19 November 2010

Kirchweihfest This Sunday at the Oratory

The annual German lunch and celebration of the dedication of St. Francis de Sales will take place this Sunday.  This and other news from the Oratory's Newsletter:


Dear Friends of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory,


This Sunday, November 21st, we celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the dedication of St. Francis de Sales church. It was on November 26, 1908, that the current church we stand in was dedicated in a solemn ceremony. Many priests and dignitaries came on this festive occasion, and the sermon was given in English and German (though today you will be spared the German rendition, except in toast.) Please join the rest of the congregation in the hall after Mass for our annual Kirchweihfest to celebrate this anniversary.

A festive lunch with German food, catered by Two Mikes Catering, will be offered after the 10 AM Mass in the hall for $10 per person ($7.50 children 10 and under, children under 3 years old free).

The menu includes: Sauerbraten, Roast Pork, Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Real Mash potatoes and gravy, German Potato Salad, Braised Red Cabbage w/ apples, Green beans, Applesauce, Rolls/butter, Apple Strudel, Coffee/tea/soda/wine, “Schlafly’s” on Tap


Between November 29 and December 7 a Solemn Novena in preparation of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception will be observed. Each day of the novena a Guest Homilist will preach during Mass. A procession will follow with the chanting of the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the novena prayers.

Monday, 11/29, 6:30 PM: Canon Matthew Talarico
“Dogma of the Immaculate Conception: Historical Turning Point, Life Changing Truth”

Tuesday, 11/30, 6:30 PM: Father Brian Harrison
“Scriptural Basis of the Immaculate Conception”

Wednesday, 12/1, 6:30 PM: Father Eric Kunz
“Mary the Mediatrix of all Grace”

Thursday, 12/2, 6:30 PM: Canon Aaron Huberfeld
“The Immaculate Conception and the Queenship of Mary”

Friday, 12/3, 6:30 PM: The Most Reverend Robert Hermann - Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis
“Our Lady of Guadalupe— The Answer to Secularism”

Saturday, 12/4, 8:00 AM: Father Thomas Keller
"The Immaculate Conception and the Catholic Priesthood”

Sunday, 12/5, 10:00 AM: Father Michael Witt - Rector Kenrick Seminary
“Mary speaks to France—Three Confirmations of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception”

Monday, 12/6, 6:30 PM: Canon William Avis
“Immaculate Conception, victory over the devil”

Tuesday, 12/7, 6:30 PM: Father Gregory Lockwood
“St. Ambrose and the Blessed Virgin”


The Blessed Virgin is venerated under many names. She, under the specific title of the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the Institute of Christ the King, and also of this great country, the United States of America. The latter is a patronage and guardianship she has held since May 1846, eight years before the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was defined to be an article of faith by Pope Pius IX.

From the moment the veil was lifted off the New World by Christopher Columbus, sailing in his flagship, Santa Maria de la Inmaculada Concepción, Our Lady under this title has graced this continent. By 1761, Spain and all her possessions, including her colonies in the North America, were officially placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception, Spain’s principal patroness.

Thus the United States of America had from her beginning a long tradition of veneration of the Blessed Virgin under this title. In the Spanish missions, Indians were taught to sing the beautiful Alabado, the second verse of which translates to: “Praised also be the Immaculate Conception of the Queen of Heaven, who while remaining a pure virgin, became the Mother of the Eternal Word!” In 1790, not long after the ratification of the Constitution, Bishop Carroll of Baltimore named Mary the patroness of this first diocese in the united States, where, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, she rules to this day. Love for her, and her love for the people of this land, were widespread by the 1800s.

No wonder, then, that in 1846, when the US Bishops met to choose a patron for the United States, they wrote: “With enthusiastic acclaim and with unanimous approval and consent, the Fathers [of the Council] have chosen the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, as the Patroness of the United States of America.” There were 22 signatories of the decree, one of whom was Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick of St. Louis.

A patroness is an intercessor, an advocate before the throne of God; she is one who protects, encourages, and guides with the greatest of maternal love. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, let us, as Americans, acknowledge the blessings which have been bestowed upon us on account of our great patroness, the Immaculate Conception.


Thanksgiving may be an American feast, but its importance could hardly be more universal. This is why the superiors of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest invited the Americans at our international seminary to teach the rest of the world how it’s done! For many years now, the Americans in Gricigliano have brought Thanksgiving to the Tuscan hills which have such seen the end of a bountiful olive harvest. The refectory is decked with American and Papal flags around the statue of the Immaculate Conception, two large turkeys are roasted to perfection and carried by the Americans in procession, and the superiors do the honors in carving the birds. Priests, seminarians and guests enjoy a delightful evening to the tune of traditional American song. The entire community gives thanks to Almighty God for benefits received throughout the year, and the Americans take this opportunity to thank Monsignor Wach and the other superiors for their fatherly care so far away from home.

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

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