FSSP Seattle Celebrates 10 Years

by Mrs. Adele Patek, FSSP Seattle

On September 30th, 2018, North American Martyrs Parish in Seattle, Washington, led by pastor Fr. Joseph Heffernan and assistant pastor Fr. Adrian Debow, celebrated their 10th anniversary with a Solemn High Mass at St. Alphonsus, the church where the parish holds most of its Masses. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, of the Archdiocese of Seattle, attended and assisted at the Mass from the throne.

North American Martyrs also welcomed several visiting clergy for this momentous occasion: Fr. Michael Stinson, the new North American District Superior; Father Gerard Saguto, the first administrator of North American Martyrs, visiting from FSSP Minnesota; Fr. Christopher Fitzpatrick, newly ordained for the FSSP in 2018 and a former parishioner; and from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska, Deacon Ralph Oballo, to be ordained in the spring, and seminarian Mr. Matthew Palmer. Also present was Fr. Richard Klepac, SOLT, the pastor of St. Alphonsus.

Archbishop Sartain had previously given permission for the parish to celebrate the external feast of St. Isaac Jogues, St. Jean de Brébeuf and Companions, which occurred earlier in that week. The parish was therefore able to celebrate with the Mass of their patrons.

Fr. Heffernan was the celebrant, with Fr. Saguto as deacon and Deacon Oballo as subdeacon. Mr. Palmer assisted as Master of Ceremonies for the Mass and Fr. Debow as Master of Ceremonies for the Archbishop. Both MCs and the myriad servers all helped the Mass to proceed smoothly and beautifully.

The altar was decked with glowing candles and many colorful flowers. The shining gold vestments were newly made by parish volunteers and worn for the first time that day. Clouds of incense wafted through the church as the choir sang the Gregorian chant and Victoria’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium. The church was crowded, with approximately 550 people in attendance.

Archbishop Sartain gave a powerful homily about St. Isaac Jogues and the other North American martyrs. He reminded everyone of these martyrs’ steadfastness in the face of severe trials and tortures as they labored to bring the Faith to North America.

After Mass, Archbishop Sartain joined everyone at a reception in the parish hall, which had been decorated the previous day by parish volunteers. There His Excellency was presented with a painting of his coat of arms, which was painted by Susan Jasper, a parishioner of North American Martyrs.

The 10th anniversary celebration was beautiful and inspiring and we hope for many more years in this vibrant parish. +

Fr. Adrian Debow formerly served as assistant pastor at North American Martyrs; he is currently assigned to the General House in Europe.

Further reading on the 10th anniversary celebration and the history of North American Martyrs Parish: http://nwcatholic.org/news/local/north-american-martyrs-celebrates-10-years-as-a-latin-mass-parish.html

Our thanks to Mr. Michael Curtis for his photographs of the event.

November 16, 2018