Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

If It Works in Chicago, It Can Work Here

June 19th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

It has been suggested to me by many friends, priests, sisters (who are loyal to Rome, not self) and lay people that what will save the Diocese of Rochester and others like it is an oratory.

Now, an oratory can take several forms. For instance, there is the famous Brompton Oratory in London, the one associated with Cardinal John Henry Newman. There are oratories modeled after this in Pittsburgh and other cities around the country. But an oratory doesn’t even need to be called “an oratory” to function as one. They are more akin to liturgical life rafts than they are to anything else – they preserve the sacred, and then restore it through prayerful diligence, with caritas, and with an unwavering love of orthodoxy.

One such example, and one dear to my heart, is the St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago, run by the Society of St. John Cantius. They took over the parish, and turned it into a thriving, highly-attended, highly-popular center for beautiful liturgy, sacred music, the Latin Mass, and all the areas which accompany those things. Vocations for them are booming, attendance is vastly higher than what we see in DoR parishes, and they’re so joyful in their mission. When people of the “traditional” mindset come together, it’s often out of a sense of mutual bitterness. This ought not to be – when people come together to worship as the Church directs them to, they must be joyful and pleasant, not angry and hostile.

A nod of the miter goes to the concept of an oratory in Rochester. Wouldn’t it be an answer to our prayers to have a religious order come in and take over St. Thomas the Apostle? “The Oratory of St. Thomas” certainly has a beautiful and pious ring to it.

Pentecost at the parish of St. John Cantius in Chicago

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8 Responses to “If It Works in Chicago, It Can Work Here”

  1. Mike says:

    There is an excellent 30 minute video about the turnaround at St. John Cantius. A low-res version is available here, along with ordering info for a high-res DVD (or two – see the last paragraph).

  2. Mike says:


    This may be of interest.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For once, you have said something about which I can give an unqualified thumbs up.

  4. curmudgeon says:

    Having an order come to St. Thomas would run counter to the goal of squashing orthodoxy in the DoR. The Diocese has on multiple occasions refused the request of orthodox orders to come to the Diocese. These actions more than anything shows how little the leadership of the Diocese cares about the shortage of religious in the Diocese.

  5. Choirloft says:

    The ?leadership? of the diocese turned away Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity many years ago.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Father Falcone told a group of us that Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity were not allowed to come here because they wore habits.

  7. Nerina says:

    Oh,my. What a beautiful, beautiful church pictured here.

  8. Mike says:


    There’s more “eye candy” here, both still pictures and video.

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