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UPDATE: Confessions to begin on Sunday 21 April. Dom Ambrose or Dom Linus will be available for confessions from 10:30 AM through 11:15 AM. There will inevitably be some Sundays when a priest is not available to hear confessions. In this case we will make every effort to post a notice on the chapel door.
“Confession is an act of honesty and courage, an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.” — Pope John Paul II
Saturday, November 3 at 7:00pm
In the Oratory Community Room
Please join us for the annual All Saints Day party. Come dressed in your favorite Saint’s costume, and bring a snack to share.
There will be a costume contest and games to play: Halo Toss, Musical Chairs, Fishing Pond, & Bingo.
I want to remind everyone about the 2012 Father/Son football game. The new date is October 21 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Oratory. Please invite other families to attend 11:00 am Mass, and stick around afterwards for the game. This is a great opportunity to invite families to experience this great Oratory we are part of.
This year, we will invite families from St. Austin School to take part in this fall classic. The boys need to be at least 16 years old to participate in the Father/Son football game. (If turnout is low, we might consider extending an invitation to the younger grades to participate.) Please feel free to invite other members of your family, should a Father/Son not be able to to attend.
If you have any questions please call me: Home: (636) 273-5135 Cell : (636) 390-2121
It was a great joy for the parish to have the first group of servers inducted into the Guild of St Stephen at the Oratory. The senior boys received their guild medals and were enrolled after the 11 o’clock Mass on 22 July. In addition to Mrs Johnston’s awesome pictures, we were given a front page write-up in the St Louis Review! Thirteen boys (one, in absentia) made their promise to serve Holy Mass “reverently, intelligently and regularly”. Congratulations to Marlow Gazzoli, Daniel Igoe, Matthew Menendez, Kenneth Capps, Joseph Martin, Max Jones, Aidan Johnston, Cole Wagner, Jeffrey Martin, David Schwarb, Gregory Grizzel, Nick Werner & John Paul Werner.
“To Serve Him is to Reign”
Our Annual Men’s Retreat to Apple Hill was held September 14 – 16. A good time was had by all. We built a new Stations of the Cross by first clearing a trail to the top of Apple Hill. No one succumbed to a poison ivy rash (that has been reported) but we will see next Sunday at Mass. All praised Father Bede’s fried chicken and beans. He, however, was most pleased with his chocolate chili.
It is with excitement that we announce the website for The St. Austin School which can be found at either www.staustinstl.org or www.saintaustinschool.org. The website is fledgling but a good start which will give visitors the basic information about the new school. We hope to have it updated with more details as they become available so check back often!!!
Please complete and return the CCD Registration Forms to Father Bede or Mrs. Lonigro.
Epistle Is 60. 1-6 xxx
Gospel Mt 2. 1-12
And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Mt 2:11.
I have in previous sermons attempted to address the dignity and duty of the married vocation, but today’s Feast and the readings for this Holy Mass suggest we consider the vocation of priesthood in the Church.
The Fathers never cease to meditate on the mystical meaning of the three gifts of the Magi to the infant Christ at Bethlehem. They bring gold to crown the Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The myrrh signifies his real humanity for he is born a man like us in all things save sin. The frankincense of the Magi represents Christ’s divinity True God from True God but it also betokens his sacerdotal character, for Our Lord is the first priest of God’s new dispensation. Jesus exercised the office of his priesthood when he offered himself up on the altar of the Cross. And it is this great act of Christ which is perpetuated by the Christian Priesthood in the offering of the unbloody sacrifice of the Holy Mass. The sacrifice of the Mass is the same exact sacrifice Christ offered to his Father at Calvary. In the Holy Mass we have the same priest in both – Jesus Christ. We likewise have the same victim – Jesus Christ. The only difference is the manner of the offering.
That this saving action might be perpetuated for every age, Christ instituted another sacrament, that of Holy Orders which in its various ranks and grades exercises Christ’s ministry in His Church even to this very moment.
The power of the priesthood is exercised in two ways:
Priestly Dignity and Priestly Authority
The dignity of the priesthood is seen in that it gives men power over the real body of Christ exercised in the power of consecrating, offering, and administering the Holy Eucharist. That Catholics would be so casual toward the Blessed Sacrament in our days is only a great scandal. That lay men should have the courage to take the body of Christ into their unconsecrated hands would have horrified our ancestors. This regrettable situation – no indeed – this scandalous situation shows us how far from the path of orthodoxy we have drifted. There are many Protestants who have a higher regard for Christ’s presence in the Eucharist than do many Catholics.
A priest’s authority consists in his jurisdiction over the mystical body of Christ – which is his Church. That is to say the priest is given the power and the responsibility to teach and rule over the faithful. Priests are therefore called “Father” because by analogy they exercise paternal authority over the Christian faithful in the same way that a father is given authority over his children.
Therefore the nature of the priestly office is partly oriented toward God and partly oriented toward man. Thus in the traditional Mass the nature of the priesthood is most clearly manifest when he stands between the alter and the people turning his face toward God to plead for the people and then turning toward the people to exhort and encourage them.
Priests are not just praying at our altars. They are doing a work – this is the meaning of the Greek word liturgy. The Christian faithful join the priest not in the words he is reciting but in the action he is doing. Since this action is the same action of Christ on Calvary, this great act – the greatest act of worship ever performed – was Christ’s action and his alone. Those who were present, each offered their own prayers for their own needs. What do you think was going through the mind of Our Lady at Calvary? Or St. John? Or Mary Magdalen, the good thief, the Centurion? Each with their own thoughts; each with their own prayers stood beneath Christ’s Cross; but all of them joined in the one sacrifice and to all their prayers and thoughts that one great act gave value and merited hearing. And all of this is still true today; and all made possible through the priesthood of fallible sinful men our brothers.
Therefore let today’s Feast move us to gratitude to God for his sacraments and his priests. Let us especially pray for our priests and for the burden so great an office calls them to bear, for it is our duty to help them by our prayers. In speaking about them, let us always remember both their dignity and their authority. In speaking of their faults and failures, let us remember they are but poor weak and sinful human beings like ourselves.
And lastly, let us beg God to send us more priests. Let us encourage sacrificial vocations among our children, that more young men will hear God speaking to their hearts and put aside aspiration for worldly dignity and authority and the gold, frankincense, and myrrh of temporal wealth in favor of true dignity and authority and the gifts which are really pleasing to God.
In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.