As a sentiment shared by more than a few who attended St. Stephen's 150th Anniversary celebration, this is put forth for your consideration.
Noticeable upon entering the church were the vestments hanging on the columns. Beautiful in their own right, the copes were displayed for the edification of the faithful, no doubt. But where have we seen such items displayed for an observer's benefit?
Museums come to mind. All know, it is presumed, that ancient artifacts are commonly placed high, on pedestals even, for curious minds to enjoy and study. You see this in museums of natural history, and museums of our holy priests, too. The vestment below is that of Fr. Nelson Baker, from Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna, NY.
Father Baker was an absolute treasure to that largely Catholic town. He is remembered well, indeed; an entire collection of his personal belongings are frozen in time in a museum under the Shrine. Some might think of him as a type of St. John Bosco for the town that loved him.
Reverend Nelson Baker is dead. His vestments aren't used. They are displayed, remembered, not used anymore. Would Fr. Baker's vestments have ever been displayed when he was alive on this earth? We can't think of any such instance of this.
Now look at the photos below. The copes are being used. And these photos are not from the archives of times remembered. No, they are from the here and now, the times of today, in full use, just as the patriarchs of St. Stephen's used them.
At least one well-intended-individual commented that these items, along with the precious monstrances the parish owns, are not used anymore, that they are pulled from the vault of the past, for the memorial of these 150 years of the church.
Friends, nothing could be further from the truth. The Faith, and all its trappings, is alive and well, especially at Historic St. Stephen Church. And not just there, but at every Traditional Latin Mass around the world.
Retired sports jerseys hang from rafters and hold a venerable place in the hearts and minds of fans. But make no mistake, these holy vestments continue to be worn by the heroes of today, as they bring Calvary to the senses of the Faithful.
Support your local Traditional Latin Mass, and also pray for the canonization of Fr. Nelson Baker.