AULD LANG SYNE...what on earth does it mean???

The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

In France, New Year's Eve is called "la Saint-Sylvestre" and is usually celebrated with a feast, called le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre. The feast tends to include special items like champagne and foie gras, and the accompanying party can range from an intimate dinner with friends to une soirée dansante (ball). Some old Catholic tradition holds firm even in secular France. December the 31st in the traditional calendar is the feast of Pope Saint Sylvester (314-335).

In addition to all the parties and revelry, we hope that some if not all find their way to Mass for the Feast of the Circumcision on January 1st. Mass at the Oratory tomorrow is at 8:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Both Masses are low with organ.

A little vindication on critique of Vatican music

Last Friday we expressed  a little disappointment in the quality of the music at the Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica broadcast on EWTN and various news channels. Even while writing, we hesitantly paused before pushing the "publish" button, as we felt that perhaps we were being unfairly critical. Scroll down a little to find this post to read our opinion at the time. Well, perhaps our opinion and our speculation about what changes might be coming from the Holy Father might not have been too far off the mark.

In one of today's posts from New Liturgical Movement, we see an article that pretty much parallels our modest thoughts on how mediocre the music in the Vatican seems to be. The article speculates that big changes are about to occur in the direction and performance of the Vatican Basilica singing...all for the good and toward more quality in the Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony. The changes predicted in the post will be very welcome and are expected around Lent of 2009.

A New Year Resolution... recite The Litany of Humility 
daily and try mightily to live up to the prayer...

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, 
Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, 
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...

That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...

That others may be chosen and I set aside ...

That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...

That others may be preferred to me in everything...

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

This prayer was written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

Update: (12/31/2008) A reader gave us the information that Cardinal del Val was accustomed to recite this litany after the celebration of the Holy Mass. Also sent was this prayer written by Cardinal del Val:
"O Mary, my Mother, how greatly I love Thee! And yet, how little is my love! Thou teachest me all that is necessary for me to know, because Thou teachest me what Jesus is for me and what I ought to be for Jesus."

Special Mass Times for this Coming Week

Wednesday - 12/31/2008 (7th Day in the Octave of Christmas)
9:00 a.m.

Thursday -  1/1/2009 (Octave Day of Christmas)
8:00 a.m.
10:15 a.m.

Midnight Mass at the Vatican

Did you get the opportunity to watch any of the Midnight Mass from St. Peters on EWTN or other cable news? The pageantry and beauty of the basilica was overwhelming. But, the most interesting development was almost complete utilization of Latin in the Mass of the Ordinary Form. What a change!

The Holy Father continues his 'reform of the reform' in the liturgy. We wouldn't be surprised to see the Mass next year entirely in the Extraordinary Form. The only disappointment was the quality of the music. Even with all the resources available to the Vatican, the Gregorian Chant was unfortunate. The use of congregational singing rather than the use of choirs and scholas of advanced ability is distracting to the listener rather than adding to the beauty and reverence of the Mass. Of course the Holy Father understands this and we suspect that compromise in this decision was just another liturgical 'baby step' toward a more important goal. The Pope is making great progress on many fronts! (Our thanks to USAToday for the use of the photograph).

New technology bringing praying the breviary to IPhones is endorsed by the Vatican

Well, we don't know just what to think about this. Now the priest's breviary (a book of daily prayer), is available in an ITunes application that allows priests to download their prayers to their cellphones. But, it is apparently endorsed by the Holy Father and the Vatican Pontifical Council for Social Communication.

Clergy and religious have a canonical obligation to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as official representatives of the Church. St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests, is quoted as saying that daily prayer through the use of the breviary is one of the most solemn duties of priests. So, if this new technology helps, we guess that it's good. (Photo courtesy of

Our first Christmas at Old St. Patrick Oratory

Midnight Mass was the scene of nearly a "full house" assisting at Mass. The late night ceremony began with a procession into the church with the Baby Jesus to the creche where the infant was placed in the creche's manger. The creche was beautifully built and decorated. The figures were the gracious gift of an anonymous donor. 
After each Mass (midnight, 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m), infants and children were the recipients of a special blessing bestowed by Canon Avis at the site of the creche.
On the north side of the sanctuary, the three wise men waited patiently for their move to the nativity scene on the feast of the Epiphany.

A Very Blessed Christmas to All

The members of Old St. Patrick Oratory who work on this NewsBlog
greatly appreciate your interest in the Oratory
and for those who have had the opportunity to attend
Mass and other liturgical ceremonies at Old St. Patrick, we urge you to spread the word about your experience.

God bless all...and Merry Christmas!!!

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles is growing rapidly

This is a photo from last spring and shows 18 sisters of the Order. Soon after the first of the year we are told new members will swell the total to 21.

Also, early next month - January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, there will be a Mass and investiture ceremony at Old St. Patrick Oratory. Four postulants of the order will be clothed in the holy habit and one sister, Grace of the Merciful Face of Jesus will make her First Profession. The Mass will begin at 9:00 a.m. and all are invited to attend joining family and friends of the Order.

His excellency Bishop Robert Finn will be the celebrant at the Mass and also preside over the investiture.

Answers to Midnight Mass questions

We're getting a number of search engine referrals looking for information about our Christmas Mass schedule. The schedule is in several places on this blog, but just so you don't miss it here it is again. Click here.

Here's a charming story about the friendship of Msgr. Robert Murphy, our Vicar General of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, and Bing Crosby

As published in "Our Sunday Visitor" here's a letter written by Msgr. Robert Murphy, Vicar General of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

"I read with interest your article on the evolution of priests and religious in the movies. I have a personal story that shows the power a movie can have. When I was about to graduate from grade school in 1962, I saw the movie "Going My Way" on television for the first time. I was so taken with Bing Crosby's portrayal of Father O'Malley that I decided to join the minor seminary. Father O'Malley was the kind of priest I wanted to be. As luck would have it, I met Bing Crosby, and he was supportive of me all through the seminary and until his death. He wrote letters of support and encouragement. Now, after 34 years as a priest, Father O'Malley is still the kind of priest I want to be."

...and Monsignor Murphy is the kind of priest that we would all be grateful for and thankful for to God! (Photo of Msgr. Murphy courtesy of the diocese.)

Good news. New government regulation protects medical personnel when they decline to provide "culture of death" services

The Catholic News Agency says that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last Thursday issued a final regulation explicitly clarifying the rights of health care providers to decline participation in services to which they object in conscience. The rule will help protect those individuals and institutions in the medical field who object to abortion. 

"Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience." 

Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA), on Thursday welcomed the regulation, saying it will "protect patients and patient access to physicians who adhere to life-affirming ethical standards." (Photo from the collection of the blog)

Midnight Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the first time in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese since 1994

The Christmas liturgy this year promises to be beautiful and fully satisfying in our first year occupying Old St. Patrick Oratory. Older members of the Oratory will remember that the last time midnight Latin Mass was celebrated in Kansas City, Missouri was fourteen years ago. This is the last time that schedules could be coordinated at Our Lady of Sorrows so that the Latin Mass community was able to celebrate the First Mass of Christmas in the extraordinary form.

But, that was then, this is now! Alleluia!!! Here's the schedule of our liturgy for the three Masses of Christmas of 2008.
Christmas Eve -
  • 11:30pm Christmas Carols. 
  • At midnight, there will be a procession with the Christ Child and the blessing of the Creche. 
  • Following the procession will be High Mass, the choir will chant Mass IX "Cum Jubilo"
  • After the Mass there will be the blessing of children in front of the manger scene. 
Christmas Day -
  • 8:00 am there will be  Low Mass "in Aurora" followed by the blessing of children. 
  • At 10:15 there will be High Mass. The the choir will chant Mass IV, and there will be the blessing of children afterwards.
Canon Avis tells us that the crib scene at the Oratory will contain figurines that have been given by an anonymous donor. And that the nativity scene tradition was begun by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1223, so as to inspire greater piety among his friars. (The photo shows a beautiful stained glass window created by F. Zettler (1878-1911) at St. Gertrude's church in Gamla Stan in Stockholm. Photo is from the collection of the blog).

Ireland's trio of tenors "The Priests" has a new Christmas Album

Are you looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? Try this album available in many bookstores and on line. You've probably been reading or hearing about these three Irish priests, all friends, pastors and lovers of sacred Catholic music. They have a very rich sound and a repertoire with which no good Catholic could quarrel. 

Bishop Finn asking for help to defeat a passing of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)

In the diocesan email newsletter received this morning, the Bishop requested assistance in preventing FOCA from reaching the president's desk for signature. President-elect Barack Obama has stated that he WOULD SIGN into law the Freedom of Choice Act. But it is possible to short-circuit the president-elect's intention by preventing FOCA from being enacted or ever being voted upon in the U.S. Senate and maybe even the U.S. House. Pro-abortion advocates do not have the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster in the senate, if pro-life senators are willing to launch such a filibuster to prevent a vote on this legislation.

The Bishop asks that we write or telephone our U.S. senators and representatives and let them know that Missourians are pro-life and oppose FOCA. For the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph, representatives include:
U.S. Senators
Senator Kit Bond
274 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5721

Senator Claire McCaskill
717 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6154

Rep. Ike Skelton, District 4
2206 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2876

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, District 5
1641 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4535

Rep. Sam Graves, District 6
1415 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-7041
(Photo is from the blog's collection)

For the second time within a week the East Village redevelopment area is in the news

Earlier this week we reported some negative news about progress in our neighborhood redevelopment area, the "East Village". This morning the news is good! The Kansas City STAR is reporting that the City of Kansas City has settled the purchase of the derelict former Greyhound bus terminal just south of the church at 11th and Holmes. 

The city is hoping that the Federal government will select the site for the new General Services Administration (GSA) regional office. This would be an excellent addition to the neighborhood with about 1,200 additional workers in the area. The immediate plan is to demolish the building, a good move all by itself as the long-vacant building is a magnet for vagrants and other poor homeless people. So, maybe things are moving ahead in a positive way. (Photo credit: Kansas City STAR/Kevin Collison)

Canon Buchholz at Mass during World Youth Day activities

As you no doubt will recall, Father Buchholz (on the left) traveled to Australia earlier this year as chaplain to a group of young participants at the event. This photograph turned up recently on the web while reading a story about of the  acceptance into full communion with Rome, a group of 15 traditionalist sisters who were part of an extra-canonical, schismatic order in Washington state. Father is shown assisting as several of these nuns received Holy Communion in Australia. We don't have any information about who the other priests in the photograph are.

The schismatic sisters' journey back to the church is heart-warming. If you'd like to read about it, Catholic News Service reported on it in July of 2007.

Priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest are now referred to as "Canons"

Have you noticed in recent publicity...and on the Institute of Christ the King website, that the priests of the order are now being referred to as Canons, rather than priests. We were curious as to the purpose and reason for this recent change. 

So, naturally we asked a priest of the order, Father (that is, Canon) Avis, who graciously referred the request to Canon Matthew Talarico, Vice Rector of the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago.

Here is Canon Talarico's very interesting response: 

"Nothing has really changed in our community life or our identity, but the Holy See has approved our constitutions. Together with the Pontifical right, the canonical form of life and the title canon which expresses it were officially recognized."

Canon Talarico also sent us an excerpt from the Institute website which gives more explanatory detail:

With the Decree Saeculorum Rex signed by the President of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, in the name of the Roman Pontiff, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest was elevated to the status of Pontifical Right on October 7th 2008, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. This favor was granted after a mature deliberation conducted according to the traditional procedures of the Roman Curia, including several positive Apostolic Visitations and the affirmative consultation of over fifty Bishops in whose Dioceses the Institute is present.

The canonical form of the Institute’s life is mainly expressed in the emphasis its constitutions put on the regular and solemn celebration of the Sacred Liturgy during the day, foremost through the solemnity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the focus of the community life, but also through the Holy Office, which, in its recited or chanted form, regulates and sanctifies the daily work.
After the example of the secular Canons in the history of the Church, the Canons and Oblates of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest have the goal to spread the kingdom of Christ and to evangelize the world through the sanctification of life with the liturgical celebrations instituted by Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest and cultivated by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. For this reason, the members of the Institute make the glorification of God in the Liturgy the focus of their fraternal unity and of their apostolic work. Both are expressed in their Choir habit, which underscores their canonical order of life. The blue color of the choir habit signifies their consecration to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as their main patroness and their devotion to St. Francis de Sales as the example of their desire for an ever greater charity. With these are combined the spirit of true Romanity and a faithful attachment to the Vicar of Christ on earth.

Now approved by the Holy See, the Institute’s canonical order of life as established by its constitutions under the governance of Monsignor the Prior General seals the distinctive identity of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The Canons and Oblates of the Institute are humbled by the fact that their very own charism and identity was approved by the highest ecclesiastical authority. They promise to live the spirit and letter of their constitutions to the fullest, well knowing that perfection is a gift of God and that all their efforts can only come to fruition if commenced, accompanied and accomplished by divine grace.
So, now the proper title when formally contacting a priest of the Institute is now "Canon". Although we don't believe that anyone would feel insulted if they were called "Father" as usual.

EWTN to air a documentary that proves the existence of the Star of Bethlehem

From “The Passion of the Christ” producer Stephen McEveety comes a documentary taking a scientific approach to prove that the the Star of Bethlehem was real, whose existence has been debated for centuries by historians, scientists and scholars.

“Either (people) believe the Star is true or they think it was made up by the early Church,” says writer, Texas A&M professor Rick Larson. “I took a different approach in my research and treated the Star as a mystery or puzzle, looking at the Bible and comparing the facts of Scripture with facts from science and history.” (Credit to for this information. Art is from the blog's collection)

The production will air on EWTN:
  • 10 a.m. Dec. 21
  • 11 p.m. Dec. 25 
  • 8 p.m. Dec. 27 
  • 3 a.m. Dec. 28 
  • 5:30 p.m. Dec. 29 
  • 10:30 a.m. Dec. 31
The film was made in 2007 and is also available on DVD through multiple sources and bookstores.

Wish we had that rectory now...(sigh)!

We don't think that this photo from the diocesan archives has been published for our membership before. It is especially interesting because it shows a good view of the parish rectory that was built in the late 1870s shortly soon after the construction of the church, but fell into disuse and was ultimately demolished in the early 1970s. This is too bad, as it looks like a charming old home and sure would be handy to have today. 

We speculate that it won't be too long before we have to begin thinking of construction of a new priory and parish doubt on this sliver of vacant property next to the church.

The Holy Father recommends Nativity Scenes in homes

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2008 ( In the midst of secular images of Christmas, Benedict XVI is encouraging the faithful to put a Nativity scene in their homes. The Pope made this invitation today in St. Peter's Square, when he blessed images of the Child Jesus brought by children to the plaza for the papal blessing. The statues will later be placed in their manger scenes.

The Holy Father led the children in a prayer, which said: "We pray to you, that with your blessing these images of Jesus, who is about to come among us, be, in our houses, a sign of your presence and your love. [...] "Open our heart, so that we know how to receive Jesus with joy, do always what he asks and see him in all those who need our love."

He concluded by expressing the prayer that with the intercession of Mary, "Jesus, who in his birth brings God's benediction to men, [will] be welcomed with love in all the homes of Rome and the world. (Photo is from the blog's collection).

Here's a "tasty" bit of news...

CatholicTV is now airing a new cooking show, "Our Daily Bread", hosted by a priest named Fr. Paul D. Seil. Father says, “our show is a subtle way of bringing the Good News into people's lives by sharing simple stories and recipes that speak of the depth of human experience. The more we grasp our human experience, the more readily we can open ourselves to the Divine". Well, we guess we've heard it all now. Here's the rest of the story at

Blessing of our new church organ

Before Mass at 10:15 a.m., Father Avis with the assistance of the Old St. Patrick choir conducted a blessing ceremony of the newly installed pipe organ.

Led by Father, the choir sang Psalm 150 - "Laudate Dominum" - scriptural poetry that gives praise to the Lord referring to the use of musical instruments: such as trumpet, lute, harp, timbrels (an ancient percussion instrument much like a tamborine), choir, strings and organ.

Those in attendance reported that the new organ sounded majestic... "just like a cathedral organ..." according to one parishioner.

East Village Development loses out on tax credits

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, East Village Apartments, to be the first of the extensive re-developments proposed in the area surrounding Old St. Patrick has missed out on special housing credits awarded at the end of last week.

This is another set-back for the developers and a disappointment for the Oratory which could only benefit from additional, new low-income and market-rate housing in the neighborhood. This first construction was to be on 10th street between Cherry and Locust, site of a demolished motel.

Christmas Mass Schedule Announced

Christmas Eve - December 24th
Mass - 9:00 a.m.

Christmas Day - December 25th
Midnight Mass - 12:00 a.m.
Mass - 8:00 a.m.
Mass - 10:15 a.m.

(Art is a detail from painting "Mystical Nativity" by Sandro Botticelli, (1444-1510)

Here's a great idea for OSP promotion

In 1997 a group of enterprising Old St. Patrick parishioners got together and built a float for the St. Patrick day parade. The float, shown to the left was a replica of the front facade of the church.

What a wonderful idea, and what a terrific job these great people did!

Wouldn't it be fun to do something like this for the 2009 parade. What about it, all you Irishmen and Irishwomen of the parish and non-Irish, of course? Could we get something like this going? It would be a great way for all members of the Oratory to work together on a project and a great promotional effort to let the tens of thousands who line the parade route on the big day know about the new Old St. Patrick Oratory.

We guess the first place to start is with Father Avis to see what he thinks about the idea. Who'd like to take charge of this? We can think of many in the membership who would be great at organizing and building a float for the parade.

If you have suggestions on how to get started (there's not much time left), leave a comment or send an email about your interest. Let's go! God bless old St. Patrick!!

Under scrutiny, a Jesuit University pulls the plug on paying for abortions

Alerted by The Catholic Key blog, Our Sunday Visitor daily blog investigates and reports that student health insurance coverage provides for abortions at the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco. 

Because of this publicity the university has decided to pull that provision. Here's a statement from Gary McDonald, the associate vice president for communications and public affairs of the University of San Francisco:
"A new health plan for students at the University of San Francisco included a provision for the voluntary termination of pregnancy. It was not the University's intention to offer this coverage. USF supports the Catholic Church's views on the sanctity of life, at all stages, and we will remove this provision from our student healthplan. We regret this mistake, and we take full responsibility for not adequately reviewing the contract. We are grateful to those who brought this issue to our attention."
All's well that ends well, we guess. But, how is it possible that the contract was not "adequately reviewed" in the first place? Is that assertion a little hard to believe?


Sunday Masses are now at 
8:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Gaudete Sunday. The third Sunday of Advent, so called from the first word of the Introit at Mass (Gaudete, i.e. Rejoice)

The season of Advent originated as a fast of forty days in preparation for Christmas, commencing on the day after the feast of St. Martin (November 12th), when it was often called "St. Martin's Lent"-- a name by which it was known as early as the fifth century. The introduction of the Advent fast cannot be placed much earlier, because there is no evidence of Christmas being kept on December 25th before the end of the fourth century (Duchesne, "Origines du culte chrétien", Paris, 1889), and the preparation for the feast could not have been of earlier date than the feast itself. 

In the ninth century, the duration of Advent was reduced to four weeks, the first allusion to the shortened season being in a letter of St. Nicholas I (858-867) to the Bulgarians, and by the twelfth century the fast had been replaced by simple abstinence. 

St. Gregory the Great was the first to draw up an Office for the Advent season, and the Gregorian Sacramentary is the earliest to provide Masses for the Sundays of Advent. Our thanks to New Advent for this information. (Photo is from the collection of the blogger.)

Old St. Patrick Oratory again proves its generosity

In its desire to support our beloved Bishop Finn, Old St. Patrick has demonstrated its mighty generosity in this year's "Bishop's Annual Appeal". We are one of the smallest parishes in the diocese with just 87 registered households and thus we were assigned a rather modest goal for this campaign. But, not satisfied just to reach the minimum, our parishioners have given or pledged 255.91% of our goal according to today's Catholic Key. This nearly doubles our percentage of goal from last year with many more families giving this year. 

Overall, the campaign is doing pretty well considering the difficult financial circumstances of our country and the Kansas City area. But, there is still time for others in our parish to step up to the challenge of assisting the Bishop in his appeal. You can make a contribution by going to the diocesan website and contributing online or by mailing your check to: The Bishop's Annual Appeal, P. O. Box 419037, Kansas City, MO 64141. Be sure to indicate that you are a member of Old St. Patrick.

Cartoonist Paul Nichols always has a sharp point on his pencil

At Catholic Cartoon Blog you'll usually find a most satirical look at the current state of our favorite religion. And, lately Barak Obama is often a featured character in the cartoonist's savagery. This cartoon is offered as an example. Click the link below for more. If you find any of the work offensive or not in tune with your own feelings, we apologize in advance. If you are one of the 55% of Catholics who voted for Obama, click at the risk of your sensibilities.

An quiet Kansas City website provides many referrals to Latin Mass blogs and sites in this area

People looking for Latin Mass in the Kansas City Metro area usually "google" for information. What frequently turns up near the top of the listings is

This simple site gives a little basic info about churches offering Latin Mass, and provides a link to those church's websites or blogs. And, the traffic is pretty good. provides a whopping 35% of non-search engine referrals to this blog in a typical month. And, we hear through the grapevine that the FSSP community in the KCKansas diocese gets a goodly number of its non-search engine referrals from the site.

In our opinion, since the Holy Father's motu proprio a year and a half ago, the interaction between websites and bloggers supportive of the TLM has played a significant part of the growth in attendance and interest in exploring the Extraordinary Form. So, many thanks to all who link to our blog and send readers our way.

Turkey served in Gricigliano???

Yes! With many Americans among the population of seminarians at the Institute of Christ the King's seminary in Italy, a traditional Thanksgiving candlelight dinner of turkey, pumpkin pie and all the rest was held in the seminary refectory. This was a festive occasion to give thanks to the Almighty, but also recognize the influence of American traditionalists on the traditionalist liturgical movement with a traditional Thanksgiving banquet. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

Our thanks to the Institute for this photo showing Msgr. Gilles Wach doing the honors carving the bird.

Holy Father promotes a conservative Cardinal to a very important post

The Pope has appointed 63 year old Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera - known as "Little Ratzinger" - as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The Cardinal, currently Primate of Spain, is a known proponent of the TLM, an aggressive leader in the "reform of the reform" of Catholic liturgy, and for his friendship with Benedict XVI. He has also ordained priests into the Institute of Christ the King.

French Cardinal to celebrate the TLM next week in Paris

One of our favorite places to go when ever we have the extra money is Paris. And it is now much easier to find TLM in this beautiful city. The Institute is in nearby Versailles, as is the FSSP. And the Institut de Bon Pasteur, a Catholic society of apostolic life of traditionalist Catholic priests in full communion with the Holy See, has a full schedule (five Masses on Sundays and daily at 7:00 p.m.) at its Centre St. Paul near the Bourse (12, RUE SAINT JOSEPH - 75002 PARIS) very conveniently located for visitors to the city.

Now we read to our happy astonishment that the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, Andre Vingt-Trois will celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the gorgeous church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois across the street from the Louvre on December 14th. We are grateful for this information from Jane at "Thoughts from an Oasis in French Catholicism".

This may be the first European Cardinal to offer the TLM since the motu proprio. There is hope! Only we must keep praying for the Holy Father and those clergy who are beginning to accept his spirit of reform.

Chapel Veils again under discussion by bloggers

Saint Louis Catholic did a lengthly post about the subject this morning in which the blog concluded that chapel veils are required by Church law. Our  blog also discussed this matter in early October. After much research we concluded that while the practice is much to be desired especially within the culture of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, it is not required by the Church since the issuance of the new Code of Canon Law in 1983.

Does anyone know of a written opinion of this practice by the Institute of Christ the King in which its takes a position on this subject? Our thanks to Catholic Knight for the use of the photograph.

Update (12/09/2008): On the Vatican website, the Code of 1983 abrogated the Code of 1917. Abrograted means: "repealed, annulled, cancelled, abolished by authority". Can. 6 § 1 says:
'When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated:

1/ the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917;

2/ other universal or particular laws contrary to the prescripts of this Code unless other provision is expressly made for particular laws;

3/ any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See unless they are contained in this Code;

4/ other universal disciplinary laws regarding matter which this Code completely reorders."
Sounds pretty clear...the Code of 1917, which required the wearing of head-gear by women, worthy as it was, was cancelled.

Old St. Patrick Oratory - Early Morning before 8:00 a.m. Sunday Mass - Contributed Photo Illustration

OOPS! There is no 9:15 a.m. Mass on Sundays any longer

Unfortunately quite a few people didn't get the word. As the 8:00 Mass was dismissing this morning, about 25 people showed up for 9:15 a.m. Mass. We're sorry these persons were inconvenienced. Hopefully all will get the new Mass times before next Sunday.
Reminder: Sunday Masses
8:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Another Reminder:
Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Tomorrow, December 8th
Masses at 12:10 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Novena to the Immaculate Conception

This morning after Mass at the side altar of the Blessed Mother, Father Avis led the 8:00 a.m. Mass congregation in the Litany of Loreto, the Novena prayer to the Immaculate Conception and the singing of the beautiful hymn to our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Tota pulchra es.
"Thou art all fair, O Mary, thou are all fair.
And there is no stain in thee.
How splendid, how sweet in delightfulness
Is thine Immaculate Conception..."

Organ Installation is almost complete

The assembly of the organ in the loft is virtually done. Some last minute electrical work must be done and a little work on the main blower remains. Then there's tuning for the proper sound in the building. We're told to expect the strains of beautiful music in about a week...possibly for next Sunday's High Mass. Isn't it elegant and handsome???!!!

Sacred Music Colloquium

We interrupt our self-imposed hiatus for an important bit of information. This is the 2008 promotional video of the Catholic Music Association of America for their 2009 Sacred Music Colloquium. Several members of Old St. Patrick were priviledged to attend the 2008 event last spring in June. If you sing, want to sing, direct, want to direct. you will find this seminar unbelieveably valuable. For information, click here. 

Watch the video. Make your plans. Sign up. You won't regret it.

A good look inside the thinking of Archbishop his own words

Here is an excellent interview of Archbishop Burke, formerly of the St.  Louis diocese and now Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura (Vatican Supreme Court) in Rome. It was originally published in the National Catholic Register.

In the interview, Archbishop Burke lets us have an excursion of insight into his actions and writings while in St. Louis, most particularly regarding his 2007 treatise entitled "The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin."

We are sure that you'll find it as revealing as we did.

Flower Fund Request

1st Sunday of Advent & First Snowfall of the Year

A light snowfall, greeted Mass-goers this morning. It was our last Mass at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings.

Beginning next Sunday, December 7th, there will be two Sunday Masses:
  • 8:00 a.m. and
  • 10:15 a.m.
Also announced today by Father Avis were Mass times for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 8th. The Mass times will be:
  • 12:10 p.m. and
  • 6:30 p.m.
Father also reminded us that a plenary indulgence can be gained under the usual conditions by all the faithful when they assist this day at Old St. Patrick Oratory.

Investing in companies that promote Catholic values appears to be a good monetary strategy

Faith-based investments, such as mutual funds that adhere to the social policies and teaching of the Church, are performing better than many of the more traditional market indices.

According to a recent article in the National Catholic Register buying stock in savings vehicles that are good for the world appear to be a little better deal for the wallet also.

During the recent stock tumble, the "faith based investment vehicles" seem to be doing a little better than the Dow or the Standard and Poors. This might be something to look into for the future.

This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent

This video is of the chant of the Introit of the Sunday. It is sung by a schola in a seminary in the Netherlands. Beautiful. No doubt we'll be hearing the same strains from the Old St. Patrick Oratory choir.

"Foodscapes" by British photographer Carl Warner

On this day of holiday banquets, here's a happy video of landscapes made entirely of food. Every single element of the scenes in Carl Warner's photography shown is composed of common food items you'd find in the average kitchen...broccolli, breads, peas, cabbage leafs, salmon fillets, etc. Nothing is used other than edible vegetables, nuts, grains and fruits. These photos are truly a unique study in creativity and skill.

A Very Happy Thanksgiving Day to all...

We hope that your day is full of God's blessings and the enjoyment of his bounty and the comfort of family around you. God bless all! 

What are you especially thankful for?

OSP members in the congregation during the dedication ceremonies

Here's a candid camera shot of some of those in the congregation during the rededication ceremonies on October front: Joe Farris and his grand-daughter with Ed Keele. In the next row we see Michael Koop checking out the beautiful music coming from the choir loft and just to his left, OSP member (half-hidden) Kevin Koster. We wish we had a roster of everyone's name and could place it with their face. Perhaps one day we will be able to.

Always something new in internet graphics magic!

Check out the home page of EWTN. There is a very charming animated effect that allows you to drag a graphical lighted matchstick and with a click light one of the Advent candles on the page. It appears that the graphic will permit you to light a new candle for each successive week of Advent. This is something that would be magical for children and definitely for the old-folks, too. And no doubt will encourage repeat visits to EWTN...not such a bad idea. 

A great Web Site for Learning about the Extraordinary Form

This website, produced by the order of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago, IL is easily the best place for both clergy and laity to find out about the Traditional Latin Mass. For the laity, it is valuable for those who know nothing about the Extraordinary Form and also very helpful for those who have been attending Latin Mass for many years. For the priest, it is extremely valuable as an introduction to the Mass and a tutorial guide to celebrating the Mass. There is something for everyone. And, the site is beautiful. The graphics are excellent and the production values are helpful navigating the site and also very pleasing to the eyes. It is a website that provides a very useful service.

Spend a couple of minutes...or maybe an hour with this very special site and you'll soon see what we mean.

More about the 100 Year Anniversary of St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis

This post submitted by Jon Roche, Administrative Assistant at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis.

Over 1.000 faithful gathered in the church of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, to assist at the Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Robert J. Hermann, Administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. From the powerful beginning of the “Premiere Symphonie” of Guilmant to the sweeping phrases of the Credo of the “Messe Solemnelle” of Charles Gounod to the soaring lines of the closing hymn of “To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King,” sixty musicians filled the magnificent Gothic edifice of the St. Francis de Sales church. The splendor of the sacred liturgy was adorned fittingly by the majesty and richness of the music, directed by Mr. Nick Botkins, director of sacred music and master of the choirs at the Oratory.

His Excellency, Bishop Hermann gave a moving sermon. He invited all faithful of good will to reclaim the fullness of the sacraments. He impressed upon all present the “verticality of the architecture of the church” which corresponds so visibly with the theocentricity of the Mass.

The Holy Mass was then followed by a festive gathering in the Oratory Hall, celebrating St. Francis de Sales church’s German immigrant heritage. Complete with traditional German food and beer and even a German band, the afternoon was enjoyed by hundreds of families with children of all ages who crowded the church hall. This overwhelming turnout was a testament to the thriving youthful community of faithful at the Oratory.

On this 100th Anniversary, it was also announced that St. Francis de Sales is beginning a capital campaign called “Tradition for Tomorrow.” This campaign will raise the necessary funds to restore the church of St. Francis de Sales to its former glory and ensure that it remains a true landmark of South St. Louis. More information can be found at

Thanksgiving Day Mass Time Change

Reminder: Holy Mass on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 27th will be at 9:00 a.m.

Here's where Father Avis was Sunday

Content and photography courtesy of OSP member, Kevin Koster:

I was visiting the website for St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis a few weeks ago and noticed the following announcement:

Sunday, November 23-100th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of the church.

10am Pontifical High Mass - The Centennial Choir will sing the Charles Gounod,
Messe Solennelle, complete with full symphony orchestra. Oratory picnic beginning around noon.

Kirchweihfest- Dinner Menu-Sauerbraten, Roast Pork, Bratwurst- Sides-REAL Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Potato Pancakes, Sauerkraut, Braised Red Cabbage w/ apples, Green Beans, Applesauce, Sour Cream, Rolls/Butter, Refreshments

Entertainment- German Waterloo Band-12:30pm-3pm

Black Forest Cake Contest - ALL WELCOME

Well, if the Mass itself was not reason enough to go, who could pass up a Kirchweihfest at a church built by German immigrants around the time Irish immigrants were building Old St. Patrick?!? They started in 1867, built a school and did not finish the huge gothic church until 1908. I noticed a cornerstone that was laid in 1895. I believe the church seats around 1,000 and it was packed. Bishop Hermann of St. Louis was the celebrant, Fr. Avis was 1st assistant. (I think that’s the correct term but I’m not sure. He's to the right in the photo) It was a spectacular liturgy and a fitting legacy for the founders of the parish.

They used the occasion of their centennial to officially announce their long-term restoration project

Feast of the Miraculous Medal this week

Back-to-back this week are two very important feasts: Thursday the 27th - The feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and on Friday the 28th - The feast of St. Catherine Labouré. Last year we had the opportunity to journey to Paris, France. One of the highlights and easily the most memorable stop on our visit was the Miraculous Medal Shrine, the chapel where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine in July of 1830. Below are a few photos of our visit. The small chapel is impressively beautiful as you would expect, but the most inspiring impression is the reverent prayer of the visitors to the chapel from all across the world.

The photo below is of the main altar of the chapel, with the engraving circling the statue of Our Lady, the words Our Lady requested St. Catherine to have struck on the medal she asked to be cast..."O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
After her miraculous visits from Our Lady, Catherine lived her remaining years as an ordinary nursing sister. Catherine never told anyone but her confessor about her visions. So, even at her death in 1876, no one knew that Catherine was the one who brought the Miraculous Medal to the world. Exhumed in 1933, her body was found incorrupt, and it now lies in a glass coffin at the side altar of the chapel, one of the spots where the Blessed Mother appeared to her.  On July 27, 1947, she was canonized by Pope Pius XII.

Pipe Organ Update

Progress on the assembly of our new pipe organ is proceeding smoothly and roughly on schedule. Our special thanks to our organ vendor Dave Cool of Temple Organs of St. Joseph, MO for the following information about the organ and its assembly.

The first photo, below, shows the Pedal Subbass rank of wood pipes (these are the yellow and dark brown pipes). These pipes are from a Moller pipe organ which were removed from a church in Fargo, ND.
The grey-painted expression boxes are from the same Moller Organ. The Moller Organ company began manufacturing pipe organs in 1875 and ceased business in 1992. It built over 11,000 organs which are found in many small to large venues, including for example, the Cadet Chapel of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The shutter cabinets (in the photo below) will open and close for tonal expression of the pipes that will be inside each box. The right shutter has pipes of the "choir" division, played from the bottom of the three keyboards on the console. The left-hand shutter chamber has the pipes of the "swell" division, which is played from the top-most keyboard. The middle keyboard of the console will play pipes, not yet installed, in the unenclosed "great" division, located in front of the "swell" box.
The large and ornate casework that surrounds the working parts of the organ (shown below) was salvaged from St. Simeon's Episcopal Church in the Bronx, NY that was scheduled for demolition. There will be gold-painted decorative "facade" pipes around three sides of the organ which will hide all of the playing pipes, of which there will be approximately 1,400.

Rousing...and...thought-provoking homily by guest celebrant

You can always count on Father David Phillipson giving a first-rate sermon when he visits to substitute for Father Avis. This morning Father Phillipson reviewed the story of the Macabeean Revolt against Greek conquerors in the land of Israel in the middle 100s B.C.

Father carefully constructed the ancient history lesson for us so that we could see some of the modern-day parallels of how a small number of persons (in this case, Mattathias, a rural Jewish priest, together with his five sons), fed up with their secular leaders interfering with the practice of their faith, led a revolt against the government's insistence that the Jews worship Greek gods. He also postulated how the people of Isreal were able to defeat the mighty governors of the society and earn a Jewish independence which would last for over a century. Father referred to the actions of the Greeks as the "first abomination of desolation", with the final provocation that of conducting a desolating sacrifice on the altar of the Jewish temple to false gods.

Our society is facing similar abominations in these times. We must be prepared, said Father, as Mattahias, to sacrifice all to resist the attacks on our faith. See the following posts.

The possibility suggested that every Catholic hospital will close if Obama passes FOCA - Freedom of Choice Act

This video presents the problem and the  challenge facing Catholics. 
The following post presents a good step in helping with the solution.

Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre honor our four bishops

At a special Mass Thursday evening celebrated at Visitation Church followed by a splendid dinner at the Carriage Club, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem honored our four metro area bishops: Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Most Reverend Raymond J. Boland and Most Reverend James P. Keleher along with Abbot Gregory J. Polan, OSB of Conception Abbey. The purpose of the event was to recognize our Bishops and Abbot for their service to the Equestrian Order and also to especially honor Archbishop Naumann who recently was named Grand Prior of the Northern Lieutenacy of the Order. 

Approximately 120 Knights and Ladies attended the Mass and banquet at which numerous awards and certificates were distributed for special service to the Order and to the Order's apostolate of support for the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
(The photo above shows Area Councillors Sir Jack and Lady Kitchin, Archbishop Naumann, Bishop Finn and Archbishop Keleher.)

The photo below shows Old St. Patrick Oratory member Robin Quastler and Lady Lisa and Sir Rob Spaedy as they paused for the camera. The Spaedys, who were recently invested in the Order, are members of the St. Philllipine Duchesne Latin Mass Community at Blessed Sacrament Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Also a special guest of the Order seated at our table was Monsignor Bradley Offutt, Chancellor of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Bishop Finn was the celebrant of the Mass and Archbishop Keleher gave a splendid homily at the Mass. Archbishop Nauman spoke at the banquet about his honor and responsibility of being made Grand Prior of the Order by John Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Order.