Thursday, May 29, 2008
Unveiling the Icon
On May 31, 2008, the Iconic Monstrance of Our Lady of The Sign, The Ark of Mercy will be unveiled to a worldwide audience on EWTN. Directly following this historic event, the Mercy Festival will begin after the 5 pm Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: a week of 24 hr adoration in the main Church beginning on May 31st and ending on June 8th at 3pm.
The Iconic Monstrance is a true work of the Holy Spirit in union with Our Lady, and it has taken nine years to be born from prayer and faithful sacrifice as documented in the spiritual diary of Fr. Anthony Bus, A Mother's Plea. Nine years, the Blessed Mother, in union with the Trinity has prepared for the beginning of the spiritual mission of the Iconic Monstrance. What signal graces is she preparing for all those who will come to adore her Son, now that the Monstrance is here?
Will you come and adore her Son during this week long Festival of Mercy?
Our Lady is asking you to come and adore her Son, can you come and spend one hour with Jesus?
The Sanctuary of The Divine Mercy needs 300 people to fill all the available slots for the 2008 Mercy Festival.
People are coming from all over the world to be part of this historic event, to marvel at the work of the Holy Spirit.
Do not stand on the sidelines, enter the drama, and register today for an open adoration slot during the Festival of Mercy.
For more information please visit: www.aMothersPlea.org
Or click here to register for an adoration slot: http://mercyfestival2008.eventbrite.com/
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
St. Brigid's in New York City was saved from the wrecking ball by an anonymous $20M donation, says The New York Daily News.
The historic church in the East Village, often called "The Famine Church" because it was built mainly by Irish immigrants who came to America during the potato famine, was saved from the wrecking ball today by a $20 million donation from someone being called an anonymous angel.
What a great story.
The huge - and unexpected - cash infusion will allow the nearly 160-year-old church to reopen once badly-needed repairs are finished.This ends a big effort by many in the community to save the church which even went to court. About six months ago, an appellate court OK's the archdiocese's plans to destroy the Church. "We rejoice today in the miracle that has saved our church," said Ed Torres, chairman of the Committee to Save Saint Brigid's.
"This magnificent gift will make it possible for St. Brigid's Church to be fittingly restored with its significant structural problems properly addressed," Edward Cardinal Egan said.
Egan did not reveal the identity of the donor, only that it was a "he" and that the "unexpected but very welcome gift" was given after a private meeting at the cardinal's residence.
One neighborhood man tacked a poster to the scaffolding covering the church's yellow facade that read, "Thank You Lord for Answering our prayers."
"In this crazy world we live in, people say miracles don't exist," said another man. "I would like to prove somebody wrong."
According to the archdiocese, ten million will be spent on restoring the church. Another $8 million will go to support St. Brigid's school and $2 million will go toward an endowment for the parish "so that it might best meet the religious and spiritual needs of the people living in the community," the archdiocese said in a statement.
But here's the thing, one of the reasons the church was closing was because of falling attendance. I fear that these folks may have been more concerned with the church as a historical building then as a church.
Let's hope that this miraculous anonymous donation and the resulting restoration leads to a stronger attendance in the beautiful new pews.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Chicago has announced a special event at 5 pm on May 31st: the televised unveiling of the iconic monstrance which will be the centerpiece of the forthcoming Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy, a very unique and beautiful place for prayer currently in its final planning stages. The unveiling will be televised in English, Spanish and Polish on EWTN, with yours truly serving together with Fr. Thomas Loya to provide "color commentary" for the event.
The Sanctuary is the special project and devotion of Fr. Anthony Bus, a Resurrectionist priest and pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish, who, in a mystical experience, literally heard the Virgin Mary ask him to build a sanctuary dedicated to her Son. His inspiring story is chronicled in the hugely successful book, A Mother's Plea.
The iconic monstrance is shown here in one of its early stages. How it looks now is a carefully guarded secret, though I did get a sneak preview last week with its fullness of color and gold leaf, and it is truly stunning. The monstrance is actually a large, hard-carved wooden sculpture shown here in its architectural setting, (and in true Chicago fashion it has already been described as "the largest monstrance in the world.") It combines the two adoring angels and the golden Ark drawn from the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon, but then shows it in its Christian fulfillment: the Virgin Mary now appears as the new Ark, and in her "womb" will be Christ as the New Law of Love and Mercy, the Blessed Sacrament for adoration.
The Jewish roots of Christianity are here recognized and admired, but shown in Christian fulfillment. The architectural setting will be one of the most sophisticated uses of the "New Classicism" movement, with every part thought through as a presentation of theological realities recalling the Old Testament time of shadow, the New Testament time of image, and the anticipating the glory of heaven. The unveiling will be followed by a week of 24-hour adoration at St. Stanislaus Church in the actual monstrance. Click here to sign up for slots for adoration.
The Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy is more than just another pious project. It is living proof that the Holy Spirit is at work in the Second Spring of the Church. At its heart is the worship of God and the sanctification of humanity through the Divine Mercy. Its art and architecture will blaze new trails in the recovery of Beauty. It recovers Catholicism's biblical origins in the old covenant and displays heavenly glory to us. It will, no doubt, become a spiritual "umbilical cord" of God's Mercy for the world.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Richard Driehaus, the Patron of Traditional Architecture has done it again. Thanks to Richard Driehaus the opulent sandstone Victorian Mansion will be open to the public on a limited basis starting in June.
After a 5 year restoration, the Mansion, located at the corner of Erie and Wabash, and adjacent to the John Murphy Auditorium is put back to its Gilded Age Splendor. Being familiar with other Driehaus projects, I project that it is actually in better condition than it was when originally built, and available for the public to enjoy.
Along with the Museum of Surgical Science and the Murphy Auditorium, the Nickerson Mansion is one of the great restorations in Chicago History, due to the dedication of Richard Driehaus and the Driehaus Foundation.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
From Denis McNamara
CMR is happy to give its readers a preview of a remarkable shrine in Chicago, the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy, now in its final planning stages. The Sanctuary grows from the vision of Fr. Anthony Bus, the pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago, who tells the story of the sanctuary in his book A Mother's Plea. The project's architect, James McCrery of Washington, DC, a specialist in classical architecture, drew the sketches shown here (click the pictures for larger images).
The sanctuary is understood as a refuge in the heart of the city, with a large exterior garden surrounding a crucifix amidst a fountain of flowing water, symbolizing the grace flowing into the world through the sacraments of the Church.
The highlight of the project is the sanctuary proper, an interior chapel for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The entire complex grows from the primacy of the reserved Sacrament in the iconic monstrance, a large sculpted and gilded image of the Ark of the Covenant (the Ark containing the tablets of the Old Law) with an image of the Virgin (the new Ark) with the Blessed Sacrament located in her womb (the new Law) sitting atop it. Surrounded by pairs of columns of 12 different marbles which symbolize the Twelve Tribes of Israel being fulfilled in the 12 apostles, the chapel will be a place of absolute silence and prayer, a place to draw down God's mercy upon the world.
The architecture draws from the tradition of Roman courtyards (especially Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza in Rome) as well as Byzantine and early Christian precedents. In a very sophisticated use of imagery and the classical orders, references to the Old and New Testaments are woven throughout the complex.
The Second Spring has indeed arrived in Chicago in the evangelical mission of prayer which will occur at the Sanctuary, but also in the sophistication of its architecture, which reconnects with the great tradition in a way completely new and needed in our times. The Sanctuary team is actively looking for generous donors to help make this worthy project a reality. It is a noble cause, has trustworthy and dedicated people seeing it to completion, and a talented architect who will prove that the great tradition of sacramental architecture and theological symbolism is still alive and well.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Our distributor for Heavenly City is moving his inventory to a new warehouse soon, so we were able to pick up several copies of Heavenly City for a low price.
For a limited time only, you can get Heavenly City via Amazon for $29.95. Regular price is $59.95, so this is a bargain. If you order in the next day or two, we can pick up distribution copies (14 units +) as well.