Saturday, May 28, 2011

Newsletter from the Oratory


2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
May 27, 2011


Dear Faithful and Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory,

For the first time in many years, a Solemn Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form was offered at the Altar of the Chair at St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, May 15. In the presence of three cardinals, bishops, prelates, clergy, religious and laity, His Eminence Walter Cardinal Brandmueller celebrated this Mass at the conclusion of the symposium on the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. This marks the third such conference organized in Rome by the Italian society, Giovani e Tradizione (Youth and Tradition) and the Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum (Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum.)

His Eminence Walter Cardinal Brandmuller, the former President of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences,
and Canon Gilles Guitard, Master of Ceremony of the Institute.
Canon Gilles Guitard, Master of Ceremonies of the Institute of Christ the King, served the Mass together with many seminarians from Gricigliano and some altar servers from the Institute’s apostolate in Rome. This momentous liturgical event took place in the presence of three Cardinals - William Joseph Levada, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Franc Rodé and Domenico Bartolucci, as well as several bishops and prelates of the Roman Curia. Cardinal Bartolucci, former choirmaster of the Sistine Chapel, directed the choir in a polyphonic rendition of the Credo. Monsignor Wach and Monsignor Schmitz expressed their gratefulness to Fr. Vincenzo M. Nuara O.P., of Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum, who organized this celebration, which revealed yet again the enduring beauty and timelessness of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. For the many seminarians of the Institute who served in the liturgy, this Solemn Pontifical Mass will no doubt leave a profound impression.

      Cardinal Brandmueller, with (from left) Msgr. Schmitz, Msgr. Wach,                             Our superiors with Fr. Nuara
      Msgr. Agostini, Assistant Papal Master of Ceremonies, Msgr. Descourtieux
      (Commission Ecclesia Dei), and Fr. Nuara O.P.

More photos are available for viewing on the Institute site


Many people have asked the Canons of the Institute when they would be offering a program of solid spiritual, doctrinal and moral formation geared specifically to young adults. When young people leave home for the first time and begin to study or work with those who do not know Christ, their faith is quickly put to the test. To them especially apply the words of Scripture:Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you (1 Pt 3:15).

The day has arrived! The Institute of Christ the King now presents Sursum Corda, a nationwide initiative to foster the spiritual lives of the young adults in our apostolates. Sursum Corda’s first event will be a summer camp for ages 18 and up, July 8 through 11, 2011. The camp will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Retreat Center located on the grounds of St. Francis de Sales Seminary. Canon Aaron Huberfeld, Vicar of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, will be the chaplain for the camp.


The program includes daily Mass and Compline, Faith formation classes and discussions, and other social activities for the young men and women. For the detailed program of events, click here.

The cost is $200 per person, with $100 required for deposit. The number of participants is limited to only 35, so register online soon!



During the heavy thunderstorm on Monday, May 23rd, the cross atop the steeple was stuck by lightning, sending a shudder through the building and the people that were inside or nearby. Although the building is protected by a lightning arrestor system, some damage did occur. The electrical system was jolted; the blown circuits included two control circuits of the elevator safety system. The storm also blew out one of the protective glass plates for the stained glass windows in the south transept, leaving one of our priceless window panels vulnerable to breakage. On the roof, some slate tiles were blown to the ground and a few have been loosened. Two of the decorative copper panels in the belfry have blown loose.

Some of the damage has been repaired already: All electrical circuits have been restored; the elevator safety system was repaired and operating; and the protective window panel was replaced by Steve Frei of Emil Frei Associates, the same company that built the windows over 100 years ago. The roof awaits further inspection and repair in the near future. The total cost of the damage has not yet been assessed.

Though these are all costly repairs, the damages we have experienced pale in comparison with other communities in the Midwest which have been hard hit. Keeping in mind the upcoming Rogation Days of the Church, please join us in prayer, for the Oratory and for our neighbors in the St. Louis community, that further damage to lives and property by the severe weather can be avoided.


Please mark your calendars, and spread the word among family and friends: Our annual “Summer at the Oratory” event, celebrating the patron saint of our city, King Saint Louis IX, will take place on Sunday, August 21. As in previous years, the festivities this year will include terrific barbeque, beer, games, live jazz music, bazaars, fun and fellowship for the entire family. If you are willing to help us on the day of this event by selling tickets manning the booths etc. please contact the rectory at 314-771-3100, or via email.

With the assurence of my prayers in Christ the King,
Canon Michael K. Wiener
Rector, St. Francis de Sales Oratory

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