With regrets this blog must be now closed

Those involved in producing this blog have been unable for the last months to maintain it. We hoped that another group would perhaps assume the duties and the work. However it has apparently fallen through.

So, we must at this juncture call a "finis".

The Institute of Christ the King's website has a Kansas City/Old St. Patrick page. Click here to access that information.

Taking a break from blogging...

...in memoriam...

Special thanks to Steve Calovich

It was very nice to see some old friends at the Oratory last night, people that ordinarily do not attend Mass with us. Among them was Steve Calovich and his sister Celine, members of the Blessed Sacrament Latin Mass Community (KCKS). They shared Holy Mass with us. And 
Steve brought a gift...the T-Shirt (above) for Oratory members. The message on the front says: Follow me to Old St. Patricks...They do Latin Rite! A very clever turn of the phrase.

Steve gave us three of these t-shirts. So if you'd like one (XL), just email and let us know. First come, first served.

It was so nice to see these folks. Steve was a former member of the Our Lady of Sorrows Latin Mass Community and Celine taught catechism classes for primary age children at Blessed Sacrament for many years. The Calovichs also wanted to let you know how beautiful they thought our new church is!

Kudos to Canon Avis, the choir and the altar servers

High Mass at the Oratory Thursday evening for the feast of the Ascension was beautiful and reverent. AND, the choir and organ performance was very, very good. The new choir director and organist did an excellent job with just a few voices.  It is difficult to achieve a good blend with men's and women's voices singing Gregorian chant together. It was very well done last night. Plus, we had the opportunity to hear a bit of the formidable capabilities of our new pipe organ during the recessional. Thanks to all who participated.

First...you must read Italian...

If you speak/read Italian or can "intuit" what the site is saying, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia-Dei" has a revised web site up and running.

It has documents, commentary, information, and events about the activities of the commission.

You can translate the site page by page using Google Language , if that helps.

For those of us who have elderly and needy parents...

This is a must view...

Thank you, Nancy, age 91
Thank you, Al, age 95

Ascension Thursday - May 21st

Thursday, May 21st is the Feast of the Ascension. Masses will be at 12:10 (Noon) p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Everyone is reminded that there is no parking in the OSP lot on week-days.

This is the Introit for the feast day (Acts of the Apostles i, 11):

"Ye men of Galilee, why wonder yo, looking up to heaven? alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, Ps. O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God, with the voice of exultation. Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."

For more information about the fact and the feast, click here.

The Death of A Pope - by Piers Paul Read

Pat Ziglinski, "the mother of Latin Mass in Kansas City", had this novel on sale at one of her periodic book sales in the narthex last Sunday. Not being able to resist a thriller and especially one with a Church angle, we had to buy it. We're into it by about 50 pages and it is very promising.

Jeff Miller, posting on The Curt Jester blog, reviews the book, thusly:
"There are not exactly too many books that could be described as an "ecclesiastical thriller". The new book by Piers Paul Read called "The Death of a Pope" is certainly part of that small genre, but not limited by that.

The novel starts with a trial for a laicized priest who had been working for an international Catholic charity and had been arrested for trying to buy nerve agent. The plot builds from there in the last weeks of Pope John Paul II's life and it follows a serious threat as you might expect from the thriller genre. The main characters follow a range mainly along a faithful Catholic and lapsed/liberal Catholic divide that includes a Cardinal, priests, a reporter, and various personnel from security agencies.

The split between faithful and less than faithful Catholics is part of the plot of the book and some of the dialogue concerns hot issues of the day such as condom use, women priests, etc. Though the book never lapses into just a vehicle for apologetics that is artificial and the issues raised are totally consistent with the plot. One thing I liked though is that the more liberal or fallen away Catholic characters were not described as unlikable stereotypes. They were treated as real people as where all the characters in the book. As you would expect from a novel published by Ignatius Press the sympathy of the book is certainly in an Orthodox Catholic direction - but again I liked it focusing on plot and characters and not making the novel a soapbox which is always a disastrous decision.

"The Death of a Pope" was a thoroughly satisfying read from the start to the end and totally satisfying how the plot resolves. While it is an enjoyable read for Catholics, the novel is quite well written and should see a large audience."
The novel is now available at Ignatius Press for $18.66 and also at Amazon for $14.30.

Christian population in the Holy Land declining rapidly

The New York Times published this story today about how the number of Christians in the various countries of the Holy Land is falling precipitously. The implications of this decline are many. We suggest that you read this story to understand what is happening as the Muslim population explosion continues throughout the world.

This link will take you to some information about what The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem is doing in the mideast to help support Christianity in the Holy Land. For more information about the Order and its work, click here.

Update...and explanation

A couple of days ago we were pleased to post a thank you to a member of the Oratory who was very involved as a volunteer...dedicating many hours in service. We thought that we had this person's permission to post this kudo. However, post-publication the person contacted us and asked that the post be removed. 

So, we tried. If someone doesn't wish to be recognized in this way, we can't force them. Our thanks to all who are giving of their time and treasure for the benefit of the Oratory.

Fascinating reading...Vatican opens secret documents regarding Henry VIII's break with Rome

The actual letter in which King Henry VIII requests annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The rest is history. Pope Clement VII refuses and the Anglican schism follows. A photograph of the annulment request letter with the attached official seals of many of the King's supporters is shown in this article from Vatican Archives. You don't have to be a history wonk to be fascinated by this release of previously secret document.

Christian charity...sometimes hard to accept

A reader writes about an incident in which help was offered at the church building to another person of our community. This help was rudely refused. This reader suggested the basically insipid Christian "new age" tune might be right after all. Here's a verse of the lyric.
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love.

Archbishop Weakland admits he's a homosexual

The former archbishop of Milwaukee admits his sins.


To atone? Not likely. To sell his new book, of course.

Prayers for our priests...close to us and far...during the Priestly Year

We interrupt this hiatus for this timely information about Indulgences for the Year of Priests.

We thank Rorate-Caeli for this from the Vatican  regarding Indulgences for the Priestly Year, (June 19, 2009 to June 19, 2010] 
"To the truly penitent priests who, in any day, pray at least the morning Lauds or Vespers before the Most Holy Sacrament, exposed in public Adoration or in the Tabernacle, and, following the example of Saint John Mary Vianney, offer themselves with prompt and generous will in the celebration of the Sacraments, above all of Confession, a Plenary Indulgence is mercifully granted in God, which they may also apply to their deceased brothers in suffrage if, in conformity with the current norms, they go to sacramental confession and Eucharist, and pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

"A partial Indulgence is also granted to the priests, also applicable to their deceased brothers, every time they devoutly pray duly approved prayers to lead a holy life and to fulfill in a holy manner the duties assigned to them.

"To all the penitent faithful who, in a Church or Oratory, devoutly assist at the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, as well as any good work accomplished in that day, so that He may sanctify them and conform them to His Heart, is granted a Plenary Indulgence, if they have sanctified their own sins in sacramental penance and raised prayers for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff: on the days in which the Priestly Year is opened and closed, on the day of the 150th anniversary of the pious death of Saint John Mary Vianney, on the first Thursday of every month, or on any other day established by the Ordinary of the place for the use of the faithful. ...

"To the aged, the infirm, and all those who, for legitimate reason, cannot leave their house, with the rejection of every sin and the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three conditions, will also be granted in their own house, or wherever their condition retains them, a plenary indulgence if, on the aforementioned days, they recite prayers for the sanctification of priests and offer the infirmities and discomforts of their lives faithfully to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles.

"Partial indulgence is also granted to all the faithful every time they devoutly recite five times the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory be, or other appropriately approved prayer, in honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, to obtain that the priests may keep themselves in purity and sanctity of life."

Patrick Barvick to be ordained as a Deacon May 22nd

Patrick Barvick, son of Old Saint Patrick members Anna Marie and Gary Barvick will be ordained a Deacon of the Church on May 22nd.

The ordination will be held in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska. Patrick has been a seminarian in the diocese since 2001.

His service as a Deacon will last one year, after which Patrick will be ordained a priest of the Lincoln, Nebraska diocese.

Patrick began his service in the sanctuary when he was seven years old as a server for the Latin Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows parish. He continued as an altar boy until he graduated from high school when he was 18 years old.

As our former Latin Mass chaplain, Father Francis Kriski has said many times, the most efficacious training for the priesthood is altar boy service. 

Our congratulations go to Patrick and to his parents and brothers and sisters at this very exciting time.

...And the work goes on...!!

Joe Farris and his brother, Phillip Farris are shown stripping the old paint off the framework of the entrance to the sacristy/parish office. 

The plan is to get the paint down to the original wood and then prime and repaint. This extra work will insure that no wood rot will occur and also make sure that the entrance to the office will be attractive.

Our thanks to parish member, Joe Farris and to his brother for the extra help. Stripping paint is a hot and dirty job. Many thanks, fellows!!!

We also want to thank Joe and parishioners Steve Martinez and Alan Troyer for undertaking the maintainance of the grass to the south of the church. Tentative plans include possibly having a garden and some landscaping along the northern edge of the church.

The Holy Father's Pilgrimage to the Holy Land begins

Benedict XVI's extensive, week-long visit to the Holy Land began today. Here's is his schedule for the day in Jordan. Daily updates to the Pontiff's journey can be found here.

On the Schedule Today (Sunday May 10, 2009)
10.00 - Holy Mass celebrated at the Amman International Stadium
Recitation of the Regina Cæli at the Amman International Stadium
12.45 - Luncheon with Patriarchs, Bishops and Papal Entourage at the Latin Vicariate of Amman
17.30 - Visit to the site of Baptism of Christ, at Bethany beyond the Jordan
18.00 - Blessing of the foundation stones of the Latin and Greek Melkite churches at Bethany beyond the Jordan

Your prayers are urgently requested for one of our own

Please pray a "Memorare" for very special intention.
Please invoke this special intention during your daily prayer
and during your Masses and Holy Communions.

"Operation White Robe"

"Operation White Cape" (depending on which translation you read)That's what the Israeli security people are calling the security arrangements for the Holy Father's visit to the Holy Land beginning this coming Monday. The photo above shows the "popemobile" during rehearsals of movements for Pope Benedict. 

Over 80,000 security persons will be involved in providing secure, safe transport for his Holiness during his visit to 26 different sites on his pilgrimage agenda. Here's some more information.

As part of the operation, when the Pope arrives in Bethlehem, security will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority Presidential Guard. That's scary! We're all must pray that the Holy Father's visit is incident-free.

Kansas City Latin Mass devotee, Jack Cashill, has produced a documentary on the "March for Life"

Entitled, "Thine Eyes", it will be showing in movie theaters throughout the country. Look for it in Kansas City soon. You can purchase a DVD copy through the Thine Eyes organization. 

Old St. Patrick parishioner, John Heuretz, has written a review of the film appearing in this week's Wanderer. He also has written a review that will appear in The Catholic Key. The YouTube below is a promo for the film showing the scope and huge crowd that gathered in Washington.

Here is what our beloved bishop, Robert Finn had to say about the film...
"Thine Eyes is politically conscious without being partisan. It is factual without being preachy. It is sobering but very joyful. I would like all Catholic adults to see Thine Eyes; but it is also perfectly appropriate for high school or even middle school students. It tells a simple but profound story which has been largely pushed to the side by the commercial press: how hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children make a challenging spiritual pilgrimage to our nation’s capitol - year after year - out of love for human life, and come back home more committed than ever to change our country. Prayerfully watch Thine Eyes. Find a way to support this movement, and join the great March for life."
For more on Jack Cashill and his numerous books and videos, click here.

Obama says "no" to prayer breakfast

Read the not too surprising story here. Our thanks to a reader for sending this alert. 

Once again Old St. Patrick Oratory parishioners show their generosity

Our bulletin reported this morning that the special collection for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest seminary in Italy, last week on Good Shepherd Sunday, was a very generous $1,800.00. 

Blessing for good weather prayed this morning

The only prayer for good weather and protection from bad that we had ever heard of was to St. Medard (5th cent.), patron of weather:
A Prayer for Good Weather

Good Saint
Medard, humble and loyal servant, you trusted God's providence in all things and at all times. You knew that God provides for the needs of His children. Inspire us with your faith, so that we may weather the storms that surround us and trust that the sun will shine again. Amen.
Pious tradition says that when he was a child, Medard was once sheltered from the rain by a hovering eagle. This is his most common depiction in art, and led to his patronage of good weather, against bad weather, for people who work the fields, etc. Legend has it that if it rains on his feast day, the next 40 days will be wet; if the weather is good, the next 40 will be fine as well. He was also depicted as laughing aloud with his mouth wide open; this led to his patronage against toothache. His feast is June 8th.

But today after 8 a.m. Mass, we prayed the "Holy Cross Weather Blessing". According to the OSP bulletin this prayer is said from May 3rd through September 14th, using a relic of the True Cross of Our Lord Jesus which asked God's protection against violent storms. The bulletin went on to say that it is prayed customarily after Low Masses during this seasonal period.

The prayer partially read:
We beseech Thee, O Almighty God, through the intercession of Holy Mary, the Mother of God, of the holy angels, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, widows, and of all They saints that Thou show us Thy continuing protection, permit tranquil winds, and also pour out to us, They unworthy servant, Thy safety from heaven above against lightning strikes and violent storms, and that Thou remain always protective of the human race and crush down the aerial powers by the right hand of Thy power. Through the same Christ the Lord....

Support needed for a wonderful Catholic Church music service

RECOMMENDED. For those who love the traditional choral music of the Church, you must try Choral Treasures. This is an online music site which you can link to and have beautiful choral music, and Gregorian Chant playing continuously on your computer as you work. It is very simple. Just go to http://www.choraltreasure.org and click the "Listen to Choral Treasure" link. A simple audio player will open and begin automatically. It also shows the repertoire that is playing. Wonderful choral and choir groups are featured. 

This is a non-profit operation run by volunteers. They survive by donations from those who appreciate the service. There is a link to make a contribution through PayPal (using a PayPal account or your credit card). Help is particularly need now as the royalty payments and bandwidth time that the service must pay runs $500-$600 a month and their bank account is very low.

Apparently no one would accept the "Laetare Medal". Instead, a speech will be given by a former recipient

Read about it here in announcement from Notre Dame University.

First 300,000 "No Obama" Petition Signer names delivered to Notre Dame

According to the Cardinal Newman Society, more are on the way.

If you want to get in on this and sign the petition, joining over 347,000 signers thus far, click here.

The cost for printing and shipping 80 huge binders containing more than 64,000 sheets of paper, across the country and overseas, is more than $13,000. If you can assist the Cardinal Newman Society with a tax-deductible donation to defray these expenses, please click here.

The photo shows a couple of the binders full of signatures. Thanks to a reader (Ed K) for keeping us up to date on this valiant effort. 

European and North American demographics spell destruction of Christianity in 30 years

From Patrick Madrid, a very scary 7-Minutes. In this presentation he posits that birth control and abortion are assuring the total domination of Anglo-Saxon/Christian culture by Muslims...within just a little more than one generation. We are doing it to ourselves. If it continues as it has for the last 40 years, we are guaranteeing that our children and grandchildren will be living in Muslim-dominated countries. It will happen in Europe first. Then, not too many years later, we're next. No shots fired. A bloodless coup.   والله يعين! (God help us!).

Funny, funny, funny

The liberals are hard at work trying to cover for Fr. Jenkins and have apparently convinced CraigsList to remove the satirical post about Notre Dame's search for someone (anyone) to agree to take the "Laetare" Award. Here's the content of the ad...

Laetare Recipient Wanted (Notre Dame, IN)

Reply to: gigs-zd7sb-1143896969@craigslist.org
Date: 2009-04-28, 9:24AM EDT

URGENT!!! Laetare Award recipient needed ASAP!!! Christian preferred, agnostic case-by-case. If interested call Fr. John at 574-631-5000 by May 17th.

Location: Notre Dame, IN
Compensation: no pay
PostingID: 1143896969
We tried replying to the post with a "huzzaah!", but got this message: "Sorry, but the craigslist user address you recently mailed (gigs-zd7sb-1143896969@craigslist.org) does not seem to be valid. It could be you're trying to respond to a very old posting, or that the user has not requested anonymous email forwarding. Please check the address and try again."
Glad we were able to preserve a copy of this excruciatingly to-the-point satire.

Wierd News

A Vero Beach, FL priest is stabbed twice as he is finishing hearing confessions. A 57 year old woman is accused. She claims that the priest is the "anti-Christ". The priest, after hospital treatment for two wounds in the side is recovering. You can find the full report on this bizarre occurrence here. 

Well-Known Canon Law Expert, Dr. Edward Peters on the Notre Shame

"Mary Ann Glendon brings good out of evil.

"I see Dr. Mary Ann Glendon's refusal to provide cover for Notre Dame's inexcusable conferral of honors on a prominent pro-abortion politician as an application of Canon 209.1
'The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church", or of Canon 225.2 "According to each one's own condition, [laity] are also bound by a particular duty to imbue and perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus to give witness to Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular functions.'
"The evil that ND President Jenkins and his Board of Trustees committed has, Deus laudetur, occasioned one of the most striking displays of episcopal fortitude I can remember, mobilized hundreds of thousands of American Catholics against another quiet surrender to the Culture of Death, and effected notice to several once great Catholic institutions that it's time, finally, to decide where they stand.

I say, God bless Ambassador Glendon."

The Bishop's Annual Appeal - YOUR GENEROSITY helps many

In the diocese's update on the progress of the Bishop's Annual Appeal released recently, the news was very good. The giving of over $1.8 million dollars for this year is a 9% increase over last year's total. 

There are 99 parishes in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. 46 of those parishes exceed their 2009 goal for giving. Old St. Patrick was one of the 46!

Once again, our small parish has shown how it rises to every challenge and never fails to demonstrate its caring for the broader community, individually and as an entirety. You should be proud of yourselves!

Notre Dame replies to Glendon's refusal of award - The hole gets deeper

The following statement from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, is in response to the decision by Mary Ann Glendon to decline acceptance of the University's Laetare Medal (see earlier post today):
"We are, of course, disappointed that Professor Glendon has made this decision. It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make that announcement as soon as possible."
We wonder who would accept the award under this cloud...here's a couple of possibilities: Katherine Sebelius or Nancy Pelosi. Both prominent nominal Catholics who are totally in tune with the abortion-president, Obama. 

Mary Ann Glendon refuses to accept Notre Dame's highest honor

Mary Ann Glendon, the recent United States Ambassador to the Vatican, has said that she will not accept Notre Dame's highest honor, the "Laetare" Medal at the upcoming commencement ceremonies. 

In her letter to Notre Dame's President, Fr. John Jenkins, Glendon expressed dismay that Notre Dame chose to honor President Barack Obama despite his clear public stand against Catholic principles on key moral issues. She also voiced her discomfort with the university's suggestion that her own speech at the commencement exercises might counterbalance the Obama appearance. A commencement celebration, she said, "is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised" by Notre Dame's decision to invite Obama in defiance of clear guidance from the US bishops.

Intrinsic Evil

This from...The Most Reverend Timothy A. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, explained during a recent interview that his opposition to Notre Dame’s slated honor for President Obama on May 17 is due to the President’s support for the “intrinsic evil” of abortion. He also contrasted abortion to other serious concerns, like the Iraq war and the death penalty, which “are open to some discussion and are not intrinsically evil.”

Intrinsicbelonging to a thing by its very nature. Evil: having or exerting a malignant influence 

Volunteers needed for church cleaning duties

Today's bulletin requested "ladies" to volunteer for cleaning duties periodically at the church.

Well, we are sure that the notice was not intended to express any sense of superiority of one gender over another regarding the ability to mop, sweep, dust and vacuum.

So, we are confident that "gentlemen" would also be welcomed on the cleaning team. To volunteer or for more information contact Canon Avis at his email address. Or you can call him at 816-931-5612.

Good Shepherd Sunday - With special emphasis on support of priestly vocations

"The Good Shepherd," says St. Gregory, "gave His life for His sheep, that in our sacrament He might change His Body and Blood into food with which to fill all whom He had ransomed. He has shown us the way we must follow to despise death, and set before our eyes the example which we must conform."

Today, Canon Avis emphasized the duties our shepherds, the priests of the Church to their flocks, and also our duty to support them with our worldly goods...for without the support of the laity there would be no good priests and there would be no Church.

Thus, a second collection this morning was dedicated to be used for the education and formation of the priests of The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at its seminary in Gricigliano, Italy.

The first photo below shows Villa Martelli at Gricigliano decorated with colors of the Holy See on the occasion of the granting of status of Apostolic Right on the Institute.
The following two photos show His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life who ordained six new deacons in the beautiful chapel at Gricigliano Seminary in March of this year.

These photos above are from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest international web site.

50 Years as a priest. Fr. Frank Kriski is featured in this week's Catholic Key

Father Frank Kriski, CSsR, is remembered certainly as one of the most respected and admired of the priests that served the Latin Mass Community at Our Lady of Sorrows. He was our chaplain from 2002 until 2005. He has recently observed his 50th anniversary as a priest and is recovering from prostate cancer for which he underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago.

John Heuertz, a member of Old St. Patrick, wrote this fine article published today in the Catholic Key.
"He’s one of the most gentle, humble and devoted priests I have had the pleasure to know." Kansas City area businessman Joe Farris speaks for many who know Fr. Francis Kriski, pastor since Advent of 2005 of Our Lady of Peace church on Kansas City's northeast side.

Francis Kriski was born in 1936 into a farming family in Elba, Nebraska, northwest of Grand Island. He's the only priest from his home town so far. A middle child, he grew up with four older sisters, three younger brothers and one younger sister. But he was threatened with a serious ear infection at once, and a kind of omen attended his Baptism.

"Our pastor was away for some reason, and the bishop himself was substituting in this little country parish," Fr. Kriski says. "But he was a Polish bishop." Francis' Baptism was quickly arranged, and Bishop Stanislaus Bona baptized him personally. Then he said to Francis' uncle and godfather, "Now it's up to you to make him a priest."

It was a close, religious family and Francis enjoyed pretending to say Mass for his brothers and sisters, using a colorful old rug as a chasuble. A great-uncle was a prominent Franciscan friar, and in 1950 Francis left home for a Franciscan minor seminary in Chicago. But he was 13 years old, and soon he was homesick. He came home that Christmas to stay until 1954, when he began formation as a Redemptorist after high school. "My uncle had talked for years about how much he liked the Redemptorists in Omaha, and my father wanted me to be a priest," he says. "I got a lot of support from my family."

He became a professed Redemptorist in 1958 - "It turned out the Redemptorists didn't go home for Christmas!" - and was ordained a priest six years later, taking parish assignments in Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Kansas City and Indiana. He also served as an Army chaplain and a hospital chaplain. "Denver's General Hospital a big place with a big emergency room. You get calls at midnight, calls at 3 a.m. You do what you can do for people in ten minutes. The good thing is, if you make a mistake you can start over with the next person. In parish work, you have to live with your goof-ups."

Our Lady of Peace is in a diverse neighborhood with diverse issues, and pastoring a bilingual parish has a set of challenges all its own. "I learned Spanish in the seminary and I try to do as much in Spanish as I can, but I'm not really that fluent," he says. "Usually if I ask enough questions I can find out what someone is saying."

A less experienced priest might find fertile goof-up ground everywhere in this parish and neighborhood. But "Father Kriski's done a good job of balancing the needs of the two communities," says Deacon Don McCandless. "He did it by listening to people and soliciting ideas.

"He has a pastoral approach to people. I would describe him as being a very humble man."

"Our parish has always been Polish, Mexican, German, a real melting pot," says lifelong parishioner Mrs. Bernadine Ohmes. "But Fr. Kriski didn't come in like gangbusters wanting to change everything. He is so kind, and very easy to work with."

A truly green thumb is a gift, but a modest man might not mention it. "When he came to the parish he converted a small area in the back into a grotto," Mrs. Ohmes says. "He planted tulips and hostas and a rosebush for a statue of the Blessed Mother he put in. "He really takes pride in the grounds and we were happy to see that."

"I once brought him the Epistle and Gospel texts for that week's Latin Mass, and found him tending a small flower garden at Redemptorist church," says Michall Holmes of Lee's Summit. "He explained with great joy that tending the flowers was one of his responsibilities at Redemptorist.

"I've often thought his love for tending flowers was like his love for tending souls."

Fr. Kriski was ordained for the Tridentine (Latin) Mass, and over the years would sometimes say a private Tridentine Mass for friends - or even perform a small wedding in the old liturgy.
Thus he didn't start completely from scratch when he began serving Kansas City's Latin Mass community as chaplain and de facto pastor in Advent 2002.

"Vatican II has certainly had an impact on my life as a priest and it was positive, but I still hanker for the old days," he says. "Something important from the pre-Vatican II church seems to be missing. It's hard to put your finger on. Perhaps a kind of conviction is missing."

"There's something kind of missing from the English Mass too," he says. "It seems so plain. "There's no soul in it. The Latin Mass has soul. I enjoyed saying it."

He served the Latin Mass community for exactly three years, inheriting the community from Fr. Ambrose Karels and passing it on to priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

"Father Kriski was one of the finest priests to serve our community and we owe him much. Many thanks, Father," says community member John Quastler.

Perhaps many changes inside the Church since the 1960s were hardest on priests of all. "The priesthood was looked up to then, but I'd say it's different now," Father Kriski says. Yet the Catholic Church cannot function without priests.

Then where do vocations come from, especially in a changed environment? Prayer, meditation and family and community support are indispensable. “Altar boy service is probably one of the most important experiences in the formation of a young boy who feels he might have a vocation,” he says.

"Appreciation is a great thing. If you're doing something and people care, it adds a lot." Father Francis Kriski fought a recent, successful bout with cancer and might retire someday, to the extent that any dedicated priest retires. He looks forward to the Church's future with optimism.

"Sometimes it seems like nobody listens to anything the Church says," he says. "But if there's something beautiful, people are attracted to that and maybe that will help some people to stay with the Church.

"So my advice is to look to the future," he says. "As long as there's a future, there's hope."

Just discovered another local blogger...

Nice blog. To give it a try, click here.

Notre Dame's President, Rev. John Jenkins, travels in style

Did you know that Notre Dame has a private jet? We posted yesterday that Fr. Jenkins was having an unannounced meeting at the White House...for what purpose isn't clear yet. But he went "first class" in his own private airplane, a Cessna 560 Citation V (sample of which shown above). Also, we discovered that you can track the flights of any private plane. Here's Notre Dame's recent flight schedule - showing a flight from South Bend to Washington Dulles yesterday morning. We're still waiting to see if anything is announced concerning the content of whatever meeting Fr. Jenkins was having there. Well, with 42 Bishops already on record decrying the Notre Dame Shame, Father Jenkins may not be traveling so elegantly in the coming months.

Notre Dame President is visiting the White House for an unannounced meeting

It's just a rumor. But according to Catholic World News, it is from a reliable source.

One can easily speculate...and earnestly pray...that Father Jenkins has come to his senses and journeyed to Washington to withdraw his invitation to Barak Obama to speak at the university's commencement and receive an honorary doctorate.

Bishop Finn fervently requested that outcome in his thoughts posted on this blog yesterday afternoon.

If this meeting is for this purpose, we'll probably hear about it soon. Stay tuned.

Archbishop of St. Louis Appointment

Robert Carlson is the new Archbishop St. Louis
Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator for St. Louis, called Archbishop-elect Carlson “a very energetic, articulate, warm and gifted pastor and administrator. He thinks and works with the Church he loves, and will continue to build upon the legacy of his predecessors here in St. Louis.”

Archbishop–elect Carlson was installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw on February 24, 2005 at the direction of Pope John Paul II. A native of Minneapolis, MN, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1970 for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He was later ordained as an auxiliary bishop for his home archdiocese on January 11, 1984 and went on to serve as Bishop of Sioux Falls, SD, from 1994 to 2005.

There will be a press conference at 10:30 this morning.

Update: From the Catholic Key Blog are remarks from Bishop Finn. “In the name of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph I sent a message of Congratulations and prayerful best wishes to the Archbishop-Elect early this morning. He is a wonderful and holy bishop who has served the Church in so many significant ways. He is very well suited to this new assignment from the Holy Father. As I extend to him my sentiments of welcome to Missouri, I look forward to working closely with him.” You may also read Bishop Finn's column regarding the appointment in the upcoming issue of the Catholic Key newspaper.

Another Update: St. Louis Catholic blog publishes a very informational and readable letter from a priest who knows Archbishop Carlson quite well. 

Our beloved Bishop Finn speaks about the Notre Dame debacle

(Excerpt from the Catholic Key Blog). "In my first U.S. Bishops’ Conference meeting – June of 2004 – the bishops passed what seemed to me to be a compromise statement as a result of our lengthy debate on politicians and Communion. There we stated that pro-choice leaders (and specifically, Catholic leaders were mentioned) should not be given public platforms or honors. As we all know the eminent American Catholic University, Notre Dame, is poised to bestow such an opportunity and honor on President Obama, who is, of course, not Catholic. But it doesn’t take another Bishops’ Conference statement to know this is wrong: scandalous, discouraging and confusing to many Catholics.

"God knows what all motivates such a decision. I suspect that, since Notre Dame will need a scapegoat for this debacle, and Fr. Jenkins will probably lose his job, at this point perhaps he ought to determine to lose it for doing something right instead of something wrong. He ought to disinvite the President, who I believe would graciously accept the decision. Notre Dame, instead, ought to give the honorary degree to Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who has supported and tried to guide the University, despite their too frequent waywardness, faithfully for 25 years." (Photo from blog's file of Bishop Finn's Pontifical Low Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception).

Related Story:  Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando will offer a Mass of Reparation in response to the University of Notre Dame’s decision to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree. “As Catholics we are aware of the many shortcomings and transgressions committed against the dignity and sacredness of human life in our world,” according to a diocesan notice.

"That is why it is inconceivable that Notre Dame University, a Catholic institution of higher learning, should receive and honor anyone who promotes policies that are contradictory to who we are as a people of faith. As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI stated in his visit to the U.S. last year in reference to Catholic university presidents, to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission.” 

Our thanks to those who have visited this blog

We began this blog in late September of last year. Although it doesn't compare to some of the powerhouse Catholic blogs that really get big readership, still we have had readers review posts over 25,000 times in five and a half months. To us, that's amazing! Plus, the pace of readership is growing all the time. According to the recent level of readership, we may hit 100,000 page views by the end of our first year. Not bad for a little community of about 100 or so households.

We pray in the end that all these people reading about Old St. Patrick will help result in steady growth in attendance and membership.

Bake sale a success!

It was announced this morning that the parish bake sale was quite successful. It raised almost $1,000 for the fund to purchase new cassock and surplices for the altar servers.

This is just another demonstration of the generosity of time and treasure by Old St. Patrick people. Whether it's for this purpose,  for special requests from Bishop Finn to support diocesan projects, help for the poor and needy and other worthy causes, our parishioners know how to "dig deep". It never ceases to amaze how such a modest size community can get so much done.

Next week, Good Shepherd Sunday, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be asking for special generosity for the purpose of helping the education of priests at the seminary in Italy.

The Sunday of many names...

The Sunday after Easter has many titles: Low Sunday, The Octave of Easter, Quasimodo Sunday, White Sunday and most recently it has become known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

Observing the spirit of Divine Mercy Sunday, after 8:00 a.m. Mass, Canon Avis led the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a short Novena to the Infant King. The Gospel of today's Mass showed us how Christ, appearing twice in the Cenacle, overcame the unbelief of St. Thomas (as dramatically shown in the beautiful painting above), praising those who, not having seen, should yet believe.

Good grief!!

Over the last couple of days some comments on a couple of posts on this blog got a little out of hand. Some commentators wrote some things that probably shouldn't have been written and other commentators wrote responses that probably shouldn't have been written either. This blog was even accused of encouraging some of these comments. This was an incorrect assertion.

The com-boxes of these two posts have been closed and all the comments removed permanently.

This blog's mission is the encouragement of the growth of Old St. Patrick Oratory, and its members, its friends and also people who attend occasionally. We've learned a lesson here. We allowed comments to be posted on both sides of a contentious strand of opinion in a spirit of "freedom of speech". This, perhaps, was a mistake.

No chocolate cake in Heaven

This little sound clip from Patrick Madrid's radio show will be a nice way to start your Saturday. If you're a little grumpy, this smart little 11-year old's questions will charm you into a very good mood. Click here.

OK. OK. We know this doesn't have anything to do with Old St. Patrick

...but we really love beautiful photography. And this is a stunner! Can anyone identify this skyline...that is, the city.

Question about communion rail cloth

We had an email this morning questioning what the correct posture should be in using the new communion rail cloth. Since this is a practice that is not followed in very many Catholic churches and only recently introduced at ours, we thought that others might have this or similar questions too. So we did a little research. The following is a quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
"The "Rituale Romanum" (tit. iv, cap. ii, n. I) prescribes that a clean white cloth be extended before those who receive Holy Communion. This cloth is to be of fine linen, as it is solely intended as a sort of corporal to receive the particles which may by chance fall from the hands of the priest. It is usually fastened on the sanctuary side and when in use is drawn over the top of the rail. It should extend the full length of the rail, and be about two feet wide, so that the communicant, taking it in both hands, may hold it under his chin. Its very purpose suggests that it is not to be made of lace or netting, although there is nothing to forbid its having a border of fine lace or embroidery."
We hope this bit of information is helpful to anyone who might have been unsure what to do when approaching the communion rail. And we especially thank the reader who asked the question. 

Update: (04/19/2009) Although we didn't hear it, some readers have informed us that Canon Avis made it clear in pulpit announcements that hands should be placed under the linen so as to catch a dropped host if it occurred, but not as far as the chin. 

(We thank St. John Cantius church in Chicago, IL for the use of the picture of the communion rail linen).

Dr. Thomas Dillon, President of Thomas Aquinas College is dead

We were devastated to learn this afternoon that Tom Dillon was killed in an automobile accident while in Ireland this morning. His wife Terri, who was also injured, is expected to recover swiftly.

We knew Dr. Dillon personally, having spent a week-end as a guest in the Dillon's home on the campus of Thomas Aquinas College. Dr. Dillon was the spark-plug of the success of TAC. He was president of the college for nearly 20 years and directed it into one of the most formidable, TRULY CATHOLIC colleges in America. There are numerous persons, current or former members of Old St. Patrick,  the Latin Mass Community at Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Sacrament in Kansas City, Kansas, Good Counsel in Kansas City, MO and others, who are graduates of the school. 

His influence will be felt for many, many decades to come. God bless his soul and our prayers for him will be many. May he rest in peace.

Old St. Patrick showing excellent growth

It has been evident that attendance at Old St. Patrick has been growing steadily since the the end of October of last year.

Although we don't have access to the parish membership records, we can do a simple analysis of the donations that are received weekly to make some reasonable assumptions. We simply added the contributions of envelope and cash donations figures that are published in the weekly bulletin. During the past seven weeks of Lent, contributions in 2009 vs. contributions in 2008 for the same period was up 184.67%. By observation we see somewhat the same in the attendance.

Speculating as to the reasons for this growth, we postulate that:
1) Just being in our own church and being our own self-contained parish has been very attractive to many of the new attendees and new registrants, and

2) Canon Avis has truly been the spark-plug that our membership had needed. Since he arrived in September of last year he has shown just the right level of friendliness and personality in addition to his formidable gifts as a priest. Also he has shown great expertise in managing the community so everyone feels fully part of it.
It looks very bright for the future. As an example, here is reprint of a comment previously posted on this blog by a new member. We think that the sentiments expressed are pretty universal. 
"Since I made my move to OSP, I can not tell you how often I thank God for leading me to this community. Events such as the bake sale, and the St. Joseph table are truly moments when we know God has blessed us all. Love abounds in our little community. Deo Gratias."

After Mass Bake Sale was well received

The purpose of the Easter Morning Bake Sale was to raise some money for purchasing new cassocks and surplices in the new Institute of Christ the King style for our altar servers. Judging from the two glass containers on the bake sale tables that seemed packed with cash, the sale was effective. It was also a lot of fun.

The items on the sale tables appeared to be mostly home baked and some were especially creative including this tray of cookies which were baked in the shape of crosses and decorated with Easter-color icings of little flowers. Purchased by this member, we can attest to the taste also. They were delicious. We're eating a few and are taking the remainder to our elderly parents who are house-bound. They'll love them. Our special thanks to the person who baked these cookies. They are a very special Easter treat!!! And thanks to all of those who participated in this fund-raiser...bakers and buyers both!

Our Beautiful Altar dressed for the celebration of the Masses of the Risen Christ!

The dramatic and beautifully designed candle holder was prepared last night during the Easter Vigil as the Paschal Candle was symbolically decorated with the five blessed grains of incense in the form of a cross and then blessed to the chanting of the Exsultet. 

"Let the angelic choirs of heaven now rejoice: let the divine mysteries be celebrated with joy: and let the trumpet of salvation resound for the victory of so great a King."

The altar was stunningly embellished with Easter Flowers.

Holy Thursday at the Oratory

The pews were mostly full. And a beautiful High Mass was sung by a small but disciplined choir. The choir did a particularly fine job singing Psalm 21 during the distribution at Communion. The Holy Thursday liturgy was concluded with a solemn procession transferring the Holy Eucharist from the main altar to the altar of repose to spend the night and through today's "Mass of the Presanctified".
After the procession, the Holy Eucharist was reposed in the tabernacle at the Epistle side altar.

The ceremony of stripping the main altar and the south side altar was conducted with great dignity by the servers, and as this work was being done, the singing of Psalm 21 was repeated in a "recto tono" form. It was very moving. The altar of repose was beautifully decorated with stair-stepped candles, flowers and gold fabric filling the spaces.
The church was to be open for adoration until Midnight. Those who had to get home, found themselves running through a small downpour. 

Stations of the Cross will be today (Friday) at 12:00 Noon. And Mass of the Presanctified will be at 6:30 p.m. this evening.

Visits from around the country and around the globe

Since we started this community blog last September, we have been surprised at the depth of interest in Old St. Patrick Oratory. Of course, most of the readers are from the Greater Kansas City area, but we get many readers from all over the place. For example: the list below is of some of the readers from outside our area during the last two days.
United Kingdom Edinburgh, Edinburgh, City of
Sunnyvale, California
United Kingdom Salisbury, Wiltshire
Pittsburg, Kansas
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Chicago, Illinois
Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Rolla, Missouri
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Winter Park, Florida
Phoenix, Arizona
Canada Toronto, Ontario
Wilmington, Delaware
Conception, Missouri
Wheeler, Wisconsin
Waterford, Pennsylvania
Apex, North Carolina
Saint Louis, Missouri
Baltimore, Maryland
Toms River, New Jersey
Denver, Colorado
Mountain View, California
Germany Traunstein, Bayern
United Kingdom Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Philippines Manila
Miami, Florida
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Haven, Missouri
San Francisco, California
Brazil Marlia, Sao Paulo
Wichita, Kansas
West Palm Beach, Florida
Clarence, New York
Fort Collins, Colorado
North Bergen, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Australia Melbourne, Victoria
United Kingdom Leicester

Photos shared by Christoper Murad

Parishioner Christopher Murad is an avid photographer with a splendid sense of artistic composition. He has kindly offered his collection of photos of OSP during various activities of the parish to all members and friends of the Oratory. Click here.

In just a decade, the Benedictines of Clear Creek have made great progress at their monestery in Clear Creek, OK

Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek is a monastic foundation of the French Abbey Notre Dame de Fontgombault, itself a foundation of Saint Pierre de Solesmes.

Over the years Solesmes started new monasteries, one of which was the Abbey of Fontgombault in France. Fontgombault in turn, after having sent monks to three monasteries in France, in 1999 started one in Oklahoma on a 1,000 acre chunk of Oklahoma countryside.

On March 20, 21 & 22 several Old St. Patrick parishioners, Paul Villotti and Joe Farris visited the monestary for a private retreat. Paul had been there before on several occasions along with members of his family to help clear brush and fabricate some out-buildings for the farm. It was a very peaceful and prayerful weekend. The monastery is so remote and isolated that there is no shortage of "quiet space." Assisting the monks at Holy Mass and attending the hours of the office with them is a very moving experience. The several photos below show the progress that has been made over the years. It is considerable.

The photo above is a shot of the Crypt - the lower level of the eventual church. This is where the monks now celebrate Holy Mass and chant the the office until the church is built which will be the next phase of the construction project. The crypt has enough altars to allow perhaps twelve monks to celebrate Holy Mass at the same time which is what they do during the Low Mass that is being celebrated at the main altar. 

The second picture is a shot of the walk-way along the court yard side of the monastery building. Eventually the court yard will be fully enclosed by four buildings including the church and three wings of the monastery. Note the ceiling above the walkway is beautiful cedar wood.

The third picture is of the courtyard itself. In the center is a well which is over 300 feet deep. This well supplies the water for the monastery and the farm operation.

The last picture shows a side view of the crypt. The tall brick tower to the left is on the end of the monastery wing and houses the water tower that stores the water from the well mentioned earlier. The wing on the right side of the picture is the Gate Keepers office. This is where the monk who is designated as "Porter" receives guest and visitors. It also is the location of the book store.

The 34 monks of Clear Creek, some of whom are from nearby states, raise sheep, cattle and have a milk herd. They also have a saw mill where they cut timber and cure it in one of three drying houses from one to three years depending on the thickness of the cut.

You are encouraged to visit their website or better yet make a trip to Clear Creek monastery. Be sure to call or email ahead of time for a reservation. You can get more information from the website about visits and accommodations.

Holy Week Schedule Reminder

Special Events for Easter:

April 9th - Holy Thursday
7:00 p.m. - High Mass, Procession and
Adoration until midnight
April 10th - Good Friday
Noon - Stations of the Cross
6:30 p.m. - Liturgy of the Lord's Passion
April 11th - Holy Saturday
8:30 p.m. - Easter Vigil
April 12th - Easter Sunday
8:00 a.m. - Low Mass
10:15 a.m. - High Mass

Naughty Boys

Reader David Remley sent in this story from OSP's colorful past. We know that no Old St. Patrick young fellow would be engaged in such rough activity these days. This article from the paper - Kansas City Journal from April 5, 1909 will no doubt tickle your funny bone and possibly cause you to keep closer tabs on your kids.

Boys Who Gambled There Over Priest's Protest
Caught by Police.

Disregarding the admonitions of a priest, a crowd of boys between the ages of 12 and 18 years are congregating in the yard of St. Patrick's Catholic church, Eighth and Cherry streets, Sunday afternoons and shooting craps. Neighbors were disturbed by the riotous boys' loud talking to the dice.

While fourteen were indulging in a big game yesterday afternoon four policemen scaled the fence and suddenly dropped into the midst of the "gang." A wild scramble to escape followed by the "bluecoats" corralled all of them and the boys enjoyed a free ride to the police station where they were charged with gambling.

Parents of the youngsters began arriving a few minutes after the culprits had landed behind the bars. Each parent insisted that his boys were not "shooting craps" but the police demanded the $5 appearance bond nevertheless.

Photo: courtesy of the New York City museum (circa 1900). Not our boys, but no doubt it gives a clear concept of what the gathering might have looked like.