Historic St. Anthony Catholic Church
258 Ohio, Wichita, Ks
2nd St. & Ohio
Two blocks east of Old Town
Sunday Mass at 1:oo
English/Latin missals provided. Join us for coffee and donuts after mass downstairs in the St. Clair/Sunshine room, south exterior basement entrance.
Pastor of St. Anthony Parish: Fr. Ben Nguyen
EFLR Celebrants: Fr. John Jirak, Fr Nicholas Voelker
Master of Ceremonies: Tony Strunk
Choir Director: Bernie Dette

Continuing News

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Did You Know

Mass Propers, the readings that change everyday, can be found in the red missalettes at the entrance of church?

Fr. Nicholas Voelker celebrates Low Mass Saturdays at 8:00 a.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 106 East 8th street, Newton. There is no mass this Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Friday, February 26, 2010

post #111

Topics: A Visit to Clear Creek: Br. Stephan, O.Cist....St. Anthony: 200,000 Visit Relics....


Please pardon me: I failed to see a comment that was submitted for publication in last week's post. It has now been posted. i will post all comments unless they are vulgar or point to vulgarity (spam).

Please pray for Brody Flavin, his family and his grandmother Xrepha Wanda Flavin who passed away quietly on Sunday, February 21st in Newton. May God receive her with mercy and in the most expedient way. Brody and his wife Melissa were married in the EFLR at St. Anthony a few years back and are the latest young couple to join the parish. Brody also serves on the altar.

...and now the Necessaries

Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of two local churchs celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


A Visit to Clear Creek
Br. Stephan, O.Cist
Life seen from Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank

There seems to be a good bit of interest in my impressions of Clear Creek Abbey from my confreres and I expect they are not alone, so I will jump sequence a bit and say what I saw.

Driving west to Oklahoma, I wasn’t certain what to expect and as the sun was sinking and I snaked onto smaller and smaller back roads following the directions to the monastery, I found myself laughing as I thought of the verse, “What did you come into the wilderness to see?” Spring Bank is in the country, but the monks of Clear Creek have found themselves a location whose seclusion in the clay and scrub oak hills of Eastern Oklahoma would please the Cistercian Fathers.

I made it to the Abbey halfway through Tuesday vespers, slipping into the nave of the crypt church among about fifteen guests and regulars. It was good to hear the chant after being out of choir for a week. The subprior welcomed me and got me settled and after supper showed me where to go in choir and went over the books with me, which are much the same as our own but with more notes and longer preces. I hadn’t expected to be in choir, so my cappa was back in Wisconsin on its peg, but I made due, even if I felt conspicuously naked, remembering our own house joke on the subject about no one being admitted to the feast without his wedding garment.

As many of you know, the Benedictine chant tones and hymn tunes differ strikingly from our simpler music. I am generally familiar with the Benedictine chant from my visits to St. Mary’s at Petersham, but I wasn’t going to raise my voice above a pious murmur in a Solesmes choir. Frankly, it’s debatable whether I should sing full-voice in a Cistercian choir. The sound at Compline was soft and restrained. These are monks who listen to their cantors and to one another. I went to bed happy and edified and slept well until Matins.

The highlight of my visit came after Lauds, when the priests fanned out to the side altars to say their Low Masses for the day. With local attenders, there were perhaps 40 of us in the nave assisting at the Mass being said at the High Altar as eight or nine priests said Mass at the side altars. Following the Mass through its silent progress and occasionally catching a glimpse of another out of the corner of my eye or hearing the rustle of a priest’s alb or server’s cowl to my left or right was strongly moving in its sense of its rightness, with each priest and server offering the Holy Sacrifice on behalf of the living and the dead as an individual unit and yet together creating some larger effect.

The High Mass of the Day was sung with recollection and monastic straightforwardness with the newly elected abbot, Dom Philip, celebrating. Here, as in other houses I have visited, the Mass and Office had a matter-of-fact ease that comes with people simply doing what they do every day with little worry or distraction. Practice may not always make perfect, but it gives ease and comfort to the proceedings that, in turn, most always convey a certain sense of peace to the visitor.

Dinner was simple and good with potato soup, lentils with carrots, and good bread. Afterwards, Father Bethel, the prior, showed some of us around and told us how things were progressing. Monks are once again living in temporary cells as the community, which now numbers 32, continues to grow. The former oratory is being erected as a parish church to accommodate those who have moved to the area to be near the monks.

After None, I helped one of the brothers prep the soil for the herb garden, something I won’t be thinking about for another two months here. Later I saw another working on a section of fence. Here habits and work tunics are appropriately faded and frayed and the abbey rises in good part from sweat equity. There is nothing precious about work here. Cistercians often find the black monks a bit formal while they often find us a little earthy, but the life at Clear Creek shortens that distance.

By vespers, I was finding my way through the choir ceremonial and books a bit more easily and by supper, I was looking forward to hearing the next installment of the Solzhenitsyn biography that the community was hearing for its evening table reading. I have to say that I was surprised, even at Clear Creek, to find the refectory reading is still recited, by which I mean it is read in monotone.

Thursday brought the morning run of offices and Low Mass and packing up. Between Prime and the High Mass, I drove around the bounds of the property and took a look at the cattle and horses and checked the gift shop in the porter’s lodge, where there are some lovely ironwork crosses made by the monks. I bought a copy of John Senior’s The Death of Christian Culture. It was Professor Senior whose teaching and encouragement make him the intellectual father of Clear Creek and, to paraphrase Richard Weaver, I can never pass up yet another book about the decline of the West.

The High Mass of the Day was not unlike home with the celebrant assisted by one server in an alb. Even at Clear Creek, there are what one might call organic elements of change—the epistle and gospel are read facing the people and the entire choir joins in the singing of the Pater. I did my best to listen closely to the schola as our own cantor, Fr. Joseph, had told me I should.

I waited in the narthex for a bit after Mass hoping to thank Fr. Bethel for the community’s hospitality, but a prior who is also guest master of a growing community is a busy fellow, so after a minute or two, I went out to the car, which was packed and ready, and headed north for my own cell and stall.

So what did I come into the wilderness to see? I saw good monks living a good life. I think Clear Creek, like many other houses and institutes, gets a bit distorted through the filters applied by admirers and skeptics alike. The liturgy, the chant, and the building of a new abbey are all ancillary to vocation—to living out the monastic calling and living it well, to reshaping the one who knocks at the door into something closer to the image of Christ.

What I saw at Clear Creek were devotion, care, and quiet persistence—those elements that add up to make a fruitful observance of the Holy Rule and let it do its work on the individual soul. Whether it was in the singing of the neumes, the work of the servers in the refectory, or the care with which topsoil was being placed in the herb garden, the quality of that observance was apparent. I’m sure that there are difficulties and tensions as there are in every abbey, but it was clear that this was a special place, not just for liturgists, musicians, and architects, but for the whole of Christ’s Church and the world. May God continue to bless them.


200,000 Visit St. Anthony's Relics
Diocesan Vicar Reflects on Consolation From Communion of Saints

Padua, Italy, Feb. 23, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Some 200,000 people took advantage of the special showing of St. Anthony's relics that occurred at the basilica in Padua last week.

"What is amazing is that all those people -- it was an interminable procession -- had the clear perception not of being before someone who was dead, a skeleton or some bones, but before a person who is, and who is alive," the vicar-general of the Diocese of Padua, Monsignor Paolo Doni told Vatican Radio.

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi, is "one of the most popular saints in the whole Catholic Church, venerated not only in Padua [...] but in the whole world," Benedict XVI said at a general audience earlier this month.

This popularity was reflected in the large numbers of pilgrims who came during the 80 hours of the special display of the relics.

Monsignor Doni said it was a "spontaneous movement on the part of very many people, not only of the city and of the diocese, but also of many other places of Italy and also from abroad."

Communion of saints

The vicar said the large turnout shows that "people have a great need to have a spiritual reference point, a person."
The pilgrimages to Padua, he proposed, were due to "the presence of a person -- in this case Anthony -- who is not of the past but of the present," according to "the great truth that is the communion of saints," which "transcends time and space."
Furthermore, the monsignor continued, St. Anthony continues to represent today love of the poor, justice and the law.
"This presence of Anthony, with the values he proposed and continues to propose, has been as though renewed these days," he said.

A preacher
Last week's display marked the liturgical feast of the transfer of St. Anthony, also known as the feast of the tongue. The Feb. 15 feast commemorates the first time his remains were moved, April 8, 1263, under the direction of St. Bonaventure, and the final transfer, Feb. 15, 1350.
When St. Anthony's coffin was opened at the first transfer, some 30 years after his burial, most of his body was found to have returned to dust. However his tongue remained fresh, seen as a sign of his gift of preaching. Anthony's relics were last displayed in 1981, marking the 750th anniversary of his death.


Pontiff Reflects on a Pillar of Franciscan History
Notes Contribution of St. Anthony of Padua

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 10, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today considered the spiritual contribution to history of a saint he characterized as one of the most popular in the whole Catholic Church.

Following his reflections last week and the week before on Sts. Francis and Dominic, the Pope today considered one of the key cofounders of the Franciscans, St. Anthony of Padua.

A gifted preacher, this saint initiated one of the "specific features of Franciscan theology," the Holy Father said, namely "the role given to divine love, which enters in the sphere of affection, of the will, of the heart and which is also the source from which springs a spiritual knowledge that surpasses all knowledge."

In fact, the Pontiff affirmed, "Anthony contributed in a significant way to the development of Franciscan spirituality, with his outstanding gifts of intelligence, balance, apostolic zeal and, mainly, mystical fervor."

Born in 1195, and given the name Fernando, the future Franciscan initially joined the Canons of St. Augustine. In 1220, when he learned of the first five Franciscan missionaries who had gone to Morocco and were martyred, Fernando decided to join the Franciscans and took the name Anthony.

He would later serve as the provincial superior of the Franciscans of northern Italy. Toward the end of his life, he dedicated himself to writing two collections of sermons.

"The wealth of the spiritual teachings contained in the 'Sermons' is such that, in 1946, the Venerable Pope Pius XII proclaimed Anthony a doctor of the Church, attributing to him the title of 'Evangelic Doctor,' because from these writings arises the freshness and beauty of the Gospel; even today we can read them with great spiritual profit," Benedict XVI said.


The Holy Father highlighted Anthony's teaching on prayer found in the Sermons: "He speaks of prayer as a relationship of love, which drives man to converse sweetly with the Lord, creating an ineffable joy, which gently envelops the soul in prayer.

"Anthony reminds us that prayer needs an atmosphere of silence, which is not the same as withdrawal from external noise, but is an interior experience, which seeks to remove the distractions caused by the soul's preoccupations. According to the teaching of this distinguished Franciscan doctor, prayer is made up of four indispensable attitudes which, in Anthony's Latin, are described as: obsecratio, oratio, postulatio, gratiarum actio. We could translate them thus: to open one's heart confidently to God, to speak affectionately with him, to present to him our needs, to praise him and to thank him."

The Pontiff noted Anthony's teaching that prayer is a requisite for progress in the spiritual life.

"Anthony many times invites the faithful to think of true wealth, that of the heart, which, making them good and merciful, makes them accumulate treasures for Heaven," the Pontiff said. And he added, "Is not this perhaps, dear friends, a very important teaching also today, when the financial crisis and the serious economic imbalances impoverish not a few persons and create conditions of misery?"

In his English-language summary of the audience address, the Holy Father invited the faithful to pray with Anthony's intercession: "In this Year for Priests, let us ask St. Anthony to pray that all preachers will communicate a burning love for Christ, a thirst for closeness to the Lord in prayer, and a deeper appreciation of the truth and beauty of God's word."


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