Friday, August 03, 2012

Newsletter from the Oratory


2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
August 02, 2012


Dear Faithful and Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,


Please note that the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Mass times are: 8:00 AM (Low Mass), 12:15 PM (Mass with organ), and 6:30 PM (Solemn High Mass.)

By the Apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus, promulgated on November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII formally defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory"
In Paragraph 40, the Holy Father summarized: 
“Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.”


Summer at the Oratory 2011

Come one and all - it is less than three weeks away now! Held every year to coincide with the feast of the patron saint of our city and archdiocese, King Saint Louis IX, “Summer at the Oratory” is the Oratory’s primary summer community event. Just as the Oratory’s community has grown, so has “Summer at the Oratory” expanded in scope and richness year by year.

Following the External Solemnity of the Feast of King St. Louis, on Sunday, August 19, this day of festivity will be great fun for the whole family, for the Fox Park Neighborhood, and for the entire Oratory community.

This year we are introducing a great Raffle. Since the Spring, a team of volunteers has been organizing donations from many businesses and making raffle tickets available to all faithful. (They may be purchased after both Sunday Masses in the Church Hall or by calling the office.)

A wide array of excellent prizes is waiting to be claimed; the prizes include a vacation package, gift certificates, winery & brewery tours, and $$$, just to name a few. Games and rides, notably “Pig Races,” the dunking booth and horse rides will be there. The live jazz music lined up for this year are: The Carolbeth True Trio from 1-4 PM, and The Steve Schenkel Trio, featuring vocalist Deborah Sharn, for the late afternoon, from 5-7 PM. Then there are the time-tested popular standbys: Silent Auction, Country Market, attendance prizes, and tremendous food and drinks offered by our best cooking Knights – superb barbecues and Schlafly beer – all waiting to be enjoyed by you and your family and friends!

As we get closer to the date, Mrs. Maryrose Schmidt is organizing volunteers whose willing hands are crucial to the success of this community event. Please consider donating ½ hour or more of your time to make this the best “Summer at the Oratory” ever! Maryrose Schmidt will be in the basement after both Masses on the next two Sundays with sign up sheets or contact her at 314-558-4867


Old Saint Ferdinand Shrine

On Saturday, July 14, approximately 30 young adults met for a day of recollection and fellowship, starting with the 8:00 AM Holy Mass at St. Francis de Sales. A convivial breakfast in the newly renovated Convent dining room followed. Together the group embarked on a tour of St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, MO, and prayed the Rosary. At 12:00 noon, a spiritual conference was given to the group by Canon Matthew Talarico. The conference featured Pope Benedict XVI’s recent letter on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, emphasizing social communications and putting them to good use for the glory of God. A picnic lunch and outdoor games completed a fantastic day of Sursum Corda – literally “hearts lifted.”


Begun in 2011, Sursum Corda is the Institute’s nation-wide initiative to foster the spiritual lives of young adults ages 18-35. The first retreat last summer was regarded by all participants as a spiritually and culturally enriching event. In addition to the interim activities at the local level, a second national retreat will take place this month, from Friday, August 10 to Monday, August 13. To see last year’s Sursum Corda Retreat, please visit here.


St. Francis de Sales Oratory has been blessed with meeting and supporting many candidates for the Seminary and many seminarians who come to the Oratory to assist the Canons in their work. Abbé Matthew Weaver, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, is assisting at the Oratory for a few weeks before returning to Gricigliano for the next academic year at the Seminary. On Sunday, July 22, Abbé Weaver, having just received his cassock and clerical tonsure earlier in the month, gave a delightful presentation to the faithful.


By getting to know the seminarians and seeing the seminary through their eyes, we have gained a new appreciation for the priestly formation at the Institute’s Seminary. Our resolve to support them with our prayers has been strengthened, and so has theirs to pray for all the faithful!


Iowa street

During last winter’s snow removal operations, part of the cap stone on top of the long stone wall that runs along Iowa Street was damaged. Closer inspection of the entire wall showed that, although structurally sound, it was in need of repairs to keep it from soon becoming a major problem. Several people looked at it and offered suggestions and costs for its repair. The final plan that was contracted for consists of: rebuilding the corner post, which did have structural issues; rebuilding and resetting the capstone along the top; grinding out old mortar and tuck-pointing the major portions of the full face of the wall that are in most need; parging (covering using concrete or a masonry-based mortar) the backside of the wall along the slope of the hill; and doing some paving to prevent water from getting behind the wall from the top. This work should ensure extending this wall’s serviceable life well into the future, thereby saving the need for an extremely expensive rebuild. These repairs have now begun with a target for completion by the time we celebrate Summer at the Oratory.

Canon Talarico with Abbe Weaver

Had they been informed, ESPN would not have missed the sport event that took place on Sunday, July 15: the first ever Oratory Home Run Derby. Similar to the derby in the Major Leagues, each player got ten “outs” per round, and the players who hit home runs in each round advance to the next. There were three rounds in all.


By no means was this an easy derby. From 12:30 noon to 3 PM, the St. Louis summer heat made it a contest of endurance as well as skill for the 25-30 players who tried their hand, and the pitchers and catchers who offered their talents. Cheered on by 75 or so spectators standing in the shade, the vigorous athletic contest took its full course. In the end, those wearing the cassock proved to be quite the hitters to beat. For this first ever Oratory derby, the first-place trophy went to Abbe Matthew Weaver, the visiting seminarian. May his studies at the seminary be as stellar as his performance on the baseball field!

Congratulations to all who participated; it was a great afternoon of good cheers and wholesome recreation for all - the young and old, girls and boys, women and men - who came. Stay tuned for the next derby!

We are pleased to bring to you a message from Canon Wiener:

“From Germany I send you all my heartfelt greetings. I am very grateful for your prayers for me and for God's infinite goodness and mercy. Right now I have completed half of the total six treatments and so far the doctors are very satisfied with the results. I will continue to pray for you and your families and for the entire Oratory in St. Louis. Thank you especially for the many written greetings I have received and which I appreciate very much. May God bless you all! – Canon Michael K. Wiener, Bayerisch Gmain, Germany”

You are welcome to write a card or a letter to Canon at the postal address below:

Canon Michael Wiener
Institut Christus Konig
Feuerwehrheimstrasse, 40
D-83457 Bayerisch Gmain

Yours faithfully, in Christ the King,
Canon Matthew Talarico
Substitute Provincial, US

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