Saturday, 23 June 2012

FSSP Vocations discernment weekend

Vocation discernment weekend
27-29 July 2012 in Reading:

For any English-speaking Catholic men between 18 and 35 years of age (under 18 please contact us).
Starts on Friday 27th July 2012 at 6pm (arrivals from 5pm) – ends on Sunday 29th July 2012 at 3pm.
Led by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, assisted by Fr Matthew Goddard, FSSP and Rev Alex Stewart, FSSP.

Location: St John Fisher House, 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading, RG1 5RU, England.
Programme: Spiritual conferences, socials, Holy Mass each of the three days (Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite), silent prayer, and optional private talk with Fr de Malleray, FSSP. Fr de Malleray will explain what a vocation is in general and to the priesthood in particular.

Cost for the whole weekend, 2 days + 2 nights, full board: no set price for students or unemployed – any donation welcome; others: £50 suggested.

Contact: Tel: 0118 966 5284; Email:; website:

Monday, 30 April 2012

The FSSP's Roman Pastor on Tradition in the Modern Church

by Gregory DiPippo

The Catholic News Service has posted the following video to its youtube channel, a brief interview with Fr. Joseph Kramer, F.S.S.P., the pastor of the Fraternity's Roman parish, Santissimà Trinita dei Pellegrini.  In it, Fr. Kramer discusses a few of the cultural premises behind the liturgical reform of the 1960s, and the attitude of the young people of today to those cultural premises. I strongly recommend to our readers that they watch the video, and then read more about the matter on the CNS website here.

The words of Bl. John XXIII to which Fr. Kramer refers in the interview, from the opening speech of the Second Vatican Council. (full text here.) 
Our task, our primary goal, is not a discussion of any particular articles of the fundamental doctrine of the Church, nor that we repeat at greater length what has been repeatedly taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which we think to be well known and familiar to all. For this a Council was not necessary. But at the present time what is needed is that the entire Christian teaching with no part omitted, be accepted by all in our time with fresh zeal, with serene and tranquil minds, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council. It is necessary that as all sincere cultivators of the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic reality ardently desire that the same doctrine be more fully and deeply understood that consciences be more deeply imbued and formed by it; it is necessary that such certain and immutable doctrine, to which we owe the obedience of faith, be scrutinized and expounded with the method that our times require. One thing is the deposit of faith and the truths contained in our venerable doctrine, another thing is the way they are announced, with the same meaning and the same content.
The text of Paul VI to which he refers, from the Wednesday audience of November 26, 1969, the last given before the Novus Ordo Missae came into general use on the following Sunday. (full text here.)
No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church's values? The answer will seem banal, prosaic. Yet it is a good answer, because it is human, because it is apostolic. Understanding of prayer is worth more than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed. Participation by the people is worth more—particularly participation by modern people, so fond of plain language which is easily understood and converted into everyday speech.

(reposted from The New Liturgical Movement)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Holy Coat Pilgrimage 2012 - Pontifical Mass with Cardinal Brandmüller

by Gregor Kollmorgen

As mentioned previously, the quincentenary pilgrimage to the Holy Coat of Trier is currently taking place.

In addition to the Extraordinary Form Mass celebrated as one of the six daily pilgrimage Masses, last Saturday, 21 April, a pilgrimage of the Ecclesia Dei communities took place. About 2,500 pilgrims took part. Due to the great number of pilgrims, the liturgical functions took place in the former abbey church of St. Maximin's. The church belonged to one of the oldest European monasteries, having been founded, according to tradition, by St. Maximin, bishop of Trier, in the 4th century, and it is also the burial place of St. Agritius, bishop of Trier, who brought the Holy Coat to Trier, along with the body of St. Matthias the Apostle. It was sadly profaned at the secularisation of 1802, being used for various profane purposes since, but was prepared for the sacred actions with the generous help of the diocese.

On the morning, His Eminence Cardinal Walter Brandmüller celebrated Pontifical Mass. The Cardinal and the pilgrims were greeted by the local ordinary, H.E. Msgr. Stephan Ackermann, who attended the entire Mass in choir, together with the Provost of the Cathedral Chapter. The ministers of the Mass were provided by the FSSP, while the music was performed by a choir and instrumentalists from the Servi Jesu et Mariæ and the Catholic Scouts of Europe.

Msgr. Ackermann greeting the pilgrims

Card. Brandmüller's sermon

At the end of Mass, the German District Superior of the FSSP announced the Apostolic Blessing with a plenary indulgence granted by the Holy Father

After Mass, the pilgrims went in procession to Trier Cathedral, where - after waiting more than two hours due to the number of pilgrims - they venerated the Holy Tunic.

In the afternoon, Card. Brandmüller, served by the ICRSS, sung Pontifical Vespers followed by Benediction.

The event was reported on both the diocesan and the pilgrimage's official website. Here is a video with parts of the Mass and the procession:

The photos shown above, as well as an additional report, were sent in by reader Dr Schilling from Trier.

(reposted from The New Liturgical Movement)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Two new Personal Parishes in Switzerland

The Diocese of Chur, in central-eastern Switzerland, announced today the canonical erection of two Personal Parishes dedicated to the Traditional Roman Rite (the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite), as envisaged by Summorum Pontificum, art. 10. Bishop Vitus Huonder established the Personal Parish Maria Immaculata in Oberarth (Canton Schwyz) and the Personal Parish of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, in Thalwil (Canton Zurich - staffed by priests of the Fraternity of Saint Peter/FSSP), both for pre-existing communities of Traditional Catholic faithful. 

The decrees were signed on Feb. 22 and were made public February 27th. Congratulations to new Parish Priest Fr Martin Ramm, FSSP.

(Source: Communiqué of the Diocese of Chur / FSSP England. Images: FSSP England / KIPA-APIC)

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Pontifical High Mass in Edinburgh

Una Voce Scotland's diary for 2012 is beginning to fill up, including a number of pilgrimages to pre-reformation sites, plus, we have the additional joy in welcoming H.E. Bishop Rifan back to Scotland during his busy trip to the UK.

Bishop Rifan is Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney.

His Eminence Cardinal O'Brien has graciously given permission for a Pontifical High Mass to be offered by Bishop Rifan on the Monday 2 July at 7:00 p.m (venue to be confirmed).

For more details, keep an eye on this blog, or

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Clergy pilgrimage to Catholic Bavaria

Clergy pilgrimage to Catholic Bavaria 7-11/12 May 2012,
led by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP.
Deacons and priests, secular and religious welcome

Quiz: in which country can one order a – very good local – beer at a local 'Gasthaus' with a crucifix in every room – and with for every 'Gasthaus' two baroque churches to pray in?
[Answer: AIRAVAB]
  • Monday 7 May, 3.10pm: landing at Memmingen Airport (direct Ryanair flights from London-Stansted, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin) and 45-minute drive to Wigratzbad (45minutes);
  • Tuesday: visit colossal Baroque Benedictine Abbeys of Ottobeuren, and Weingarten (with a relic of the Precious Blood venerated at the largest annual equestrian procession in the world);
  • Wednesday: preached recollection;
  • Thursday: visit shores of Lake Constance (Lindau peninsula, Cistercian Minor Basilica of Birnau cf picture right, ferry crossing to ancient Monastery Island of Reichenau where monk Hermann Contractus composed the Salve Regina);
  • Friday: free time and take off from Memmingen at 3.10pm – or stay on and attend Diaconal Ordinations at FSSP Motherhouse next door on Saturday morning by Bishop Castet of Luçon (French Vendée), with take off at 3.10pm after ceremony and landing in London at 3pm (or any airport of your choice).
Also planned: next door is the International Seminary of St Peter and motherhouse of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger visited there on Easter 1990 and offered Easter Mass in the usus antiquior. A visit of the seminary and meal(s) with community can be planned for us. Possibility of attending some of the community Masses and Divine Office.

Although a pilgrimage, it will not be penitential but surely Marian, especially in Bavaria in the month of May, when the immaculate Queen of the country – Maria Patrona Bavariae – is honoured in a particular way.

Accommodation: We will be staying at the Marian shrine of Wigratzbad, in the comfortable Pilgrims' Hostelwith the option of single rooms with ensuite bathroom.

Estimated cost: £400 (all inclusive for 5 days in single room). Cheaper if 4 days and no ensuite bathroom. For convenience, each priest will book his own flight.

Booking: We only ask you to send us a £30 cheque as deposit made payable to FSSP ENGLAND. Please specify your name, contact details and whether you wish a single or shared room, with or without ensuite bathroom.

Liturgy: Priests are obviously free to offer daily Mass using the Missal of their choice.

Please contact Fr de Malleray if you have any questions: malleray at

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Vocation discernment weekend

Vocation discernment weekend:
30 March - 1 April 2012
at St John Fisher House in Reading:

For Catholic men between 18 and 35 years of age (under 18 please contact us).

Starts on Friday 30th March 2012 at 6pm (arrivals from 5pm)– ends on Sunday 1st April 2012 at 3pm. Led by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, assisted by Fr Simon Leworthy, FSSP and Rev Ian Verrier, FSSP – one of our seminarians from Birmingham (read his interview in the Catholic Herald last month here).

(picture: Palm Sunday 2009 in Reading)

Location: St John Fisher House is the residence of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in England & Wales.

Address: 17, Eastern Avenue, Reading, RG1 5RU, England.

Access: 27mn from London Paddington by direct trains up to every 10mn, and from London Waterloo. Direct trains from Oxford, Bournemouth, Bristol, Newcastle, York, Birmingham, Gatwick Airport, Southampton Airport, etc. Direct 'RailAir' buses from Heathrow to Reading train station every 20mn. Motorway: M4. Trains: Buses:
Limited overnight accommodation: please book now.

Programme: Spiritual conferences, socials, Holy Mass each of the three days (Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite) including Solemn High Mass on Palm Sunday, silent prayer, private talk with Fr de Malleray, FSSP. Fr de Malleray will explain what a vocation is in general and to the priesthood in particular. Read here the Holy Father's recent Letter to seminarians. Extract: "The proper celebration of the Eucharist involves knowing, understanding and loving the Church's liturgy in its concrete form. In the liturgy we pray with the faithful of every age – the past, the present and the future are joined in one great chorus of prayer. As I can state from personal experience, it is inspiring to learn how it all developed, what a great experience of faith is reflected in the structure of the Mass, and how it has been shaped by the prayer of many generations."

Cost: no set price for students or unemployed – any donation welcome; others: £50 suggested.

New: our special Vocations flyer and videos on

Contact: Tel: 0118 966 5284; Email: malleray at

Web:; International:; Youths:

St John Fisher House is the residence of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in Reading, a Catholic international priestly society canonically established in the dioceses of Portsmouth and of Northampton, and in the Archdiocese of St Andrew's & Edinburgh.

We had 11 men staying here at our last Vocation discernment weekend before Christmas. We hope you can be with us this next time. God bless you!

(Picture: coat of arms of the FSSP embroidered on vestments worn by Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts H. Exc. Juan Ignacio Arrieta at minor ordination in Germany of Rev James Mawdsley, FSSP (from Durham) on 11 February 2012. Read Liverpool diocesan priest Fr Henry's report on the event here.)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

32 seminarians tonsured the same day

On 22nd October 2011, 14 and 18 seminarians were tonsured in each of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter's two seminaries, making it 32 altogether: the largest number of ‘tonsurati’ in the history of the Fraternity. Among them were three from the United Kingdom: Revs Krzysztof (originally from Poland), Alex, and Mark. The latter reports on the ceremony in Bavaria.

In the Old Testament the tribe of Levi had no inheritance to call their own; they had no land to pass on to their sons. According to God's merciful plan they were accorded forty-eight cities to dwell in – scattered amongst the other tribes – but this was for their maintenance; they had no "heritable property" as we would know it today. And yet, having nothing, they had everything, for "the Lord God of Israel Himself" was their possession (Jos. 13:33).

So it is for the cleric. He is singled out, set apart – after a particular call from the Lord – to bring sacrifice to the Lord. Living in a spirit of poverty, he has – like the Levites – nothing material to give. Rather he brings the offerings of others, and above all he brings himself to be offered. Thus with a joyful heart I, and thirteen of my confrères, prayed the immortal words from Psalm XV– "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me" – and received the clerical tonsure on October 22nd in Lindau, on the shores of Lake Constance in Bavaria, from His Excellency Vitus Huonder, Bishop of the neighbouring diocese of Chur (Zurich) in Switzerland.

In a moving ceremony, the Seminarian is "called forward" to receive the tonsure, where he answers "adsum", that he is present and ready; he is prepared. The Seminarian having donned the collar, soutane and cincture privately in the Sacristy – the collar representing Christ's yoke, and the cincture chastity – the Bishop proceeds to cut five locks from the Seminarian's hair in the form of a Cross, at the same time reciting the above verse from the Psalter in Latin. Then the Surplice – the cleric's particular garb for Liturgy (the Soutane being his everyday clothing, it must be remembered) – is "imposed" onto the Seminarian, with the prayer that the Lord will make him a "new man, created by God in justice and the sanctity of Truth" (c.f. Eph. 4:24).

Whilst the Code of Canon Law now recognises the clerical state only with the conferring of the Diaconate, the ceremony of Tonsure and Clothing as Clerics makes us such liturgically and „existentially‟. One may not yet canonically be a cleric, but for us, and for the eighteen further Seminarians who received the Tonsure on the same day in America, a very visible change has taken place. To the world we look like clerics, or – not knowing any better – we are mistaken for Priests, and we are confronted with a new identity each time our reflection is seen in a pane of glass or a mirror. Is it really me there? Yes, and – trusting in God's call – I will continue to "put on" My Lord each day, and suffer for His sake. (Though, most encounters are positive, because – even in today's "Godless" society – people recognise a commitment as such.)

And so began my second year as a Seminarian for the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. After a first, "probationary" year, the very visual ceremony and change from civil clothes into always dressing like a cleric, is one that strikingly confirms that one is continuing in formation. With six years still "to go", there is plenty time to become used to the soutane, and also to be formed by it. After all, our formation here is not only academic, as Pope John Paul II noted in the Apostolic Exhortation "Pastores Dabo Vobis", but must also encompass human, pastoral and spiritual formation. And even a piece of clothing contributes to that (though, having been blessed by the Bishop, our Soutanes are also sacramentals!).

The Seminary formation here follows the model prescribed by the Council of Trent while conforming to the Ratio Studiorum of the Holy See. The first year, probationary in nature, is a year of spiritual formation, during which the candidate becomes disciplined in a community life of prayer and penance. The next two years comprise a thorough grounding in thomistic philosophy, during which the Seminarian also continues studies in Latin, scripture, and Gregorian chant, already begun in first year. This is then followed by four years of theological studies, during the last of which one is on placement as a deacon.

Already in the first year there were many challenges to be met: dealing in a foreign language "all day, every day" has its initial frustrations but immense benefits. After years of disuse my childhood German had become very rusty, and I prepared for entering the Seminary by going "back to school", to night classes. That said, the first few weeks were daunting as the artificial environment of my Hometown University could only prepare me so far, and I found many gaps: the language of philosophy being somewhat different from that of the holidaymaker or business traveller.

The daily régime of the Seminary is also demanding, but very rewarding: the day centres around the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Hours of the Divine Office (the Breviary). By 6:25am Seminarians are in the Church praying Lauds in choir, this is then followed by silent mental prayer and then the community Mass. Likewise, Seminarians gather in the chapel for Sext (midday prayer) and Vespers, or Rosary in common, or Adoration and Benediction, and again in the Church for Compline (night prayer). The rest of the day is made up of classes and tasks and chores. Despite there being two mandatory recreation periods, one after lunch and one after the evening meal, the day seems full-packed and in second year it does not show any signs of slowing down!

That said, the daily rhythm bears for me a great deal similarity to that one finds in, for example, a Benedictine monastery. By that I mean that there seems a healthy mix between all the aspects of life necessary for formation: not one seems to rule at the expense of the rest. There is work and study, time for silence and then time to talk, private prayer and contemplation, public liturgy and outreach; all has its right place. This follows the succinct maxim of the Middle Ages: "in medio stat virtus", virtue lies in the centre. Hence, whilst the life can be hard at times, there is a real sense of reward and valuable work, especially when one looks to the goal: the Catholic Priesthood. I cannot presume to second-guess the Lord's divine plan for me, but should it be that He wishes me to be His Priest, then here is the place to realise that end. And so I am reminded of the prayer of the cleric each day he dons his Surplice: "Clothe me, O Lord, in the new man, who is created by God in justice and the sanctity of truth".

(originally published in Downry, no. 12 (Autumn 2011), magazine of the FSSP in England)