This coming Friday, January 29, we will celebrate the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of this Oratory and one of the four principal patrons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. In addition, as proclaimed by Pope Pius XI in 1923, this beloved Doctor of the Church, and “Gentleman Saint” from the 17th Century, has been honored by the Church as a patron saint of writers and journalists. In the year 1923 Pope Pius XI taught: “It is Our wish that the greatest fruits should be gained by those Catholics who as journalists and writers expound, spread, and defend the doctrines of the Church. It is necessary that they, in their writings, imitate and exhibit at all times that strength joined always to moderation and charity, which was the special characteristic of St. Francis.”
The celebration will begin with a Solemn High Mass at 6:30pm, followed by a reception for members of the press and news media – journalists, writers, editors – in the Rectory.
In keeping with the theme of relevance of tradition in the modern world, the music for the Mass will be from a contemporary classical composer, Mr. Kevin Allen. The choir will sing Mr. Allen’s “Missa Cunctipotens Genitor Deus” for this patronal feast. The Mass was written in 2000 and dedicated to Sister Lorainne, one of Mr. Allen’s elementary school teachers. It is written for SATB voices in the polyphonic style that is both new and consonant with the Roman School of Polyphony.
Kevin Allen, who will visit with us this when we celebrate the feast of St. Francis de Sales, wrote some time ago:
“The pervasive influence of our secular culture is destroying our ability to discern fundamental truths. This numbing of our senses has negatively affected our family and community life, our schools and political structures and even the Church. … After reading the Motu Proprio, ‘Tra le Sollecitudini’ of Pope St. Pius X, I was faced with a challenge that has been my endeavor from that day until now: ‘to increase the beauty and splendor of the ceremonies of the Church.”
I invite all of you together with your families and friends to join us on Friday, January 29th, here at St. Francis de Sales when we give honor to our great patron.
Radio Interview with Canon Apple, Kevin Allen and Nick Botkins on Classic 99
Also on Friday, January 29, Radio Classic 99 (KFUO FM 99,1) will have Canon Jason Apple, Vicar at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, Mr. Kevin Allen and Mr. Nick Botkins on show at around 11:20 am. Mr. Botkins holds the position of Director of Sacred Music at the St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis. Please tune in and tell friends and family about this special event. We are most grateful to Radio Classic 99 for this opportunity to present sacred music in its original context and to introduce a wider public to the specific mission the Oratory in St. Louis has in promoting the splendors of the traditional liturgy and its music.
With my best wishes and the assurance of my prayers on the occasion of the feast of our great patron I am in Christ the King,
Canon Michael K. Wiener
Rector, St. Francis de Sales Oratory