Friday, 26 March 2010

The Extraordinary Form Conquers More and More of the Souls of the Franciscans of the Immaculate

by Gregor Kollmorgen

Paix Liturgique, in its newest Italian newsletter, has an interview with Fr Alessandro M. Apollonio, rector of the theological seminary of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (FFI), which brings splendid news from this young order which now has more than 700 members. Here is a translation of the part concerning the liturgy:

The vocation of a seminary is to give priests to Holy Church. This year eight of your friars will be ordained in Florence, on the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March. Last year, the ceremony took place at Tarquinia and, for the first time in the history of your institute, the sacrament of orders had been conferred on five of your friars according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Monsignor Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, officiated. This year Cardinal Rodé, another prelate of the Curia, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, will be the celebrant. Again, the Pontifical Mass will be accordiing to the older form: can we conclude that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite now becomes the ordinary manner of your ordinations to the priesthood?

Yes, as long as the Pope allows it, in the sense of being the preferred form, not the exclusive.


Allow me to interpret the thought of our superior, Father Manelli ... Since the Extraordinary Form is the liturgical form closest to our spirituality, as long as the Pope allows this, we will prefer the ancient rite for our ordinations. Of course, if tomorrow we have to ordain some friars directly in Africa or the United States and the bishop prefers to celebrate according to the Novus Ordo, the ordinations will be according to the modern liturgy in its most solemn form.

What brings your spirituality particularly close to the ancient rite?

Our Franciscan and Marian spirituality is characterised by its being theocentric, christocentric and mariocentric. God, the God-Man and the Immaculate Coredemptrix are central to our vocation. And, in its sacrificial and mystical dimensions, the traditional liturgy responds really fittingly to this spirituality of ours. There is salvation only in God made flesh in the womb of the Virgin, died on the Cross and risen, and the millennial liturgy of the Church constantly reminds us of this, even in its most subtle details.

If your friars are now entering the priesthood through the ancient rite, it would seem natural that they might enjoy its treasures every day: What is your position on the breviary for example? Can your priests use the traditional one?

Indeed, to accompany the spiritual growth of every single priest and of our religious family as a whole, the traditional breviary is a valuable tool. So much so that in the seminary, for all our functions in choir, it is now the one which we use. For personal reitation or on mission, the friars can however use the breviary of Paul VI.

How far are you along in the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in your houses?

In Italy, the Extraordinary Form is the form of our conventual Masses, recommended by the Father Founder, both for the friars and the sisters, and it is ever increasingly being celebrated in our public ceremonies also in parishes when we have the consent of the bishop. Abroad, things are done according to local needs. For example, in the United States, in order to prudently avoid any kind of confusion, things go at a slower pace than in Italy. However, from Brazil to the Philippines, the Extraordinary Form conquers more and more the souls of our brothers and sisters Franciscans of the Immaculate.
(reposted from The New Liturgical Movement)

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

On 9th May, 1897, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Divinum Illud Munus on the Holy Ghost:

"5. The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost. On that day the Holy Ghost began to manifest His gifts in the mystic body of Christ, by that miraculous outpouring already foreseen by the prophet Joel (ii., 28-29), for the Paraclete "sat upon the apostles as though new spiritual crowns were placed upon their heads in tongues of fire" (S. Cyril Hier. Catech. 17). Then the apostles "descended from the mountain," as St. John Chrysostom writes, "not bearing in their hands tables of stone like Moses, but carrying the Spirit in their mind, and pouring forth the treasure and the fountain of doctrines and graces" (In Matt. Hom. 1., 2 Cor. iii., 3). Thus was fully accomplished that last promise of Christ to His apostles of sending the Holy Ghost, who was to complete and, as it were, to seal the deposit of doctrine committed to them under His inspiration. "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now; but when He, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, He will teach you all truth" (John xvi., 1213). For He who is the Spirit of Truth, inasmuch as He proceedeth both from the Father, who is the eternally True, and from the Son, who is the substantial Truth, receiveth from each both His essence and the fullness of all truth. This truth He communicates to His Church, guarding her by His all powerful help from ever falling into error, and aiding her to foster daily more and more the germs of divine doctrine and to make them fruitful for the welfare of the peoples. And since the welfare of the peoples, for which the Church was established, absolutely requires that this office should be continued for all time, the Holy Ghost perpetually supplies life and strength to preserve and increase the Church. "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of Truth" John xiv., 16, 17)."

"6. By Him the bishops are constituted, and by their ministry are multiplied not only the children, but also the fathers - that is to say, the priests - to rule and feed the Church by that Blood wherewith Christ has redeemed Her. "The Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops to rule the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own Blood" (Acts xx., 28). And both bishops and priests, by the miraculous gift of the Spirit, have the power of absolving sins, according to those words of Christ to the Apostles: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, and whose you shall retain they are retained" John xx., 22, 23). That the Church is a divine institution is most clearly proved by the splendour and glory of those gifts and graces with which she is adorned, and whose author and giver is the Holy Ghost. Let it suffice to state that, as Christ is the Head of the Church, so is the Holy Ghost her soul. "What the soul is in our body, that is the Holy Ghost in Christ's body, the Church" (St. Aug., Serm. 187, de Temp.). This being so, no further and fuller "manifestation and revelation of the Divine Spirit" may be imagined or expected; for that which now takes place in the Church is the most perfect possible, and will last until that day when the Church herself, having passed through her militant career, shall be taken up into the joy of the saints triumphing in heaven."

Monday, 22 March 2010

Franciscan Friars Ordination

by Carlos Antonio Palad

Rinascimento Sacro has announced that, at 10:00 A.M. on March 25, 2010, H.E. Franc Cardinal Rodé will offer Solemn Pontifical Mass and ordain 8 new priests for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, in the Chiesa di Ognissanti in Florence.

The same website also reports that, on the occasion of a pilgrimage of traditionalist faithful to the Shroud of Turin, H.E. Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Traditional Missal on May 22, 2010, at 11:00 A.M., in the Chiesa della Misericordia in Turin.

(reposted from Rorate Cæli)

Friday, 19 March 2010

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

On 29th June, 1896, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Satis Cognitum on the Unity of the Church:

"And since all Christians must be closely united in the communion of one immutable faith, Christ the Lord, in virtue of His prayers, obtained for Peter that in the fulfilment of his office he should never fall away from the faith. "But I have asked for thee that thy faith fail not" (Luke xxii., 32), and He furthermore commanded him to impart light and strength to his brethren as often as the need should arise: "Confirm thy brethren" (Ibid.). He willed then that he whom He had designated as the foundation of the Church should be the defence of its faith. "Could not Christ who confided to him the Kingdom by His own authority have strengthened the faith of one whom He designated a rock to show the foundation of the Church?" (S. Ambrosius, De Fide, lib. iv., n. 56). For this reason Jesus Christ willed that Peter should participate in certain names, signs of great things which properly belong to Himself alone: in order that identity of titles should show identity of power. So He who is Himself "the chief corner-stone in whom all the building being framed together, groweth up in a holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. ii., 21), placed Peter as it were a stone to support the Church. "When he heard 'thou art a rock,' he was ennobled by the announcement. Although he is a rock, not as Christ is a rock, but as Peter is a rock. For Christ is by His very being an immovable rock; Peter only through this rock. Christ imparts His gifts, and is not exhausted....He is a priest, and makes priests. He is a rock, and constitutes a rock" (Hom. de Poenitentia, n. 4 in Appendice opp. S. Basilii). He who is the King of His Church, "Who hath the key of David, who openeth and no man shutteth, who shutteth and no man openeth (Apoc. iii., 7), having delivered the keys to Peter declared him Prince of the Christian commonwealth. So, too, He, the Great Shepherd, who calls Himself "the Good Shepherd," constituted Peter the pastor "of His lambs and sheep. Feed My lambs, feed My Sheep." Wherefore Chrysostom says: "He was preeminent among the Apostles: He was the mouthpiece of the Apostles and the head of the Apostolic the same time showing him that henceforth he ought to have confidence, and as it were blotting out his denial, He commits to him the government of his brethren....He saith to him: 'If thou lovest Me, be over my brethren.' Finally He who confirms in "every good work and word" (2 Thess. ii., 16) commands Peter "to con firm his brethren.""

Friday, 12 March 2010

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

On 18th September, 1896, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Apostolicae Curae regarding the nullity of Anglican Orders:

"25. But the words which until recently were commonly held by Anglicans to constitute the proper form of priestly ordination namely, "Receive the Holy Ghost," certainly do not in the least definitely express the sacred Ordel of Priesthood (sacerdotium) or its grace and power, which is chiefly the power "of consecrating and of offering the true Body and Blood of the Lord" (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, de Sacr. Ord. , Canon 1) in that sacrifice which is no "bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross" (Ibid, Sess XXII., de Sacrif. Missae, Canon 3)."

"26. This form had, indeed, afterwards added to it the words "for the office and work of a priest," etc.; but this rather shows that the Anglicans themselves perceived that the first form was defective and inadequate. But even if this addition could give to the form its due signification, it was introduced too late, as a century had already elapsed since the adoption of the Edwardine Ordinal, for, as the Hierarchy had become extinct, there remained no power of ordaining."

"27. In vain has help been recently sought for the plea of the validity of Anglican Orders from the other prayers of the same Ordinal. For, to put aside other reasons when show this to be insufficient for the purpose in the Anglican life, let this argument suffice for all. From them has been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and office of the priesthood in the Catholic rite. That "form" consequently cannot be considered apt or sufficient for the Sacrament which omits what it ought essentially to signify."

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Lure of a Traditional Vocation

by Andrew Cano

Greetings everyone! My name is Andrew Cano and I have recently been approved to be a regular blogger on both the FSSP vocations blog and the Traditional Vocations blog. It is my hope to provide a weekly post on each site. For now, please allow me to write a simple reflection that I will post on both blogs as I have not had the time to properly research any topic but am eager to get to work.

I am a 30-year-old faithful Catholic who is a member of the Archdiocese of Miami Traditional Latin Mass Community in Miami, Florida, in the United States. In my previous life, I was a seminarian for four years for the Diocese of Charleston (South Carolina) and completed two years of pre-theology and two years of theology studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. While I enjoyed my time in seminary for the most part and hope to touch upon my formation frequently in future posts, the theme I want to reflect on in this introductory post is whether my vocation would have best been fulfilled had I chosen to pursue it in an environment in which the Mass is celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form and where traditional discipline and regulations are still followed.

I ask myself this question because I now almost exclusively attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form and really only attend the Novus Ordo when I must fulfill an obligation and no Tridentine Mass is available. I do not question the validity of the Novus Ordo as it has been officially promulgated through the authority of the Holy Father but I simply find myself in love with the old rite and do pray for it to one day be restored as the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Furthermore, I am very much drawn to the traditions of the Church, especially the strict guidelines enforced in traditional formation programs, such as that of the FSSP.

Unfortunately for me, my affinity for these traditions had not yet been achieved when I pursued the priesthood and, thus, I chose the more contemporary seminary formation. While I had the privilege of being in an orthodox diocese (at least among the leadership) and in a relatively orthodox seminary, over the years I realized that I simply was not satisfied. In particular, the lax environment that developed during my years in seminary was very hurtful to my vocation. While I do not want to go into details to avoid scandal and because a new administration at my seminary has now created a much more fruitful atmosphere, suffice it to say that a major issue that I observed in seminary was that our "modern" approach failed to challenge men to properly develop into holy priests. While the men I was in formation with certainly did not live sinful lives, the fact of the matter was that it seemed that our superiors were not concerned with challenging us to change our lives. Rather, it seemed acceptable to enter and complete formation having achieved little more than completing the academic requirements necessary to obtain the necessary degrees. Unfortunately, even our once stringent academic standards became lax as men complained about not having enough time to pray because of their studies although they found a lot of time to spend off-campus in a variety of activities that were not inherently sinful but, in my opinion, grossly inappropriate for one preparing to become a priest.

Therefore, it is refreshing to know that there are still groups within the Church who have extremely high expectations for their priests and have developed strict formation programs aimed at forming holy priests in accordance with the traditions of the Church. Such programs, rather than suppressing one's individuality, serve to remind seminarians that they are preparing for a new life. Once a man prostrates himself before God and his bishop at ordination, that prostrating must symbolize his death to the world and rebirth as a priest. In order to reach this goal, he must have completed (survived?) a period of intense scrutiny that only a traditional formation program can offer. It is with great regret that I say I did not have the privilege of being part of such a program and, partly as a result, it is why I write this as a layman rather than a priest.

Thus, it is with great hope that, as one who once nurtured a vocation, I can assist others in finding theirs through my writings. Furthermore, I hope that my posts help convince young men everywhere that they must seek out a community which truly challenges them to leave the world behind and form them into holy priests well-prepared to fight the great evil that pervades our society today. For such young men reading this, be assured of my prayers on such a journey.

God blesss!!!

Friday, 5 March 2010

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

On 29th June, 1896, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Satis Cognitum regarding the Unity of the Church to the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See:

"14. But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also "chose, twelve, whom He called apostles" (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule."

"But since the successor of Peter is one, and those of the Apostles are many, it is necessary to examine into the relations which exist between him and them according to the divine constitution of the Church. Above all things the need of union between the bishops and the successors of Peter is clear and undeniable. This bond once broken, Christians would be separated and scattered, and would in no wise form one body and one flock. "The safety of the Church depends on the dignity of the chief priest, to whom if an extraordinary and supreme power is not given, there are as many schisms to be expected in the Church as there are priests" (S. Hieronymus, Dialog, contra Luciferianos, n. 9). It is necessary, therefore, to bear this in mind, viz., that nothing was conferred on the apostles apart from Peter, but that several things were conferred upon Peter apart from the Apostles. St. John Chrysostom in explaining the words of Christ asks: "Why, passing over the others, does He speak to Peter about these things?" And he replies unhesitatingly and at once, "Because he was pre eminent among the Apostles, the mouthpiece of the Disciples, and the head of the college" (Hom. lxxxviii. in Joan., n. 1). He alone was designated as the foundation of the Church. To him He gave the power of binding and loosing; to him alone was given the power of feeding. On the other hand, whatever authority and office the Apostles received, they received in conjunction with Peter. "If the divine benignity willed anything to be in common between him and the other princes, whatever He did not deny to the others He gave only through him. So that whereas Peter alone received many things, He conferred nothing on any of the rest without Peter participating in it" (S. Leo M. sermo iv., cap. 2)."

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Consecration of FSSP Seminary Chapel

On March 3, 2010, the new seminary chapel of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul, was consecrated. Below are some photos of the consecration. More will follow over the next few days.

(The Seminary will be posting pictures of the consecration ceremony online in the coming days.)

Further links: