Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer at the Oratory

From Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri:

All are invited to a special community event at the Oratory

Come experience the oratory ~ support the Oratory ~ celebrate our common rich heritage

The city of St. Louis has a regal connection which goes back to the year 1297, when King Louis IX was proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church. By naming the new city after Saint Louis, the early settlers placed their new community under the patronage of a great king and saint. It is a tribute to their hopes and dreams that they wished to appropriate the saintly attributes for themselves and all future residents of this emerging city, and that they wished to ask for the saint’s intercessory prayers and protection.

The feast day of King St. Louis, the patron saint of our city, is August 25. It is customary, just as it was for the early French explorers and settlers, to reflect on the qualities which make a saint a saint, and to make a festive celebration on his feast day.

On the weekend of August 22nd , we at St. Francis de Sales Oratory invite everyone to join us in a celebration to honor King St. Louis and to introduce all comers to the Oratory.

Only a few years ago the Oratory was in danger of being closed and razed to the ground. Thanks to the vision of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, the church and the surrounding campus with several buildings were preserved and entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest so that it may bring new life to the church and neighborhood. A return to the best elements of tradition – family, genuine friendship, respect for cultural history, and religious values – is the motivation for our efforts here. St. Francis de Sales was once a center of both religious and social life for its members, and it is again.

On Saturday, August 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m, in celebration of this occasion, we are bringing back to life a tradition of festive summer bazaars and sizzling barbecues. The courtyard between the Church and the school will be transformed into a garden setting. Activities for children (face painting, clowns, games, etc.) and adults (silent auctions) will be held, while hourly drawings will be held for “attendance prizes.” A variety of refreshments will be served, including the Knights’ famous barbecue. The music group Jazzwind will entertain in the courtyard.

On Sunday, August 23, the External Solemnity of St. Louis of France, after the 10:00 Mass, the Knights will again be in the courtyard between the church and the school, serving their barbecue. Organ recitals inside the Church, as well as music from Jazzwind outside, will be performed.

In support of the Oratory’s on-going restoration efforts, your generous support of this endeavor will be greatly appreciated.

In a letter of instructions left by King St. Louis to his son Philip, he wrote, “If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either though vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts. Be kindhearted to the poor, the unfortunate and the afflicted. Give them as much help and consolation as you can. Thank God for all the benefits he has bestowed upon you, that you may be worthy to receive greater.”

Come join us, get to know us, and together, let’s honor the patron saint of St. Louis.


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