What is the point of having a Mass in the vernacular if you have portions in several different modern languages so that those attending cannot understand certain parts anyway?
If only there were a single, unifying, liturgical language that would be heard in Mass no matter where in the world one is–oh, wait a minute…
Good coverage of last night’s Vespers with photos today at the St. Louis Review. The photo above shows the Archbishop-elect at prayer prior to entering the Cathedral.
Below are excerpts from His Excellency’s sermon:
…As I now begin my ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the fourth diocese in which I have been blessed to serve, it is this sense of openness to new challenges and growth in holiness that I ask God to bless me. I ask for your prayers, and promise to pray for all of you as well!
…we must not only ‘preach to the choir.’ The Church must also be willing to engage the culture. This gets us in trouble when our teaching conflicts with the “wisdom of the day,” but it is also our duty as a moral voice in the community.
Think about the values of the contemporary culture, and compare them with the values of the Gospel. Perhaps there was a time when the culture supported the values of the Gospel, or at least appeared to do so. But we now live in a culture that is not particularly friendly and is sometimes actively hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel invites us to choose life; the culture tells us that death is an equally legitimate choice. The Gospel tells us that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life; the culture tells us that there are many equally valid ways, truths, and lifestyles. Jesus Himself tells us that the path to Heaven is narrow while the path to Hell is broad (Matthew. 7:13-14); the culture tells us that the path to Heaven is broad while the path to Hell is narrow.
Not everything in our culture is hostile to the values of the Gospel. But, at the same time, the list of contradictions could be multiplied. Let’s go right to the bottom line: If we can’t point to a number of issues on which the values we live by differ from the values of our culture, then we have to wonder about the depth of our commitment to the teachings of Christ.
I believe that our witness to faith, in word and deed, can win the day. And it is why I pray so often, “May the Holy Spirit get the last word.”
As Pope Benedict XVI said in Deus Caritas Est, #36, “Prayer as a means of drawing ever new strength from Christ is concretely and urgently needed. People who pray are not wasting their time, even though the situation appears desperate and seems to call for action alone. Piety does not undermine the struggle against the poverty of our neighbors, however extreme. In the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta we have a clear illustration of the fact that time devoted to God in prayer not only does not detract from effective and loving service to our neighbor but is in fact the inexhaustible source of that service.”
Mother Teresa spent an hour every day praying before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. All Missionaries of Charity do the same. Explaining why this habit is part of the rule of their life — especially when there are so many other demands on their time and energy — Mother Teresa said: “Because we find that through our daily holy hour our love for Jesus becomes more intimate, our love for each other more understanding and our love for the poor more compassionate.”
One more photo I couldn’t resist posting. Some beautiful Catholic girls who obviously read the post by Unknown Canon Lawyer X. As a friend of mine would say, “Ex ore infantium et lactentium perfecisti laudem.“
Robert Carlson prepares for ‘transition’
By Tim Townsend
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The night before he was to be installed as the 10th bishop of St. Louis, Archbishop-elect Robert Carlson honored St. Ephrem, a Syrian deacon and hymn writer from the 4th century who, as Carlson put it, “went through tremendous transition in his life.”
June 9 is Ephrem’s feast day, and Carlson asked that the saint be incorporated into a prayer service with civic and religious leaders at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Tuesday night.
“This is the fourth diocese I’ve been in and this is a huge transition for me, so I think we have something in common,” Carlson said. “He used to sing his homilies. That will not happen (today).”
What will happen today is the modern version of an ancient ritual in which the leader of a geographically defined group of Catholics welcomes their new shepherd to their diocese.
“The essence of it is that a new bishop presides over the celebration of the Eucharist for the first time with people of his diocese,” said Monsignor Anthony Sherman, director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ divine worship office.
The Roman Catholic Church does pomp and circumstance well (sigh), and while installations are occasions of deep spiritual significance, they also are moments of grand holy pageantry. The installation is open to the public, and those who make it into the cathedral will witness the so-called “smells and bells” (sigh) of a nearly three-hour Catholic ritual.
They may catch glimpses of the colorfully garbed Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem or the Knights and Dames of Malta.
More than 50 bishops — including former St. Louis Catholic leaders Archbishop Raymond Burke and Cardinal Justin Rigali — are expected to attend today’s installation. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, along with several other bishops with St. Louis ties and others from as far away as Congo and Colombia, also are expected.
A video of an interview with the new Archbishop is also available at STLToday.
This is a repeat post to make sure, in light of the many expected posts today, that it remains on the front page and that everybody has a chance to see it. — SLC
On Wednesday, June 10, 2009, The Very Reverend Monsignor Gilles Wach, the Founder and Superior General of the Institute of the Christ the King Sovereign Priest, will visit St. Louis and celebrate Solemn High Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory (map and directions at the link) at 6:30pm.
Also visiting will be Vicar General of the Institute and Provincial Superior for the United States, the Very Reverend Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz.
Reception to follow in the parish hall– all are welcome.