December 01, 2008

We Need a Catholic Mr. Blackwell

If you missed Archbishop Niensted's Homily for the First Sunday of Advent you can view it here on the Archdiocese home page.

The Homily was to be played at all Masses in the Archdiocese this past Sunday. If you are surprised to hear this, feel free to ask your Pastor why you did not hear it. If you defiantly wonder why you should have to do as your Ordinary requests, than you got other problems-lack of obedience to your Church is one of them.

Most parishes probably only heard the audio. I was at St. Agnes for the momentous occasion of the first High Mass using the 1962 Missal in about 40 years and we heard the audio of the Archbishop's Homily-no video.

At St. Agnes they take the beauty and quality of their vestments very seriously. They are unapologetically Catholic in dress at the altar. I'm happy that, mercifully, we did not see the video in this venue.

Gentle Reader: I have only the highest respect for Archbishop Nienstedt and his office. You've heard me state that time and again. But, heavens and earth, do we need to take up a special collection for His Excellency's vestments?!?! Do those look like vestments that should be on OUR Ordinary? Our CATHOLIC Ordinary?!

Prots and dissidents don't bother to respond, I already know what you are going to say: you love them because he looks like a man of the people, he doesn't look regal, it looks like a shirt you owned during the Summer of Love, blah, blah, blah.

He's THE Shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church in this Archdiocese. I want him to look it. I don't want him to look like (I'm cranky!) a [bleepin'] Lutheran pastor!

If the Holy Father has made enormous strides in the quality of his vestments lately, let us encourage our Bishops to follow his example. If that means, we (I) have to open our wallets so our Shepherds can buy nicer vestments so be it.


Blogger Ray from MN said...

With your hectic job and long commute, I don't know how you find the time to come up with all these great posts that are so "on the spot" in terms of relevance and interest.

I'm glad that I didn't see the video yesterday. But since you raise the issue, I'll not be shy about putting my two cents in.

I don't go to St. Agnes very often. Two or three times a year and probably I won't increase it very much now. Certainly Holy Week will be on my agenda, along with November 2, the Feast of All Souls and the Feast Day of St. Agnes that I haven't ever been to.

One thing that I've always kept to myself is that I've always thought that St. Agnes seemed to have "flimsy" vestments: like they came out of a military Mass Kit for a chaplain. I attributed it to having to support a grade and high school along with the parish.

But yesterday, Father Ubel looked wonderful in his red chasuble. Maybe they purchased some new vestments for the EF Mass.

Since the Deacons didn't wear dalmatics, they probably couldn't afford a complete set. But give them time.

One of these days I will raise the issue of the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul at St. Agnes. I would love to know the full story about them.

I forgot to look at that Austrian painting on the west wall of the church. Remind me now and then.

December 01, 2008 3:19 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 01, 2008 4:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: Quite a while back they got a a major donations of new vestments. They wear them at all the Masses. You should see the gold ones sometime.

Regarding the new painting, I'll poke you-just ask Adoro!

December 01, 2008 4:36 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ray- check out their Corpus Christi vestments here-
They seem to have a pretty large collection (Roman and Gothic) as far as I have seen. YOu just need to come more often! :D

re: the statues- this is from the "visitors guide" page on the St Agnes website- Added in 2000, the millennial year and the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of St. Paul, are two wood carvings of Saints Peter and Paul. They were carved in the South Tirol by Conrad Meroder and are mounted on the walls of the sanctuary. They are ten feet, three inches in height and weigh 1500 pounds each.

By the way Ray- I think the vestments were purple, not red! :D LOL

Cathy: one word for the vestment pictured: yipe!
And quit poking people at Mass! :D
Hey can you email me that photo your dad's new friend took?

December 01, 2008 5:06 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cathy- I've got a great idea! St Agnes should install a giant projection screen in the sanctuary so that they can show videos there!
(The parish I left in Roch earlier this year had 2 big screens, one on either side of the sanctuary. I always hated them!)

December 01, 2008 5:30 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


[Red-faced shame]

Being it was the first Sunday of Advent, of course it was purple.

Good to hear that their vestments have been brought up to snuff. Those gold ones (with dalmatics) (very rare in most parishes) are also quite gorgeous. Thanks.

With respect to the statues, I wasn't particularly interested in who donated them or who carved them [they did a beautiful job.], I was more interested in how it is that they were sized about two or three times bigger than they should have been with respect to the altar and the other statues in the church.

When they got them, it took about a year for them to determine where to put them. They just had them standing in the back of the church. They finally had special bases built into either side of the altar where the statues were finally placed in their present location.

I'm getting used to them, but I still think they are way too large.
But what do I know?

December 01, 2008 5:36 PM  
Blogger Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

I agree. There ought to be an ugly vestment patrol. (The one he is wearing belongs to the "Recycled Drapery Fabric" Category--it actually looks like a couch my grandmother had in the 70s.) However, the good archbishop likely inherited it from his predecessors, so cut him some slack.

December 01, 2008 5:40 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ray- OK, now I see where you're going with it! :D
They are a bit on the large side....but it beats ugly white projection screens!
OK Cathy I'll quit hijacking your blog now....

December 01, 2008 6:05 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Ok - that vestment is tre-ugly. It looks like throws we used to buy at the original Pier One back in the 70's when Pier One was a great place to shop.

December 01, 2008 6:31 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


With regard to said windows, my theory is, and it is mine (said Miss Anne Elk), the theory, that is, is that a benefactor just went ahead and had the statues made without talking to anybody about measurements and probably didn't tell the artist that they would be put in a church.

And said benefactor might come up with more for the parish, so there is no sense in hurting his/her feelings.

December 01, 2008 6:36 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Chris: I will post that photo. Hopefully, I can get to it tomorrow night.

Father Richtsteig: Good point. He probably did inherit it. However, my point remains. We need to help him! Maybe at some future date, we can replace his vestments with things of beauty more befitting his status and throw a 60s flashback party with the others. Gotta recycle doncha know!

December 01, 2008 8:06 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adrienne: LOL! I agree. Pier One isn't as cool as it used to be.

December 01, 2008 8:07 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Chris: This is a projection screen free zone! My former parish had those.

I'd no more mention the words "projection screens" inside St. Agnes as I would carry a folk guitar inside. Monsignor Schuler's spirit would strike me dead.

December 01, 2008 8:15 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

OK CathyofAlex- there's a present for you on my blog. ;D

December 01, 2008 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks A LOT like a blouse I bought from Kohl's recently.
Of course, I'm a chick, and not offering the re-presentation of Calvary and all.


-Cathy (Ma Beck)

December 01, 2008 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you DO decide to take up a collection, might I suggest Granda Liturgical Arts?

It is a wholly orthodox Catholic company in Spain which happens to employ a very dear friend of mine and a niece of mine here in the Chicago office.

Their showroom is magnificent. It's bizarre - you walk in, and immediately start whispering. It's THAT much like Church.

The vestments are not cheap by any stretch. But they are hand-embroidered, made with love of Christ, and you would be supporting a fine company which is having financial difficulties right now.


December 01, 2008 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said..., even.

Dang Spaniards.


December 01, 2008 11:06 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

MA! Happy Advent to you and you family!

Has it been so long since you used blogger that you forgot how to post? LOL!

Thanks for the tip.

December 02, 2008 6:07 AM  
Blogger JPSonnen said...

Architecture of atheism: the vestments seen here, the cross seen here, the tabernacle seen here and the back wall of the bishop's private chapel seen here.

December 02, 2008 6:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

John Paul: I did not comment in the post about the backdrop but I completely agree that it is largely uninspiring. I did not know the location.

The backdrop makes me sad too but I'm a firm believer that vestments can influence sacred architecture and vice versa (in fact, I blogged about that at one point). Maybe if we pick one first: his vestments, the architecture will follow.

December 02, 2008 10:18 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...

Ray (and et al), my recollection is that the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul were commissioned by Fr. Schuler himself.

I do not recall any discussion as to whether or not he took an active role in the design of them, but I recall a picture taken of him posing with the statues after their installation, and I cannot conceive that such a major renovation (and change in the appearance of the Sanctuary) would have been done without his approval - particularly regarding the scale.

Doesn't mean he necessarily asked that they be that big, but I find it hard to believe that the finished product would have been that size unless he'd OK'd it.

You know, compared to the size of the statues of the four evangelists at the Cathedral, they aren't really that big.


December 03, 2008 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A blessed Advent right back at ya!

December 03, 2008 9:39 AM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

Ray, you think St. Agnes' vestments are flimsy? They don't have anything close to the Archbishop's purple number in their sacristry :) I always thought St. A's had pretty decent vestments (nothing like the modern smock so many priests wear today, nothing tie-died, although they have some cool pink ones for Gaudete Sunday) and think they have some dalmatics, maybe not any for this season. Considering it's been 40 years since they've had the TLM, give 'em a little time to get some vestments. The black vestments they have for requiem Masses are very nice.

December 04, 2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Swissie, you broke the cardinal rule of Gaudete Sunday: Those vestments are ROSE, girl, ROSE.
Real men DO NOT WEAR pink.



December 04, 2008 3:34 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...


LOL!! Well, technically the vestments look PEPTO BISMAL. I was being generous using the term pink :)

December 04, 2008 3:51 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


If you need documentation (I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition):

Now that I ponder over it, I may have used a bad example. Last year at the All Souls Day Mass (I didn't make it this year), when there were probably a dozen vested clerics on the altar, I spotted the flimsy black chasubles and dalmaticsm many not matching, either. But now that I think back, I do believe that the celebrant was very nicely vested.

I stand corrected, again.

December 04, 2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




December 04, 2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...



December 04, 2008 8:19 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Our chief elements are fear and surprise!
And fanatical devotion to the pope!
And snappy red uniforms!

December 04, 2008 8:26 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

No! Not that!

Not the comfy chair!!!!

December 04, 2008 9:03 PM  

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