The First Saint Born in America

January 4 Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Feast day today. Ora pro nobis. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is beloved by American Catholics as our first native-born saint. In this article,  Dan Flaherty recounts how this great Saint had a heart of charity from an early age — and how she endured much hardship along a road … Read more

How I Got to Saint Louis

An Interview with Canon Ueda

He is a Japanese convert to the Faith. Canon Raphael Ueda, Vicar of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in a recent interview with Regina Magazine discussed his background as a Catholic priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the work that is being done at the Oratory located at the Cathedral of South Saint Louis.

REGINA: When were you ordained, and how did you become a priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest?

Canon Ueda: I was not born a Catholic. Divine Providence guided me to an encounter with the Catholic faith. For those who are in the Catholic Church the veracity of the Church is very evident, but for me who is not Catholic by birth, especially born in Japan (in the far east where Catholicism is in its entirety not known) it was not so easy. But as always Divine Providence guides those who are sincerely looking for the truth in a very mysterious way.

I was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1968; I studied as a medical student to become a doctor in Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of the country for more than one thousand years. However God had another plan for me. An Italian missionary baptized me when I was 27 years old in Kobe. That same year I left for Quebec, Canada where I would learn the French language (in the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, French is the common language.)

At this time I did not know that one day I would join the Institute, but providentially this stay in Quebec allowed me to. In 2001 I joined Saint Phillip Neri Seminary (the seminary of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest) in Florence, Italy. After 8 years of prayer, study, and hard work His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke ordained me a priest in Florence, Italy. It was a long journey to become a priest. After my ordination, I stayed for a year in Europe, and in 2010 I was assigned to the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago, Illinois. There I served as Vicar for two years. It was an exciting experience to stay in this windy and dynamic city.

Raymond Cardinal Burke

After 8 years of prayer, study, and hard work His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke ordained me a priest in Florence, Italy. It was a long journey to become a priest.

Then in 2012 I was assigned to Saint Francis de Sales Oratory here in Saint Louis as Vicar. I am very grateful to serve the faithful of the city Saint Louis, which is called Rome of the West because of its longstanding Catholic culture tradition, which is both dynamic and diverse. The faithful are great. They are generous and sincerely looking for the love of God. They love the Catholic Church.

REGINA: What are some of the greatest challenges you encounter as a priest? How have they affected your priesthood?

Canon Ueda: I was baptized as a Catholic but that does not mean I cease to be Japanese. I left Japan in 1995. Since then I have had several occasions to return. Living previously in Quebec, Italy, and now the U.S., it is always a challenge for me to grow as Catholic in a harmonious way without losing my identity as Japanese. Jesus was called as Jesus of Nazareth.

Even though the Catholic faith is universal, when we live our faith in a concrete way, we need to take flesh in the place where we are put by Divine Providence. This is really a challenge for me. Preserving identity while remaining open is a process that will continue to entail much pain and confusion. It is a process likely to be carried along on the tide of risk taking and withdrawal, expansion and contraction, exhilaration and disappointment, consolation and desolation, integration and disintegration.

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

I was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1968; I studied as a medical student to become a doctor in Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of the country for more than one thousand years. However God had another plan for me. An Italian missionary baptized me when I was 27 years old in Kobe.

REGINA: What do you hope to achieve in Saint Louis?

Canon Ueda:  The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is an international community. The members come from all over the world. As of now, I am the only Japanese priest but the diversity of origin of all the Institutes members has helped me. The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has received the mission from the Church to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite in its integrity.

This venerable Liturgy which fostered the souls of Catholics for thousands of years has help me to understand the transcendence of God. Since my ordination by Cardinal Raymond Burke in 2009, I have been celebrating this Liturgy every day. Our superiors say: “Service of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is the leading goal of our existence. Every member of the Institute wants to belong fully to the Lord through His Eternal Priesthood and His Supernatural Kingship. Under the protection of His Immaculate Mother, we try to conform our will to the Divine Will in every moment of our lives.

We wish to be modeled into faithful servants of His Kingship, who receive all their strength from Divine Grace flowing from the Holy Mysteries of the Liturgy. The center of our spiritual life is the Altar and the Divine Office.

This is true. I can realize this truth more and more every day.

Our Archbishop, Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson wrote the preface for the Oratory’s booklet in which he says “We are proud of the contributions the Catholic Church has made to the rich traditions and history of all our community and our state.”

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The people and clergy in Saint Louis have a genuine love of God. It is a blessing for me to exercise my ministry in Saint Louis as a part of local and universal Church.

REGINA: Tell us about the homeschool co-op at the Oratory; what it is, how it’s organized, and what have been the greatest challenges and rewards of teaching.

Canon Ueda: In the spirit of the Apostolic Constitution Sacrae Disciplinae Legis (Pope John Paul II, 1983), Catholic parents are specifically graced by Christ to exercise the charism of teaching their children in accord with the magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. To that aim, the Saint Francis de Sales Homeschool Co-op was established as an aid to parents in providing this education to their children in matters of faith, academics, social direction, and to provide an environment of support for the parents to their home schooling endeavor, all of which is to give greater glory to God. The Co-op is an organization under the leadership of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and the day-to-day affairs of the Co-op are managed by a volunteer committee. Indeed the children are the future of the Church and our society; they need a very solid formation to be able to carry the responsibility of life.

The homeschool co-op at Saint Francis de Sales began fall of 2007 with approximately 22 families. There were around 60 children in K-8th grade at the beginning. We were given access to half of the 3rd floor of the 1888 building (the former grade school of Saint Francis de Sales Parish, built in 1888), which was full of debris. We had to clean it and do many repairs. We offered Latin, Catechism, art, music, drama, science, and physical education. By the grace of God and the tireless efforts of both mothers and teachers, the homeschool co-op at Saint Francis de Sales has grown into the 28 families and almost 100 students!

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By the grace of God and the tireless efforts of both mothers and teachers, the homeschool co-op at Saint Francis de Sales has grown into the 28 families and almost 100 students!

Jesus said that ‘you are in this world but not of this world.’ In this secularized world the desire of parents to keep their children apart from the world might be very great. Nevertheless Jesus says that you should be in this world. So our objective is to educate our children so they can be strong enough to resist against the temptation of this world. Our goals reach much further than just the education of the children, who are the future to edify the Church and convert the world.

This is a real challenge, especially in our days when government has become too strong and wants dictate everything, but our mothers are very courageous. They will begin this year putting together a group for our young people, grades 7-12, to socialize and contribute to the Oratory. This will offer opportunities for the children to volunteer at the Oratory by cleaning, babysitting, fundraising, and just being available to the parish needs, as well as opportunities to volunteer outside the Oratory with pro-life work and visiting the elderly. Also, the mothers like the thought of the young people having the chance to spend time with like-minded people and have fun.

Children have still very tender hearts. They can sense the truth and the good. And they are very eager to learn and grow up. So it is the greatest reward of teaching for me to see that they absorb and assimilate our teachings and grow up in the love and the truth of God.

Corpus Christi

This is a real challenge, especially in our days when government has become too strong and wants dictate everything, but our mothers are very courageous.

REGINA: I know you are very active in Sursum Corda. Tell us about this organization and any upcoming events.

Canon Ueda: Sursum Corda is a national young adults group, ages 18 to 35, under the direction of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The goal of the Institute is to extend the reign of Christ in society. To this end the Sursum Corda group is formed to foster the necessary harmony between spiritual, social and cultural life of the youth. This is done through group prayer, faith discussion, fun activities, and charity work as a means of building up Catholic identity. In our age we can get almost everything in a very fast and convenient way. Social networking often fuels and informs our personal lives, but we also need personal contact to share our joys, dreams, and concerns with other young people so that all of us can be encouraged to continue our lives in the love of God.

Pope Francis encourages us to build up the culture of encounter and dialogue. Of course email is a wonderful way to communicate, but to see our friends face to face, talk and share a time together is indispensable in our lives.

I would like to cite a text, which one of group members wrote about our last gathering. You can feel their joy.

“Last weekend saw another enjoyable Sursum Corda get-together at Saint Francis de Sales Oratory. This one was made more special by the addition of some of the young adults from the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago! A few enthusiastic Saint Louis Susum Cordians were on hand to greet them on Friday night but the majority of the record attendance (41!!) came on Saturday, which began with eight ‘o clock Mass.

A”fter a breakfast in the hall, everyone piled into vehicles for the hour and a half drive to Onandoga Cave in Leesburg, MO. In spite of being very cold and clammy, the cave tour was most impressive and instructive.  Everyone had a chance to discuss the cave at a picnic lunch outside of the visitor’s center before enjoying some barbecue and volleyball!

“We were also treated to a spiritual conference by Canon Ueda on Pope Francis’ new encyclical Lumen Fidei, a powerful reminder of the importance of faith in our lives. The gathering broke up after ten ‘o clock Mass, followed by brunch on Sunday to end one of the most enjoyable weekends of my life. Things at the convent were never quiet as the girls discussed everything from old movies, to the Civil War, to family Christmas traditions!”

On Saturday, 14 September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and sixth anniversary of the implementation of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, Sursum Corda visited the Shrine of Saint Joseph, located just north of downtown Saint Louis.  Founded in 1843 by the Jesuits, the Shrine is a beautiful example of Romanesque Revival architecture, and is the location of the only Vatican-authenticated miracle in the Midwest.

Although we have visited the Shrine in the past, this time we were able to have a High Mass, with a choir formed from our own members. The Mass was open to the public and I am grateful to Divine Providence for this timely grace. May Saint Joseph help the young!

St. Francis de Sales, ora pro nobis

Donate to the Cathedral of South Saint Louis restoration by clicking Here

 

PHOTO CREDITS: PHIL ROUSSIN

 

Something Old, Something Borrowed

A New Life for Your Old Wedding Dress

by Sylvana Budesheim

With the popularity of shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” it is clear that a major focal point of today’s wedding is the gown. Brides spend copious amounts of time, effort and money finding the ‘perfect’ gown,  appropriate for the time of day and year, the location, and the bride herself.

It is almost amusing to see how so much can go into an article of clothing which will only be used once.

Brides spend copious amounts of time, effort and money finding the ‘perfect’ gown.

The Problem of the Traditional Option

What to do with that ornate—and expensive—wedding gown once the ceremony and reception have passed? Dry cleaners suggest that brides have dresses cleaned and preserved, so the silk, organza, and tulle don’t yellow and any cake frosting or stray makeup is carefully removed.

There is also the chance that the properly preserved dress will make another appearance in due time, on a bride’s female relative in the next generation; a daughter, a niece, or perhaps a god-daughter.

Unfortunately, since there is no guarantee that size or style are hereditary, many a preserved wedding dress is left to languish in the box.

Unfortunately, since there is no guarantee that size or style are hereditary, many a preserved wedding dress is left to languish in the box.

Trashing — Or Looking to the Future?

Popular society has embraced the nihilistic trend of wedding gown trashing, with photographers documenting the gown’s burning or shredding.

Thankfully, there is a kinder option, especially for those brides who look forward to motherhood with joy and longing. Today, there are seamstresses who specialize in cutting wedding gowns into beautiful and ornate baptismal gowns, thereby extending the Sacraments of the Church into the next generation.

Popular society has embraced the nihilistic trend of wedding gown trashing, with photographers documenting the gown’s burning or shredding.

Other brides will carry a handkerchief as their “something old,” a reference to the old anonymous poem about what will bring good luck to a bride. The handkerchief is something of the bygone era for the most part, but some are especially made with a dual purpose. With a few stitches, the handkerchief becomes a bonnet for the new baby to wear with their baptismal gown.

Your wedding gown is more than a pretty dress. Understood properly, and in the right hands, it can become a window to the past, or a treasured gift for the future.

This bride, confident that her daughters would be much too tall to have inherited her dress, made the decision to turn it into a baptismal gown.

A former teacher, Sylvana Budesheim uses her Education degrees to ensure her four children are always grammatically correct and help the occasional student file a better college application essay. Her blog can be found at www.incidentproneSAHM.wordpress.com.

 

Back from the ‘Promised Land’

Our Move to Nebraska from California

You moved to be in the Lincoln diocese; was it a difficult move? Are you happy?

EileenWe were very concerned about the dramatic rise in crime, drugs and poverty that the city in which we lived was experiencing.  We were very concerned that, although our children attended our parish school, the catechesis they were receiving, particularly in terms of sacramental preparation, was poor at best.

We also started homeschooling in January 2011, before we moved to Lincoln.  The decision to homeschool really helped us make the decision that we needed to relocate to Lincoln.  We knew we wanted to raise our family in an environment which was safe, nurturing, and we could live our faith daily without having to apologize for being “too Catholic”.

We are very happy in Lincoln, NE, and hope to stay here permanently.

What are your new parishioners and neighborhood like, in contrast to California?

Photo by Cathy Blankenau Bender.St. Teresa School in Lincoln, Neb. pray before entering the school.
PRAYING AFTER RECESS helps students focus at St Theresa’s School in Lincoln, Nebraska. PHOTO CREDIT: Cathy Blankenau Bender

The Diocese of Lincoln is known for its orthodox bishop and priests.  Because of this, the community at St. Francis has not grown significantly over the years.  The people who attend St. Francis do so because they are dedicated to the TLM.

However, coming from our previous diocese, this is a huge improvement!  Our previous TLM experience consisted of priests coming in from out of town from as far away as five hours, to say the TLM.  The feeling that many TLMers had was one of the “ugly stepchild.”

The neighborhood in which we live now is in southwest Lincoln.  It is a very safe and friendly neighborhood.  My kids have introduced themselves to all of our neighbors and they have all been very friendly towards our kids, inviting them to play on their swing sets and use their basketball hoops without having to ask first.

I have no qualms about letting the kids play outside during the day without direct supervision.  In California, we lived in a gated community on a cul-de-sac.  Despite this, we did not know any of our neighbors, and I did not like sending the kids outside alone because I just did not feel that they were safe.

Do you have children? Are you homeschooling? Would you call it a healthy environment for kids?

We have three children, ages 12, 11 and 9.  We adopted the kids as a sibling group out of foster care in October 2006.  I have homeschooled all three children since January 2011.  Lincoln is a wonderful environment in which to raise a family.  There are many parks, hiking and biking trails throughout the city.  There is a terrific library system, and a number of kid-friendly museums.

The Catholic homeschooling community is strong, and it continues to get bigger and better every year.  Whenever we go somewhere in town and the kids tell people that they are homeschooled, the response is often, “You are so lucky!” or “What a blessing!”  We rarely received these responses in California about homeschooling, even from family and friends.

What have been your general impressions of the lay Catholics in Lincoln? The clergy?

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EIGHTEEN ORDERS OF CATHOLIC SISTERS are present in the Diocese of Lincoln.

Even though we prefer attending the Traditional Latin Mass, it is such a relief to know that we can take our children to Mass anywhere in Lincoln and feel certain that they will not see the liturgical abuses that we witnessed in our previous diocese.  The Novus Ordo priests in the Diocese of Lincoln have been properly catechized, and I know that I will not hear anything from the pulpit that is contrary to the Church’s teachings.  I feel comfortable wearing my veil at any Mass, and do not get stared or glared at by others as we stay and pray after Mass.

All of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lincoln go to daily Mass.  What a blessing!  The parish school my children attended in California offered Mass only once a week.  Sadly, Mass was frequently canceled for reasons that were never made clear to us.

The diocesan clergy that I have met personally here in Lincoln have been wonderful.  Faith-filled men, dedicated to the Church, but not thrown off by the fact that we attend the TLM.  Some of the more recently ordained diocesan priests have learned how to say the Low Mass, and have offered a Low Mass for an end to abortion once a month.

LincolnprocessionbenderphotoAnother blessing has been discovering the women religious!  There are 18 orders in the Diocese of Lincoln!  And they all wear habits!  Before moving to Lincoln my children had never seen a sister in a habit.  Now, my children see these women in the community on a regular basis, and are able to say, “Hi Sister!” without staring or asking, “Who is that? Why is she dressed like that?”

The ministries these women offer are so valuable to the Lincoln community.  The Diocese of Lincoln was so blessed to have Bishop Bruskewicz at the helm for so many years, and the diocese continues to be blessed with Bishop Conley.  Clearly the faith-filled priests and women religious of Lincoln are a reflection of the orthodoxy of the Bishops of Lincoln.  The longer we live in Lincoln the more we discover what a blessing it is to live here.

The Cathedral of South Saint Louis

Restoring Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

by Phil Roussin

For over one hundred years, the silhouette of Saint Francis de Sales has been a distinctive mark on the skyline of Saint Louis, Missouri. While the area surrounding the church has undergone considerable change, the 300-foot tower has remained a steadfast symbol of Catholic tradition and hope.

Now, the Oratory is being renewed by the faithful witness of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest.  In this article, parishioner Phil Roussin discusses the history and the reality of this American treasure.

History and Background

In 1867, seven German dairy farmers purchased a plot of land between Gravois and Ohio streets on which to build a new church. With the laying of the first cornerstone on September 15, 1867, Saint Francis de Sales Church began to serve as the spiritual and social anchor of the community. Over the next 40 years, a new generation of Americans built the church with the hope of a prosperous future in their new country. They first added a school, then a convent, then started to plan the next phase: a larger church which would capture the grandeur of the eternal expression of truth.

By the 1890s, Saint Louis had become the fourth largest city in the United States after New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Amidst the post-Civil War economic expansion, bustling Saint Louis City became the proud owner of a new transportation infrastructure, as well as one of the world’s first skyscrapers: the 10-story Wainwright Building.

It was against this backdrop that the parishioners of Saint Francis de Sales planned to build their new, larger church. Led by their pastor, Fr. Lotz, the largely German congregation looked to their ancestral heritage for a set of architectural plans. The original German design called for an elaborate Gothic Revival church built with cut stone and two towers at each transept arm. However, at this point an act of Divine Providence definitely intervened. Before the basement of the church could be completed as planned, the most devastating tornado ever to strike Saint Louis happened on May 27, 1896. The original church was all but completely destroyed, and much damage was inflicted likewise upon the homes of the entire neighborhood. All plans to raise funds for a new church had to await the return of normal conditions among the people of the parish and the city.

On May 27, 1908 — the twelfth anniversary of the terrible tornado that had destroyed the old parish church — parishioners raised the old church’s iron cross on the pinnacle of the church’s majestic new steeple, amid the full and loud ringing of the new church bells.

However, it was not long before the work continued without interruption. It is interesting to note that on the twelfth anniversary of the terrible tornado (May 27, 1908), at the precise time that the tragic tornado had destroyed the old parish church, parishioners raised the old church’s iron cross on the pinnacle of the church’s majestic new steeple, amid the full and loud ringing of the new church bells. There was cause for much rejoicing.

This immense new church was built to symbolize the hopes and dreams of the immigrant community, deeply rooted in the traditions and heritage of their forefathers. It was a brick and mortar symbol of American values of the time: faith, beauty, and grandeur in the midst of hard work and community sacrifice, venerable traditions in a new land, and hope for the future. This spiritual edifice embodied the aspirations of an American community. What came to be known as the Cathedral of South Saint Louis would also be a living tradition of the past.

This immense new church was a brick and mortar symbol of American values of the time: faith, beauty, and grandeur in the midst of hard work and community sacrifice, venerable traditions in a new land, and hope for the future.

Decline and Renewal

Since its dedication in 1908, the fate of Saint Francis de Sales Church has closely dovetailed with that of the city of Saint Louis. As the city grew, the parish also grew continuously through the 1950s, adding a thriving high school to its campus in 1939. However, in the 1950s the population of Saint Louis steadily declined due to outward migration towards the suburbs. Fox Park, the neighborhood of Saint Francis de Sales, followed the same pattern. By 1974 the parish dissipated to the point that Saint Francis de Sales High School would close for good. With decades of dwindling support, the condition of the church and surrounding campus began to deteriorate visibly and rapidly. As the city embarked on various urban renewal projects, so did the Fox Park neighborhood. The DeSales Community Housing Corporation was formed from the congregation of Saint Francis de Sales in an effort to stay the tide of decline. In recognition of its architectural, cultural, and historic significance, Saint Francis de Sales Church was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In spite of these efforts, the decline continued, and the church was in danger of being closed and demolished.

In recognition of its architectural, cultural, and historic significance, Saint Francis de Sales Church was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In spite of these efforts, the decline continued, and the church was in danger of being closed and demolished.

In 2005, an important change took place in the effort to preserve this magnificent church. Under then-Archbishop Raymond Burke, Saint Francis de Sales was erected as an Oratory of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, serving Saint Louis as the premier center of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Since the architecture and the interior of Saint Francis de Sales were originally designed for this use of the Roman Rite, the church was perfectly suited for this new endeavor.

With its new mission, the appeal of Saint Francis de Sales would be extended beyond the boundaries of the original parish, and beyond any singular demographic group. For the first time, there was hope that the deserted infrastructure would slowly regain active and purposeful use. The perfect balance between usage and preservation would be an effective means of safeguarding a cultural treasure of Saint Louis.

The New Focus

In 2008, Saint Francis de Sales’ centennial celebration was attended by members and visitors from all over the Saint Louis metropolitan area and beyond. Two consecutive annual surveys (2010 & 2011) show that the average family drives 20 miles (one-way) to attend Holy Mass at Saint Francis de Sales. These annual surveys also reveal the median age of the congregation to be less than 30 years old. The church building may be old, but the youthful families it attracts are as vigorous as ever.

One aspect of our preservation work is to bring to life the repository of sacred music used in the Church’s highest liturgies. A living tradition, sacred music has enriched the hearts and minds of many souls in every age through the centuries. At Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, the ever-growing repertoire of ancient chants, classical music, polyphony, and magnificent organ pieces can be heard in the context for which they were originally composed.

At Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, the ever-growing repertoire of ancient chants, classical music, polyphony, and magnificent organ pieces can be heard in the context for which they were originally composed.

The Restoration – A Daunting Task in Small Steps

Due to the size of the campus and the enormity of the church, restoring its dilapidated infrastructure is a daunting task from any perspective. Nevertheless, since 2005, generous volunteers yielding much success have done the on-going restoration in steady, small steps.

The most recent restoration work on the church building was restoring the damage caused by water on the tall steeple masonry. Brick and terra cotta pieces were missing and damaged, and some of the brickwork was loose. Due to the extreme height of the steeple and the limited reach of standard lifts, a special lift was required to be used that could access the damage at the 150 foot level. Several locations needed work and the timing required calm and clear weather to safely accomplish the repairs.

Another recently completed project was the restoration of two statues of adoring angels that had been lost for many years. They had been given to the parish some time ago but were sent off for restoration and forgotten. While in a search for other liturgical items, the angels were accidently discovered at a specialty restoration company and identified as belonging to Saint Francis de Sales. Through the efforts of some members of the congregation, the statues were restored to their original glory in time to be made available for use during Holy Week devotions at the Oratory.

Through the efforts of some members of the congregation, two statues of adoring angels which had been lost for many years were restored to their original glory in time for  Holy Week at the Oratory.

An on-going restoration project concerns the steeple clock that has been non-functional for many years. Pieces of the mechanical gearing that drives the hands at the four faces were missing and the remaining mechanism was corroded and unable to turn. Through the generosity of a local machine company, new parts were made and our volunteer repairman is in the process of installing the new gears, coordinating the four movements and calibrating the speed of the drive motor. We hope to have the clock working in the very near future as an outward sign of the church’s restoration efforts.

A future restoration project is to ensure the continued viability of all of the outstanding stained glass windows that are the hallmark of this beautiful structure. They are all intact but require replacement of the protective outer glass, sealing all the joints to make them watertight, stabilizing them, and cleaning the interiors from decades of soot and smoke accumulation. Due to the number of these windows and the terra cotta replacement work for the columns that provide the exterior support, this work will be phased in over a period of years, working on the most deteriorated windows first. 

 

Through the generosity of a local machine company, new parts were made and our volunteer repairman is in the process of installing the new gears, coordinating the four movements and calibrating the speed of the drive motor. We hope to have the clock working in the very near future as an outward sign of the church’s restoration efforts.

Tradition for Tomorrow

Restoring the campus of Saint Francis de Sales is also much more than brick and mortar repairs. It is equally about restoring the sense of community amongst the faithful and the youth. We discuss this at length with Canon Raphael Ueda, Vicar of Saint Francis de Sales Oratory in the article “How I got to St. Louis elsewhere in this issue.) 

Photos by Phil Roussin

What to Wear to a Catholic Funeral

A Beautiful Goodbye

by Sequoia Sierra

The Faith has age-old wisdom and time-tested traditions to share with us in all these matters, including when we face the fact of our mortality — and that of our loved ones. In these difficult moments, it may be helpful to fall back on some good advice from LA stylist Sequoia Sierra.

At her ancient rituals, the Catholic Church traditionally expects certain types of attire to be worn as a way to demonstrate respect for the most critical moments of our lives, and the lives of our family and friends. The two most formal religious events that all people will surely attend at sometime in their lives are funerals and weddings. 

It’s interesting to note that both funerals and weddings are also two events where one should never wear all white.  Some white paired with or mixed in with other colors is fine, but all white is disrespectful to wear at either a wedding or a funeral.

Today, we are focused on funerals. Whether you are attending a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form or a simple graveside blessing, the most important thing to remember is that we are present to show our support for others, and respect for the Faith. While nowadays it is acceptable to wear different colors to funerals, it is best to keep them to muted tones. Don’t pick a funeral as the day for a neon-colored outfit, or flashy jewelry.

Nowadays it is acceptable to wear different colors to funerals but it is best to keep them to muted tones. Don’t pick a funeral as the day for a neon-colored outfit or flashy jewelry.

 

 

Traditionally, the best color to wear for funerals is black.   For a Requiem Mass, one most also keep in mind appropriate church attire. Business attire is typically the dress code norm acceptable for the average funeral — unless it is a funeral of a dignitary, or it is specifically stated as being more formal.

For women, if the funeral occurs during a warm season and you are wearing a sleeveless dress, please be sure to bring a shawl, cardigan, or suit jacket to wear while inside the church or if you are giving a Eulogy at any point during  the funeral.  Of course, demonstrating respect for the dead and their family means that you should not draw attention to yourself with plunging necklines or super-short skirt lengths. Hats are very appropriate for women to don inside and outside of the Church.

Of course, demonstrating respect for the dead and their family means that you should not draw attention to yourself with plunging necklines or super-short skirt lengths.

 

 

Men should also wear a button-down shirt, and bring along a suit jacket or sports coat for inside the church. It is not considered respectful for men to wear hats inside a church.  Of course, shorts are not appropriate attire for either men or women.

With all of this said, the next time you attend a funeral, keep in mind that black is the most appropriate color for mourning, and it also serves as a reminder of our own mortality and that all in this world is passing.

Black is the most appropriate color for mourning, and it also serves as a reminder of our own mortality and that all in this world is passing. 

 

Miracle in Palo Alto

How The St. Ann Choir Kept Chant and Polyphony Alive for 50 Years by Roseanne Therese Sullivan The St. Ann Choir is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The timing of its beginning seems to have been providential. The Choir began singing the music for the traditional cycle of the Church year at Sunday Masses in … Read more

In Hoc Signo: “We Shall Publish”

The Amazing Success of Ignatius Press

by Bridget Green

Have you heard of the Youcat? How about a little number called The Harp and the Laurel Wreath? Perhaps you have read Jesus of Nazareth by then-Cardinal Ratzinger? Even if you haven’t come across any of these, there’s a great likelihood that there’s a child in your life who is acquainted with the Faith and Life series through their parish CCD program.

All of these have something in common: they have been published by a home-grown American upstart, San-Francisco-based Ignatius Press.

Ignatius Press – named for the Jesuits’ founder, the 15th century St. Ignatius Loyola – is an astonishing success story run by a Jesuit priest. Today, it is one of the foremost Catholic publishing houses in the world.

Founded in 1978 by the Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio, San-Francisco-based Ignatius Press is a home-grown American upstart, a real success story. A former student of then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Father Fessio has since taken the Pope emeritus’ call to the “new evangelization” to a global scale. 
Astounding scope

THE FILMS OF IGNATIUS PRESS include distributing critically-acclaimed foreign films to the English-speaking world. Here Maia Morgenstern is the lead in “Edith Stein: The Seventh Chamber” originally released in Italian. Available in DVD from Ignatius Press.

And, Ignatius keeps growing — the breadth of traditional works being published and promoted by the publishing house today is amazing. Everything from exclusively web-based magazines like Catholic World Report and Homiletic & Pastoral Review to printed and online catechesis, and from homiletics to hymnals to movies, Ignatius does it all. And, unlike some others, Ignatius does it all well.

From homiletics to hymnals to movies, Ignatius Press does it all. And, unlike some others, Ignatius does it all well. 

Doing it for God

What is it about this company that makes them so well suited to filling the media needs of Catholics the world over?  They do it all for God.

Founded in 1978 by Fr. Joseph Fessio, Ignatius Press is spreading the message of Christ through the publication and sale of solidly Catholic works.  A former student of then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Father Fessio has taken the Pope emeritus’ call to the “new evangelization” to a global scale.

 

Fr. Fessio has held posts at a number of colleges and universities, including Ave Maria University. He has written extensively on matters of faith and morals, defending the Magisterium at every turn.  His friends and colleagues are a list of those among the best known and most faithful priests, bishops, and cardinals of our day. (And, as we all know, we are who our friends are.)

Currently, Ignatius Press has over 1800 titles in print, and more are coming each month.  Their film series alone is unmatched and unparalleled by any publishing venture in the world today.

This October, in the month of the Rosary and the month dedicated to respecting life at all stages, their latest epic movie hits theaters: Mary of Nazareth.  The film also has a Facebook Page.With this new film, Ignatius Press and Fr. Fessio take yet another step forward in spreading the Gospel of Christ to all lands.

The Accidental Publishers

Preserving Christian Publications

In 1983, John Parrot faced a daunting task: clearing out the collection of almost 900 books he had inherited from his parents. Plus, he had to move fast, due to an impending house sale.

Fast forward 30 years, and today John has turned this initial sale into one of the gems of the Catholic publishing world: Preserving Christian Publications (PCP). This is story of how John made this happen, with a little help from his friends and co-workers.

After realizing that there was indeed a market for traditionally Catholic works, John’s first steps included expanding his parents’ collection by collecting used books from various places — including the dumpster of a closing religious house.

 

John’s first steps included expanding his parents’ collection by collecting used books from various places — including the dumpster of a closing religious house. 

Through his efforts, and those of close friends Francis Panakal and Brian Pouliot, important books that were in danger of never seeing the light of day again were now being matched with fellow Catholics seeking a deeper understanding of their ancient Faith.

This is the work not simply of bibliophiles who fear losing quality books, but of men of faith, who fear the loss of a crucial piece of our collective Catholic memory. Over 100,000 second-hand books have been sold through PCP, but John and friends were not content to rest with “merely” saving already-printed books from the trash heap.

This is the work not simply of bibliophiles who fear losing quality books, but of men of faith, who fear the loss of a crucial piece of our collective Catholic memory.

Realizing that many of these important books were out of print and soon to be lost to the world, PCP decided to begin reprinting soon-to-be-lost books.  In 1988, a scant five years after they accidentally opened their doors, PCP began publishing new copies of some of the classic works they had rescued.

Catholics the world over rejoiced.

Today a darling of the Catholic homeschooling world, Preserving Christian Publications publishes and distributes books which no one else does. These are books that homeschoolers are happy to be able to use to further their children’s education.  PCP’s offerings are traditionally Catholic, faithful to the Magisterium, and, quite frankly, excellent — an attribute not found in many of today’s textbooks and other works intended for use in schools.

PCP’s offerings are traditionally Catholic, faithful to the Magisterium, and, quite frankly, excellent — an attribute not found in many of today’s textbooks and other works intended for use in schools. 

Preserving Christian Publications distributes not only great works of well-known authors like G. K. Chesterton, but also smaller but just as valuable works, such as the New Catholic Speller and Word  Book, originally published in 1895.  To people looking to raise up the next generation of saints, this is the food on which they want them to feast, and it is PCP that is placing it in their hands. PCP is filling a need and in the process performing a great service not only for Catholics, but for the world.

And it all started almost by accident, with a basement full of good books.

(Editor’s Note: Preserving Christian Publications  is located in Boonville, New York.)  

Why You Shouldn’t Sleep With Your Boyfriend

First, do NOT read this article if you can’t handle the cold, hard truth. Go back to your Vampire Diaries.

Second, Catholics love sex. If you don’t believe me, read a little European history. Oh, and look at your own family. (Nuff said? Okay.)

Third, why on earth is sex such a big deal? It would be far easier for Catholics to just relax, already, and do what everyone else is doing – guilt free! Right?

Wrong. Read on, if you dare…

Not About Your Self-Esteem

You can relax, because I am not going to deliver a lecture on your self-esteem. Actually, I couldn’t care less about your self -esteem.

What I care about is you spending your youth bouncing from one guy to the next. It’s called ‘serial monogamy’ – and it’s all the rage with people in the 20-40 age group.

After that, the men settle down and marry a younger woman, if they are successful enough. Women get fat, bitter and depressed. (Or, they spend jillions on cosmetic treatments, marry a guy who is years younger and settle down to life as a successful cougar. NOT. Does the name ‘Demi Moore’ ring a bell?)

I am not going to deliver a lecture on your self-esteem. Actually, I couldn’t care less about your self -esteem.

So, how do you avoid this fate worse than death?

Excellent question!

Step One: Be honest. Admit that you want to get married and have a family. You don’t have to tell anyone this. Just admit it to yourself. (There, now doesn’t that feel better?)

Step Two: Look at your boyfriend. Is he sacramental marriage material?

Step Three: Learn what sacramental marriage material looks like. (See: “What a Catholic Husband Knows” below.)

Step Four: Repeat Step Two.

If your answer is ‘yes,’ then you need to exercise some self-control for the sake of your future marriage. (See: “Re-Virginization”)

If your answer is ‘no,’ then what are you doing wasting your time like this? (See: “How To Get On the Right Track For a Happy Future”)

Step Five: You and your boyfriend need to decide about marriage. Go to church, and pray for strength. A good first step is to sit down with your parish priest and ask his advice, together. He will probably tell you to enroll in Pre-Cana classes, which are designed to help you discern and prepare for the sacrament. Take it one day at a time, but move forward steadily towards your goal of a true Catholic marriage.

If you are playing the serial monogamy game, you should know that after a certain age, men settle down and marry a younger woman — if they are successful enough. Many women get fat, bitter and depressed. (Or, they spend jillions on cosmetic treatments, marry a guy who is years younger and settle down to life as a successful cougar. NOT. Does the name ‘Demi Moore’ ring a bell?)
why youshould
 

What a Catholic Husband Knows

Is your boyfriend sacramental marriage material?

What’s a ‘sacramental marriage,’ you ask?

For 2000 years, the Church has regarded marriage as a sacrament, an outward sign of God’s grace. This is in contrast to most religions, where marriage is a contract, which can be terminated when one or the other partner is unhappy.

Marriage was instituted – like all other sacraments – as a way to help you get to heaven. A Catholic husband knows what his job is: to help his wife and children get to heaven.

That’s his Prime Directive: He needs to do whatever needs to be done to help his wife and children be holy.

Why? Because he loves them, and he wants eternal life for them and himself.

This is why he works hard to earn a living. Not so he can have all the latest toys. That is called selfishness – just the same as you blowing all your money shopping.

This is why he insists on practicing your Faith. Not because he’s weird. Because he knows that is the way to grow closer and stay in the state of grace.

This is why he helps you whenever he can. Not because he’s a fair-minded feminist. Because he knows you need help, and he wants to make your life better. Why? Because that will help you be holier—and get you to heaven.

This is why he avoids pornography, excessive drinking, gambling, drugs and womanizing. Not because he’s boring. Because he knows all of that is ‘sin’ — the road to deep unhappiness for you, for him and for your future children.

So, does your boyfriend know all this? Do you think he is capable of committing himself to this goal, for the rest of his life?

If your answer is ‘yes,’ then you need to exercise some self-control for the sake of your future marriage. (See: “Re-Virginization” below.)

If your answer is ‘no,’ then what are you doing wasting your time like this? (See: “How To Get On the Right Track For a Happy Future” below.)

 A Catholic husband avoids pornography, excessive drinking, gambling, drugs and womanizing. Not because he’s boring.
whyyoushouldn't

 

Re-Virginization

It looks like you have a great future husband! So, let’s say you do marry this great guy.  How are you going to keep your love affair going? Through the jealousies, the stress, the diapers and babies crying at 4 am? Through losing your figure? Losing his job? Bad medical diagnoses? Sick children? Aged parents needing care? Money problems?

Seems impossible, and I have no doubt you have seen all kinds of relationships and marriages train wreck.  So what’s the difference between those and the old couples you see who have been happily married for 50 years?

Well, science has now proven what we all knew: It turns out that sex is key to happy marriages. A slew of recent studies confirm that married couples who practice their religion have the best sex.

More to the point, all kinds of studies show that delaying sex makes for happier marriages. Here’s just one:

A 2010 Journal of Family Psychology study involved 2,035 married participants in an online assessment of marriage called “RELATE.” According to the study, people who waited until marriage:

  • rated sexual quality 15% higher than people who had premarital sex
  • rated relationship stability as 22% higher
  • rated satisfaction with their relationships 20% higher

The benefits were about half as strong for couples who became sexually active later in their relationships but before marriage.[i]

A slew of recent studies confirm that married couples who practice their religion have the best sex.

Seems reasonable? But impossible? Because there is no such thing as ‘re-virginization’?

Take a deep breath. I know that you are already sleeping with him. And that stopping this seems like something you cannot do.

Actually, there is a chemical reason for this. It’s because your oxytocin level is very high. Oxytocin is called the ‘bonding’ hormone; women secrete oxytocin in lovemaking and breastfeeding. It’s the reason why your girlfriend can’t leave her bum of a boyfriend. It’s also the reason why battered women go back to the slimebags who beat them and cheat on them.

It’s not because women are stupid. It’s because of oxytocin.

It’s the reason why your girlfriend can’t leave her bum of a boyfriend. It’s also the reason why battered women go back to the slimebags who beat them and cheat on them. It’s not because women are stupid. It’s because of oxytocin.

So, how do you fight the chemical in your bloodstream?

Don’t trigger it.

Oxytocin levels rise when women come into contact with men they have slept with. The closer he gets, the more your oxytocin levels rise. The higher your oxytocin levels, the less able you are to think objectively about your loved one. You are bonded to him.

Hmmm, could this be why traditional cultures insisted that courting couples never be left alone?

So, now what?

Now you need to talk to your man.  Tell him that you love him, and that you want a future with him. Assure him that there is nobody else in your life. Explain that you want to keep seeing him, but that your sexual relationship needs to stop unless and until you are married.

You will have a LOT of ‘splaining to do, but his reaction will tell you A LOT about whether he is, indeed, sacramental marriage material.

If he is surprised, chagrined but ultimately respectful, go to Step Five.

If he gets angry, sulks or tries to over-ride your wishes, see: “How to Get On the Right Track For a Happy Future.”

Explain that you want to keep seeing him, but that your sexual relationship needs to stop unless and until you are married.
How to Get On the Right Track for a Happy Future

First, if your boyfriend has agreed to abstain from sex, stop right here and go to Step Five above.

However, if you have decided that this guy isn’t for you, you need to end this bad relationship and free yourself for a good relationship that will lead to a happy, Catholic marriage. This isn’t easy, but you have to face facts: you have already wasted enough time as it is.

Step One: No contact. Not even once. Do not try to be friends. Do not waste your time trying to make him happy. Soon enough, he will find some else and will have moved on – probably before you are over him. (You can pray for him of course.)

Step Two: Go to confession. Get this off your chest. Ask the priest for his guidance on how to get yourself on the right road. Establish a regular prayer routine whereby you focus your requests for help in finding a good, Catholic spouse. Pray for strength and perseverance.

Step Three: Focus your efforts on finding a good, Catholic man. Here’s a few ideas: Polish up a profile on Catholic Match or Ave Maria Singles. Research Catholic events or conferences you would like to attend. Find yourself a vital parish. (Hint: Latin Mass parishes are teeming with young adults.) Get involved with your parish doing all sorts of great religious and social events.

You need to end this bad relationship and free yourself for a good relationship that will lead to a happy, Catholic marriage. This isn’t easy, but you have to face facts: you have already wasted enough time as it is.

And pray that God sends you a good, Catholic spouse.

 

[i] http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20101227/theres-benefits-in-delaying-sex-until-marriage

 

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