The above photo depicts Monsignor Gilles Wach, beloved founder and Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, elevating the Precious Blood during Holy Mass at one of the Institute’s missions in Gabon, Africa.
I post it not only for the beautiful photo, but also to call attention to the Institute’s 20+ year missionary work in West Africa. I always chuckle when certain commenters complain that the Institute’s “high and mighty” attention to beauty in the liturgy and its dedication to imparting the truths of the faith whole and entire somehow makes it fall short of Jesus’ instructions to spread the Gospel and to serve the poor.
The Institute not only serves the poor in Africa, it also treats them with dignity they deserve as Catholics and children of God. The faithful in their African missions are not treated in a condescending manner– as though teaching the whole of Catholic faith or celebrating the timeless Mass as it is intended to be celebrated is too sophisticated for them. The tactic of some groups–the dumbing down of the faith or, worse yet, the total abandonment of the faith in order to act as a merely secular social welfare organization– is not the way to bring Christ to the world.
Anyone who scoffs at this needs to be reminded that these mission churches in Africa have more beautiful liturgies, and receive the Catholic faith more effectively, than 95% of much wealthier Catholic parishes in the West.
Lots of photos of the Prior General’s visit can be found at the Institut du Christ Roi Souverain Pretre site.
Also, from the U.S. website of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a story, with photos, of the annual American Thanksgiving celebration:
As the already large number of seminarians from the United States continues to steadily increase, the celebration of American Thanksgiving at our International Seminary in Gricigliano, Italy, becomes grander with each passing year.
During the candlelight dinner which is served in the refectory, Reverend Canon Mora, Rector of the seminary, carved the large turkeys. The American seminarians bake over a dozen pumpkin pies for everyone. American flags are proudly displayed on each side of a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States. Traditional American music completes the festive atmosphere. Institute seminarians from around the world thus come to know and appreciate the American spirit which has inspired this traditional observance of giving thanks to God for His many blessings.
The photos can be viewed at the link. My favorite is a photo of Canon Mora, Canon Karl W. Lenhardt, former Rector of the Oratory, and several of the American seminarians, many of whom served in St. Louis. It is a good reminder to pray for them, and to be thankful for their service to us in St. Louis.