Skip to comments.A model for revitalizing Catholic parish life
Posted on 09/23/2004 5:56:29 PM PDT by AskStPhilomena
A Wanderer reader from Chicago has reminded FROM THE MAIL that it has been several years since we have reported on the revitalized St. John Cantius parish in Chicago, and the thriving new order of priests, the Society of St. John Cantius, and that we owe readers an update.
After looking at the materials she sent in, FTM agrees, and so we'll look at St. John's and the Order - in the context of the crucial question of what is happening in Catholic parish life in the United States today - but, first, an update on "the singing ex-Jesuit, Dan Schutte" and his domestic partner Mike Gale.
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After FTM revealed, in the July 29 edition, that former Milwaukee Jesuit Dan Schutte, who is still making the rounds on the Catholic music circuit, was a partnered gay man teaching at the University of San Francisco, where he is "musician in residence," some Internet bloggers picked up the article and began a disinformation campaign insisting that: 1, the "Dan Schutte" FTM was writing about was not the popular "Catholic" musician whose songs have become a staple in modern parishes, and, 2, that FTM's "negative" publicity was actually increasing sales of his "music."
Well, the way things work today, FTM has no doubt that the negative publicity is increasing sales - because that's the nature of the Amchurch beast. There are still too many homosexuals directing parish music programs.
But the "Dan Schutte" whose music is sung in thousands of parishes is an ex-Jesuit and he is a partnered gay man.
And affirmation of this comes from occasional Wanderer contributor, Dr. Brian J. Kopp, a Catholic in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, who recently sent FTM some research he has completed on Schutte after he read that Schutte was to be a guest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
When he learned that Schutte was to be a music workshop leader at Mt. Aloysius College, Dr. Kopp sent the following letter to the local Johnstown, Pa., Tribune Democrat, which was published September 9:
"To the Editor:
"It appears that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is up to the same old tricks. On Saturday September 11 at Mount Aloysius College there will be a liturgical music workshop by the former St. Louis Jesuit priest Dan Schutte.
"Schutte is a leader of the dreadful movement in modern liturgical music that has changed the emphasis of our hymns from adoring, praising, and glorifying God to pridefully asserting how wonderful and faithful and loving and marvelous We ourselves are. A discerning eye will note how often these new hymns mention 'I' and 'My' and 'Us' and 'Our' far more often than the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Eucharist, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the angels and saints, or even the wages of sin or the grace that saved a wretch such as 'me.'
"More troubling is the fact that Schutte is no longer a priest but is now publicly identified as a partnered gay man. He is best known for his song, Here I am, Lord, a song that has become the anthem for the dissenting gay rights movement within the Catholic Church.
"There should be, and probably are, Church laws against Catholic dioceses and colleges sponsoring workshops by former priests living what most Catholics consider a scandalous lifestyle. But as one of our local pastors quipped, when asked why his parish was making a liturgical change that violated Canon Law, 'In this diocese, we don't obey Canon Law. We obey the bishop.'"
Immediately after that letter was published, Dr. Kopp informed FTM, a rumor began circulating that the Schutte mentioned in the letter is a mistaken identity and is not the ex-Jesuit priest and composer...."
One newspaper reader wrote Kopp: "We have done our own research on the matter of Dan Schutte and found some of the accusations false. There are two Dan Schuttes who live in the Milwaukee area and there are five who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Dan Schutte that is mentioned in the obituaries isn't the one we know. After contacting a friend in a high place at GIA, (not OCP) [Oregon Catholic Press, ed., the publisher of most of Schutte's music], I found out that there is not any truth to Dan Schutte being publicly partnered to a man. They actually said this Crux News.com article [a reprint of FTM's July 29 column] was having a reverse effect because in their words so many of the music directors in parishes (many who are gay) are now ordering more of Dan Schutte's music and they had heard of one parish using nothing but Dan Schutte music for two weeks. The 'martyr effect at play' they said...."
To dispel these rumors, Kopp informed FTM that an Internet search using VoyagerSearch finds:
"69. Mike Gale [Dan Schutte's partner]: Pilgrim Music was founded in 2002 by composer Dan Schutte after hearing time and again from folks in the pew how often they were frustrated by not being able to find his music, or that of other well known artists and composers, in the stores.
"The link goes to http://www.pilgrimmusic.com. Here is their Company History, according to their site:
"'Pilgrim Music was founded in 2002 by composer Dan Schutte after hearing time and again from "folks in the pew" how often they were frustrated by not being able to find his music, or that of other well known artists and composers, in the stores. There are many songs that have been standards, not only of worship, but have also become personal to many Christians in their journey of faith. In response, Dan and his associates have developed this site as a vehicle for folks to find music they might enjoy for their personal prayer, or simply to enjoy around the house or in the car as they go about their day. Much of the music you'll find on this site has been personally selected by Dan. We are continually increasing the number of collections we offer as we search for wonderful new music for prayer.
"A WHO IS search for PILGRIMMUSIC.COM reveals: Domain Name: PILGRIMMUSIC
Administrative Contact: Pilgrim Music, firstname.lastname@example.org; 231 Mullen Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110; Phone: 415-505-6440
"On the Pilgrim Music website, their 'Contact Us' link provides an address of: 109 Franconia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
"A WHO IS search for Dan Schutte's personal website, DANSCHUTTE.COM reveals: 'Domain Name:DANSCHUTTE.COM; Dan Schutte, 109 Franconia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 Phone: 415-970-1500; fax..: 703-991-8203. Email: email@example.com
"Obviously," writes Dr. Kopp, both PILGRIMMUSIC.COM under the Administration of firstname.lastname@example.org and DANSCHUTTE.COM under the Administration of Dan Schutte list this same address, 109 Franconia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.
"Unfortunately, given that: 1)Dan Schutte grew up in Milwaukee and is mentioned in two obituaries from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stating the deceased is survived by a son, Dan (partner Mike Gale) of San Francisco. If Dan and Mike were only 'business' partners, the obit would probably not mention the 'partner' at all, or if they did, they would specify 'business' partner, for fear others would think their son was gay. Plus, the obits specifically mention Dan and his partner live in San Francisco. Two guys described as partners means only one thing in San Francisco, to my knowledge.
"2) Dan Schutte founded a website to sell his music, and that website is administered by a Mike Gale of San Francisco, and both share the same street address, and, 3) the public announcements that Schutte is a partnered gay man were published in print and on the internet in July, yet there has been no correction of this charge (to my knowledge) by Schutte, and so it appears that Dan Schutte, the former St. Louis Jesuit and composer is indeed presently 'partnered' with Mike Gale in San Francisco...."
That should end the disinformation campaign.
And kudos to Dr. Kopp, for taking information from The Wanderer to inform Catholics in his diocese, who would, naturally, not be aware of the not-so-hidden agenda of modern liturgical musicians.
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With that out of the way, may FTM propose St. John Cantius as a model for revitalizing parish life in the United States today?
St. John Cantius, founded in 1893, had 23,000 parishioners when the Great Depression hit, and in the following decades of social change its population steadily dwindled until the 1980s when the trends were reversed, largely through the direction of its pastor, Fr. Frank C. Phillips, who recognized that a parish is more than a fast-liturgy outlet for hour-a-week Catholics.
The heart of any parish, he understood, is the liturgy; but it also must provide education and formation for parishioners.
Because of the quality of liturgy at St. John Cantius - Masses include Latin Novus Ordo celebrations, as well as the Tridentine Rite - it began attracting a growing number of Catholics from across Chicago and surrounding areas, especially young men who aspired to the priesthood, and in 1998, Fr. Phillips founded the Society of St. John Cantius, a religious community of men dedicated to the restoration of the sacred in the context of parish ministry.
On December 23, 1999, Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, approved statutes for the Society.
The Society's mission, as explained in its published material, is to "cultivate authentic Catholic life that is rooted in the rich heritage of our faith, so as to promote a true Restoration of the Sacred within the Church....The Society considers the musical, ceremonial and artistic traditions, which have enhanced the liturgy throughout the centuries, as a particularly important part of the Church's patrimony that can help in the revitalization of the faith and the spread of the Gospel...."
Here is what the parish provides or offers:
* Six choirs - the Resurrection Choir, which specializes in classic Viennese Masses and other sacred music; the St. Cecilia Choir, which specializes in Renaissance polyphony; the Sine Nomine Choir, which specializes in small classical works in a liturgical setting; the Holy Innocents Choir, a young people's choir of varied sacred music; and the Cantate Domino Choir, a young people's choir that specializes in polyphonic Masses.
* Eight parish societies: St. Monica Sodality, which prays for the return of family members to the Church; the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, to promote devotion and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; the Padre Pio Prayer Group, dedicated to the canonized Capuchin Franciscan; the Ladies Rosary Sodality, which fosters devotion to the Rosary; the Knights of Columbus, for charitable works in the parish; and the St. Anne Apostolate, which offers spiritual programs for grandparents; and the Holy Name Society
* Educational and catechetical programs: in addition to a strong parish catechetical program (using the Ignatius Faith & Life series), the parish offers Latin 101, Latin 102, Latin Syntax and Rhetoric, Latin Readings, Greek 100, and Children's Latin, which offers the young people of the parish instruction in Latin prayers and hymns.
In addition, the parish has a library and book store, youth groups, a basement café for after-Mass gatherings, etc.
On May 18, 2004, Cardinal George ordained two men of the Society into the priesthood, and another into the diaconate - and more men of the parish are seminarians, preparing for the priesthood.
For those readers in the Chicago area, or planning a trip through, there is now a special attraction at St. John Cantius, a faithful replica of the famous Wit Stwosz altarpiece of Krakow, Poland.
The original altarpiece, built over a 12-year period from 1477 to 1489 by the master carver of Nuremberg, Wit Stwosz, features a five-part polychromed and gilded limewood sculpture depicting the life of the Virgin Mary.
The reproduction, commissioned by Fr. Phillips in 1995, was carved by Polish master carver Michal Batkiewicz over eight years, and is one-third the size of the original, but every bit as stunning - as anyone can see by visiting the Society's web site, at www.cantius.org or by writing the parish and asking for copies of their literature (there is a special brochure, in full color, on the pentatych, including the newsletter, Via Sacra, at The Society of St. John Cantius, 825 North Carpenter, Chicago, Ill., 60622-3654.
Sunday Masses, by the way, are at 7:30 a.m. (Tridentine Low Mass, Latin); 9 a.m. Missa Normativa (English); 11 a.m. Missa Normativa (Latin) and 12:30 p.m. Tridentine High Mass. Confessions are available upon request, at 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and before all Sunday Masses.
This is a model parish, one that should be setting the trend for the Church in the United States; it works, it is thriving, it is attracting more and more people to, not only the parish, but the Catholic Church all the time; it is producing priests for the archdiocese (and priests who will, inevitably, be working in more parishes in the archdiocese as the priest shortage intensifies), and it is promoting the Church's greatest possessions: truth and beauty.
Why, after more than 30 years of liturgical and doctrinal chaos, the U.S. bishops do not take the Society of St. John Cantius and the parish as a model for the revitalization of the entire U.S. Church, FTM cannot understand.
But there will always be mysteries.....
It should be a pipe organ. The Congregation of Sacred Rites specified this a number of times when turning down the requests from the Hammond Organ Company in the late 1930's and through most of the 1940's.
The Congregation of Sacred Rites, however, approved the use of the Hammond Organ @ 1948 if I recall correctly using the "usual excuse" that was employed to sew the seeds for V2 on various and sundry issues: destruction of churches in WW II, lost of male populace, cost of replacement, etc.
This excuse was also used to introduce evening Masses (for the same day) @ 1952, mitigation and lessening of the Eucharistic Fast, and also permitting women in the choir, 12-25-55.
Of course the document never at all addressed Pope Saint Pius X's pronouncement of 11-22-03 that since the choir **AT MASS** substituted for the clergy, it could only be composed of males - the same as for acolytes.
The future Pope Pius X was involved with this issue for over 20 years on various commisions under Pope Leo XIII and as Cardinal Patriarch of Venice in his archdiocese he also banned all women musicians including organists.
Women in the congregation, as were men, were urged to sing, in other liturgical services and devotions such as Vespers, BUT NOT IN THE MASS!!!
P.S. In the preamble of his document of 11-22-03 it is , "actuosa communicatio", actuated communication in uniting oneself with the priest in offering Christ, the Victim, to the Father. It is NOT 'active participation', which commonly appears in the usual intentionally incorrect mistranslations.
This intentional mistranslation of two words in this preamble was used as justification for all that followed in the 20th century.
"OCP and GIA wouldn't take any more of it..."
Based on their website, it appears as if they just took a bunch more of it. Advent and Christmas music a-la-schutte, just what we need.
Thank you for posting that!
Now before someone who does not know any better claims that you, the church, or several popes are women haters, let's examine the reason for the prohibtion of women in choirs and as musicians.
A choir is properly composed of clerics (or major and/or minor orders), or religious. Lay persons were not admitted to choirs at first, as it was a liturgical office - which properly belongs to men. The use of non ordained men as singers was restricted to seminarians, scholastics, students......hence the developement of the boy choir.
At first the choir sang "in choir" - in stalls provided fro them, either in, or just outside the altar rail - depending on whether they were composed of clerics/religious, or lay persons (boy choirs).
It was only at a much later date that choirs were moved to a read gallery. Why? Because they were exclusively compoased of lay persons, who were not allowed in the sanctuary, and secondly becuase the were placed in the back loft so as not to be a visual distraction at mass.
Their role was liturgical - not that of a concert performance!
So why not women? Firstly - when a choir was located in or near the chancel of a church, women were not allowed in the chancel/sanctuary AT ALL. Secondly, a woman singing in public would have been a cause of grave scandal, as she would be a distraction & possible occasion of sin for the eyes. This is also why a woman was to cover her hair/head in church - humility....and that her glory (her hair) not be a distraction.
Once choirs were relagated to a rear gallery the presense of a woman would no longer be an occasion of sin to men in the congregation (as they were supposed to be looking at the altar). But, she would be a distraction to men in the choir. Also, there is still the problem of a woman holding and exercising aliturgical function at public mass.
The only exception to this might have been in monastaries of women relgious. The would sing their office in common. And if they utilised a choir for daily or Sunday mass, it was of their members.The only male present would have been the priest - and possibly an acolyte from the local parish to act as a server.
The ultimate bases for this is in the fact that Christ did not extend any type of priestly ministry to women. Also, we have the words of St. Paul in his epistles.
My apologies to the ladies....but these are the facts as I know them to be. Besides, a woman had enough work to do in making a home, raising children, and cleaning up after the lazy lump of flesh which is her husband!
The real work of women in the church was that of the teaching of children in the home - of setting their feet on the path of righteousness. That is more then enough work.....and sometimes even superhuman!
Patriarchy? Perhaps.......but who REALLY runs the home? For that, women should get the credit they deserve!
"Secondly, a woman singing in public would have been a cause of grave scandal, as she would be a distraction & possible occasion of sin for the eyes. This is also why a woman was to cover her hair/head in church - humility....and that her glory (her hair) not be a distraction. "
Not to go off topic completely, but I want to add that St. Charles Borromeo demanded that his priests(he was archibishop of Milan and a major architect of the Counter-Reformation)be clean shaven -- for similar reasons. These days, we are obliged to look at all sorts of weird facial fur-growth at the altar -- and I don't just mean the mustached sisters. Satanic Van Dyke whiskers may be popular among pro baseball players -- but on priests, they are just nasty and to my mind signify a deeply inappropriate devotion to grooming in order to stand out, not blend in.
St. Charles Borromeo may well have had one thing in mind when he made the prohibition against facial hair: VANITY.
Indeed, a priest who grows facial hair - and I have yet to meet one who was not meticulously groomed - do spend an inordinate amount of time grooming themselves.
The same might be said to apply to haircuts. I see all too many priests who obviously spend much more money on a haircut then I do. This is that same problem: vanity.
Similar with the abandonment of the habit - for preists and religious.
One rarely sees a priest in a cassock - anywhere - much less on the street. On the day of his ordination he was set apart from all other men. Even if he does not take a vow of poverty, he should be not caught up in maintaining his personal appearance.
He exists to help souls find the way to salvation - not to find Brooks Brothers! The habit has a very good reason: humility, sublimation of the self.
Universal vows of poverty for all clergy would be far better - of material sufficiency. They may have only what they truly need for care of body, and the performance of their duties. They should only own something if it is necessary - and not of harm to their souls.
But as Our Lady said at LaSallette - the clergy have become lax, prideful, and seek only after riches and honors. And that was nearly 150 years ago!
Most folks wouldn't make much of a distinction between the two, they just enjoy singing and believe they're Praising God when they do.
Actually, the main Sunday Mass, pre-Vatican II, was supposed to be a Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) while daily Masses were Low Masses. The "special occasion" Masses would have been Solemn High Masses which had a priest celebrant, a deacon, and a subdeacon and musical accompaniment. This was the ideal. It may not have been the reality in every parish.
Could this mistake be caused by a conversion from Cyrillic into English letters?
I have to confess, I have walked out of Mass when they started singing some sort of folk/calypso nonsense. There is not a single hymn written in the last fifty years that does anything but leave me spiritually drained. I am a traditionalist who faithfully attends the Novus Ordo, but there like here, I find very little charity for orthodox Catholic tradition.
Why would a German's name be written in Cyrillic?
FTM is showing his usual ethnic biases, and in "Der Wanderer" no less. His colored judgement makes him difficult to believe.
I hadn't a clue as to the nationality, it merely sounded slavic. I have seen Doestoyevsky's name spelled several different ways and I assumed it was because of the different alphabet.
The change in the discipline of Pius XII on 12/25/55, also referred to as 'the musicians' Christmas present' formed the underlying canonical changes which allowed altar-girls.
As you know, the change for church choirs was a practical matter; AFAIK, driven principally by US bishops (but it could have been Europeans as well.)
I don't want to really argue, but there are some people out there who do like and do buy Dan Schuette's material. I haven't quite figured out why, but there are people who do like it.
My complaint is that they seem to think this is actually well-written music when placed beside Praetorius or Bach. It's like comparing Danielle Steele to Jane Austen.
The least the composers could do is write music in a tessitura that actualy compliments the voice.
One of the things you need to remember about church music is that it can be very ephemeral and only the best of any one period survives to teach the next generations what music can do in the way of adding to worship. We're witnessing that first hand with the Jesuit stuff. Most of it was (and is) plain and simply badly written and it is (thankfully) going by the wayside. Not much of it is going to survive the current generation because it's just bad, leaving us with the great classics and chant.
Education is the #2 duty of the church musician. I'm acquainted with a large number of them who think otherwise and they are simply wrong.
Nowadays, we call educating the faithful "sharing our gift." Vince Lombardi, the hero for educators, would have called it discipline for excellence.
Another loss following American affluence--the loss of the understanding of first things.
I can point to a few dozens of parishes in Milwaukee which maintained two or three choirs (the adult choir being one, then one or two grade-school choirs) which sang for the Sunday and daily 'missa cantata' prior to 1965.
Milwaukee was unusually blessed, as the godfather of church music up here (John Singenberger) was educated at Regensburg, the home of the last major Church music reform (1880's.)
He stopped briefly in Cincinnatti, then came here and taught at the Seminary, but also was responsible for promoting good parish-level church music programs all around the Diocese. He was also regarded as a 'pretty-good' composer of church music; a good deal of his ouevre is still used in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee had a very active group of parish musicians which met regularly and during every other summer would also have a 3-day seminar; guest lecturer/workshop leaders included Roger Wagner and Paul Salamunovich, not to mention our own Sr. Theophane (Hytrek), OSF.
After 1965, but particularly after the arrival of Rembert, the deterioration in standards and mission was clear. Now we see parish "directors of music" whose BS in Knitting Arts and continuing education in "music" consists of learning about maracas and Bo Diddley hits.
I suspect the difference comes from the phoneticization of the name across-the-border; not different from the "Auschwitz/Oswieczim" spelling difference.
Schutte has actually written a couple of decent pieces of music. The biggest difficulty with him is that only rarely does he write decent music AND use lyrics which are doctrinally orthodox and unambiguous.
As you astutely observe, this, too, shall pass. His music, like that of others which is 'au courant,' has a stylistic mark--a sort of dispassionate glamor--glossy, but no substance--which cannot endure.
Even Faure's Requiem, as laid-back a funeral mass as there is, had more passion and underlying BELIEF than DannyBoy's stuff.
Why phoneticize a German's name into Polish for American readers?
The only reason this is done is because Poles like to pretend that Veit Stoss (and many other Germans who had accomplishments in what is now Poland) were Polish. To subscribe to such nonesense makes ones credibility and judgement very questionable.
When we get a German Pope, all that will be fixed.
Not to worry.