OK, bad pun. But in a remarkable display of generosity, Canon Karl W. Lenhardt, former Rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, recently sent a gift of beautiful custom-made cope for the Oratory’s use in its weekly devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. When Canon Lenhardt announced he would leave to take a new assignment at the Institute’s seminary in Gricigliano, of course many people gave gifts of appreciation. Well, Canon Lenhardt has made use of these gifts to further the beauty of the celebration of the liturgy in St. Louis. The cope is pictured here, with stole.
Reverend and dear Canon Wiener,
It is with greatest spiritual joy and profound gratitude that I am sending you today a cope to be used on the occasion of the devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.
When I left St. Louis in September 2008 in order to follow my new assignment at the Institute’s International Seminary in Gricigliano I received many generous gifts as expressions of thankfulness for our work in St. Louis. I found it very fitting to use these gifts for the greater beauty and dignity of the liturgy at the oratory.
As I consider the restoration of the Archconfraternity of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to be a particular grace during my time at the oratory and as I also had the joy to gratefully experience the help and intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in my prayers, in my work and in the greatest difficulties I thought that a cope for the regular devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help would be a good renewed expression of my own gratitude towards our Heavenly Mother. It took almost two years to prepare this cope and I offer it not only as an act of thanksgiving, but also in the intentions of the faithful and friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory and in particular for the restoration of this most beautiful church.
This cope is made of a custom-made fabric. The design of this fabric follows the painted curtain that is the background of the painting of the Annunciation of Our Lady on the exterior wings of the “Dombild” of Stefan Lochner from 1442, in the cathedral of Cologne. The fabric is woven in goldthread and in the Institute’s blue.
I am deeply grateful for all the good I received during my time in St. Louis and I hope that the gift of this cope can be a humble manifestation of our continued unity in prayer.
While I wish you and all the faithful of the Oratory the superabundance of blessings and graces through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, St. Louis and St. Francis de Sales, I assure all of you of the pious and grateful remembrance of your intentions in my prayers and at the altar and I humbly beg you for your prayers for me and my work.
Yours devotedly in Christ the King,
Canon Karl W. Lenhardt