Thursday, November 21, 2013

Newsletter from the Oratory



2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
November 21, 2013


Dear faithful and friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

Novena in Preparation of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

BLESSED POPE PIUS IX (1792 – 1878)

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. Every year the Prior General and the Superiors of the Institute’s Apostolates renew this act of dedication. As the Immaculate Conception is also the Patroness of the United States of America, it is most appropriate to prepare for her feast of the Immaculate Conception through a Novena. This is even more necessary and urgent as our country is in desperate need of her help and intercession.

The Immaculate Conception of our Lady is the manifestation of God’s will to reestablish His order and to redeem us from sin, death and the devil through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. On each day of this Novena a Low Mass with organ will be celebrated which will be followed by the special Novena Prayer.

This year’s guest homilists include Rev. Father Randy Soto, Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Rev. Father Brian Harrison, OS, Chaplain at St. Mary of Victories Chapel, Rev. Father Thomas G. Keller, Pastor at St. Angela Merici Parish, Rev. Father Eric Kunz, Associate Pastor at St. Angela Merici Parish, Rev. Father Anthony Ochoa, Pastor at St. Cecilia Parish, Rev. Canons Avis and Ueda. Among the homilies to prepare us for the feast, we will hear from Father Kunz “Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Grace,” and from Father Harrison, “Mary Immaculate and the Church's Missionary Mandate.”

Please plan to join us for the entire novena if you can.

Saturday, November 30 at 8:00AMSunday, December 1 at 10:00AM
Monday, December 2 at 6:30PM Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30PM
Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30PMThursday, December 5 at 6:30PM
Friday, December 6 at 6:30PM Saturday, December 7 at 8:00AM
Sunday, December 8 at 10:00AM

Gaudete Benefit Gala

"The singing of the Church comes ultimately out of love. It is the utter depth of love that produces the singing. ‘Cantare amantis est’, says St. Augustine, singing belongs to one who loves.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote this in The Spirit of the Liturgy. At the Gaudete Gala, we at St. Francis de Sales Oratory have an opportunity – for the third year in a row – to share through music the joy and love in our hearts with many friends and family.

Gaudete Gala tickets went on sale last Sunday, and we urge everyone to invite your families, neighbors, co-workers, and friends to come this year. A fine evening with uplifting music, an excellent menu and other festivities awaits us in an elegant setting at the Millennium Hotel; it will be a perfect showcase for the extraordinary talents of our choirs. Call the Oratory office to buy your tickets to avoid last-minute disappointments.

Letter from the Vicar General

Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz

Dear faithful & friends of the Institute,
On behalf of our Prior General I offer you my deepest gratitude for the very large number of generous donations received in the semi-annual collection on the Feast of Christ the King for our international seminary of St. Philip Neri in Gricigliano, Italy. The total sum raised in the various apostolates of the Institute across the United States comes to $55,630. These funds are very helpful for the upkeep and restoration of the seminary buildings and facilities, which can now accommodate 71 seminarians. May Christ the King reward you abundantly for your sacrifice. The priestly fruits will not be long in coming.
Last July, 10 men were ordained as deacons and 11 as subdeacons. A large group of Americans are among these seminarians who will soon be ordained to the holy priesthood. Please remember them in your prayers as they near the end of their seminary formation.
Likewise, 16 men entered Gricigliano in September, including six who had successfully completed our pre-seminary program in the United States. Thank you very much for answering our appeal for support in the formation of so many good vocations in the service of the Church.
All of our 85 total seminarians, including the 28 men from North America, pray daily for you and your intentions. Holy Mass is frequently offered in our seminary chapel for our benefactors both living and deceased.
Assuring you of my profound appreciation for your charity, I remain,
Yours very devotedly in Christ the King,
Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz
Vicar General in the Institute of Christ the King
Provincial Superior for the United States

Storm Damage


On Sunday, November 17, a storm came through the St. Louis area and brought damaging winds. The Oratory campus experienced many slate roof tiles falling resulting in broken windows. Several of our building roofs have missing and loose tiles and raised copper ridge caps. Damage to the interior of the sanctuary stained glass windows also resulted. An insurance claim has been filed and estimates have been requested from the steeple jack company that works on the high church steeple. The total damage from the storm is still being investigated.

Improved Security Lighting

We were able to improve the night time security lighting at a couple campus locations due to the generosity of donated lighting fixtures from Butler Supply and the volunteer service of our two electricians, Gary Wnuk and Chris Petersen. We had to rent a lift to access the locations at the lower parking lot and on the rear of the 1888 building. Adequate lighting is a good deterrent to safety and security problems. We are very grateful to Butler Supply and our dedicated electricians for their generosity!

With the assurance of my prayers for you and your families and in deep gratitude for all your support and love for the work of the Institute's Oratory in St. Louis, I remain, yours faithfully,

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

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