Friday, June 29, 2007

Lotus blossom
Bloom of an American Lotus, from my parents' fishpond.

A Raging Torrent

Gravois Creek, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - creek during floodingThe normally-placid Gravois Creek becomes a raging torrent due to recent heavy rains. This photo was taken just upstream from where it empties into the Rivière des Pères in south Saint Louis city. I noticed a tremendous amount of floating debris and trash, some of it quite large, being swept down by the current, destined for New Orleans.

This creek, named by the early French settlers, is heavily modified and prone to flooding in its lower stretches; but its upper reaches flow perennially, fed by transparent, cool water from numerous, obscure springs. Even though it flows through an urbanized area, much of the creek, flanked by a broad ribbon of woodland in its valley, almost appears to be a remote wilderness, and is the haunt of deer, opossums, and coyotes, as well as vast assortment of wildflowers and native trees.

There is another Gravois Creek in Missouri, partially flooded by the Lake of the Ozarks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Historical Attitudes of the CIA Towards the Catholic Church in Latin America

The Central Intelligence Agency has declassified a large group of documents, mainly relating to the Cold War up to 1973, available at http://www.foia.cia.gov/

The bulk of these documents are concerned with the Soviet Union and Communist China.

The CIA was also concerned with the spread of leftism in Latin America that came from within the Catholic Church. This ought to make interesting reading: the CIA leadership tends to come from what used to be called the 'Eastern Liberal Establishment', the descendants of the Puritans and broad-church Anglicans living off of inherited wealth and influence. Although now largely apostate and secularized, this group's culture is still influenced by the Reformation: particularly the idea that one's own salvation can be known with certainty, and that a sign of God's favor is wealth and health. Flowing from this idea is that the poor and sick are almost certainly damned: consider the military policies that can come from this attitude! What later became known as the heresy of Liberation Theology was indeed a problem for the United States and for the Church, but the Church and State had different solutions to this problem, which still greatly affect us today.

See the formerly secret CIA document The Committed Church and Change in Latin America, dating from 1969, and declassified in 2007:
After centuries as a major force for conservatism and status quoism in Latin America, the Catholic Church has become a breeding ground for a wide range of socio-political action groups ranging across the spectrum from extreme radicals to extreme reactionaries. Rather than tranquility and order, new radical Church factions espouse revolutionary change; they demonstrate and disrupt with such vigor that in some instances they have all but upset delicately balanced political and social systems.
In the early 19th century, revolution based on the secular French model swept throughout Latin America; the revolutionaries were harshly anti-Catholic, and so the instead of the old unified society, the Church in Latin American became more closely aligned with large landowners to the detriment of the poor. This situation became reversed by the mid-1950s.
As a result, at mid-century the Church was still mainly oriented along lines stressing those portions of the papal encyclicals Rerum novarum (1891) and Quadragesimo anno (1931), which defended the rights of private property and condemned Socialism, but playing down the concern for the working man, and the admonitions as to the responsibilities of property owners, which were also expressed in those papal encyclicals.

Since the mid-1950s, the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America has been reoriented from its traditional role as a major bastion of the status quo to become one of the principal proponents of change in the area.
The Church had embraced the wrong status quo, because of the anti-Christian Socialists, and then many of her members switched sides to embrace the opposite, but equally erroneous opinion.
The [Catholic] Radicals are willing to align with anyone and to use any means to destroy the established order. This raises the noise level and increases the likelihood of violence, especially in societies where the political framework is fragile. Most of the Moscow-aligned Communists in Latin America, however, are much more conservative than are the Radicals...

The only certainty is that the Church will become more rather than less involved in the changes that are occurring.
The opposition and struggle between rich and poor is the antithesis of Catholic culture, and the Church's temporary alignment with the elite was of course misguided, as was its later alignment with the Marxists.
Perhaps the most notable shift, however, was in the relationships of the Church with the dictatorial governments. There was increasing evidence that some bishops, as well as the lower clergy, were growing restive over the Church's relationships with dictators such as Perón, whose preemption of charitable activities in Argentina and fostering of a cult of worshipers of Evita Perón and of himself was anathema to the Church in general...

Some of the major problems that have confronted the Church, since mid-century, were created or intensified by the upsurge in migration from the countryside to urban areas that accompanied the development of industry...
This migration to wage-paying jobs in cities ultimately increased poverty and dependence. The Church sees wage labor as a problem, and would rather have the economy be made up of independent farmers, artisans, merchants, and professionals. The modern world of both the political Left and Right wants to mobilize the masses in urban areas, and neither wants an 'unproductive' religious life. Latin America saw a priest shortage, with young men being led away from the Church by the allure of money, leftist politics, and worldly pleasure.
...When their efforts to attract more seminarians had little success, the Latin American bishops turned to other parts of the world, particularly North America and Western Europe, for assistance.

Since the Communist takeover of mainland China was closing down that traditional area of missionary activity, the Maryknoll nuns and priests, and some members of other religious orders, were diverted to Latin America...
That was a big mistake. Many laymen and secular clergy also went to Latin America, to the point where in some countries, foreigners made up a large majority of the clergy.
The foreign Catholics, whether laymen or priests, and particularly the younger priests going to Latin America for the first time, have often undergone cultural shock from the conditions existing in urban slums and rural villages.
The foreigners became troublemakers, but were often tolerated, due to the pressing need for clergy. (We see the same thing in the West today.) Serious changes in emphasis in Latin America occurred after the Second Vatican Council, especially inspired by its document Gaudium et Spes, which emphasized the material improvement of man's condition.
[Although Pope Paul VI] has resisted innovations in matters of faith and morals and has opposed radical changes in Church ritual [until that point in time], he too has encouraged the progressive elements in the Church to undertake the wide range of reforms needed to make social justice--a redistribution of goods and services to benefit the impoverished masses---more of a reality and less an empty phrase...

At the same time, and despite the Pope's clear warnings as to the dangers of too rapid change and to the often counter productive effect of violence, the more impatient and radical reformers have seized on those portions of the text that lent support to their views...

In view of the criticism in some quarters that [Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio] was "warmed-over Marxism" it is worth noting that in his critique of the defects of laissez-faire capitalism, Paul VI not only was reflecting his own experiences; he was also firmly in the tradition of his predecessors, Leo XIII, Pius XI, Pius XII and John XXIII, all of whom had condemned the exploitative nature and lack of social consciousness in economic liberalism. This does not mean that the Church rejected private ownership. In fact, Paul VI specifically exhorted governments to associate private initiative with development....
The author of this CIA paper seems to have a fairly good grasp of Catholic social doctrine, but seems to be overly optimistic about the prospect of progress, and shows little spiritual understanding:
...the Latin American Catholic Church is being brought into the second half of the Twentieth Century much more rapidly than seemed possible a decade ago. A key factor in that process is the pervasive influence of the Vatican. Despite Paul VI's traditive position on theological matters, he has been innovative on social, economic and political issues. Although his pronouncements on birth control disappointed those aware of and concerned with the population explosion in Latin America, and his strictures against the use of violence have alienated some extremists, the Pope has continued to press forward on his twin goals of peace and social justice.
The author reiterates that calls for radical reform often came from foreigners:
When serving as worker priests in urban slums, carrying out pastoral duties in remote rural areas, teaching in Catholic schools, preparing seminarians for the priesthood, and when engaged in a multitude of other activities, the Maryknollers, Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Oblates and members of other religious orders have initiated and fostered the concept of a Committed Church dedicated to the service of the masses.

The members of the regular clergy have training, financial resources, contacts in the Vatican and influence in the local hierarchies that are not available to the secular diocesan clergy. As a result the regular clergy tend to be the leaders, particularly in the initial stages of reform movements in the Church...

The change in the role of the Jesuits in Latin America is particularly significant. Members of the Order, which was organized to serve the papacy in the Counter-Reformation... have openly declared the necessity for abandoning their previous role and devoting themselves to the service of the masses. Again this decision has been taken by the younger Jesuits and receives little active support from many of the older members of the Society of Jesus...,
All of these religious orders, which became concerned with the world and not souls, have imploded since this article was written.

The author then goes into categorizing the various factions within the Church:
Any attempt to divide the members of the Catholic hierarchy, clergy and laity into such categories as liberals, moderates or conservatives, is complicated by the tendency of many of the individuals involved to be vigorously liberal on one issue, noncommital on another and quite conservative on a third, particularly where doctrinal matters are concerned.
This causes immense confusion among Americans, who are used to clear-cut political labels! The powerful fringe groups mentioned include the 'Reactionaries', who supported the strong-arm military governments and landowners, and the 'Committeds' who want massive change, either with or without violence. However, the great bulk of Catholics fell into the 'Uncommitted' category: they see the need for peaceful, orderly change where it is needed while also being attached to tradition and the Magisterium. Clearly, the orthodox position was most found in the 'Uncommitteds', but that voice was largely ignored.

This article documents the strong shift in power towards the 'Committeds', and that the radical fringe of that movement, which espoused violence, had an influence greater than their numbers. At that time, open revolution seemed unworkable, even though it had the support of the Communists, and instead the emphasis shifted towards
...opposing the system while remaining in it. This is what has been called the Fourth Man theme, weakening the fabric of the institutions of a society to cause it to disintegrate from within. The Radicals who favor this method receive much less publicity... Because they remain within the Church and retain access to both the Committed and the Uncommitted groups, the non-violent Radicals pose an even greater threat to the "Establishment" than do the open advocates of violence who lack the numbers and means to achieve their goal...

...the Radical would destroy the present order of things even though he may have little or no idea of what would replace it.
This was a brilliant strategy of destruction, used not only in Latin America, but in North America and Europe as well. We have all heard of extremists who still call themselves "Catholic", although they oppose nearly everything in the Church.
There is a logical assumption that the various kinds of Communists and other extreme leftists are trying to penetrate the Committed sectors of the Catholic Church in Latin America.
The CIA author discounts this idea at the time of the writing (1969), but it later proved to be at least partially true, as Liberation Theology gained momentum in the 1970s.
In view of the naivete of the more idealistic reformers on economic matters and their rejection of capitalism, as a system that had been tried and found wanting, it is not surprising that they are ready to give state socialism a chance no matter who is sponsoring it.
The author concludes that the Latin American shift towards anti-Capitalist, Socialist regimes (that would also be anti-American) rests solidly in the Catholic Church, and not with the Communists. This will have a major policy influence in the United States in the decades to come.
In sum, the Committed sector of the Latin American Church has become increasingly critical of and determined to change the institutions and patterns of living in the area' s societies. While the members differ over tactics, including alliances with non-Catholic forces, they are agreed on the necessity for basic change. The proportion of individuals urging open resort to violence is still small. The concept that the injustices of the status quo are being maintained by institutionalized violence, and can only be changed by counter-violence, however, is gaining wider acceptance among Progressives as well as Radicals. For better or for worse, the Roman Catholic Church, once a bulwark against revolutionary change in Latin America, is becoming more and more committed to basic structural changes. Whether those changes will come by peaceful or by violent means, and when, remains to be seen; the only certainty is that there will be change.
The author then goes on to make some predictions.
If the Committed Church becomes more radical, it is likely to lose the financial support of not only the national authorities--where there is still a degree of union between Church and State--and the upper and upper-middle classes, but perhaps also the funds provided by the Church authorities in Western Europe. In that event, since the Church receives very little in the way of contributions from the lower and lower-middle class groups, the Church would be well on the way to becoming the "Poor Church" the Radicals are demanding, And while a "Poor Church" might indeed be closer to the masses, it would have fewer resources with which to continue--let alone expand--the services it now provides, and which most Latin American governments do not have the funds or personnel to assume.

In view of the residual strengths of the institutions and governments the Radicals are seeking to destroy, they are apt to be frustrated repeatedly and to become even more susceptible to the overtures of extreme leftists, including orthodox Communists as well as the Castroite and Maoist types. Almost certainly the Communist movements will continue and probably increase their efforts to penetrate the Radical Church groups and exploit their potential for creating tensions and divisions in the Church and society. In this regard the Communists' ability to provide an international network for transmitting communications, funds and supplies between widely separated areas, could be a useful bargaining point since the Radicals now lack such facilities.
How the author sees this affecting the United States:
The tendency of some leaders of the Committed Church to favor state socialism, to denounce U.S. private investment as exploitive and to support nationalization of U.S. holdings, almost certainly will continue. As younger, even more nationalistic individuals assume leadership roles, the hostility towards U.S. investment is likely to grow and to be an increasingly abrasive factor in U.S.-Latin American relations.
And this is the remarkable final paragraph of the report:
Finally, one of the few things on which the Radicals, some Progressives, and the bulk of the Uncommitted and Reactionary clergymen and laity, can agree is that birth control (or family planning) programs are the tactics by which U.S. officials and private interests are seeking to keep Latin America from having a much larger population than the United States does. This is also one of the few things on which nationalists of both the extreme right and the extreme left can agree. Thus U.S. efforts to bring population increases in line with resources are likely to encounter a broad range of opposition with which much of the Committed Church will be aligned.
While the author seems quite empathetic about the desire for Socialism in Latin America, he has no sympathy for Humanae Vitae. But on both these issues, the Church, in his opinion, is the problem in Latin America.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Photos of Saint Paul Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Paul Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri.

The church is about 38 highway miles northwest of downtown Saint Louis, in rural Saint Charles County.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - exterior view from front

These photos were taken on April 24th, 2007.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - cornerstone

Soli Deo Gloria!
A.D.
MDCCCXCVII

Glory to God alone!
Year of Our Lord
1897

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - outdoor wooden crucifix

This wooden crucifix is reminiscent of those found in Germany.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - Nave

Nave looking towards the sanctuary.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - sanctuary

The sanctuary.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Altar of Mary. The front of the altar shows the Annunciation.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - high altar

The main altar, with crucifix and tabernacle. The front of the altar shows the Last Supper.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - view to the side of the sanctuary

A view to the side of the sanctuary.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - Altar of Saint Joseph

Altar of Saint Joseph, and baptismal font. The front of the altar shows the Flight into Egypt.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - devotional niche

Devotions to Saint Anne, the Infant Jesus, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, and Saint Anthony.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - Stained glass window

Stained glass window.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - Nave looking towards the choir loft

Nave looking towards the choir loft. The yellow stained glass windows fill the nave with a luminous glow.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA -  Rose window above choir loft

Rose window above choir loft.

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - sign

St. Paul Catholic Church
MASS SCHEDULE
SAT. EVENING 5:30 P.M.
SUN. 7:00-9:00-11:00 A.M.
PARISH EST. 1849

Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Paul, Missouri, USA - exterior view from side

A view from the churchyard.

Address:
1223 Church Road
St. Paul, Missouri 63366


(at the corner of Saint Paul Road)

It's Not a UFO....



UFO over Salt Lake City?




... it's a Hyperblimp!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Speakers in Need of a Venue

We have two Catholic speakers in search of a venue to speak.

Greg, a correspondent from Huston, writes:
Later in August, a vatican mosaic studio trained professional mosaicist and professor will be visiting the US and staying with me and my family in the St Louis area. Do you know of any organization or group that would like to have him speak (free) about ecclesiastic mosaics and art history there in St Louis? I have had him speak here in Texas. Crowds in Austin, Dallas, Houston at churches, italian groups, galleries and universities have loved him.
Also, Dawn Eden, a Catholic blogger and authoress of a successful book on chastity, has told me that she would be interested in speaking in Saint Louis, if she would be invited by a group.

There is a need for lectures such as these in town, but successful events need strong publicity, which is sometimes lacking.

Participation in Mass?

Anonymous said...
I went to a Latin mass and felt totally uninvolved, like I wasn't an important participant in the mass. I want to worship in a meaningful way. Any comments?
A comment to a recent article

Attending a Latin Mass for the first time certainly may be confusing or boring for someone who is used to modern Protestant services, LifeTeen Masses, or just American secular culture in general, for the worshiper is expected to remain silent during long periods of inaudible prayer at the altar.

You bring up the points of involvement, participation, and meaning. We can look at these points within the context of the Mass, as well as the religious life in general.

Let's assume for the time being that the Mass is a given, just as you experienced it, where you feel uninvolved. So for about an hour or so a week, you are apparently just a religious spectator; but why should this be a problem? We do not cease being Christian all of the other hours of the week. The Apostle Paul says that we must pray continuously, and Christ says that our entire lives should be dedicated to serving God and our neighbor. Assuming that we do have a real need to be visibly and obviously active in prayer, then we have ample opportunity for doing this in church, outside of the Mass: for example, in praying the Rosary, Perpetual Help devotions, Stations of the Cross, processions, and the Liturgy of the Hours. Many of these devotions and liturgies are actually run by the laity. And of course you have great freedom to pursue your own personal kind of prayer life outside of community. And by living the commandments with charity, you can make your entire life a kind of prayer. [Note: I do not claim to be a good example of this!]

I think that American culture tends to see the Christian religion as just something you do for an hour or so on Sunday mornings; it is claimed that faith is a purely personal matter and should have no influence on public life. The actual American State Religion, of course, wants no competition, and this situation is even more obvious in Europe. Under this situation, it is understandable that someone may want to squeeze the entirety of their religious life into a single weekly service. Another problem is that religion in the United States is often seen as being 'respectable', and even atheists (especially politicians) can feel the social pressure to attend services (this is not the case in Europe, where atheists can more boldly proclaim their religion). A nonbeliever, feeling compelled to attend church, certainly would want to get at least something out of his dutiful attendance, and modern liberal religion has certainly provided a solution to this need. Modern philosophy, particularly that of Kant and Hegel, has transformed religion into a kind of ethics institution or celebratory community, and so this has led to an emphasis of the congregation itself.

The traditional Catholic view sees the Mass as a gateway, reflection, and image of Heaven, a participation in the Heavenly Liturgy of the Book of Revelation. Christ is truly present in the liturgy, and not as a symbol, so all fall on their knees in reverence. We sing sanctus, sanctus, sanctus with the angels, and our prayers are joined with those of the Saints. The Mass is not about us, but Him.

But active participation in the Mass is expected of the faithful, and this is primarily an interior participation in the liturgy: praying with the priest and spiritually offering yourself in sacrifice along with Christ, along with obediently participating in the postures of prayer. In the traditional Latin liturgy, it does require some effort on the part of the faithful: learning about the structure and meaning of the Mass itself, learning at least some Latin, and typically using a missal to follow the prayer of the Mass.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

59th Annual Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Carmel of Saint Joseph, in Saint Louis, Missouri, will hold their annual outdoor novena from Sunday, July 8th to Monday, July 16th, 2007.

Rosary and Benediction is at 7:15 p.m., and Mass begins at 8:00 p.m.

Photos of the Consecration of the New Sacred Heart Shrine

On June 17th, 2007, Archbishop Burke unveiled the new Sacred Heart shrine at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart shrine, mosaic of Jesus

Professor Duncan Stroik of the University of Notre Dame designed the shrine, and was present at the consecration. The image of Jesus is from the Vatican mosaic studio.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - consecration of Sacred Heart shrine

During the consecration rite.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart shrine

This beautiful shrine is a small step towards the restoration of Catholic art.


A video of some excerpts of the consecration.

Monday, June 18, 2007

SEE THE ARTICLE, From Of the Atmosphere of a Church, 1947, at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping:
The purpose of a church is [...] to move to worship, to bring a man to his knees, to refresh his soul in a weary land. That would seem to be the Creator's purpose towards man in giving him the beauty of nature, and it should be the purpose of all art... For mankind in the mass the neglect of beauty spells the hardness and narrowness either of a puritan or of a materialist...

The note of a church should be, not that of novelty, but of eternity. Like the Liturgy celebrated within, the measure of its greatness will be the measure in which it succeeds in eliminating time and producing the atmosphere of heavenly worship....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

COR JESU, MISERERE NOBIS!COR JESU, MISERERE NOBIS!

Happy Father's Day

In honor and admiration of the effort and sacrifices offered by fathers everywhere for the benefit of their families!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Photos of the Ordinations of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, 2007

Behold a great priest who in his days pleased God, and was found just. (Ecclesiasticus 44:16, 20)
On June 15th, 2007, two members of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest were ordained to the holy priesthood.



Rite of Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood
of
Abbé William Avis
and
Abbé Matthew Talarico
celebrated in the Classical Roman Rite
by His Grace
The Most Reverend Raymond Leo Burke
Archbishop of Saint Louis
on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
15 June 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Members of the Institute in their new choir vestments.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

The entrance procession was accompanied by Haydn's dramatic Missa in Tempore Belli (Mass in Time of War). The procession went to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, and then to All Saints Chapel, where Archbishop Burke vested for Mass.

Note the wide variety of vestments in these photos, which are symbolic of rank, function, and affiliation, among other things.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

A procession of seminarians offer the Archbishop articles of vestment. There were several more to the right, not shown in the photo.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

The two transitional deacons carry their priestly vestments before their ordination.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Chanting of the Introit.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Incensing the altar.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Archbishop Burke sitting on the Cathedral's cathedra, or bishop's chair.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

The Rite of Ordination was interpolated within the Mass of the Sacred Heart, between the Gradual and Alleluia.

The Rite begins with a series of warnings and instructions.
...Dearly beloved brethren, the captain of a ship as well as the passengers are in the same condition as to safety or danger. Their cause is common, therefore they ought to be of the same mind. Indeed, not without reason did the Fathers ordain that in the election of those who were to be employed in the service of the altar the people also should be consulted. For it happens here and there that, as to the life and conduct of a candidate, a few know what is unknown to the majority. Necessarily, also, people will render obedience more readily to the ordained if they have consented to his ordination...
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Future priests.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

As a sign of humility, the candidates prostrate themselves towards the altar during the Litany of Saints.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Bishops in attendance.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

The Bestowal of the Office (Imposition of Hands)

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

Investiture with the Priestly Vestments.

"Receive the yoke of the Lord; for His yoke is sweet and His burden light."

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Ordinations to the priesthood, Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, June 15, 2007

(I was unable to attend the entire Mass.)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Feast of the Sacred Heart

WHEN WE OFFER DEVOTION to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are using the word "heart" in a symbolic sense, representing love, using the same symbolism as lovers exchanging heart-shaped boxes of candy on Saint Valentine's Day.

The Sacred Heart is a wounded heart, and it is wounded by us. Imagine a great and noble king, wooing a humble peasant girl; she lives in filth, ignorance, and self-destructive behavior, although she is also of noble blood. The great king wishes to marry the girl, even though she does not deserve it, for he loves her with all of his heart. She says, sometimes, that she loves him too, and certainly would want to live with him in his palace, but instead she is unfaithful to him, giving herself to others. The king's love is then a wounded love.

Behold this Heart, which, notwithstanding the burning love for man with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from the generality of Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bad Art Gets Worse

SUPPOSE YOU HEAR ABOUT some particularly noxious art exhibit — you know the kind — that really offends you, because it either mocks religion, is perverted, supports those who want to destroy the nation, or is just extremely ugly. Or, more likely, all of these together.

So do you take an action against this exhibit, by writing angry letters to politicians, the media, and art galleries, posting articles on the Internet, and otherwise getting the word out about this latest abomination?

No, you shouldn't.

See the article, Painting Money: The Ugly Business of Contemporary Art, over at Catholic Culture.
In the end, protest proved an unwitting accessory to the exhibition's deliberate incitement to publicity, the lever that raises the market value of artists on display. Publicity is crucial to an art bubble that subsists on reportage and to collectors, individual and institutional, who would write art history ahead of time....

Public demonstration against offensive art feels good. Someone has to do it, right? No, not when it facilitates realities that undermine Judeo-Christian culture and cultivation itself.
Remember the old public relations motto: any publicity is good publicity.

The same principle is at work with other sectors of our culture, especially the media: think of the recent anti-Christian books, films, and television programs that received tremendous free publicity from Christian groups. Creating controversy boosts publicity, and therefore, sales. The same tactic works for those promoting political or social agendas.

What needs to be done instead is to fight back, but not in a way that generates publicity for the offending art. The highest levels of the fine arts world is an unregulated commodities market, with museum trustees having a vested interest in the art that they exhibit. These sellers of the fine arts require publicity to create value in their assets; and by giving them free publicity (thereby enriching them) we encourage the arts world to do more of the same. The author of the above-quoted article instead seeks legal challenges to the tax-exempt status and public subsidies of museums.

Modern art has always been bad, but there seems to be no lower limit to how far down it can go: decadence leads to outrage, which leads to higher art prices. This is a positive-feedback loop, which forces modern art even farther into the depths. That this downward spiral is fueled by greed on the part of the art traders, and by hatred on the part of the artists, shows that this is basically a moral problem.

The modern art world exists deep inside of Plato's cave: auction prices and social propaganda are purely man-made and have little or no relationship with reality, and instead are based on the manipulation of emotion. Modern art has little or no intrinsic worth, and like so many other financial assets, investors often buy it purely on speculation, hoping to sell it for large profit. The artworks themselves appear to be products of nihilism: and in the absence of truth, or goodness, or beauty, the only things left are power, or political upheaval, or destruction. Famously, the way out of Plato's cave is liberation, conversion, and the ascent of the soul, which of course is a spiritual path. Since the bad art problem is a moral problem, the solution will be a spiritual solution.

Traditionally, all things made are art, and good art is virtuous art: that is, things made with a happy confluence of talent, learning, and practice. Even better art is in harmony with truth, goodness, and beauty, and the very best gives praise, honor, and glory to God.

Good art must drive out the bad, and this requires evangelism, as well as marginalizing art which is bad.

Until recently, the Church was the greatest patron of the arts, but she has accepted ugly and iconoclastic modernism for the past number of decades, to the detriment to souls. This must change.

Photos of Saint Ann Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Ann Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri. This rural community is in Franklin County, about six or so miles southwest from the nearest town, Washington, and about 59 highway miles west of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - exterior

The church's patroness, Saint Ann, is Mary's mother.

According to one source, "The community was named for the fields of clover Jesuit missionaries found here."

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - cornerstone

A.✝D.
1927

The parish dates from 1883.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - front door

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - nave

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - tabernacle

The tabernacle.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - statue of Saint Ann

Statue of Saint Ann, with a young Mary.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - altar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Altar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - stained glass windows Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - stained glass windows

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - station of the cross

IXth station of the cross.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - Infant Jesus

Infant Jesus.

Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church, in Clover Bottom, Missouri, USA - sign of Mass times


St. Ann's
CATHOLIC
CHURCH
Clover Bottom
Mass Times
SATURDAY 7 PM
SUNDAY 9 AM

Address:
7851 Highway YY
Washington, Missouri 63090


The church is on the corner of YY and Saint Ann's Road.

Martyrs of Spain

EARLY CHRISTIAN HISTORY is full of accounts of the slaughter of Christians, but the 20th century was by far the most savage. Slowly, the martyrology of that bloodiest of centuries is being written.

See the article "Martyrs of Spain, Pray for Us!" by Andrew Cusack.

Thousands were killed for the crime of being bourgeois, or merely for living quiet lives in monasteries.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Institute Ordinations

A reminder from the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest:

Important Milestones at St. Francis de Sales
“The Cathedral of South St. Louis”

(St. Louis, Missouri) -- On Friday, June 15th, beginning at 1:00 pm, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis will be the site of a Church event not seen in St. Louis in decades -- Ordinations to the holy priesthood in the (traditional) Classical Latin Rite. His Grace, the Most Reverend Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will be presiding at this ceremony, in which two deacons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be ordained Roman Catholic priests.

The Institute of Christ the King is a society of priests dedicated to Catholic tradition, founded in Italy in 1990. Priests of the Institute were assigned to the historic St. Francis de Sales Oratory in July 2005 by Archbishop Burke. Once known as the Cathedral of South St. Louis for its size and magnificence, this church is now home of the Latin Mass Community of St. Louis. A vibrant community has grown at St. Francis de Sales since the Institute has arrived, attendance increasing from 300 to nearly 800 each Sunday. Here the (traditional) Classical Latin Mass is offered every day, and twice on Sundays, along with several traditional Catholic devotions throughout the week.

The “Latin Mass” has been the focus of much media attention in the past months, since rumors surfaced that Pope Benedict XVI plans to issue a document granting a wider use of the Classical or “traditional” Mass. This millennial liturgy was substituted in 1969 by the “New Order of Mass,” celebrated in most Catholic churches now. However, Pope Benedict and other high ranking officials of the Catholic Church see an important role for the Classical Latin Rite, and recognize the ever waxing interest and desire for the traditional Mass in Latin.

Unlike what many would think, the Classical Latin Mass is not a subject of nostalgia. Anyone attending one of the now hundreds of churches in the United States where the Latin Mass is celebrated, will immediately note the youthfulness of the congregation, and the vibrancy of the community. Young adults and young large families with many children skew the average age to the mid 40s if not lower. The reverence, beauty, timelessness and transcendence of the venerable Rite are often cited as the points of attraction. And it is the general experience of the clergy who celebrate the Classical Latin Mass that their congregations are growing very steadily. All the churches staffed by the Institute of Christ the King demonstrate this phenomenon, St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis being a particularly striking example.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest itself is evidence of this growth factor. It was founded in 1990 by two French priests, Msgr. Gilles Wach and Fr. Philippe Mora, who sought to establish a seminary that would train you men for the priesthood desiring to be formed and educated in the tradition of the Catholic Church -- theological as well as liturgical. While at first established as a mission seminary in Gabon, Africa, in a matter of months the Institute was invited by the Archbishop of Florence, Italy, to relocate to the village of Gricigliano in his archdiocese. Two heiresses had left property to the Archdiocese of Florence to be used by any Catholic order or community dedicated to the traditional Latin Mass. It was too in this property, the Villa Martelli in Gricigliano, that the Institute established its motherhouse and seminary.

After only sixteen years the Institute of Christ the King now has more than 50 priests stationed in over 40 locations in Europe, Africa, and the United States, where all the sacraments of the church are offered in the (traditional) Classical Latin Rite. In the United States the Institute is present in Chicago, Rockford, St. Louis, Kansas City, Green Bay, Wausau, Oakland, and Santa Clara. It receives several inquiries on a weekly basis from young men who wish to become priests or oblates in the Institute. As its seminary formation program is nearly filled to capacity with 70 men at the different stages of preparation for the priesthood, the superiors of the Institute of Christ the King have the rare problem of having too many aspirants to their seminary.

The ceremony on June 15th, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis will mark the first time that priests of the Institute of Christ the King are ordained in the United States. Usually, the ordinations take place at their seminary in Florence. Members of the Institute will be providing the Gregorian Chant and filling the several liturgical roles of the intricate and strikingly beautiful Ordination ceremony and Pontifical Solemn High Mass which will be presided by the Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis.

Father Karl Lenhardt, Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory operated by the Institute of Christ the King, commented: “All the members of the Institute and faithful who attend our several churches around the country are very much looking forward to this special event. We are especially grateful to His Grace, Archbishop Raymond Burke, for having the ceremony at his own Cathedral Basilica, and above all for his kindness to the Institute throughout so many years.”

On the occasion of the ordinations about 40 priests, seminarians, oblates and candidates from the Institute’s motherhouse in Italy, from the US apostolates and from all over the world will be present in St. Louis, among them the Prior General of the Institute, Msgr. Gilles Wach.

In preparation for the ordinations there will be a prayer Triduum at St. Francis de Sales Oratory beginning on Tuesday, June 12, at 7pm. For three days there will be Mass with sermon followed by Eucharistic Adoration and benediction. On Thursday, June 14 at 7pm Msgr. Gilles Wach will celebrate a Solemn High Mass and will confer the new choir habit of the Institute on the members of the American Province.

The first Masses of the newly ordained priests will be celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Oratory on Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m. (by Fr. Matthew Talarico) and on Sunday, June 17 (by Fr. William Avis), followed by receptions in the Oratory hall.
For more information call 314-771-3100.

C.S. Lewis on 'Unusual Dress'

...the very fact that pompous is now used only in a bad sense measures the degree to which we have lost the old idea of 'solemnity'. To recover it, you must think of a court ball, or a coronation, or a victory march, as these things appear to people who enjoy them; in an age when every one puts on his oldest clothes to be happy in, you must re-awake the simpler state of mind in which people put on gold and scarlet to be happy in. Above all, you must be rid of the hideous idea, fruit of a widespread inferiority complex, that pomp, on the proper occasions, has any connexion with vanity or self-conceit. A celebrant approaching the altar, a princess being led out by a king to dance a minuet, a general officer on a ceremonial parade, a major-domo preceding the boar's head at a Christmas feast — all these wear unusual clothes and move with calculated dignity. This does not mean that they are vain, but that they are obedient; they are obeying the hoc age ["do this, apply yourself to what you are about"] which presides over every solemnity.

The modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremoniously is not proof of humility; rather it proves the offender's inability to forget himself in the rite, and his readiness to spoil for everyone else the proper pleasure of ritual.
— C.S. Lewis, from A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Corpus Christi Procession at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis


Corpus Christi procession from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Processing after the Blessed Sacrament are the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of Saint Peter Claver, and the general laity.

The procession stopped at three outdoor altars for benediction before returning to the Cathedral. Rain threatened to drench the procession, but it held off until afterwards.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke and his Knights of Columbus honor guard
His Grace, Raymond Leo Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis, poses with his Knights of Columbus honor guard, following the Corpus Christi procession at the Cathedral Basilica, on June 10th, 2007.

On Processions

The soul's movement towards God can be expressed with special clarity in the metaphor of walking; to the devoted person it even can become visible: what would otherwise remain merely an act of the mind or an emotional state becomes something objective, so to speak, as we walk....

Walking slowly in procession to the accompaniment of Gregorian hymns opens up a whole new world of spirituality. Gregorian hymns are not written in march tempo; prayer must always be a highly personal act if it is to have any meaning, and Gregorian chant has a power that does not compel; it actually prevents people walking in step and having identical thoughts....
—Martin Mosebach, The Heresy of Formlessness,pages 134-135.

Mosebach notes that the liturgy is full of processions, although now they are often in vestigial form.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Corpus Christi Procession at the Oratory



Corpus Christi procession at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri. Due to bad weather, the procession was held inside of the church.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Photos of Saint Theodore Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Theodore Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri. The parish is located about 49 miles northwest of downtown Saint Louis, in rural Saint Charles County.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - exterior front

The parish dates from 1883, and the church from 1900. This parish is in rapidly-growing Saint Charles County, Missouri, and a parishioner said that this growth will probably require the construction of a larger church. She otherwise hoped that this old church could remain open.

From a history of Flint Hill:
Flint Hill was officially founded in 1836 by Captain Taliferro P. Grantham. Captain Grantham purchased 160 acres of land from Benjamin Pierce and then donated 10 acres for the town of Flint Hill. Settlers from Flinthill, Virginia, were moving west in 1833 and came upon this area. It so reminded them of their home in Virginia, that they settled the area and named it Flint Hill after the town they had left. It was not long and they realized the area could produce the crops they were accustom to growing- tobacco...

Flint Hill was originally settled by people of the Methodist faith. Between 1848 and 1855, there were a number of Catholic families in the Flint Hill community. The nearest Catholic congregation was in Josephville and was organized in 1848. As early as 1854, a missionary priest would travel from St. Charles and say Mass in a Methodist home in Flint Hill for area Catholics. The Methodist opened their homes to the priest because their houses were more adaptable for the crowds than the Catholic homes. In the early 1880's, Reverend Theodore Krainhardt, pastor of St. Joseph's of Josephville, traveled to Flint Hill to say Sunday Mass for the growing Catholic population. Seeing a need, the first Catholic church in Flint Hill was completed in 1883 and name in honor of Father Theodore Krainhardt [sic].

Flint Hill became a tobacco producing community in the early years. Some of the leading tobacco producers had their start in Flint Hill....
Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - decorated window over front door

These photos were taken on April 24th, 2007, and the church is shown decorated for the season of Easter.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - nave

The church during Eucharistic Adoration, which is held on Tuesdays from 8:45 a.m. until Perpetual Help Devotions and Benediction at 7:00 p.m.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - monstrance and tabernacle

Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.Psalm 95:6

Monstrance and tabernacle of Our Lord, in His sanctuary.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - crucifix

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - Baptismal font

Baptismal font.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - stained glass window in honor of Saint Theodore

· In · honorem · S. · Theodori ·

Saint Theodore was a Roman soldier, martyred in A.D. 306.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - Rose window in sanctuary

Rose window in the sanctuary.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - stained glass window, Papal symbols

Symbols of the Papacy, including the triple tiara, the Keys of Saint Peter, crosier, and Papal cross.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - stained glass window, Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The sword imagery comes from scripture:
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.
Luke 2:34-35

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - golden stained glass window

These windows let in a rich golden light.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - stations of the cross

The IXth Station of the Cross: Jesus falls the third time. Consider how Jesus Christ fell for the third time. He was extremely weak and the cruelty of His executioners was excessive; they tried to hasten His steps though He hardly had strength to move.

The Xth Station of the Cross: Jesus is stripped of his garments. Consider how Jesus was violently stripped of His clothes by His executioners. The inner garments adhered to his lacerated flesh and the soldiers tore them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Have pity for your Savior so cruelly treated...

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - window exterior

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - exterior side

This is one of the few remaining wood-frame churches in the Archdiocese.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - rectory

The rectory. Father here told me about some history of the parish buildings.

Saint Theodore Roman Catholic Church, in Flint Hill, Missouri, USA - schools

The old school building dates from 1913; the new school building on the left dates from 2000.

Address:
5059 Highway P
Wentzville, Missouri 63385