Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Save the Dogs!"

I received this email today about a California bill that would severely restrict dog and cat breeding:
Dear Mark,

We need your help to save police K-9’s. Please help COPS stop proposed legislation that will eliminate police dogs used for law enforcement and rescue activities.

The legislation, California Assembly Bill 1634 authored by Assemblymember Lloyd Levine has been craftily titled the “Healthy Pets Act” but the effect would be to force the surgical sterilization of all dogs and cats. Elimination of future police dogs would devastate police K-9 departments. AB 1634 would also eliminate many guide dogs for the blind and service dogs for the disabled.

Please sign our online petition in opposition to AB 1634.

The bill mandates all dogs and cats must be neutered at four months of age, with few exemptions. And the remaining pure bred animals with exemptions would be taxed and regulated by a newly created government bureaucracy. The legislation even threatens criminal penalties--just what we need--police arresting citizens for having unneutered cats and dogs!

Nearly all working police dogs were once somebody's pet dog. They are bought as young pups, placed with families, and then if they pass all the working and health tests, eventually they may end up with a police department. Neutering all non-breeding K-9’s will destroy law enforcements ability to have successful K-9 departments.

Without police K-9’s, our citizens will be more vulnerable to criminals and we will be unable to perform dangerous rescue operations in times of need. That’s why the United States Police Canine Association, the Western States Police Canine Association, the North American Police Work Dog Association and the Canine Specialized Search Team all agree with COPS in opposing AB 1634.

AB 1634 takes away the rights of law abiding citizens, discriminates against our disabled citizens, and creates new taxes and government bureaucracies. Please join us in opposing AB 1634.

Click here to sign the petition.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,


Monty Holden
Executive Director
COPS

P.S. Please forward this to your friends and family and ask them to sign the petition.
Here is a note from the American Kennel Club, also opposing the bill.

Here is the text of the bill as introduced; the critical paragraph is:
122336.1. (a) A person shall not own or possess within the state any cat or dog over the age of four months that has not been spayed or neutered, unless that person possesses an intact permit, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 122336.
Although the bill purportedly makes exceptions for purebreds and police dogs, note that both breeders and police are against it. And why should only purebreeds have the right to breed? This seems rather elitist; mutts and tabbies are often healthier than their inbred relatives.

Of course, higher animals ought to be treated decently, but the idea that whole classes of animals ought not to exist at all seems to deny the goodness of creation and being; but this is too deeply philosophical for me to analyze!

I am reminded of the social reformers who loved mankind while actually hating every particular man. This of course is in direct contradiction to the commandment that we are to love our neighbor as ourself, and love our enemies, too: love of mankind ought to be bottom-up and not top-down. Likewise, the core animal rights activists love animal-kind while not having concern for any particular animal. The goal of many of the organizations is the complete elimination of animals from human society, with the side-effect of having total government control over all other aspects of society.

Gentlemanly Virtue

Some good advice from Recta Ratio:
Self-restraint is a necessary accomplishment for a gentleman and benefits him in many ways. It keeps him from drinking too much. It prevents him from smoking too much. It separates him from bad company. It keeps him listening to the most arrant nonsense with the appearance of patience or even respect.
I need to follow good advice on being a gentleman, for sure, and as proof, here is my result from a quiz:
You Are 60% Gentleman

Generally you act like a gentleman, but sometimes you're careless with your manners.
Most people know that you're trying your best - and that's usually good enough.

"Good enough" isn't. My mother raised me to have excellent manners, but I was a headstrong and defiant child!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Archbishop BurkeLast Sunday, Archbishop Burke was at Mass at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri - stained glass window of Christ the Good Shepherd
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
—from the Gospel of John.

Good Shepherd Sunday is the 1st Sunday after the Octave of Easter in the Tridentine calendar, and the 4th Sunday of Easter in the new calendar.
Pink tulips in Saint Louis County, Missouri, USA, on April 21st, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Construction Photos of the Sacred Heart Shrine at the Cathedral Basilica

On June 17th, 2007, Archbishop Burke will dedicate a new shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is a devotion to the wounded love of God: that is, the pained love of a lover towards his unfaithful beloved.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, west transept

The shrine is being installed in the west transept. This is a fairly large open area, that until now was only used for the Christmas manger scene. Click any photo for a larger version.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, partition

During Mass I was distracted by this partition. What was behind it?

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction

This photo was taken on Holy Thursday, and it was just concrete and iron rebar.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing

Here is an overall plan of the shrine, showing various points of view of the shrine in the same drawing. It was designed by Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame University.

A larger drawing details the materials to be used in the shrine. These materials include a variety of fine Italian stone.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, description

Happy on the Job

THESE JOBS, according to a recent article, have the highest job satisfaction:
Clergy
Firefighters
Physical therapists
Authors
Special education teachers
Teachers
Education administrators
Painters and sculptors
Psychologists
Security and financial services salespersons
Operating engineers
Office supervisors
While these jobs are tops for overall happiness:
Clergy
Firefighters
Transportation ticket and reservation agents
Housekeepers and butlers
Hardware/building supplies salespersons
Architects
Mechanics and repairers
Special education teachers
Actors and directors
Science technicians
These are quite curious lists! The prominent professions of law, medicine, or accounting don't make the cut. Happiness, is of course, an end it itself: you don't want to be happy in order to get something else. High income is merely a means to other ends, and it appears that it is not a means to happiness.

Photos of Saint James Church, in Millstadt, Illinois

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint James Church, in the village of Millstadt, Illinois, of the Diocese of Belleville. The church is about 15 road miles southwest of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - exterior

The church has a large school, shown here on the right.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - nave

A view of the nave from the choir loft: the church was packed for first communion. Here the little kids are getting their photos taken by proud parents. The pastor told me that this church photographs rather well, and he is correct!

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - tabernacle

The tabernacle and Last Supper scene.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - stained glass window of commandment

"VIII - you shall not lie."

The stained glass windows along the nave show the Commandments.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - station of the cross

Station of the Cross.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - painting of symbols of Evangelists

Painting in choir loft showing symbols of Christ and the Evangelists.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - symbol of Holy Ghost

Symbol of the Holy Ghost.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - statue of Resurrected Christ

Statue of the Resurrected Christ, decorated for Easter.

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - exterior back

Saint James Roman Catholic Church, in Millstadt, Illinois, USA - sign

Address:
405 West Madison Street
Millstadt, Illinois 62260

Photo of Saint Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior
Saint Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - cornerstone
Saint Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church is a member of the Orthodox Church in America.


This year marks the 1600th anniversary of the death of Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople and Father and Doctor of the Church, who codified the liturgy most used in the Eastern Churches. This September, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will hold a symposium on Saint John Chrysostom in suburban Saint Louis County, Missouri.

'Into Great Silence' Showing in Saint Louis

The film, Die Große Stille (Into Great Silence), is now showing in Saint Louis, from April 20th through the 26th. This is a documentary about the Grande Chartreuse, motherhouse of the Carthusian Order, the strictest religious order in the Catholic Church. The Order dates from 1084, and was founded by Saint Bruno.

It is showing at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema daily at 12:50, 4:30, and 8:00 p.m.

From the film's website:
Nestled deep in the postcard-perfect French Alps, the Grande Chartreuse is considered one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, sans crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months — filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. This transcendent, closely observed film seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one — it has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light. One of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created, INTO GREAT SILENCE dissolves the border between screen and audience with a total immersion into the hush of monastic life. More meditation than documentary, it’s a rare, transformative theatrical experience for all.
The monks' lives revolve around praying the Divine Office in Latin. Click the link for the Missale cartusiense.

This film is a surprise hit, playing to packed theaters throughout Europe. It shows that there may be something missing in the secularist lifestyle.

Address:
210 Plaza Frontenac
Frontenac, Missouri 63131


Phone:
(314) 995-6285

Friday, April 20, 2007

140th Anniversary of Saint Francis de Sales Parish


(click image to enlarge)

The Institute of Christ the King will celebrate the 140th anniversary of the foundation of Saint Francis de Sales on Sunday, April 22nd.

A message from the Rector of the Oratory, Fr. Lenhardt:
Friday, April 20, 2007

Dear friends and faithful of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,

You receive this email because you have been in contact with our Oratory. You may have emailed us or have given us your contact information.

As St. Francis de Sales Oratory is not a parish, and does not have boundaries, but serves a much greater community and as many requests for information about the schedule of events reach our offices regularly we think an email newsletter would be a very good way to inform you about the news and the life of the Oratory. We do not intend to contribute to your spam folder, but to send you an email about once or twice a month with essential information about the important events at the oratory and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. If you think this information is not useful for you, please do not hesitate to contact us and ask to be removed from this email list. If you know of others who may be interested in receiving this email, please forward this newsletter to them or send us their contact information.

Our first email newsletter contains the information about the celebration of the 140th anniversary of the foundation of St. Francis de Sales Parish on Sunday April 22nd 2007. We are very honored and most grateful that His Grace, the Most Reverend, Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis, will pontifically preside and preach at the 10am Solemn High Mass. This Mass will be celebrated by the Very Rev. R. Michael Schmitz the Vicar General and Provincial Superior for the Institute in the United States. After Holy Mass there will be an Anniversary coffee hour in the basement and we invite everyone to celebrate with us.

As you know, St. Francis de Sales Oratory faces many challenges particularly the restoration of the church, and the structural problems with the steeple, please help us maintain and restore one of the most beautiful churches in St. Louis. You can help us in many ways, by your contribution, by helping us as a volunteer, by spreading the word about the Oratory, and most importantly, by joining us with your prayers.

Every Tuesday evening we celebrate Holy Mass at the Altar of Our Mother of Perpetual Help followed by the traditional Perpetual Help Devotions, in particular for the restoration of St. Francis de Sales church and for the benefactors of the Oratory. On Easter Sunday we have reestablished the Archconfraternity of Our Mother of Perpetual Help that promotes the veneration of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. The membership is free. If you wish to be enrolled in this Archconfraternity, you may present yourself at the altar of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the North Transept of the Church after all Sunday Masses and before and after the Tuesday evening Mass.

Thanking you for all of your help and generous support I assure you of the pious remembrance of your intentions in our prayers, and at the Altar

Yours devotedly in Christ the King,

Father Karl W. Lenhardt
Vice Provincial/Rector of the Oratory.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Culture of Death

You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today. But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.
— the Virgina Tech gunman in a video describing why he would go on his shooting rampage.

The Court’s defense of the statute provides no saving explanation. In candor, the Act, and the Court’s defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court—and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.
— Justice Ginsberg, in the dissenting opinion to the Supreme Court's upholding of the ban on partial-birth abortion.

Both the shooter and abortion rights advocates claim victimhood status — although they are responsible for great slaughter. As was seen during the bloody liberal revolutions of the past two centuries, self-proclaimed victims often became the greatest of victimizers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dogwood in Bloom

Flowering Dogwood, in Saint Louis County, Missouri, USA Flowering Dogwood, in Saint Louis County, Missouri, USA

White and Pink dogwood (Cornus florida) trees in bloom; taken on Easter Sunday. These flowers were damaged somewhat by a hard freeze. The Flowering dogwood is the official state tree of Missouri.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Vote!

My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!

Click image to vote.

Photos of Saint John Nepomuk Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint John Nepomuk Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri. It was formerly a Czech language parish, and became a chapel in 2005.  Masses are offered daily.

This church is in what was once known as the Bohemian Hill neighborhood, and is the mother parish of the other former Czech church, Saint Wenceslaus. The chapel is located about 1-½ miles southwest of the Old Cathedral in downtown Saint Louis.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior

The church is in the greater Soulard neighborhood, but is cut off from the other areas by Interstate 55, giving this church a rather small natural territory. It is surrounded by historic homes and structures, including the former City Hospital, now converted into the Georgian Condominiums.

There is a tremendous amount of redevelopment near the chapel, and the City has finally reversed its population decline that started in the 1950s. Perhaps due to the very poor state of the local government schools, the city tends to attract mainly "urban hipsters" who are unlikely to bear children. While this situation does not appear to be favorable for a revitalization of the city's Catholic churches, it is however excellent mission territory.

This building dates from 1909, and replaced the former church destroyed by the Great Cyclone of 1896, which killed hundreds in Saint Louis, Missouri and East Saint Louis, Illinois.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - door

Center door into the chapel.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - nave

This was at one time one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese.

The region of Bohemia is roughly the middle and western thirds of the current Czech Republic, and was known by the Romans as Boiohaemum, or home of the Boii, a Celtic tribe. Germans migrated into the area in the 1st century B.C., and Slavs in 6th century A.D., becoming the ancestors of modern-day Czechs.

In 1415, the Bohemian Jan Hus, a university rector, was burned as a heretic; his followers, the Hussites, became a powerful proto-Protestant group. The extreme liberalism of the Hussites is what gives us the modern use of the word 'Bohemian' describing those, especially artists and writers, who are informal and socially unconventional. The religious reforms of the Hussites led to the near self-destruction of their church, leading to a strong Catholic minority in a liberal secular nation.

Bohemian immigration to Saint Louis started after the revolutions of 1848; both Catholics and secularists moved here and tended to have nothing to do with each other. The new immigrants from Europe dramatically changed the political character of the State of Missouri in the years leading up to the American Civil War. What was once a solidly Southern state suddenly had a tremendous number of Unionists. The secularists tended to be pro-Northern, while the Catholics tended to be pro-Southern while also wanting to remain in the Union.

The Czech and Slovak languages are mutually intelligible, and so in the late 19th century, this parish also served Slovaks. Starting in 1894, the Eastern rite of Divine Liturgy was offered here for Ruthenian, Lemko, and Ukrainian Catholics. In the early 20th century, Hungarian immigrants were served from this parish, until they were given Saint Mary of Victories. Likewise, Poles and Lithuanians attended this church until they too got their own churches.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - sanctuary

The sanctuary as seen from the choir loft. This photo was taken after Mass on Good Friday, while parishioners were decorating the chapel for Easter.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - sanctuary window

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - reredos

Detail of reredos, as it was being decorated for Easter.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart of Jesus Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Saint John Nepomuk

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint John Nepomuk (ca. 1340 - March 20th, 1393). Saint John refused to reveal the Queen's confession to the King, which ultimately led to his execution. He is also known as John Nepomucene, John son of Wölflin (or Welflin), or John of Pomuk, and is the Martyr of the Confessional.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Painting of an angel with a thurible, in the sanctuary

Painting of an angel with a thurible, in the sanctuary.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - crucifix

Crucifix in sanctuary.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Blessed Charles I of Austria

Beatus Carolus E Domo Austriae. Blessed Charles I (August 17th, 1887 – April 1st, 1922), last Emperor of Austria, and last King of Bohemia and Hungary. His brief reign is noted for his observance of Catholic social teachings. After defeat in the Great War, his Catholic empire was broken up by the victorious allies into smaller secular republics. He died penniless on the Portuguese island of Madeira, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Saint Wenceslaus Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Saint Ludmila

Svatý Václav and Svatý Ludmila.

Saint Wenceslaus (907 - ca. 929), King of Bohemia, and his grandmother, Saint Ludmila (ca. 860 - 921); both are patrons of Bohemia.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Saint King Louis IX

Svatý Ludvik, or Saint Louis, King of France.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Stations of the Cross in the Czech language

Stations of the Cross in the Czech language:
Simon pomáhá Ježíši kříž nésti.
Veronika podává Bánu Ježíši roušku.

Simon helps Jesus carry the cross.
Veronica gives Jesus her veil.

Jan Hus introduced diacritical marks to the written Czech language.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - side of nave Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window

A view to the side of the church, showing a confessional; and a stained glass window.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - A view down the side-aisle towards the choir loft

A view down the side-aisle towards the choir loft.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - painting

Painting just inside the center front door:
Pojdte Ke mnĕ všicKni Kteří pracujete obtíženi jste, a já vás občerstvím.
Mat. 11.28
Nic zlého sem nevcházej! Klem. Alex.

"Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.", Matthew 11:28
The quote from Saint Clement of Alexandria seems to be saying something like "Evil stay out of here."

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Holy Face of Jesus

Holy Face of Jesus.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - nave

View from the choir loft; note the pulpit, topped by a statue of Saint Michael.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - angel holy water font

Holy water font in narthex.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - View of choir loft and organ

View of choir loft and organ.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - painting

COME, THOU SANCTIFIER AND BLESS THIS SACRIFICE (HOLY MASS)

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Plaques of priests of the parish

Plaques of priests of the parish.

Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - cornerstone

HESSOUNŮV SIROTČINEC
POD OCHRANOU
SV. JANA NEPOMUCKÉHO
A.D. 1909

"under the protection of
Saint John Nepomuk"


Saint John Nepomuk Roman Catholic Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - sign

ST. JOHN
NEPOMUK CHAPEL

1ST Czech
Catholic Church
In America
FOUNDED IN 1854