Sunday, July 24, 2005

High Latin Masses at St. Francis DeSales

Today we began our mission of exploring some of the different churches around the city, attending the High Latin Mass at St. Francis DeSales Church on Gravois-the “Cathedral of South St. Louis”.

This is one of those historic settings in the City that make you feel more like you’re in Europe than the Midwest.

Everything was very ceremonial. The priest changed his vestments about six times. Many of the women and young girls were wearing veils. There must have been at least sixteen altar boys helping serve at the Mass. The interior of the church is glorious.

The Arch Diocese moved the Latin Mass from St. Agatha to St. Francis DeSales in an effort to preserve St. Francis DeSales. St. Francis DeSales has made it to about the twenty-percent mark in its million dollar plus renovation fund drive.

Latin Masses are held at 10:00 am Sundays at St. Francis DeSales, and are worth attending even if you’re not Catholic.



BentonPark said...

The Priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign arrived at St. Agatha only 6 months ago and they definitely have made their presence. As a member of St. Agatha’s for about 19 years and part of a German heritage who has been member of the parish for over 100 years when my Great Great Grand Parent settled in the area of Benton Park just prior to the Worlds Fair. My large extended family gave their time, money and spiritual support to the parish during the century. In all, the parish’s endowment grew to close to 2 million dollars. The endowment was established by dedicated lay people who wished to sustain the parish during times when support may not have been there.

There has been little fund raising for St. Francis DeSales Church since the money in their coffers came from the endowment at St. Agatha’s Parish, close to 1.5 million. This money was moved to St. Francis without the approval or request of St. Agatha’s parishioners. The abuses however do not stop there.

The Priest’s of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign have been on a spending spree since their arrival with the Parish funds including: a new car, new linins throughout the rectory, front loading washer and dryers and new bedroom furniture. The furniture is particularly lavish since it was ordered and imported from Germany at a cost of $55,000. I can only think of the poor how the poor could have been taken care of. Their spending spree ended only after the Chancery off refused the parish secretary request by the priest to write a $100,000 check for running around money. The Chancery refused the request but for $5,000. The secretary was fired by the priest over the incident.

Please remember or know that when you attend a Mass, the purpose is not about the costume changes or the stage game. The purpose of the Mass is to administer the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. These people are attempting to make a mockery of our religion. Worship God, love Christ but do not demean the Mass for less than it is. I am not sure what is happening to the organization that is administering the faith but is certainly is not about the lay people who attend.

Rick Bonasch said...

Benton Park-

Thanks for your comments. I sensed a difference in this mass the minute I entered the church.

The church was nearly full. I had to sit in the last row. The mass lasted nearly two hours. If the mass was showy, it was also very spiritual.

A man next to me turned out to be an usher. He tried to explain how their were dual language books provided to follow the Mass.

BP, do you know if most people attending this mass drive in from neighboring communities?


Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

Too bad they shut down the Spanish ministry at Saint Francis. I guess the archdiocese is making enough money off of the Mexican population and is cutting down to one Spanish speaking Parish on the southside. Bad long term decision considering that the population is rapidly increasing.

Steve said...

A latin high mass is a site to see. Reminds me of Msgr. Suren and Sr. John Leonard at St. Stephen's

Anonymous said...

I wish to first start off my comments by saying, "I think the Polish people got a Bad Deal all the way Around!"

I am not Polish, but nonetheless have been following-up what took place at Saint Agatha's Church located in South Saint Louis, Missouri. It is my understanding that any/all priests and parishioners have been ex-communicated from the church in question. This is entirely wrong! This abomination should never have happened!

In addition to the above, I am not aware of, (and perhaps a great deal of people are not aware of,the fact that the priests of Saint Francis DeSales Oratory have had their fingers in the pot, Saint Agatha's money? Money that the Old Tymers worked and slaved for to preserve their church? If this is true, then this is an abomination also. Saint Francis DeSales should be financially supported by the Archdioces and the faithful parishioners of same, and not financially supported by Saint Agatha's funds. There are ways to get money together for restorations besides dipping into other people's pockets.

As far as attending Saint Francis DeSales Oratory, the Latin Mass is everything I was raised with as a child. Once same was taken away from me, (and everyone else), I stopped going to church and never entered a Catholic church again until recently attending Mass at Saint Francis DeSales Oratory. I couldn't help crying during Mass at the beauty, reverence and respect that had all been lost in time for over a half-century.

When we hear priest today saying, "Catholics, Come Back to Church," we must first ask ourselves, "Why did Catholics Leave the Church to Begin With?" It wasn't the Pope who forbade the Latin Tridentine Mass. As I understand it, it was the Bishops who got the ball rolling on ending the Latin Tridentine Mass.

At this time, we must look into the mirror and acknowledge that once the Latin Tridentine Mass was taken away from us, we, the parishioners, were stipped from our clothing, our heads were shaved, and we stood naked in front of everyone; everything we had ever known taken away from us as if we were slave children whose mother and father had been auctioned off. The only difference was: We had no bidders! We were left in a political cesspool just like the people at Saint Agatha's were left into a slimy cesspool with absolutely no way in which to clean it up.

There have been many many years of notoriety involving priests; these priests harpooning our young children in the buttocks and committing dastardly acts which have warranted imprisonment and ruined for many, chances of ever returning back to the church. Somehow, even after all of this, I recollect my pleasant childhood experiences in attending a Catholic School and Catholic Church, and feel at home whenever I can physically make it to attend Holy Mass at Saint Francis DeSales Oratory.

I don't know the answers to it all because it is political and involves the question, "Who has the Most Money," in which to solve the problem?

I only wish the Latin Tridentine Mass would be present in all Catholic Churches and that in doing so, the nuns would come back to the schools. Without the nuns, the respect, discipline, obedience, and wonderful education they provided are all other factors which have been, "Lost in Time."