Saturday, 30 January 2010

From Baseball to a Traditional Seminarian Life

By now, many of you have already heard that Grant Desme, an awesome baseball player for the Oakland A's has been discerning a call to the priesthood, and recently he has decided to follow that call. What some of you may not know is that Desme is not planning on studying for a diocesan priesthood. That is not the case at all. Rather, he will be studying for the priesthood within a group of canons called the Canons Regular of Premontre.

These canons are located in Orange County, California at St. Michael's Abbey. "The Norbertine Order (Premonstratensians) was founded by St. Norbert of Xanten (1080-1134) in the valley of Prémontré (modern day France.)." An interesting fact about this Canons Regular that you may also not be aware of is presented on their website under the title "Liturgy". This is what the site says about their liturgy: "Before the sweeping changes in the liturgy made at Vatican II, the Norbertine Order had its own manner of celebrating the Office and Mass.

Liturgists debate whether this was a Rite or merely a usage, but the fact remains that many elements of the Premonstratensian liturgy (especially surrounding the ceremonial of Holy Week) were radically different from the Roman Rite. St. Michael’s Abbey has preserved many of these elements in its present liturgy, and regards these Norbertine elements as part of our rich heritage, meant to be fostered and passed from one generation to the next."

I had not heard of this community until I watched The World Over with Raymond Arroyo who interviewed Desme on his show. When Desme spoke of his pull toward the group's traditional ways, I immediately looked up his story, found the community's website, and was determined to share this information with you. Whilst the Norbertines may not all celebrate the Tridentine Mass regularly, they do use sacred chant and Latin in their liturgy. They also have pictures of the priest facing the people, while at the same time they have photos of the canons receiving Communion with a paten under their chin, while kneeling and receiving on the tongue.

Visit their website at:

The abbey's portion of the site is found here:

View photos here:

Friday, 29 January 2010

The Voice of... Leo XIII (Part XI)

On 6th January, 1895, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Longinqua to the Archbishops and Bishops of the United States on the state of Catholicism in that Country:

"5. That your Republic is .progressing and developing by giant strides is patent to all; and this holds good in religious matters also. For even as your cities, in the course of one century, have made a marvellous increase in wealth and power, so do we behold the Church, from scant and slender beginnings, grown with rapidity to be great and exceedingly flourishing. Now if, on the one hand, the increased riches and resources of your cities are justly attributed to the talents and active industry of the American people, on the other hand, the prosperous condition of Catholicity must be ascribed, first indeed, to the virtue, the ability, and the prudence of the bishops and clergy; but in so slight measure also, to the faith and generosity of the Catholic laity. Thus, while the different classes exerted their best energies, you were enabled to erect unnumbered religious and useful institutions, sacred edifices, schools for the instruction of youth, colleges for the higher branches, homes for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and convents and monasteries. As for what more closely touches spiritual interests, which are based upon the exercise of Christian virtues, many facts have been brought to Our notice, whereby We are animated with hope and filled with joy, namely, that the numbers of the secular and regular clergy are steadily augmenting, that pious sodalities and confraternities are held in esteem, that the Catholic parochial schools, the Sunday-schools for imparting Christian doctrine, and summer schools are in a flourishing condition; moreover, associations for mutual aid, for the relief of the indigent, for the promotion of temperate living, add to all this the many evidences of popular piety."

Saturday, 23 January 2010

FSSP Vocation Days in Nebraska

The Confraternity of St Peter is in the early stages of planning a vocation camp for May 2010. The details will develop over the next few months, but for now we would like to hear from any family interested in participating.

The idea is that families who come for ordinations on May 22 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary might stay for a couple of extra days. Their children can then participate in activities either at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary (for boys) or the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso (for girls). It would end on Monday evening with a talk for all given by one of the Priests.

Details have yet to be finalised, but we are looking at some places where fathers and sons and mothers and daughters might "camp" to keep expenses down. Of course you can stay at local hotels if you prefer.

If you would like to put your children on the list or receive more information as it becomes available, email Tish Gallagher at tish5 at, or call +1-916-223-3112. This will be a really wonderful opportunity for young people to spend some time with Priests and religious and learn about life in the Seminary or Convent, and also have a lot of fun at the same time.

(reproduced from Cum Petro, the periodical of the Confraternity of St Peter, Winter 2010)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Pontifical Consecration of New Chapel of the Northern American FSSP Seminary with Cardinal Levada

by Gregor Kollmorgen

The new chapel of the Northern American Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in Denton, Nebraska, will be consecrated on 3 March 2010. The ceremony will be performed by His Excellency Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, the local ordinary, in the presence of His Eminence William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, since last year's motu proprio Ecclesiae unitatem, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. This will be, as far as we are aware, the first public function in the usus antiquior which Cardinal Levada carries out in his new capacity. This is from a press release which the NLM was sent today by the FSSP:
DENTON, Nebraska – January 22, 2010 – The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is pleased to announce the Pontifical Consecration of its newly built chapel at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary on Wednesday, March 3rd at 10:00am (CST). Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz will celebrate the Pontifical Consecration and Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The five hour ceremony will be held in the presence of a very special guest from the Vatican, William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is delighted to have the presence of one of the highest ranking officials in the Catholic Church. Cardinal Levada's presence is connected with his position as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei established by Pope John Paul II and recently expanded by Pope Benedict XVI to facilitate the full incorporation into the life of the Church of communities and individuals attached to the Extraordinary Form.

Thanks to Thomas Gordon Smith, its architect, the seminary chapel reflects a contemporary rebirth in the rich tradition of classical Catholic architecture. Upon entering through its mahogany doors, the visitor will be immersed in the chapel's beauty and grandeur which include an elevated main altar, emphasized by a 31-foot marble canopy or “baldachino”, the chapel's seven side altars and liturgical choir stalls which seat 92 seminarians and priests. These are some of the integral qualities of this chapel which, on March 3rd, will be full of the people for which it was made.

The Pontifical Consecration and Mass is open to all of the public. Any and all the faithful are cordially invited and are most welcome to attend this joyful event and enjoy refreshments afterwards.

Due to the number of guests and limited space, rooms and television screens will be provided for those outside of the chapel who wish to participate.

The Pontifical Consecration and Mass will be televised live on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) at 11:00AM (EST). Watch the Pontifical Consecration and Mass Live Online!
(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

The Voice of... Pope Leo XIII (Part X)

On 24th December, 1894, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Christi Nomen regarding the Propagation of the Faith and the Eastern Churches:

"3. To ensure that the Eastern Christians who have seceded will return to the one true Church, it is necessary to provide them with an abundance of holy ministers who, endowed with doctrine and piety, may persuade the others to accept the desired unity. In addition, Catholic wisdom and life must be made known and imparted to them in such a fashion that it will fit their national character congenially. Therefore houses must be opened wherever expedient for the sacred education of the youth, a sufficient number of high schools should be available, distributed according to population. Their power of exercising each rite may thus be supplied with dignity. Genuine knowledge of religion, should be extended to all by making the best literature available. You can easily understand the costs of these and similar ventures. You also understand that the Eastern Churches by themselves cannot meet all these expenses. Nor can We Ourselves in these hard times offer the help We would like. Suitable aid must be asked principally from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith which We have just now praised. Its purpose is entirely consonant with what We now have in mind. But lest apostolic missions, deprived in part of the aids by which they are sustained, suffer any harm, We must insist that the generosity of the Catholics toward the Society become greater. It is fitting that a similar concern also be applied to the Society for the Schools of the East whose growth We encouraged, especially since its directors have openly promised to contribute as much as possible for this worthy cause."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Oratory of St. Philip Neri established in Tilburg

A very positive development in the diocese of ’s Hertogenbosch for vocations and the priesthood in general. In Tilburg, newly installed priest and dean, Fr Jeroen Miltenburg, and his chaplain, Fr. Karel Loodts. are working to establish a so-called Oratory of St. Philip Neri.

Established in the 16th century, by St. Philip Neri, a priest in Rome, an oratory is a house where priests live, work and pray together. In St. Philip’s time it was a great boost to vocations and the education of priests, who not only lived together, but also organised regular discussion meetings about all manner of topics, but always with the goal of furthering theological and pastoral awareness.

Fr. Miltenburg: “Of course there are practical advantages when it comes to dividing tasks, but the fundamental idea is praying, offering Mass and doing pastoral work together.”

And about St. Philip Neri he says: “Typical for Neri was his passionate and loving discussion of Jesus Christ. Through his attention on prayer, conversation, song, music and pilgrimage the first oratory developed against the spirit of the Reformation.”

On 17 June of last year, Bishop Hurkmans allowed the establishment of an ‘Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Development’ in Tilburg. Since an oratory needs a core of three priests it is open for growth.

(reproduced from In Cælo et in Terra)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer Seminarians Assist in Texan Cathedra

On Monday, January 11 in the year of Our Lord 2010, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (Transalpine Redemptorists) graciously assisted Holy Mass during a Tridentine Rite (EF, TLM, etc.) Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Austin Texas.

According to the New Liturgical Movement:

"The Deacon was Fr. Tommy Chen, assistant priest at St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Shiner, TX, a parish which offers both forms. The subdeacon is Br. Jean Marie, FSSR, of the Translalpine Redemptorists. Other Transalpine Redemptorists functioned within this Mass as well."

This means that yet another Catholic Bishop in the United States has opened his Cathedral to Masses said in the Extraordinary Form from the Roman Missal of 1962 (every Sunday at 3:30 pm). Deo gratias! As a witness to this, the Transalpine Redemptorists themselves said that the Rector of the Cathedral of St. Mary himself celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

"This Solemn Mass was celebrated by Father Albert Laforet  the Rector of St. Mary's Cathedral, Austin, Texas."

 The New Liturgical Movement also provided pictures of the architecture in the Cathedral.

It is interesting how the altar has a tree carved onto it in stone--referencing more of the "Sacrifice" of the Mass--rather than focusing mostly on the altar being like a table (as many modern churches try to relate it to more often than the altar of Our Lord--the cross). You will also notice that this high altar has the tabernacle directly on it like a pre-Vatican II church would. Making notice of this, we come to find that there is, in fact, no Novus Ordo altar present here in this Cathedral at the time of this Mass. This is clearly seen in the photo below:

All that seems to be missing in the cathedral is the presence of the altar (Communion) rail.

The news of the Sons of the Holy Reedemer assisting this Mass does not only show the beauty of their traditional charism in the Church, but this also shows how they are being well accepted and welcomed into the Church ever since they left the SSPX (Society of St. Pius X)--just as the FSSP (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter) did.

Another interesting fact about this Mass is that it took place during a time when the Diocese of Austin, Texas was having a priests' retreat in Belton, TX. What a great way to offer up prayers for the priests on the retreat if you were to offer up this Holy Mass for them.

Support the Sons of the Holy Redeemer by visiting their blog at:

Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb

The Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb are a contemplative community that enables girls with Down’s syndrome to respond to a religious vocation.

To Offer Oneself to God in witness to the Gospel of Life

Together for a contemplative life

To consecrate one’s life to God, offering it for love of the weakest and most deprived of our neighbours, this is our vocation! By accompanying them, we want to enable young, intellectually disabled girls to offer a consecrated life to God and to the Church.

To allow those who have the “last place” in the world, to hold in the Church the exceptional place of spouses of Jesus Christ. To allow those who depend on others for their everyday life to take in charge, in their prayer, the intentions that are entrusted to them. To allow those whose life is held in contempt to the extent of being in danger from a culture of death, to witness by their consecration to the Gospel of Life.

The Institute of the Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb, a contemplative vocation, offer young girls with Downs the possibilty of realising their religious vocation. This realisation is made possible only by the support of sisters without this disability, who have responded to a special call to consecrate themselves to God with their disabled sisters to form one community with them.

Today, more girls with Down’s Syndrome are knocking at our door. To respond to their request, our family needs new vocations. Vocations to share a contemplative life with “the smallest in the Kingdom”.

Together in work and prayer

Guided by the wisdom of St Benedict, we teach our little disabled sisters the manual labour necessary for their development. We live poverty in putting ourselves at their disposal. With them, we share the work of everyday life.

The office, adoration and the praying of the rosary are adapted to their rhythm and their capacities. In a spirit of silence, our prayer feeds every day on the Eucharist and on the meditation of the Gospel.

Close to the abbey of Fontgombault, we benefit from its spiritual support.

The Institute of the Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb

The community was founded in 1985, and canonically recognised in 1990 as a public association by the Archbishop of Tours. It settled in Blanc in 1995, and was erected as a religious institute of contemplative life by the archbishop of Bourges in 1999.

The Little Sisters now have at their disposal a priory on the edge of the town. Here, for a period of vocational discernment, they can receive young girls touched by the spirit of poverty and dedication, ready to offer a whole existence to the service of Christ in the person of their sisters with Down’s Syndrome.

At the school of St Therese of the Child Jesus

We follow every day the “little way” taught by Saint Therese; knowing that “great actions are forbidden to us”, we learn from her to receive everything from God, to “love for the brothers who fight”, to “scatter flowers for Jesus”, and to pray for the intentions entrusted to us.

The community was founded with the encouragement of Jerome Lejeune, and is currently supported by, among others, the Lejeune Foundation, according to this page. One sister made her perpetual profession last June.

This youtube clipe is taken from a 26 minute documentary on the community produced by the French Exaltavit.

Here I’ve added a post with two interviews with the sisters, and an article on a Franciscan community for men with Down’s syndrome.

(reproduced from Ex Laodicæa)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Pontifical Mass in Copenhagen

by Gregor Kollmorgen

First images of the Pontifical Mass sung by the Bishop of Copenhagen, His Excellency Czeslaw Kozon (who had previosuly celebrated missa cantata in the usus antiquior), in his cathedral on 10 January 2010 have become available via Katolsk Tradition.

The Bishop was assisted by Fr. Josef Bisig and Fr. Martin Knudsen, both of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Cardinal Levada to Bless New Chapel of the Northern American FSSP Seminary

by Gregor Kollmorgen

The new chapel of the Northern American Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in Denton, Nebraska, will be dedicated on 3 March 2010.

The ceremony will be performed by His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, since last year's motu proprio Ecclesiae unitatem, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. This will be, as far as we are aware, the first public function in the usus antiquior which Cardinal Levada carries out in his new capacity.

The Voice of... Pope Leo XIII (Part IX)

On 2nd September, 1893, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Constanti Hungarorum regarding the Church in Hungary:

"12. Above all, We wish you to direct your zeal and devotion towards the education of children and adolescents. It is not Our intention to repeat now what We have already written in the same letter that We mentioned in the beginning of this one. We cannot, however, refrain from touching briefly upon certain serious matters. In respect to primary schools, you must insist that pastors and others who are in charge of souls be constantly vigilant in their behalf and consider it their most important duty to teach sacred doctrine to children. This special service should be undertaken by themselves and valued as a sacred trust. It is certain that a wholesome and pious education in childhood ensures in great measure not only the preservation of the family. but of the state itself. Nor should you spare any industry or ingenuity to help these schools increase and develop successfully. It would be most appropriate to appoint in each diocese supervisors of schools for both the diocese and the deaneries. The bishops could confer with them annually on the condition of the schools as well as on other matters pertaining to faith, morals, and the care of souls. If it should be necessary to build new schools in answer to local needs or enlarge those already established, we are fully confident that your liberality and likewise that of all Catholics will be prompt and generous."

"13. Regarding high schools and graduate schools, care should be taken that the good, planted like seeds in the minds and hearts of children, be not sadly destroyed in their adolescence. See that dangers of that kind be removed or diminished. Most especially, your pastoral concern should avail in selecting learned and virtuous teachers of religion and in removing those causes that too often hinder fruitful results."

"14. For the rest, We appreciate your concerted efforts to maintain the seats of highest studies under the authority of the Church and bishops in accord with the will of their founders. We, nevertheless, exhort you to continue to fulfill this obligation. It would certainly not be equitable to deny Catholics that which is granted adversaries of the Catholic cause. It is of common interest, moreover, that what our predecessors established so piously and wisely should never be used to the detriment of the Church and Catholic faith, but for the protection and defense of both and hence, for the continuous good of the state itself."

"15. Finally, these recommendations also apply to seminarians and priests. You should expend even greater effort on them that they may be worthy of the priesthood and that they may manifest virtue fitting the times. For this reason, the sacred seminaries justly claim the greater part of your attention. Direct them in the best way possible and provide them with all that is necessary so that through the dedication of selected teachers, seminarians will be trained in the morals and virtues required by their order and, moreover, in all the beauty and glory of doctrine, both human and divine."

"16. For your clergy, the times require a very particular unanimity in your guidance. concern and love in admonishing and exhorting them, and extraordinary firmness in defending ecclesiastical discipline. In turn, all priests should have strong faith in their bishops, accept their directives, and support their undertakings. In their sacred duties and their pastoral work, they should always be ready and zealous, guided by love.
Because, moreover, priests set an example, they should be living models of virtue and constancy. They should be cautious, however, not to get too involved in civilian or political affairs, and let them often recall this passage from St. Paul, 'No one serving as God's soldier entangles himself in worldly affairs, that he may please him whose approval he has secured.'"

"17. To be sure, as St. Gregory the Great admonishes, it is not right to abandon foresight in external matters in one's anxiety for spiritual matters. Explicitly, when it is a question of defending religion or promoting the common good, the latter is not to be disregarded. A priest must be cautious not to overstep his dignity and deportment lest he seem more concerned for human than heavenly affairs. Most aptly the same Gregory the Great says, 'Therefore, worldly occupations are sometimes to be tolerated out of compassion, never however to be pursued out of love; lest they, by burdening the mind of the lover, overwhelm him and make him sink under their weight from heaven into the depths.'"

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Canons Regular of St. John Cantius Vocations Reminder for Prayers

December the 23 in the year of Our Lord 2009 was an important day for the Canons Regulars of St. John Cantius as the newly entered novices (who entered this summer)

"were vested on the Feast of the Assumption with the Roman cassock. Now their religious habits are amplified as they are vested with the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, the fascia with fringe, and the Roman Collar."
This all took place in the beautiful parish of St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Chicago, IL.
The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius do indeed wear a Roman cassock with a fascia (more commonly called a cincture) around it. Wrapped around the cincture itself is a black colored Rosary of the Blessed  Virgin Mary. A Roman collar is also worn. This beautifully shows that these men are not only dedicated to the beautiful traditions of the Latin (Roman) Rite of the Catholic Church, but the fact that they wear that big, black rosary shows also their dedication to the Blessed Mother.

These vestments are more clearly seen in the following picture:

Notice the canon on the far right side  of the photo photo. There's no way that his rosary will go unnoticed. To those who are discerning a vocation to the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius: you ought to consider praying the Rosary as often as possible. For, just as any good Catholic mother gladly prays for her children and their vocations, our Blessed Mother will do the same for us. Our Blessed Mother indeed loves the priesthood, thus she loves the seminarians in a special way, and she wants to protect them. Welcome her into your life--into your vocation! Could there be more of a traditional thing to do? Look at St. John, one of the first bishops of the Church, he indeed welcomed Mother Mary into his vocation at the command of Christ as He suffered on the cross. Carry a rosary in your pocket, what a defense for your vocation! Not only is it such a powerful spiritual weapon, but if you one day do so happen to become one of these canons, you'll be ready to carry that rosary around as a witness to the love of God through a devotion to Mother Mary (in having that rosary around the cincture). How greatly does this speak of Mother Mary's love and protection of chastity while the rosary is wrapped around the reminder of chastity/humility (the surplice/cincture)?

We should all also pray for the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius: their parish, their priests, novices, etc.

Other news from the Canons-Regular:


Return on Saturday, February 6 at 6:00 pm for a Piano Recital by Concert Pianist Ana Fau. Click here to get your tickets to hear music of Handel, Debussy, Tchaikovsky and more.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Pontifical Mass at Campocavallo

by Gregor Koillmorgen

On the Feast of the Epiphany, Cardinal Castrillón celebrated Pontifical Mass at the Marian shrine of Campocavallo (Osimo, Province of Ancona, Italy) with the Franciscans of the Immaculate who celebrate the Extraordinary Form there every Sunday. Rinasicmento Sacro has images and a report (in Italian). Some more images on Elsas Nacht(b)revier.

(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Friday, 8 January 2010

Investitures with the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

by Gregor Kollmorgen

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, celebrated the investiture of four postulants as well as the first profession of a novice on Wednesday, 6 January 2010, the Feast of the Epiphany, during Pontifical Mass sung by Bishop Finn of Kansas City-Saint Joseph. Kansas Catholic has images of the occasion (investiture part I, investiture part II, first profession, Pontifical Mass). Here are some impressions:

The sisters pursue as their apostolate the making of vestments, reappropriating traditional techniques, a most worthwhile undertaking. They made this cappa magna for bishop Finn:

Note: You can find more photos at the site Kansas Catholic.

(reproduced, with permission, from The New Liturgical Movement)

The Voice of... Pope Leo XIII (Part VIII)

On 24th June, 1893, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Ad Extremas on Seminaries for Native Clergy:

7. "...there must be respect for antiquity; whatever we see advantageously established in times past must be religiously preserved. Now, it was the practice of the Apostles first to instruct the multitude in Christian precepts, then to select several from the people and initiate them into the sacred mysteries and even elevate them to the episcopacy. This example was followed afterwards by the Roman pontiffs. Their custom has always been to direct missionaries to exert every means to select a native clergy wherever the Christian community grew sufficiently large..."

Sunday, 3 January 2010

In Memoriam - Fr. Franck Quoex

a tribute to Fr Franck M. Quoëx (1967-2007),
by Gregory DiPippio

Today is the third anniversary of the death of Fr. Franck Quoëx, a priest of the Diocese of Vaduz in Lichtenstein, and one of the foremost liturgists of our times. I had the great honor to serve alongside Fr. Quoëx at the traditional Masses in Rome for many years, and some of the most beautiful rites I have ever seen were put together and guided by his phenomenal expertise. He had and deserved a reputation throughout Europe as a highly talented Master of Ceremonies; many have remarked that if the Pope should ever decide to do the ancient Papal Mass again, Fr. Quoëx would have been one of the few people who could have arranged it properly. I am always put in mind of him most especially during Holy Week; he had a great love of these most solemn rites of the Church, and the rehearsals he led were filled with interesting asides on the origin and symbolic meaning of the ceremonies. In the year 2000, he was the first master of ceremonies for a Rorate Mass celebrated by His Eminence Alphonse-Maria Cardinal Stickler, at the church of San Pietro in Montorio. Like most of the servers, I had never been involved in Pontifical Mass before, and we were all extremely nervous; Fr. Quoëx steered us through a magnificent ceremony with grace and calm. In 2005, I was master of ceremonies for a Requiem Mass celebrated on behalf of Pope John Paul II at the F.S.S.P.’s former Roman chapel, San Gregorio de’ Muratori; my two very small mistakes were immediately spotted and corrected by Fr. Quoëx. He always behaved with the most perfect courtesy to myself and the other servers, and his criticisms, if I can even call them such, were easy to bear, because they were not born from a lack of charity, or a desire to lord over others. They came, rather, from a profound liturgical piety, and love of the Church’s tradition, even in its smallest details, which permeated his whole life as a priest. His own Masses, whether sung or read, were a lesson to all who saw them in devotion to the sacred liturgy, and he rejoiced to see the growing interest in the Tridentine rite among priests and seminarians in Rome. The Fraternity of Saint Peter’s European seminary, at Wigratzbad in Bavaria, was blessed to have him for some years as a professor. His knowledge of the sacred rites was both practical and theoretical; among his scholarly achievements, his thesis on the virtue of religion in the writings of St. Thomas earned the praise of Cardinal Ratzinger, and he edited and published out of the Sorbonne critical editions of the liturgical codices of the use of Vercelli, in northern Italy.

In May of 2006, Abbé Quoëx was diagnosed with cancer, which took his life less than nine months later. In the final days of his illness, when he had become too weak to celebrate Mass, he would have friends sit at his bedside and read the Mass to him. He passed away at the age of thirty-nine, on January 2, the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, and is buried in the cemetery of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had been serving the faithful of the traditional Mass community. The joy of his eternal rest has most surely been increased beyond measure by the promulgation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, and the flourishing of the traditional Mass to which he dedicated his all-too-brief life in this world.

From his essay The Mass, Our Treasure:

The legacy of the Lord, the Mass is the Sun of our lives and our treasure. We love it due to the fact that it is substantially and principally of the Lord's [own] institution. But we love it also as the Church, to which Jesus entrusted its celebration, has transmitted it to us down through the centuries by means of the various liturgical traditions. Because the prayers and rites developed through the centuries in order to explain and manifest before the eyes of the entire Church the unfathomable riches of the essential rite bequeathed by the Lord. ... We cannot in any way forswear a heritage slowly built by the faith of our fathers, their burning devotion, and the theological reflection around the sacrament of the Passion of the Lord. In contact with the Mass of Saint Pius V -- in which we also contemplate the purest masterpiece of Western Civilization, hierarchical as well as sacral -- our souls lift up and our hearts expand, while our minds taste the most authentic Eucharistic doctrine. This is why we wish to understand and love, at all times more, the Traditional Mass, our treasure, and we will not cease to defend and advance it.

Le Baptistere, March 2003; translation courtesy of Rorate Caeli.
Photo courtesy of Orbis Catholicus.


Here is the tribute from his best friend translated into English, courtesy of The New Liturgical Movement.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New PCED Members

Messa in Latino has announced that the newest members of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be Fr. Vincenzo Nuara OP and Fr. Almiro de Andrade FSSP.

Fr. Almiro de Andrade is the first member of any of the "Ecclesia Dei Communities" to be officially appointed to the Commission. He also serves as MC at SS. Trinita dei Pellegrini, and is already considered as the de facto "secretary to the Secretary" of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Msgr. Guido Pozzo.

Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, on the other hand, is the founder of the "Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum" and of "Giovane e Tradizione". Fr. Nuara, who had been removed from his position as vicar for religious in the Diocese of Acireale for his role in assisting the organizers of the celebration of the Traditional Mass in that diocese (in Sicily, which currently has only two locations with a regular TLM) -- a Mass that was saved only upon the intervention of the PCED -- has been very much at the forefront of promoting Summorum Pontificum, being one of the leaders in organizing study days and conferences on the Traditional Roman Rite, in Rome most notably the October 2009 conference that concluded with Archbishop Burke's Pontifical Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

(story: Rorate Cæli)

Friday, 1 January 2010

reminder: Blog Help Wanted


One of the authors of this blog intends to retire from blogging by Easter. If you have time to help out with this blog, and see it continue, please leave a comment, or email markadm at catholic dot org.

All comments are moderated, hence private comments can be left which will remain unpublished.

The Voice of... Pope Leo XIII (Part VII)

On 25th December, 1888, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Exeunte Iam Anno to the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops, and to all the Faithful in Grace and Communion with the Apostolic See regarding the right ordering of Christian Life:

"14. Here it is fitting We should exhort you whom God has made His helpers by giving the divine power to dispense His Sacraments, to turn to meditation and prayer. If the reformation of private and public morals is needed, it scarcely requires to be said that in both respects the clergy ought to set the highest example. Let them therefore remember that they have been called by Jesus Christ, "the light of the world, that the soul of the priest should shine like a light illuminating the whole world. The light of learning, and that in no small degree is needed in the priest, because it is his duty, to fill others with wisdom, to destroy errors, to be a guide to the many in the steep and slippery paths of life. Learning ought to be accompanied by innocence of life, because in the reformation of man example is far better than precept. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works." The meaning of the divine word is that the perfection of virtue in priests should be such that they should be like a mirror to the rest of men. "There is nothing which induces others more effectively to piety and the worship of God, than the life and example of those who have dedicated themselves to the divine ministry: for, since they are separated from the world and placed in a higher sphere, others look on them as though on a mirror, to take examples from them." Therefore if all men must watchfully heed against the allurements of sin, and against seeking too eagerly fleeting pleasures, it is clear how much more faithful and steadfast ought priests to be. The sacredness of their dignity, moreover -- as well as the fact that it is not sufficient to restrain their passions -- demands in them the habit of stringent selfrestraint, and also a guard over the powers of the soul, particularly the intellect and will, which hold the supreme place in man. "Thou who hast the mind to leave all (says St. Bernard), remember to reckon thyself among what thou wouldst abandon-nay, deny thyself first and before everything." Not before the soul is unshackled and free from every desire, will men have a generous zeal for the salvation of others, without which they cannot properly secure their own everlasting welfare. "There will be one thing only sought (says St. Bernard) by His subjects, one glory, one pleasure - to make ready for the Lord a perfect people. For this they will give everything with much exertion of mind and body, with toil and suffering, with hunger and thirst, with cold and nakedness." The frequent meditation upon the things of heaven wonderfully nourishes and strengthens virtue of this kind, and makes it always fearless of the greatest difficulties for the good of others. The more pains they take to meditate well, the more clearly will they understand the greatness and holiness of the priestly office. They will understand how sad it is that so many men, redeemed by Jesus Christ, are running headlong to eternal ruin; and by meditation upon God they will be themselves encouraged, and will more effectually excite others to the love of God. Such, then, is the surest method for the salvation of all; and in this men must take heed not to be terrified by difficulties, and not to despair of cure by reason of the long continuance of the evil. The impartial and unchangeable justice of God metes out reward for good deeds and punishment for sin. But since the life of peoples and nations, as such, does not outlast their world, they necessarily receive the rewards due to their deeds on this earth. In- deed it is no new thing that prosperity should come to a wrong-doing state; and this by the just counsel of God, Who from time to time rewards good actions with prosperity, for no people is altogether without merit, and this Augustine considered was the case with the Roman people. The law, nevertheless, is clear that for public prosperity it is to the interest of all that virtue-and justice especially, which is the mother of all virtues -- should be practiced, "Justice exalteth a nation; but sin maketh nations miserable." It is not Our purpose here to consider how far evil deeds may prosper, not whether empires, when flourishing and managing matters to their own liking, do nevertheless carry about with them, as it were shut up in their bowels, the seed of ruin and wretchedness. We wish this one thing to be understood, of which history has innumerable examples, that injustice is always punished, and with greater severity the longer it has been continued. We are greatly consoled by the words of the Apostle Paul, "For all things are yours; and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." By the hidden dispensation of divine providence the course of earthly things is so guided that all things that happen to man turn out to the glory of God for the salvation of those who are true disciples of Jesus Christ. Of these the mother and guide, the leader and guardian is the Church; which being united to Christ her spouse in intimate and unchangeable charity is also joined to Him by a common cause of battle and of victory. Hence We are not, and cannot be anxious on account of the Church, but We greatly fear for the salvation of very many, who proudly despise the Church, and by every kind of error rush to ruin; We are concerned for those States which We cannot but see are turned from God and sleeping in the midst of danger in dull security and insensibility. "Nothing is equal to the Church;" (says St. John Chrysostom,) "how many have opposed the Church and have themselves perished? The Church reaches to the heavens; such is the Church's greatness. She conquers when attacked; when beset by snares she triumphs; she struggles and is not overthrown, she fights and is not conquered." Not only is she not conquered, but she preserves that corrective power over nature, and that effective strength of life that springs from God Himself, and is unchanged by time. And, if by this power she has freed the world grown old in vice and lost in superstition, why should she not again recover it when gone astray? Let strife and suspicion at length cease, let all obstacles be removed, give the possession of all her rights to the Church, whose duty it is to guard and spread abroad the benefits gained by Jesus Christ, then We shall know by experience, where the light of the Gospel is, and what the power of Christ can do. 15. This year, which is now coming to an end, has given, as We have said, many signs of a reviving faith. Would that like the spark it might grow to an ever-increasing flame, which, by burning up the roots of sin, may open a way for the restoration of morals and for salutary counsels. We, indeed, who steer the mystical barque of the Church in such a storm, fix Our mind and heart upon the Divine Pilot Who holds the helm and sits unseen. Thou seest, Lord, how the winds have borne down on every side, how the sea rages and the waves are lashed to fury. Command, we beseech Thee, Who alone canst, the winds and the sea. Give back to man that tranquillity and order-that true peace which the world cannot give. By Thy grace let man be restored to proper order with faith in God, as in duty bound, with justice and love towards our neighbor, with temperance as to ourselves, and with passions controlled by reason. Let Thy kingdom come, let the duty of submitting to Thee and serving Thee be learnt by those who, far from Thee, seek truth and salvation to no purpose. In Thy laws there is justice and fatherly kindness; Thou grantest of Thy own good will the power to keep them. The life of a man on earth is a warfare, but Thou lookest down upon the struggle and helpest man to conquer, Thou raisest him that falls, and crownest him that triumphs."