Saturday, February 18, 2006

Old St. Patrick's Oratory News

Well, sources tell me that the Old St. Patricks's Oratory community established by Bishop Finn on the Missouri side last year is moving forward with renovation and fundraising planning. A review of their website and reports from various quarters say the newfangled styrofoam sanctuary furnishings and baby-blue carpet are long gone and it's time to do the hard work (i.e., the work that takes a lot of money). I even heard (though it may have just been a joke, as I heard it fourth- or fifth-hand) that somebody was going to use the awful styrofoam canopy/baldachino thingamajig that was over the plastic altar as a hunting blind.

I also noticed that the Oratory changed its bulletin format. The old format was really well-done and must have taken a lot of time to produce. The new format, judging from the online PDF's, is much more practical, and even more suitable for its simplicity, and it obviously has a professional hand in it. It's nicer than just about every other bulletin I've seen around town (although, of course, I don't want to start any bulletin envy here--one can't judge a parish by its bulletin). One problem that hasn't been addressed in the new bulletin is that there still aren't enough typographical errors to give it that homey, cozy, "this is our parish" look. I remember as a kid getting blue-typewritten and mimeographed bulletins, where typographical errors on the stencils, when they were caught at all, were corrected by retyping the correct letter directly over the mistake. That of course, turned the affected word into just a blue blob. Maybe the folks at the Oratory, once they actually get into the Oratory, can do a "nostalgia weekend" once or twice a year where they type and mimeograph the bulletin instead of print it up all pretty.

I haven't talked to anybody who would really know, and it wouldn't be my place to repeat any specifics even if I had, but can't imagine what it will cost them to catch up on 20 or 30 years of neglected maintenance, over and above what it will cost to restore the sanctuary that the previous bishops and cathedral rectors wrecked. If any of my readers has a couple hundred thousand dollars (or even a couple hundred dollars) that he doesn't know what to do with, he ought to send it to those folks at the Oratory.

While we're on the subject, if any of my readers has a couple dollars they don't know what to do with, they ought to send them to me so I can buy a big bag of Guy's Barbeque Potato Chips, a picked hot sausage, and a 16oz can of Coors. For some reason, that combination sounds really appealling right now.

1 comment:

WH said...

Curmudgeon: good update. We are slowly but surely growing.

BTW, per your comments, I toured one of the closed churches yesterday (Blessed Sacrament on Bellfontaine). Trash and filth everywhere and couldn't get inside. Depressing and soul-dispiriting.

But there's good news occasionally as well. Keep up the posts.