Tulsa Day 1

I am in Tulsa! There is a conference for priests on exorcism sponsored by the Diocese and Bp. Slattery which I have wanted to attend for the last three years.

The evening began, however, with sung (Novus Ordo) vespers in the cathedral, with Bp. Slattery.


Lovely building, not large but warm.





Nearby there is a magnificent large church, Methodist?, art deco!


R and R with some priests.


I am now officially exhausted.

Tomorrow the conference begins, but we had some good discussions tonight during supper and I learned a few useful things.  This should be a helpful few days.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. fvhale says:

    From their website:
    The Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, located in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma was completed in 1929. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical art deco architecture in the United States and has been designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Like a sermon in stone, the limestone building was designed to honor God and identify its members as people of God. As Dr. Adah M. Robinson, building designer, writes, “All appointments have been designed with the hope of creating a place that is honest, harmonious, and spiritualized; that those who may not respond through their reason and those who may not react through their emotion may at least through visualization be moved to a higher conception of the Presence of Divine Power.”


  2. jameeka says:

    Schlaf gut. Thanks for the photos.

  3. CatholicMD says:

    Enjoy my home state! Boomer Sooner!

  4. For the Gospel of Life says:

    Will you be making any public appearances while you’re in Tulsa, Father?

  5. Father, do you perform exorcisms either regularly or occasionally? Just curious- don’t know if that’s an appropriate question to ask or not.
    Learning about the reality of exorcism was one of the things that really kickstarted my serious faith, as a young teenager. It sort of all hit me at once, “if this stuff is all true, then I really need to take it seriously!” At fourteen years old, or whatever I was, it was a real game changer.

    [We don’t discuss exorcism and related topics on this blog.]

  6. Dr Guinness says:

    Magnificent altar! Hope it’s still used…
    Enjoy your conference…

  7. VexillaRegis says:

    I really must go to America some time, just to see your lovely Gothic Revival churches. Congratulations! Maybe there are some nice organs to play on for me aswell.

    Have a nice stay in Tulsa Fr.

  8. NoraLee9 says:

    The high altar is stunning. One does not see the color red so much in churches. The Cathedral is beautifully done.
    In watching a recent movie, Possession, I was struck by the similarity between the Jewish Rite of Exorcism and the EF (the only Rite used, I am given to understand) of Exorcism. Obviously they don’t use the Lord’s Prayer, nor the Hail Mary, but they use many of the same psalms, and the ultimate part of the ritual is to ascertain the name, and order the thing out.
    Enjoy the conference, Pater. Many blessings on you.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Try not to get exhausted during this elongated flu season, please…..supertrad—mom

  10. HHAmbrose says:

    St. Peter’s List is based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was actually at the Cathedral earlier on Sunday for Mass. Enjoy your stay.

  11. acardnal says:

    I hope the attendees at Vespers enjoyed your beautiful singing (chant) voice, Fr. Z!

  12. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Irenaeus G. Saintonge,

    While not wanting to start a discussion on exorcisms, [Which I will not permit on this blog, btw.] it is important to know that. per the Holy See’s directive, in 1984, no one may peform an exorcism without permission from the local Ordinary.

    The document (which, to my knowledge, has not been superceded, regardless of what Fr. Scanlon of the University of Stubenville has argued in a book issued soon after (wrongly, I think)), may be found, here:


    It reads, in part:

    On The Current Norms Governing Exorcisms
    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    [The following translation has been prepared by EWTN Online Services. It is not an official translation, and is not to be circulated without this warning.]

    Issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on September 29, 1984.

    Excellentissime Domine,

    For several years, in certain areas of the Church, assemblies formed to pray for liberation from the influence of demons (though they do not perform exorcisms as such) have been increasing in number. These assemblies are often led by members of the laity, even when there is a priest present.

    Since the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been asked what is the proper attitude towards these activities, this Dicastery deems it necessary to make known to all Ordinaries the response which follows:

    1. Canon 1172 of the Code of Canon Law declares that no one may licitly perform exorcisms on those who are possessed [obsessos], unless he has obtained particular and express permission from the local ordinary (section 1), and it decrees that this permission is to be granted by the Ordinary only to priests who are outstanding in piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life (section 2). Bishops are therefore strongly urged to enforce the observance of these prescriptions.

    2. It follows also from these same prescriptions that Christ’s faithful may not employ the formula of exorcism against Satan and the fallen angels which is excerpted from that formula made official by order of the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII, and certainly may not use the entire text of that exorcism. Let all bishops take care to admonish the faithful about this matter whenever such instruction is required.

    3. Finally, for the same reasons, Bishops are asked to guard lest those who lack the required power attempt to lead assemblies in which prayers are employed to obtain liberation from demons, and in the course of which the demons are directly disturbed and an attempt is made to determine their identity. This applies even to cases which, although they do not involve true diabolical possession, nevertheless are seen in some way to manifest diabolical influence.

    [EWTN theological note: Paragraph 3 applies this prohibition to obsession (of persons) and infestation (of places). CBD]

    Of course, the enunciation of these norms should not stop the faithful of Christ from praying, as Jesus taught us, that they may be freed from evil (cf. Mt 6:13). Moreover, Pastors should take this opportunity to remember what the tradition of the Church teaches about the function properly assigned to the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles and the Saints, even in the spiritual battle of Christians against the evil spirits.

    May I take this occasion to convey my great feelings of esteem for you, remaining your servant in the Lord,

    Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect

    This issue has grave importance to me, as I have had extensive talks with the diocesan-approved exorcist on several occasions and I have seen the damage that can be done by well-meaning, but incompetent laymen, who, without diocesan approval (such as in Charismatic prayer services) attempt to either exorcise or rebuke demons. The damage done to the individual can be severe. I cannot make this caution highly enough.

    The laity can, absolutely, use the St. Michael prayer and holy water, blessed salt, etc., as a prayer of imploring God’s help. but they must never directly use imprecatory prayers where they command demons to do things.

    Ordinary priests can, under very specific circumstances, perform exorcisms of a limited nature (such as in the old, pre-Vatican II formula for baptism), but exorcisms should be left to experts.

    The plan is for every diocese to have an exorcist. Things are slowly moving in this direction, byt there is still a lot of problems with clergy who have been improperly formed in this area. The influence of psychology has also contaminated the process.

    If anyone thinks they are being harrassed by unclean spirits, consult your chancery (who may or may not thnk you are crazy, depending upon the chancery) or find someone who is approved in some other diocese with which to correspond.

    I cannot tell you the number of difficulties this issue has caused. In my own life, I have had, shall we say, strange things happen. I have also confronted Satan worshipers (not by choice) on the sidewalk. My advice is always: run, when possible. Don’t try to be a hero when dealing with demonic forces.

    The Chicken

  13. Will Elliott says:

    Holy Family Cathedral recently completed a major renovation/restoration project that was wonderfully documented at holyfamilycathedral.blogspot.com. There are more great photos (including several of Bishop Slattery celebrating ad orientem at the free-standing altar) in the Diocese’s Facebook photo albums.

  14. Weetabix says:

    Well, drat! I was in Tulsa on Saturday. It would have made me feel better to know we were propinquitous, though I (and probably you) would have had no time to meet up. Holy Family is my dad’s parish.

  15. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    I hope I did not say anything wrong in my comment, above. I was not trying to bring up the topic of exorcism, just make a cautionary note, in the event that the topic did come up. This is a topic that can, sometimes, cause undisciplined discussion. I am glad the topic is off-limits.

    The Chicken

  16. aragonjohn7 says:

    Warm is good
    Beautiful Altar also
    God bless Y’all

  17. Montenegro says:

    Love Bp. Slattery! He invited the monks of Fontgombault to start their US foundation in Clear Creek, OK, which I had the privilege of visiting in 2011. Will you go to visit their monastery while you are nearby, Father? And the nuns too! ???? Requires a rental car but so worth it. God bless.

  18. PostCatholic says:

    Tulsa has a remarkable collection of Art Deco buildings, and it’s one of the great stops (along with South Beach, Manhattan, Addis Ababa, etc.) if you’re a serious fan.

    Boston Avenue UMC is great. You might want to look for Christ the King Catholic Church on the west side of the city while you’re there, and Will Rogers High School is particulary stunning, too.


  19. David Homoney says:

    Dr. Guinness:

    Sadly, the High Altar is never used, but the freestanding one in front of it is. We have a great cathedral in Tulsa though. Father, if I had noticed you were in Tulsa we would have had to met for dinner. Alas we will have to see you on the cruise.

  20. David Homoney says:

    Montenegro: He wouldn’t need a car, I would happily take him there.

  21. acardnal says:

    I like HE Bp. Slattery. Wasn’t he the bishop who celebrated a TLM/EF Mass in D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception?

  22. Will Elliott says:

    Wasn’t he the bishop who celebrated a TLM/EF Mass in D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception?

    Yes, that’s him.

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