FSSP Minneapolis Blessed with 4-Day Visit from Bishop Schneider

by Karen Hastreiter, FSSP Minneapolis

On Sunday, June 24th, 2018, the Church of All Saints, the FSSP apostolate in Minneapolis, celebrated the transferred feast of Sts. Peter and Paul with a Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool offered by the Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan.

Several months ago, the Bishop had graciously accepted the invitation of Rev. Peter Bauknecht, FSSP, pastor of the Church of All Saints, and Rev. Alex Stewart, FSSP, parochial vicar, to celebrate the patronal feast of both the FSSP and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. Rev. Bauknecht served as Assistant Priest, Rev. Stewart as Deacon and Rev. Zachary Akers, Director of Development for the FSSP, as Subdeacon. Sitting in choir were Abbé Arnaud Evrat, General Secretary of the FSSP, and Rev. Michael McClellan, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. The Very Rev. John Berg, current Superior General of the FSSP, heard confessions throughout the Mass. Also in attendance were seven Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre along with four Missionaries of Charity. There was standing room only available as over 530 people filled the church. The choir sang Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli which, unbeknownst to the director and members, happened to be His Excellency’s favorite Mass arrangement.

Following the beautiful Pontifical Mass was the parish’s Fifth Annual White-on-White Garden Party which commemorates the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul and the anniversary of the arrival of the FSSP around the same time in 2013. This English-style garden party, initially the inspiration of the parish’s first parochial vicar, Rev. Simon Harkins, FSSP, was celebrated outdoors on the parish lawn and garden. Over 400 guests were in attendance. The older boys of the parish acted as waiters, serving the guests sandwiches and strawberries and cream with scones made by one of the parishioners, an Englishman. Violinists played a beautiful variety of classical music, arias and Broadway musical pieces. The afternoon ended at 4pm with Pontifical Vespers, which included a beautiful rendition of Ludovico Viadana’s Magnificat.

As His Excellency stayed at the parish’s rectory, he was able to offer Low Mass on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday evening the Mass was preceded by his conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation on a young man who recently started practicing the Catholic Faith into which he had been baptized. On Tuesday evening, Bishop Schneider gave a talk in the parish center on the importance of the family as a “domestic Church”, particularly in light of the increasing attacks against it over the last century. He told part of his story as a child growing up in a Communist country and the difficulties, including the lack of priests, that he and his family suffered. He spoke of the necessity of a solid, consistent prayer life on the part of both mother and father and the importance of the family saying morning prayer, evening prayer and the Rosary together. He strongly encouraged parents to lead by example in striving for holiness, so that their children might carry that witness with them even after they leave home and even if, by some misfortune, they should fall away from the practice of the Catholic Faith. When he finished speaking, he received a standing ovation.

The presence of His Excellency at the parish for four days was an immense blessing and gift, not simply because he is a successor to the Apostles, not only because he speaks the Truth, but because he lives that Truth. He speaks of Our Lord as one who knows Him intimately. His whole being exudes joy, peace and zeal for souls. His call to prayer challenged each person to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, Who longs for our hearts. While acknowledging the darkness in the world, the Bishop did not dwell on it, but instead reminded us to focus on the Light and to put all our confidence and trust in Him. It was truly a grace-filled visit for this FSSP apostolate in Minneapolis.

Our thanks to Tracy Dunne for her photographs of the events.

July 6, 2018