My alternate post title was, “Roundup of Potpourri Smorgasbord Varia“, but I didn’t think it was catchy. Today I am giving Dom Prosper a rest and writing for myself. A poor exchange.
1. Does anyone notice a Catholic news lull in St. Louis? The tremendous build-up to the announcement of Archbishop-elect Carlson has produced a curious effect. There were at least three periods of time since last June when the announcement was rumored to be imminent– the first was last September– and even the announcement itself was something of a relief. I won’t admit how many times I awoke before 5 am to read the Bolletino, because it would truly expose the pathetic nature of my life. Now that the announcement has been made, we realize that we don’t know very much about the new Archbishop. It was great to see some of the testimonials of priests and faithful from his previous posts, but only after he gets here in June will we begin to see how he reigns. Yes, TGL, I said “reigns”. It’s OK.

2. Speaking of reigning, I found an article to interest my good friend, Latinmassgirl, by none other than the irrepressible Bishop Richard Williamson. His piece discusses the insufficiency of monarchy to fix the woes of the democratic modern world.

3. Jennifer Brinker, the fine writer for the St. Louis Review, is well-positioned to exact revenge upon me for causing her past grief. She was kind enough to interview me for a story that may appear in next week’s paper on the use of technology to spread the faith. I am imagining a headline along the lines of “Latin Mass Crackpots Find Voice in Loser’s Blog”; or, “Old Coot Rambles on and on about Stuff Nobody Cares about”.

4. Speaking of the Review, I really like the new format. For some reason, my wife Sharon and I were not receiving our paper copies, but we finally received all of the back issues since the format switch. It is a lot more readable and visually appealing. It will be interesting to see how it tracks with its current readers– newspapers tend to be read by an older demographic, but need younger readers to stay afloat. Will a design that appeals to younger readers attract younger readers or lose older ones? Wait and see, I guess. The website is a huge improvement over the old one, too. That’s what my wife Sheryl thinks.

5. Is it just me, or did anyone else see the story about the first black president celebrating his first hundred days in Arnold–Arnold– as a sure sign the world is about to end? I looked skyward for a good three hours…

6. Finally, I read the published obituaries for Father Xavier Albert, the holy and gentle priest beloved by many in the Archdiocese. Among other things of interest, he was the first African-American priest in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. But I would be remiss if I didn’t note that no obituary of him mentioned that he was instrumental in keeping the traditional Mass alive in St. Louis.

Before the Institute was invited to St. Louis, Fr. Xavier Albert helped the pastor of St. Agatha to tend to the Latin Mass community there. He celebrated the traditional Mass and heard countless hours of confessions. Even after his health largely failed him, and after the erection of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, he continued to hear confessions there every Sunday, distribute Holy Communion, and to fill in for Masses as needed until he was physically unable to do so.

Anyone who had the privilege of having Fr. Xavier Albert as their confessor knows the gentle wisdom and love of Christ they encountered through him.

He resided at St. Agnes Home, run by the wonderful Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus, until his death. I believe I had the privilege of serving the last traditional Mass at which he assisted a couple of months ago. I remember the last time I served there, he wasn’t there, and a sister told me he was not feeling up to it. Now he has passed to his eternal reward. Please pray for the repose of his soul.

Canon Michael Wiener will celebrate a requiem Mass for Father Xavier Albert this Saturday at 8 am at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.