Card. Burke, “home” in St. Louis

Raymond Card. BurkeJust a nice email:

His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke is in St. Louis in what he described as “home”.  He is here to give a retreat to (in his exact words), “our beloved seminarians”.  I presume he uses the word “our” since he noted in his homily that he takes great pride in the fact the  Holy Father named him “archbishop emeritus of St. Louis”.

Aside from the public Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis today, at the invitation of Archbishop Carlson, his only other two public appearances are at the two  oratories who celebrate exclusively the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Raymond Card. BurkeI am a former parishoner of the Oratory parish of Ss. Gregory and Augustine ( I now live in Chicago), so  I returned for the event at “Greg n’ Gus”.  I thought you would like to see  the pictures from Friday  evening. The temporary chapel was packed with parishoners.  The service was began with a  solemn entrance, vesting at the altar, sermon, Benediction, Litany of the  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and prayers  to Our Lady of Walsingham.

The parish is adminstered by the English Benedictine Monks of St. Louis Abbey and the rector is The Rev. Dom Bede Price, MA (Oxon).  The monastic community was present, provided the schola, served as mc’s and one as subdeacon.  The abbot, the Right Rev. Dom Thomas Frerking, PhD (Oxon) attended in choir and greeted the cardinal at the reception.

After Benediction, there  was a reception in the hall where  the children of the parish warmly greeted him first.  The gift  of a golden mitre was presented by the very first child baptized at the oratory.  His  Eminence  stayed  until 11pm until he finished greeting everyone who wanted to  see him.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Centristian says:

    I’m a great fan of Cardinal Burke and, indeed, of any prelate who is not afraid to flaunt his cappa magna from time to time. But what these pictures tell me is that pulling out all the stops is not necessarily appropriate at every venue. Erecting a throne and canopy in what looks like a basement or classroom-turned-chapel seems a bit over the top, in my humble opinion. And to arrive at such a venue in cappa magna seems way over the top. [Apparently you didn’t pay much attention to what was written in the top entry. Pay attention to the item about who staff the parish.]

  2. irishgirl says:

    Very nice pictures, no matter what the venue!
    ‘Greg & Gus’-oh, that’s funny!

  3. Peggy R says:

    Timman at StLouisCatholic blog has photos as well. He was present at the oratory event. Some seminarians from the Belleville IL diocese are attending the Kenrick retreat at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. One of the young men emails me occasionally. I hope he might be able to share some of this event with us.

  4. Centristian: I can tell you’ve never been in a medieval reenactment group or a Bridezilla wedding. That throne and train is downright restrained.

    It’s a real chapel with the Real Presence, not some school gym or muddy field. It’s a top cardinal in the Curia visiting, not some girlish would-be fashionista or middle-aged computer programmer who’s a good hand with a padded rattan sword. Even at Burger King, they give you a crown. Even in a little girl’s bedroom, you get a bigger canopy than that. So I don’t see why you think a tiny plain canopy over a plain wooden chair is so over the top, particularly at an occasion that lends honor to the whole city and archdiocese of St. Louis.

    If this were 1908, people would have lined the streets to greet the cardinal. Even in Sri Lanka, they just now managed a beautiful throne and procession for their cardinal, with nothing but a pickup truck to use as a base. But, it’s abundantly clear that the St. Louis throne was put there as an act of love and respect, and because it pleased the people to “do it up right”. If it’s a little embarrassing, that’s one of the crosses a cardinal gets to bear.

  5. Oh, and the big reason to wear the cappa magna in this venue (besides being asked, which Burke probably was)? Kids love it.

    Remember that itty-bitty little kid Joe Ratzinger, who saw a cardinal in full dress and announced to his parents that he was going to be one, too? Whatever happened to him?

  6. Joseph-Mary says:

    This Cardinal is one very holy prelate. I am so pleased that God has brought him to heights in the curia where his influence and example can have a more global effect. Brick by brick.

  7. Jack007 says:

    I tend to agree with you in principal. However I think we need to look at this in its proper perspective. By being in full regalia, the Cardinal shows the greatest possible deference to this obviously HUMBLE, yet no less PIOUS congregation. Having been a part of “basement missions” and other such things over the years, I can only imagine what it must make these faithful feel when they see their beloved shepherd all “decked out” for THEM.
    Now, if he showed up to visit on a regular basis…? I suspect this is a rare treat and I say spare nothing that inspires the faithful souls, especially the children. Rest assured, the Cappa is not a FUN accessory to deal with. I’d be willing to bet that it was more of a request on the part of the monks than his Eminence wanting to “show off”.
    On a related note, I remember helping Bishop Finn with his Cappa. It was his first time wearing one. He remarked that there would be some “consternation among the more liberal elements of the diocese, but oh well”… In 25 years of being around traditional Catholics, I had never seen a Cappa, much less seen one worn!
    I’m sure the good people in St. Louis felt just as awed and honored as I did.
    God bless Cardinal Burke!

    Jack in KC

  8. Centristian says:

    Well, I suppose if we are to err, it’s a good thing that we err on the side of solemnity…for a change.

  9. TNCath says:

    They don’t get much better than Cardinal Burke! Would that we had more like him and Bishop Finn. It’s nice to see the kids there. It’ll be something they will always remember.

  10. basilorat says:

    There was nothing “errant” about it. As a parishoner, I can only say we felt immense pride with his love for us and his presence among us. All the parishoners were proud we could offer a fitting throne for him, it’s a sign of our obedience to the rubrics, and our love for him and the Church.

    was it alright that we served finger sanwiches and sherry afterward? Or should we have simply sent out for pizza, soda, and beer since it was served in such simple

  11. Augustine says:

    You can’t get a PhD from Oxford. It’d be a DPhil.

    Trivia for the day…

  12. benedetta says:

    Nice photos…also really liked the photo of the smiling welcome of the children!

  13. basilorat says:

    Tnx Augustine….written in haste!

  14. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    This is quite lovely. Even more so is that many of the children in that picutre are decently dressed up for the occasion. Oh to see a sight of modesty of kids these days is so rare. Yeah I know some people might be thinking “you are a young male you are crazy to talk like granny!” but since over the past year and a half I’ve “rediscovered” my faith, my eyes have been openend and I realize that many people don’t give Mass or the Eucharist the respect it deserve and dress too casually. Especially the kids. American Eagle, Aeropostale, A & F, those UGGly boots, and yoga pants are all I see on the kids, unless its a special occasion or they are under 8 (maybe?).

  15. patrick_f says:

    Probably another reason WHY the good Cardinal was in the oratory, is because it was a Gift of his to the People of St Louis. You forgot to mention that Basil :P

    I wish I could have been at this, I unfortunately had other obligations. I have had the opportunity to meet with and chat..if you could call a brief conversation chat, Cardinal Burke (pre red hat ). There isnt a more humble, piuos man With the Miter… The media paints an exactly opposite image of what this Holy Cardinal really is.

    Also you have to admire what the folks at ST Greg n Gus have done with a church “basement” .. Everything there was built, and its beatiful. Has a real english countryside chapel feel to it.

    Also considering this was an EF mass. (and as such with a Bishop, a Solemn Pontifical Mass) would have almost been a breach of protocol for him NOT to use the Cappa Magna, IMHO. He did it to honor his hosts, as was pointed out.

    we as people need to pomp and circumstance sometimes, so that we know that this simply wasnt “Business as Usual”.

  16. chcrix says:

    Just for background – the Oratory meets in the basement chapel of the parish center of St. Anselm’s. The large church is available to the congregation and I am sure that it could have been used for this particular event.

    I took it that Cardinal Burke was making a point of visiting the more humble space where the congregation meets, because obviously Father Abbot and Father Prior (who were both in attendance) would have cheerfully made the Abbey church available if called on.

    His eminence spoke on the importance of liturgical renewal and the worth of the Extraordinary Form – quoting often from the writing of Pope Benedict.

    I saw the event as being both pastoral – the cardinal coming to the little congregation founded at his request three years ago, and informational – a public acknowledgment of the importance of the extraordinary form.

    His remarks were probably not news from the point of view of most visitors of this blog. But I felt, as I listened to him speak from the little canopied seat that had been contrived for him that I was seeing the man exercising his role as teacher in the best traditions of the church and in a very humble setting.

  17. RosaMystica says:

    He wore the Cappa at St. Francis de Sales oratory as well, and it was magnificent in that beautiful church. My understanding of the fancy vestments and trappings is that they are about magnifying Christ’s Church and showing our respect for the office of Cardinal. If that is so, then it is good to do even in a humble setting, isn’t it?

  18. Trad Tom says:

    After all the (liberal) criticism of the Cappa Magna-wearing Bishop Slattery at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last spring, some priest wrote a beautiful article refuting the criticism and explaining the symbolism. I’m pretty sure Fr. Z ran it or linked to it on his blog. Does anyone remember what I’m referring to?

Comments are closed.