Well, May came and went like a rocket. Which… well, is good and bad. So, what’s happened in the meanwhile?
My Uncle (Fr. Christopher!) was exemplified in the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus in mid-April. I was able to meet a number of Wisconsin Knights of Columbus, and found the KofC reach in Wisconsin to be a bit…. less far than in Kentucky, it seems. From what I can tell, there were a number of Catholic fraternal organizations in the early 20th Century, and only a few of them were able to weather the conciliar storm in the middle of the century. Not entirely positive, but I know that one insurance “group” (Catholic Knights) was rather strong and popular in Wisconsin. Perhaps this explains it?… Either way, as usual, the KofC ceremonies were rather edifying, and going through the ceremonies as an observer really helps some of the points hit home. If you’re not a Knight, consider becoming a member! If you are, I heartily encourage you to observe a First, Second, Third, or Fourth Degree exemplification. I know it’s helped me in my pursuit of becoming a better Catholic man!
I also made a couple trips down to Louisville! The first was for a Derby Party (hosted by Magpie and Beth!) for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby! I also was able to visit my favorite Louisville church, St. Louis Bertrand, and I got a very potato photo of their (lovely) Marian statue (May crowning was the same day!), which is featured below. The second trip was for the trip I made with some folks out to Washington, DC to attend the ordination of the Dominican friars. That’ll be covered, as mentioned below, in a post later this month!
The ICKSP at St. Stanislaus had their new altar rail installed! …and then a few weeks later covered in plastic tarp…. The sanctuary is undergoing a repainting! As part of the restoration work by the Institute of Christ the King, they are making a lot of changes to the interior of the church. Cream City Catholic has been covering the work. Back to the temporary altar the ICKSP goes, but, as is usual with ICKSP, the temporary altar is a lot nicer than most of what modern Catholics can throw together in expensive and bland suburban churches!…. Apparently, the work should be completed in time for the 150th celebration in September or October. So, it’ll be a long summer of scaffolding all over, but the pay-off should be well worth it! It’ll be nice to be able to clearly make out different aspects of the apse and ceiling, instead of it all blurring into each other, as it does now. (If I could go back in time, I’d just license/try to own the paint makeup of what I call “liturgical bland.” It almost seems like the post-conciliar Catholic renovation revoluation was pushed primarily through bland paint retailers!…)
I also made my first trip across town to one of the Cor Jesu events held each week at St. Robert parish in Shorewood, WI. Their description of the event is:
All are invited to continue to grow in intimate prayer with Praise & Worship music and the Sacraments at COR JESU. Cor Jesu is a Latin phrase for “Heart of Jesus.” It is an opportunity for anyone in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to continue to encounter Christ through Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation, Praise & Worship, and Mass. Cor Jesu is hosted by St. Robert’s Parish in Shorewood, WI in their main sanctuary. It occurs every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm. Join us for this amazing opportunity of praise!
I was surprisingly pleased by the Mass, but I had two complaints. One, the confessionals need to be more clearly marked as to which is screened and which is face-to-face. Do you know how jarring and off-putting it is to walk into a traditional-style confessional, only to be confronted by the entirety of a priest sitting in a folding chair? The answer is “VERY!” Also, it makes difficult the possibility of confessing while kneeling (which really only makes sense, in my mind. It’s such a traditional and iconic posture… to practically require a face-to-face, seated confession is just… it could be better, and it’s really easy to fix). The other is they should just drop the praise and worship malarkey during the adoration. The Mass (Novus Ordo, with some Latin elements and a surprising degree of ‘reverence’, ‘smells’, and ‘bells’) was pretty solid, and it, from what I remember, didn’t delve into P&W stuff. The adoration hour provided more than enough praise and worship music, and I’m not really sure why it’s needed. But, they do get like 100+ people, so… I guess that helps. (I’ll continue to dislike it, though!).
I’ve spent a lot of time in at least two different libraries, and that time spent has led to a number of future blog posts! Hooray. Some things to look out for… changes to St. Stanislaus (in the 1960s) that I liked, the prayers of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, my home cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, some background/photos of both my baptismal parish church and my childhood parish church, and some interesting photos and information of the local basilica. Local libraries are vast treasures of history. We might pretend that everything is available at our fingertips on Google, and while there IS a lot of information floating out there in the world wide web, there’s a lot more that’s inaccessible collecting dust on our local libraries’ shelves! Plus, you get that wonderful old book smell as you page through a book older than your grandparents. How can you beat that?! (Hint: You can’t.)
And, maybe if I say what I’ll be writing on I’ll actually get around to writing it. So, my next few posts should cover (in addition to the ones listed above – it’ll be a busy June!) the following topics – the Polish and mosaics, traveling via Amtrak, and Washington DC and the Province of St Joseph of the Dominican Order’s 2016 ordinations. So, ten articles to write for the month of June, plus perhaps brief book reviews on 3 books. Oh my!