Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo of Mosaic at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Church

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, in Crestwood, Missouri, USA - mosaic

This mosaic is one of two in the sanctuary of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Church, in the suburban Saint Louis County town of Crestwood, Missouri.

According to the book Still shining: discovering lost treasures from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, by Diane Rademacher:
The two semi-circular mosaics were commissioned by the Busch family [of Anheuser-Busch fame, and whose estate, Grant's Farm, is nearby] of St. Louis... They were created by August Ortken and collaborators in Munich... At the fair, the panels were exhibited in the German Section of the Palace of Varied Industries. The exquisite murals portray the youthful betrothal and wedding of St. Elizabeth of Hungary....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Unexpected Snowfall

Gravois Creek, in Saint Louis County, Missouri, USA - after Spring snowfall

Springtime was briefly interrupted by snowfall. Taken at Gravois Creek in Saint Louis County near Grant's Farm.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Feast of the Annunciation

AND THE WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Our Lady's Chapel - wall mosaic of Annunciation

Mosaic of the Annunciation, at Our Lady's Chapel, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Photo taken in 2006.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo of the old Saint Mary's Female Orphan Asylum

Old Saint Mary's Female Orphan Asylum, in the Walnut Park neighborhood of Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

This is the old Saint Mary's Female [or Girl's] Orphan Asylum, located in the north Saint Louis neighborhood of Walnut Park East at 5341 Emerson Avenue. Dating from about 1909, it is now owned by the San Francisco Christian Assembly and remains a charitable institution.

Adjacent to this property is a campus of the Confluence Academy charter school, formerly the Cardinal Ritter Preparatory School, which has since relocated to near Saint Louis University.

According to a history dating from 1899:
This asylum, which is in charge of the Sisters of Charity, was founded in 1843, Mrs. Biddle, daughter of John Mullanphy, donating a site and $3,000 toward the erection of a home, giving at the same time the use of her own dwelling as a temporary asylum. In January, 1845, the building on Tenth and Biddle Streets was completed, and was occupied by St. Mary's Girls' Orphan Asylum for about fifty years, and until the recent removal of St. Joseph's Boys' Orphan Asylum to their new location, when St. Mary's Asylum was removed to the building vacated by the Boys' Asylum, at Fourteenth Street and Clark Avenue. In May, 1899, Archbishop Kain, president of the board of "managers of the Roman Catholic orphan asylums of St. Louis," received a gift of grounds for a new location in the northern part of the city, with means for the immediate erection of a suitable new building. St. Mary's Asylum maintains and educates orphan or homeless girls from the age of four to fourteen years. Two hundred and fifty girls are sheltered and instructed in common branches of education and vocal music, besides which they are taught to sew, cook, wash and bear a part in all the duties of the household. Children are given for adoption when suitable homes are provided; others are returned to their relatives when the necessity for assistance is over; those remaining in the asylum are, at the age of twelve or fourteen, either put out to service or transferred to St. Philomena's Industrial School, where they are taught dressmaking and other trades. The financial affairs of the asylum are conducted by the board of managers, consisting, besides the regular officers, of ten members, five clergymen, and five laymen. The internal government and management of the house is under the direction of twelve Sisters of Charity.

Encyclopedia of the history of St. Louis: a compendium of history and biography for ready reference, Volume 4, by William Hyde and Howard Louis Conard. The Southern History Company, 1899
Providing care for orphans was important in Plato's philosophy and Jewish law, and from the beginning was a primary concern for the Church. In the United States, the mobility of the population, a fluid economy, and the concentration of people in large cities both broke down traditional families and communities and ensured the rapid spread of epidemics. This led to many children without family or home, and so the creation of orphanages.

Orphanages are rare in the United States today largely thanks to a scandal exposed in 1950. The operator of an orphanage in Memphis, Tennessee, with the cooperation of the government, would forcibly take children from poor mothers, and would then effectively sell the children to wealthy couples. Despite the elimination of orphanages, the practice of selling desirable children to the wealthy still exists. A society cannot be virtuous unless its individual members are virtuous, and no system, civil law, or revolution can correct that.

Solemn Stations of the Cross at Saint Peter's Cathedral in Belleville, Illinois

StationsConcertWithProgram


Solemn Stations of the Cross
Friday, April 8, 7:00pm
The Cathedral of Saint Peter — Belleville, Illinois

With Soprano Christine Westhoff
Accompanied by Timothy Allen

Including
O Mensch Bewein' dein Sunde Gross (O Man Bewail thy Grievous Sin) — J.S. Bach
Hear ye Israel (from Elijah) — F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Ave Maria — F. Schubert
Pie Jesu — G. Faure
Panis Angelicus — C. Franck
O Divine Redeemer — C. Gounod
Fantasia and Fuge in G minor — J.S. Bach

For More Information, Call 618-234-1166

Saturday, March 19, 2011

“The Wanderer”

AN ANCIENT ANGLO-SAXON poem “The Wanderer”, here presented in prose translation. I read this poem in the hour before dawn, in bleak late winter, during Lent, contemplating the terrifying disaster in Japan, thinking about my livelihood, all the while preparing to attend two funerals later in the day, and so it seems somehow resonant. A broader spiritual reading may be appropriate.
The solitary man is constantly looking for mercy and God's compassion, though over the watery ways with gloomy heart he has long had to stir with his arms the icy sea, treading the paths of exile. Fate is absolutely fixed!

These are the words of a wanderer whose memory was full of troubles and cruel carnage, wherein his dear kinsmen had fallen:
'Ever it has been my lot to bewail my sorrows in solitude in the twilight of each morning. There is now no-one left alive to whom I dare tell frankly the feelings of my heart. I know truly that it is a mark of nobility in a knight that he should fasten securely and keep to himself the treasury in which his thoughts are stored — think what he will! For all his grief of heart a man cannot resist Fate, nor can his troubled spirit give him any help. And so those who are eager to be of good report generally keep their sorrow imprisoned in the secret chamber of the heart.

'I myself too, in my misery and distress, have constantly had to bind my feelings in fetters — exiled from home and far from my kinsmen — ever since the day when the dark earth closed over my generous lord, and I wandered away over the expanse of waters, destitute and distraught with the dangers of winter, looking in sorrow for the abode of a generous prince — if far or near I could find one who would feel regard for me in his banqueting hall, or comfort me in my friendlessness and entertain me with good cheer.'
It will be realised by him who experiences it what a cruel companion anxiety is to one who has no kind protector. His thoughts are full of homeless wanderings — not of gold rings; of his shivering breast — not of the good things of the earth. He calls to mind the men of the hall and the giving of treasure, and how when he was young he was entertained to his heart's content by his generous lord. But now all his happiness has passed away!

It will be realised, assuredly, by him who will have to forego for all time the instructions of his dear lord and friend. Ever when distress and sleep together lay hold on the poor solitary, he dreams that he is greeting and kissing his liege-lord, and laying his hands and head on his knee — just as he used to do when he enjoyed the bounty of the throne in days of old. Then the friendless man awakes again and sees before him the grey waves — sees the sea-birds bathing and spreading their wings, and rime falling, and snow mingled with hail. The grievous wounds, which the loss of his lord has made in his heart, are all the harder to bear, and his sorrow comes back to him when the memory of his kinsmen passes through his mind. He greets them in glad strains and scans them all eagerly. His warrior comrades again melt away, and as they vanish their spirits bring no familiar greetings to his ear. His sorrow comes back to him as on and on he must urge his aching heart over the expanse of waters.

Assuredly I cannot think of any reason in the world why my spirit should not be clouded, when I reflect upon the whole life of noblemen — how halls have suddenly been left destitute of proud warrior squires — just as mankind here droops and perishes day by day.

Assuredly no man can acquire wisdom until he has spent many years in the world. A man of authority must be patient, — not too impetuous, or too hasty of speech, or too slack or reckless in combat, or too timid, or jubilant, or covetous, or too ready to boast ere he knows full well the issue. When an impetuous warrior is making a vow, he ought to pause until he knows full well the issue — whither the impulse of his heart will lead. A wise man must perceive how mysterious will be the time when the wealth of all this age will lie waste — just as now in diverse places throughout this earth walls are standing beaten by the wind and covered with rime. The bulwarks are dismantled, the banqueting halls are ruinous; their rulers lie bereft of joy and all their proud chivalry has fallen by the wall. Some have been cut off by battle, borne on their last journey. One was carried by birds over the deep sea; one was given over to death by the grey wolf; one was buried in a hole in the earth by a knight of sad countenance. Thus did the Creator of men lay waste this place of habitation until the clamour of its occupants all ceased, and the buildings raised of old by giants stood empty. He then who in a spirit of meditation has pondered over this ruin, and who with an understanding heart probes the mystery of our life down to its depths, will call to mind many slaughters of long ago and give voice to such words as these:
'What has become of the steed? What has become of the squire? What has become of the giver of treasure? What has become of the banqueting houses? Where are the joys of the hall? O shining goblet! O mailed warrior! O glory of the prince! How has that time passed away, grown shadowy under the canopy of night as though it had never been! There remains now of the beloved knights no trace save the wall wondrously high, decorated with serpent forms. The nobles have been carried off by the violence of spears, by weapons greedy for slaughter and by mighty Fate, and these ramparts of stone are battered by tempests. Winter's blast, the driving snow-storm enwraps the earth when the shades of night come darkly lowering, and sends from the North a cruel hail-storm in wrath against mankind.

'All the realm of earth is full of tribulation. The life of mankind in the world is shattered by the handiwork of the Fates. Here wealth and friends, liegemen and kinsfolk pass away. Desolation will hold sway throughout the wide world.'
Thus spake the man wise of understanding as he sat communing with himself in solitude. Good is he who keeps his faith. A warrior must never be too precipitate in giving vent to the grief in his heart, unless he has learnt zealously to apply the remedy. Well will it be for him who seeks mercy and comfort from the Father in Heaven, upon whom all our security rests.
[Edited and translated by N. Kershaw, Cambridge University, 1922]

This poem embodies what C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien called ‘Northern-ness’, describing bleak winter skies, vast empty places, and a longing for the now-lost good things of the past. As Catholics believe that the world was made very good, we are fully in our right to mourn over things lost. But even in loss there is always a glimmer of hope. Lewis considered this sense of longing a component of joy.

The Latin phrase ‘Ubi sunt...’ translated as ‘Where are...’ is well represented in this poem, and is a key idea of Northernness. It is not just nostalgia, but rather is a meditation on the brevity of life. Ubi sunt was common in Medieval Catholic poetry, can be found in Country music, and was even a common theme in popular music of the 1960s.

In the North, winter is a stern disciplinarian; indeed, one could say that winter is a disaster of great scale that repeats itself inevitably every year. Northerners will undoubtably have a sense of inevitable loss; and yet, summer follows winter, and so there is always hope.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

From a Letter of Saint Patrick

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Chenoa, Illinois, USA - Saint Patrick.jpg I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught; yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop. I am certain in my heart that “all that I am,” I have received from God. So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God. He himself testifies that this is so. I never would have wanted these harsh words to spill from my mouth; I am not in the habit of speaking so sharply. Yet now I am driven by the zeal of God, Christ's truth has aroused me. I speak out too for love of my neighbors who are my only sons; for them I gave up my home country, my parents and even pushing my own life to the brink of death. If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.

I myself have composed and written these words with my own hand, so that they can be given and handed over, then sent swiftly to the soldiers of Coroticus. I am not addressing my own people, nor my fellow citizens of the holy Romans, but those who are now become citizens of demons by reason of their evil works. They have chosen, by their hostile deeds, to live in death; comrades of the Scotti and Picts and of all who behave like apostates, bloody men who have steeped themselves in the blood of innocent Christians. The very same people I have begotten for God; their number beyond count, I myself confirmed them in Christ.

The very next day after my new converts, dressed all in white, were anointed with chrism, even as it was still gleaming upon their foreheads, they were cruelly cut down and killed by the swords of these same devilish men. At once I sent a good priest with a letter. I could trust him, for I had taught him from his boyhood. He went, accompanied by other priests, to see if we might claw something back from all the looting, most important, the baptized captives whom they had seized. Yet all they did was to laugh in our faces at the mere mention of their prisoners.

Because of all this, I am at a loss to know whether to weep more for those they killed or those that are captured: or indeed for these men themselves whom the devil has taken fast for his slaves. In truth, they will bind themselves alongside him in the pains of the everlasting pit: for “he who sins is a slave already” and is to be called “son of the devil.”

Because of this, let every God-fearing man mark well that to me they are outcasts: cast out also by Christ my God, whose ambassador I am. Patricides, they are, yes and fratricides, no better than ravening wolves devouring God's own people like a loaf of bread. Exactly as it says: “the wicked have scattered your law, O Lord,” which in these latter days he had planted in Ireland with so much hope and goodness; here it had been taught and nurtured in God's sight....

Monday, March 14, 2011

First Spring Flowers

Francis Park, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - First flowers of spring, in the snow

At Francis Park, in Saint Louis.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
This doctrine is repeated many times in sacred scripture, so much so that we really ought to take notice and give it significant weight. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: this confounds heretics and libertines. Modern Biblical exegesis attempts to explain this away, by giving us images of a passive and nice Jesus, rather than the Lion of Judah, Whose return is called a day of wrath and a day of mourning, when Heaven and Earth will be burning to ashes.

When disaster strikes, like we see in a large scale now in Japan, or in commonplace but devastating personal tragedies, this nice, inoffensive, modern philosophy fails us. Rather, our supposedly sweet and gentle ‘buddy’ Jesus takes away with a shocking ferocity.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

News From the Oratory


SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES ORATORY
EMAIL NEWSLETTER

2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
www.institute-christ-king.org
www.TraditionForTomorrow.com
314-771-3100
March 11, 2011


RETREAT AMERICAN PROVINCE – MARIAN MEDIATION
SERMON EXCERPT, WRATH - RECEPTION


Dear Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,


RETREAT FOR THE AMERICAN PROVINCE IN THE ROME OF THE WEST


From March 28 through April 1, 2011, all the canons of the American province of the Institute as well as several from other parts of the world will gather at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis for a retreat to be preached by our Prior General, Monsignor Gilles Wach. All the good work which priests accomplish in the apostolate must flow from a fervent interior life with God. This is why every priest of the Church is required to make an annual retreat.

Msgr. Wach will celebrate the 10:00 AM Solemn High Mass on Sunday, March 27. One of our newly ordained American priests, Canon Michael Stein, will preach at the Mass. Canon Stein is currently assigned to our African missions, and he will give a presentation on the missions at a reception in the lower hall following the 10:00 AM Mass. The retreat will conclude with a Solemn High Mass on Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 PM, followed by a reception with all the faithful. We welcome Msgr. Wach, Canon Stein and all other priests to St. Francis de Sales Oratory for what will surely be a memorable week.



MARIAN COREDEMPTION AND MEDIATION: AN INTRODUCTION
On Saturday, 9 April 2011, at 11 AM Monsignor Arthur B. Calkins, chaplain of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, will present an introduction to the Virgin Mary’s role as the Redeemer’s most intimate collaborator in the work of our salvation and sanctification. St. Francis de Sales is grateful for Monsignor Calkins' visit at the Oratory; his talk will serve as an effective preparation during the holy season of Lent. Here is a short article Msgr. Calkins provided for us which gives an outline of his talk on April 9 in the hall of the Oratory:

In the course of two millennia and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the Catholic Church has come to an ever more focused understanding of the person and role of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. The first Marian dogma to be solemnly declared was that Mary is in fact the Theotókos, the God-bearer or Mother of God. Subsequently the Church reached the certitude that Mary is ever Virgin: that she was a virgin before, during and after giving birth to Jesus. After centuries of debate the Catholic Church arrived at the assurance that Mary was immaculate from the first moment of her conception. Finally in 1950, after ascertaining the Church’s long held belief, the Venerable Pius XII formally defined that the Virgin Mary was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.

All four of these dogmas refer to the person of Mary in relation to the God-man, Jesus Christ. But Catholics believe even more about Mary than these profound mysteries regarding her person. They also believe that she played and continues to play an entirely unique role in the work of our salvation. In the course of the second millennium saints and theologians have been meditating, preaching and writing about Mary’s collaboration in the work of redemption and in the distribution of grace while for over one hundred fifty years the Popes have teaching about her maternal role.

SERMONS ON THE SEVEN CAPITAL SINS
During the pre-lenten and lenten season we want to meditate in our Sunday sermons on the "Seven Capital Sins" - as a means to help us to acquire more effectively the opposite virtues. Canon Huberfeld and I talked already about Sloth, Envy and Wrath; the sermon series continues with thoughts about the sin of Gluttony, Lust, Greed and Pride.

Sermon program:
Sloth – Septuagesima Sunday
Envy – Sexagesima Sunday
Wrath – Quinquagesima Sunday
Gluttony – First Sunday of Lent
Lust – Second Sunday of Lent
Greed – Third Sunday of Lent
Pride - Passion Sunday
Here is a short excerpt of Canon Huberfeld's sermon on "Wrath":

"Anger may be defined simply as “the desire to get revenge.” And nearly always, it is not the rights of God or of our helpless neighbor that we are seeking to avenge, but our own ruffled pride. The smallest child displays this behavior. If his brother hits him over the head with a toy, he might be surprised the first time and just cry from the pain, but the second time his first thought will be to settle the score, with a little more thrown in for good measure.

The fact that sins of anger are often only venial should not put us at ease. Never forget that, after original sin, the first mortal sin recorded in the Scriptures was a sin of anger. Cain fell from grace long before he finally rose up against his brother. As Our Lord said from the Mount: you have heard that it was said to them of old, thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment. ...


Some people are never in control of their temper, but most are able to avoid being an ogre in public; their own vanity keeps their anger in check. Tragically, it most often with those to whom we are closest – our friends and closest family members -- that our wrath knows no bounds. With them we are, it seems, ready to fight to the death over the smallest matters. In some households, snapping, cutting down, and a hateful tone of voice are a way of life – or rather, a way of death. The initial reasons for a quarrel are soon forgotten; all that matters is winning the battle at hand."



RECEPTION FOR MONSIGNOR WACH

On Sunday March 27, 2011 the faithful will host a reception for Monsignor Gilles Wach, Founder and Prior General of the Institute, at St. Francis de Sales Oratory after the 10 AM Solemn High Mass. Monsignor Wach will be in St. Louis to give a week long retreat for the clergy of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in the United States. At the reception, the faithful will have the opportunity to greet Monsignor Wach, and to hear a presentation from Canon Michael Stein on the mission in Gabon, Africa.

 

Please consider joining the faithful in warmly welcoming and showing our gratitude to Monsignor Wach. We need many helping hands at this reception. If you could assist in any big or small way with the reception, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the rectory 314.771.3100 or sfds@institute-christ-king.org. Thank you for your generosity.


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

Two Statues

TWO STATUES at Saint Louis University:

Statue of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, at the Saint Louis University medical campus, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Bronze statue detail, "Tender Touch", by George W. Lundeen, at the Saint Louis University medical campus, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Detail of the sculpture“ Tender Touch”, by George W. Lundeen, which depicts a young nurse, Mary Lanning.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan Crisis Response

A timely and focused web page from Google on the terrible Japan earthquake is here. For those of us who can do nothing to help, perhaps we can offer some prayers?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday

REMEMBER, MAN, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.

Saint Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - ashes for Ash Wednesday

Ashes, at Saint Raphael Church, in Saint Louis.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Carnival and Lent

MARDI GRAS is huge here in Saint Louis. Established back sometime in the 1970s, it has become a large celebration, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the old Soulard neighborhood of the city. This carnival is in remembrance of the old French heritage of the city, and it imitates the celebrations found in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is downstream from us on the Mississippi River.

Like New Orleans, the Saint Louis celebrations have an obscene character. Despite — or because? — of this, Mardi Gras is supported and sponsored by the city government, local corporations, and civic groups. It's good for tourism, they say. I say it's bad for your soul.

But the reason behind Carnival, and its final day, Mardi Gras, was the observance of the severe penances of Lent. Undoubtably a little celebration is called for before spending forty days spiritually in a desert, which is a time for the penitential acts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. But the Latin Church got rid of severe penances at the time just before Mardi Gras became popular [Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini, Pope Paul VI, 1966]. I've noticed many times that whenever the Church appears to give up something that is rightfully hers, someone else will take it for their own purposes.

It would be a severe mistake to think that the excesses of Carnival and Mardi Gras have anything to do with Catholicism, except in the most tangential and remote way. Do the revelers observe Lent? The New Orleans Carnival (in its present form) was started by non-Catholic Americans of English descent. The Venice Carnival was reestablished in the 1970s by the staunchly anti-Catholic government of Italy, and the Rio de Janeiro Carnival was started by upper-middle class bourgeois infused with Enlightenment ideas. Carnival, except in its most basic form of a moderate celebration, is not Catholic.

According to the Very Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger:
[Lent] ... is the Church’s preparation for Easter, and was instituted at the very commencement of Christianity. Our Blessed Lord himself sanctioned it by his fasting forty days and forty nights in the desert; and though he would not impose it on the world by an express commandment, (which, then, could not have been open to the power of dispensation,) yet he showed plainly enough by his own example, that Fasting, which God had so frequently ordered in the Old Law, was to be also practised by the Children of the New.
The Disciples of St. John the Baptist came, one day, to Jesus, and said to him: Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy Disciples do not fast? And Jesus said to them: Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast. [St Matth. ix. 14,15].
— The Liturgical Year
According to Guéranger, the observance of Lent dates as far back as Apostolic times, which is the very beginning, and continues the practices found among the Jews before Christ. Penance was originally quite severe, and over the centuries greater laxity appeared. Today, we have arrived at the low point, where little or no penance whatsoever is observed, for neither do Christians do not see any spiritual benefit to it, nor are we obliged to do much of it.

Pope Benedict XIV, in 1741, wrote:
The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it, we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the Cross of Christ. By it, we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it, we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted, but that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.

— Encyclical Non ambigimus
Guéranger comments on this:
And must there not result from this ever-growing spirit of immortification, a general effeminacy of character, which will lead, at last, to frightful social disorders? The sad predictions of Pope Benedict the Fourteenth are but too truly verified. Those nations, among whose people the spirit and practice of penance are extinct, are heaping against themselves the wrath of God, and provoking his justice to destroy them by one or other of these scourges, - civil discord, or conquest.
A terrifying prophecy indeed. This Lent, let's try harder, and be more open to grace.

Monday, March 07, 2011

First Sign of Spring

New greens - first sign of spring

New greens spring up from among last year's leaves. Spring will be here soon!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

More Photos of Mosaics at Resurrection Cemetery

A SERIES OF outdoor mosaics decorate Resurrection Cemetery in Affton, Missouri. These monuments, which date from about 1974, illustrate salvation history and were among the last commissions of the famed Ravenna Mosaic Company.

Quickly changing weather during my last visit prevented me from photographing all of the mosaics, so I was only able to show the mosaics on the eastern side of each monument. Here I present the western mosaics:

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Pentecost

Pentecost.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Ascension of Our Lord

The Ascension.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of Our Lord teaching

Jesus teaching.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Crucifixion of Our Lord

The Crucifixion.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Last Supper

The Last Supper.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic, "I will be your God"

“I will be your God, you will be my people.”

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of King David

King David.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of Moses and the Burning Bush

Moses and the Burning Bush.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Blessed Virgin Mary.

Resurrection Cemetery, in Affton, Missouri, USA - mosaic of heavenly figures

I'm not sure what this represents. [Update: this is most likely Creation.]

Click here to see the other mosaics.

Friday, March 04, 2011

“Catholic STL” for Apple Mobile Devices

IMG_0102

The Archdiocese of Saint Louis today released a new application for Apple mobile devices, Catholic STL:
Catholic STL provides the easiest way for the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO to find parish information, mass and sacrament times, and see what's happening in the Church in St. Louis!

You can view parishes on a map, search for parishes around you, and see Mass, Reconciliation and Adoration times. You can view the latest news from the Archdiocese, and you can see and send in your own prayers. This App is a great way to keep you connected to the Archdiocese and to your Catholic faith on the go!
This app is a free download that you can get here. More information is here.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Photos of Saint Joseph Church, in Louisiana, Missouri

HERE ARE PHOTOS of Saint Joseph Church, in the Pike County town of Louisiana, Missouri. Located on bluffs high above the Mississippi River, and part of the Diocese of Jefferson City, this church is about 85 highway miles northwest of Saint Louis.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA

The parish was founded in 1865, and the beautiful church features a rare decorative roof. The parish is named after Saint Joseph, foster-father of Our Lord Jesus, husband of the Virgin, and patron of the universal church.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - front door

The front door.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - nave

The interior of the church. The pews are angled somewhat towards the center. Artistically, the church features a decorative ceiling and fine stained glass windows. I didn't use a tripod for these shots, so these pictures are bit blurry.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - tabernacle

Tabernacle of Our Lord, surrounded by eucharistic symbols of wheat and grapes, and below woodworking tools of Saint Joseph and the fleur-de-lys of Saint Louis.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - stained glass window of the agony in the garden

One of the windows behind the altar — the agony in the garden of Gethsemane.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - stained glass window detail of the Crucifixion

Crucifixion.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - stained glass window detail of Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - stained glass window detail of Saint Louis IX

Saint Louis.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - confessional

The confessional.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA - sign

Louisiana, Missouri, USA - street view

A view of the street near the church. Louisiana was founded in 1817, and was a prosperous river port. Many Victorian homes are preserved here.

Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA  - exterior from a distance

A view of a the church from a block away. Turning the camera around, we get this view:

View from Riverview Park, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA

The Mississippi River from Riverview Park. This beautifully scenic region is favored by many artists.

Address:
508 North Third Street
Louisiana, Missouri 63353

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sculpture of De Smet

Sculpture of Pierre-Jean De Smet, at De Smet High School, in Creve Coeur, Missouri, USA

A bronze sculpture of Pierre-Jean de Smet (1801-1873), Belgian Jesuit and missionary to the Indians. The sculpture is at the front entrance to De Smet Jesuit High School, in the suburban Saint Louis County town of Creve Coeur, Missouri.

From a history of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus:
Seven novices, two brothers and two priests walked from Maryland to the Ohio River and then set off in two humble rafts tied together. Keelboats, skiffs and barges crowded the river but did not cow the eleven Jesuits who bought a book called The Riverman's Guide and trusted they could learn enough to make their way where less adventuresome (or less prayerful) travelers would have declined to go.

The faith of the pioneer Belgian Jesuits was justified when they arrived safe, tired and footsore after walking across Illinois from the Ohio River to the banks of the Mississippi. Before long they turned a log cabin on a primitive farm north of the village of St. Louis into an adequate but spare home for their new community.
De Smet, one of the founders of the Missouri Province, exhibited the exemplary courage typical of the Jesuits of that era. He was a missionary to the American West, was called the best friend the Indians ever had, and would often act as an intermediary between the natives and the United States government. He travelled frequently between Europe and the Americas in support of his mission.

According to Jesuit historian Fr. William Barnaby Faherty, despite Fr. De Smet's holiness of life, it is unlikely that he will ever be canonized, for he was known as an administrator and an “empire builder”, rather than a man of quiet contemplation. However, he was greatly encouraged by the prayers of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, whom De Smet considered the “protector” of his missions.

Some of Father De Smet's writings are available online: