After a month’s hiatus, it’s about time I get back to putting words onto the screen and through the series of tubes to you (!) the reader.
In lieu of any actual original topics for the moment, here’s a few thoughts on some articles I’ve come across the last few weeks.
Over at New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo posted an article about “The Consecration of Westminster Cathedral“, reproducing chunks of a 1910 article from the Tablet.
The long vigil of fifteen years has ended. Fifteen years of strong endeavour have achieved a splendid triumph. The crowning act was the Consecration on Tuesday. The act was clothed with all the solemnity with which the Church, with its matchless heritage of ritual, knows how to surround its life and express its spirit. And now Westminster Cathedral takes its place among the great Cathedrals of the world, unique and original in design, itself alone, with its own message, and its own significance.
You don’t often get flowery writing like they did “back in the day” (when journalistic standards meant something?). Plus, you get a contemporary account of a ceremony rarely (if ever) seen nowadays in our post-conciliar liturgical wasteland. Then, you also get armed with anti-liturgical reformer arguments with examples of the Archbishop and his clerics pray the Office and commemorate such splendid occasions. If you want more things like that, I cannot encourage more the Google Newspaper Archive. I’ve spent many an hour combing through the treasure trove of Internet wonders (primarily for obituaries). Sadly, Google is no longer adding more content, which is a true loss.
Next, Badger Catholic points its direction south of our border to the Chicago Archdiocese, and the on-going saga to keep St. Adalbert’s open. The following comes from a Chicago Tribune article on a possible future for the church.
The Chicago Archdiocese is in preliminary discussions with the Chicago Academy of Music about purchasing the property and converting the church’s adjacent convent into dormitories for students, its rectory into housing for master musicians and its Italian marble sanctuary into a concert stage.
A reader of Badger Catholic wrote the following in to BC, explaining the short-term future:
Despite the Tribune article, the effort to keep Adalbert open as a church is not over—in fact, as I understand it, the appeal to the Vatican will proceed. And, despite the issuance of the decrees and the denial of an appeal to the Archdiocese, there will be Masses throughout July at least and, I believe, the Friday night prayer vigil and adoration (6-9pm) will also continue.
The church is truly spectacular and I would urge any of your readers to try to attend Mass or simply visit during those hours that it’s still open. It is definitely the kind of church that will not be built again!
Frankly, as good as it might be to see the church still stand, turning it into a secular concert hall perverts its purpose. At that point, I’d rather see the wrecking ball taken to it than see yet another Catholic edifice be turned over to profane use. The travesty of this is this is the culmination of decades of neglect, not only physically, as in the work the towers require to stay standing, but also spiritually and devotionally. Where are the current residents of the Pilsen neighborhood? Do they no longer require a Catholic church? Where are the priests that should have been formed and come out of this parish in the last 50 years? What of the religious sisters and brothers? Yes, it is good and fine that there is a small community working to keep their church open, but where was the truly hard (and rewarding) work that takes decades to do and see the fruits of? On top of that, there is the complete lack of stewardship (authentic stewardship) in this parish. This lovely church was built with the hardwork and dedication of the Polish immigrants, and now it is closed and the parish suppressed while Americans enjoy relative prosperity. What a shameful time we live in!
Charles Cole over at NLM posted some lovely pictures of the CMAA’s Colloquium Mass in the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis, MO. The basilica is hands-down one of the finest in the country, and there’s always something new to discover while taking in the beauty! My favorite photo of the set is number 20, which shows the altar being used properly (and as Cardinal Sarah has recently called for), which is to say used in the “ad orientam” way (the true, historical way, as well). That all Masses might be said this way (and with the undoubted reverence, glory, and honor that is usual with the CMAA)!…
Finally, Msgr Charles Pope has an article entitled “Beware of Fake Mercy – Behold True Mercy in the Call of St. Matthew,” an important consideration given the atmosphere and spirit being fostered in the Church. A very good insight from the good Monsignor is this little bit:
For the Lord, mercy is necessary because there is sin, not because sin is “no big deal.” It is because sin is a big deal that mercy is needed and is glorious.
Definitely worth the read (plus, it’s a bit shorter than his usual fare). Head on over and check it out!