Tuesday, November 25, 2008

RELEASE-100th Anniversary of the Dedication of St. Francis de Sales

A note and some photos from Saint Francis de Sales Oratory:

ST. LOUIS, MO - Over 1.000 faithful gathered in the church of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, to assist at the Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Robert J. Hermann, Administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  From the powerful beginning of the “Premiere Symphonie” of Guilmant to the sweeping phrases of the Credo of the “Messe Solemnelle” of Charles Gounod to the soaring lines of the closing hymn of “To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King,” sixty musicians filled the magnificent Gothic edifice of the St. Francis de Sales church. The splendor of the sacred liturgy was adorned fittingly by the majesty and richness of the music, directed by Mr. Nick Botkins, director of sacred music and master of the choirs at the Oratory.  


His Excellency, Bishop Hermann gave a moving sermon. He invited all faithful of good will to reclaim the fullness of the sacraments. He impressed upon all present the “verticality of the architecture of the church” which corresponds so visibly with the theocentricity of the Mass.


The Holy Mass was then followed by a festive gathering in the Oratory Hall, celebrating St. Francis de Sales church’s German immigrant heritage.  Complete with traditional German food and beer and even a German band, the afternoon was enjoyed  by hundreds of families with children of all ages who crowded the church hall.  This overwhelming turnout was a testament to the thriving youthful community of faithful at the Oratory.


On this 100th Anniversary, it was also announced that St. Francis de Sales is beginning a capital campaign called “Tradition for Tomorrow.”   This campaign will raise the necessary funds to restore the church of St. Francis de Sales to its former glory and ensure that it remains a true landmark of South St. Louis.  More information can be found at .    



Mr. Jon R. T. Rochê


St. Francis de Sales Oratory

2653 Ohio Avenue

Saint Louis, Missouri 63118

p. 314. 771. 3100

f. 314. 771. 3295


  1. Glad you enjoyed the music (as I would have).

    Just remember Pius X didn't care for that sort of stuff.

  2. As Pius X wrote:

    "Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

    The above-mentioned qualities are also possessed in an excellent degree by Classic Polyphony, especially of the Roman School, which reached its greatest perfection in the fifteenth century, owing to the works of Pierluigi da Palestrina, and continued subsequently to produce compositions of excellent quality from a liturgical and musical standpoint. Classic Polyphony agrees admirably with Gregorian Chant, the supreme model of all sacred music, and hence it has been found worthy of a place side by side with Gregorian Chant, in the more solemn functions of the Church, such as those of the Pontifical Chapel. This, too, must therefore be restored largely in ecclesiastical functions, especially in the more important basilicas, in cathedrals, and in the churches and chapels of seminaries and other ecclesiastical institutions in which the necessary means are usually not lacking."

    He didn't like theatrical styles in church.

    Saint Francis de Sales Oratory's music typically is chant and organ.

  3. That is what I meant. Fortunately, other Popes before and after him have appreciated "theatrical styles" -- because they speak to my soul.