Thursday, March 29, 2012

News from the Oratory



2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
March 29, 2012


Dear Faithful Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,


On March 13, 2012, the Institute was honored to receive the visit of His Eminence, Joseph Cardinal Betori, Archbishop of Florence, to our Motherhouse in Gricigliano. The Archbishop was created cardinal by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, during the Consistory of February 18, 2012. During this visit, His Eminence was conducted on a complete tour of the seminary, by the Prior General of the Institute, Monsignor Gilles Wach. For the first time as Cardinal, His Eminence celebrated a Solemn Benediction in the Seminary’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.


With the entire Institute, we offer our fervent prayers and heartfelt congratulations to His Eminence, Cardinal Betori. To view more photos of this blessed occasion please click here.


This week, on March 27th , faithful from St. Francis de Sales were among the thousands who attended the Rally for Religious Liberty at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke at the Rally: “stand with us as witnesses to say this is about religious liberty, and we will never give up this freedom. … They are here so that we can say clearly to all: We will render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but we will not render unto Caesar what belongs to God.” He said in a strong voice that “we cannot, in good faith, comply with the mandate as it is written. Every avenue compromises our mission and forces us to render unto Caesar what belongs to God.”
Please keep in your prayer the Archbishop and this important issue of our time.

To see photos of this event please visit the website of the StLReview.


As we enter the fourth quarter of our fiscal year (ending in June), I would like to express our gratefulness for a mild winter, the excellent work done by our maintenance team, and everyone’s cooperation in keeping the utility cost down in the last few months. Economizing with our antiquated heating system is no mean feat, but it is very helpful to keep our utilities cost from exceeding the single largest expense of operating this campus, which is the property insurance (~$90,000 per annum) we owe the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As the vibrant community life continues to show, we have been very blessed at this Oratory. We are especially grateful in the knowledge that it is the continuous and generous support of all of you - friends and faithful – which has made the growth and development of the Oratory possible. As the month of March draws to a close, I invite all of you to continue to pray with us to St. Joseph, Patron and Protector of the Universal Church and Guardian of the Holy Family, to help us meet all the Oratory’s fiscal obligations.


Choir camp 2011

A most precious treasure at the Oratory is to hear the angelic children’s voices, singing for the sacred liturgy. This summer, the Institute will once again offer a week-long music camp for the children to hone their music skills in an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie at the Ursuline Motherhouse in Kentucky, from August 5th-10th. Immersed in daily music making with their peers, the campers will attend classes in Latin, Gregorian Chant, Music Theory, and Vocal Technique. Daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be offered by an Institute priest.
This year's faculty includes:
Mr. Nick Botkins (Director of Sacred Music - Saint Francis de Sales Oratory), Mr. Kevin Allen, (Composer, Chicago) , and Ms. Yollanda Bornhoff (Organist, Chicago), Mr. Joe Reidy (Saint Louis University).

The camp tuition will be kept at the same level as last year. For more information, please contact the Oratory office. We encourage all faithful to support this worthy music program, for the benefit of the children, and ultimately, for the future of the Church and her sacred liturgy.


US Province Clergy Retreat 2011
It is a privilege that St. Francis de Sales Oratory will be the site of the Institute's annual retreat for the clergy serving the US Province. At the beginning of May, from May 1st to May 4th (Tuesday-Friday), a retreat for all the oblates will be preached by Canon von Menshengen.
To view a video of our Oblates, click here
We will welcome many Institute priests from all parts of the US during the week of May 22-25, for a retreat with Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute. We are grateful to all the faithful who are already helping us during the planning stages of this important event. Your generous support for your priests is deeply appreciated.


Monsignor Holweck's health had never been robust, but in spite of it, his labors for his parish, for his archdiocese, and for the Catholic Church were outstanding. In early 1927 he became very ill and was taken to St. Anhony's Hospital, where he died on February 15, at the age of 71 years. He had completed 46 years in his priesthood and was considered a man of great literary talent. Besides his many activities, he wrote many books and articles in the field of church literature. In 1925, after thirty-two years of research, he published the "Biographical Dictionary of the Saints," a 1000-page work that received world-wide acclaim as the best book that had been written on this subject 'for several centuries.'

Rev. John Waeltermann,
Fifth Pastor of St. Francis de Sales, 1927-1929, “a son of the parish”

Father John Waeltermann, a son of the parish, educated in the parish school, and ordained in 1893, took over as fifth pastor of the parish on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1927. He was pastor of St. Francis de Sales for only two short years before he became suddenly ill and was called to his eternal reward on April 19, 1929. Father Waeltermann, however, had an intense desire to reduce the parish debt and this was especially reflected even in his last will and testament, in which he left an unique challenge to his priestly successor and to the people of his parish that he so loved.

His successor came on May 25, 1929, the Reverend Christian H. Winkelmann, until then the pastor of Sacred Heart parish at Richfountain, Missouri. Father Winkelmann, later went on to become Bishop Winkelmann in 1933, was the sixth pastor of our parish. With great zeal he acted quickly to carry out the last will and testament of Father Waeltermann, who had bequeathed the very generous sum of $10,000.00 to St. Francis de Sales parish, provided that an equal $10,000.00 would be raised by the parishioners in the short space of one year's time.

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Christian Winkelmann,
Bishop of Wichita, Kansas,
Sixth Pastor of St. Francis de Sales, 1929-1940
These were the well-remembered "depression days" in 1930, and the plan of raising an extra $10,000.00 for the church was met with many mixed emotions. Those inclined to be pessimistic in those dire days had reason enough to doubt that the money could be raised. Father Waeltermann's unique challenge, however, was met successfully and energetically by both priests and people, and before those precious twelve months had all but passed, Father Winkelmann joyfully announced that the goal had been reached and the extra $10,000.00 had been raised in time.

In 1931, just one year later, another heavy financial burden in those days was placed on the parish. This was the also well-remembered “widening of Gravois," a project that called for a payment of $5,000.00 on the part of the church. Gravois was at that time a narrow street with double car-tracks down the center. Small but prosperous business houses and nice homes lined both sides of the street. At first, strong opposition and many protests were made and heard. The tax assessment made upon property owners in those depression days for widening the street was considered rather steep. The church itself was taxed $5,000.00 to pay its share of the improvement. As history records, the street was widened in that year of 1931 as planned, and it was to the credit of the Christian Mothers' Society at that time that this organization raised this sum of money so vitally needed.

Palm Sunday April 1: 8:00am Low Mass;
9:30am Blessing of Palms & Procession followed by High Mass.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Masses and Confessions as usual

Holy Thursday, April 5: 5:30pm Confessions; 6:30pm Solemn High Mass; Procession to the Repository, with Adoration until Midnight

Good Friday, April 6: 8:00am Stations of the Cross/Confessions;
3:00pm Liturgy of the Passion & Death of Our Lord. (Confessions at 2:00pm)

Holy Saturday, April 7: 8:00pm Confessions;
9:00pm Easter Vigil followed by Blessing of Easter Food (Bread, Eggs)

Easter Sunday, April 8: 8:00am Low Mass; 10:00am High Mass

With the assurance of my prayers to Christ the King I wish you and your families and friends a very blessed Holy Week and feast of Easter,

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

No comments:

Post a Comment