Monday, March 28, 2011

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers had its beginnings with St Rupert

It kept me sane when it seemed that all tradition in the Catholic Church was lost in the 1970's. Maria Von Trapp, in this book, told the story behind "The Sound of Music" one of the most beloved films of all time, which came out in 1966 when I was four. I still remember seeing the gazebo scene in the theater. It was the last Catholic film before the sexual revolution destroyed Hollywood, and Catholics became laughingstocks instead of inspirations for good family films. I read the book many times, drawing strength from the holy and happy family life Maria describes, and the power of Catholic Culture lived in the Domestic Church to catechize the young. They lived Lent and Easter so deeply in Austria, not to mention Christmas. And everywhere, you find magnificent Latin hymns, no "Do Re Mi" for them! Their financial crisis became the means of blessing, Fr Wasner moved into their home, and made a chapel where he celebrated daily Mass, and soon found he was living with a choir made up of one family. There are no accidents in God's world! Read this wonderful book for the full story.
I followed the book to find Nonnberg, high on a hill overlooking the town of Salzburg the year Maria died,  and attended Mass with the nuns (was I surprised to see after the Mass was over, that it was funeral Mass for a nun, the coffin was behind the grille until she was carried out to the cemetery!) then I walked down the outside stairs where Maria sang "I Have Confidence" in the film but where she really must have walked to get to the bus to the Von Trapp home. I took the same bus to Aigen  Maria mentioned in the book, where I found the Von Trapp mansion, on, where else, Georg Von Trapp Strasse! The family couldn't bear to live in the home after learning that it was commandeered by Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, so they donated it to a religious order who uses it as a seminary, and a seminarian invited me to tour the gardens.
It was a dream come true, and I had no idea I owed the entire experience to St Rupert! Read the Catholic Jedi Academy's post on him here. 
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