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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 January 26, 2015

Keep The Faith

The Church in the Early Middle Ages
Evolution of the Rites of the Mass: 4 of 6 – Parent Rites: Alexandrian & Gallican
Mr. Michael Davies, Roman Forum, 1994

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A New Talk Every Monday

Two to be Ordained in St. Hyacinthe Monteregie Quebec in June

Abp. Terrence Prendergast of OttawaOf the men to be ordained by the Fraternity for 2015, two Canadians will be ordained by the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa, on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Saint-Hyacinthe-le-Confesseur Cathedral in St. Hyacinthe, Monteregie, Quebec, Canada.

Rev. Messrs. Jacques Breton and Alexandre Marchand will be the men raised to the Sacred Priesthood.  Deacon Breton is finishing his studies at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska, and Deacon Marchand is finishing his studies at our European Seminary at Wigratzbad, Germany.

Please, in your kindness, continue to pray for these Deacons, and all the seminarians of the Fraternity.

Solemn Mass and Vespers for the Patronal Feast of Holy Family in Dayton

Holy Family, our parish apostolate in Dayton, Ohio, celebrated their Patronal Feast with a Solemn High Mass followed by Solemn Vespers. Mass was offered by Fr. Christopher Pelster, FSSP, assistant pastor, assisted by Fr. Mark Wojdelski, FSSP, pastor of Holy Family.

Solemn Vespers followed Mass, led by Fr. Wojdelski.  The origin of the Feast of the Holy Family, a more recent Feast in the history of the Church, is interesting:

The special devotion which sets forth the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as the model of virtue for all Christian households began in the 17th century. It commenced almost simultaneously in Canada and France: the Association of the Holy Family being founded in Montreal in 1663, and the Daughters of the Holy Family in Paris in 1674. Numerous other congregations and associations under the patronage of the Holy Family have been established since that time, and they are spread over the world. The archconfraternity was established by Pius IX in 1847. In 1893 Leo XIII approved a feast for Canada, and Benedict XV extended the Feast of the Holy Family to the whole Church and ordered its celebration to take place on the Sunday after the Epiphany. (Baronious Missal)

Enjoy images of Mass and Vespers, and the beautiful interior of Holy Family.


Fraternity Pilgrimages and Missions for 2015

Priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter have organized a variety of pilgrimages for 2015, and the Saint Francis Xavier Mission expands to three missions this year.

Details for each pilgrimage are below, along with more details about the mission:

FSSP Holy Land Pilgrimage 2015

Spend Easter in the Holy Land with Fr. McCambridge

Easter Week Holy Land Pilgrimage with Fr. Jared McCambridge, F.S.S.P.
April 7 – 17, 2015

Travel to the most sacred ground this side of Heaven! From Mount Carmel to the Sea of Galilee to Jericho and Jerusalem, visit Old and New Testament and Crusader sites and pray the timeless Mass of the Ages where the greatest mysteries of our Faith unfolded!

Cost: $3795 ~ ~ (800) 334-5425

Fr. Nichols Leads Pilgrimage to Italy

A Pilgrimage to Rome, Norcia, Padua, Assisi, Loreto and Venice with Fr. Nichols

Pilgrimage to Italy with Fr. Neal Nichols, F.S.S.P.
April 20 – 29, 2015

Fr. Nichols is our former Director of Development and is currently pastor at St. Benedict’s, our parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. He will lead a nine day pilgrimage from Ancient Rome to Monte Casino, Assisi, Norcia, Cascia, Loreto, San Marino, Padua and Maritime Venice; visiting sites of beloved Saints, a Eucharistic Miracle and the Holy House of Loreto.

Spend 3 nights in Rome on the Piazza Farnese, 2 nights in the wild Umbrian hill town of Norcia off of Piazza San Benedetto, an evening in San Marino, the world’s oldest principality, and 2 nights at an eighteenth-century villa on the Riviera del Brenta, the ancient commercial waterway between Padua and Venice! Travel to Venice by riverboat and enjoy a Banquet Lunch at the family castle of St. Thomas Aquinas! Also visit the 2 FSSP apostolates in Italy!

Cost: $3995 ~ ~ (800) 334-5425

Santiago de Campostella

Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the birth of St. Theresa of Avila with Fr. Boyd

Pilgrimage to Spain and Portugal with Fr. Robert Boyd, F.S.S.P.
June 21 – 30, 2015

Fr. Boyd is planning a pilgrimage to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila. The route includes Lisbon, Fatima, Santiago de Compostela, Avila, Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Segovia, Zaragoza, Madrid, and more!

Cost is $3499. For more information, please contact Fr. Boyd at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel; 32 W. Franklin Ave.; Pequannock, NJ 07440; tel (973) 694-6727 ext. 14 or e-mail

FSSP St. Francis Xavier Mission: Three Trips for 2015

St. Francis Xavier Mission: Three Trips for 2015, with Fr. Daniel Heenan and Fr. Rhone Lillard

Three St. Francis Xavier Mission Trips in 2015!
Led by Fr. Daniel Heenan, F.S.S.P., and Fr. Rhone Lillard, F.S.S.P.

  1. Guadalajara, Mexico: Holy Week/Easter Week,
    March 28 – April 11. Cost $900 plus airfare.
    Ages 16 and up; families.
  2. Piura, Peru: July 28 – August 10. Cost $2300.
    Ages 16–21.
  3. Piura, Peru: August 14 – 24. Cost $2100.
    Ages 21 and up.

See website for details: ~

Feast of the Epiphany at Saint Stephen’s in Sacramento

The Feast of the Epiphany 2015, at St. Stephen the First Martyr in Sacramento

The Feast of the Epiphany has its origin amongst the Eastern churches, as their principle observance of the birth of Our Lord. In contrast, the West first came to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas) on December 25, and later added the Feast of the Epiphany, on January 6. At first this was just the commemoration of the apparition to the Magi. Pious belief holds that the manifestation of Our Lord to the Magi occurred twelve days after His Birth, giving us the twelve days between Christmas and the Epiphany.

For the West, “Epiphany,” which means “manifestation,” eventually came to commemorate three events:

  1. The apparition to the Magi, that is, to the Gentiles
  2. His Baptism, when the Voice from Heaven declared: “This is My Beloved Son”
  3. The miracle of His changing water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, at the behest of Our Lady

Enjoy images of the Feast of the Epiphany at St. Stephen the First Martyr, our parish apostolate in Sacramento. Fr. John Lyons, FSSP, pastor of St. Stephen, was assisted by Fr. Lee Perry as Deacon. Many thanks to Jay Balza and the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco for the images of the day.

Advent and Christmastide at St. Clement in Ottawa

Saint Clement Parish, our apostolate in Ottawa, honored Our Lady with a Rorate Mass as part of its preparations for the coming of the Lord during this past Advent, as seen below. Also included are images from Masses of Advent and Christmas in their beautiful church. The Masses were offered by Fr. Eric Deprey, FSSP, pastor of St. Clement, and Fr. Brian Austin, FSSP, assistant pastor of Saint Clement.

Priest Retreat to be Held in Wigratzbad in May, 2015

The death of Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP, in June of this past year, caused Fr. Armand de Malleray, the Chaplain of the Confraternity of St. Peter, to reflect on the life of the consecrated man and the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven.  Father de Malleray plans to preach on this subject in his upcoming retreat in Witgratzbad, Germany, in May of 2015.  He is inviting priests to attend this retreat.

According to God’s bounty, our destination is eternal happiness with Him. No one ends up in Hell against their will. But the consecration of priests to God entails specific commitments, and endows them with specific graces. The sanctification and salvation of priests depends on how clearly they understand those commitments and how lovingly they correspond to those graces.

For English-speaking clergy, seminarians or religious in England, Europe, and throughout the world, this invitation is for you.

Wigratzbad is near Lindau, Germany, on the shores of Lake ConstanceWHEN: The retreat will be held at the Marian Shrine of Wigratzbad, Bavaria, from Monday, May 4, 2015 through Friday, May 8, 2015.

FOR WHOM: Not only priests (diocesan or other), but any consecrated men are welcome, including deacons and religious, as well as seminarians (cum permissione superiorum), irrespective of nationality and country of residence.

SCHEDULE:  One conference preached in English in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Daily Eucharistic Adoration at the shrine (with optional Rosary). Private Masses in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form as you prefer. Latin Compline (on option: EF Divine Office and Community Mass with the 80 seminarians). Meals in silence with table readings. Optional private meeting with Retreat Master. Several English speaking confessors.

TRAVEL  FROM ENGLAND: the simplest is to book your Ryanair direct flight return from London Stansted to Memmingen airport. Transfer to and from Wigratzbad by hired coach will be organized for our group. In case you prefer to drive or take the train, the nearest railway station is HERGATZ (1 mile from Wigratzbad), on the Munich-Lindau-Zurich line. Friedrichshafen airport is 40mn drive, Zurich airport is 1h40 drive, and Munich airport 1h50 drive. By train from either airport: Zurich (Swiss rail:; Munich (German rail:

TRAVEL FROM OUTSIDE ENGLAND: nearest airports: Zurich; Munich (either airport is about 2 hours drive/train from Wigratzbad).

ACCOMMODATIONS:  Single bedrooms are booked for us in Wigratzbad at the Pilgerheim St. Josef ( En-suite shower and WC. Bed sheets and towels will be provided.

Full board (breakfast, lunch and supper provided)

Wigratzbad in a hamlet where the two main buildings are the diocesan Marian shrine (church + pilgrims hostel) – and the ‘Priesterseminar Sankt Petrus’ (the international seminary run by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, located across the street on Kirchstrasse 16, D-88145, Wigratzbad, Germany. About 80 seminarians study there, mostly from Europe).

SHRINE UPDATE: after two years of refurbishment, the large shrine church is now fully operational, allowing our group to attend the community liturgies at will.

Blog of the seminary in Wigratzbad:

LITURGY: any participant may attend or offer Holy Mass in the liturgical Form of their choice, as the diocesan shrine where we stay is equipped for both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Forms.


  • Priests: Own alb, amice, purificator(s), pall, corporal, cincture (biretta is optional).
  • Priests/Deacons: Surplice and white stole for Eucharistic adoration.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Outdoor footwear and clothes for walks.
  • Good spiritual books for your personal meditation, as there will not be a library available and the local bookshop sells books in German only.
  • Pad and pen if you wish to take notes during our two daily conferences.

ARRIVAL: Monday 4 May afternoon: landing at Memmingen Airport and 40-minute drive to Wigratzbad. (Earlier arrival possible).

DEPARTURE: Friday 8 May after lunch; landing in the UK in mid afternoon.

OPTIONS: stay on with us for one day of tourism: Lindau peninsula on Lake Constance, dinner in local ‘Gasthaus’ (restaurant) and colossal Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren – with take off from Memmingen on Saturday afternoon.

COST: £290 (all inclusive for 4 full days full board in modern single rooms with en-suite bathroom + conference room + organiZation fees + transportation from the airport and back).

OPTIONAL TOURISM DAY: add £80 extra, i.e. £370 in total.

NOT INCLUDED:  return journey from your parish to Memmingen airport: for convenience, each priest will book his own flight (estimated cost of return flight from England with Ryanair: between £80 and £150).

BOOKING: Please send your Name-Surname-Address-Telephone-Email with your £100 deposit cheque made payable to FSSP ENGLAND to: Clergy Retreat, St John Fisher House, 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading, RG1 5RU, England. [Other currency: contact us.]

Info/Contact:; Tel:  +44 (0)118 966 5284

Groundbreaking and Blessing at Regina Caeli in Houston

Congratulations to Regina Caeli Parish in Houston.  They recently celebrated the groundbreaking and blessing of their 40 acre property. What follows is the press release for groundbreaking, and pictures of the day.


On Saturday, December 20, 2014, over 200 faithful joined His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and Fr. Charles Van Vliet, FSSP, in a site blessing and groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the start of the first phase of construction of Regina Caeli Parish. Regina Caeli is the first parish in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in over 40 years that is devoted exclusively to the Traditional Latin Rites. The new parish will be located on a 40-acre rural site in northwest Houston near Fairbanks North Houston Road.

The first building to be constructed will be St. Athanasius Chapel/Hall, which will seat 350 and serve temporarily as the main church for the parish. When funds are gathered to complete the rest of the parish campus, St. Athanasius will be converted for use as a parish hall.

The groundbreaking was held in a tent set up for the purpose. The ceremony followed a day of heavy rain that left much of the site a quagmire. Cardinal DiNardo quipped that it was more like the “parting of the Jordan” than the breaking of the ground! Following the opening prayers and a recitation of the Litany of the Saints, His Eminence intoned the blessing of the grounds, calling on God to “…bless, consecrate and protect from devilish infection these acres…” In his remarks, he noted that St. Athanasius was a great Doctor of the Church whose defense of the Nicene Creed caused him to be exiled from his See in Alexandria no less than six times.

The parish, named for the Queen of Heaven, is the Houston Apostolate of The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a society of apostolic life of pontifical rite formed by Pope St. John Paul II in 1988. Cardinal DiNardo extended an invitation to the FSSP to serve Catholics in the Archdiocese devoted to the sacraments as celebrated according to the Latin liturgical books of 1962. With the gracious permission of Fr. Paul Lockey, the apostolate has operated out of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish since Fr. Van Vliet’s arrival in September 2011. Regina Caeli was formally erected a parish on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2013.

Fr. Van Vliet thanked all who made this day possible, most especially His Eminence Cardinal DiNardo, Betty Lee White, who donated the land, Fr. Paul Lockey, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, and the faithful.

Joining His Eminence in the breaking of the ground were Fr. Charles Van Vliet (Pastor, Regina Caeli Parish), Fr. Paul Lockey (Pastor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church), Judge Frank Rynd (General Counsel, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston), and Jerry Tipps (Architect, Tipps Architecture, Inc.). Also in attendance were Fr. Eurel Manzano (Personal Secretary to the Office of the Cardinal), Fr. John Shannon, FSSP (Immaculate Conception Church, El Paso), and Frs. Philip Wolfe, FSSP and Terrence Gordon, FSSP (Mater Dei Catholic Parish, Irving).

Christmas Midnight Mass at Saint Michael’s in Scranton

Celebrating the Nativity of Our Lord, Fr. Michael Stinson, FSSP, assistant pastor of St. Michael the Archangel, offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with a full church in attendance.

Before Mass began, the children’s choir joined with the parish schola offering hymns and carols of the season.

The church was then darkened, and Father made the proclamation of the birth of Christ from the Roman Martyrology. The proclamation recounted the date of the birth of Christ relative to times past  from the creation of the world, from the great flood, from Abraham, from the Exodus out of Egypt, from the reign of David, according to the prophecy of Daniel, according to the Olympiad, from the founding of Rome, and from the beginning of the reign of Augustus Caesar, then concluding with Father accouncing:

“Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the Father, desiring to consecrated the world by His most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and when nine months had passed since His conception, was born of the Virgin Mary, in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man:  the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.”

The church was then progressively re-lit, symbolizing the presence of the Light of the World, our Lord Jesus Christ, with Mass following.  Enjoy images of Saint Michael’s.

Archbishop Naumann Makes a Pastoral Visit to Maple Hill

The Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, recently made a pastoral visit to St. John Vianney, our apostolate in Maple Hill, Kansas.

Fr. John Rickert, FSSP, chaplain of St. John, joined with parishioners in welcoming the Archbishop. While there, His Excellency preached the 11 am Mass and gave a talk afterwards, followed by a reception in his honor. Enjoy pictures of the day.

Keep The Faith

The Church in the Early Middle Ages
Evolution of the Rites of the Mass: 4 of 6 – Parent Rites: Alexandrian & Gallican
Mr. Michael Davies, Roman Forum, 1994

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A New Talk Every Monday