Visit of Cardinal Burke to St. Francis de Sales
On Saturday, January 8, the Institute had the great honor and pleasure of welcoming His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke, to Saint Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis.
At the invitation of the superiors of the Institute, Cardinal Burke came to celebrate a Solemn Te Deum in thanksgiving for his elevation to the College of Cardinals by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. A very impressive number of faithful flocked to the Oratory to assist in this glorious celebration.
The Vicar General and Provincial for the United States, Monsignor Michael Schmitz, along with four canons of the Institute, received His Eminence at the Oratory and welcomed many clergy to the celebration. The Most Reverend Everardus Johannes de Jong, Auxiliary Bishop of Roermond, Netherlands, and Monsignor Arthur Calkins, and many priests and seminarians of the Archdiocese were in attendance.
The Cardinal's entrance was greeted by the Ecce Sacerdos Magnus, highlighted by triumphant organ and trumpet. During the vesting at the throne lively motets of Monteverdi and other polyphonic masters filled the magnificent interior of the Oratory. As the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament began, St. Thomas' words in O Salutaris Hostia in the elegant setting by Piramallo lifted all hearts towards God Almighty. Then in profound gratitude, the entire assembly—clergy and lay faithful, young and old—offered thanks to God in the Te Deum, the ancient hymn of praise and thanksgiving. With the hymns Alma Redemptoris and Tu es Petrus, we expressed our unity with the Blessed Virgin and the entire Church in praise and worship.
A festive reception in the Oratory hall in honor of the Cardinal followed the liturgical ceremony. On behalf of the Institute and all those who gathered to honor the Cardinal, Monsignor Schmitz gave a brief welcoming address. In his gracious remarks, His Eminence Cardinal Burke again asked for prayers for the new responsibilities he now has as a member of the College of Cardinals. In a receiving line which lasted more than two hours, many faithful and clergy took the opportunity to give personal congratulations and assurance to His Eminence of their filial prayers.
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