Wednesday, 11 May 2011

St John Cantius

Offering Holy Mass in the impressive church of St John Cantius, Chicago

I was away in the USA last week and had the privilege of meeting the Fathers and Brothers of the Canons Regular of St John Cantius in Chicago. Fr Frank Phillips took over a failing church and parish in downtown Chicago in 1988 when there were only 40 families attending Mass and has transformed the parish into an active and thriving community with a Mass attendance of 2,500 and in 1998 formed a community following the rule of St Augustine of 26 priests and brothers.
Mass is offered in both forms with the Novus Ordo in both Latin and English. Fr Phillips believes that a concern with celebrating the liturgy beautifully and in full conformity with the rubrics of the Church is important and his conviction certainly seems to have borne much fruit. The community pray the Divine Office in full and certainly the community members I met were very impressive, dedicated, young and serious about the Religious Life - but not stuffy or lacking a sense of humour.

Some further photos of Mass.

Br Matthew interrupting music practice to hold the door open for me!

I also had a lovely dinner with Fr Phillips and eight of the brothers and fathers at the fabulous Cathedral Hall at the University Club in Chicago. As you can see below.

Enjoying American hospitality - I think I ate my own weight in steaks!

Just to annoy him, I've included this photo at the University Club including my agnostic friend, Will Wendt!

You can watch a video (lifted from their website) about the transformation of the parish below.

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