Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Strange Maps

A CURIOUS WEBSITE, "Strange Maps", is about, oddly enough, strange maps. Take a look if you enjoy cartography.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spring Flora

THE FOLLOWING PHOTOGRAPHS were taken in my sister-in-law Connie's garden, on Mother's Day, which was a glorious Sunday in the Season of Easter.























Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day



Flag flying at half-mast in honor of Memorial Day at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, which is a large military cemetery in Saint Louis County, Missouri. This day commemorates Americans who have died in war.



Many of the dead here, like these Union soldiers from the American Civil War, are unknown. Memorial Day got its start in honor of the dead of that War Between the States.



These men in Confederate military costume commemorate the many soldiers buried here who were loyal to the South. Also present were men in Union uniforms, as well as ladies who wore the dress of the day.

International wars are terrible but civil wars are worse, for the natural bond among fellow countrymen is broken.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God," Matthew 5:9

"Peace on Earth—which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after—can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order," from the encyclical of Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris.



THIS MONUMENT IS DEDICATED TO THE
52 UNITED STATES SUBMARINES
LOST DURING WORLD WAR II AND
THEIR CREWMEN AND OFFICERS
WHO PERISHED IN THAT WAR

Memorial Day commemorates the dead of all the wars. I saw a family gathered around the gravesite of a loved one, killed in Iraq just last month.
Men in Revolutionary War military costume wait for the start of a commemoration of the Battle of Fort San Carlos, a battle during the American revolution between Indian allies of the British against the defenders of Saint Louis, then a part of the Spanish Empire.

Earlier, the City Fathers pledged their support of American general George Rogers Clark's campaign against British military outposts in the Mississippi Valley. This victory ensured that the area between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River would fall into American hands.

Smallpox Island Monument

Photo taken October, 2006

Inscription on the Smallpox Island Monument, near Alton, Illinois:
LISTED HERE ARE THE NAMES OF THE OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN AND CONSCRIPTS OF THE ARMIES OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA WHO DIED OF SMALLPOX NEAR THIS SPOT BETWEEN AUG 1, 1863 AND MAR. 31, 1865. THESE SOLDIERS HAD EACH CONTRACTED THE DISEASE WHILE BEING HELD AS PRISONERS OF WAR AT THE FEDERAL MILITARY PRISON LOCATED ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IN ALTON, ILLINOIS.

ONCE INFECTED WITH THIS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS DISEASE, PRISONERS WERE TRANSPORTED TO A TEMPORARY HOSPITAL LOCATED ON A SMALL ISLAND FORMERLY LOCATED IMMEDIATELY UPSTREAM OF THIS MONUMENT. THERE EACH OF THESE MEN STOICALLY SUCCUMBED TO THE EFFECTS OF THE DISEASE. FOR 70 YEARS FOLLOWING THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, THE PRECISE LOCATION OF THESE SOLDIERS GRAVES WAS UNKNOWN. THEN IN 1935, A PORTION OF THE CEMETERY WAS INADVERTENTLY DISCOVERED DURING CONSTRUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL LOCKS AND DAM 26. TODAY THE REMAINS OF THESE SOUTHERN PATRIOTS REST BENEATH THE REGULATION POOL OF THE MELVIN PRICE LOCKS AND DAM. THIS MONUMENT IS DEDICATED TO THEIR SACRIFICE AND MEMORY.

THE ALTON PRISON WAS ORIGINALLY OPENED IN 1833 AS THE FIRST ILLINOIS STATE PENITENTIARY. IT REMAINED IN SERVICE UNTIL 1860 WHEN A NEW FACILITY WAS BUILT IN JOLIET ON FEBRUARY 9, 1862. THE VACANT STRUCTURE REOPENED AS THE ALTON FEDERAL MILITARY PRISON. DURING THE NEXT THREE YEARS, AT LEAST 11,764 CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS WERE HELD IN THIS FACILITY.

BY ALL OBJECTIVE ACCOUNTS, CONDITIONS IN THE PRISON WERE SUBSTANDARD. THE MORTALITY RATE WAS HIGH. HOT HUMID SUMMERS AND COLD DAMP WINTERS UNDOUBTEDLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE HIGH DEATH RATE. OVERCROWDING, INADEQUATE FOOD AND CLOTHING, AND UNSANITARY CONDITIONS FURTHER COMPOUNDED THE PRISONERS MISERY. PNEUMONIA AND DYSENTERY WERE COMMON KILLERS, BUT CONTAGIOUS DISEASES LIKE SMALLPOX AND RUBELLA WERE THE MOST FEARED. THE SMALLPOX EPIDEMIC THAT BEGAN IN LATE 1862 ULTIMATELY PROMPTED PRISON OFFICIALS TO TRANSFER THE CONTAGIOUS PRISONERS TO A TEMPORARY QUARANTINE FACILITY, A SAFE DISTANCE FROM CIVILIAN RESIDENTS OF ALTON.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cenotaph to the fallen of the First World War, at the Soldiers Memorial, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Cenotaph of the fallen of the First World War, at the Soldiers' Memorial, in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Saint John Apostle and Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - high altar decorated for PentecostHigh altar, decorated for Pentecost, at Saint John Apostle and Evangelist Church, in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.

"Reasonable Science, Reasonable Faith"

SEE THE ARTICLE, Reasonable Science, Reasonable Faith, by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna.
In the traditional view, the Creator endows nature with a kind of quasi-intelligence: Like an agent, nature “acts for an end,” with immanent principles of self-unfolding and self-operation. Newton, by contrast, is already seized by the early modern “mechanical philosophy,” in which nature is seen as a kind of unnatural composite of passive, unintelligent, preexisting matter, on which order has been extrinsically imposed by a Supreme Intelligence.
The modern division between faith and reason leads to our current debates about evolution, where it seems, you must choose to be either a fundamentalist religionist or an atheistic scientist. Traditional Catholic philosophy sees things differently.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Photos of Saint Joseph Church, in Josephville, Missouri

AWE-INSPIRING IS THIS PLACE: THIS IS THE HOUSE OF GOD AND THE GATE OF HEAVEN [Genesis 28:17]



So says the inscription over the front door of Saint Joseph Church in Josephville, Missouri. It is an accurate statement.



The interior of the church has been recently restored.



The sanctuary during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.



Crucifix, decorated for the Easter Season.



Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail!




The communion rail.



Painting of the happy death of Saint Joseph, above the sanctuary.



Altars of Mary and Joseph.



Station of the Cross.



Saint Anthony of Padua.



St. Josemaria Escriva 6 Oct. 2002
Opus Dei



'M' is for Mary.



One Lord
One faith ☩
One baptism



A combination confessional and cry room. I've seen this in many smaller churches.



The pipe organ. Older organ pipes tend to be decorated, while modern pipes tend to be bare metal. I wonder if it may be better to use painted steel or iron pipes instead of expensive copper alloys. New pipe organs are often unaffordable for small parishes.



Stained glass window above the front entrance.

The ☧monogram is made of the Greek letters Χ (chi) and Ρ (rho): the first two letters of 'Christ'.



From the parish website:
St. Joseph Church has been referred to as “the oldest homemade church in the area,” This is because clay for the bricks was dug from “the brick yard pond,” an area of red clay on the farm located across the road from the church. The bricks were baked “on the spot” on Leonard Rothermich’s farm at a cost of $4 per one thousand. Lumber for the church floors and communion rail came from the trees of parishioners’ farms. Local masons and carpenters did the work, and on October 6, 1872, the new church was dedicated by Rev. Henry Muehlsiepen, vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
The church is located about 42 highway miles west of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, in Saint Charles County.



The rectory. I had a brief conversation with Father near here.



Saint Joseph Parish
Mass Schedule
Sat: 5:15
Sun: 7:30 - 10:00
Founded 1852

Address:
1390 Josephville Rd
Wentzville, MO 63385

Four Priests to be Ordained for Archdiocese of St. Louis

FROM AN ARCHDIOCESAN news release:
Four new priests will be ordained for the service of the Archdiocese of St. Louis in a ceremony that begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Boulevard, in the city’s Central West End. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will preside at the Mass and will confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders, by which the four men, who are presently serving as transitional deacons, will become priests. The four deacons are the Rev. Mr. Timothy Bannes, 43; the Rev. Mr. Rodger Fleming, 40; the Rev. Mr. John O’Brien, 26; and the Rev. Mr. Joseph Post, 30. All four are natives of the St. Louis region.

An article with additional biographical information about the four ordinands was published in the May 18 edition of the St. Louis Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The article may be accessed on the newspaper’s website at http://www.stlouisreview.com/article.php?id=12971.

Catholics believe that, through the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, priests act in the person of Jesus Christ. As such, their ministry is devoted to instructing and pastoring the faithful and helping them attain holiness, especially through the administration of the sacraments, most particularly the Eucharist.
See also the article, 3 Kenrick-Glennon seminarians being ordained for other dioceses. Archbishop Burke is expected to ordain seven archdiocesan priests next year. On June 15th, the Archbishop is to ordain two priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Friday, May 25, 2007

On the Altar of the Sepulchre

....Since the earliest times, Masses have been celebrated at the Holy Sepulchre, not only in the body of the church of the Holy Sepulchre with its many altars, but also in the burial chamber itself. Priest and faithful assemble in the the grave's antechamber and recite the readings that precede the sacrifice. Then the priest enters the burial chamber, where he uses the grave's niche as an altar; the grave cloths become a kind of altar cloth. Once inside, he cannot be seen by the congregation, who remain in the antechamber. They only hear his voice. The Consecration that takes place in the hidden space of the grave unites the sacrificial act of Golgotha and the moment of Resurrection inside the grave, for this Resurrection was also a kind of transubstantiation; it was the greatest step any substance can undergo: from death to life. The faithful who stand facing the choir-screen, the iconostasis, or the priest's back that hides the action from them are, as it were, standing outside the grave in Jerusalem. Here, in utter seclusion, without human witnesses, the Resurrection took place....
—Martin Mosebach, The Heresy of Formlessness,pages 166-167.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cathedra

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - detail of bishop's cathedra
Detail of the Archbishop's cathedra, or seat, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Monarchy or Democracy?

"A good government is one that encourages moral goodness."

SEE MY ARTICLE, Monarchy or Democracy? Some Catholic Thoughts, over at the Catholic Restorationists group blog.

Many contemporary Catholics consider either liberty or social justice to be the ultimate goal of government. Traditionally, morality was the goal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Catholic Restorationists blog

The Catholic Restorationists have a new group blog: http://catholicrestorationists.wordpress.com/

"A Relentless Crusade for the Restoration of Authentic Catholicism"

Monday, May 21, 2007

Photos of Most Holy Trinity, in Saint Louis, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Most Holy Trinity Church, in the near northside of Saint Louis, Missouri.

Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior

Vos estis lux mundi non potest civitas abscondi supra montem posita.
You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. (Matthew 5:14)

Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior

Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - interior

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Duncan Stroik on Church Architecture

On Friday, May 18th, 2007, Duncan Stroik, Professor of Architecture at Notre Dame University, and a practicing ecclesiastical architect, gave a presentation to the new Saint Gianna Parish, in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri. The parish is in the early stages of thinking about a new church.

Here are some notes from his presentation:

A design of a Catholic institution "should be thought of in a Catholic way... the way we project ourselves to the public... we want to be a part of Christ drawing all men to Himself... it is not about a private club.... this is to all men, all people."

"...a marble baldachino is not cheap... beautiful stained glass windows are not cheap, and they are actually very hard to find today, hard to make..." Archbishop Burke has reserved the furnishings and windows of the now-closed Saint Philip Neri Church for the use of this new parish, saving them between one and two million dollars.

"...as Catholics, we are catholic — we are universal — we are not limited... we can also look at the greatest masterpieces of all time, and — surprise, surprise — when you talk about religious architecture, when you talk about the history of architecture, there is a large chunk of it that is Catholic buildings. Now we don't think about that today: Catholics aren't known today for building beautiful buildings; but if you look at the 2,000 years of architecture since the time of Christ, a lot of the best stuff was done in the service of the Church, in service of God, and they're Catholic.... so we want to learn from the best.... We shouldn't settle for second best."

"They all say they want a church that looks like a church."

"We are committed to the tradition of architecture, the tradition of building, quality that I do believe goes hand-in-hand with theology, and the Church's idea of what we are here to say... they are built to last because we are here to stay."

"...the church building has many names... but one of the most important ones, that we have to return to, that we have lost, is that it is the house of God..."

"...it needs to express itself as the Church Universal, that it is just not us in this place, but it's beyond, and we are worshiping with angels and saints, and we are worshiping with past and future, and it should express itself that way, the Body of Christ..."

A cruciform church "inscribes in it Christ... the perfect architecture to reflect the Perfect Man..."

"...these are sacramental elements, the material elements of altar and tabernacle need to express their reality...."

"...you should think about an altar like buying a nice car... these things are not cheap, but this is an altar...it's the highlight of the Mass... you don't go cheap on an altar... First things first."

"...from the earliest times, we celebrated Mass over the graves of the Saints... that's what good Catholicism is all about... this richenss and being part of this community, so relics are very important, and so it's very important that the altar if possible has relics it it..."

"...tabernacles, if they are the little temple, the little home where we reserve Christ present in the Eucharist, if that's true, we believe that, then they have to be prominent... It should be worthy..."

Nowadays, the baptismal font "is too prominent", and needs its own place, a baptistery: it's a one-time sacrament.

"I'm a big fan of trying to hire Catholic artists today to do original art."

"Natural light is a big one. Not only does it move us, but historically there is a sense that light in a sacred building is spiritual light, and God of course is the light and the truth and the way... the light is supposed to be transformed; it's not normal light that should to come into the church, and of course stained glass is a part of that."

"...the importance of the church for weddings and funerals, that's a real test if the church is pretty good... the proof of the pudding for a Catholic building is, do the brides want to get married there?"

The importance of the front door: "...the gateway, entrance, the door, they all terms for Christ too, the Gate of Heaven..."

Stroik likes making a comprehensive iconography list, which usually takes up several pages; the church "is one work of art," a "sermon in stone."

"God's middle name is beauty, and we want to reflect that.... whatever you do unto the Lord, work at it with all of your heart and strength."

Stroik recommends putting in a choir loft, which is inexpensive, useful, and has good acoustics. But if budgets are tight, he recommends not buying an organ, stained glass windows, and tower: this would save millions (a third or more of the total cost of the church), and they can be easily added later.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Photos of Saints Mary and Joseph Chapel, in Saint Louis, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saints Mary and Joseph Chapel, in the Carondelet neighborhood of Saint Louis, Missouri. This was a parish church until 2005; now it is chapel administered from the nearby Saint Stephen Protomartyr Church. It has two Masses per week and is popular with weddings. It is located overlooking the Mississippi River about 6-½ road miles southwest of the Old Cathedral.



This is the fourth church located on this site, the first being a log cabin dating from 1818. The chaplain of that log church was the Venerable Felix de Andreis of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian priests).



According to the chapel's history:
The present Sts. Mary and Joseph's church building is considered one of the most beautiful and thoroughly constructed churches in the city of St. Louis. It is the British village chapel type with a touch of Norman leaning toward Gothic architecture. The columns and arches are of bedford Indiana limestone and this item alone makes it one of the few churches of the Archdiocese of St. Louis with stone columns and stone arches. The entire ceiling of the inner church is of exposed timber. The entrance has been built of Wisconsin Lannon stone trimmed with Bedford limestone.

Archbishop John J. Glennon laid the cornerstone on September 22, 1940.




These photos were taken after the 4:00 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass. The chapel was packed, and Father chanted and sang the Canon of the Mass!



The tabernacle is on the left side-altar, while Saint Joseph's altar is on the right. Note the intact communion rail.



"He hath given his angels charge over thee", from Psalm 90.



The view from the chapel, which is sited high above the Mississippi River; the riverfront here is mainly industrial.

The Chapel is next door to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet.

Mass Times:
Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.
Saturday (Vigil) 4:00 p.m.

Address:
6304 Minnesota Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63111