He moved away in 1796, and Adam House moved on the place. House lived there till 1800, when the Indians killed him... House's son was badly wounded at the time, but he escaped, went to the settlement at Kimmswick and gave the alarm. All the settlers turned out, forming quite a company, with William Mars as captain, and they pursued the Indians, who were of the Osage tribe, on to Indian Creek, in Washington County, where they overtook them and gave them battle. The whites were victorious, killing many of the savages and driving the rest away.

Up to 1800 buffalo and elk were plentiful but with the advance of civilization these animals disappeared or kept a safe distance from the approaching settlements.

Indians were numerous. The Delawares and Shawnees lived south of this in Ste. Genevieve, Perry and Cape Girardeau, and the Osages lived near Union, in Franklin County, the Cherokees lived on White River. The Delawares, Shawnee and Cherokees were peaceable and friendly, but the Osages were very savage and warlike, and gave the settlers a great deal of trouble. In 1803 there was no postoffice nearer than St. Louis, and no road in the county. There were what were called trails from one settlement to another. There was no store here then...From 1774 to 1803 the settlers of this county did all their legal business at St. Louis; they traded and got their mail there. The currency of the people was gold and silver and dressed or shaved deer skins.

...These were the pioneers who penetrated the "western wilds" and settled amid the savage Indians and dangerous beasts, and suffered the hardships of frontier life while carving out comfortable homes for themselves, their wives and dear little ones. Many were the hardships they endured. Besides the encounters with the Indians, the dangers, fear and dread of that race, which they had constantly to endure, they were without roads, bridges, mills, blacksmith shops, and many other things so essentially necessary to the welfare and convenience of a community. Yet withal, they lived happily, save the fear and dread of the Indians. Every settler owned one gun and one dog, at least. These were considered indispensables, for without them the wild beasts would have invaded the yards and houses of these pioneers...

The men wore buckskin suits and coon or fox-skin caps in winter, and suits made from flax or cotton and straw hats in the summer. The shoes were made of buckskin tops and rawhide soles. These were called shoe packs or moccasins. The women wore home-made cotton goods, and there was great rivalry between the ladies of those days in regard to getting up new and beautiful patterns of checked and striped cotton dress goods. All the sugar then used was made at home, out of the sap of the maple or sugar trees, and coffee, being a foreign article, was so costly that the first settlers could not afford that luxury. Venison, bear meat, wild turkeys and wild honey abounded in great abundance, and those who had cows to produce milk really lived in "a land flowing with milk and honey." Bee trees filled with honey could be found everywhere, and the honey cost only the labor of getting it. Wild game was so abundant that the early settlers kept their families well supplied with it. With these meats, wild honey, wild fruits, and plenty of "hoe-cakes," the pioneer housewife could set a table "good enough for a king."
Jefferson County, Mo., is bounded north by St. Louis County, east by the Mississippi River, south by Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois and Washington Counties, and west by Franklin. It contains an area of about 628 square miles. The surface is generally hilly. The highest ridge, which extends north and south through the center of the county and forms a watershed between Big River and the Mississippi, attains elevation above the latter of about 459 feet, and from 200 to 300 feet above the neighboring streams. In the northern and western townships the ridges are very narrow at their summits, and are separated from each other by deep ravines. The hills bounding the valleys of the larger streams are also frequently marked with deep declivities, but sometimes they rise by a succession-of gentle slopes or terraces to the general level of the table-lands. East of the central ridge, the county is drained by the Meramec River, Little Rock, Glaize, Sandy, Joachim, Muddy, Isle au Bois and other creeks, which flow into the Mississippi. The western part of the county is drained by Big River, which flows in a tortuous route from the southern to the northern boundary of the county, where it empties into the Meramec. The principal tributaries of Big River are Dry Fork, Belew, Head and Jones Creeks. A part of the northern portion of the county is drained by Saline, Sugar, Mill and Labarque Creeks, which also empty into the Meramec. Thus all parts of the county are well watered. Many springs, producing water unsurpassed in quality, abound, and some of them, especially at Kimmswick and Sulphur Springs, are considered valuable for their medicinal qualities. Water is also obtained from wells of moderate depth, but many people prefer and use cistern for family purposes.

The table lands of the county are moderately rolling, and possess a good soil composed of sand, clay and humus, supported by a red clay subsoil. The soil in the valleys is alluvial and exceedingly productive. The timber on the uplands consists principally of the oak in its several varieties and hickory while on the lowlands and along the streams it consists of sycamore, maple, hickory, walnut, oak, buckeye, cottonwood, etc.
Description of the mineral wealth:
Stone for building purposes and the finest quality of sand for the manufacture of glass exist in inexhaustible quantities. Everywhere in Jefferson County the natural scenery is beautiful, and along the Mississippi and the Iron Mountain Railroad it is exceedingly picturesque.

The mineral resources of Jefferson County have only been partially developed. Iron and zinc exist in considerable quantities, and the deposits of lead are so extensive as to appear inexhaustible. The latter is the great mineral product of the county, and the only one that has been developed to any considerable extent.
Formerly the farmers of Jefferson County paid much attention to horticulture. Extensive orchards were planted, and fruits of all kinds were extensively raised to supply the St. Louis market. For a number of years last past the yield of fruits, especially in regard to peaches, has been so limited that the farmers have become somewhat discouraged, and have partially relaxed their efforts to produce them. The climate being moderately mild, and the soil and locations so well adapted to the growing of orchards, and good markets so near at hand, with constantly increasing demands, there is no doubt but that horticulture will soon become a leading and profitable industry of Jefferson County. For many years past, and at the present time, grapes have been and are now extensively cultivated. The most numerous and most extensive vineyards exist in the northeastern part of the county and along the line of the Iron Mountain Railroad. In Rock Township, which lies nearest to the city of St. Louis, nearly every farmer has a vineyard. This industry was introduced and has been followed mostly by the German citizens. The leading varieties of grapes cultivated are the Concord, Northen's Virginia Seedling, and Ives Seedling. The first is cultivated both as a table and wine grape, and the other two mostly for wine. A very large quantity of domestic wine of superior quality is annually manufactured in the county; the greatest amount at any single point being made at Bushberg, on the Mississippi, and on the railroad twenty-five miles from St. Louis. Facilities for propagating grape vines and for the manufacture of wines have existed at this place and been successfully operated for many years.
Since the completion of the Iron Mountain Railroad, the cutting and shipping of cord-wood to St. Louis has been and still continues to be a permanent industry all along the line. Along the immediate line of the railroad the supply of wood is being exhausted, but vast quantities still exist remotely from the line. A few portable sawmills are used in the county, where timber in suitable quantities exist, but the cutting of lumber is mostly for home use, and is not a very prominent industry. The county is well supplied with gristmills, the most of which are along the line of the railroad, and on Big River. Along the course of the latter, beginning at the north, is the mill of James Byrnes, three miles northwest of House's Springs; another, owned by Henry Vandecrusen, on House's Springs Branch, one mile west of the village; then comes the mill of Michael Byrnes, five miles southwest from House's Springs; and next, Lewis Snair's mill, one mile farther in the same direction; then comes John H. Morse's mill, at the southern terminus of the Big River gravel road, and seven miles northwest of Hillsboro. Another mill, and one of the oldest in the county, is Cole's mill, on Joachim Creek, near Valle Mines. Pleasant Valley Mills are located near Peverly.

Cedar Hill Dam on the Big River in Jefferson County, Missouri

Judge Thomas, in his centennial address, said: "Politics did not trouble our fathers much. Prior to 1804 there was no voting in this section. The King of Spain governed us, or, rather, let us alone. After 1804 the capital of the country 1,000 miles from them, and the way to it was through a trackless wilderness. The news of the election of Thomas Jefferson as President of the United States did not reach the people here for four months after the election. There was no newspaper published within hundreds of miles of them."
Prior to the late Civil War no organized bodies of soldiers were raised in Jefferson County... On the approach of the war of 1861-65, between the States of the Union, it is believed that a large majority of the people of Jefferson County were in favor of State sovereignty, and were in sympathy with the Southern cause, but not to that extent as to make them in favor of secession...the Union delegates carried Jefferson County by an overwhelming majority, thus showing a strong opposition to secession. The people of Jefferson County preferred to remain in the Union, and, if possible, maintain State sovereignty and State neutrality.

With these preferences in view, a meeting of the citizens was held at Hillsboro early in the spring of 1861, when speeches were made and a flag, with a State's rights motto inscribed upon it, was raised. Great excitement then prevailed, and the news soon spread abroad that a secession flag had been hoisted at Hillsboro. This was believed by many who were not in attendance at the meeting and who were not acquainted with the facts. After the National flag had been fired upon at Fort Sumter, and President Lincoln had issued his first call for troops, the sympathy in favor of the South grew stronger, and a call was made for a public meeting to be held at De Soto, on the 16th day of May following. A pole was raised, and on that day a flag, with a single star, emblematic of State sovereignty, was to be suspended thereon. It was understood that this meeting was to be composed of those who were in deep sympathy with the southern cause. Accordingly, on the morning of the day appointed, the citizens began to assemble at De Soto, and a company of seventy-five mounted men, from St. Francois County, were on hand. At this juncture a railroad train, with a company of Union troops, under command of Capt. Nelson Cole, arrived from St. Louis. When these soldiers began to emerge from the cars the men from St. Francois County mounted their steeds and quietly retired, and thus avoided a collision. The flag had not yet been raised, but the soldiers at once cut the pole down, and then began a search for the flag, and the meeting called for the occasion was "declared off." The flag was finally found, after a lady, who was trying to conceal it, had sat on it nearly all day. On the same occasion a detachment of Cole's company went to Hillsboro to capture the so-called secession flag that had previously been raised at the former meeting held at that place, and when they found it they declared it was not a "secession flag," and that it was good enough for them, and at once ordered it to be raised with the injunction that it should be protected. After being much worn it was taken down, and having become historic, it passed into the possession of the ladies of the vicinity, many of whom soon had a piece of it in their bed quilts.

Capt. Cole's men were the first soldiers who performed service in Jefferson County during the Civil War. No organized body of men went into the Confederate army from Jefferson County during the struggle, but it is estimated that nearly 200 individuals, from first to last, went out of the county and joined various Confederate commands, including those who went into the State Guards, where they served only a short time.

The early and subsequent occupation of the county by the Federal authorities gave an opportunity for the formation of companies for the United States' service, the first one of which was organized in June, 1861, and mustered into the service as Company B, Sixth Infantry, Missouri Volunteers...

No regular engagements between the contending armies took place in Jefferson county during the war. Late in 1861, Jeff. Thompson, of Confederate fame, with his command, burned the Iron Mountain Railroad bridge across Big River, on the line between Jefferson and Washington counties. A very slight skirmish took place on the occasion. Though the county was occupied nearly all the time by the Federal authorities, an occasional Confederate scouting party passed through it. In the fall of 1864, when Price made his raid into Missouri, a small command from his army took possession of De Soto and destroyed some property, and then left without further damage. During the war some atrocious things done by certain Union troops...[citizens] were killed and wounded for no other crime, it is said, than that of being Southern sympathizers; and the atrocious act of inflicting such punishment was and has always been condemned by all good citizens of both contending parties.
Roman Catholic Church:
According to the census of the United States there was one church of this denomination in Jefferson County in 1850. Undoubtedly it was the one known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception, which is located about one-half mile east of Maxville. A Roman Catholic Church, called "St. Rose of Lima," was organized some years ago at De Soto, and a frame edifice, still standing, was erected. Since then a large stone church of modern architectural design has been built. The latter was dedicated June 21, 1885, by Very Rev. P. P. Brady, V. G. of St. Louis. The Fathers of this church, beginning with 1871, are as follows: Rev. H. Jaegering, 1871-73; P. J. McNamee, 1873-81; C. F. O'Leary, 1881-86; Rev. J. A. Connolly, since 1886. The membership embraces about 120 families. There is a Roman Catholic Church near Kimmswick and another at Festus--the former has been organized many years, and the latter only a few years. There is also one in Rock Township, three miles east of High Ridge. The membership of this church is composed of Bohemians. A brick edifice was built one mile west of Byrnesville, about the year 1869. Becoming unsafe it was taken down in 1887, and a frame building erected in its stead.

The "St. Joseph Convent," a large two-story stone building of very fine architectural appearance, was built by the Roman Catholics in the bosom of the La Barque Hills, three and a half miles northwest of Byrnesville. There is also a chapel connected with it, and a priest resides there. This institution is located in a very secluded place, surrounded with the most magnificent natural scenery. [Note: this is now the Black Madonna Shrine]

John Kenneth Galbraith, RIP

John Kenneth Galbraith, an influential economist, died yesterday at age 97. He was born in Canada, and became a U.S. citizen in 1937, although he always showed fondness for his home country.

During the Second World War, he was in charge of controlling prices to avoid inflation, and the result of his policies was strict rationing. Later he was critical of the strategic bombing of German cities (intended to reduce the warmaking ability of that country), which from a cost/benefit viewpoint did little to shorten the war. He also was critical of the botched partition of India and Pakistan.

He was one of the most prominent economists of his generation, and served under all Democratic Presidents from Roosevelt to Johnson. He was an opponent of neoclassical economics, which is concerned with prices and money within a framework of Utilitarianism, and instead was more interested in political power and institutions, and also notably avoided mathematical models in his analysis. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau based his massive reforms on the policy recommendations of Galbraith.

He also was a university professor, ambassador to India, and editor of Fortune magazine. He was one of the earliest opponents of the war in Viet Nam.

He was the main follower of John Maynard Keynes, an economist who advocated massive government spending contrary to the business cycle: deficit spending during recession, and budget surpluses to avoid inflation during economic booms; this theory was proposed between the World Wars as an alternative to Communism and Fascism. This remains an influential theory, and indeed, has incorporated elements of the competing 'conservative' neoclassical monetarist theory of economy: arguably, the economic policies of both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations are consistent with this neo-Keynsianism.

Galbraith's most influential book is The Affluent Society, published in 1958, where he criticized the lack of spending on public infrastructure. In this book he coined the term "conventional wisdom". He was an advocate of a mixed economy, where big business, big labor, and big government would cooperate economically. He was an opponent of excessive speculation that leads to price bubbles in markets, followed by market crashes; indeed, conservatives and liberals alike are fond of The Great Crash of 1929, which remains Galbraith's best selling book. Galbraith also became a critic of the idea that material production in an economy should always increase.

Galbraith was of Scots descent, and grew up in a town that was proud of its Scottish ancestry. He takes a view of the world quite consistent with that country, in particular the "work ethic" of Calvinism. But his view was a lofty view; even though he said that democracy was his religion, he still believed that an elite should rule the nation top-down.

As a Catholic, I am alternately frustrated and amused by theories that only look at one aspect or another of the moral law. The Calvinist work ethic only sees a single aspect of the virtue of prudence; socialism only sees a slice of the virtue of justice; some seek goodness while avoiding truth and beauty, and these theories do not even attempt to see the whole man and society.

These theories of course deny the theological virtues, including most crucially charity. Under this system, power is centralized at as high of a level as possible, but these powers deny any moral authority. This is a complete inversion of the classical view of society, where economic power is concentrated at the local level and where moral authority is recognized by all.

Towards the end of his life, Galbraith started viewing the world from more of a natural law viewpoint: "The basic fact is clear: the good society must accept men and women as they are."

May he rest in peace.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mystery Photo Contest

Here is an satellite photo of a mystery place. Post your guess as to its location in the comment box.

The first person who successfully identifies this location will win high praise and honors.


1) The town's parish was founded by Jesuits over three hundred years ago.
2) This town has some object in common with Philadelphia, PA.
3) This town is on the "wrong side".
4) About a century before Lewis and Clark, a vastly larger European expedition went through here.
5) Clark's older brother was here during the revolutionary war.
6) It is named after a nation that lived here for a while. They moved here from a place that used to be called St. Louis.

New Parish in Saint Charles County, Missouri

Archbishop Burke has announced the creation of a new parish in Saint Charles County, Missouri.

The new Saint Gianna parish will have Father Timothy Elliot as pastor. St. Gianna Beretta of Italy was a physician and mother, dying in 1962, and canonized in 2004. 'Gianna' roughly translates to English as 'Joanie'. This is her first church in the United States.

The approximate boundary of the new parish. Click on the map to make it larger. This area is south of the interchange between Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 40 at the towns of Lake Saint Louis and Wentzville, Missouri. The parish is in an unincorporated area but has a Wentzville address.

See these articles:

New parish bears modern saint’s name (from St. Louis Review Online)
St. Gianna Beretta Molla: Wife, mother and physician
Formal decrees on new St. Charles parish (from AMDG)
New parish reflects population shifts (from STLtoday)

The new church will be about forty highway miles west of downtown Saint Louis, and is in the old mission territory of Saint Charles County, north of the Missouri River, which was once the home of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, and now has her tomb and principal shrine. It was also the final home of frontiersman Daniel Boone. Saint Charles County, named after Saint Charles Borromeo, is fast-growing and is approximately 28% Catholic. Last I've heard, there are plans for two more new parishes in the county. This new parish is expected to have approximately 1400 families within five years; the existing parish territories from which it was created are also growing quickly.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Catholic Arts Directory

I've posted some new entries in the Catholic Arts Directory, and have added illustrations to make it more interesting.

I'm always looking for more artists and architects to add to the listing, as well as comments. And I need volunteer editors.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

EWTN's 25th Anniversary Family Celebration to be held in Saint Charles, Missouri

Click on either image for a larger version.

EWTN 25th Anniversary Family Celebration in St. Louis

When: Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, 2006
Where: St. Charles Family Arena, St. Louis, Missouri

Join EWTN in St. Louis for the fourth of several celebrations of the Network's twenty-fifth anniversary. You'll have the opportunity to meet some of your favorite EWTN program hosts, hear talks from renowned guest speakers, attend a special taping of the EWTN LIVE show with Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. and much more! Sunday's program will feature an address by Mother Assumpta Long and St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will be the Celebrant and Homilist for a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving.

General admission open seating is still available. No tickets are required. For more information contact the call center at 1-877-EWTN'S25 (1-877-398-6725) Monday -Friday from 10:00AM-6:30PM (Eastern)

The Abolition of Man

I was happy to find C. S. Lewis's brief book, The Abolition of Man online. I've heard Peter Kreeft's lecture on the book, as well as other commentary: it was good to actually read the book.

It is a defense of the moral law against modernism, as well as an analysis of the goal of the "Conquest of Nature", which can only lead to concentration of power in the hands of the few, and ultimately, the abolition of man. Lewis, who was a Christian, uses the Confucian term Tao to name this universal moral law, which is found throughout the world and in all times. This is not a religious work, but instead is philosophical.

Lewis is best known for his religious works and for his series The Chronicles of Narnia, and he is oft-quoted by Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox alike.

It should be known that cultures that follow the moral law often last for millennia. Cultures that repudiate the moral law tend to be short-lived. We should be very scared.

Here is the appendix to the book, illustrating the moral law from many religions and cultures. Note that this list is not politically correct.

Illustrations of the Tao

The following illustrations of the Natural Law are collected from such sources as come readily to the hand of one who is not a professional historian. The list makes no pretence of completeness. It will be noticed that writers such as Locke and Hooker, who wrote within the Christian tradition, are quoted side byside with the New Testament. This would, of course, be absurd if I were trying to collect independent testimonies to the Tao. But (1) I am not trying to prove its validity by the argument from common consent. Its validity cannot be deduced. For those who do not perceive its rationality, even universal consent could not prove it. (2) The idea of collecting independent testimonies presupposes that 'civilizations' have arisen in the world independently of one another; or even that humanity has had several independent emergences on this planet. The biology and anthropology involved in such an assumption are extremely doubtful. It is by no means certain that there has ever (in the sense required) been more than one civilization in all history. It is at least arguable that every civilization we find has been derived from another civilization and, in the last resort, from a single centre—'carried' like an infectious disease or like the Apostolical succession.

I. The Law of General Beneficence


'I have not slain men.' (Ancient Egyptian. From the Confession of the Righteous Soul, 'Book of the Dead', v. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics [= ERE], vol. v, p. 478)

'Do not murder.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:13)

'Terrify not men or God will terrify thee.' (Ancient Egyptian. Precepts of Ptahhetep. H. R. Hall, Ancient History of the Near East, p. i3}n)

'In Nastrond (= Hell) I saw... murderers.' (Old Norse. Volospá 38, 39)

'I have not brought misery upon my fellows. I have not made the beginning of every day laborious in the sight of him who worked for me.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)

'I have not been grasping.' (Ancient Egyptian. Ibid.) 'Who meditates oppression, his dwelling is overturned.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)

'He who is cruel and calumnious has the character of a cat.' (Hindu. Laws of Manu. Janet, Histoire de la Science Politique, vol. i, p. 6)

'Slander not.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)

'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:16)

'Utter not a word by which anyone could be wounded.' (Hindu. Janet, p. 7)

'Has he ... driven an honest man from his family? broken up a well cemented clan?' (Babylonian. List of Sins from incantation tablets. ERE v. 446)

'I have not caused hunger. I have not caused weeping.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 478)

'Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects of Confucius, trans. A. Waley, xv. 23; cf. xii. 2)

'Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:17)

'He whose heart is in the smallest degree set upon goodness will dislike no one.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, iv. 4)


'Nature urges that a man should wish human society to exist and should wish to enter it.' (Roman. Cicero, De Officiis, i. iv)

'By the fundamental Law of Nature Man [is] to be preserved as much as possible.' (Locke, Treatises of Civil Govt. ii. 3)

'When the people have multiplied, what next should be done for them? The Master said, Enrich them. Jan Ch'iu said, When one has enriched them, what next should be done for them? The Master said, Instruct them.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, xiii. 9)

'Speak kindness ... show good will.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)

'Men were brought into existence for the sake of men that they might do one another good.' (Roman. Cicero. De Off. i. vii)

'Man is man's delight.' (Old Norse. Hávamál 47)

'He who is asked for alms should always give.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 7)

'What good man regards any misfortune as no concern of his?' (Roman. Juvenal xv. 140)

'I am a man: nothing human is alien to me.' (Roman. Terence, Heaut. Tim.)

'Love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:18)

'Love the stranger as thyself.' (Ancient Jewish. Ibid. 33, 34)

'Do to men what you wish men to do to you.' (Christian. Matthew 7:12)

2. The Law of Special Beneficence

'It is upon the trunk that a gentleman works. When that is firmly set up, the Way grows. And surely proper behaviour to parents and elder brothers is the trunk of goodness.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, i. 2)

'Brothers shall fight and be each others' bane.' (Old Norse. Account of the Evil Age before the World's end, Volospá 45)

'Has he insulted his elder sister?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)

'You will see them take care of their kindred [and] the children of their friends ... never reproaching them in the least.' (Redskin. Le Jeune, quoted ERE v. 437)

'Love thy wife studiously. Gladden her heart all thy life long.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 481)

'Nothing can ever change the claims of kinship for a right thinking man.' (Anglo-Saxon. Beowulf, 2600)

'Did not Socrates love his own children, though he did so as a free man and as one not forgetting that the gods have the first claim on our friendship?' (Greek, Epictetus, iii. 24)

'Natural affection is a thing right and according to Nature.' (Greek. Ibid. i. xi)

'I ought not to be unfeeling like a statue but should fulfil both my natural and artificial relations, as a worshipper, a son, a brother, a father, and a citizen.' (Greek. Ibid. 111. ii)

'This first I rede thee: be blameless to thy kindred. Take no vengeance even though they do thee wrong.' (Old Norse. Sigdrifumál, 22)

'Is it only the sons of Atreus who love their wives? For every good man, who is right-minded, loves and cherishes his own.' (Greek. Homer, Iliad, ix. 340)

'The union and fellowship of men will be best preserved if each receives from us the more kindness in proportion as he is more closely connected with us.' (Roman. Cicero. De Off. i. xvi)

'Part of us is claimed by our country, part by our parents, part by our friends.' (Roman. Ibid. i. vii)

'If a ruler ... compassed the salvation of the whole state, surely you would call him Good? The Master said, It would no longer be a matter of "Good". He would without doubt be a Divine Sage.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, vi. 28)

'Has it escaped you that, in the eyes of gods and good men, your native land deserves from you more honour, worship, and reverence than your mother and father and all your ancestors? That you should give a softer answer to its anger than to a father's anger? That if you cannot persuade it to alter its mind you must obey it in all quietness, whether it binds you or beats you or sends you to a war where you may get wounds or death?' (Greek. Plato, Crito, 51, a, b)

'If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith.' (Christian. I Timothy 5:8)

'Put them in mind to obey magistrates.'... 'I exhort that prayers be made for kings and all that are in authority.' (Christian. Titus 3:1 and I Timothy 2:1, 2)

3. Duties to Parents, Elders, Ancestors

'Your father is an image of the Lord of Creation, your mother an image of the Earth. For him who fails to honour them, every work of piety is in vain. This is the first duty.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 9)

'Has he despised Father and Mother?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)

'I was a staff by my Father's side ... I went in and out at his command.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 481)

'Honour thy Father and thy Mother.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:12)

'To care for parents.' (Greek. List of duties in Epictetus, in. vii)

'Children, old men, the poor, and the sick, should be considered as the lords of the atmosphere.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)

'Rise up before the hoary head and honour the old man.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:32)

'I tended the old man, I gave him my staff.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 481)

'You will see them take care ... of old men.' (Redskin. Le Jeune, quoted ERE v. 437)

'I have not taken away the oblations of the blessed dead.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)

'When proper respect towards the dead is shown at the end and continued after they are far away, the moral force (tê) of a people has reached its highest point.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, i. 9)

4. Duties to Children and Posterity

'Children, the old, the poor, etc. should be considered as lords of the atmosphere.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)

'To marry and to beget children.' (Greek. List of duties. Epictetus, in. vii)

'Can you conceive an Epicurean commonwealth? . . . What will happen? Whence is the population to be kept up? Who will educate them? Who will be Director of Adolescents? Who will be Director of Physical Training? What will be taught?' (Greek. Ibid.)

'Nature produces a special love of offspring' and 'To live according to Nature is the supreme good.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i. iv, and De Legibus, i. xxi)

'The second of these achievements is no less glorious than the first; for while the first did good on one occasion, the second will continue to benefit the state for ever.' (Roman. Cicero. De Off. i. xxii)

'Great reverence is owed to a child.' (Roman. Juvenal, xiv. 47)

'The Master said, Respect the young.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, ix. 22)

'The killing of the women and more especially of the young boys and girls who are to go to make up the future strength of the people, is the saddest part... and we feel it very sorely.' (Redskin. Account of the Battle of Wounded Knee. ERE v. 432)

5. The Law of Justice


'Has he approached his neighbour's wife?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)

'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:14)

'I saw in Nastrond (= Hell)... beguilers of others' wives.' (Old Norse. Volospá 38, 39)


'Has he drawn false boundaries?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)

'To wrong, to rob, to cause to be robbed.' (Babylonian. Ibid.)

'I have not stolen.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)

'Thou shalt not steal.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:15)

'Choose loss rather than shameful gains.' (Greek. Chilon Fr. 10. Diels)

'Justice is the settled and permanent intention of rendering to each man his rights.' (Roman. Justinian, Institutions, I. i)

'If the native made a "find" of any kind (e.g., a honey tree) and marked it, it was thereafter safe for him, as far as his own tribesmen were concerned, no matter how long he left it.' (Australian Aborigines. ERE v. 441)

'The first point of justice is that none should do any mischief to another unless he has first been attacked by the other's wrongdoing. The second is that a man should treat common property as common property, and private property as his own. There is no such thing as private property by nature, but things have become private either through prior occupation (as when men of old came into empty territory) or by conquest, or law, or agreement, or stipulation, or casting lots.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. I. vii)


'Whoso takes no bribe ... well pleasing is this to Samas.' (Babylonian. ERE v. 445)

'I have not traduced the slave to him who is set over him.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)

'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:16)

'Regard him whom thou knowest like him whom thou knowest not.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 482)

'Do no unrighteousness in judgement. You must not consider the fact that one party is poor nor the fact that the other is a great man.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:15)

6. The Law of Good Faith and Veracity

'A sacrifice is obliterated by a lie and the merit of alms by an act of fraud.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 6)

'Whose mouth, full of lying, avails not before thee: thou burnest their utterance.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)

'With his mouth was he full of Yea, in his heart full of Nay? (Babylonian. ERE v. 446)

'I have not spoken falsehood.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)

'I sought no trickery, nor swore false oaths.' (Anglo-Saxon. Beowulf, 2738)

'The Master said, Be of unwavering good faith.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, viii. 13)

'In Nastrond (= Hell) I saw the perjurers.' (Old Norse. Volospá 39)

'Hateful to me as are the gates of Hades is that man who says one thing, and hides another in his heart.' (Greek. Homer. Iliad, ix. 312)

'The foundation of justice is good faith.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i.vii)

'[The gentleman] must learn to be faithful to his superiors and to keep promises.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, i. 8)

'Anything is better than treachery.' (Old Norse. Hávamál 124)

7. The Law of Mercy

'The poor and the sick should be regarded as lords of the atmosphere.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)

'Whoso makes intercession for the weak, well pleasing is this to Samas.' (Babylonian. ERE v. 445)

'Has he failed to set a prisoner free?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)

'I have given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, a ferry boat to the boatless.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 446)

'One should never strike a woman; not even with a flower.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)

'There, Thor, you got disgrace, when you beat women.' (Old Norse. Hárbarthsljóth 38)

'In the Dalebura tribe a woman, a cripple from birth, was carried about by the tribes-people in turn until her death at the age of sixty-six.'... 'They never desert the sick.' (Australian Aborigines. ERE v. 443)

'You will see them take care of... widows, orphans, and old men, never reproaching them.' (Redskin. ERE v. 439)

'Nature confesses that she has given to the human race the tenderest hearts, by giving us the power to weep. This is the best part of us.' (Roman. Juvenal, xv. 131)

'They said that he had been the mildest and gentlest of the kings of the world.' (Anglo-Saxon. Praise of the hero in Beowulf, 3180)

'When thou cuttest down thine harvest... and hast forgot a sheaf... thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.' (Ancient Jewish. Deuteronomy 24:19)

8. The Law of Magnanimity


'There are two kinds of injustice: the first is found in those who do an injury, the second in those who fail to protect another from injury when they can.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. I. vii)

'Men always knew that when force and injury was offered they might be defenders of themselves; they knew that howsoever men may seek their own commodity, yet if this were done with injury unto others it was not to be suffered, but by all men and by all good means to be withstood.' (English. Hooker, Laws of Eccl. Polity, I. ix. 4)

'To take no notice of a violent attack is to strengthen the heart of the enemy. Vigour is valiant, but cowardice is vile.' (Ancient Egyptian. The Pharaoh Senusert III, cit. H. R. Hall, Ancient History of the Near East, p. 161)

'They came to the fields of joy, the fresh turf of the Fortunate Woods and the dwellings of the Blessed . . . here was the company of those who had suffered wounds fighting for their fatherland.' (Roman. Virgil, Aeneid, vi. 638-9, 660)

'Courage has got to be harder, heart the stouter, spirit the sterner, as our strength weakens. Here lies our lord, cut to pieces, out best man in the dust. If anyone thinks of leaving this battle, he can howl forever.' (Anglo-Saxon. Maldon, 312)

'Praise and imitate that man to whom, while life is pleasing, death is not grievous.' (Stoic. Seneca, Ep. liv)

'The Master said, Love learning and if attacked be ready to die for the Good Way.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, viii. 13)


'Death is to be chosen before slavery and base deeds.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i, xxiii)

'Death is better for every man than life with shame.' (Anglo-Saxon. Beowulf, 2890)

'Nature and Reason command that nothing uncomely, nothing effeminate, nothing lascivious be done or thought.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i. iv)

'We must not listen to those who advise us "being men to think human thoughts, and being mortal to think mortal thoughts," but must put on immortality as much as is possible and strain every nerve to live according to that best part of us, which, being small in bulk, yet much more in its power and honour surpasses all else.' (Ancient Greek. Aristotle, Eth. Nic. 1177 B)

'The soul then ought to conduct the body, and the spirit of our minds the soul. This is therefore the first Law, whereby the highest power of the mind requireth obedience at the hands of all the rest.' (Hooker, op. cit. i. viii. 6)

'Let him not desire to die, let him not desire to live, let him wait for his time ... let him patiently bear hard words, entirely abstaining from bodily pleasures.' (Ancient Indian. Laws of Manu. ERE ii. 98)

'He who is unmoved, who has restrained his senses ... is said to be devoted. As a flame in a windless place that flickers not, so is the devoted.' (Ancient Indian. Bhagavad gita. ERE ii 90)


'Is not the love of Wisdom a practice of death?' (Ancient Greek. Plato, Phadeo, 81 A)

'I know that I hung on the gallows for nine nights, wounded with the spear as a sacrifice to Odin, myself offered to Myself.' (Old Norse. Hávamál, I. 10 in Corpus Poeticum Boreale; stanza 139 in Hildebrand's Lieder der Älteren Edda. 1922)

'Verily, verily I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it.' (Christian. John 12:24,25)

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

Of the Beasts and Man

This is a mourning dove sitting on a nest, right over my parent's patio. This normally shy little bird guards its nest against predators, and would not budge, even though I (imprudently) came very close to it. This bird shows great courage in defending its eggs, even though it was obviously fearful.

Some may object that this is an anthropomorphism, falsely ascribing human characteristics to an animal, but I think that is overly critical. I can see fear in the bird's eyes; perhaps only a professor of semiotics cannot.

The western religious tradition—including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—recognizes a tightly-packed hierarchy of creatures, with each creature sharing characteristics with those adjacent to it, except for what is most noble: for example, apes share much with humans except for higher intellect. Birds are further from humans than are apes, but they also share attributes with us, including fear and courage.

Some may say this is only instinct, but isn't instinct a part of what we call natural law? So much of modern education, which first denied the divine law, now attempts to divorce us from this natural law.

The western tradition often uses the examples of animals to teach moral and religious lessons. This goes back to the remotest of antiquity, of which Aesop's Fables are a late example, but it was also popular in the Medieval Bestiaries. These books did contain some scientific information, but were more important for their allegory and symbolism. It must be said that Saint Bernard of Clairvaux objected to the fantastic beasts that appeared in these stories, and he has a point; the common animals are perhaps better subjects for teaching wisdom.

This use of animal allegory has scriptural support:
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee: and the birds of the air, and they shall tell thee.
Speak to the earth, and it shall answer thee: and the fishes of the sea shall tell.
Who is ignorant that the hand of the Lord hath made all these things?
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the spirit of all flesh of man.
—Job 12:7-10

If the ancients tended to ascribe too-human of attributes to the beasts, the moderns tend to reduce humans to a "mere trousered ape who has never been able to conceive the Atlantic as anything more than so many million tons of cold salt water," according to C. S. Lewis. There is now a modern bestiary, which reduces man to the level of the animals: we are told that we should emulate the predatory wolves, or the promiscuous bonobos.

But consider the little bird, defending its nest.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"Suing the Church"

See this article: Suing the Church, by the archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Criminal statutes cannot be amended and then applied to past actions, since the United States Constitution expressly forbids retroactive criminal laws, known as ex post facto law. But some lower courts have ruled that civil statutes can be extended into the past. Civil lawsuits have a much lower threshold for proof than criminal cases. As a result, retroactive civil liability puts a huge defense burden on any accused individual or institution. In fact, just the possible cost of a legal defense can force a diocese into settlement talks. This serves plaintiffs’ attorneys and the persons they represent quite well.
California passed a law opening the statutes of limitations for sex abuse cases, and Colorado is considering a law modeled on the California statute.

However, these new laws effectively only apply to the Catholic Church—public schools, which have far greater sexual abuse rates, and greater absolute numbers of abuse cases, are either immune or have limited liability by statute. Protestants and congregations of other religions are also practically exempt, due to their decentralized organization.

Plaintiff lawyers are closely cooperating with victims' groups, with the unwavering support of the prominent media. As a consequence, we now have innocent people being penalized for the misdeeds of those long dead. Some of the lawsuits are being pursued by those who have "recovered memories". This is a type of "revenge justice".

Some bishops support these lawsuits: strangely, these are some of the same bishops who also support the liberalization of the Church's teaching on sexuality. This would create a self-destructive feedback loop that would (A) encourage sexual behavior among the clergy, and (B) punish the Church for this type of sexual behavior. This looks rather subversive to me.

Ultimately, the Church is officially the enemy of the sexual revolution, and the whole culture of death, although all of its members on earth—myself included—are sinners, and are expected to stray from the moral law. The public schools are friends of the revolution, as are most of what we used to call the mainstream denominations.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Photos of Saint Anthony of Padua Church, Saint Louis, Missouri

Here are photos of Saint Anthony of Padua church in south Saint Louis, Missouri

The church is staffed by members of the Order of Friars Minor.

This large church is magnificent inside. When I visited, I was happy that the church was open: I went to get my camera and tripod out of my car, but when I got back to the church, these doors were locked.

The school seems similar to contemporary designs built by William B. Ittner, a prominent Saint Louis architect of a century ago, responsible for many public schools in the City and nationwide.

3112 Meramec Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118

Divine Mercy Sunday

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. Before that it had the banal name Second Sunday of Easter, and before the reforms of Vatican II, Low Sunday.

God is both just and merciful. But it is a modern inversion that we seem to remember only the Divine Mercy before sin, and God's Justice after sin. So we feel free to commit sin, but then we are wracked with guilt afterwards, or even dispair of forgiveness.

This inversion has consequences. A liberal-minded person, obsessing over God's Justice, especially in a Jansenistic environment, may fall into "Catholic guilt", and may leave the Church, only to suffer, perhaps, from the secular "white liberal guilt". A conservative, repulsed by feel-good liturgies that are inclusive in all ways but in the recongnition of sin, may also leave the Church, hoping to find a Protestant congregation that hasn't fallen into the Modernist heresy.

The correct view is that we need to consider God's Justice to avoid falling into sin; but if we do, we can rely on the Divine Mercy for forgiveness.

The Divine Mercy is in some ways the liturgical fulfilment of the ancient Jewish Day of Atonement, where all sins against God were forgiven by the unsual rite of the scapegoat.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

Donate to Catholic Radio

Covenant Network, which operates a number of Catholic radio stations in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, is having a pledge drive.

This network carries EWTN and has excellent additional local content. They need your support.

Call (314) 752-7000 in Missouri, or toll-free at (877) 305-1234.

Click here to listen online.

The station studio is in my neighborhood, and the folks who work there are very pleasant.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Book Fair April 27th—May 1st, 2006

The Greater St. Louis Book Fair will be held from April 27th and May 1st at Westfield West County Shopping Center located in Des Peres, Missouri, in suburban Saint Louis County.

Its a big book fair, with many gems among the junk. The religion, philosophy, art, and history sections are usually very good. You can usually find older Catholic books—those that deserve the imprimatur, as well as nice coffee table photo books of every conceivable subject. The computer section is usually terrible, unless you are interested in DOS.

There are usually old bestsellers that are available in large quantities. A couple of years ago, there was a glut of the book "Open Marriage", which is perfect for a bonfire of the vanites. Last year they had dozens of copies of the poorly translated "Living Bible" and "New World Bibles", which I am certain get recycled in the Book Fair year after year. If you are very lucky, though, you can find an old pre-Vatican II missal or hymnal.

Admission is free, except for the first evening, where it is $10.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Red Letter Day

April 19th, 2006: Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

This day in history

2005 - Joseph Cardinal Raztinger elected Pope
1995 - Truck bomb destroyes Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City
1993 - FBI siege of Branch Davidian compound ends with many deaths
1961 - Failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba
1943 - Beginning of Warsaw Uprising
1861 - First blood shed in the American Civil War, blockade of Confederacy ordered
1775 - Battle of Lexington and Concord in the American Revolution
1529 - Protestant revolution starts in the Holy Roman Empire

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Photos of Saint Mary of Victories Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri

Here are photos of Saint Mary of Victories chapel, in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri. This church is less than a half mile south of the Old Cathedral.

This church was built in 1843, and was the first Catholic parish created after the Old Cathedral. Originally it was a French language parish, but soon German immigrants flooded into Saint Louis following the revolutions of 1848, so this was a dual language parish for a while. Later it became a Hungarian parish, and was famous for its luncheons. Before Saint Raymond's was built, this was also the home of Syrian and Lebanese Maronite Catholics.

No longer a parish church, Saint Mary of Victories became a chapel in 2005, and Mass is held at 11:30 on Sundays. It is also available for weddings and funerals.

The chapel has an Egyptian door, which is quite unusual.

The architects of the church were George I. Barnett and Franz Saler. Barnett, considered the greatest of American classical architects, very many decades later would design the New Cathedral in Saint Louis.

The church is made of brick, manufactured on-site from local clay. The bricks, however, are not of good quality, and tend to crumble, due to excess water in the clay when they were fired. The bricks are now completely covered by a sealant. The church will need a similar sealant on the exposed woodwork of the door.

The chapel is right next to Interstate 55. The highway here takes a sharp right turn onto the Poplar Street Bridge, crossing over the Mississippi River to Illinois. I didn't notice any noise from traffic while inside, perhaps thanks to the building's massive brick construction.

Nave of the chapel. This was taken before the Communion and Liberation Way of the Cross procession started, on Good Friday.

The interior was designed by Professor Max Schneiderhahn, born in Germany, and the first professional liturgical artist in Saint Louis. His legacy of quality church art lasted until the early 1960s.

The apse over the sanctuary. The text around the half-dome says "OUR LADY OF VICTORIES, PRAY FOR US".

Our Lady of Victories is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in honor of the defeat of the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. A massive Islamic navy was intent on a final, decisive invasion of Europe, and the Christians had no hope whatever of victory. Europeans, even Protestants, prayed the Rosary for a good outcome. Christendom won.

The altar of the chapel. Since this is no longer a regular parish, with only one Mass each week, it was not decorated for Holy Week.

Saint Stephen, the first King of Hungary, who turned his tribal homeland into a Christian kingdom.

St. Stephen, Pray for us.

The baptismal font, located on the right side of the sanctuary.

Blessed Karl I of Austria, the last Emperor of Austria, and the last King of Hungary and Bohemia. He died in poverty, and was beatified in 2004.

Catholics who like democracy, capitalism, and secular governments are called neo-conservatives. On the contray, conservative Catholics want His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty sitting on the throne of a Catholic Kingdom.

The Infant Jesus, flanked by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.

Both Saints were from nobility, lived in poverty, worked with the sick, and died young.

Detail of a stained glass window.

First station of the cross: Jesus is condemned. The Stations were painted by Max Schneiderhahn, who designed the rest of the interior of the church.

This is a new statue of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, a Redemptorist who preached at this church. He was born in Germany and ministered to German immigrants in the United States from 1843 to 1867. See for more information. His beatification was one of the reasons why this church was not closed in 2005: this church may become a local shrine sometime in the future.

Blessed Seelos said "If the Americans were as expert in spiritual matters as they are in business affairs, all of them would be saints".

The chapel has two choir lofts. At one time, a convent of the Sisters of Saint Mary, a religious hospital order, was adjacent to this church. The Sisters were constanly exposed to infectious diseases—before antibiotics. They could sing in the choir without coming in contact with lay parishoners in the upper loft.

These are the oldest organ pipes in the city.

Lourdes grotto in the back of the chapel.

The Chair of Peter.

The chapel is in a gritty, industrial neighborhood. This is Chouteau's Landing, the earliest pioneer settlement in Saint Louis. The church was built on virgin land, never occupied by another structure. For a while, the church was surrounded by wooden houses built in the French style, of vertical wood construction, with wide verandas. During the great fire of 1849, this church was spared, but many nearby buildings were destroyed as firebreaks. The late 19th century saw increasing industrialization here; there are now no residential buldings in this area. There has been some recent talk of converting existing industrial buildings into condominiums.

Click for parish information at Archdiocesan website.


744 South Third Street
Saint Louis, Missouri 63102

Monday, April 17, 2006

More Spring Flowers

My parents took this photo in Charleston, Missouri, a town well known for its flowers.

Charleston is in the southern part of Missouri, near the Mississippi River, across from the state of Kentucky. It is in the Gulf coastal plain, a part of the greater Mississippi River delta, and its soil is rich, virgin, and thick, excellent for growing flowers.

He is Risen, Indeed!

Photos from the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Archbishop Burke giving the homily.



Saturday, April 15, 2006

Photos of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, Saint Louis, Missouri, Holy Thursday 2006

Here are photos of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, on Holy Thursday 2006. This is the home of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Procession starts.

Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Sepulcher. This was very solemn. There are no bells used during this time of year, but instead wooden clackers mark their steps with an unsettling sound.

The altar is stripped bare, and the tabernacle is empty. Mass will not be said again until after nightfall on Saturday, for the glorious feast of Easter.

Statues are shrouded during Holy Week, extending the Fast even to our senses. The organ plays few if any notes, bells are not rung, and images are covered.

Even the Evangelists are hidden on the pulpit.

Crucifixes are shrouded until Good Friday. Here we have a line for the confessional.

One of the confessionals. Confession is especially recommended during Lent. Unlike psychotherapy, Confession is guaranteed confidential, costs nothing, and is good for the soul.

Grotesques or "marmosets" show a good sense of humor in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux didn't like them at all, but they became very popular anyway. They are limited to the outside of churches, or (as in this case) near the front entrance, where traditionally the catechumens would gather. They symbolize sin and folly. Perhaps not coincidentally, this one peers over the end of the confessional line.

I can't help but think that this one looks like Fr. Benedict Groeschel, angry, perhaps, after reading a New York Times editorial.

The ceiling as the vault of heaven.

The sepulcher.

Crucifix, Shrouded

At the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, in Saint Louis, Missouri

Friday, April 14, 2006

Photos of Communion and Liberation Stations of the Cross procession, in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri

Good Friday 2006

Today was the second annual Communion and Liberation Way of the Cross procession, from Saint Mary of Victories to the Old Cathedral.