Friday, April 26, 2013

Newsletter from the Oratory


2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
April 26, A.D. 2013


Dear Faithful and Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory,



With many thanks to our generous benefactors and Ms. Michelle Bowman-DuMey of Restorations Plus for the restoration of the adoring angels!

Recently there has been a persistent water leak into the church from the ceiling near the south confessional, requiring the area to be roped off. Mr. Chris Petersen volunteered to go up into the space between the ceiling and the roof to inspect the problem. He found that the leak was over a wider range of the roof than previously thought and consisted of several smaller leaks. Further it was determined that two of the original roof joists would need to be replaced since they were deteriorated beyond repair.

To temporally relieve the leak and protect the ceiling from further damage, he installed a diverter tarp below the roof and above the ceiling to drain the leaking water to a pump, which then pumps the water outside when it’s raining. This has proved to be very good temporary relief, as all areas concerned have been kept dry during the recent heavy rains.

A contract has been awarded to correct the problem by repairing a 20' x 25' portion of the roof, including replacing damaged wood and installing new slate tiles.

Work will begin as soon as all needed materials are on site.


The month of May is traditionally dedicated in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and one of the many different types of devotional practices during this time is to crown an image of Our Lady.

At the Oratory our children, 5 years of age and older, are cordially invited to participate in the May Crowning before the 10am Mass on Sunday, May 5th. They should bring a flower for the Blessed Mother and arrive at the back of the church at 9:40am that Sunday. There will be a rehearsal for the Crowning on Sunday, April 28th after the 10am Mass. For more information please contact the rectory.


“I am the bread of life. He that comes to me shall not hunger, and he that believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

On Sunday, May 12th we will celebrate the First Holy Communion of about a dozen children. This is a joyous occasion for all who are tended by the true Shepherd through the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, which He instituted on Maundy Thursday.


It’s also a moment when all Catholics may renew their devotion to Our Eucharistic Lord, who laid down His life for us on the Cross and who provides the spiritual sustenance which enables our souls to be strengthened and grow in love for God and neighbor.

Please pray for our young people as they prepare to receive our Lord for the first time.

During the week of April 29-May 3, the Oratory will again host six oblates who serve in the US Province in various apostolates, and candidates for the oblatehood. The occasion is the annual retreat for oblates of the Institute, preached this year by Canon Richard von Menshengen from the Institute apostolate in Tucson, Arizona.

The Institute is blessed with quite a number of young men who have a strong vocation to the community life, and to serve our Lord at the altar and in various ways. As full members of the Institute, our oblates work closely with our priests, dedicating their many and varied talents to serve in our apostolates. As we know well at St. Francis de Sales, their role is so indispensable that they are sometimes called the “guardian angels of the priest.” With gratitude for their service to the Church and to the Institute, please join us in welcoming them to the Oratory, and offering prayers for their vocation.



In addition to the oblate retreat, St. Francis de Sales Oratory will once again have the privilege of hosting all of the Institute priests serving the US Province for the annual retreat during the week of June 3-7. As in previous years, Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General and Founder of the Institute, will come to preach.

Like the annual Chapter Meeting, this gathering is an important event in the community life of the Institute, and an anticipated event which we all look forward to. We are deeply grateful for the help and support of the faithful here in St. Louis, as we plan for the arrival of all our priests from many parts of the United States. Please pray for us, and be assured of the Institute’s prayers of gratitude for your continuous generosity.

With many blessings during the Month of Mary, I remain sincerely yours…
In Christ the King and Mary,

Canon William Avis
Pro-Rector of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

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