Saturday, January 26, 2013

Newsletter from the Oratory

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2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
January 25, 2013


Dear Faithful and Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory,


December 15th, 2012 marked the second annual Gaudete Gala. The Oratory faithful, along with many family, and friends celebrated the approaching arrival of the Christ Child with memorable choral and orchestral music led by Mr. Nick Botkins, and dined on a delightful dinner prepared and served by the staff of Two Mikes Catering.

Great company was enjoyed by many on this festive evening as the Oratory choirs sung songs such asAve Maria and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, while feasting on Beef Bourguignon and Mousse de Chocolat. With a very successful silent auction and the generosity of many will allow for much needed repairs to be done on the main church organ.


I sincerely would like to thank all who attended, and those who contributed their time, effort, prayers and donations to make this event a great success. We look forward to continuing the Gaudete Gala for many years to come.

                              1888 Building

Most of the maintenance work in the past months has been accomplished with the help of our gracious volunteers who have been busy with a variety of on-going projects. At this time I would like to highlight a few of those projects.

In preparation for the Gaudete Gala, Mr. Phil Roussin and Mr. Phil Winslow painted the columns in the church hall. Using Mr. Roussin's scaffolding they were able to reach the tops of the columns and then paint the bases with a contrasting color that will better stand up to the use they get near the floor.

These same two volunteers have taken on painting the 1888 building stairway to the third floor for the SFdS Homeschool Co-op, which is a difficult project due to the ability to get access to the higher levels above the stairs. The results so far are a definite improvement over the drab and dirty appearance of that entranceway.

Clock gear

In the Church itself right before Christmas, in the sanctuary near the choir stalls the plaster bases of the columns which have been broken for some time deteriorated even more. They were re-plastered by a specialist, and Mr. Roussin was able to match the original paint very closely. By Midnight Mass, no one could even tell we had a problem there.

We also are gradually scraping and re-painting the worst of the peeling paint in the main vestibule of the church.

Another volunteer, Mr. Chris Koziatek, has been gradually painting the basement of the rectory to brighten up the space that has been neglected for years.

Mr. Gary Wnuk has been working to correct church chandelier wiring and other electrical problems.

The work on the steeple clock, which was started by volunteer Mr. Chris Petersen, has been on hold, awaiting some missing critical parts that must be cast using the original parts as a mold. This is being done for us by Wilson Manufacturing Company, as their free time allows.


Mr. Brian Douglass led a volunteer group to start a patching project of the deteriorated stone wall along Iowa Avenue at the parking lot. One Saturday’s work gave us a start of the improvement. Winter weather has now delayed the progress of this work until spring.


Saint Francis de Sales

Divine Providence has blessed us with a church dedicated to Saint Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church and co-Patron of Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. This noble saint, born in midst of the Savoyard mountains, was a pioneer in the spiritual formation of the laity. At a time when most were convinced that holiness consisted in extraordinary austerities and heavenly visions, he assured his contemporaries, and even us today, that it really consists in the constant renewal of one’s desire to belong to God, to do His Will and to live a life of active charity.

At the Oratory we will have the great joy of celebrating this illustrious saint on the external solemnity of his feast on Sunday, January 27th, at both the 8am and 10am Masses and again on the feast itself onTuesday January 29th with an 8am Low Mass, and a 6:30pm Solemn Mass. Following the Solemn Mass will be veneration of his holy relic. All the faithful who assist at the Oratory on this day may gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.


With the 10am Mass on Sunday, February 10th we will continue the long running tradition of holding the 40 Hours Devotion. All the faithful are welcome to adore our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament in preparation for Lent.

Sunday, February 10th – 10am Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament followed by Eucharistic procession, adoration until 6:00pm followed by Vespers.

Monday, February 11th – Low Mass at 8am, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until 6pm. Low Mass at the St. Joseph altar at 12:15pm, and Solemn Mass at 6:30pm.

Tuesday, February 12th – Low Mass at 8am, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Low Mass at the Saint Joseph altar 12:15pm. 6:30pm Solemn Mass in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament exposed, followed by Eucharistic procession and Benediction.


Sunday, January 27th - Septuagesima Sunday/External Solemnity of Saint Francis de Sales:
St. Francis de Sales & Church Authority to make laws.

Sunday, February 3rd - Sexagesima Sunday:
To contribute to the support of the Church

Sunday, February 10th - Quinquagesima /40 Hours:
To hear Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and to refrain from servile work.

Sunday, February 17th - 1st Sunday of Lent:
To fast and abstain on the days appointed

Sunday, February 24th - 2nd Sunday of Lent:
To confess one’s sins at least once a year

Sunday, March 3rd – 3rd Sunday of Lent:
To obey the marriage laws of the Church

Sunday, March 10th - 4th Sunday of Lent “Laetare”:
To receive the Holy Communion at least during the Easter Season


Saturday, February 2nd, we draw to a close the Christmas season with the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as Candlemas. Low Mass at 8am, Solemn Mass with the blessing of candles and procession at 10am.

February 13th is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the great fast of Lent. Low Mass 8am, 12:15pm, and Solemn Mass at 6:30pm. At all Masses there will be the blessing and imposition of ashes.

This Christmas season the Infant King has greatly blessed us with the generous support of those who have volunteered their time and expertize and those who have given financially for the work of the Oratory.  As Lent quickly approaches, before the altar of God during Holy Mass and the Divine Office, our grateful prayers will rise to heaven for your intentions
In Christo Rege et Maria,
Canon William E. Avis
Pro-Rector of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

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