Bourbon country…

I am I Louisville, ground zero of Bourbon, which is so much more than just a great breakfast drink.

Today I gave two talks today on matters liturgical, spiritual, ecclesiological. The day is sponsored by Juventutem.

What a beautiful church is St Martin of Tours! A couple pics.


This is the parish where they have two full bodies of saints on display for your veneration, Sts Magnus and Bonosa.



There are a few cool things to share, including this.

Who can guess what this is?



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Wafer kanban inventory.
    (guessing from the round shape and off-white colour of the residue)

  2. frhumphries says:

    Looks like a host counter to me.

  3. Charivari Rob says:


    In the sacristy, some sort of case, lid that snaps shut, semi-transparent lid, carry handle, partitioned into 10 storage areas labeled in increments of 5 – five of them up to about 100, five of them up to about 50…

    I don’t think it’s for sorting and counting unconsecrated hosts. It wouldn’t be for linens.

    I dunno… candle case? The scales show how many hours of burning each candle has left?

  4. bbmoe says:

    I think Fr.Humphries is correct, but then, he would know and I’m just guessing.

  5. bbmoe says:

    One of the last times I watched a morning “news” program (more than a decade ago, I think) there was a woman, a former supermodel, who was touting her new diet regime. Her conversion came at age 32, when she was listless, washed out, cranky (although still a highly paid model.) She wanted her energy back. She saw a doc or a shaman or something and related that her normal breakfast was black coffee with a shot of scotch (“I swear, it was the only alcohol I drank!”) and a cigarette. Her new diet, which gave her vitality and health, was the Raw Diet, nothing cooked (“Carpaccio! Yum!”). I sat there in front of the TV, agape. I thought, whatever happened to the happy medium? Say, 2 shots of bourbon and a fried egg sandwhich?”

  6. wanda says:

    Tackle box! Beautiful church and awesome to have the presence of the Saints.

  7. yatzer says:

    Even if it isn’t a host counter, I am edified by learning there is such a thing. Never thought about it before. I would have guessed they would be counted out like I count crackers; by the wrapped package.

  8. Charivari Rob says:

    It’s been a while since I was any sort of sacristan, but in parishes of my experience, I think the unconsecrated hosts came from whatever convent/monastery in fixed quantities in sealed plastic baggies or sleeves. The quantities per bag weren’t too high (maybe 100, 200?). If a sealed package was opened, it was to put in ciboria. I can’t imagine having enough open & loose that they would need to be counted.

  9. mimicaterina says:

    In 1855 the Know Nothing party tried to burn this church down during anti-Catholic riots.
    My grandparents met at this church when they were 6 years old. My dad was baptised and confirmed there and served as an altarboy. When I was researching our family history my uncle proudly showed me the relics of the two saints.

  10. Adam Welp says:

    That has to be a host counter and it looks much nicer than the one we have. Ours is just a clear tube with a wood block on the end.

    I wish I could have been there today, but my 7 year old son had to have allergy testing and we were there for almost 3 hours. Fr. Z, maybe I can meet you the next time you come to the Louisville area. I bet we could even arrange an EF Mass at St. Mary’s Church here in New Albany, Indiana.

  11. ChristendomJoe says:

    Awesome conference today, Fr. Z! I’m very glad I was able to make it. And St. Martin’s is a very beautiful church. I’m glad we didn’t meet in one that looked like, say, A MUNICIPAL AIRPORT!!! ;-)

  12. Matt R says:

    Adam, Juventutem Louisville would be happy to assist with something like that. Bring the clergy, bring furnishings & vestments, and schola…

  13. Legisperitus says:

    Welcome to Kentucky, Father! And only 75 miles away from a decent basketball team…

  14. Mojoron says:

    You know, for some reason I don’t get any joy looking at skeletons, no matter if they’re saints or not. I guess it is due to working in the medical field for 45 years. Now, St. Bernadette of Lourdes is a different saint altogether.

  15. Eric says:

    Great to see you today Father. As Legisperitus points out, you were only 75 miles from Cincinnati so how could I miss it.

  16. B.C.M. says:

    But, dear Father, when will you be giving talks on information vegetable, animal and mineral?

  17. Hans says:

    It is, of course, a modern version of an old French “Aide de confession” for sorting sins by number and kind. The originals came up the river from Louisiana.

    It can also be used to count other things, such as hosts, coins, or stuffed ballots (after all, I live near Chicago … )

  18. vetusta ecclesia says:

    The saints remind me of the Lavra cave-monastery in Kiev where the corridors are lined with the shrouded corpses of monks. If they are incorrupt they have one hand sticking out!

  19. Cafea Fruor says:

    Well, at first my brain thought, “Poker chip counter, maybe?” (pages is still loading very slowly — sigh, cheap, slooooww internet — so not sure if there are any other photo clues.) But if this was found in a church sacristy, then I’d go for the host counter option. Other than that, I dunno. Bingo chip counter?

  20. TopSully says:

    I’m guessing it is a poker chip counter for the Kinghts of Columbus monthly “business” meetings.

  21. StnyPtGuy says:

    Quick questions: Who are SS. Magnus and Bonosa, and how did they get to Louisville? And why?

  22. VexillaRegis says:

    StnyPtGuy, here you are:

  23. xgenerationcatholic says:

    Eeeeeeek! I could do without the skeleton!!!!

  24. Jack007 says:

    @xgenerationcatholic: I know these things can be off putting to many, but the aversion to skeletons, corpses, and death in general is a totally Protestant phenomenon. Catholic culture is perfectly comfortable with the concept of death. In the US, we used to be fairly unique in shunning all things dead. Now you see Europeans moving in the same direction. The link between these attitudes and the loss of Catholic faith and identity is most certainly not coincidental

    Jack in KC

  25. jflare says:

    Not so sure I buy the idea of being a host counter, really. Those slots are rather too large for the typical communion host that I’ve ever received at Mass, but there’re too many to be intended for a larger host for the celebrant to hold in Mass. ..Unless it’s aimed at holding the celebrant’s hosts for an entire year or for a seminary.
    Another guess with the candles might be plausible, especially with the circular ring on the bottom of one column. If it weren’t for that, I’d say it’d be a place to hold holy cards of some sort.

    Not sure I like the idea of that many hosts of that size in a container like that. Maybe I’ve been in the restaurant business for too long, but that looks awfully unsecure for a place to store anything that might be consumed.

  26. Per Signum Crucis says:

    Jack007, I agree that some of us could learn quite a bit about being as comfortable with death as other customs, cultures and countries but bones of saints, whether complete or fragments, don’t do it for me either. It may be somewhat shall of of me but, unlike the incorrupt, bits of bones are a reminder of our own mortality rather than the repository of any power or witness to the faith.

  27. Jack007 says:

    bits of bones are a reminder of our own mortality

    That is EXACTLY the point. Notice that many saints ( eg. Francis Assisi) are often portrayed with a skull. Contemplating our mortality is the first step in entering the spiritual life.
    The incorrupti are a totally different phenomena; albeit most fascinating and uplifting.
    However I respect your feelings towards the bones and fragments. That’s the beauty of our Faith; something for everybody. :-)

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