Month of May round-up (and then some)!

Well, May came and went like a rocket.  Which… well, is good and bad.  So, what’s happened in the meanwhile?

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Great Klusman men (Klusmen?) right here!

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!

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Smartphone photo of Marian statue at St. Louis Bertrand

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!

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Scaffolding all over the place.

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!).

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One of my favorite Milwaukee locations!

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!

4 thoughts on “Month of May round-up (and then some)!

  1. Klusman, really glad you came to Cor Jesu. I’ve been running that with a few priest friends and others for the past 5 years. Really appreciate that you enjoyed the Mass. We do our best with what we’re given based on volunteer talent for musicians and whatnot, and for Mass we try to provide an orthodox and “as it is meant to be” novus ordo Mass.

    Just to clarify a few things based on your suggestions: First, the church doesn’t belong to us. We use the space, but it is St. Robert Parish’s church. We have acquired two screens for confessionals, but it actually is much more difficult than you’d think to build/acquire screens for confessions, especially to install in a parish that isn’t ours. You’d probably believe this, but when we first arrived at the parish, 3 of the 4 confessionals were used as maintenance storage of flood machines, chairs, and cleaning products. Based on where we’ve been, and where we are now relative to that, I hope you approve 🙂

    Second – Cor Jesu is meant as an encounter experience for people. We know many people come who are already well beyond their initial encounter experience, but the thought process behind the praise and worship (which I lead, although it isn’t my personal devotional preference) is that it is an easier entry point for people who may be intimidated or turned off by silence and/or polyphony. The other issue is that we don’t rehearse for the holy hour, and no one is blessed at leading a choir. It may not be ideal, but based on the surveys we’ve taken of people who come (I have one of over 200 respondents), they’ve indicated that the feel the holy hour is a very approachable atmosphere for people to re-engage their faith and the Church. That’s why the holy hour is more contemporary, and the Mass is more traditional – our theory is that one should lead into the other. We use the Mass to teach (for example, we sing the seasonal Marian antiphon in Latin after communion) AFTER the holy hour to engage new people (I know traditionally the holy hour ought to follow the Mass, but we want to encourage the 1 hour fast and confession before reception). I think that’s one reason why a lot of people show up just for the Mass – if praise and worship isn’t their thing, they don’t come for that.

    Again, really glad you came. Thanks for the kind words, and hope you’re well!

    1. The Mass was my more favorite bit. If you can’t tell, I have an attachment and draw to Latin liturgy…. 😉 If it’s any compliment, I thought the music/band was pretty cohesive for Mass. I think my only complaint, at times, was that the organ was too loud. 🙂

      I figured that you were “renting out” space at St Robert’s, and given the … shall we say, dynamics… of ArchMil, you didn’t have any control over things. I am glad you guys found screens, though! (I just don’t get the desire for people to confess face-to-face? Maybe I’m that much worse of a sinner than other people….) Based on the confessional I saw that one time, “storage room” fit a lot better than “sacramental powerhouse” (but with grace, it can be quickly changed!). One note/request – do you guys print out/control the signs placed around the church to designate lines for confession? Perhaps the “with a screen” or “only face-to-face” could be added to the “end of line/line starts here” signs? Unsure if the priests would appreciate it (why is my line so short!? Oh…), but I know as a sometimes-crotchety layman, I would! 😀

      In my growing old age, I’ve begun to mellow out, which is why I try not to get all up in arms over P&W music. At the very least, folks are coming out to adoration in the middle of the week in the evening. Plus, with the Mass, you’re “exposing them” to a greater depth, liturgically (which is great!). So, I won’t complain (too loudly) about P&W music, or the things I dislike about adoration (mainly, the P&W music!) 😉 Especially since I’m involved in a group in Louisville that has a monthly holy hour, and it’s hard to scrape up half the attendance y’all get in a week! So, something “right” is going on.

      I hope to attend again. I’m just kinda lazy and hate driving across town!…

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