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Extraordinary Carmelites to Start Foundation in Elysburg

Published April 18, 2009 10:14 pm –  Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg announced Friday that a second community of Discalced Carmelite nuns will be established in the diocese in the monastery in Elysburg.   These nuns have the joy of having the extraordinary form of the mass.  The FSSP seminary in Denton, NE worked closely with these nuns to start their foundation in Valparaiso, NE.  FSSP priests and seminarians rolled up their sleaves to help build the monastery in Valparaiso, NE, beginning in 2000.  Priests and Seminarians continue to support the monastery by assisting their chaplain.

FSSP Seminary Easter Vigil at Carmel in Valparaiso

FSSP Seminary Easter Vigil at Carmel in Valparaiso

HARRISBURG — Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg announced Friday [April 17, 2009] that a second community of Discalced Carmelite nuns will be established in the diocese in the monastery in Elysburg.

The new community will be founded from the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Valparaiso, Neb. They come to the Diocese of Harrisburg because of a constant increase of vocations to their monastery that has caused crowding.

Carmel in Elysburg, Harrisburg Diocese
Carmel in Elysburg, Harrisburg Diocese

St. Simon Stock who received the Brown Scapular from Our Lady was elected Prior of that Order in Aylesford in England in 1247. The first recorded appearance of Carmelite nuns was in 1452 when a community of nuns was granted affiliation with the Carmelite Order.The release continued, “Under St. Teresa of Avila, with the help of St. John of the Cross, the famous reform of the Carmelite Order of nuns was accomplished. It is to this group that both communities of discalced Carmelite nuns in the Diocese of Harrisburg belong. Discalced means ‘shoeless’ and refers to the fact that these nuns wear sandals as opposed to shoes as a sign of poverty and sacrifice.

“The nuns who arrive will live a strictly cloistered life setting themselves apart from the world in order to dedicate themselves to God and His saving plan. By means of their prayers and sacrifices, Carmelite nuns participate vitally in the redemption of the world.

“In imitation of Mary the Mother of God who stood at the foot of the Cross, they are intimately united to the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The separation of the cloister attunes the heart of the Carmelite nun to the Heart of Christ and the needs of people.

“Freed from noises and distractions, the Carmelite nun becomes more aware of the struggle of people today to know and love God. She then offers herself in prayer and sacrifice for the salvation of all. No radio, television, newspaper or Internet is permitted, in order to avoid distractions from their life of prayer and sacrifice. While walls and grilles separate them from the world, their hearts are not bound but, rather, radically freed to love God and neighbor.”

Location for a New Carmel in Elysburg

Location for a New Carmel in Elysburg

Their community is currently at 33. The maximum number of nuns in a Carmelite monastery is about 21.

The Valparaiso, Nebraska Carmelites join the Danville Carmelites and the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in Lancaster as the third contemplative community of nuns in the 15 counties of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Bishop Rhoades said, “I feel incredibly blessed that we will now have three contemplative communities of nuns in our diocese. We welcome the Carmelite nuns from Nebraska whose lives of prayer and asceticism in the cloister remind all of us of our call to holiness.

“To these Sisters, I extend my deep gratitude for their coming to our diocese and for their prayers for all of us. Their presence and prayers are a gift to us from the Lord! May God the Father bless these, His daughters, consecrated for the glory of His Name,” the bishop said.

Mother Teresa of Jesus, Prioress of the Valparaiso, Nebraska Carmelite community expressed these thoughts, “We are very excited and grateful to make a foundation in the Diocese of Harrisburg.

“True to our Carmelite vocation our main work is our prayer life. We are praying for Bishop Rhoades, the clergy and all the faithful of the Diocese of Harrisburg, and we will do even more so upon our arrival.”

Sister Joan Lundy, prioress of the Carmelites of Danville commented, “We warmly welcome Mother Teresa and her Sisters to the Harrisburg Diocese. We are happy that the Monastery will continue as a house of prayer for that has been the wish of so many people. We are grateful to Bishop Rhoades and to Fr. Waltersheid for the close contact they have had with us, this past year, in preparing for the transfer of the Monastery and its property to another Community of Carmelites.”

The new community will inhabit the now vacant Carmelite Monastery in Elysburg. That monastery was built in 1961 as the permanent home of a foundation of Discalced Carmelite nuns that came to the Diocese in 1953 from Loretto, Pennsylvania.

This community moved to Maria Hall in Danville in January of 2008 where they remain a vibrant presence of prayer and witness to consecrated life for our Diocese.

Fr. William Waltersheid, diocesan secretary for clergy and consecrated life commented, “We are grateful to the Carmelite nuns of Danville who continue their great offering of prayer as they have since 1953 and we offer our gratitude to the Carmelite nuns newly arriving so that this great legacy will continue.”

The new foundation of Carmelite nuns comes from the Diocese of Lincoln.

They came there in 1999, with roots reaching back to Las Vegas, San Francisco in the United States, Guadalajara and Puebla in Mexico, and Caravaca in Spain.

The monastery in Caravaca was one of the original foundations of St. Teresa of Avila. When they arrive, the nuns will be living temporarily in St. Peter Convent on West Avenue in Mount Carmel while they work to ready the monastery for habitation.

The release from Bishop Rhoades said this is a case of history repeating itself. When the nuns arrived from Loretto in 1953 they lived in a home on East Avenue in Mount Carmel until the monastery was built in 1961. Carmelites trace their origins from Old Testament times as the nuns consider themselves daughters of the Prophet Elijah.

At the time of the Crusades, the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel who lived an eremitical life on Mount Carmel in Palestine came to Europe.

For more information go to: Friends of Carmel JMJ

Letter of Pope Benedict XVI


Dear Brothers in the Episcopal Ministry!
The remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre without a mandate of the Holy See has for many reasons caused, both within and beyond the Catholic Church, a discussion more heated than any we have seen for a long time. Many Bishops felt perplexed by an event which came about unexpectedly and was difficult to view positively in the light of the issues and tasks facing the Church today. Even though many Bishops and members of the faithful were disposed in principle to take a positive view of the Pope’s concern for reconciliation, the question remained whether such a gesture was fitting in view of the genuinely urgent demands of the life of faith in our time. Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment. I therefore feel obliged to offer you, dear Brothers, a word of clarification, which ought to help you understand the concerns which led me and the competent offices of the Holy See to take this step. In this way I hope to contribute to peace in the Church.

An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path. A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore. I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.

Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope. Consequently the Church must react by employing her most severe punishment – excommunication – with the aim of calling those thus punished to repent and to return to unity. Twenty years after the ordinations, this goal has sadly not yet been attained. The remission of the excommunication has the same aim as that of the punishment: namely, to invite the four Bishops once more to return. This gesture was possible once the interested parties had expressed their recognition in principle of the Pope and his authority as Pastor, albeit with some reservations in the area of obedience to his doctrinal authority and to the authority of the Council. Here I return to the distinction between individuals and institutions. The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level. The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.

In light of this situation, it is my intention henceforth to join the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” – the body which has been competent since 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of Saint Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Pope – to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes. The collegial bodies with which the Congregation studies questions which arise (especially the ordinary Wednesday meeting of Cardinals and the annual or biennial Plenary Session) ensure the involvement of the Prefects of the different Roman Congregations and representatives from the world’s Bishops in the process of decision-making. The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.

I hope, dear Brothers, that this serves to clarify the positive significance and also the limits of the provision of 21 January 2009. But the question still remains: Was this measure needed? Was it really a priority? Aren’t other things perhaps more important? Of course there are more important and urgent matters. I believe that I set forth clearly the priorities of my pontificate in the addresses which I gave at its beginning. Everything that I said then continues unchanged as my plan of action. The first priority for the Successor of Peter was laid down by the Lord in the Upper Room in the clearest of terms: “You… strengthen your brothers” (Lukek 22:32). Peter himself formulated this priority anew in his first Letter: “Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” ( 1 Peter 3:15 ). In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses “to the end” (cf. John 13:1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority. Added to this is the need for all those who believe in God to join in seeking peace, to attempt to draw closer to one another, and to journey together, even with their differing images of God, towards the source of Light – this is interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims that God is Love “to the end” has to bear witness to love: in loving devotion to the suffering, in the rejection of hatred and enmity – this is the social dimension of the Christian faith, of which I spoke in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and, in various ways, always) the Church’s real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small. That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who “has something against you” (cf. Mt 5:23ff.) and to seek reconciliation? Should not civil society also try to forestall forms of extremism and to incorporate their eventual adherents – to the extent possible – in the great currents shaping social life, and thus avoid their being segregated, with all its consequences? Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole? I myself saw, in the years after 1988, how the return of communities which had been separated from Rome changed their interior attitudes; I saw how returning to the bigger and broader Church enabled them to move beyond one-sided positions and broke down rigidity so that positive energies could emerge for the whole. Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?

Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.

Dear Brothers, during the days when I first had the idea of writing this letter, by chance, during a visit to the Roman Seminary, I had to interpret and comment on Galatians 5:13-15. I was surprised at the directness with which that passage speaks to us about the present moment: “Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this “biting and devouring” also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians? That at the very least we are threatened by the same temptations? That we must always learn anew the proper use of freedom? And that we must always learn anew the supreme priority, which is love? The day I spoke about this at the Major Seminary, the feast of Our Lady of Trust was being celebrated in Rome. And so it is: Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to her Son, in whom all of us can put our trust. He will be our guide – even in turbulent times. And so I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the many Bishops who have lately offered me touching tokens of trust and affection, and above all assured me of their prayers. My thanks also go to all the faithful who in these days have given me testimony of their constant fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May the Lord protect all of us and guide our steps along the way of peace. This is the prayer that rises up instinctively from my heart at the beginning of this Lent, a liturgical season particularly suited to interior purification, one which invites all of us to look with renewed hope to the light which awaits us at Easter.

With a special Apostolic Blessing, I remain

Yours in the Lord,


Prayer Intentions – Spring 2009

Ordinations to the subdiaconate January 31th, 2009 and subsequent ordinations to the diaconate on March 14th, 2009 in Lincoln at St. Francis of the following men:

  • Peter Bauknecht
  • Simon Harkins
  • Garrick Huang
  • John Richertt
  • John Shannon
  • Jose Zepeda
  • Priestly ordination on May 30th, 2009 of the following men:
  • Brian Austin
  • Matthew Goddard
  • Michael Stimson

Please remember these men and the entire Fraternity of St. Peter in your prayers that they may be continued to be Blessed.

I apologize but the prayer card is not available at this time.

Please remember All the Deceased Members of the FSSP

Sign up friends and family for the Adjutorium Program

Prayers and Devotions
Consecration of the World on the Feast of Christ the King to the Sacred Heart

Annual Renewal of the Consecration of the North American District to Our Lady

Keep the Faith Talk for November 16, 2015

Keep The Faith

Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Literature – Part 3 of 4 – Medieval Drama
Part 3 of 4 – Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Dr. David White, Roman Forum, 1996

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A New Talk Every Monday

Eucharistic Procession on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

On Sunday, Oct 11, 2015, the priests of St Benedict’s Parish in Chesapeake participated in the annual Eucharistic Procession on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk to commemorate the miracle of the sun at Fatima in 1917.

Approximately 500 faithful from St. Benedict and local parishes participated. The event began with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and hymns, followed by the procession from Star of the Sea at 14th Street along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk to the 24th Street Park, where an altar was erected for Exposition and Adoration. A Rosary with the meditations of the Blessed Sacrament was prayed along the way.

Once at the altar of repose, Fr. Neal Nichols, FSSP, pastor of St. Benedict, was joined by assistant pastors Fr. David Nix and Fr. Anthony Forte, along with other priests of the area, in offering meditations on the message of Fatima with the need for reparation and adoration to God. After Benediction and the recitation of the Divine Praises, the procession returned to Star of the Sea while praying the remaining mysteries of the Rosary of the Blessed Sacrament, and singing traditional hymns.

Prayer and gratitude goes to all those that aided in the procession, especially the Most Rev. Francis DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, Fr. Esteban DeLeon and the parishioners of Star of the Sea, and the parishioners of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church. Special thanks also to St. Joseph’s Men’s Guild, St. Anne’s Sodality, Knights of the Altar and the police and officials of Virginia Beach.

Most importantly, thanks were given to Our Blessed Mother by all who attended, for her intercession on such a beautiful day. More images follow.

Feast of All Saints at All Saints in Minneapolis

The Church of All Saints, our parish apostolate in Minneapolis, enjoyed the beauty of their newly renovated church as they commemorated their Patronal Feast. For the Solemn Mass of the day, the parish welcomed a recently ordained priest from the Diocese of Madison to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Fr. Christopher Gernetzke was assisted by Fr. Michael Malain, FSSP, as deacon, and Fr. Peter Bauknecht, FSSP, pastor of All Saints, as subdeacon. Enjoy pictures of the day, and the beautiful new interior of the parish. Many thanks to Tracy Dunne for the lovely images.

Bishop Bruskewitz Administers Tonsure to 11 Seminarians

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter celebrated the admission of eleven new tonsurandi as members of the Fraternity.  The Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop Emeritus of Lincoln, traveled to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary on Saturday, October 24, 2015, to administer the Rite of Tonsure.

The Rite of Tonsure is administered early in the second year of formation, and is the point at which a seminarian ends his life in lay clothes and is invested with the cassock and surplice.

The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia gives an excellent overview of the rite:

(From the Latin verb tondere, “to shear.”)

A sacred rite instituted by the Church by which a baptized and confirmed Christian is received into the clerical order by the shearing of his hair and the investment with the surplice. The person thus tonsured becomes a partaker of the common privileges and obligations of the clerical state and is prepared for the reception of orders. The tonsure itself is not an ordination properly so called, nor a true order. It is rather a simple ascription of a person to the Divine service in such things as are common to all clerics. Historically the tonsure was not in use in the primitive Church during the age of persecution. Even later, St. Jerome (in Ezech., xliv) disapproves of clerics shaving their heads. Indeed, among the Greeks and Romans such a custom was a badge of slavery. On this very account, the shaving of the head was adopted by the monks. Towards the end of the fifth, or beginning of the sixth, century, the custom passed over to the secular clergy.

As a sacred rite, the tonsure was originally joined to the first ordination received, as in the Greek Church it still is to the order of lector. In the Latin Church it began as a separate ceremony about the end of the seventh century, when parents offered their young sons to the service of God. Tonsure is to be given by a candidate’s ordinary, though mitred abbots can bestow it on their own subjects. No special age for its reception is prescribed, but the recipient must have learnt the rudiments of the Faith and be able to read and write. The ceremony may be performed at any time or place. … According to canon law, all clerics are bound to wear the tonsure under certain penalties. But on this subject, Taunton (loc. cit. inf.) says: “In English-speaking countries, from a custom arising in the days of persecution and having a prescription of over three centuries, the shaving of the head, the priestly crown, seems, with the tacit consent of the Holy See, to have passed out of use. No provincial or national council has ordered it, even when treating of clerical dress; and the Holy See has not inserted the law when correcting the decrees of those councils.”

Many thanks to Bishop Bruskewitz for his time and support of the Fraternity of Saint Peter. Look for further coverage and pictures in the next Fraternity Newsletter. If you do not receive the newsletter, please sign up today.

In your kindness, please pray for our new tonsured seminarians, and for all of our postulants, seminarians, sub-deacons, deacons, and priests. Enjoy pictures of the day.

Mass Upon the Top of Africa

Fr. Antony Sumich FSSP Atop Mt. Kilimanjaro

Fr. Antony Sumich FSSP Atop Mt. Kilimanjaro

Fr. Antony Sumich, FSSP, chaplain of our Calgary apostolate, and Fr. Gregory Bartholomew, FSSP, currently stationed at Christ the King in Sarasota, recently ventured to Africa. There they traveled to Tanzania, where they ascended Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest point on the continent.

Once there, both offered the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What follows is Fr. Sumich’s account of the day:

Pax Christi,

This (pictured above) is where I said Mass on Wednesday, 30th September 2015.

The top of Kilimanjaro is nearly 6,000 metres (19,341 feet) above sea level.

Needless to say, it was a little hard to breathe after the 7-½ hours it took to walk up there! But mainly the difficulty breathing was from the altitude.

The table I used, and the altar and Mass vestments, etc., were carried up by our porters. One of them (who we gave the name “table-guy”) literally carried a table strapped on his back the whole way up. After my Mass, Fr. Gregory Bartholomew said his Mass also.

We prayed a lot, and our porters & guides joined us in daily Mass, and prayers for good weather. Our prayers were answered and the temperature stayed at about +5 C deg (low 40s F), there was no wind whatsoever (very rare) during the two hours we spent at the top.

The Mass was attended by a number of Tanzanian guides who were so happy to see Our Blessed Lord physically on top of Africa.

Fraternity 2015 Christmas Cards are Now Available

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter’s 2015 Christmas cards are now available!  This beautiful series of Christmas cards contains a special Christmas gift – enrollment in the Christmas Novena of Masses at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, from December 17 to 25.

The packages come assorted with four different cards, and each displays a beautiful and traditional artwork portraying an event surrounding the birth of Christ our Savior. They are indeed a most fitting way to send your thoughts and prayers to loved ones for this great feast.

Gift the best kind of gift to your loved ones and friends this year — the gift of grace flowing from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

For details on how to order, click here.

2015 FSSP Christmas Cards

2016 Liturgical Ordo and FSSP Directory Has Arrived

ordo-2016The 2016 Liturgical Ordo and FSSP Directory is now available!

The Liturgical Ordo is a complete calendar for the 1962 Missal and Divine Office, and offers a wide range of benefits and features including:

  • Table of Movable Feasts for 2016 and 2017
  • New for 2016: Mass intentions pages for each month
  • Holy Days of Obligation in the United States
  • Supplement for the North American District of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter
  • Notes on Votive Masses, Masses for the Dead, and the Office
  • Rules for Priests on Bination
  • Rules on Fasting, Abstinence and Penance
  • Directory Information for the Fraternity Worldwide
  • Rite to be Observed in the Celebration of the Mass
  • Defects that may Occur in the Celebration of Mass
  • The Divine Office
  • Prayers and an Overview of Indulgences
  • Volume Discounts Available

The FSSP 2016 Liturgical Calendar Now Available!

Cover for the 2016 Liturgical Calendar

This year’s calendar focuses on the Life of Our Lord and would make an ideal gift for family and friends, while it spreads awareness of the work of the FSSP.

Proceeds from the calendar support the work of the Fraternity throughout North America. Features include:

  • Saint or feast of the day, along with the color of the day and rank of the feast.
  • Days of fast and abstinence according to both the current law and those in force in 1962.
  • Holy days of obligation clearly marked.
  • New for 2016 – We heard your request, and have expanded the writing area each day.

Fr. Saguto Makes a Pastoral Visit to St. Michael’s

Sacrament of MatrimonyFr. Gerard Saguto, FSSP, the new District Superior for North America, has begun the work of introducing himself to the apostolates of the District. As part of this, he recently visited St. Michael the Archangel in Scranton to offer a Solemn High Mass for the Sunday, to preach on the challenges and responsibilities of fatherhood, and to meet the parishioners after Mass.

Assisted by the Rev. Mr. Edward Brodsky, FSSP, as deacon, and acolyte Mr. Matthew Vierno as subdeacon, the new District Superior gave a lively and challenging sermon on true manhood and the responsibilities of fathers in today’s world.

Father began by speaking of the assault on the family happening in today’s world, and how a father’s character is of prime importance. This assault has led to widespread problems in the modern world.  Although man has a natural desire to provide and protect, more often than not the modern notion of power for men is about commanding power, but this misses the point of true masculinity. Power is not license for men to indulge themselves, and it does not permit men to shirk their duties as a husband and father. True manliness is just the opposite; conforming your will and duties to your state in life.

He then showed that the answer is the epitome of manhood — our Lord Jesus Christ.  Christ shows us that true masculinity isn’t that a man exercises power, but how a man exercises power. Since Christ is a model of seeking the highest good and being always faithful to duty, a true Catholic exercises power and real manliness by emulating Christ. He does this by avoiding distractions and harmful behavior, and choosing what is important and good.

Fr. Saguto stressed how crucially important is not to just know about Christ, but to know Christ. Fathers have to show their love for Our Lord to their children. They do this by fulfilling and living the Christian life, frequenting the Sacraments, leading their children in prayer, and praying for their family.  He concluded by stressing that fathers must be an example to their sons so they see that a devout life and sacrifice for family is true manliness. Equally important is fathers being a good example to their daughters, so that those girls know what to expect in the men around them; be it their brothers, friends, or future husbands.

After the conclusion of Mass, Father enjoyed brunch and refreshments as he talked with parishioners in the parish hall. Enjoy pictures of the day.

St. Francis Xavier Mission Trip to Peru 2015, in Pictures

Fr. Matthew McNeely, FSSP

The fourth annual Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip was another tremendous success. 38 young people from the United States, Canada, and Mexico accompanied 4 priests, 3 seminarians, and 3 sisters to Piura Peru from July 28th to August 10th.

Piura, which is located in the northwest corner of Peru, is not the most beautiful part of Peru from a natural point of view, being a barren, sandy desert. Supernaturally, however, it is very beautiful. Although there is much poverty, the roots of faith run very deep in the culture.

The members of the group spent their time in a variety of corporal and spiritual works of mercy. They built and repaired houses, visited orphanages, delivered food donations, painted a school, visited the sick, and assisted with catechesis. These experiences certainly made a lasting impact on everyone as they learned firsthand the beauty of making a sacrifice of oneself to serve those in need. There is also something very moving about being able to connect with people of a different culture and who live in very different circumstances through the bonds of Christian charity.

2015-08_SFXMission-216_(Set1_191)Each year the trip also makes a lasting impact on the participants on account of the friendships it engenders. On a large map that hangs in the refectory where the missionaries ate each day, a mark was placed on the city from which each missionary hailed, ranging from Vancouver to Guadalajara. The resulting impression was profound. These young people, most of whom had not known each other before, were united in a common commitment to the traditions of the Church and a desire to put their faith in action. In the words of one of the missionaries:

“I am certain that this trip and the persons on it will remain in my heart and prayers for the rest of my life.”

They shared work, prayer, recreation, exhaustion, and strong sense of accomplishment and renewal in their desire to be strong Catholics. They had opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the faith by submitting their questions to the priest-panel. And, of course, there were always opportunities for one on one conversations, confession, or spiritual direction.

Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, Offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Piura, PeruThis year’s trip was especially unique in the degree to which the participants were truly missionaries of the Traditional Mass. Almost every day, the four priests were sent to celebrate Masses in the scattered villages the comprise the parish of Santisimo Sacramento. Some of these places are very rarely visited by a priest. Some had not had Mass since the Saint Francis Xavier Mission Trip had come last year. And for others it had been even longer. In many of these places confessions were heard for the first time in decades. The boys assisted by serving and many of the girls enhanced the beauty of the Masses with sacred music. Everywhere that the Mass was introduced, it was received positively, with love and enthusiasm. Many people eagerly wanted to know when the group would be returning with this treasure again. Not only was the ability to bring the Mass a gift for the Peruvians, but for the missionaries it opened the eyes of many to the great blessing it is to have regular access to the Mass and the other sacraments, especially in this beautiful and holy form.

The greatest fruit for the missionaries who participate in this trip is that for two weeks, what is most important in life is brought emphatically into focus. In a short time, the young people are able to form relationships with the people in Peru, even though most of them do not speak the same language. There is a great joy in holding and playing with the numerous children met in Peru, in visiting the very simple but very welcoming homes of the Peruvians, and even in making sacrifices of one’s sleep and comforts. Through these experiences, and even the more difficult but equally beautiful ones of visiting the dying and the suffering with the consolations of Church, one realizes in the Peruvians and in oneself that happiness is certainly not a product of one’s material possessions. Certain of Our Lord’s words perhaps, as a result of this trip, ring all the more true: “Seek ye therefore the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be added unto you;” and “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

As one missionary wrote:

Missionaries During Home Construction in Piura, Peru“I will never be the same again because of this Peru trip. I mean, what person gets the opportunity to travel to South America, do mission work, and go to twenty-four Traditional Latin Masses in about ten days-? Not many, I think, and I am so grateful to have been given this life-changing opportunity by you and the Fraternity.

I hope and pray that this trip changed me for the better and formed me into a more generous and mature person, but as you said to all the missionaries in Peru, the hard missionary work is at home, and in the everyday mundane things. I hope to become a better missionary in my own home and parish, and I hope to see you next year!”

(our thanks to Fr. Daniel Heenan, FSSP, for the contribution of this article)

Keep The Faith

Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Literature – Part 3 of 4 – Medieval Drama
Part 3 of 4 – Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Dr. David White, Roman Forum, 1996

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A New Talk Every Monday