Archive for September, 2012

September 29: Feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel

Saturday, September 29th, 2012


Please note: Every Saturday morning at Salem the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered in the Extraordinary Form at 8:15am at the side Altar of the Holy Family.


September 29th is the ancient commemoration of the dedication of the celebrated Lombard sanctuary of St. Michael at Sant’ Angelo on Monte Gargano in southern Italy.  September 29th is also the most ancient Feast celebrated in his honor. [In the 1969 Calendar, September 29th is the Feast of all three archangels combined: Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. In the traditional Liturgical Calendar, St. Gabriel’s Feast is celebrated on March 24th and St. Raphael’s on October 24th respectively.]

There is a tradition that St. Michael appeared on this mountain and requested that a church be erected to him and all the angels. The captain of the heavenly armies, the angel named in the Canon of the Mass, held from early times the first place in the Liturgy among the other angels; wherefore many churches dedicated to St. Michael in the Middle Ages were simply known as churches “of the holy angel.” St. Michael, whose name signifies “who is like unto God” cast the evil spirit out of Heaven, and overcame Satan in the struggle for possession of the body of Moses. God has entrusted our defense, in the combat with the devil, to the angels. The reason of this is easily understood. The devil is a spirit who has lost none of the powers inherent to his nature. In order, therefore, that the struggle should not be unequal, God has placed at our side defenders of the same nature as Lucifer, that is to say pure spirits, who are, however, greater and more powerful than he is.

In the Old and the New Testament St. Michael, in the struggle against the Evil One, is always depicted as the invincible champion of God. The mystery of iniquity which, according to St. Paul, shall be boldly revealed in the last ages of the world and which has already begun its work of perversion, meets at present with an obstacle which hinders its full development. This obstacle is usually said to be the protection of St. Michael. St. Michael is appointed by God Himself to be the protector and defender of the Church. After the protective duty conferred on St. Joseph, there is no work on earth of such great importance and sublimity as that entrusted to St. Michael.

The Epistle treats the charge to St. John by an Angel to write to the seven Churches in Asia. In the Gospel Christ teaches humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin, for our Guardian Angels see the face of God.



One day, after celebrating Mass, the aged Pope Leo XIII (Born: March 2, 1810 – Died: July 20, 1903) was in conference with the Cardinals when suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side could find no trace of his pulse and feared that he had expired. However, after a short interval the Holy Father regained consciousness and exclaimed with great emotion: “Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see!” He had been shown a vision of evil spirits who had been released from Hell and their efforts to destroy the Church. But in the midst of the horror the archangel St. Michael appeared and cast Satan and his legions into the abyss of hell. Soon afterwards Pope Leo XIII composed the following prayer to Saint Michael, which is the original version:

O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan. Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.

Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

 V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.

R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.

V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.

R. As we have hoped in Thee.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls.   Amen.

Parish Youth Group Holds First Meeting

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

On Wednesday, September 12th, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, our new parish Youth Ministers, Basil and Kelly Lynn Knebel, held their first meeting of the new St. Mary’s Youth Ministry.  Below are some photos from the event, which was a success.  The second meeting will be this Wednesday, September 26th, at 7:30pm.


St. Mary’s School Children Participate in Holy Mass in Extraordinary Form for the First Time!

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

On Thursday, September 13th, the morning parishioner John Streff left for Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, NE, we celebrated a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Extraordinary Form at 8:15am with the school children and the parishioners participating, instead of the regular Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form.  This was at John’s request.  The teachers prepared the children very well, and everything went very smoothly.  Since the school children already receive Holy Communion kneeling at the Communion Rail at every weekday Mass, and are learning parts of the Ordinary Form of the (English) Mass in Latin, they see the continuity between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Mass.  Thanks be to God and Our Blessed Mother!


Going Away Party for Seminarian John E. Streff

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

On Sunday, September 9th, following the 12 noon Traditional Latin Mass (which was a Sung Mass), the Altar Society had a going away party for parishioner John E. Streff, who entered his First Year of Studies for the Priesthood with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter at their Seminary in Denton, Nebraska on September 13th.   Here are some photos:


Never-before seen historic photo of St. Mary Church discovered by the Pastor today on home visit….

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Today, while visiting parishioner Mrs. Rose Koch, the Priest of Salem was delighted to see a group photograph of parishioners taken in front of the church he had not had the pleasure of seeing before!  Unfortunately, Rose did not know the date of the photograph!

In the old days, every decade or so, especially after a major celebration, the parishioners were known to stand for a group photo in front of the church.  There are five or six of these  group photographs still extant and in the possession of parishioners.  The above one is unique in that the motto (“To Restore All Things in Christ”) and portrait of Pope St. Pius X are above the arches in front of the church.  Since the parish was already in possession of a portrait of the Holy Father, it could not have been following a Mass offered in thanksgiving for his election to the See of St. Peter in 1903.  While the flags outside of the church could have been black and white, the atmosphere seems too festive to have been taken following his Requiem in August of 1914.  This theory is further backed up by the fact that many of the young women and girls are in white dresses.  Therefore, the Priest of Salem guesses that is was following a celebration of the Holy Father’s Sacerdotal Jubilee.

One item of interest to Rose and her family is the presence of Rose’s Mother, Helena “Lena” Barbara Leitheiser Feterl, in the photograph.  She can be found on the right side of the photo, and is the last lady dressed in white, with a hat and holding an unidentified child.  Any information on the date of the photograph, the name of the child and the celebration which prompted the parish group photo would be of great interest to Rose, her family, and to the Priest of Salem.

Birthday Party for Our Lady at St. Mary Catholic School

Friday, September 7th, 2012

A few photos from Friday’s (anticipated) Birthday Party for Our Lady at St. Mary Catholic School in Salem:


Hanging Sanctuary Lamp Restored to Central Axis of our Church’s Sanctuary in Salem!

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Antique Sanctuary Lamp Given to the Glory and Honor of the Eucharistic Christ and in Loving Memory of Lois Hipschman

The late Lois Hipschman (October 26, 1938 – March 30, 2012) was taught as a child that one could always tell a Catholic church from a Protestant church by the Presence of the Lord Jesus in the tabernacle and because of the sanctuary lamp hanging in the center of the sanctuary.  As a youngster in 1946, when Msgr. Weber redecorated the church and removed the hanging lamp for the more convenient free-standing sanctuary lamp-stand, she was a little disappointed.  When she passed away in March, her family asked if they still made hanging sanctuary lamps and, if one was available, could they donate it and its installation in memory of Lois.  Well, the Pastor told them that they are still made….and, yes they could donate one in her memory.

The sanctuary lamp hanging in the center of our sanctuary is an antique, dating from 1890.  Now, well-over 60 years later, the sanctuary lamp again hangs in the center of our sanctuary, signifying (along with the tabernacle veil) the True Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Our Parish would like to thank Lois’ family for their donation, those who installed the lamp…and, of course, our dearly-departed sister, Lois: May the radiant light of Christ, like the light radiating from the sanctuary lamp, guide you to Heaven, the happy home of the saints and the place of eternal light.

Nota Bene:  In the last photos, you can see the fleur-de-lis finial at the base of the Sanctuary Lamp.  This finial arrived later, and was added just this past Saturday, September 1st.   For those who are interested, the Lamp is lowered and raised by way of an electric wench installed in the attic, with a key-operated control behind the Reredos of the Altar.  This electric device is designed to raise and lower large chandeliers one would find in large ball rooms or convention centers, thus avoiding the need for scaffolding each time the light bulbs needed to be replaced.


Cody serves his First Holy Mass

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

On Monday, September 3rd, Labor Day and the Traditional Feast of Pope St. Pius X, one of the new Altar Boys in training, served Holy Mass for the 1st time at the Altar of the Holy Family.  Congratulations, Cody, and keep up the good work!