Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Night Photo of Saint Joseph Church in Clayton, Missouri

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Clayton, Missouri, USA - exterior side at night

Saint Joseph Church in Clayton is the mother church of many parishes in mid-Saint Louis County.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Photo of Spire

Saint Francis Xavier Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - tower at dusk

Photo of spire of Saint Francis Xavier Church, on the campus of Saint Louis University.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Photos of Visitation/Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Visitation/Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri. The church is located in the Lewis Place neighborhood of the city, and is 4 ½ road miles northwest of the Old Cathedral.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior front

Our Lady of the Visitation Parish was founded in 1882, in the Grand Prairie area of the city.  Holy Ghost Parish merged into this church in 1961, and Saint Ann merged in 1992, giving the church the name Visitation/Saint Ann Shrine.

This building dates from 1909, was designed by Thomas P. Barnett, and is constructed of red brick and Bedford limestone in the Tudor Gothic style.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - nave

The interior of the church following the last night of the Novena to Saint Ann, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The interior is furnished with oak and Bianchi marble.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - sanctuary

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - tabernacle

The tabernacle, on the old high altar.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - baptismal font

The baptismal font.  In front is a copy of the Virgin of Montserrat, also known as La Moreneta.

"I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon." (Song of Songs 1:5)


Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - statue of Saint Ann 2

The shrine area of the church.  This church holds an annual novena to Saint Ann, and the pastor plans to further build up the shrine.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - statue of Saint Ann

This statue portrays Saint Ann teaching Mary to read.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window 1 Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - stained glass window 2

Two of the stained glass windows.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - ceiling detail

Ornate arches hold up the roof.

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - side of nave

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - statue of Saint Joseph and the Christ Child

Statue of Saint Joseph holding the Christ Child, in the baptistry. 

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - pipe organ

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior side 1

Visitation-Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior side 2

Mass Times:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. (Novena to Saint Ann following Thursday Mass)
Sunday 9:30 a.m.

Address:
4515 Evans Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63113

"Changes at the Oratory"

FATHERS Lenhardt and Avis have received new assignments from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and are to leave Saint Francis de Sales Oratory in Saint Louis, Missouri. See the article Changes at the Oratory, over at Saint Louis Catholic.

They will be missed!  The Institute has, at last count, twelve apostolates in the United States, and there is great demand for more.

Oy vey.  I attend Mass somewhere else and I miss out on the big news.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Relic of Saint Ann

Visitation/Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - relic of Saint Ann

Relic of Saint Ann, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, photographed this evening at Visitation/Saint Ann Shrine, in Saint Louis, Missouri.  Today was the final day of the Shrine's annual novena to Saint Ann, on her feast day.  Saint Ann, pray for us!

More photos of this church to come.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Photo of Saint Vincent de Paul Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior at sunset

Saint Vincent de Paul Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, dates from 1844 and was one of the first parish churches in the city. The church was founded by, and is still administered by the Congregation of the Mission, also known as the Vincentians.

Click here for some of my old (and low-quality) photos of the church
.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Deal for Saint Stanislaus Church

IN A LAWSUIT filed in the City of Saint Louis, the Archdiocese is seeking that the Saint Stanislaus Corporation recognize its original 1891 charter.  If the suit is successful, the church will once again be a Catholic parish. The Archdiocese will supply the church with a Polish priest from the Society of Jesus, and the controversy will be settled.  This sounds like a good deal to me:  members of the church get to keep their buildings, while also having a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church.

Click here for the petition.

Unlike other churches in the Archdiocese, Saint Stanislaus Church was organized as a separate corporation, governed by a board of directors, and headed by a priest assigned by the Archdiocese. More commonly in the United States, parish churches are owned by the diocese. This kind of organization was expedient in the days of the church's founding in 1891, but led to the current controversy.   The current lawsuit recognizes this old status quo, and does not seek the reorganization of the parish's property.  It was widely believed that this church was to be among many others that were to be closed in 2005, and that a change of ownership was the first step in this process.

While demographic changes had led to the closure of many urban and even suburban churches in the Archdiocese, it was first and foremost the lack of priests which made the situation critical. Priests in this diocese are generally worked very hard, and the many new seminarians may eventually ease this burden.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Photo of the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, in Ladue, Missouri

Discalced Carmelite Monastery, in Ladue, Missouri, USA - exterior at night

Photo of the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, in Ladue, Missouri. Taken last night after the concluding outdoor Mass of the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two Complaints

  1. Much sacred music is difficult for Baritones to sing.
  2. Fluorescent lighting makes it hard to photograph colors faithfully.

Photo of the Interior of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - interior in the afternoon

The late afternoon sun illumines the stained glass windows in the sanctuary of Saint Francis de Sales. Photo taken on Friday, June 27th, 2008

I didn't attend Mass here today, and I miss it already.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Photo of Saint Mary Magdalene Church, in Brentwood, Missouri

Saint Mary Magdalene Roman Catholic Church, in Brentwood, Missouri, USA - exterior

Saint Mary Magdalene Church, in Brentwood, Missouri.

Photo of Icon

Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - exterior icon of Jesus

Icon of Jesus, outside of Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Photo of Tower

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, in Maplewood, Missouri, USA - tower detail

Tower of Immaculate Conception Church, in Maplewood, Missouri.

Photos of Chapels at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois

THE NATIONAL Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois, is located about nine road miles southeast of downtown Saint Louis. This is the largest and most visited shrine in the region, operated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It is in the Diocese of Belleville.

PICT0041

The large outdoor amphitheater.

From the Shrine website:
Christ the King Chapel, the Mary Chapel and the Rosary Courts are integrated into the Main Shrine area. A massive steel framework was built. Wet cement was sprayed over the entire structure to form a shell. Rising gracefully from the concrete shell is a 50' concrete "M" which stands for Mary, the Mother of Jesus. A 70' spire rises from the apex of the symbolic "M" serving as a beacon guiding visitors to the magnificent setting. Three circles, representing the Holy Trinity, surmount a bronze cross. A bronze dove in downward flight is at the base of the spire, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.

Our Lady of the Snows

The 16' fiberglass statue of Our Lady of the Snows stands beneath the symbolic dove and before a tongue of fire. She is surrounded by a chalice symbolizing her role as Christ's Mother. Her gown is designed in the form of a Calla Lily, a symbol of purity. She holds the Christ Child up and forward, presenting her Son to the world.

The Altar

The black marble altar in front of Our Lady of the Snows is the Main Altar for outdoor liturgies at the Shrine. Artist Rodney Winfield designed the large bronze crucifix, the tabernacle, and the pair of three branched candelabras. The latticework of metal rings beside the chalice represents graces flowing to us from God. Additional rings and circles are reflected in stonework on the first and second levels of the sanctuary, emphasizing Christs blessings to all who receive Him.
The above photo was taken in October, 2005. The following photos were taken in June, 2008.

Amphitheater altar, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA

Here is a close up of the outdoor altar.  The chapel dates from 1960, and is one of the best examples of modernism applied to Catholic architecture that I've seen.  Whether or not you like this style, clearly this shrine was constructed with a lofty and cohesive plan, attention to detail, and quality materials and workmanship, and has extensive iconography.  These are lacking in the vast majority of Catholic churches built in the last forty years.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - tall view of interior

This is Mary's Chapel, which is located behind the altar shown in the previous photo.  The statue of Mary seen in the previous photo is inside of the tall green structure seen here.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - altar

From the Shrine's website:
...Celestial scenes of adoring angels are depicted on a circular center wall, created by artist Karl Peterson. A gold and platinum wax base was applied by hand to achieve the breathtaking, three-dimensional effect.

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, form the panoramic backdrop that shines through the plate glass behind the Outdoor Altar. When lit at night, it envelops the statue of Our Lady with a soft, colorful aura of light. The Aurora Borealis recalls the work of Fr. Paul Schulte, O.M.I., the famous "flying priest of the Arctic," who was known for his work among the Inuit (Eskimo) people. In the Arctic, the Aurora Borealis appears over the frozen horizon as a fiery, vertical rainbow.
Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - statue of Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary and Christ Child, surrounded by adoring angels, is the backdrop to the black, polished granite altar.

The Church tends to have an inherently cautious approach to liturgical art, as it ought.  This chapel dates from 1960, but some elements of its style appear twenty or so years older, and so these chapels have a certain comfort to them, which otherwise was missing in much of the secular architecture of its day. However, that same tendency means that there are, unfortunately, still Catholic churches being built today in the hard style of iconoclastic Modernism, even though the secular world abandoned that style in the early 1970s.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - stained glass window

The stained glass windows are non-representational.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - view from right

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - holy water font

Holy water font.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - confessional detail

Detail on the doors of the confessional.  The figure to the left is Saint James the Greater; and to the right is... Saint Thomas?  I can't tell.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Old Testament door

Old Testament doors to Mary's Chapel.  According to the Shrine website:
The two sets of bronze doors at the entrance of the Mary Chapel represent a significant artistic achievement. Designed by artist Rodney Winfield and cast by an eleven-man crew, the four panels weigh over a half-ton. Fred Lutz of Century Brass remembers the many days of trial and error and an endless stream of calculations. Finally, molten bronze was poured into the huge molds and the doors were cast. After eight months of grinding, finishing, and silvering, the artist burnished the doors and coated them with epoxy to protect them from the elements.

The doors at the right side of the chapel depict the major Old Testament prophets-Moses, Isaiah Jeremiah, and Ezekiel surrounding the tree of Jesse. The New Testament doors, found on the left side of the chapel, depict the Nativity of the Child Jesus. The four Evangelists surround a palm tree that represents Christ's martyrdom. The center section of the doors illustrates the two great Sacraments of the Church (Baptism and the Eucharist).
The Winfield Gallery website shows some works by Rodney Winfield on classical themes; he also worked for the famed Emil Frei Stained Glass company.

Mary's Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - New Testament door

The New Testament doors.  Even though the shrine is nearing 50 years old, it still is in good condition.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Rosary Court - Glorious Mysteries

Underneath Mary's Chapel is the Rosary Court, which depicts the traditional 15 Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To the left are the Joyful Mysteries, and to the right, in this corridor, are the Glorious Mysteries; in the Chapel of of Christ the King, between the two, are the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Rosary Court - First Joyful Mystery, Annunciation

First Joyful Mystery, The Annunciation.  The mosaics here were designed by Winfield and executed by the Ravenna Mosaic Company, which also did the artwork at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis and Saint Cecilia's Church, among others.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Rosary Court - Fifth Glorious Mystery, Mary Crowned Queen of Heaven

Fifth Glorious Mystery, The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth.
August Queen of Heaven!
Sovereign Mistress of the angels!
Thou who from the beginning
hast received from God
the power and mission to crush the head of Satan,
we humbly beseech thee
to send thy holy Legions,
that, under thy command
and by thy power,
they may pursue the evil spirits,
encounter them on every side,
resist their bold attacks
and drive them hence into the abyss of eternal woe.

Amen
Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Rosary Court - Fifth Joyful Mystery, The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Fifth Joyful Mystery, The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - exterior door

Doors into Christ the King Chapel.  These are probably the most purely Modernistic design elements in the shrine:  plain, white, functional, and without hierarchy.  The door to the left leads to the narthex area, which has the confessionals, while the right door leads behind the chapel's altar to the mosaics of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - panorama

Interior view of Christ the King Chapel.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - First Sorrowful Mystery, The Agony in the Garden

The Rosary mosaics continue inside of the chapel. First Sorrowful Mystery, The Agony in the Garden.  "My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me."

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - tabernacle 2

The tabernacle and Third Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - altar

Above the altar is a canopy with a mosaic of the Dove of the Holy Ghost.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Our Lady of Hope

At the back of the chapel are several statues of Mary.  Our Lady of Hope.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Statue of Our Lady

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Our Lady of Knock

Our Lady of Knock.

Christ the King Chapel, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois, USA - Our Lady

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Matthew contra Saskatoon Cathedral"

ODDLY ENOUGH, this is a time of cathedral-building in North America! But the cathedrals being built, or recently built, are rather disappointing, if not downright heretical. See the article Matthew contra Saskatoon Cathedral, which is about
the unfortunate new proposal for Holy Family Cathedral in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a $28 million (Canadian) project that resembles nothing so much as a 1960s Pan-Am terminal, despite a sincere and much-appreciated desire among the designers and planners for noble beauty and local materials.
Be sure to see Matthew's awesome counter-proposal.

Lost Time

I WAS PLAYING a game of Solitaire when I was suddenly reminded of a prayer of St. Teresa of Ávila:
A Prayer to Redeem Lost Time

O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in "wedding garments." Amen.
Wasted time!  Playing Solitaire only makes you good at playing Solitaire, and as its name suggests, it isn't even good for the pleasant companionship of friends, as are other card games like Poker.

Actually, when I was playing that solitary game, I was mulling over my singlehood.  Now, I don't like talking about myself, especially when it comes to dating and relationships (Dawn Eden is much better at that), but lost time is particularly relevant here, for I am no longer a young man.  Dare I say that most every woman I've ever dated was well-suited to be my wife? Although friends and family may disagree in more than a few instances, usually that is true. In nearly all cases, the persons involved, me and her, were not the problem, rather it was the course of the relationship between us that was wrong.  Anyone who has experienced modern dating life knows what I'm talking about, and for those who haven't, you don't want to know!

Blame is easy to assign.  We all know what the problem is.

So where do I go from here?  How, with God's grace, can this lost time be restored?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Thought Experiment

A CORRESPONDENT lately upbraided me for transcribing the text of a Confederate monument, this giving the appearance of me supporting the dreadful practice of slavery. That was not my intent. But we now often assume that anyone who fought for the Confederacy must have supported its 'peculiar institution' and therefore must be evil.

But please indulge me for proposing a modest "thought experiment".  Perhaps this will shed some light on the above matter.

Imagine, if you will, that the United States today has an abhorrent, evil institution, so widespread that the news media, entertainers, educators, politicians, businessmen, and even religious leaders thoroughly support it. Imagine also that nearly every town has a group of prominent citizens who actively promote this evil. This evil institution is so ingrained in our culture that it is a cornerstone of the economy.  But you don't have to imagine this:  this institution is legalized abortion.  Our economy is so dependent on abortion, that if it were eliminated, our workforce would decline by at least 25%, and it would have a greater economic effect than even the elimination of slavery in the Old South.  But the widespread support for this peculiar institution is practical and ingrained, and only its most hardcore supporters could be said to be truly demonic.

Now imagine that the United Nations, due to the Islamization of many of its most powerful member-nations, decrees that abortion is a scourge on humanity.  I would go along with that. In reaction, the United States, in protest, leaves the U.N.  No longer having a seat on the Security Council, the other nations on that Council, being Muslim, then authorizes war against the U.S., for the specific purpose of restoring unity to the brotherhood of nations, and also for eliminating the evil institution of abortion. Having inherited the militaries of Europe, Canada, and much of Asia, the Islamic countries of the United Nations are a formidable military power and immediately launch air and naval attacks on the U.S., while building up a vast invasion army. Unfortunately, increased social spending in the United States has led to a large reduction in its armed forces, and the regular forces, although valiant, prove inadequate to repel the invasion.

Now, what would I do, being anti-abortion?  Obviously I support the sentiment of this imaginary U.N. in wanting to outlaw abortion.  Would I join forces with the invading army, and help to finally get rid of this great evil?

So what would I do?  I would take my 12-gauge shotgun and kill any foreign invader I'd find.  I would organize with my friends and neighbors to set up militias, guerilla groups, spy rings, and underground saboteur cells to kill enemy soldiers, harass their supply lines, and disrupt the foreign command and control.  We would be patriots and gladly live and die for America and her freedoms.  As we are greatly outnumbered, our cause is doomed to failure.  But we "displayed a courage so superb that it gave a new and brighter luster to the annals of valor."  As the United States is Islamized following the war, prominent supporters of abortion are executed and the scourge of abortion is finally wiped from the face of the earth, and American fighters are to be forever demonized as supporters of that great evil.  But the true American patriots, few in number, will remember that it was noble to defend one's beloved homeland, despite its faults.

I hope this little mental exercise proves its point.  Defending one's own homeland is no vice, despite the evils that may exist there.  Moral theology recognizes that self-defense is a legitimate use of lethal force, and that cowardice is a vice.

Photo of Saint Clare Catholic School Chapel, in O'Fallon, Illinois

Saint Clare Catholic School Chapel, in O'Fallon, Illinois, USA - exterior

Monday, July 14, 2008

In Memory of the Vendée

IN MEMORY OF the thousands of Catholic peasants, nobility, priests, women, children, and elderly of the Vendée who were slaughtered for resisting the French Revolution.

Saint Mary of the Barrens Roman Catholic Church, in Perryville, Missouri, USA - painting of French martyrs

Long live King Louis XX!