Father Berg’s Letter on the death of Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP

Dear Friends of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter,

In the midst of mourning for our dear confrere, Fr. Kenneth Walker, one great consolation has been the outpouring of prayers and condolences expressed by so many bishops, religious communities, fellow priests and faithful. Many of you have informed us of the hundreds of Masses which have already been offered for the repose of his soul and for the health of Fr. Joseph Terra. By the grace of God and thanks to your prayers, Fr. Terra’s life is out of danger and we expect him to make a full recovery.

By now you have read on various news outlets and websites about the virtues of Fr. Walker as a priest and how badly he will be missed by his confreres and parishioners. In an age where we seem so centered upon ‘clerical stars’ and are constantly searching for the ‘newest approach to evangelization’, the life of our confrere gave witness to one of the greatest priestly virtues, a quiet and consistent strength, which is a mark of the Good Shepherd who watches vigilantly over his flock in season and out of season.

He has been described by the parishioners he served in the same manner that he would be by his confreres; he was earnest: he was persevering; he was ready first to serve; nothing ever seemed to inconvenience him. Our Lord’s description of Nathaniel perhaps fits him best: he was a man without guile. He will perhaps be remembered as an example to us as confreres more for what he did not say; one would be hard pressed to find anyone who ever heard him complain or speak badly about anyone. As a former professor of Fr. Walker in the seminary, and as superior, I also knew him as one who took correction well; never pridefully objected; and sincerely sought to improve in all areas of formation both as a seminarian and a later as a priest.

In such tragic circumstances I realize that it can be easy to fall into hyperbole, but there was an innocence to Fr. Walker which is rarely found in this valley of tears.

His life and his priestly work here below have been cut tragically short – just two short years serving in the vineyard of Our Lord. But we are grateful for the time he had to serve in the Fraternity and that he was given the vocation that he sought. His reason for becoming a priest was already beautifully formulated in his application to the seminary:

“God, in His infinite love, desires all men to be saved and so achieve their true end. Along with the Church, then, I am deeply grieved by these errors concerning the nature and dignity of man accepted by so many people in the world, which deviate them from their supernatural end. In full view of the situation in the world, then, the only vocation that I could be satisfied with, as a work, would be one that would be dedicated to bringing people to salvation in whatever way God wills for me to do so.”

As confreres we know that Fr. Walker would not want us to waste our time in anger over what has happened; over the gross injustice which has been done. As great as this is a tragedy for us, so too it will bear great graces for our Fraternity: O altitudo divitiarum sapientiæ, et scientiæ Dei: quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et investigabiles viæ ejus! [1] The first grace will be as an encouragement to each of us to take nothing for granted in the call of Our Lord to the Sacred Priesthood. We are His instruments to serve, and must do so always more faithfully in accordance with His will and that of the Church for His greater glory. For the moment let us waste no time, and simply concentrate our efforts in praying for the repose of the soul of Fr. Walker.

We thank the many parishes which have organized Holy Hours and will hold Masses of Requiem on Monday; again, we are humbled by your charity. Fr. Eric Flood, District Superior of North America, will offer a Requiem in Phoenix on Monday in the presence of Bishop Thomas Olmsted, and I will offer one here at the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Fribourg on the same day. The funeral arrangements are on hold until the body of Fr. Walker can be transferred to Kansas. The Fraternity will of course publish these details when they are in place.

Veni Sancte Spiritus, Consolator optime;
In fletu solatium, reple cordis intima tuorum fidelium!

Mater Misericordiae, Ora pro nobis

Requiem Aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace.

Ember Saturday of Pentecost, June 14, 2014

Very Rev. John Berg
Superior General FSSP

New Church for the FSSP in Chesapeake Virginia

The new church of St. Benedict Chapel in Chesapeake will be blessed and dedicated on Saturday, March 5, by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo at 10:00 a.m.

Father Neal Nichols, chaplain, will be the main celebrant of Mass according to the Liturgical Book of 1962 Latin Mass (Tridentine Latin Mass) immediately following.

Built at a cost of $2.5 million, the new chapel was designed by Franck & Lohsen Architects of Washington, D.C., a firm which specializes in Catholic church architecture.

Arthur Lohsen, the principal architect, describes the chapel “as a treasure for the Tidewater area and a sacred space where one is immediately moved toward the Divine.”

Design Architect Michael Franck says the chapel has Roman arches, circular windows at the choir and sanctuary, and brick detailing at the parapet and niche. All elements echo the historical, local vernacular of architecture dating back over 200 years.

Upon entering the chapel, which seats 300, parishioners encounter a small, monochromatically painted narthex which then leads to an expansive, high-vaulted and richly decorated nave.

New stained glass windows share the walls with antique Stations of the Cross. Highly detailed millwork in the nave honors the neoclassical detailing traditionally found in Tidewater churches.

A hint of gothic architecture at the choir and at the sanctuary forms a backdrop for an antique high altar and side altars, as well as an antique marble communion rail. High atop a rood beam rests an antique crucifixion scene illuminated from a new stained glass rose window.

The chapel of St. Benedict started in September 1991 with only 90 parishioners. Worshipping in a small farmhouse-converted chapel, the parish has grown to over 400 members, with the average age of parishioners in their late 20s with many young families.

As the parish increased, it quickly outgrew the worship space, and the faithful approached Bishop DiLorenzo for permission to build a new chapel.

Many of the architectural and planning details were developed by Father Kevin Willis, the first priest assigned by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as Chaplain to St. Benedict in February of 2006, in collaboration with Dr. Denis McNamara, Architectural Historian at Mundelein Seminary, and liturgical consultant on the project.

In addition to Father Neal Nichols, St. Benedict Chapel is also staffed by Father Peter Byrne of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Thanks to The Catholic Virginian for the article.

Bishop Bruskewitz confers the Subdiaconate



On January 29, 2011 a.D. His Excellency, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, conferred the Subdiaconate upon five seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.  Please keep the new Subdeacons in your prayers as they ascend  the Altar of Our Lord.  

 
 For more pictures please visit the website of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary:  www.fsspolgs.org/archive.html 



Summer Chant Practicum at OLGS

Fr. Robert Fromageot, FSSP, will offer a Chant Practicum at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary this summer for members of parish scholas.  Though women are welcome, the seminary cannot provide them with accommodations.  In addition to classes, daily sung Masses and parts of the Divine Office will form an integral part of this practicum. 

Dates : June 21-27, 2010

Fee:  $250 (make checks payable to Chant Practicum, OLG Seminary)

For further information, see www.fsspchantpracticum.blogspot.com.  If interested, please contact Fr. Fromageot at frfromageot@gmail.com.

Consecration at Denton seminary to celebrate ‘crown jewel’

By ERIN ANDERSEN / Lincoln Journal Star

Sitting atop a hill in Denton, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary is visible for miles around.

Passers-by sometimes confuse it with a hotel.

But in this sprawling complex of multicolored brick and glass live 72 men studying to become priests of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite — priests who perform the traditional Latin Mass.

Wednesday, the Catholic Church marks the completion of the $14 million seminary with the consecration of its newly finished Chapel of Saints Peter & Paul. It is the first U.S. chapel built for seminarians in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in 40 years, said Father Joseph Lee, former seminarian and now ordained priest serving in Kansas City.

Lee and others refer to the chapel as “the crown jewel” of the seminary.

Designed by Thomas Gordon Smith Architects, the 10,000-square-foot chapel reflects a contemporary rebirth of classical Catholic architecture.

That includes wooden choir stalls facing the center of the chapel, rather than church pews facing the altar. The stalls seat 92 priests and seminarians. Chairs will be set in the back of the chapel for laity and visitors.

The seating, and the four-story-high ceiling, provide ideal acoustics for the awe-inspiring Gregorian chants through which seminarians present the liturgy.

An elevated white marble altar, featuring a 31-foot marble canopy or baldachin, stands at the end of the chapel. The ornately carved structure once sat in a Quebec, Canada, church that was decommissioned in 2000. Seven smaller altars named for saints are throughout the chapel. A choir loft sits in the back.

The Denton seminary is operated by the Lincoln Roman Catholic Diocese. It is one of two southeastern Nebraska seminaries overseen by the Lincoln Diocese. St. Gregory the Great Seminary opened in Seward in 1998 – the first free-standing diocesan seminary to open in the U.S. in decades. It teaches priests mainly for the Lincoln Diocese.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, which opened in 2000, teaches priests from all over the world to celebrate Mass in Latin. It is the only seminary in the United States devoted exclusively to teaching the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Lee said.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the English-speaking seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international community of priests dedicated to the traditional Latin Mass. The fraternity was established in 1988 by Pope John Paul II. The fraternity has two seminaries, one in Denton and the other in Bavaria, Germany.

Before 1962, Catholic Mass was always in Latin. But reforms by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) allowed priests to celebrate Mass in the language of that country.

In the early 1980s, Pope John Paul II asked bishops from around the world how this new form of liturgy was being accepted. People stood on both sides – some liked hearing Mass in their language, and others said the traditional Latin Mass was more meaningful, explained Father Calvin Goodwin, Latin instructor at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In 1984 the pope made some initial and cautious steps toward the re-emergence of the traditional Latin Mass, he said. Four years later, he expanded permission for Catholic churches to return to the Latin Mass.

“In 1988 there were about six regular celebrants authorized for Latin Masses,” Goodwin said. “By 2005, there were around 250 Latin Mass celebrants.”

Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has made it possible for all priests to celebrate Latin Mass if they choose, and has made it obligatory for churches to provide a Latin Mass if Catholics request it.

“Weekly up to around 400 churches celebrate Latin Mass,” Goodwin said. “It has grown steadily over the past 20 years, as has our community (the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter). We started with 10 to 12 priests; now we have well over 200 priests.”

Many of those priests are younger; the average age is 36. Among other priestly fraternities, the average age is 65 to 75, Goodwin said.

Much of the demand for Latin Mass comes from younger Catholics seeking a return to the old ways of worship.

Experts may see Latin as a “dead” language, but it is ideal for the church because the meaning of the words stand the test of time, Lee said.

“Thus Latin is excellent for theology and the transmission through succeeding ages of the unchanging – and unchangeable – doctrines in which the continuity of precise meanings is necessary among different cultures and times,” he said.

“Also, one finds the sound of Latin to be sublime and lofty, devoted as it is uniquely to the worship of God.”

Catholics do not need to understand Latin to appreciate the Latin Mass, Goodwin said.

In fact, it was only when Mass was said in the language of the community that “people drifted to the idea that the primary point of Mass was to understand everything that was said and going on,” he said.

“Mass is not a lesson or a class, or a primary form for the exchange of information.

“The primary point (of Mass) is not to understand it for the information conveyed. The primary point is to be present with your heart and soul as our lady St. Mary and St. John were present at the foot of the cross,” Goodwin said.

Mass is the re-presentation, in an unbloody manner, of the sacrifice of Calvary in which Jesus offered his life to atone for the sins of all humanity, Lee said.

Catholics attend Mass to “understand the experience and the reverence and the devotion and the solemnity that are proper to the worship of God,” Goodwin said.

Reach Erin Andersen at 473-7217 or eandersen@journalstar.com.

FSSP Interview on EWTN LIVE

For Immediate Release 

Press Release
Special EWTN Live Interview with the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

DENTON, Nebraska – February 1st , 2010 – On Wednesday night, February 24th, EWTN favorite, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, will be interviewing two members of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, Father Calvin Goodwin and Deacon Rhone Lillard.

The topic of the interview will be the Pontifical Consecration of the Fraternity’s newly built chapel at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary which EWTN is televising live on Wednesday, March 3rd at 11:00am (EST). His Excellency, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska , will celebrate the Pontifical Consecration and Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The ancient ceremony will be in the presence of William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Joining Cardinal Levada, will be several bishops from around the United States.

Watch EWTN Live online on Wednesday, February 24th at 8:00PM (EST)!
http://www.ewtn.com/audiovideo

Media Contact
Father Joseph Lee, FSSP
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary
7880 West Denton Road
Denton, Nebraska 68339
phone (402) 570-2707
emailjlee@gmail.com

EWTN to Televise FSSP’s Seminary Chapel Pontifical Consecration & Mass

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!
www.ewtn.com/audiovideo