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I am back!
After a couple of rather intensive weeks in the office, I am finally able to get back to the front lines and rejoin the fight. A lot has been happening and from where I sit, it all looks rather positive. But then again, I am the quintessential incorrigible optimist.
Besides, Our Lord did promise!
So let’s get cracking.
Today’s order of business is a reconnaissance of the lay of the land. Yesterday, the Catholic world was informed about 45 semiarians taking their cassocks at the various Society of St. Pius X seminaries. I will re-post that information in a For The Record at the end of this post. (original see here)
But before I get to the SSPX re-post, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of other occurrences that are noteworthy and might not have gotten through to the wider Anglo-sphere audience. The following are of note:
1. His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke will be in Poland on the 6th and 8th of this month to launch his book on the Holy Eucharist in Polish. Of note is that he will be in Poznan, i.e. Archbishop Gądecki’s turf. As you dear readers will recall, Archbishop Gadecki is the President of the Polish Episcopate Conference and one of the “heroes of the Stealth Sex Synod™ of 2015”. On the 8th of February, His Eminence will be in Krakow, i.e. Cardinal Dziwisz’s turf. We remember him, don’t we (see here)? On the 8th, Cardinal Burke will offer a Pontifical High Mass at the former Jesuit Church of St. Peter and Paul on Grodzka Street.
The reason that I am bringing this to your attention is that the Polish episcopate has been rather lame of late with respect to offering the proper Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or as the “c”atholics call it the Extraordinary Form. Bishop Athanasius Schneider has been picking up the slack for the locals (bishop sightings at EF Mass – see here). However, this is not enough since there is a ground swell among a growing part of the (young) diocesan clergy and laity for the TLM in Poland presently. Hopefully, with Cardinal Burke’s visit to the two “power” dioceses, i.e. diocese of the President of the Episcopate Conference and the diocese of the head of the JPII personality cult, some movement in this area can be expected.
2. The second occurrence of note comes from Holland via Facebook. The SSPX has been allowed to offer Mass at the Sint-Williborordkerk (St Willibrord), a rather breathtaking chapel (see here – click impressie gebouv tab) in Utrecht. It will be the 4th SSPX Mass location in Holland. From the information that was provided on Facebook by Dome Nico, it would appear that the chapel is privately owned, yet the Archdiocese “gave permission and blessing for SSPX to celebrate mass in this church”. Presently, the SSPX will offer Mass twice per month, but are hoping to transform Sint-Williborordkerk into a fully functioning parish. Your prayers will come in handy!
The reason that I bring this to your attention is the ordinary of the Utrecht diocese is another of the “heroes of the Stealth Sex Synod™ of 2015”, His Eminence Cardinal Eijk, of the 11 Cardinal’s book fame. We profiled his plight in a post aptly titled The Neo-modernist “Theology of Death”! (see here). It appears, from Dome Nico’s information that in Holland, the hierarchy is becoming “conservative”, or as we like to say on this blog – Catholic.
3. The third occurrence also comes via Holland and has to do with a Dutch auxiliary bishop who was been spotted at a SSPX Mass recently. Your humble blogger has tracked down the “offending” bishop and he is Bishop Robertus Gerardus Leonia Maria Mutsaerts, the Auxiliary Bishop of Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-Duc) (see here) . The reason that I am including this bit of gossip in today’s post is that I, once again the incorrigible optimist see this as a positive sign. Imagine, a N.O. bishop at a SSPX Mass without the prior permission of Rome. Who would have thunk? But for whatever reason that brought him there, I say Deo gratias.
For those who have been following the destruction of the Institutional Church will be able to appreciate the “significance” of spotting a Novus Ordo bishop, in mufti at a SSPX Mass. Maybe next time, the bishop will come in choir dress? But I digress…
With respect to what is known as the “signaling effect” (see here), these two occurrences, i.e. N.O. bishops at SSPX Masses and Dutch archdioceses giving permission and blessings for SSPX to celebrate mass in their former churches, and in light of the general situation within the Dutch Church, can be viewed as evidence that the post-conciliar experiment in Holland has reached rock bottom. If this is the case, the Dutch Church would be the first of the Western European national churches to cry “uncle”.
As for other news, aside from a good “food trucks are back at the Vatican because the Year of License.. ahem Mercy is a bust” story (see here), I can’t resist a good “space-ship church scheduled for demolition and replaced by a Catholic church” story. And it’s the Society of Jesus to boot!. It don’t get any better than that. This one comes from the sunshine state.
And now for the grand finale. The SSPX… (see here)
FOR THE RECORD
45 seminarians take the cassock!
Read some news reports and see images of the reception of the cassock ceremonies in the SSPX’s seminaries.
Throughout the world in the SSPX’s seminaries, a total of 45 seminarians have taken the cassock, or clerical habit, during the 2015-2016 academic year. We offer some news and images of this important event, a formative step towards the ultimate goal of the sacred priesthood.
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Winona, MN, USA
On February 2, Bishop Bernard Fellay (the SSPX’s Superior General), blessed the cassocks for 10 seminarians and gave the clercical tonsure to 8 other young men during the Pontifical Mass of Candlemas. He was assisted by Fr. Yves le Roux (seminary rector), Fr. Jurgen Wegner (U.S. District Superior), and Fr. Patrick Abbet (seminary vice rector).
Despite the the snowfall of 10 inches—which made travelling difficult for various families—the sacred ministers and servers did make a short procession outside with the lighted candles, celebrating Our Lord as the Light of revelation for the Gentiles. Read more and see an image gallery at the seminary’s website (stas.org)>
Holy Sacred Heart Seminary, Zaitzkofen (Bavaria), Germany
On February 2, Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais blessed the cassock for 9 seminarians and gave the clerical tonsure to 7 as announced by Fr. Franz Schmidberger (seminary rector). The day after the bishop gave the minor orders to 7 others, with 3 becoming porters and lectors, and the other 4 being ordained exorcists and acolytes. See the image gallery>
Holy Cure of Ars Seminary, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, France
On February 2, in the absence of Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta—whose attendance was prevented by a last minute difficulty—Fr. Niklaus Pfluger, the SSPX’s 1st Assistant, blessed the clerical habit for 12 seminarians of the first-year: 4 Swiss, 3 Frenchmen, 2 Italians, 1 Gabonese and 2 Nigerians. He was assisted by Fr. Patrick Troadec (seminary rector) and Fr. Prudent Balou Yalu (prior of the St. Pius X Mission in Libreville, Gabon).
Interesting statistics have been published by Fr. Troadec. Since 1996, 347 candidates have entered the seminary to become priests or brothers; i.e., an average of 20 per year. The average age is 21-years old. Candidates consistently come from large families (with an average of 5.8 children ) where 80% of the mothers are mothers at home. 73% of the French candidates come from SSPX schools.
More than 50% of the candidates have received a first calling to the priesthood or religious life before the age of 12 either when serving Mass, helping in the sacristy, or on the day of their First Communion. Many of these seminarians have said that the education received in the family prepared them to make this choice, or they remember being impacted by the good example of a priest or a brother in their surroundings.
After a period where the idea of being fully consecrated to God has faded during their teenage years, a second call comes around the age of 19, which eventually leads them to the seminary or brothers novitiate. See the image gallery>
Our Lady Co-Redemptrix Seminary, La Reja (Buenos Aires), Argentina
It was on September 13, 2015 that Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais blessed the cassock of 9 seminarians: 5 Argentinians, 2 Brazilians, 1 Chilean and 1 from Guatemala. The seminarians are now on summer vacation and the new academic year will begin in March. Read more and see an image gallery at the seminary’s new website (lareja.fsspx.org)>
Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia
On Quasimodo Sunday (April 12, 2015), 7 first-year seminarians received the clerical habit: 2 Filipinos, 1 Kenyan, 1 Ugandan, 1 Indian, 1 American, and 1 Australian. Read more and see an image gallery at the seminary’s website (holycrossseminary.com)>