First Mass of Fr. Simon Zurita, FSSP
Fr. Simon Zurita, FSSP, ordained in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, May 31, 2015, offered his first Mass at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in Valparaiso, Nebraska. Rev. Fr. Beniot Guichard, FSSP, assisted as the assistant priest, Rev. Mr. Xavier Proust assisted as the deacon, and acolyte Michael Cunningham assisted as the subdeacon. A group of seminarians from Our Lady Guadalupe Seminary assisted with the altar corp.
On the next Sunday, Father traveled back home to celebrate the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel, our apostolate in Pequannock, New Jersey. Father was assisted by Fr. Matthew McNeely, FSSP, as deacon and Fr. Karl Marsolle, FSSP, as subdeacon. Enjoy pictures of the Mass and procession below, as well as images from Father’s Mass at Holy Innocents in Manhattan.
Father Zurita was born in the Borough of Manhattan, and was raised in the Borough of Queens, both located in New York City. He was the youngest of four children. Father graduated in 1997 from the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, and went on to study at the Borough of Manhattan Community College for a semester, and then transferred to Hunter College. Father was baptized as a Protestant; not raised in the Catholic Faith he eventually simply followed along the ways of the world.
Yet God had other plans. After an almost life ending accident one summer in Puerto Rico, Father Zurita began to ponder the question “Why am I not dead?” This question led Father to the doors of Holy Mother Church. With the aid of a childhood friend, he converted to the One True Faith in 2005, and on the Easter Vigil of April 15, 2006, he was conditionally Baptized and Confirmed. In time, Father became acquainted with the Latin Mass, and began to serve it as an altar server in various Manhattan churches. He became a regular server at the Churches of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Saint Agnes, and Holy Innocents. Father recalls serving at a Low Mass, where in contemplating the role of the priest at Mass, he was struck with such questions as, “Can I do what he does? Can I become a priest?” Nevertheless, Father delayed in responding. However, the more he skirted the question, the more it returned. In the fall of 2008, Father was approved to enroll at the Fraternity’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska.
In the seven years of seminary formation, Father learned not only of the value and importance of a Thomistic education in philosophy and theology, but also of the reality of the spiritual life in the life of a Priest. He learned the magnitude which human virtues, coupled with sanctifying grace, would play in his vocation. During formation, he was brought to the realization that on his journey, he must be accompanied by Our Lady, the Angels, and the Saints. Now as a priest in the true church of God, he asks more than ever for their aid, so that they can help him to become a good, holy, and faithful priest of the Lord Jesus Christ.
June 19, 2015