It was a great run!

We're sorry to let the visitors to this blog know that we must bring it to an end. The blog has been a worthwhile effort to document the transition of the Our Lady of Sorrows Latin Mass community to Old St. Patrick Oratory and the $1.5 million dollar renovation of the historic church. This blog contains pictures, stories and tidbits from throughout the years of work. We have so much to be thankful for...mostly to Bishop Robert Finn for believing in our community and his commitment to the continuation of the traditional Mass of the ages in this diocese. God bless him!

Our intention is to leave the blog up for those who are interested in reviewing this documentation of the history of the Old St. Patrick Oratory community. Thanks to the thousands of people who have visited here. God bless you!

You can still comment if you wish and we'll publish appropriate comments as they appear.

Here are how some of the traditionalist-leaning Catholic websites and Blogs do traffic-wise - Some very interesting statistics

Alexa Internet, Inc. is a subsidiary company of which provides commercial web traffic data. Founded as an independent company in 1996, Alexa was acquired by Amazon in 1999. Its toolbar collects data on browsing behavior and transmits it to the Alexa website, where it is stored and analyzed, forming the basis for the company's web traffic reporting. As of 2013, Alexa provides traffic data, global rankings and other information on 30 million websites, and its website is visited by over 10 million people monthly

(The number shows the global ranking of the sites compared to others - "1" is the highest - that's Google, naturally!)

Those listed are well-known websites and blogs familiar for their content and discussion of traditionalist Catholic matters. OK. Here goes...the ranking out of 30 million.

  • Knights of the Holy Sepulchre (Vatican) - 11,899
  • Father Z's Blog - 33,811
  • - 105,050
  • Rorate-Caeli - 114,041
  • New Liturgical Movement - 211,682
  • Sancta Missa - 1,554,714
  • - 2,678,067
  • Institute of Christ the King - 3,661,932
  • St. Louis Catholic Blog - 7,067,827
  • Catholic Key Blog (Kansas City) - 10,802,604
  • Benedictines of Mary (traditionalist nuns in northwest Missouri) - 11,806,152
  • Old Saint Patrick Oratory Blog (Kansas City) - 12,983,397. Not so hot, but at least we're listed!
  • Wholly Roman Catholic Blog - 16,444,749

Did you notice the bird on the Sistine Chapel smokestack?

Was the appearance of this seagull on the roof of the Sistine Chapel an hour or so prior to the appearance of the new pope, a precursor of the pope's selection of the name, Francis I? Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi might have been sending a subtle hint to the faithful of what's coming.

God Bless our new Holy Father...Francis I

Let us pray for Francis, our Pope. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. 

 O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant, Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Pope Benedict XVI’s Musical Legacy

Benedict XVI
By Jeffery Tucker 
Reprinted courtesy of  Crisis Magazine

One of the many lasting legacies of the papacy of Benedict XVI will be liturgical music. Enormous progress has been made in his papacy. Incredibly this progress has happened without new legislation, new restrictions, new mandates, or firm-handed attempts to impose discipline on musicians and artists. The change has happened through the means that Benedict XVI has always preferred: he has led through example and through the inspiration provided by his homilies and writings.
You can observe the difference by watching any Papal liturgy, whether live or on television or through webcast. Gregorian chant is back but not just as a style preferred to the pop music that still dominates parish liturgy. More importantly, chant is back in its rightful place as the sung prayer of the liturgy. Viewers can now depend on hearing the chanted introit from the liturgical books at every Mass. The communion chant is sung. The offertory chant has made a return in many Masses. Incredibly, even the ancient version of the Psalm between the readings has more recently been employed as a deeply contemplative alternative to the responsorial version most people hear at Mass.
The musical legacy turns the tide and foreshadows a future of beauty in Catholic art.
The musical issue in the Catholic Church has been fraught with controversy for many centuries. This is nothing new. Nor is the postconciliar crisis in music something particularly new in Church history. We tend to think it is just because we experience it so intensely. And this feature is precisely what makes liturgical music such a dicey issue. It affects everyone in the pew in the most profound way. Everyone has an opinion, and it is rarely positive.
Truly, you have to put yourself in the frame of mind of someone who doesn’t entirely understand what happened to liturgical music after 1965 to fully appreciate the shock that comes when one first encounters the parish reality. You step into the church with a hope for a profound religious experience, something like what you might have seen in a movie or heard about from popular chant CDs. Instead of solemn music, you are hit by an upbeat song about gathering as a community or a tune that seems to belong on an evangelical radio station. It can be deeply alarming for anyone who is not yet acculturated to the reality.
The question everyone asks is: how did this happen? The second question everyone asks is: why doesn’t someone stop it?
The answers to both questions are complex.
The musical agenda of the Second Vatican Council, as Benedict XVI well understood because he was there, was to more closely link the music with the liturgy, and to realize the hope of the Liturgical Movement that people would be actively involved in hearing and singing this music. The hope was to turn the tide away from “Low Mass” with four English hymns—which had become standard practice in many parts of the world—toward the liturgical ideal in which the core music of the rite was an extension of the liturgical text itself.
Gregorian chant is that ideal because it grew up alongside the Roman Rite ritual. It uses the text of that ritual. Its musical structure is a reflection of the liturgical purpose of the music. That’s why the chant between the readings is long and contemplative whereas the music of the entrance is more syllabic, thematically evocative, and forward feeling.
These features of chant have long been understood by competent experts in the field. It is an “inestimable treasure,” as the Council said. The Council even made a clear declaration, for the first time in Church history, that Gregorian chant should have the first place at Mass, and that people should sing the parts of the Mass that belong to them.
That agenda seems clear enough but there was a wrinkle. The Council also authorized a change in the language from all-Latin to some English, leaving the apportionment to the national conferences. Well, it didn’t take long before English was everywhere. Latin chant vanished over the course of only a few years. The common preconciliar practice of English hymns went on hyperdrive. By the late sixties, even before the introduction of the new Missal, pop music at Mass had become the norm. Gregorian chant was a distant memory. This was a case study in a plan that had gone very wrong.
And so it remained for forty years, which raises the question: why didn’t someone do something to stop this? I think often of the average parish situation. The pastor is not typically a trained musician. He doesn’t usually have money to hire trained musicians. He has to depend on the resources he has at his disposal. The last thing he can do is alienate the musicians in his parish, who are doing what they think is best. It does no good to march up to them and say: sing Gregorian chant. They can’t. They can’t read the notes. They can’t understand the language. The singers lack experience and the guitar players have no understanding whatsoever. Plus, the shift might be too much for the congregation. Lacking any clear way out, the pastor grits his teeth and learns to adapt. The same is true for the laity.
Popes since Vatican II have attempted to turn the tide. Paul VI saw what was happening and regretted it all greatly. His solution appeared in 1974. It was a book of Latin music that he sent to all Bishops in the world, giving them permission to freely copy and use it. It was a proposal for a new core music for liturgy. He wrote: please “decide on the best ways of teaching the faithful the Latin chants of Jubilate Deo and of having them sing them…. You will thus be performing a new service for the Church in the domain of liturgical renewal.”
This fell on deaf ears. The music ended up in the waste can. His successor John Paul II issued several very important statements that similarly urged a change. They were beautifully written and inspiring. But again, it had no effect. In the intervening years, a large industry of private publishers had already arisen to provide music to parishes on a subscription basis. Everyone was already hooked on this pop material. All the urges from Rome to embrace the musical ideals of the Second Vatican Council amounted to nothing.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was different. He had written an entire book on the music issue. He had written another book on the liturgical question. He had spoken about the subject on many occasions. He never feared the subject and this is for two reasons: 1) he understood the goals of Vatican II and saw that they had been seriously distorted, and 2) he was a trained music of the highest calibre who understood the role of music in the Roman Rite.
When he became Pope, the changes began and they were relentless. We started hearing chant in Papal liturgy, just a bit at first and then more as time went on. With Summorum Pontificum (2007) he took away the stigma that had been attached to traditional chant by granting full permission to the liturgical structure that had originally given rise to chant. This was deeply encouraging for a generation that was ready to move forward. We started seeing chant workshops fill up. Groups began to form at the parish level. New resources started to be published by independent publishers. A real fire had been lit in the Catholic music world. And it all happened without any impositions or legislation.
The musical program of St. Peter’s Basilica began to attract the attention of serious musicians. A new standard came to be applied to visiting choirs: you must know the basics of Gregorian chant or you cannot sing at St. Peter’s. This was a gigantic decision that fundamentally upset the dynamic that had long developed between Rome and traveling choirs. Now choirs had to learn and discover chant if they hoped to take that long-sought pilgrimage to Rome.
Meanwhile, Joseph Ratzinger’s writings on music were selling more than ever, and having an ever larger influence. Benedict XVI spoke about the topic often in homilies and spontaneous remarks following concerts. He worked to elevate high art to a new status on his travels. His team worked hard to encourage groups that sang for liturgy for his trips to embrace chant and polyphonic music of the Renaissance. It didn’t always work but the progress was obvious.
Today we look at the situation and marvel. It is a beautiful thing to see and hear. The chant is back and not just in Latin. Some of the biggest-selling books in the English world are pushing English chant—forty years late but it is still a triumph. And we should not forget the huge importance of the new English Missal that came out in 2011. It has more music embedded in it than any Missal ever published, and it is entirely chanted. This was a bold move, pushed hard by Rome under the leadership of Benedict XVI.
The legacy is much larger and much long-lasting than that. A priest friend wrote the following:
I am a priest of the Benedict XVI Generation.
The way that I approach theology, liturgy, preaching, pastoral life, everything, has been profoundly influenced by this amazing man.  I will always thank God for his constant presence in my life, and in the lives of those I touch because of his example to me.  I have enough sentiment in me to want to write the Holy Father personally to tell him all this, but I know that he will never receive it.  But even in that he continues to teach me.
We are not out of the woods yet but the progress is very much in evidence. The future is clear. Chant will again be the universal music of the Roman Rite. New compositions will be inspired by it. It will have first place in the liturgy. Music appropriate to the liturgy will follow its inspiration.
What I find most impressive is the method that the pope used to achieve this. It was through inspiration and not imposition. For this reason, this change is fundamental and lasting. Mark my words: chant will come to a parish near you. We can thank Benedict XVI for his wisdom and foresight in achieving what most people thought was impossible.
As he has understood, the musical question is only superficially about style. The real substance of the question concerns what elevates the text and reflects the liturgical purpose of glorifying God. In the long run, there can be no separation between the Roman Rite and the music that is native to it. If that point seems obvious now, it is only because the papacy of Benedict XVI made it so.
Jeffrey Tucker is managing editor of Sacred Music and publications editor of the Church Music Association of America. He also runs the Chant Cafe Blog.

Goodbye. God Bless. Thank you for your shepherding.

There will be tears. And, sadly there will also be cheers.

Benedict XVI has announced his resignation effective at the end of the month.

"Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."

From the Vatican,

10 February 2013

Update: Now experts in Canon Law are discussing all the legal ramifications of the Pope's announcement. Without expressing any opinion of the data in this link, here's is a Canon Law authority quoted in a Wall Street Journal legal blog.

Father Z. also has some very interesting information about the formation and execution of the impending Conclave under these most unusual circumstances.

How to annoy a liberal...


Spooky Coincidence!

Have a history teacher explain this----- if they can?

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. 
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, Was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, Was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford.'
Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln' made by 'Ford.'

Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were both assassinated before their trials.

Be Proud You're A Catholic!

Excerpts of an article written by non-Catholic Sam Miller - a prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman:
"Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to that Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. The graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%.

The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.

The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.

Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember. For example,

12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner.

38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church.

41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior.

17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed.

Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia.

10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.

Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States .

Then remember what Jeremiah said: 'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'. Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.
Be proud that you're a Catholic.

America's Bishops say "NO!"

In the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, succinctly expresses the essence of the Church's stance on the Obama attack on religious organizations, the belief's and faith.

The headline is: HHS Mandate is Insulting and Dangerous
Here's an excerpt from the article:
"The current administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate.

The current HHS mandate needs to be understood as exactly that. Commentators are using words like “gaffe,” “ill conceived,” and “mistake” to describe the mandate. They’re wrong.

It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy. It has been too long in the making.

Despite all of its public apprehension about “culture warriors” on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war. At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion’s moral influence on public affairs. To say that this view is contrary to the Founders’ thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement.

Critics may characterize my words here as partisan or political. These are my personal views, and of course people are free to disagree. But it is this administration – not Catholic ministries, or institutions, or bishops – that chose the timing and nature of the fight. The onus is entirely on the White House, which also has the power to remove the issue from public conflict.

Catholics should not be misled into accepting feeble compromises on issues of principle. The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting. It needs to be withdrawn – now."

Ave Maria University says..."NO!"

Kansas City STAR calls for Bishop Finn's resignation...what a bunch of nonsense!

There is not a single shred of doubt in this writer's mind that Bishop Finn has done everything possible to punish past evil actions perpetrated by some priest's in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese. There is also not a single shred of doubt that he has done everything humanly possible to institute safeguards to protect children in the diocese now and for the future.

This morning the Kansas City STAR editorial board published a scurrilous and transparently biased opinion that called for our beloved Bishop Finn to resign. (Click here to ruin your day).

Our Bishop has proven himself time after time, instance after instance as the finest leader of our diocese in living memory. If you have time, please write the STAR regarding this cheap shot at Robert Finn.

The Kansas City STAR is nearly bankrupt financially...and not too far from closing the doors. Publishing nonsense such as this won't help its survival in a dying industry.

UPDATE: Here are some reactions by the faithful this far...

FYI - Holy Week Schedule

Holy Thursday - April 21st
High Mass at 7:00 p.m. followed by Adoration until midnight

Good Friday - April 22nd
Stations of the Cross at 12:00 Noon
Good Friday Liturgy at 6:30 p.m.

Holy Saturday - April 23rd
Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m.

Easter Sunday - April 24th
Low Mass at 8:00 a.m.
High Mass at 10:15 a.m.

Old St. Patrick Oratory's Canon William Avis to be interviewed on Catholic Radio

A parishioner sends this info about radio interview.

Canon Avis will be on Catholic radio (1090 AM) this Wednesday, April 13th from 3:00 to 4:00 pm CDT. You can also pick it up at

He will be talking about Old St. Patrick Oratory's life, himself and the Catholic Church with the KEXS host.


Benedictine Barn Raising!

You are cordially invited to assist the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in a barn raising on Saturday April 16th beginning at 9 am. We will be erecting a cow shed and enclosing a pasture for a milk cow. We hope to complete both projects in one day, so bring your family and friends!

All are invited.

  • Those that have carpentry skills should bring saws, hammers, tin snips and battery powered drills to erect the cow shed. Limited electrical power will be available via a portable generator.
  • Fence builders are also needed. Bring post hole diggers, metal stake drivers, wire cutters and heavy pliers to assist in building a barbless fence with electric wire.
  • Plenty of “go fers” (as in go fer this and go fer that”) are also needed. So, if you don’t have much experience in building, we need plenty of people to move fence supplies into position so other can drive them into the ground and shuttle barn pieces to those erecting the barn. This is perfect for those with older children.
Location - The Sisters are located approximately 45 minutes north of Kansas City, and 10 minutes north of Gower, Mo. Click here for a map.

Priory or Our Lady of Ephesus
8005 NW 316th Street
Gower, MO. 64454

Questions and RSVP – Please contact Paul Villotti with questions. In order to know how many to expect for lunch, please let Paul know how many will be in your party. Feel free to leave a message.
Home – 816-862-6368
Cell - 816-872-6120

Those wishing to help offset the cost of this work may send donations to Mother Cecilia at the Priory. Please make a note that the donation is for the barn project. The Sisters thank you for all your help and prayers for the successful completion of this project.

P.S. Those wishing to assist with prep work this Saturday, April 2nd at 9 am. should contact Paul so we can have enough for lunch. Thanks in advance for all your help!

Christmas at Gower!

The Benedictine Sisters have moved into their new home and it is beautiful. Here are a couple of photos. The first is of their new chapel. The second is a White Christmas at the new convent. For more photos and information, click here.

Parishoner Alan Troyer played a generous part in a story of leukemia defeated

Alan, who has been a parishioner at Old Saint Patrick and at the Our Lady of Sorrows Latin Mass Community has been a regular donor of blood at the Community Blood Bank. Over the years, he has donated over 20 gallons.

But, donors and recipients very seldom have the opportunity to meet. That changed recently as this story broadcast on various TV stations in Kansas City reported last night and this morning.

It is a very moving story...about usually anonymous donors helping others defeat serious surgery or diseases. Just click on the video to play.

Couldn't resist placing the newest "Kansas Catholic" in this setting

In a post this morning the Kansas Catholic blog announced the birth of their newest child yesterday afternoon. This blogger, with probably more time on our hands than is healthy, took the newborn's picture to a fanciful extreme. Couldn't help it. All our blessings go out to the new baby girl and the entire family.

Vatican Library re-opens after a three-year renovation

Members of OSP know well about long renovation projects. According to the Associated Press, this beautiful photograph, is a view of the Sistine Hall, part of the Vatican Apostolic Library, Vatican City, Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. The Vatican's Apostolic Library is reopening to scholars following a three-year renovation to improve its cataloging and security measures.The library, which houses one of the world's best collections of illuminated manuscripts, opens its doors Sept. 20. Details will be announced Monday at a press conference. The library was started by Pope Nicholas V in the 1450s with an initial 350 Latin manuscripts. By the time Nicholas died in 1455, the collection had swelled to about 1,500 codices and was the largest in Europe.

On the way to Florida

As many of you know, Robin and I are moving to Florida. Robin has had the wonderful fortune to be offered the position of teaching 1st grade at Ave Maria University's preparatory school, Donahue Academy. It is her "dream job". And as much as we love Kansas City and Old St. Patrick, it was an offer that we couldn't refuse.

It happened very quickly and unexpectedly. She has now been 'on the job' for three weeks and I will be joining her this coming week...after getting many things settled in Kansas City. Robin loves it! After years teaching in a public school atmosphere, this assignment is a blessing for her and for us. The school is ideal in philosophy and reality. The children and the families are as good as you could possibly imagine. And the beautiful new town of Ave Maria, Florida is a blessing in all respects. Plus, the Gulf of Mexico is just a half-hour drive! No oil on Naples, FL pristine beaches.

Here are a few pictures: 1) the first is a photo of the school; 2) the second is a photo of the condominium building in which we will be living; and 3) the third is our view from the apartment at night toward the magnificent Ave Maria Oratory just across the street from where we live.

We hope to continue blogging from time to time about Old St. Patrick Oratory doings. But we must rely on folks sending us the news. We will return from time to time to Kansas City and will spend next summer here in our home.

This is a standing invitation to any who might visit S.W. Florida and would like a tour of Ave Maria Town and University. As soon as we get some furniture, we may have a spare room available too. God bless all OSP members and those who read this weblog. A.M.D.G.

P.S. We want to express greetings from Virginia and Patrick Hanley who are neighbors at Ave Maria. The Hanley's were members of the Latin Mass Community at Our Lady of Sorrows in Kansas City for a number of years, leaving to move to Delaware and eventually to Ave Maria. They have been very kind and helpful to us in getting settled.