Wednesday, December 31- Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament: 5pm: Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the last year, w/ Benediction. The faithful attending this devotion may receive a plenary indulgence under the ordinary conditions.
Thursday, January 1- Circumcision of Our Lord: 8am: Low Mass w/organ; 10am: Solemn High Mass; 5pm: Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The faithful attending Masses today at the Oratory may receive a plenary indulgence under the ordinary conditions.
First Friday, January 2- Sacred Heart Friday: 6:30pm: Solemn High Mass: Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart, w/Benediction
Monday, January 5- Vigil of Epiphany: 5pm: Blessing of Holy Water
Tuesday, January 6-Solemn Feast of the Epiphany: 8am: Low Mass w/organ; 10am: Solemn High Mass
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This manger scene dates from 1866 and is made from cast iron, and was purchased by parishioners in thanksgiving for the homecoming of their soldiers.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Photos taken on Christmas Eve. I also took this photo of the night sky here.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Ice floes slide past the boat launch at Hermann, Missouri, on the Missouri River this past Christmas. The new Highway 19 bridge is seen in the background.
This photo, less artfully done, more clearly shows the doughnut-shaped ice floes. The flowing ice made a quiet shooshing noise, not unlike the sound a skier makes while sliding through the snow.
"DEARLY BELOVED, let us love one another: for charity is of God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is charity."
— 1 John 4:7-8
"St. Louis lies on the border between humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa) and humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa), and has neither large mountains nor large bodies of water to moderate its temperature. Both cold Canadian Arctic air and hot, humid tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico affect the region."The bad news is that we have a tornado warning. Continuing from the Wikipedia article:
"St. Louis usually experiences thunderstorms on the average 48 days a year. Especially in the spring, these storms can often be severe, with high winds, large hail and tornadoes. St. Louis has been affected on more than one occasion by particularly damaging tornadoes."Click here for photos of the Great Cyclone of '96, a tornado that caused enormous misery and destruction in Saint Louis and surrounding areas back in 1896.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Father Tammany related how on that one Christmas Eve, while Pastor in Richwoods, he went over to church about 10:30 o'clock at night to stoke up the furnace and get heat in the church for the Midnight Mass. Father Tammany said it was one of the severest winters on record, and as he described it "with snow up to my waist" and "almost too deep for horse and wagon"... After he stoked the furnace, he commenced to get things ready for Mass.
Father Tammany said he wondered, though, if anyone was going to be able to make it through the snow to church, so he went to the front doors of the church to look out at the conditions of the weather and of the snow. As he did, he was later to describe, he saw one of the most beautiful sights he was to remember. The whole valley and the hills, and the roads leading to St. Stephen were filled with little lights -- the lanterns of the families with their children making their way from all directions through the deep snow to be present at Midnight Mass. Some were coming on the roads, some along paths, or through fields. Some looked like they were on horseback, or in wagons, and some appeared to be walking. Father Tammany was deeply moved by the sight. And so he told the story thereafter at almost every Midnight Mass at Little Flower Church while he lived.
This story is recounted in this painting by Estelle (née Recar) Sellers Rulo, who presented it to St. Stephen parish in 1996.
I recalled this story as I saw big crowds at Midnight Mass, who filled the church despite the cold.
A statue of Saint Stephen, dressed as a deacon, and holding the stones of his martyrdom. This photo was taken in the church of Saint Stephen Protomartyr, in Richwoods, Missouri.
The record of Stephen's martyrdom is found in the Book of Acts, Chapter 7.
You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost. As your fathers did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One: of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers. Who have received the law by the disposition of angels and have not kept it.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
DOMINUS DIXIT ad me: Filium meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.
The Lord hath said to me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.
— Psalm 2:7
Veneration of the relic of the crib.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory
2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
23 December 2008
Email news letter contains information about:
THANKSGIVING FOR YEAR 2007
TRADITION FOR TOMORROW
LIGHTING OF THE STEEPLE
On the occasion of this year’s feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Lord I wish you in the name of the St. Francis de Sales Oratory and all its members a blessed and joyful Christmas!
We are all very much humbled by the numerous acts of generous support, friendship and genuine piety we witnessed during the time of Advent. Many Catholics, both from St. Louis and even far beyond, showed their fervor and loyalty to the Infant King, soon to be born again into this cold world. How inspiring that even in bad weather, the faithful in great numbers attended the sacred liturgy and received sacramental absolution in our confessionals.
In the name of the Prior General, Monsignor Gilles Wach, the Vicar General and Provincial Superior in the US, Monsignor Michael Schmitz, all priests, oblates, seminarians and Sister Adorers of our beloved Institute, I thank you from all of my heart for your hard work, incessant prayers and many sacrifices by which our work at the Oratory was made possible throughout this last year.
I invite you to come to our Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (December 24), at 12:00 AM, preceded by half an hour(11:30pm) of beautiful traditional Christmas carols sung by our fine choir. We are especially privileged to have this solemn liturgy accompanied by the Schubert Mass in G with orchestra.
Allow me again to draw your attention to our public awareness campaign “Tradition for Tomorrow” (www.TraditionForTomorrow.com). With this we wish to inform a broad audience in the St. Louis area of the necessary restoration of our church, and share with them the many exciting things going on at the Oratory. More and more it is becoming obvious that the anchor of the Fox Park neighborhood in South Saint Louis is St. Francis de Sales Oratory.
In the night sky the 300 foot tower of St. Francis de Sales is now visible: We have illuminated the top part of the steeple and its beauty can now be seen even by night over many miles. As you approach St. Francis de Sales you will see that our church is inviting you to kneel down at the crèche of our Lord: “Venite adoremus” – come and let us adore Him!
With my best wishes for a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Canon Michael K. Wiener
Rector St. Francis de Sales Oratory
O EMMANUEL, Rex et legifer noster, expectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine Deus noster.Everyone have a blessed, holy, and merry Christmas!
O Emannuel, King and Lawgiver, the desire of the nations and the Saviour thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God.
— Isaias 7:14, 33:22
Monday, December 22, 2008
O REX gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.Greater Advent Antiphon for December 22nd. Christ is to be King of all nations, bringing Gentile and Jew together in one body.
O King of nations, and their Desired, the Cornerstone Who dost make both one: come and save mankind whom Thou disdt form out of clay.
— Aggeus (Haggai) 2:8, Ephesians 2:14, 20
Sunday, December 21, 2008
O ORIENS, splendor lucis æternæ, et sol justitiæ: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.Greater Advent Antiphon for December 21st. We wait in hope for Christ, who will illumine us.
O Day-Spring, Brightness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
— Psalms 106:10 (Septuagint)
O CLAVIS David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui apreris, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.The Greater Antiphon of Advent, for December 20th; Christ is the key to Heaven, and here we are reminded of the keys to the Kingdom being given to Peter.
O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openest and no man shutteth, and shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring the prisoner forth from the prison-house, and him that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death.
— Isaias 22:22, Apocalypse 3:7, Luke 1:79
We have the hope of being freed from bondage. While the ancient Jews expected a triumphant Messiah who would free Israel from the oppression of the Nations, God rather gave us a suffering Messiah who would free us from the bondage of sin. However, as we remember the ancient hope of the birth of Our Savior, we also remain in expectation of his future triumphant return.
Friday, December 19, 2008
O RADIX Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecanbuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.The Greater Advent Antiphon for the Magnificat in Vespers of December 19th, prays to Christ by his title 'Root of Jesse'.
O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence, whom the Gentiles shall beseech: come and deliver us, and tarry not.
— Isaias 11:10
And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness.
And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.
But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity the meek of the earth: and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
O ADONAI, et dux domus Israel, que Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedistit: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.'Adonai' is Hebrew for 'Lord'.
O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us.
— Exodus 3:2, 20:1
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I predict that InBev will eventually become disappointed with this deal, and will likely lose money on it. A reason for this is simple: A-B was long considered a desirable company to own, although its stock price was considered to be high, and even though its price was rather flat for many years. The difference between a stock's price and its accounting book value is termed 'goodwill', and Anheuser-Busch had plenty of it, although less in recent years. When the new corporate masters attempt to cut costs, are they cutting accounting value or are they cutting goodwill?
Goodwill is hard earned, and as accountants know, it is not monetary. Anheuser-Busch had an old slogan "Making friends is our business", and although the company was hardly a perfect paragon of virtue, it still had many business practices that seemed rather old-fashioned compared to New Age 'enlightened', cutting-edge companies. Please consider that friendship was considered by the ancient pre-Christian philosophers as being the highest form of love, and could be symbolized by two individuals standing side-by-side, both looking forward together. Also consider the kind of business practices that would result from an attitude of friendship instead of an attitude of competition.
A contemporary cutting-edge company will subcontract its work out to the global, Internet-connected marketplace, getting the lowest costs available at each moment, whereas A-B would typically have long-term relationships with strategic suppliers. Now this does not mean that A-B would not be tough with its suppliers, for it often was — but it would, except under remarkable circumstances, attempt to keep the supplier relationships going. If you are a subcontractor, what would lead to the most goodwill: knowledge that you are the cheapest supplier at the particular moment, or knowing that you are just about guaranteed work for the foreseeable future?
O SAPIENTIA quæ ex ora Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, foriter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.The first of the antiphonæ majores, or greater antiphons, of the Advent office in the Roman breviary, addressed to Our Lord using some of His titles from scripture, these antiphons are prayed from December 17th through the 23rd. These are collected together in the verses of that most famous Advent hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel'.
O Wisdom, which camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence.
— Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 24:5, Wisdom 8:1
The books from which this antiphon are taken are from the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament, and so may be unfamiliar to Christians outside of the ancient apostolic Churches, which is a shame, for they miss some great beauty, philosophical reflection, and approaches to Trinitarian theology.
The personification of Wisdom here is not a literary device, but rather ought to be viewed philosophically and religiously as a deeply Trinitarian mystery. Wisdom, we are told, is discovered by us, or is revealed to us, and is usually only understood in old age: it preexists us and all of creation, and is the proper attribute of all men and all women, in all states of life. Wisdom is becoming to both great kings and to slaves and to all between. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The church is dedicated to Our Lady under her title of the Immaculate Conception.
The parish dates from 1853, making it second oldest in the county. This originally was a German language parish.
Photos taken after the vigil Mass of the First Sunday in Advent. Seating capacity is approximately 1000, and this church was filled when I attended.
The stained glass windows in the 1905 church came from Lewis Sealy, Sr., of Munich, Germany, and after the 1940 fire, were repaired by Sealy's sons who were then working for Emil Frei of Saint Louis.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Click here for writings by and about Cardinal Dulles.
In any discussion of reform, two opposite errors are to be avoided. The first is to assume that because the Church is divinely instituted, it never needs to be reformed. This position is erroneous because it fails to attend to the human element. Since all the members of the Church, including the Pope and the bishops, are limited in virtue and ability, they may fail to live up to the principles of the faith itself. When guilty of negligence, timidity, or misjudgment, they may need to be corrected, as Paul, for example, corrected Peter (Galatians 2:11).
The second error would be to assail or undermine the essentials of Catholic Christianity. This would not be reform but dissolution. Paul rebuked the Galatians for turning to a different gospel (1:6). The Catholic Church is unconditionally bound to her Scriptures, her creeds, her dogmas, and her divinely instituted hierarchical office and sacramental worship. To propose that the Church should deny the divinity of Christ, or retract the dogma of papal infallibility, or convert herself into a religious democracy, as some have done in the name of reform, is to misunderstand both the nature of Catholicism and the nature of reform.
Anyone seeking to reform the Church must share the Church’s faith and accept the essentials of her mission. The Church cannot take seriously the reforms advocated by those who deny that Christ was Son of God and Redeemer, who assert that the Scriptures teach error, or who hold that the Church should not require orthodoxy on the part of her members. Proposals coming from a perspective alien to Christian faith should be treated with the utmost suspicion if not dismissed as unworthy of consideration.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
According to a history of Saint Cecilia Church and town of Bartelso, dating from 1913:
Bartelso is a pretty little village situated in Santa Fe Township, and occupying the original site of Santa Fe. Its immediate neighborhood was settled by the whites prior to 1816. Up to 1876 it was a part of Carlyle and Germantown, but at the aforesaid date it was made a separate precinct...The church will be celebrating its quasquicentennial in June, 2009.
The church was erected 1884 by the present Vicar General Rt. Rev. Msgr. William CLUSE, at that time rector of St. Boniface’s church, Germantown, Ill. It is a brick building of 500 seating capacity and the cost of its erection was approximately $25,000.00. Rev. Joseph SPAETH was appointed first pastor of the new congregation and on January 19, 1885, the first mass was said in the new church... Father BARTELS donated the site where the present church and other buildings were built and also donated the cemetery where he found his resting place. The village of Bartelso is named after him. The original name of the congregation was Santa Fe [Spanish: Holy Faith].
Virtuous young ladies should understand that dressing modestly does not mean that they cannot appear attractive. However, the attractiveness of their attire should be a modest reflection of the beauty deep within their soul rather than an improper exposure of sensual beauty that has an attraction that is only skin deep.Three years before his death, Fr. Kunkel realized that the earthly battle for purity was lost; subsequently, immodesty became the cultural norm, continuing to our present day.
I have a feeling when I fade out of the picture that will be the end of the Crusade. I cannot find anyone to help who will carry out my principles, as I would like them carried out... Of course we cannot worry too much about these material things; I will do what I can while I am able and after that, if it should continue, it will be in Our Blessed Mother's hands.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Now I feel like one of those intellectuals in the coffee houses of Europe during the 17th century, with my mind whirring and no chance of getting any sleep, at least for a while. So this typing is not guaranteed to be interesting, relevant, or coherent.
Years ago, I had a friend Dave who was an aeronautical engineer, and we spent hours discussing aircraft design, a subject that always had a great appeal to me. One of our discussions was whether or not it was possible to design an electric powered aircraft, and we used as our target design the classic P-51 Mustang fighter from World War II, which was probably the greatest of propeller-driven aircraft. After drinking much coffee, we decided that yes, it was possible, but only if we used a very large capacitor to store the electricity, and this capacitor so happened to have about the same size and weight as the Mustang's impressive engine, which it would replace. So many seemingly good ideas never see the light of day, and we determined that this particular giant capacitor would explode violently with only the smallest amount of damage. Or, it could explode for no obvious reason.
Dave and I also discussed the design of unmanned aircraft. He reasoned that the commercial market for such things would be large, particularly for aerial photography, from surveying to news traffic reports, and so figured that such aircraft would be a valuable product in the future. Designing such a beast is easy, he said, because you don't have to make human accommodations, which complicates the layout and systems of the aircraft, and which also severely limits its performance characteristics. It is the control of such aircraft which is problematic. As I was the software guy, I worked up a general system design.
As it so happens, this also is easy, as long as you define and implement the system correctly. Autonomous aircraft are robots, and the design of robotic control algorithms was of great scientific interest since the late 1940s. But this research harvested little fruit and was largely abandoned by the 1960s, not to be taken up again until a couple decades later. A problem was that computers weren't fast enough. A bigger problem, not noticed at the time, was that the computer control programs were so controlling — you had one master control program attempting to do everything at once, which made these robots so slow as to be nearly unusable. Computer software in those days was kind of like the presidency of Lyndon Johnson — extreme micromanagement, with one master program trying to tell each component what to do at every moment. A dominant programming paradigm used in those days was called Master-Slave architecture; I would think that the name itself ought to have given its advocates some pause!
By the 1970s, a far more egalitarian-sounding paradigm, called Peer-to-Peer architecture, made its debut, and eventually became the foundation of the Internet. But a crucial design choice for this kind of architecture, called layering, ensured its success. Layering, implemented wisely, is like a good boss who hires excellent workers: he lets them do their job without interference, and the workers only report back upon completion of their tasks or if there is a problem they can't solve themselves. For example, your web browser sits at the very top of the Internet chain of command: you tell it to get you a web page, and the underlying layers do their job, which is no business of yours or of your web browser. No micromanagement. And because everything works according to standard interfaces, you can upgrade one component or another without changing the rest of the system, like a boss can get a new subordinate, or a subordinate can get a new boss.
But intolerable bosses still exist, and the invention of cell phones, laptop computers, and email makes a micromanaging superior a dreadful burden 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even if you are on vacation far away. And of course there are dreadful workers, who can't and won't do their job. But that is a topic for another article.
So this is the key to my old robot airplane: you have good workers and good bosses. The workers do their job very well, and the boss doesn't interfere in their work unless something goes wrong or if there is something new to do, and all these work together in parallel, with a minimum number of meetings and status reports. For example, a low-level program in my robot plane would keep, say, an aileron fixed at a certain position called for by its boss, no matter what happens, and to the best of its ability; if this isn't possible due to equipment failure or other condition, it reports the problem back to its boss. The boss program would determine what angle to set the aileron, but wouldn't tell the worker how to do it. The boss who decides which angles to set the control surfaces of the aircraft has its own boss, who decides the direction and altitude of the aircraft, but the bigger boss does not micromanage the details of how to do it. And there is an even bigger boss, who determines the general flight plan of the aircraft, which is ultimately controlled by the person who decides what he wants the aircraft to do, without bothering with the details. So the entire control system of the aircraft is a hierarchical series of layers, loosely connected to each other, each doing its job well, and each minding its own business.
'Minding its own business' is critical. A nosy boss is a bottleneck, as robotics researchers discovered back in the '60s and which countless workers discover every day. But this also means that the workers must be well trained and able to work very well independently. A good boss needs to know the limitations of his workers, as a good worker learns to ignore certain directives. If the boss program decides that an aileron needs to be set at 180 degrees, and if the worker knows this is impossible, it ought to strongly respond "no can do", and so the problem gets pushed up to the boss's boss, which is far better than a intimidated and submissive worker who agrees to an impossible task, only to fail sometime down the road. Likewise, if the boss program decides the left aileron needs to be set to 5 degrees, and this doesn't happen, the boss needs to bypass that component and quickly reassign the other control surfaces to compensate.
When he had converted to the Lord a vast number of people among the Frisians and many had come through his instruction to the knowledge of the truth, he then traveled, under the protection of God, to other parts of Germany to preach there and in this way came, with the help of God, to the place already mentioned, called Amanburch. Here the rulers were two twin brothers named Detticand Devrulf, whom he converted from the sacrilegious worship of idols which was practiced under the cloak of Christianity. He turned away also from the superstitions of paganism a great multitude of people by revealing to them the path of right understanding, and induced them to forsake their horrible and erroneous beliefs. When he had gathered together a sufficient number of believers he built a small chapel. Similarly he delivered the people of Hesse, who up to that time had practiced pagan ritual, from the captivity of the devil by preaching the Gospel as far as the borders of Saxony.
— from the Life of St. Boniface by Willibald