Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - transcept detail

Detail of the right transept at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Photos of Mosaics of Saint Louis at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

LAST SUNDAY, on the Feast of Saint Louis, King of France, I attended Holy Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Afterwards, I took these photos of the mosaics of Saint Louis in the narthex of the church.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Narthex

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 1 in Narthex - St. Louis Founds the Sorbonne

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 2 in Narthex - St. Louis Ruling His Subjects

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 3 in Narthex - St. Louis the Crusader

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 4 in Narthex - Administering Justice at the Royal Court

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 5 in Narthex - St. Louis Relieving the Needy

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 6 in Narthex - St. Louis with his Mother Blessed Blanche of Castile

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 7 in Narthex - St. Louis Receiving Holy Communion

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic 8 in Narthex - St. Louis Accepts the Habit of the Third Order of St. Francis

Also see More Mosaics at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Prints can be ordered here.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Newsletter from the Oratory


2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
August 09, 2013



Sunday, August 18th following the 10:00am High Mass will be our annual festival of Summer at the Oratory. It will begin outside the church in the courtyard between the rectory, church and 1888 buildings. The best fried chicken or roast beef dinners, cold beer, and live Jazz will greet the hungry and the thirsty, while all sorts of fun activities will entertain the young and old alike: silent auction, raffle, games, prizes, horse rides, bounce house, and the ever popular dunking booth. Dinners will be served from the air conditioned hall, with carry out orders also available. Inside and outside seating.

Please come, and bring your friends, neighbors, and family!


Menu: fried chicken or roast beef dinners, served buffet style only $9.00 for adults and $5.00 (12 and under)
Sides: real mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cobb, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, rolls & butter.


Late last year, while working on the steeple clock, Mr. Chris Petersen noticed loose bricks and masonry on the church steeple at various high locations. This work was deemed urgent for repair however, finding a contractor to bid the work was difficult. Some companies who previously worked on our steeple and buildings would not take on brick work at 150 feet in the air. Several bids were gotten but were difficult to analyze due to their different approaches, but with the help of the Archdiocese’s engineer, STAAT Tuckpointing was awarded the work. Freezing temperatures and availability of scaffolding further delayed the start of the work. Ultimately, in lieu of scaffolding, a high lift crane was brought in from out-state to accomplish the repairs. Because of the logistics to safely reach this work with men and materials, it is a very costly endeavor.

With great foresight, in the 1990’s the then parish foresaw the need to repair and maintain this church structure and established an endowment fund for future work of this type. This came at a sacrifice to them but they undertook this successful campaign with much generosity. As a result, approximately half of the contract cost for this current steeple work was funded from this account. In the future, more work will definitely be needed to secure other masonry around the entire church, but none is considered critical at this time.



In early April of this year the Oratory received a notice from the City of St. Louis telling us we had a leak in our water service line into the church building. The leak was causing water to seep up onto Gravois between the sidewalk near the church and the second lane of traffic on Gravois, and if we did not fix it, we would have the water to the church building shut off. Exploring the responsibility, we determined that the length of water line out to the City’s main line under Gravois was indeed ours and we contracted with a plumber to fix it. He excavated down to the water line and found there was no leak in our line. He replaced the 80+ year old pipe with a new one, and had the City inspect the situation and closed the hole. Having paid the plumber for his work, we took up the situation with the City Water Commissioner who, after a while, recently reimbursed us. The City eventually determined the leak was in their pipe in an adjacent location and fixed it. This situation was the cause of the holes in the street, the traffic control barrels and the rough pavement near the intersections of Ohio, Lynch and Gravois for the past several weeks.


For several months 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 pumps the water outside when it is 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 foot 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.


One of the crowning glories of Our Blessed Lady is her glorious Assumption into heaven. On Thursday, August 15th we will celebrate this feast-day with Low Masses at 8am and 12:10pm and High Mass at 6:30pm. After the Low Masses and before the High Mass there will be the traditional blessing of herbs and flowers. This custom originated because the Apostles discovered flowers and aromatic herbs in Our Lady’s tomb after her Assumption. Come bring your flowers and herbs and celebrate Our Lady’s Assumption with us!

It has been a busy and productive summer this year, and during the last week of this month the Canons of the Institute will reunite at our mother house in Gricigliano, Italy for our annual chapter meeting. I ask your prayers for our safe travel and spiritual development, also for the four new candidates who will be discerning a priestly vocation with us this coming scholastic year.

In Christo Rege et Maria,
Canon William E. Avis
Pro-Rector, Saint Francis de Sales Oratory