Friday, February 29, 2008

Photos of Saint Joseph Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Joseph Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  The church is located about 59 highway miles south-southwest of downtown Saint Louis, in Saint Francois County.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - exterior

The town was settled by the Kingdom of France in 1720 upon discovery of lead ore in the area. Its original name, La Bonne Terre, French for "the Good Earth", refers to the richness of its mineral deposits.  Saint Francois County, originally a colonial district, is named after Saint Francis of Assisi.

Large piles of mine tailings are seen in the area, and you can tour and scuba dive in the vast mines underneath Bonne Terre.

These photos were taken on January 13th, 2008.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - cornerstone

A.D. 1916

According to a history of the church:
The St. Joseph Church is the house of worhip for Catholics in the St. Joseph Parish. The parish and a church were established in Bonne Terre in 1872 as a mission of Old Mines. Before the Civil War the congregation was housed in a small church just north of town. It was assigned priests from nearby parishes.

The first church in Bonne Terre was built by Father Daily in 1873. This structure burned down in 1879 and was reconstructed in 1881. 1879 is also the year St. Joseph became an independent parish. The Desloge Lead Company donated the land for the second church and contributed to its construction. Rev. E. J. Dempsey, the first resident priest, supervised construction of this church. To the church were added a school building in 1885 and a priest's residence in 1888.

In 1908 the parish began construction of a building to replace the wooden frame church. It was not finished until 1916. During that time the congregation worshipped in the basement of the new church under a temporary roof.

A combination school and convent were built at the site in 1906. This was staffed by the Ursuline Sisters until its closing in 1969. A new parochial school was built in 1922.
Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - nave

According to the 2008 Status Animarum or ecclesiastical census, this parish has approximately 807 Catholics.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - sanctuary

I am always surprised at the exceptional quality of the churches in our Archdiocese.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - painting of the holy death of Joseph

Painting of the holy death of Saint Joseph.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - altar

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - tabernacle and crucifix

Crucifix and tabernacle in the high altar.  In this photo I managed to digitally subtract the yellow lighting behind the crucifix, as seen in the previous photo.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - processional crucifix

The processional crucifix.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - Our Mother of Perpetural Help

Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - Mary's altar

The Altar of Mary.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - tabernacle

Tabernacle in Mary's altar.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - Joseph's altar

Altar of Saint Joseph, patron of this church.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - transept

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - window and holy water fonts

Holy water fonts; the stained glass window appears to be of the Prodigal Son.  "I will arise and will go to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee." — Luke 15:18

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - window and baptismal font

Statue of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower; and the baptismal font.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - side of nave

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - window detail


Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - pipe organ

The pipe organ.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - bird window

The Kingdom of heaven, the Church, is like a mustard seed... that grows into a large shrub where all the birds of the air can find a home.  MT 13:31

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - war memorial plaque




Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - school

The parish school.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Bonne Terre, Missouri, USA - former rectory

The church's former rectory.  According to sign posted next to the building:
The Old Rectory was built around 1880 as a home for St. Joseph parish priests and served as their residence until 1980 when, desperately in need of repair, it was closed and a new Rectory was built... 
Parishioners purchased the building from the Archdiocese and restored it 1996-1999.  The first floor houses a church museum, and the second floor is a luxury rental apartment.

Mass times:
Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.
Saturday Vigil: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m.
Holy Days of Obligation: 8:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.

15 Saint Joseph Street
Bonne Terre, Missouri 63628

Musical Oddity

I downloaded some free software that analyzes the audio files on your computer, and then groups the music according to measures of similarity.  One thing it estimates is the number of beats per minute, which is a useful feature for DJs working at dance clubs.   I noticed that it always set Gregorian Chant to the maximum value of 160 beats per minute, which tells me that chant does not have a rhythmic structure!  The software classified chant with audio lectures.

Web Log Beg

I've been asked to take photographs of liturgies and devotions of the Classical Roman Rite, for the use of newsletters, websites, fund raising, etc.

Unfortunately, my current camera is not up to the task.  My typical exposure times in churches tend to be anywhere from one to fifteen seconds, which is too long of a time for the celebration of Mass. The high ISO settings on my current camera have so much noise as to be unusable. Things are financially tight for me now, otherwise I would purchase this new camera myself.

The camera needs to be able to photograph in the typical incandescent and stained-glass-window lit church without the aid of a flash or tripod; in other words, I need to be able to hand-hold shots without motion blur and decent depth of field.  And the photos taken need to have fairly low noise, adequate for glossy color brochures.  So this would be a photojournalist-type camera.

If anyone has a spare camera, or would know where I could find one, please let me know!  We would greatly appreciate it!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lenten Retreat at the Oratory

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

2653 Ohio Avenue

Saint Louis, Missouri 63118




March 28, 2008                                                                                                                                                                    



Email newsletter contains information about:

Lenten Retreat 2008

Holy Week

Easter schedule


Dear Faithful and Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,



As you have seen in the Bulletin announcements, we are co-hosting our traditional Lenten retreat with Credo of the Catholic Laity next weekend on Friday afternoon, March 7, and all day Saturday, March 8.


We are especially honored to have our beloved Archbishop, His Grace, The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, conduct solemn benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and present a conference at this retreat. The Vicar General and American Provincial for the Institute, the Very Rev. Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, will also be with us and will conclude the retreat with a conference.


The first day of the retreat, Friday March 7, also is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the patrons of our institute. We are very grateful that the Very Rev. Michael Monshau O.P., Prior of St. Louis’s Dominican Priory, will introduce us to the spiritual fruits of the teachings of the Angelic Doctor.


Here is a detailed schedule of the retreat for your reference:


Friday, March 7:

                1:30 p.m.  Opening prayer and first conference by Rev. Michael Monshau, O.P. (Hall)

                2:30 p.m.  Stations of the Cross (Church)

                3:30 p.m.  Second conference by Father Monshau, O.P. (Hall)

                4:30 p.m.  Light supper (Hall)

                5:30 p.m.  Exposition, Adoration, Benediction and Confession (Church)

                6:30 p.m.  Solemn High Mass: Celebrant, Msgr. Michael Schmitz (Church)

Saturday, March 8:

                 9:00 a.m.  Confessions, Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy (Church)

                10:00 a.m. Solemn Adoration and Benediction with the Archbishop (Church)

                11:00 a.m. Third conference by His Grace, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

                12:00 p.m. Lunch (Hall)

                  1:30 p.m. Fourth conference by Msgr. Michael Schmitz (Hall)

                  2:45 p.m. Closing Mass (Church)                                                                             


With such exceptional speakers, with the solemn liturgies of the Holy Mass, additional devotions, and with the availability of the sacrament of Confession, we believe this will be an inspiring two days of reflection and grace. Please give serious thought to attending this retreat. If your work prohibits your attending the entire retreat, try to attend what time you can. The cost is minimal for the two meals provided, and for those with families who find it difficult to pay for the entire family, the Credo group has generously offered to subsidize them.


If you plan to attend either one or both days, please print, complete, and send in the coupon below to the Oratory so that we may plan sufficient meals. We hope to see you there.








Name _____________________________ Address_______________________________________


Phone _________________________ E-mail ___________________________________________


Enclosed is my check for $________ to cover _____ adults and ______children under 12.

Forward this coupon along with your check payable to St. Francis de Sales Oratory to:


                St. Francis de Sales Oratory

                2653 Ohio Ave.

                St. Louis, MO 63118


For more information, call either the Oratory at 314-771-3100 or Howard Brandt of Credo St. Louis at 314-894-6003.






Sunday, March 16, Palm Sunday

7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

9:30 a.m. Blessing of the Palms and Procession Solemn High Mass

Monday, March 17, Monday of Holy Week

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

6:30 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Mass

Tuesday, March 18, Tuesday of Holy Week

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

6:00 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Mass at the Altar of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Wednesday, March 19, Wednesday of Holy Week

7:30 a.m. Confessions

8:00 a.m. Mass

6:30 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Mass


                                   Triduum Sacrum:

Thursday, March 20, Holy Thursday

5:30 p.m. Confessions

6:30 p.m. Solemn High Mass, Procession to the Repository

Followed by Adoration at the Repository until Midnight

Friday, March 21, Good Friday

8:00 a.m. Stations of the Cross and Confessions

2:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Confessions

3:00 p.m. Liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Followed by Adoration at the Holy Sepulcher until 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 22, Holy Saturday

8:00 p.m. Confessions

9:00 p.m. Easter Vigil, Solemn High Mass

At the End of the Vigil Blessing of Easter Food: Bread, Eggs…

Sunday, March 23, Easter Sunday

8:00 a.m. Low Mass with organ

10:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass





Sincerely yours,


Mr. Jon R. T. Roche`

Administrative Assistant

Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

St. Francis de Sales Oratory

2653 Ohio Avenue

Saint Louis, Missouri 63118

314. 771. 3100 p

314. 771. 3295 f


William F. Buckley Jr., R.I.P.

Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning.

If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of an impact on the political life of this country — and a better one — than some of our presidents. He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps. And he gave it a wit, style, and intelligence that earned the respect and friendship even of his adversaries. (To know Buckley was to be reminded that certain people have a talent for friendship.)

He inspired and incited three generations of conservatives, and counting. He retained his intellectual and literary vitality to the end; even in his final years he was capable of the arresting formulation, the unpredictable insight. He presided over NR even in his “retirement,” which was more active than most people’s careers. It has been said that great men are rarely good men. Even more rarely are they sweet and merry, as Buckley was.

When Buckley started National Review — in 1955, at the age of 29 — it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” his point was to challenge the idea that history, with a capital H, pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course.

Before he was a conservative, Buckley was devoted to his family and his Church. He is survived by his son Christopher. Our sadness for him, and for us, at his passing is leavened by the hope that he is now with his beloved wife, Patricia, who died last year.
Buckley was a practicing Catholic and is credited for founding and defining the modern Conservative movement in the United States, especially through his magazine National Review, and his long-running PBS political debate show, Firing Line.

He was known for his slow but multisyllabic speech, Mid-Atlantic accent, and casual, slouching style. He was decent and kind, even with his enemies, and showed considerable humility despite his position. If you debated with him, you lost.

The decline of Christendom and the rise of absolutism in government is a well known phenomena marking the end of the Medieval period: by the 1930s, the Totalitarian State seemed inevitable. The choice was between Communism, Fascism, or the New Deal (in the United States) — all big, secular, bureaucratic, centralized governmental systems — and this "tide of history" was seemingly unstoppable. It was in the decade after the Second World War that Bill Buckley was to “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’”; the Totalitarian State was not historically inevitable, and he managed to cobble together various groups into a new Conservative movement that was to counter this trend.

The two most prominent groups in this movement were Freemasonry and conservative Christian religion, coming together under a new political philosophy called Fusionism, which coupled economic liberalism with social conservatism. Although historically these groups were extremely hostile, they both had everything to lose from expansionistic Communists armed with nuclear weapons; and the fact that many prominent Western intellectuals supported Communism made this unlikely coalition possible. I cannot imagine that the pro-life movement would have been possible under the former regime, but aspects of the "spirit of Vatican II" are also a side-effect of this alliance.

It ought to be noted that Buckley was a member of the Skull and Bones at Yale University, a secret society modeled on Prussian Freemasonry. Yalies and Bonesmen have been a disproportionately influential core of the American covert intelligence community: Buckley was a Central Intelligence Agency operative working in Mexico City, giving inspiration to his numerous espionage novels. He supported the C.I.A., and often said that it has a higher standard of professionalism and ethics compared to what is shown in the popular media. It is rumored that National Review, which typically operated on a deficit, indirectly received underwriting from the C.I.A. (the C.I.A. subsidizes overseas publications useful to the American cause), while Firing Line, because it was shown on the Public Broadcasting System, openly received taxpayer support.

Although Buckley called himself a libertarian, he specifically excluded Ayn Rand's libertarian Objectivist movement as being too far from the mainstream. He also rejected the once-prominent John Birch Society, which, like the Communists, sought to secretly subvert various organizations. In general, he avoided the conspiratorial right-wing "fever swamps" of fringe conservatism. Buckley advocated for a genteel, non-confrontational opposition, more intellectual than activist in tone, and this led some to reject his movement as being more style than substance; more 'respectable' than effective.

The culmination of Buckley's Conservative movement was the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose administration included many Catholics. Buckley's movement was quite popular among young Catholics born in the era of the Second Vatican Council — who explicitly rejected the Marxism and heresy fashionable to reformers of the earlier generation — and who instead became staunch Reagan supporters. This effectively ended the formerly unquestioned Catholic support for the Democratic Party: young Catholics followed formerly segregationist Southern Protestants into the Republican Party, leaving the Democrats under the control of hard-line Socialists.

While economic liberalism and American constitutional theory do have Catholic roots in Medieval Scholasticism, the Counter-Reformation, and the natural law tradition, these theories are now mainly based on naturalistic and subjective Enlightenment theories that reject God and instead place Man at the center of a materialistic cosmos. While many Catholics supported Fusionism due to its anti-Communism, this movement does not conform to Catholic notions of economic subsidiarity, nor especially to the Magisterial teachings on social justice in the mode of Rerum Novarum (1891) — although I might add, neither does the movement of modern 'Catholic' dissenters who remain loyal to the Democrats.

Buckley's Conservative movement is breaking apart; the first problem was the inclusion of the 'Neo-Conservatives' (also called Neo-Liberals) into the movement: formerly Trotskyite Marxists, these "Neocons" retained their desire for exporting revolution throughout the world, and we see this in the policy of spreading democracy via war, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. (A traditional Catholic solution would have been convincing Sadaam Hussein to convert to Christianity). A second problem is that many "country club Republicans" resent Christian morality: being rich and successful also means the ability to gain the favor of many otherwise unavailable attractive young women, and so for them, abortion on demand is a requirement for living that lifestyle without care; also they may have extremely uncharitable views on the sick and poor, contrary to Christ. Another issue was the "triangulation" policy of President Bill Clinton, who repudiated the sharply declining industrial labor unions in favor of the libertine wealthy and professional classes, capturing these formerly core members of the conservative movement, and who now lead the new Kulturkampf against the Church.

With the death of William F. Buckley Jr., we also see the death of the American Conservative movement, seen in the ascendency of Senator John McCain as Republican candidate for the Presidency. Formerly Conservative parties worldwide are now repositioning themselves as left-of-center, while the Left is rushing towards nihilistic and self-destructive policies.    But we still have hope.  Politics are messy and compromising, especially under our system of government, but we ought not flee the world, but instead bring light into it.  One of the bright lights of our days is the recovery of an integral, lively Faith.

May Bill Buckley rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Missouri Winemaking Society Annual Competion, at De Smet High School, Norton bottles

Some of the 22 bottles of Norton wine that I helped judge, at the Missouri Winemaking Society annual competition last Sunday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Gritty, but dramatic-looking snow, found on a parking lot.  This is just for artistic effect.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield to Close for a Year

SEE THE ARTICLE Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to close for a year for renovations, from the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois.
The Cathedal of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield will be closed for about a year, starting this fall, as it undergoes an $11 million renovation project.

The most obvious change will be an atrium on the west side of the existing Cathedral, which will provide another entrance to the sanctuary as well as serving as a gathering place for parish functions. To accommodate the atrium, part of the present convent will be demolished.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Springfield, Illinois, USA - exterior.jpg

This is one of the finest cathedrals in the region, of superb design, beautiful materials, and good iconography.  Click here for some of my photos from last year.

From the website of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois:
After almost a year of study, a steering committee headed by Monsignor Carl Kemme, vicar general of the diocese, recommended a comprehensive plan of interior and exterior restoration and enhancement. The program, called Built on Faith, Renewed in Hope, involves repair or replacement of both exterior and interior elements, including:
  • Restoration and repair of the Cathedral complex's copper roof and gutter system; repair of the bell tower; repointing of stone joints; and preservation of the Cathedral's stained-glass windows.
  • Repair or replacement of inadequate electrical, plumbing, sound and heating/air conditioning systems.
  • Construction of an 8,400-square-foot atrium to allow people to gather before and after Mass and other liturgical events and to serve as an accessible entryway to the church.
  • Improvements to the features important to proper liturgical celebrations, such as extensive interior refinishing and redecorating; a new baptismal font; an accessible sanctuary; a new permanent altar to replace the temporary one now in use; a new and more easily accessible ambo (pulpit); a refashioned cathedra (bishop's chair); and the refurbishment of the tabernacle, which will be returned to its present location.
  • Additional accessible parking west of the Cathedral and an entrance to the new atrium for parishioners and visitors from the main parking area.
  • Major improvements made to the site by improving entries and entry plazas to the north and south, including exterior lighting for safety and increased accessibility to parish offices, school, Cathedral and parking areas.
JB Powers has commented on these renovations; see the article Please Stop Before Wrecking the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Note that the words 'accessible' or 'accessibility' are repeated five times here.  This is problematical, for it seemingly places an otherwise laudable goal, of helping those who are disabled, above the Faith.  We see here an illustration of C.S. Lewis' principle of First and Second Things:  "To sacrifice the greater good for the less and then not to get the lesser good after all – that is the surprising folly."  But how can the goal of accessibility be counter-productive, and even destructive?

The virtue of liberality — required for sanctity — tells us that we must be generous with others, and so we must help those with disabilities.  For example, one priest told me that he built a larger confessional, since many of his parishioners are wheelchair bound. My parish has an elevator that goes from street level to the nave and parish hall.  My late girlfriend Lisa, who walked with a cane during the last months of her life, greatly needed and appreciated this help.

Back when Christianity was far more than just something that 'respectable' people do for an hour on Sunday, we see a traditional and more useful view of 'accessibility'.  For example, the old Pontifical Ceremonial, the ritual book used by Bishops, is obviously adapted for the needs of elderly men, such as the vesting ceremony, and where he gets extra support or is even carried. The old church porters had to be strong, so as to be able to carry worshippers up stairs.  Choir stalls often had standing rests, call misericords, to help those who found standing difficult. Churches were often designed so that those with communicable diseases could still confess their sins, attend Mass, and receive communion.  Long before pews were installed in churches, and the faithful were expected to stand for hours, chairs were available for the sick and elderly.

'Accessibility' is a political code-word of the disability rights movement.   This developed in the 1970s on the model of the civil rights movements of the previous decade, and as such, this is a novel concept based on marxist class conflict, like the similar Feminist movement.  And like other marxists, they demonstrate infantile anger, hostility, and a sense of entitlement, in a manner that is loud, noisy, demanding, and severely uncharitable.  The activists reject pity, but they also reject the ordinary help that we ought to give to one another in daily life.  For them, all solutions come from the totalitarian State.

As marxists who reject charity in favor of justice, these activists make the deadly mistake of pushing for a lesser goal at the expense of the greater good.  For if no one practices charity, or love, then no one will feel the need for justice either.  It just comes down to power and who wields it; and so when the revolution comes, a marxist will be just as likely to be put up against the wall and shot as anyone else.  Marxist revolutionaries are among the most pitiless and cruel of any humans.

These activists get a seat at the table of Socialism only if they toe the party line, and the party line includes abortion, eugenics, and euthanasia.  Ironically, it is precisely the disabled who would be killed in this world order.  This has led to equally perverse proposals for specifically causing or not curing disabilities in order to perpetuate this oppressed class.

Activists will often use the term 'differently-abled' instead of 'disabled'.  This is symptomatic of a skeptical philosophy that rejects the concept of human nature, and ultimately leads to the notion that there is no such thing as truth, or that truth is only relative.  When human nature is denied, then the practice of medicine becomes arbitrary, which is hardly a good situation.   More deadly, the particular value of any individual to the totalitarian State is also purely arbitrary.

Accessibility is related to the 1970s trend of 'mainstreaming', where severely disabled students were placed in normal schools for reasons of social justice.  Again, we ought to remember that the advocates of mainstreaming also were advocates of abortion on demand, including therapeutic abortion which would purposefully kill those with disabilities.   Young children were taught that these obvious problems of disability could be easily cured by a visit to Planned Parenthood.

'Accessibility' in architecture leads to a horizontal architecture, since obviously going 'up' and 'down' may be disproportionately difficult or impossible for someone in a wheelchair, and wheeled vehicles in general only operate well on smooth, flat surfaces. Just consider the extraordinary changes to our landscape due to the automobile. And so modifications for wheelchairs need to eliminate features and severely flatten our architectural landscape, by making everything relentlessly horizontal. As we now know, emphasizing the horizontal element in churches at the expense of the vertical dimension is deadly to the Faith, as well as deadly to our love for others.  A Hegelian sense of 'community' does nothing for piety and forms a quite superficial community compared to the Communion of Saints.

As an alternative, we can perhaps provide human muscle and assistance to help the disabled get around in our vertical churches, but for marxist disability activists, this is unacceptable, for they demand 'independence', and not a whiff of charity.  They want no help from their fellow man, but instead only want help from the State.  We ought to remember where we got this awful attitude:  the Enlightenment bourgeois merchant class rid itself of the demands of religion and charity, since it is bad for business, and so their oppressed factory workers, in reaction, claimed that they didn't want religion or charity either.  Sometimes you get the enemies you deserve.  

The supporters of the 'accessibility' movement in architecture tend to be indistinguishable from the iconoclastic 'wreckovators', who stripped our churches of art, beauty, meaning, and Faith.  The 'green' movement in architecture has similar marxist goals.    However, helping our fellow man and conserving creation are laudable goals; but they must be done in a Catholic manner.

Before we get too angry at this cathedral's proposed renovations, we should be aware that under United States federal law, due to the Americans with Disability Act, comprehensive accessibility changes are required by law during any renovation.  Neither existing structures nor historic monuments are exempt.  Some activists make a living for themselves by seeking out inaccessible buildings, and then suing the owner under provisions of the ADA.  We do not know what pressures the Bishop may have come under from activists or their lawyers.  We also need to be aware that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in documents on liturgical art, have made accessibility a major goal in church design.

Helping the disabled is mandatory.  However, opposing the marxist goals of many of these activists is also mandatory.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Video of Stations of the Cross at the Oratory

On Fridays in Lent, Saint Francis de Sales Oratory holds the devotion to the Stations of the Cross, in Latin and English, according to the style of Saint Alphonsus Liguori.

Part II
Part III
Part IV
Click here for a description of the Stations of the Cross:  "As early as the 4th c., Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land would walk the route that Our Lord walked as He made His way to Golgotha for our salvation. When Muslims captured Jerusalem and it became too dangerous to make this pilgrimage, Christians replicated the sites back home in Europe, and there developed the "Stations of the Cross" devotion (also known as "Way of the Cross," "Via Dolorosa," or "Via Crucis")."

At the Stations shown here in the video, Liguori's mediations are said in English, while the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and Glory Be are chanted in Latin; verses of the hymn Stabat Mater are sung in Latin between the Stations. 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Photos of Saint Joachim Church, in Old Mines, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Joachim Church, in Old Mines, Missouri.  Although this is a small unicorporated villiage in Washington County, it has a rich recorded history going back centuries.  It is located about 67 highway miles southwest of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri.

Saint Joachim Roman Catholic Church, in Old Mines, Missouri, USA - exterior

The patron of this church is Saint Joachim, father of Mary, who has a great devotion among the Catholic French; and nearby is a church named after his wife, Saint Anne.  "And Joachim said: Now I know that the Lord has been gracious unto me, and has remitted all my sins." — Protoevangelium of James.

[These photos, taken January 13th, 2008, aren't very good; it was such a dreary day.]

By the time of this parish's founding in the early 19th century, French settlement in this area had been well-established for over a century.  According to Carroll's Corner genealogical website's history of Old Mines:
"In 1719 Sieur de Renaudiere conducted mining operations in the vicinity of the Meramec Valley, Big River and Washington County. He was sent here by the Company of the Indies but was unsuccessful in his mining efforts because he had no skilled workers.

"Also in 1719 Philip Francois Renault left France for Upper Louisana (Missouri) bringing with him supplies and numerous skilled miners. On the way he stopped at San Domingo and purchased numerous slaves to work the mines. These were the first slaves to be brought to Missouri. Renault's expedition was near the site of the first Ft. De Chartres, Illinois and Kaskaskia in 1720. He came to the mineral area of Missouri where he began mining operations at Mine La Motte and in 1723 Renault received a grant for one and one-half leagues of land in the area which is now Washington County. (It is believed that the "Cabanage de Renaudiere" mentioned in this grant indicates an even earlier settlement at Old Mines.) Mining operations continued for years along Big River, Mineral Fork & Fourche Renault creeks. Then leaving behind some of his workmen Renault went back to Illinois for several years before he returned to France in 1742.

"A trail was cut from the mines to the Mississippi River and at first lead was taken to the river on pack-animals. When carried by pack-horses, the lead, instead of being moulded into "pigs" was moulded into the shape of a collar & hung across the horses neck. Later the lead was transported on two-wheeled French carts called charrettes. The lead was then taken across the river to Ft. DeChartres where it was weighed, measured and prepared for shipping to New Orleans. Eventually the town of Ste. Genevieve was established on the Missouri side of the river for this purpose. Lead from the mines was now taken to this site & shipped down the river to New Orleans on keel or flatboats. From New Orleans it was shipped to France.
"Old Mines Grant - This grant lies in townships 38 & 39 north & in ranges 2 & 3 east & contains 10, 548 acres. It was conceded to a number of individuals, jointly, on the 4th of Jan. 1803, by Spanish authority. Afterward 31 individuals, most of whom were settlers thereon, received a confirmation of the grant from Congress. Among the early settlers of this tract were: P.P. Boyer, Wm. C. Carr, John B. Portell, Pierce Martin, Jacob Boise, A. Diclos [Duclos], Charles P. Robert [Robart], Joseph Pratt, B. St. Gemme, Widow Coleman, Joseph Boyer, Charles Boyer, Nicholas Bouelvian, F.B. Valle, Jaque Gibbourd, Joseph Bequette, Bernard coleman & perhaps others. No doubt many of these men lived on their lands many years before they obtained concession rights from the Spanish government.........."
The architectural firm of Kromm Rikimaru and Johansen Inc. has an online research project of distinctive architecture of this region.  According to this history:
"The Old Mines church began as a mission church to Ste. Genevieve, being served first by Father Maxwell, and then in 1814, by Henri Pratte.  Father Francis Xavier Dahmen from Ste. Genevieve began serving the mission church in 1821. Father Jean Bouillier, C. M., from Perryville, began serving there in 1826 after his ordination, and in 1828 he became the first permanent pastor, when the parish was separated from Ste. Genevieve.

"In 1828, he started the brick church, commissioning Obadiah Freeman to supervise making the bricks from clay from Adrian Coleman's land grant. Bouillier left to travel to the mother house in Paris, France in 1830, and the church was finished by Father Philip Borgna, C.M., and consecrated by Bishop Joseph Rosati on October 9, 1831. In 1833, Bouillier returned from France to take back his position at St. Joachim. This brick church is constructed with "Palledian" detail". The original floor plan was 30 feet by 110 feet, with a 50 foot high steeple.

"The first Diocesan Priest, John Cotter, who was trained in Perryville, took over in 1841. Father Cotter, killed in a fall from a horse in 1851, is buried in a brick tomb under the floor of the church to the left of the stairs; a bronze marker was added on his tomb location in 1995. Apparently this was a common risk for the priests who had to travel out to various mission chapels for Father John J. McCaffery of nearby Richwoods, was also killed when he was thrown from a horse in 1856.

"Father James Fox took over the parish after Cotter was killed, and served until 1868. He over saw an enlargement and modification of the floor plan of the church in 1852 to 1857, adding the wings and enlarging the rectangular steeple. These modifications were capped off with the purchase of the cast steeple bell of 960 lbs., for $351.30, by Mary Lewis Lamarque in 1858. A visit to the attic shows the original 1850s wood shingles nailed to hewn and pegged roof truss members. The 19th century church had pairs of chimneys on either side, for stoves used to heat the building.

"The church was renovated at least three times in the 20th century: once in about 1900, once in 1945, and the last time in the 1960s. During the 1945 restorations, the chimneys were removed, but the original stone altar was restored. Father Fox was also responsible for building the first school and establishing the first lending library in Old Mines."
Washington County was established in 1813 from territory taken from Sainte Genevieve County, and is named after Founding Father George Washington.

Saint Joachim Roman Catholic Church, in Old Mines, Missouri, USA - enscribed stone

This stone is above the entrance to the church.
In Honorem Sancti Joachim.
B.V.M. Patris.
D.O.M. = Latin: Deo Optimo Maximo; for God, the Best and Greatest
In Honor of Saint Joachim.
Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This is no other but the house of God. Genesis 28. Verse 17.
My house shall be called the house of prayer. Isaias 56. Verse 7.
How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! Psalm 83. Verse 1.
Saint Joachim Roman Catholic Church, in Old Mines, Missouri, USA - log cabin

Below the hill from the church are a number of old buildings of various styles of the colonial and pioneer periods.  Here we see a stone kiln or oven.

As late as the 1980s, according to musician Dennis Stroughmatt (who plays the traditional fiddle), there were nearly a thousand native French speakers in the greater Old Mines region. According to an interview:
Old Mines is, in the technical sense, it's a small village on Route 21 North of Potosi, Missouri, about 45 to 50 miles due west of Ste. Genevieve. That kind of gives you a geographic location. But really, Old Mines is much, much bigger than just the small village. The small village is maybe 20 houses, you know, and the St. Joachim church and school.  But the Old Mines region itself is anywhere from 40 to 50 miles square. Because that's what the locals call it, they call it the Old Mines district, which is a combination of the mines of Cadet, Mine à Breton (Potosi), and Mine Renault (the Renault mine). All the way basically from Potosi up to just south of Desoto is considered by the locals to be Old Mines. And in this area there have been French miners who have mined originally lead, for the king of France, and then tiff [barite], a chalky white substance that is the base of lead paint. And it basically, you find it concurrent with lead, in lead veins, and it was something they were able to continue to do independently. And this independence allowed them, in many way--because of their isolation in the Ozarks--the independence of being miners has allowed them to continue their language, continue their culture, their music. Whereas cousins of theirs, ancestors who may have originally been in Vincennes, or, some of them were originally in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, others in Peoria, Illinois, some in Belleville, some in Cahokia. Many moved across the river to Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, you know, Florissant, St. Charles. But then as the Americans, the English, the Germans started approaching, it was only the very few, wealthier families, who actually stayed along the Mississippi River, directly along the Mississippi. Of course, there are French families still there, but it was the largest groups that moved west into places like Potosi, Old Mines, Desoto, and Festus, because there was such an intensive French population there.
Stroughmatt says that Saint Joachim Church was the center of the community and kept the French culture alive. However, widespread conscription during World War II started changing the culture, due to the many young men leaving the Old Mines area.  But French culture remains even today in both local architectural customs, and in the traditional music of the area:
" good example is the song La Guillanée, which is the New Year's song. Now there's a song that has medieval connotations to it. It actually comes from a pagan ritual, in a sense. Even pre-Catholic church, because of it's idea, some say that it dates to the medieval period. But the thing about it is, it is known that it came from northern France--from Normandy, Brittany, from the very Celtic region for France--and that there is a ceremony, an event very similar to it in Scotland and in Ireland, called the Hogmanay, that happens around New Year's, when they sing a song that is similar to the Guillanée. A lot of it is about a time of the year, of being charitable and giving. And that's in the song, and also revelry, being happy, dancing, and a lot of this is in response to wintertime. You know, the fact that it's a very dark time of the year. And this is a way to sort of combat that, to combat the spirits of the year, and to combat the human spirit that becomes so depressed. Parts of this song are actually known in Louisiana, too."

Saint Joachim Roman Catholic Church, in Old Mines, Missouri, USA - cemetery

Saint Joachim's cemetery has numerous wrought iron cross-shaped monuments.  According to the Old Mines Area Historical Society, the common surnames found in the Old Mines region include:
Archambeau, Aubuchon, Auge, Beauline, Becquet, Bequette, Boeuf, Bonneau, Bourassau, Boyer, Caillot, Charbonneau, Coleman, Courtois, DeGagne, Degonia, Duclos, Govereau, Hamlin, Higginbotham, Juliette, Jullerat, Lachance, Lalumondiere, Lamarque, LaSource, Mallet, Maurice, Mercille, Mesplay, Missey, Mundy, Pashia, Pepin, Pratt, Robert dit Politte, Rouleau, Roussin, Sansoucie, Tanque, Troquet, Theabeau, Trudeau, Valle, and Villmer.
Mass times:
Saturday(Vigil):   4:00 p.m.   
Sunday:  8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m.
M, Tu, W, F:  8:15 a.m.   
Thursday:  7:00 p.m.   

Saturday 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

First Friday:   9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.   

10120 Crest Road
Cadet MO 63630