On of the great things about travelling through the rust belt is that it's easier to find an oasis in the great liturgical desert than it is in points west of Kansas City.
This morning, my family and I were fortunate enough to assist at Trinity Sunday Mass at St. Mary's Shrine in Rockford, Illinois, entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King by the no-nonsense Bp. Thomas Doran. It's a beautiful church (although hidden by ugly government buildings) that had a few hundred parishioners in attendance--a surprising number when you consider that the City of Rockford has a population of 150,000.
Wish I'd taken a few pictures of the beautiful sanctuary while I was there. If anyone from Rockford has some nice interior shots, do please forward them to me and I'll post them. Those of you who follow such things may recall St. Mary's was originally faced with destruction when Winnebago County was looking to bulldoze that part of Rockford for it's nine-block jail complex, and after that, Doran, when faced with the threat of an historic building designation by the county, told the county, in no uncertain terms, that he would not permit Mass to be celebrated there any more if they attempted to interfere with the diocese's control of the building. And of course, Doran won; the county backed off.
BTW, I noticed, while waiting for the restroom, that Bp. Doran has a poster up with FORTY (40) diocesan seminarians on it. Golly. Forty seminarians in a little has-been industrial town like that? And all of them wearing Roman collars, too? I hear that wearing a cassock gets one kicked out of the college seminary that KC seminarians go to. Seriously (though we hope Bp. Finn has a change in the works for that one). Maybe after the good seminarians in KC got the boot for dressing like clerics-in-training, they all went up to work for Bp. Tom Doran?