Big weekend at the Oratory, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the reintroduction of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis:
- His Grace, Archbishop Robert Carlson, will assist at Solemn High Mass this Sunday, Laetare Sunday, 10 a.m., and will preach the sermon;
- Very Reverend Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General and U.S. Provincial Superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, will celebrate the Mass;
- Mother Caroline-Marie of the Trinity, Mother Superior of the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, will also be making her first visit to the Adorers’ U.S. house in St. Louis;
- The St. Francis de Sales Choir will be singing the Missa Secunda by Hans Leo Hassler.
From the Oratory’s latest newsletter:
Dear Friends of the Oratory,
All faithful, their families, and friends are cordially invited to come to the 25th Anniversary celebration on March 14, 2010. The Most Reverend Archbishop Robert Carlson will visit the Oratory for the first time, and preach the sermon at a Solemn High Mass celebrated by Monsignor Michael Schmitz, the Vicar General and Provincial Superior of the Institute.
On “Laetare Sunday” we will celebrate an important milestone with regard to the liturgical tradition of the Church: 25 years of uninterrupted presence of the traditional Latin Mass in this Archdiocese.
Shortly after Pope John Paul II published the document “Quattuor Abhinc Annos” permitting the celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of 1962 under certain condition, Archbishop John L. May generously approved its celebration in the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 1985. Thus, once a month, on first Saturday, the faithful gathered at St. Agatha Church to assist at Mass in this ancient rite of the Church.
With gratitude to Divine Providence, we acknowledge another Archbishop, the Most Reverend Archbishop Raymond L. Burke for encouraging the expansion of the limited celebrations of the traditional form of the liturgy in 2005, while still at St. Agatha. Archbishop Burke invited the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to assume the responsibility of celebrating the liturgy and all sacraments in the traditional form. When Archbishop Burke erected St. Francis de Sales as an Oratory under the administration of the Institute, he also gave the Latin Mass community a home and a setting where the Mass of Ages may be manifested in its full glory and beauty.
Archbishop Burke’s generous support of the Traditional Latin Mass community proved to be visionary. In 2007, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI., promulgated his motu proprio, “Summorum Pontificum,” allowing for even wider celebration of this timeless liturgy of the Church, now clarified as the “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.” Canon Karl W. Lenhardt, the former Rector of the Oratory was named the “Episcopal Delegate for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese of St. Louis”.
What was begun in 1985 by Episcopal approval at St. Agatha continues to flourish at the Oratory. Today, we are most grateful to Archbishop Robert J. Carlson for his support and his commitment to integrate the Extraordinary Form into the liturgical life of the Archdiocese. His presence with us on this special anniversary celebration is a most welcomed sign of his support for the community, as is his appointment of Canon Michael K. Wiener to the post of Episcopal Delegate. In May, we will welcome him again when he comes to confer the Sacrament of Confirmations on our faithful (May 15th, 9:30 am).
From a monthly celebration on First Saturdays, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated every day of the year at the Oratory. The liturgy is the center and source of the flourishing spiritual life at the Oratory.
All are welcome to join us on March 14 to attend this celebration at 10 am. It is a great opportunity to give thanks for the blessings received, celebrate the unity of the Church as expressed in her liturgical forms, and to greet Archbishop Carlson at his first visit to the Oratory.
With my best wishes and the assurance of my prayers in this holy season of Lent.
Yours in Christ the King,
Canon Michael K. Wiener
Rector, St. Francis de Sales Oratory