Friday, June 24, 2011

Newsletter from the Oratory


2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
June 24, 2011


Dear Faithful and Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory,


Priestly Ordinations 2010
On Thursday, July 7, 2011, His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke will ordain four new priests for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest: Rev. Messrs. Federico Pozza, Bertrand Bergerot, Matthieu Thermed and Brieuc de la Brosse. Several of these young men were in St. Louis in 2007 for the ordinations which took place in the Cathedral Basilica, and some of you hosted them at your houses.

This week of grace which closes the seminary year will also see the ordination of two deacons (in addition to the three that were ordained by His Eminence in January), seven subdeacons, and some thirty minor orders, while the dozen first year seminarians receive the cassock and tonsure. This year, our own Abbé Alex Barga will be traveling to Gricigliano to receive the orders of porter and lector. We warmly invite you to join with the clergy, sisters, and faithful of the Institute throughout the world as we pray for all these generous laborers who have answered the good Lord’s call to come to His harvest. Pray especially for the four men who are preparing to receive the most sublime dignity ever conferred upon men. They will be priests of Jesus Christ, called henceforth to bring men to God and to bring God to men. They will be sent to serve you and your families in the mission which Divine Providence has given to our Institute.


Corpus Christi Procession - 2010
This Sunday, we will again celebrate the External Solemnity of the Feast of Corpus Christi. On this Feast day Holy Mother Church reminds us of the fact that we can never do enough to venerate Our Lord here on earth, where He is really present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Please join us in the Solemn Procession through the streets around our church in the Fox Park Neighborhood after the Solemn High Mass at 10:00 A.M.


We are delighted to announce that the Oratory will host the special exhibit of relics for two days instead of one: on Friday, July 22, at 5:00 PM, and again on Saturday, July 23, at 9:00 AM.
           Father Carlos Martins
On both days, the visit will begin with a conference given by Fr. Carlos Martins in the Hall, followed by veneration of the relics in the church. Please note that access to the church to venerate the relics will be available only after the conference.
This visit of more than 150 sacred relics gives us all an opportunity to pay homage to Our Lord through His saints, and to the many saints who influence our lives through their intercession. Among the relics will be those of the apostles, John the Baptist, Doctors of the Church, many well-known patron saints, such as Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assissi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. Pio of Pietrelcina. Not to be missed in the midst of this constellation are a piece of veil of the Blessed Mother and a piece of the True Cross. (See list of saints.)
Please mark your calendars for July 22 and 23; join us when we receive the blessed presence of over 150 saints, and as we warmly welcome Father Carlos A. Martins, a priest of theCompanions of the Cross, and his “Treasures of the Church”, a ministry of evangelization of the Catholic Church.


For the third time since 2008, the Oratory has received the annual Golden Brick award from the DeSales Community Housing Corporation; this time, it’s for the courtyard garden project. In accordance with its mission to promote the renewal of the Fox Park and Tower Grove East neighborhoods, the Corporation recognizes outstanding projects which improves and beautifies the neighborhood. On behalf of the Oratory, Canon Michael K. Wiener attended the reception on Thursday, June 16, and gratefully accepted the award from Executive Director, Mr. Tom Pickel.


Previously, the Oratory had been recognized for the renovation of the sacristy (in 2008) and the renovation of the convent (2010.)
In contrast to the previous two awards, the “2011 Golden Brick” highlights an exterior improvement of the church. The courtyard garden project began with the installation of a wrought iron gate, delineating a garden space between the rectory and the convent. Once excavation began, it was discovered that underneath the asphalt was a lovely old brick courtyard. Over half of the salvaged old bricks were of very good quality, and are reused today in the paved walk way in the newly designed garden.

An American poet from the Nineteenth Century, Lucy Larcom, once wrote, “He who plants a tree, plants hope.” Slowly, the small trees, shrubs, and perennials are gradually taking root in this garden on the St. Francis de Sales campus. Where the ground was once paved with hard asphalt, soft rich earth now nourishes an urban oasis of verdant plants and pretty flowers.
The visibly vigorous plantings on our campus are indeed lovely additions to the Oratory’s exterior and reflect the growth of the Oratory community. This garden project was made possible through the generous donation of a benefactor, and many man-hours of hard work contributed by a Oratory members. As on previous two occasions, this Golden Brick award belongs to all of you, for without the dedication and unwavering support of all Oratory members and friends, the continued restoration of St. Francis de Sales would not be possible.


In just two months, on August 21, the Oratory will hold its annual “Summer at the Oratory” event, in honor of King St. Louis IX. If you can help with any aspect of the event – such as set-up and take-down, staffing the booths, operate games for children, to name a few – then we need you! Please contact the office and sign up for one or more of these duties to help make the event a great success.
A special area in which we need your creative and physical help at this time is the Silent Auction. We need to collect donated items from merchants to support the Auction. Visiting the merchants on behalf of the Oratory is an ambassadorial task which highlights the restoration needs of the Oratory and is ultimately rewarding for all concerned. Please pick up a donation request letter at the Oratory office, and invite a favorite vendor to participate in the restoration effort.
In addition to merchandise, the Oratory would heartily welcome special and unique items to our list of Auctions this year. Do you have an heirloom antique that you would be willing to donate to benefit the Oratory? Or a timeshare you won’t be using? Or a special talent or service, such as sewing, carpentry, music, language, sports, gardening, lessons, hairstyling, pet-sitting, …, which you would consider donating? Whatever you can offer, we could find a creative way to package it for the Silent Auction.

Please contact the office and let us know what you can donate.
 Summer at the Oratory is our community event. Your generous help and support will grow and strengthen St. Francis de Sales Oratory!

The response to the Institute’s second annual choir camp has been, as expected, overwhelming. The Girl’s dormitory filled up in less than a week! We currently have nine available spots for boy choristers.

The tuition for choir camp underwrites a large portion of the necessary expenses: faculty stipends, musical material, camp counselors, room and board for 50 people. However, to make this unique camp affordable for choristers to attend, we must ask that you prayerfully consider making a donation to help underwrite the remaining balance.

With my sincere prayers and best wishes,

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

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