Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Archbishop Raymond L. Burke Confers Papal Medal"

From Saint Francis de Sales Oratory:

Last Monday, June 2, His Grace The Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop of Saint Louis conferred the Papal Medal “Bene Merenti” on Abbé Alexander Willwebber of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest for his restoration work on several historic Catholic churches here in the United States.  This award is given by the Holy Father himself for outstanding good works for the Church.

Abbé Willwebber has been the artistic consultant for several restoration projects entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King all over the world and in the USA, like St. Mary’s Oratory in Wasau, Wisconsin, the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Chicago, Illinois, Old St. Patrick’s Oratory in Kansas City, Missouri, and St. Francis de Sales Oratory here in St. Louis, Missouri. While each of these edifices were designed in a different style—St. Mary’s in American Neo-Gothic, the Christ the King Shrine according to early Baroque churches in Rome, and St. Francis de Sales in German Gothic—the work of Abbé Willwebber has enabled each of the churches to recapture its original beauty.

A fine example of Abbé Willwebber’s work is the newly restored North Sacristy of the Institute’s Oratory here in St. Louis.  The sacristy, which is the vesting area for the priest before he celebrates Mass, has been restored to resemble a chapel built for St. Louis of France, the patron saint of our city. 

Archbishop Burke conferred the medal in a short ceremony in St. Francis de Sales’ Rectory at 7:00 p.m., followed by reception for the guest of honor and for Very Rev. Msgr. Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest; Very Rev. Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz, U.S. Provincial of the Institute, Chicago Illinois; Rev. Father Michael Wiener, Episcopal Delegate of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Oakland California;  Rev. Father Karl W. Lenhardt, Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, Vice Provincial and Episcopal Delegate of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum for the Archdiocese of St. Louis; Rev. Father William Avis, Vicar of  the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales; and several candidates of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. 

Father Avis, Msgr. Brier, Msgr. Wach, His Grace, Msgr. Schmitz, Abbé Alexander, Father Lenhardt

His Grace, Msgr. Schmitz, Abbé Alexander, Father Lenhardt

Abbé Alexander, His Grace
Photos and text courtesy of the Oratory.


  1. Wonderful news! Its a shame you won't see this printed in the Arhcbishops own newspaper.

    However, I have heard that "change" is on its way over at the Review.

  2. Anonymous,

    You may be referring to marxist 'party apparatchik' seeking to subvert the Church from the inside. These often are laymen with paid positions, who took advantage of the Church increasing the role of the laity after the Council. From what I've heard, the particular areas that were targeted for subversion included music ministry, liturgy and liturgical arts, catechesis, and media. May God have mercy on them.

    I've often seen advertising, in the alternative media, from progressive/marxist organizations seeking paid activists for the purpose of subverting the Church. I find this appalling, but the world hates Christ, so why should we be surprised?

    Obviously, the Review is just as much under the control of the Archbishop as anything else in the Archdiocese. If His Grace wishes this story to be printed in the Review, it will be printed.

    Using the analogy of a garden, a good gardener can spend his limited amount of time either tending to his crop or uprooting weeds. It is more important to nurture each individual crop plant than to uproot each individual weed.

    Now, a marxist will happily cover his garden with broad-spectrum herbicide, and will accept the destruction of the crops as long as 100% of the weeds are eliminated!

  3. Mark, I really enjoyed this update, thank you.

    And about the rest, how true, how true. I guess we need to borrow a chant from the old time Socialists in our turn, "We need strong bodies to fight the parasites!"

    If things do not change I would not be surprised if Muslims love Jesus more than the "West." They certainly show him more reverence than most but the most sincerely devout.