Rorate Caeli

Communiqué of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter - Fr. Berg reelected

Congratulations to the FSSP capitularies for the renewal of their wonderful choice!



Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, Denton, Nebraska, USA 

The General Chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), gathered from July 3 to July 18, 2012 at the International Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Denton, Nebraska, in plenary session elected Fr. John Berg as Superior General for 6 years. This election, at which the 33 capitulants were present, took place on July 9. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei was immediately informed and sent a congratulatory message. The election of the Assistants and Counselors will follow in the next days. 

An American priest born in 1970, Fr. John Berg studied philosophy at St. Thomas Aquinas College (California, USA) and theology at the International Seminary of St. Peter in Wigratzbad (Bavaria, Germany). Fr. Berg holds a licentiate from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. Ordained a priest in 1997, Fr. Berg taught as a professor at the International Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nebraska, USA) from 1999 to 2000. Afterwards he exercised his ministry from 2000 to 2005 at the FSSP parish in Sacramento (California, USA), before being appointed again as professor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary. In 2006, the FSSP General Chapter elected him Superior General for a first term of office. The Chapter reelected him on 9 July 2012 for a second term of six years.


________________________________________



Mercredi 11 juillet 2012, Séminaire Notre-Dame de Guadalupe, Denton, USA 

Le Chapitre Général de la Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre (FSSP), réuni du 3 au 18 juillet 2012 au Séminaire International Notre-Dame de Guadalupe, Denton, USA, a élu en session pléniè re l'abbé John Berg comme Supérieur Général pour six ans. Cette élection, à laquelle ont pris part les 33 capitulants, s'est déroulée le lundi 9 juillet. La Commission Ecclesia Dei a été aussitô t informée et a fait parvenir un message de félicitations. L'élection des Assistants et des Conseillers devrait suivre dans les prochains jours.

Prêtre américain né en 1970, l'abbé John Berg a étudié la philosophie au Saint Thomas Aquinas College (Californie, états-Unis) et la théologie au Séminaire International Saint-Pierre de Wigratzbad (Bavière, Allemagne). L' abbé Berg est licencié en théologie de l' Université pontificale de la Sainte-Croix à Rome. Ordonné prê tre en 1997, l'abbé Berg a enseigné comme professeur au Séminaire international Notre-Dame de Guadalupe (Nebraska, états-Unis) de 1999 à 2000. Il a ensuite exercé son ministère de 2000 à 2005 à la Paroisse de la Fraternité Saint-Pierre à Sacramento (Californie, états-Unis), avant d' être à nouveau nommé professeur au Séminaire Notre-Dame de Guadalupe. En 2006, le Chapitre Général de la Fraternité l'avait élu Supérieur Général pour un premier mandat. Le Chapitre l'a réélu le 9 juillet 2012 pour un nouveau mandat de six ans.


(Source: FSSP)

56 comments:

New Catholic said...

Last week, I said that the Fraternity of Saint Peter is God's gift to serious people. I would like to repeat that.

croixmom said...

YAY!!! I am SOOOO happy!!!!

New Catholic said...

Anonymous, yes, there is Mass at OLGS every day, even during summer. Please, do not post as "Anonymous" again.

Rafael Cresci said...

I totally subscribe to your first comment, NC.

Julia of Arc said...

Congratulations to Rev. Fr. Berg from the bottom of my heart. May God direct his path and his decisions for His greater glory.


Julia of Arc

Supplex said...

Congratulations, Fr. Berg!

I agree with New Catholic. The FSSP are some awesome priests!

Sancrucensis said...

Excellent! A serious man, and a Thomist of the strict observance.

backtothefuture said...

I wish there was an fssp chapel close to me.

P.K.T.P. said...

First of all, I offer Fr. Berg heartfelt congratulations for his re-election. The continuity and unity implied in this decision is especially timely.

While I do not wish to be critical at this particular time, I do hope, though, that Fr. Berg will now consider a change in practice in the F.S.S.P. I have commented on this before. He has rightly insisted on a period of entrenchment, so that his priests are given the social and psychological and spiritual support they need from one another and from the Fraternity as a whole. This has resulted from developing the existing apostolates until they are self-sustaning, which, in turn, means trying to staff each with two to three priests.

While periods of entrenchment are definitely needed, they can go on for too long. There is also a mission of the Fraternity, intended by the founders, to serve as many faithful as possible so that the link to the pre-1970 period is not completely severed for whole regions of the earth. In other words, there also needs to be periods of expansion, even if only a conservative growth in missions to neighbhouring dioceses from those at existing apostolates.

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

PART II, P.K.T.P.

PART II to follow

In France and the U.S.A., the F.S.S.P. has not established new apostolate in new dioceses now for two years or more. Really, there has been no significant expansion into new sees for four years at least. The last one in the U.S.A. was San Diego (the new buildings and growth in Houston was from an existing foundation). The Fraternity has even lost an apostolate in this period, the one in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

For a time, just after publication of "Summorum Pontificum", the F.S.S.P. offered lectures series (I absolutely refuse to write 'workshops') for diocesan priests on how to offer the T.L.M. While the series were successful and many priests attended, they mostly did not put their new expertise into practice once they returned home. The reason was hostility from their bishops, chanceries and fellow priests. Suddenly, their bishops were able to keep them busy doing other things.

I would like to suggest a modest period of expansion now. For example, there are Fraternity foundations in Colorado in the Archdiocese of Denver and the Diocese of Colorado Springs. What about the Diocese of Pueblo, just south of Colorado Springs? The people there are spiritually starving. They cannot get a Latin Mass out of their Bishop under any circumstances. I realise that you cannot just start a mission there: there must be episcopal approval for it. But you could be open to providing a mission there if the locals in Pueblo petition for a Mass and take their petition to the P.C.E.D.

In the case of France and America, please consider at least *some* expansion. In the last two years, there has been a net loss of two French dioceses offering the T.L.M. (Amiens, at least temporarily, and Angoulême) and five in the U.S.A. (now reduced to four losses: Biloxi, Burlington, Sioux City, Victoria-in-Texas). We are going backwards under S.P.!

You have had missions in which you offer the T.L.M. just on one or two Sundays per month, like the one in St-Claude, France, or the one in Bruges, Belgium, or the one in Fresno, U.S.A. or the one in Breda, the Netherlands. In some cases, this degree of servce has continued for even four years. Could we now have a reasonable extension? I ask because most of the local bishops are refusing the motu proprio. We have a small extension in Poland and a a snall but uncertain one in the Philippines. Elsewhere, we are treading water or even being carried back by the tide. Please do something.

I would also hope to see Fraternity 'toe-hold' foundations in Africa and India. The F.S.S.P. mission in Benin is now under diocesan control, and the attempt to extend from Orlu, Nigeria to Port Harcourt has been rebuffed by the Nigerian bishops. When will the one in Colombia be extended, as earlier indicated? Can there be nothing at all for Kenya or Tanzania, for example, or for South Africa? Nothing at all for India, where the Faith is growing so fast? The S.S.P.X operates in about eight dioceses there; the F.S.S.P., in zero. No room for just one or two apostolates there, Bombay or Madras or Goa?

Not to be too demanding but the Fraternity has almost zero in Latin America, where 46% of the world's Catholic live. There is the apostolate in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the one in Girardot, Colombia. That's it. What about Chile, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Central America, the Caribbean?

P.K.T.P.

Kenneth J. Wolfe said...

P.K.T.P. -- the hard part is getting invited into a diocese. The F.S.S.P. has tried many times in many places.

The problem is often archbishops. Notice how the F.S.S.P. is usually located in smaller dioceses?

If you have tips on how to convince the archbishop of New York, or Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. or other major archdioceses to allow a personal parish run by the F.S.S.P., I recommend sharing them with Fraternity officials.

Until then, some archbishops and bishops won't even grant the F.S.S.P. a meeting, let alone allow them into their archdioceses and dioceses. It is not because the Fraternity has not tried to grow and expand into larger areas.

The more powerful the bishop, the more anti-traditional he seems to be.

Prof. Basto said...

I'd love to have them nearby.

Matthew Rose said...

Mr. Wolfe:

A cogent observation. I had not seen that along exactly those lines, but now that I think about it, there are few major dioceses which have the either the FSSP or the ICRSS. I live in one exception (Arch. Chicago), but here the ICRSS got a run-down shell of a Church marked for demolition, and it is not a Personal Parish, just a Shrine. It basically functions as a parish, however - Deo gratias!

P.K.T.P. said...

Actually, Mr. Wolfe, they have far more invitations than they have priests to supply. No, the probelm is that Fr. Berg wants the perfect accommodations in the largest archdioceses possible, such as Toronto or New York or Los Angeles. In most such places, faithful are already well served or at least served. Fr. Berg doesn't much care for small unserved dioceses because they are expensive to maintain and the resources of their bishops are paltry. Gone are the days when Fr. Bisig struggled to get acceptance anywhere and was overyoyed with the Bishop of Rapid City, in S.D., because the third one in the U.S.A. to welcome him. Gone are the days when very inadequate provisons were offered--and accepted--in Fort Worth and Dallas.

Again, I regard Fr. Berg's position as defendable but it can be taken too far. There comes a point at which the faithful count for little and all the effort is expended in making his priests comfortable in their own little oases. There are times when they must deign to expand into the smaller dioceses for the good of the Church.

Let us not forget what a diocese is: it is a section of God's people (cf. Canon 368). While sees may be divided better to provide for growing populaions, that will only be the secondary consideration in determining their size. The primary one is necessarily geographical, and this pertains to DISTRIBUTION. Once the F.S.S.P. is welcomed into a see, it is usually easier for it to expand within that diocese's boundaries, because it has the Bishop's public support. What is needed now are a few more missions in some spiritual deserts. France is mostly served now, and has been long before S.P. was even published. Germany became well-served as a result of S.P., and so has England and New Zealand. But the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Flanders, Spain, Portugal, MOST of Latin America and Africa, as well as Asia, are either hardly served at all by Latin Masses or else, as with the U.S.A., large areas are not served (e.g. West Texas).

The S.S.P.X has been more determined to send priests to these underserved areas but it can only do a bit, given its resoures. It would be good to see the F.S.S.P. do more in such areas.

P.K.T.P.

Adam P. said...

The diocesan TLM in Montreal, Quebec, will almost certainly become an FSSP apostolate when our pastor, Fr Bleau, retires in a few years.

As PKTP knows, the Montreal TLM began when Fr Normandin and Fr Bleau refused to say the NO when it was promulgated. Fr Normandin was infamously forced to say Mass in living rooms shortly thereafter, but the parish eventually got the all-clear under the 1984 indult.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte allowed Fr Huang of the FSSP's Ottawa church to offer Mass at our parish. He comes about once a month. He recently led our parish's overnight pilgrimage in the city during St Jean Baptiste weekend. Fr Huang is also involved in the annual Notre Dame du Cap pilgrimage to Trois-Rivieres.

Fr Normandin has been in retirement at the SSPX home in Quebec City since 2010. Meanwhile, Fr Bleau has been putting much energy of late into getting the parish into tip-top shape so that the FSSP can hit the ground running when they eventually take possession. The choir has been renewed, male porters were appointed, the sacristy has been reorganized, etc.

The church were we currently have Mass, St-Irénée, was gifted to the Archdiocese several months ago to be sold since its regular French NO congregation has dwindled to a small size (they only have a Saturday vigil Mass nowadays). The rent from us and a group of Romanian Orthodox isn't enough to meet the building's expenses. A lot of repairs are required, however, so I don't think a congregation our size could afford the financial burden of the buidling, although the interior is quite beautiful and it'd be a real shame to see it pass out of the hands of the Roman Catholic church.

We have a brand-new Archbishop, Christian Lépine, appointed under the oversight of Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. When he was Archbishop of Quebec City, Cardinal Ouellet gave a beautiful church to the FSSP (the very same church where Alfred Hitchcock filmed his 1953 movie "I Confess". So who knows what's in store for us!

George said...

P.K.T.P. writes: "...(the new buildings and growth in Houston was from an existing foundation)..."

Not sure that I follow that. I'm in Houston, and I go to FSSP Sunday Masses over at the "Family Life Center" of a Catholic mega-church where the local pastor is kindly temporarily accommodating the FSSP. "New buildings"?? There are no new buildings. "Growth"? There was, as far as I know, never any previous FSSP presence in Houston, no "existing foundation" from which to "grow."

So Houston would appear to be a new apostolate in a new diocese for the F.S.S.P. and thus P.K.T.P. would appear to be mistaken that the F.S.S.P. "has not established new apostolates in new dioceses now for two years or more." Either he's mistaken, or the FSSP folks here are pulling the wool over my eyes.

Joseph said...

I think the FSSP is quite smart about the placement of their parishes, which are primarily in the South, Midwest, and California. The old Catholic heartland of the USA in the northeast is spent and the future of the Faith in America lies in other regions. Dallas, Houston, San Diego, Phoenix, etc. are more important than Detroit,Philadelphia, and Boston.

Congratulations to Fr. Berg and the FSSP!

Edward said...

The demand for the FSSP is very great, Father Berg told me himself ,but there are not enough priests to go around. It's imposible for 1 priest to handle their apostolates, trads expect soo much from their priests, he would be burned out quickly. Father Berg also wants the priests to have other priests so their own spiritual life isn't compromised.

Joseph said...

Fr. Berg's approach makes sense to me. The FSSPX had to do the same thing for a while too I think because of 'burn out' problems from all the driving around and lack of a community priory. With 2 or more priests in one place they can pray the office in common & support one another. I think both Bishop Fellay and Fr. Berg understand the importance of ensuring the community life is fostered and that priests aren't on apostolates alone. Also, when you have 2 priests in the same place confessions can be heard during Mass. With a 3rd priest in a priory they can shuffle the drives out to the missions. The Superiors have to look after their priests too, you know.

New Catholic said...

"The Superiors have to look after their priests too, you know."

True; in fact, the physical and spiritual welfare of priests is the first and foremost concern of the superiors of priestly societies. Fr. Berg deserves all our praise for his steady, stable, and calm leadership, and no criticism.

sam said...

Congratulation to Fr. Berg and the FSSP!

May God continue to bless this priestly fraternity through the prayers of the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Peter, and all the Saints. Amen!

Glendon Cheshire said...

PKTP expresses frustration and a point of view, which is fine and I respect that. But he/she fails to to take numerous things into account, or at least over simplifies or minimizes the issues. The priest numbers ramp up in two years, with 10+ Ordinations (God willing) each year after that, just in the US. The situation in Latin America is incredibly acrimonious. I know for a fact that homosexuality, seminarians and priests with actively sexual girlfriends, and communism and masonry are all prevalent, and sometimes even the norm. Interest in the FSSP, however, amongst Catholic men I know down there grows almost constantly. In the US invitations abound, but the numbers of boots on the ground are thin and I know the Fraternity prefers a parish instead of being in "shared" situation. In other places where there are two or three priests, there are multiple churches and Mass locations, like for instance, the apostolates in Florida, Kansas and Sacramento, all of which act as hubs for the region. The argument can be made that the Society is the one with the problem, because they burn their priests out having Mass everywhere, spread out everywhere circuit riding and having to get on a plane every Friday to fly somewhere. There can be too conservative and there can be too expansive, and I think Fr. Berg and the district superiors are doing the right thing by getting a good, sound situation from which to operate, and starting houses of formation in places like Australia and Africa and Mexico for Latin America, because you have to have a decent cadre of "locals" to be able to go in and successfully navigate the national and regional and cultural politics for the sake of spreading Tradition, in places like Argentina, Niger, or Malaysia.

Peterman said...

I suggest the FSSP try an easy expansion to the diocese of St Pete Florida. The FSSP priests already drive through the diocese to serve the surrounding diocese and yet nothing in St Pete.

I drive by dozens of apparently struggling protestant churches in this diocese and I think to myself "that building would be perfect for the FSSP."

Pinellas County is the most densely populated county south of New Jersey and the FSSP already has a presence nearby. Someone just has to approach Bishop Lynch. I could approach him as a layman but I'm a humble man with no influence. Bishop Lynch may have his faults as do I but I pray for him, he already allows several TLM's in the diocese, he just might say yes to the FSSP especially if they can assist him in achieving his goals as a shepherd.

Gratias said...

Congratulations to Fr. Berg. I think the FSSP has been very dignified in all the Internet wars over SSPX, for not a peep came out of them. Good job. Hopefully sometime soon we will have a Bp. Berg.

Gratias said...

P.K.T.P. raises a good point. At a minimum I hope FSSP will branch out from their base in Guadalajara. Mexico is hugely important and the FSSP is making a huge difference. Friends tell me that the Personal Parish in Sacramento has been a great success and Fr. Berg was instrumental in this. Thomas Aquinas College in California continues to graduate outstanding Catholics like Fr. Berg.

P.K.T.P. said...

Glendon Cheshire:

I am aware of all the facts you mention. This is not a dispute about principle but about the extent of its application. I simply feel that too few new Fraternity apostolates have been founded in the last several years. In terms of dioceses served, the growth rate in France over the past three years has been zero. In the U.S.A. it has been minus one. Yes, Fr. Berg's policy does have sound cause but he has gone too far. The period of entrenchment should now end and a period of modest expansion should now be started. I used to watch the F.S.S.P. site for news of the latest new apostolate. i haven't bothered doing that on a regular basis for ages now because there is never anything there to report.

In regard to the S.S.P.X, while I do see Mr. Cheshire's point, it would be a real overstatement to say that S.S.P.X priests are being burnt out. They do fly around a fair bit but little attempt is made by them to serve all their apostolates on the every-Su. basis. A great number of them receive a priest only for one week-end a month or even less often than that.

I am familiar with the Fraternity numbers but I'm suggesting that there is a happy balance here. You also don't want your priests to become too comfortable and to expect too much stability. There also needs to be a missionary spirit, as there was in the 1990s for the F.S.S.P. Gone is that heroic determination as Fraternity priests brought the Sacraments to the faithful far afield, like the great missionaries on foot in ages past. That missionary spirit also engenders a sense of purpose which can invigorate a priest.

I'm praying that, this year and next, we shall finally hear of new F.S.S.P. apostolates in the world and not just more ordinations.

P.K.T.P.

John Gerardi said...

The FSSP have their act together. They belie so many of the criticisms that hostile-to-reconciliation SSPX supporters make in general regarding reconciliation with Rome: "Oh, if we reconcile we'll just become modernists! We'll be forced to say the Novus Ordo! We'll be forced to accept every jot and tittle in Vatican II!" Didn't happen, didn't happen, and didn't happen.

Ceolfrid said...

John Gerardi said:
"The FSSP have their act together. They belie so many of the criticisms that hostile-to-reconciliation SSPX supporters make in general regarding reconciliation with Rome: "Oh, if we reconcile we'll just become modernists! We'll be forced to say the Novus Ordo! We'll be forced to accept every jot and tittle in Vatican II!" Didn't happen, didn't happen, and didn't happen."


Maybe, but...


Kenneth J. Wolfe said:
"Until then, some archbishops and bishops won't even grant the F.S.S.P. a meeting, let alone allow them into their archdioceses and dioceses. It is not because the Fraternity has not tried to grow and expand into larger areas."


One either grows or one dies. Just "maintaining" is not growing.

Erik said...

It's obvious that the FSSP wants to expand, it's just a matter of taking care of their men right now, to make sure their spiritual life doesn't suffer from running around all over the place, especially if a priest is alone. The SSPX has lost priests because of this (and so has the FSSP). It's nice to say "'let's go here and there and over there" but in practical terms it's not necessarily for the common good to expand too fast. They will expand, in due time.

Chris said...

John Gerardi said...
"The FSSP have their act together. They belie so many of the criticisms that hostile-to-reconciliation SSPX supporters make in general regarding reconciliation with Rome: "Oh, if we reconcile we'll just become modernists! We'll be forced to say the Novus Ordo! We'll be forced to accept every jot and tittle in Vatican II!" Didn't happen, didn't happen, and didn't happen."

Were they not forced to accept every jot and tittle of VCII as a precondition of regularization? Fr. Berg is on record fully supporting every word of VCII interpreted according to the "hermeneutic of continuity." Similarly, PCED forbids the Fraternity from keeping their priests from celebrating NO Masses and especially encourages the celebration of an NO chrism Mass with the local bishop to show "unity." In addition, it must be asked what forceful public criticism of the novelties of the past 50 years has the Fraternity issued? The Fraternity's sistuation stands as a constant reminder of the freedom to speak the Truth publicly that is lost once one signs on the dotted line. Look at the latest example. The Society is the only Catholic entity speaking out demanding Abp Muller account for his heterodox statements. If they had been regularized before Muller's appt. there would be no way this would be tolerated. If Fr. Berg spoke out against Muller's denial of Catholic teaching about the bodily integrity of Mary, do we think he would not be "talked to"? If so, we are fooling ourselves.

George said...

Again, I guess P.K.T.P. can't stand good news, or, in this case, is just in truth-denial mode. We have indeed, THIS YEAR, "heard of a new FSSP apostolate in the world." The one in Houston, Texas, fourth largest city in the USA. There was, previously, only one diocesan-sponsored Sunday-only TLM in the entire city. The SSPX had/has a church in the area...a long drive away from most parts of the city, and two (?) other chapels in non-central locations in Houston. But the anti-SSPX crowd, rightly or wrongly, would not consider assisting at SSPX Masses. So, the NEW FSSP apostolate in Houston is a fairly big deal.

Kenneth J. Wolfe said...

Ceolfrid -- we should trust that the FSSP is trying to grow.

Personally, I see opportunities to get into the Archdioceses of New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles now that each has a fairly new and more conservative archbishop.

Perhaps those meetings are in the works?

I would disagree with those who don't see the value in getting into big cities. Yes, the rural areas are where the traditional families are, but the credibility is in the major cities.

Opus Dei, for example, did not set its headquarters on a county road in Manhattan, Kansas; it operates out of Manhattan, New York. Traditional Catholics need to think more like that, as liberal as those areas may be. Growth comes from power and influence, which traditional Catholics can do without being corrupted. It is not evil to think big.

croixmom said...

Peterman,

I live in the DoSP also. I drive 3x a week to Sarasota, to Christ the King.

Unfortunately, Bishop Lynch is not friendly to the FSSP. You suggested he allows "several" TLMs in this diocese. I disagree.

The chaplain from DoV visits homes in this diocese as requested. Each year, he brings the Epiphany Blessing to many homes here.

Yes, I pray for this bishop as well, but I think this diocese may need to wait for his retirement, before the spiritual needs are addressed.

Just my .02.

Glendon Cheshire said...

Ceolfrid, military strategy and situational awareness dictates otherwise. I think it is hubris to second guess the reasons for the lack of expansion on the part of the Fraternity, since there are most likely dozens of factors in play that have caused them not to expand right now. I would speculate that time has been spent educating the locals (diocesan priests being trained), consolidating positions (building up existing apostolates) while reenforcements are being readied (the seminary).

It has to be said that SSPX has no responsibility towards the Church at large or individual dioceses and thus is in a completely different situation than the Fraternity. There are no repercussions to over-extending themselves outside of burning priests out and having a situation of lack of stability in parish life because of the lack of resident priests. It is common knowledge that this Mass-only strategy (large numbers of Mass centers and relatively few parishes) has a downside. It has an upside too by being able to service more Catholics and expand where you could eventually grow. I see both points of view.

The Fraternity has not quite half the priests of the Society, had none of the resources or connections that the Archbishop did, started from nothing 18 years after the Society, and has had to make a completely different set of decisions because they can only go where they are allowed. That cannot be minimized.

I think it is constructive to suggest is that the lack of expansion by the Fraternity is giving the appearance that they are stagnant, even though the seminary is full and they still have 100+ applicants/year in the US to fill about 20-25 spots. For the sake of appearance, they really need to push harder to move into more apostolates and perhaps set a goal of one or two new apostolates per year.

Given the General Chapters of both Societies are still in progress, I would bet my next paycheck all of this is being discussed on both sides, with the whole insane amount of topics the Society has to deal with on what to do with Rome and the setback of the May plenary, and the new appointments of their "boss" and "boss' boss" in Archbishop di Noia and Cardinal Muller, and how that changes things.

Henry Edwards said...

The false allegation that the FSSP is not growing its outreach ignores its deliberate plan of "growth in place". Just one example:

Several years ago a single FSSP priest (Fr. James Fryar) was sent to Naples in the Diocese of Venice (FL) and began saying a daily TLM in makeshift quarters. Now it has a genuine traditional parish in Sarasota with three priests and regular Masses in three separate missions with the schedule

Sarasota;
Christ the King Catholic Church
Mass Times:
Sunday: 8:30 am & 10:30 am
Mon. - Sat.: 9:00 am
Tues. & Fri.: Also at 6:30 pm
Confessions:
Sunday: 30 minutes before Mass
Mon. - Fri. -8:15 am
Saturday after the 9:00 am Mass.

Naples
St. Agnes Catholic Church (Chapel)
Mass Times: Sunday: 8:00 am
Confessions:
Saturday: 4:30 - 5:30
Sunday: Approx. 30 minutes before Mass.

Fort Myers
Resurrection of Our Lord Parish
Mass Times: Sunday: 12:15 pm
Confessions:
Sunday: 30 minutes before Mass.

Ocala:
Queen of Peace Catholic Church
Mass Times: Sunday: 6:00 pm
Confessions: 5:30 pm

Obviously, this is expansion that makes a real difference (even if not counted by some in this thread as expansion of apostolates). Also, the daily 9 am Mass in Sarasota is webcast at livemass.net for the participation of tens of thousands around the world.

AFriend said...

Has the Fraternity of St Peter approched the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Long Island (New York) for permission to expand its apostolate?

The Catholic population of Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk counties) is no less than 1.3 million, making it the top largest diocese in the country.

Gratias said...

The example of Fr. James Fryar is excellent. He has given conferences for us in California. He is the inventor of the iMass HD App for iPad. If a Sunday we cannot take the voyage to Latin Mass I watch his mass in the Internet. This vigorous young priest had the potential of reaching many with his apostolate. God must be well pleased with him.

Marsaili said...

Chris wrote:

"The Society is the only Catholic entity speaking out demanding that Abp. Muller account for his heterodox statements. If they had been regularized before Abp. Muller's appt. there would be no way this would be tolerated. If Fr. Berg spoke out against Muller's denial of Catholic teaching about the bodily integrity of Mary, do we think he would not be "talked to"?

Why do trads continually compare the SSPX to the FSSP? The SSPX consider themselves to be protesters against what they believe to be "heretical teachings" by Catholic Bishops. The FSSP, on the other hand, do not exist so that they can be protesters. They were formed to offer traditional sacraments and sound Catholic teaching. If they wanted to be protesters, they could have remained with the SSPX. But they didn't. Stop comparing the FSSP the Society. The only thing that the SSPX has in common with the FSSP is that both offer the traditional sacraments. But they are worlds apart otherwise.

P.K.T.P. said...

Glendon Cheshire:

It is not "hubris" to mention a well-informed constructive criticism regarding the Fratenity's expanision. Hubris is not a word meaning that one disagrees with Fr. Berg or Glendon Cheshire. I have been involved with the traditionalist movement for decades and, as most know here, am very conversant with the statistics regarding the movement. The virtual grinding to a halt of new Fraternity apostolates since Fr. Berg took over is a fact. I have explained carefully here that there should be periods of expansion alternating with entrenchment but my judgement about how far he's gone is not just a frivolous opinion but one grounded in real knowledge about the numbers. To say so is not 'hubris'.

Again, I hope that this period of entrenchment will end soon or that it will be moderated soon. We've seen almost no new Fraternity apostolates now for three years. In other cases, Fraternity missions which offer Masss only once or twice per month have continued on that basis for several years now, esp. those in St-Claude, France, Bruges, in Belgium, Breda, in the Netherlands, and Fresno, in the U.S.A. The plans to create a mission in a new diocese in Colombia have apparently not proceeded after more than a year. There are only two F.S.S.P. apostolates in all of Latin America. The expansion from Orlu, Nigeria to Port Harcourt was stopped by the Nigerian bishops. There is not even one Fraternity apostolate in all of Asia.

In my *considered* view, while the welfare of priests is important, the Fraternity's main purpose is to offer the Traditional Mass and Sacraments to those who, according to John Paul II in "Ecclesia Dei Adflicta", No. 3, have a legitimate attachment to that Tradition.

There has been almost no expansion of the T.L.M. under "Summorum Pontificum" after its first eleven months, ending in the summer of 2008. What has Fr. Berg done to address this? At first, after S.P. was published, he turned Fraternity apostolates into training centres for diocesan priests, so that they could learn the ancient Mass. The training centres were very expert. The problem was that local bishops and chancery hacks used threats and strategems to dissuade those Masses. As a result, most of that training fizzled out.

What has Fr. Berg done since then? He has concentrated on entrenching existing apostolates. I don't oppose that on principle but it can go too far. I think that it has gone too far, so I pray for more apostolates. Faithful traditionalists are starving out there--spiritually starving. If you are attached to the traditions of the Church and live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, about thirty dioceses in the U.S.A., and so forth, you can forget it. You might as well move house.

The ancient Mass is for all faithful everywhere, not just the wealthier faithful who happen to live in France or the U.S.A.

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

Kenneth J. Wolfe:

You write with little knowledge of the statistics of the movement. In the U.S.A. (which Americans treat as if it were the entire planet), all the major cities are situated in archdioceses which already have every-Sunday T.L.M.s offered by diocesan priests and/or others. The Archdiocese of New York, for example, already has more than ten every-Sunday T.L.M.s, scattered throughout its territory like raisins in a bun. Chicago is extremely well served. Provision is much worse in Boston, for example, but it is served every Sunday. Los Angeles is having to catch up after the ravages of Mahony.

Dioceses have the boundaries they have precisely for the practical need to serve faithful. At the moment, in that Republic to my south, ALL THREE of the least populous dioceses (all of which are in Alaska) have the T.L.M. every Sunday. Even the Diocese of Juneau has an every-Sunday Mass at Sitka. Juneau has only 5,000 faithful in a huge territory (although not remotely as large as Fairbanks, which also has an every-Su. T.L.M.). If even Fairbanks and Juneau have this provision, it makes one wonder why there is no every-Su. T.L.M. in the Archdiocese of Mobile (Rodi is the problem) or in Dioceses such as Saginaw, Laredo, Las Vegas, Pueblo, Gallup, Nashville, New Ulm, Duluth, the entire State of Montana (two dioceses), Shreveport, Springfield (Mass.) and so forth. Las Vegas has one hundred times as many faithful in its Diocese as Juneau has in its Diocese. Bishop Pepe is the problem there, of course. He is an old disciple of Cardinal Baloney.

Disbribution is important for those of us who do not own our own helicopters or aeroplanes. In its early days, the F.S.S.P. would take any invitation it could get. Hence the stable apostolates in the Dioceses of Youngstown, Rapid City, Omaha, Lincoln (!), Tulsa, Beaumont, and several others. Fr. Berg, I think, would not deign to go to such places today. Granted, the circumstances are different in 2012 than they were in 1992, but having no expansion at all for three years in these present conditions is not ideal--far from it. Keep in mind that, as each year passes, the connexion between the last Latin Mass generation of the early 1960s and the present becomes more tenuous. People who yearn for a restoration are now dying off. While it is true that the Latin Mass has a principal appeal beyond that group, the hold-outs are also important: they are a human link to the pre-Revolutionary period. Most of them must now despair (e.g. in Latin America) that they will never live to see the return of the Mass of all Ages.

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

Dear George:

I love good news, believe me. In the case of Houston, I may have been mistaken. Still, the F.S.S.P. is replacing an every-Sunday T.L.M. which was in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for many years. So this is not a case of introducting an every-Sunday T.L.M. to a see which did not have one before. There are currently THIRTY American dioceses which have NO Traditional Latin Mass on the every-Sunday basis. Galveston-Houston has had an every-Su. T.L.M. for a very long time.

Since the new F.S.S.P. expansion into Houston is a single exception, and since the Fraternity has lost its apostolate in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, I shall have to adjust my numbers. Instead of a net growth rate of minus one over the last three years, I shall have to move it up to zero, which also happens to the be growth rate of the F.S.S.P. in France over the last two years.

Keep in mind that France is easily the most important country on this planet for Latin Tradition, and Paris is the capital city of Tradition (35 every-Su. T.L.M.s in the Greater Paris area: far more than any other city on earth). The other Repugnant Republic, the one of the south of me, is the second more important centre for Latin Masses. In sum, then, we see zero F.S.S.P. growth in France in the last three years and zero for the U.S.A. There is also zero for Belgium, zero for the U.K., zero for Ireland, zero for Australia (Melbourne lost; Adelaide gained), zero for the Philippines, zero for Spain and Portugal, Malta. One for Italy (Venice: but perhaps more than three years ago). Shall I go on?

P.K.T.P.

InnocentIII said...

PKTP: While I very much enjoy your comments on this blog (and, in fact, usually scroll down through other comments until I find your latest posting), I must set a few things straight.

The FSSP's service in Fresno has consisted of five-and-a-half years of two-Sundays-per-month duty. Despite the fact that St. Stephen's in Sacramento is an extremely busy parish even for three priests, and despite the nearly three-hour drive in each direction, the Sacramento priests have carried on the commute to Fresno with never so much as a rolled eye. (Oh, and have you *been* to Fresno? It ain't Santa Barbara. More like Phoenix's ugly little half-brother.)

So, one might ask, why would the FSSP continue with such an arduous arrangement? For the good of souls, obviously, but I believe they also see Fresno as potential expansion territory for the good of even more souls. The facts bear this out. In fact, the late Bishop Steinbock (RIP) turned down the offer of a resident FSSP priest for Fresno, even in the face of a severe shortage of priests in the diocese.

The new bishop of Fresno was only installed about five months ago and is still tying up loose ends in his old diocese, so this issue probably isn't at the top of his list. My point is simply that the lingering situation in Fresno is more complicated than it appears on paper, and is certainly not a result of the FSSP being unwilling to commit more fully.

Joseph said...

People are overlooking another important factor - giving young priests experience. It is far better to hand a parish to an experienced priest then sending out new priests. Putting a second or third priest coming straight out of seminary into an existing community in order to develop them into mature, seasoned pastors is far more important than boosting Mr. Perkin's statistics. I expect it will be another several years before we see another major geographic expansion.

The FSSP has always been about quality over quantity and this is a very good thing.

Henry Edwards said...

I would suggest that the FSSP provides a good object lesson for the present situation, as to how a better job of promoting traditional faith can be done from within the Church, than from outside it.

The FSSP has contributed greatly to the training of diocesan priests to celebrate the TLM, resulting in both special-event and regular TLMs that are not captured in the usual statistics. And not only in its so-called seminary workshops. Before FSSP priests came physically into my own diocese and trained priests to say the TLM, we had none; now we have two weekly and others occasionally, both of our most active celebrants trained by the FSSP. A great many priests across the country have self-learned to celebrate the TLM using the excellent resources and videos provided by the FSSP, including the widely viewed daily TLM on the internet.

They have enabled significant TLM events of high visibility, ranging from the first post-SP solemn high Mass telecast on EWTN to the pontifical Mass at the national basilica shrine in Washington, and a number of pontifical Masses celebrated by diocesan bishops in their own dioceses.

In many dioceses, FSSP priests have informal relations with diocesan priests and are able to promote the traditional cause on the ground, with effects in the diocese that extend beyond their own chapel or parish. Including celebrating occasional TLMs in other parishes and exposing additional Catholics to the TLM, or assisting with special TLM celebrations.

All of this contributes to the growing acceptance of the TLM that is reflected, for instance, in favorable articles in places--e.g., the CNS of the USCCB and diocesan newspapers--where they would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. All this going beyond mere statistics regarding Sunday Masses. This is why I pray for regularization of the SSPX, imagining how much good they could do in the same way, given access to the Church from within.

Peterman said...

Croixmom:

In the Diocese of St Pete, FL

The TLM is held at Our Lady's Chapel at St Jude every Sunday at 12:30

and At St. Anthony of Padua every Sunday at 9am

and at St Theresa every Sunday at 6:30am (oh if I were not 30 miles away!)

and (I can't confirm this one though I thought of driving over there) at Prince of Peace Church Sunday at 2pm

So again my point is before we just write off Bishop Lynch thinking he's "not a friend of the TLM", why don't we form a group and simply ASK him. If he says no, we'll pray for him and ask him again and again.

I too have had the FSSP Epiphany blessing of my home and I'd love to not have to make the FSSP priest drive an hour each way to do it. I'd also like to not drive an hour each way.

croixmom said...

Peterman,
Re: DoSP
You may be correct in your hunch to ask His Excellency to invite the Fraternity in. It has been suggested that now is an appropriate time, since the diocese is considering closing some parishes, to ask the bishop to give one to the FSSP.

Is the Latin Mass in Spring Hill Tridentine?
Also, The Mass is no longer being celebrated at Prince of Peace, since Msgr. Bumpus retired several years ago. And when they did the reno on that church, the big marble table was placed strategically close to the steps, so that today it is impossible to envision a proper Mass being offered.

There is an assistant priest currently assigned to Incarnation parish, near the airport, who worked diligently to learn how to offer The Mass. He offered classes to introduce The Mass to interested faithful. The first Tridentine Mass he offered at Incarnation was attended by over 400 people! However, at the request of the bishop, he has not offered it again.

The Mass is not offered at all in the Eastern Deanery, which is a major growth area of this diocese.

SOOOO, for such a large and populous diocese, 2 or maybe 3 Masses on Sunday, and one during the week pales to the 14 offered every week by the FSSP in the Diocese of Venice.

The nice thing about the established FSSP parishes is that they are fully Traditional. Before Christ the King was erected, while the priests were offering Daily Mass at St Martha's in addition to the Sunday Mass, the congregation was not able to enjoy all the fruits of the traditional liturgies and sacraments as they are now.

P.K.T.P. said...

Joseph:

In a perfect world, we could have all the F.S.S.P. priests sitting around and drinking coffee until we all die of old age. You fail to see the significance of my statistics. There has been no growth in F.S.S.P. apostolates (or none in most of the important coutries and little in the others) at precisely the time when the bishops have succeeded in refusing the Pope's motu proprio. This has had a compounding effect. In the unserved areas, many people are dying off or giving up waiting for years and years and years as their parents continue to be denied the Sacraments in the traditional form on their deathbeds. Meanwhile, Fr. Berg is careful to coddle his new prists, as if they were chicks hatched from the egg. They are trained extremely well and and ready to be sent into the field. In a perfect situation, they would be sent as juniors in developed apostolates. We don't have the luxury to provide that. We endure in a hostile world, in which some bishops just don't care about us while others don't realise our plight and still others are openly against us.

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

Henry Edwards:

What a lovely picture you paint. The only problem is that it is not true in the conclusion. If these one-off grand Masses were so positive, why have we actually seen a net decline in dioceses offering the T.L.M. on the every Sunday basis in France and the U.S.A., and a net growth of zero in most other places? These figures are over the period from June, 2008. Let's see: that's over four years! Your claims are not reflected in the numbers: they are contradicted by the numbers. Consider the case of the Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana. They have a T.L.M. once per month and they have all the smells and bells and extremely high quality music, High Masses with all the vestments and servers and deacon and subdeacon. But they cannot go to the every-Sunday basis, unlike all six of the other dioceses in the State. Why? Ask the Bishop! He's the problem!

What these lovely one-off splendorous events have assured is that the T.L.M. is being regarded more and more as the liturgy of an élite in the big cities. That is not its history. It is the Mass of all time for all people of all ranks. There remain thirty dioceses out there in the U.S.A. and other important dioceses in Southern Canada, for instance. Not to mention MOST DIOCESES--over 95%--in Latin America. In France, resistance is coming from liberal bishops in just six to ten liberal strongholds. These bishops are not being swayed by the grand one-off Masses. They will be overcome only when they are retired or when forced by Rome to back down.

The goal should be to reach the faithful everywhere. What should we call it? Let's see. I know! Let's call it the New Evangelisation! The New Evangelisation of Pope Benedict XVI is having no effect whatsoever so far. Perhaps ours could revese that!

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

Innocent III:

I suggest for Fresno that the three priests in Sacramento rotate their commitmenmts to Fresno so that it gets the Mass every Sunday and not just on alternating Sundays. Of course this may be difficult. But the Fraternity should be seen almost as a missionary society, the mission being to restore to the Church the Mass that matters so that fewer and fewer people are driven into apostasy by the endless New Masses, which range from clown shows to solid but also boring 'liturgies'. As one priest told me recently, at most N.O. Masses, the Celebrant seems to know quite a bit about modern psychlogy but not much about the Faith or its history. So you don't get St. Anselm or Trent mentioned at the Altar, only St. Babe Ruth.

P.K.T.P.

P.K.T.P. said...

Let's avoid leaving out hyphens in words such as re-election, and lets avoid annoying appreviations such as app, op, vet, and so forth. This is the dumbed-down wording of journalists; it is not English. How abrasive it is to the eye, much as American and Austrralian accents are to the ear.

P.K.T.P.

George said...

Dear P.K.T.P.,

I had no intention of arguing with your larger point on the FSSP’s strategy of expansion (or non-expansion). You could be right. I’m neutral. Just wanted to respectfully correct your mistake and allow you to “adjust your numbers,” the unbiased accuracy of which I would imagine could be important to the cogency of the many good arguments that you make at this blog. So allow me to respectfully correct another factual mistake that you have just made in respect to the Houston situation. (I have lived off and on in Houston for 30 years, live here now permanently, assist at the new FSSP borrowed linoleum-tiled-catacomb Mass, used to assist at the still-extant diocesan-sponsored TLM Mass in Houston, and was a close observer of last year’s FSSP infiltration into Houston…so I’m in a decent position to know the story.):

Your mistake is to say that: “Still, the F.S.S.P. is replacing an every-Sunday T.L.M. which was in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for many years.” No it’s not…or, at least, it hasn’t yet. That every-Sunday Mass – at the beautiful Annunciation Church in downtown Houston – is still cooking. But the elderly pastor of that church may soon retire…and the fate of that TLM Mass – and of Annunciation Church itself – is uncertain. There is probably a better-than-even chance that that diocesan TLM Mass will be nixed. I believe it was partly in anticipation of the imminent nixing of the single diocesan-approved TLM (Sunday only) in the fourth largest city in the USA that non-SSPX TLMers were so desperate to get a TLM priestly society to start a more “stable” TLM parish in Houston. Given, then, the anticipated probable imminent demise of the one, single TLM in Houston, I’m not sure that it would be inaccurate for you to list the new (currently homeless/building-less) FSSP parish in Houston as “being introduced into a diocese that did not (i.e., “would soon not”) already have one. Depends on how you want to spin it. I am confident that you will not let your specific strategic predilections influence your spinning, as that could lead us cynics, when we see your future (very helpful) citation of statistics to chant: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

George said...

Dear P.K.T.P.,

I had no intention of arguing with your larger point on the FSSP’s strategy of expansion (or non-expansion). You could be right. I’m neutral. Just wanted to respectfully correct your mistake and allow you to “adjust your numbers,” the unbiased accuracy of which I would imagine could be important to the cogency of the many good arguments that you make at this blog. So allow me to respectfully correct another factual mistake that you have just made in respect to the Houston situation. (I have lived off and on in Houston for 30 years, live here now permanently, assist at the new FSSP borrowed linoleum-tiled-catacomb Mass, used to assist at the still-extant diocesan-sponsored TLM Mass in Houston, and was a close observer of last year’s FSSP infiltration into Houston…so I’m in a decent position to know the story.):

Your mistake is to say that: “Still, the F.S.S.P. is replacing an every-Sunday T.L.M. which was in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for many years.” No it’s not…or, at least, it hasn’t yet. That every-Sunday Mass – at the beautiful Annunciation Church in downtown Houston – is still cooking. But the elderly pastor of that church may soon retire…and the fate of that TLM Mass – and of Annunciation Church itself – is uncertain. There is probably a better-than-even chance that that diocesan TLM Mass will be nixed. I believe it was partly in anticipation of the imminent nixing of the single diocesan-approved TLM (Sunday only) in the fourth largest city in the USA that non-SSPX TLMers were so desperate to get a TLM priestly society to start a more “stable” TLM parish in Houston. Given, then, the anticipated probable imminent demise of the one, single TLM in Houston, I’m not sure that it would be inaccurate for you to list the new (currently homeless/building-less) FSSP parish in Houston as “being introduced into a diocese that did not (i.e., “would soon not”) already have one. Depends on how you want to spin it. I am confident that you will not let your specific strategic predilections influence your spinning, as that could lead us cynics, when we see your future (very helpful) citations of statistics to chant: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

Marsaili said...

P.K.T.P. wrote:

"We endure in a hostile world, in which some bishops just don't care about us while others don't realize our plight and still others are openly against us"

And yet, the FSSP are not complaining. Why do you suppose this is the case? Hint: no, it's not because they are afraid to speak up, or weak, or silenced, or anything like that. It's something quite different. What do you suppose it is, P.K.T.P.?

Barbara said...

Mr. P.F.T.P.
How could you say that about American accents? Even they are not spared your sharp criticism (which I generally enjoy, by the way?)
Well, I beg to differ. I just ADORE some American accents - I much prefer them to many British ones - that are to my ears VERY GRATING INDEED!
Yeah! I do just love some American accents and the funny expressions that go along with them - for example "dude" and "get a life". These two and many others make me smile a lot!

Americans = AWESOME! ( I don't pay too much attention to the UGLY ones - accents etc., -God bless 'em everyone!)

Peterman said...

Croixmom, you make a good point about perhaps an unused parish being given to the FSSP. It's hard to welcome in a new Church if they think it will steal sheep from the other Churches which it would. We have a lot of people here in St Pete and Tampa, we need a FSSP parish and I think it would bring in lots of money for the diocese which is in practical terms, what is desired. Otherwise the diocese is just losing out on those contributions to Venice and Orlando.

croixmom said...

Peterman,
Is there a common Latin Mass organization in the DoSP? (some way to unite the communities from St Jude, St Anthony, St Theresa...?). Is there an Una Voce or Ecclesia Dei organization, that we can work together, to ask Bishop Lynch to invite the Fraternity in? I don't want to step on the toes of the awesome priests who are currently offering The Mass. But I kind of think Fr. Fausto played a major role in helping to bring the FSSP to DoV.
I confess, I am so incredibly in love with the FSSP parish in DoV, it is well worth the 55 mile trek each way that I make at least 3x a week..... that being said, maybe we are approaching a proper time to approach Bishop Lynch.