17 January 2014

Latest News from the Oratory

The latest Newsletter from St. Francis de Sales is out, and you can read it-- and subscribe to it, if you haven't yet-- here.

There are several items of note, beginning with two liturgical notices: First, this Sunday, Canon Matthew Talarico will visit the Oratory, deliver the sermon at both Masses, and will celebrate Solemn High Mass at 10am. If you haven't yet heard him speak, you may wish to do so, especially when there is an opportunity to assist at a glorious Solemn High Mass.

Next, a reminder that January 29 is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of the Oratory and one of the principal patrons of the Institute of Christ the King. The faithful who assist at Mass at an Institute apostolate on that day may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

From the Newsletter:

On January 29 we will observe the patronal feast of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, patron of the Institute of Christ the King and of this oratory. Because of the great importance our saint has for all of us and for the Institute as a spiritual family we will celebrate an external solemnity of this feast on Sunday, January 26 at 8AM and 10AM (with commemorations of the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany). In the breviary on the feast of St. Francis (Lectio VI of the II Nocturne) the Church offers us a glimpse of the splendor of the merits and the fruits of the life of this “most mortified of all saints”:

After the death of Bishop Granier, who had procured his appointment as Coadjutor, he was consecrated Bishop, upon the 3rd day of December, 1602. In that office he was truly a burning and a shining light, showing all around a bright example of godliness, zeal for the discipline of the Church, ardent love of peace, tenderness to the poor, and, indeed, of all graces. For the greater ornament of God's worship he established a new Order of Nuns, which is named from the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. These nuns follow the Rule of St Augustin, but Francis added thereto several additional constitutions distinguished by wisdom, prudence, and tenderness. He enlightened the Church by writings full of heavenly teaching, and pointing out a safe and simple road to Christian perfection. In the 55th year of his age, while on his way from France to Annecy, after saying mass at Lyons on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, he was seized with fatal illness, and on the next day passed from earth to heaven, in the year of our Lord 1622. His body was carried to Annecy and honorably buried in the Church of the nuns of the Visitation, where it soon began to be distinguished for miracles. The truth of these having been proved, the Supreme Pontiff, Alexander VII, enrolled his name among those of the Saints, and appointed for his Feast-day the 29th of January. And the Supreme Pontiff, Pius IX., on the advice of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, declared him a Doctor of the Universal Church.

Also in the release is a recap, with photos, of the recent Gaudete Benefit Gala for the benefit of the sacred music program. An excerpt:

The Gaudete Gala was a fabulous Advent festivity to start the new Church year. Having outgrown the Oratory Hall, where the Gala began in 2011, this third annual event was hosted at a new venue this year: The Millennium Hotel in Downtown St. Louis. Braving the biting cold on one of December’s snow-covered evenings, 170-plus guests found a warm, inviting atmosphere even before they reached the grand ballroom. With refreshments in hand and lively conversations the guests greeted one another, perused the offerings of the Silent Auction, and waited with high expectations. The elegantly decorated dinner tables inside the ballroom promised another memorable Gala.

At 7:00 pm, with Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor for 2 oboes, the magical evening began. For the next two hours, well-executed choral and instrumental pieces were interspersed with courses of a delicious dinner. Under the direction of the Oratory’s Music Director, Mr. Nick Botkins, the choirs and musicians presented to the awed guests the wonderful fruits of their work, normally fused to the Sacred Liturgy. For this special evening, the repertoire included a wide selection of classics by master composers of the past and present.

After a lovely testimonial from a recent convert about the beauty of the Mass and its necessity for young people (which I might publish if I get her permission), the newsletter ends with a link to a favorable article about the Oratory in the National Catholic Register. Yes, the Register. Maybe there is hope for unity after all. ;-)

Later today, I will link to this article again, in its own post, and excerpt it there.

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