"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
I’m dreaming of an episcopal ordination at St. Francis de
Sales Cathedral in Baker City, Oregon…
No harm in dreaming…except that it makes reality a little
tougher to swallow, maybe.
The Cathedral is beautiful: there are those wonderful
stained glass windows, and some remnants of the past glory of traditional
architectural and artistic elements. There's a choir loft. It's even possible to have Mass
celebrated ad orientem in the
Now, if we put a nice antependium on the altar, another
degree of reverence would be added. We did that once, for a Mass in the
It's a purple antependium, for the record!
As for the music: just over the hill in La Grande, only
45 miles away, there lives a world-renowned composer of sacred music who is
also a professor of music at Eastern Oregon University. This is Dr. Leandro
Espinosa. He was one of 60 artists from throughout the world chosen to submit a
musical composition for the celebration of Pope Benedict XVI’s 60th anniversary
of his ordination to the priesthood. See this news
story about him.
Has this composer and professor of music ever been consulted
about sacred liturgical music for the local churches? I’m thinking…not.
La Grande is also home to the Grande Ronde Symphony. And who
do you suppose is the director of this symphony? Why, it’s none other than Dr.
The Grande Ronde Symphony has performed at the Cathedral
annually for the past 7 or 8 years, I believe. At these performances, some of
the compositions are sacred music; however, not everything the Symphony performs
fits into that genre, which means that there are some aspects of their
presentation in the Cathedral that do not meet the standards for “music outside
of Mass in a Cathedral”. And this photo of the musicians packed into the
sanctuary does make me cringe...
Nevertheless, they can
provide sacred music, and seem to be willing to do so.
So I’m picturing an ordination with a symphony orchestra
providing the Mass ordinary; and I know there are at least three women in La
Grande who are able to sing Gregorian chant propers…not to mention that we
could import a few members of the Schola of the Society of St. Gregory the Great!