Friday, February 25, 2011

News From the Oratory


2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
February 25, 2011


Dear Faithful and Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory,


Last August, a visitor to the Summer at the Oratory event recounted the many happy memories he and his friends had spent playing basketball in the gym of SFDS as a child and as a student. As had other buildings on our church campus which served the community for many decades, the gymnasium had fallen into serious disrepair.

After consulting with the Archbishop, we were able to obtain funding for the replacement of the roof from an endowment fund which had been set aside prior to the erection of the Oratory in 2005.

The work to replace the roof began a few months ago, when Mr. Wally Feld sifted through a good number of bids from roofers to replace the entire roof, comprising of both sloped and flat portions. The actual work began Monday, February 14, with the removal of the old roof, and repairing some of the broken underlying 1x6 planks.

The gymnasium is presently used on a regular basis by the KIPP charter school (and occasionally by our home school co-op and the candidates here at the rectory). After the repair of the roof we will be able to continue the restoration of the apartment in the building adjacent to the gymnasium: Canon Lenhardt, first rector of the Oratory, had planned on offering this apartment to a family or an individual interested in living “on campus” at St. Francis de Sales.

As St. Francis de Sales continues to be a focal point of the community, it seems important and worthwhile to maintain the integrity of the whole campus, so that the church and all its buildings can again serve this neighborhood and all those who congregate here.

We are very grateful for the generosity God Almighty shows towards us, visible in the assistance of the Most Reverend Archbishop and of all of you through your prayers and material support.
For more information about ongoing restoration work on the campus of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, please consult TraditionForTomorrow and the blog on this site.


In what has become an annual tradition for the Institute’s Seminary, the feast of St. Francis de Sales is celebrated with a pilgrimage to Treviso, Italy, where the heart of our holy patron is enshrined in the convent church of the Visitation Sisters. This year, Institute superiors, canons, seminarians and sisters made this pilgrimage, in the honored presence of His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

His Eminence celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass in honor of the Doctor of Divine Charity. The very gracious and hospitable Visitation Sisters assisted from their cloistered choir stalls. In the late afternoon, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was celebrated, after which the holy relic was presented to the clergy, sisters, and faithful for pious veneration.

This grace-filled pilgrimage was a very fitting preparation for the following day, when His Eminence, Cardinal Burke, was to ordain three Institute seminarians to the holy diaconate in the seminary chapel of Gricigliano.

From Cardinal Burke’s sermon:

"God has blessed us today the feast of St. Francis de Sales, on the occasion of this pilgrimage to the very place where the heart of this saint is venerated. For you, my sons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and my daughters, the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus, this pilgrimage to venerate the heart of St. Francis de Sales is rich in graces for your obedient response to the inspirations of the Holy Ghost in your vocation. By your veneration of the heart of St. Francis de Sales and your prayers, by his intercession in this place dedicated to his name, you will receive a new inspiration and new strength to serve Christ, Master, Priest and King, in His Mystical Body, the Church. You will receive the grace to imitate St. Francis de Sales in the union of his heart with the Royal Heart of Jesus."


In the International Seminary’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, January 30, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, ordained three men to the holy diaconate: two from France and one from Spain. One of the newly-ordained deacons will serve in the Institute’s growing apostolates in Ireland.


From Cardinal Burke’s sermon:

"Receive the mystery of Faith with a love that is pure and single-hearted. Express in your actions the mystery of your life in Christ. Proclaim the mystery of Faith in all that you say and do, so that all those you meet may be drawn through the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the only source of eternal salvation. Live every day in anticipation of your meeting with Our Lord on the last day, so that on that day, you may hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thy Lord” (Mt. 25:21)."

Canon Michael K. Wiener
Rector, St. Francis de Sales Oratory

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