22 November 2008

Tradition for Tomorrow: The Restoration of St. Francis de Sales Oratory

At Sunday's 100th Anniversary of the Dedication of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, Father Michael Wiener, Rector, will announce the official launch of the restoration campaign-- with its motto, "Tradition for Tomorrow".  

In order to promote the project and give needed information to the public, there is a new website dedicated solely to this effort:  www.traditionfortomorrow.com .

"Tradition for Tomorrow" crystallizes the harmony of the vision of the builders of this beautiful Church, and the vision of the Holy Father in affirming and reintegrating the traditional sacramental forms of the Church.  

The faithful who built this church did it right, creating a stunning treasure of art and architecture in a space most fitting for the worship of God.  They intended it to endure.

The Traditional Mass (the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) and other sacraments in the classical forms are not merely a nostalgic nod to the past, but are a beacon for the future growth and strength of the Catholic Church.  They have endured, too.

They provide a tangible and living link to the worship and belief of our forefathers in the faith-- the Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas and Blessed John XXIII; the sacraments as celebrated by St. Isaac Jogues and St. Jean Marie Vianney; the traditional calendar, music, rhythm and seasons as experienced and prayed by countless millions of Catholics for two milennia.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has always had a special charism to promote the integration of faith, liturgy and culture.  The edifice of the de Sales Church is a fitting place to lead the grounding and growth of the faith in St. Louis.  The Institute has undertaken several important restoration projects, with notable success. For examples, check out the restored sacristy at St. Francis de Sales and the "new" Old St. Patrick's Oratory to see that the restoration is in very good hands.

I will link the restoration site on the right of my blog.  I encourage everyone to please prayerfully consider supporting this restoration.  Everyone-- whether you primarily attend an Ordinary Form parish or an Extraordinary Form church, whether you live in St. Louis or elsewhere, whether you are Catholic or not.  The presence of such a place in the world today is a living beacon of the light of Christ in a darkened world. 

The Oratory will be a center not only of magnificent liturgy (though it is) but also of authentic culture, art, music, education and evangelism.

May God bless this effort abundantly, and all who support it! 

Our Mother of Perpetual help, pray for us!

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us!


YoungCatholicSTL said...

Timman --

I hear rumors that the Institute is thinking about trying to "reopen" the grade school at St. Francis De Sales. Any truth to these rumors?

thetimman said...


I can't speak for the Institute, of course, but I don't think so. First, there are not yet enough sisters in their fast-growing but still young group of nuns to provide the manpower-- also, many of these nuns are not English speakers.

Also, the Institute is committed to its highly successful homeschool co-op. There are more than 100 children in this co-op, which I believe represents the coming wave of education. Parents have the oversight for their children's education, and meet once a week with tutors and teachers to help cover subjects the parents want assistance in. The good priests teach catechism and religion to the children, which sets de Sales' co-op apart from some others.

You may have heard that the Washington University School of Architecture opened up a competition to design restoration of the the high school building, which also houses a children's theater. There is an established and growing children's theater program at the Oratory, and this could be a big step in making the drama effort there an area-wide magnet.

There are other efforts underway at the Oratory, but not all have been made public yet.

To return to your question, I could conceivably see, over a longer period of time, and depending on the state of educational laws, a grade school returning to de Sales. But that is my speculation only. And I think it will be modeled on the more flexible approach of the co-op there now than on a stricty conventional parochial school format.

But, there is nothing that I know to that rumor at present.