December 20 2007 | Latest NewsNEW ORLEANS PRIDE, WEEK OF DECEMBER 24, 2007
CHRISTMAS CAROL "SILENT NIGHT"
In the early morning on December 24, 1818, Father Josef Mohr, pastor of a small Catholic Parish in Oberndorf, Austria, received devastating news. The little church's organ had broken and there wasn't sufficient time to fix it for Christmas Eve's popular midnight mass. Father Josef kept his cool; he knew of his congregation's love of music and especially the accompaniment of the little organ. He knelt in silence in the empty church. What could he do to fill the void caused by the broken organ? His thoughts reverted to early in the morning when he blessed a newborn baby. This no doubt triggered an idea that would eliminate his dilemma plus, unbeknown to
him, in time bring joy to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.
In what might be considered quicker than a wink, he wrote three stanzas of the Christmas carol entitled "Silent Night." No doubt the first of the three stanzas was inspired by his earlier act of blessing the newborn child. Once the lyrics were written, he rushed over to the home of his good friend and church organist, Franz Gruver. With several hours, the lyrics and music
Later that same evening, with the church packed for midnight mass, Father Josef and Franz accompanied themselves with guitars and played and sang "Silent Night" for the first time.
If there is a moral to the story, it would be, with a positive attitude and believe in the Almighty, every stumbling block can be turned over and made into a stepping stone.
NEW ORLEANS TERMINOLOGY
PARISH: Louisiana word for country.
Louisiana is the only state with civil subdivisions of parishes rather than counties. Under both France and Spain from 1682 to 1893 Louisiana was governed by Catholic nations with no separation between church and state. It was customary to build the government around the church and vice versa. Thus, the church parish was the political subdivision as well. When the
territory was sold to the United States it was divided into two sections: the territory of Louisiana and the territory of Orleans. Together the two territories approximated Louisiana s it is today, with the addition of eight other parishes north of Lake Pontchartrain which still belonged to Spain.
PICAYUNE: Originally a small Spanish coin valued at six-and-a-quarter cents.
PEARLS OF WISDOM
Even if you choose the right road you will still be run over if you don't keep moving.