Presentation Through the Year 2012...
The purpose of this section "Through the Year..." is to present through images certain important events, but also "everyday" life in our Fraternity throughout the world.
For the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, the seminary community of Wigratzbad visited the Abbey of Weingarten to celebrate for the intention of the seminary benefactors. Following the Mass the seminarians and faithful whe were present received a blessing with the relique of the Precious Blood.
On the 15th and 16th of September, the French seminarians from the FSSP seminary in Wigratzbad met in Ars for their 4th annual Start of Term Pilgrimage. Saturday morning, Fr. Loïc Courtois, who was ordained for the FSSP last June, celebrated a First Mass at the altar where the mortal remains of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney are displayed, in the main church. Fr. Vincent Ribeton gave the sermon. Fr. Courtois was fortunate enough to use the chalice of St. Jean-Marie Vianney for this occasion.
In the afternoon, after a picnic near the Sanctuary, the seminarians and some pilgrims from Fribourg recited the Rosary on the way to the Monument de la Rencontre, a monument which commemorates the first meeting (French rencontre) between the Saint and a young boy named Antoine Givre, as the Saint had just arrived outside the village and was looking for his new church.
At 5:30 p.m., Vespers were sung in the Church of Mercy before singing Compline in the Basilica at 8:30.
On Sunday, the pilgrims gathered at the church in nearby Trévoux where Fr. Jérôme Lebel gave the send-off for the 10 mile pilgrimage back to Ars, for which some families from Lyons joined the Swiss pilgrims and the seminarians. The Mass concluding the pilgrimage was celebrated that afternoon in Ars by the vice-rector of the seminary, Fr. Hubert Bizard. The next pilgrimage is scheduled for the 14th and 15th September 2013.
On the 29th of June, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, His Lordship Charles Morerod, Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, made public his intention to entrust the Basilica of Our Lady of Fribourg to the FSSP. This minor basilica is the oldest church in Fribourg, which has now seen the completion of its long and beautiful restoration. The Fraternity is most honoured to take on the pastoral care of this important Marian sanctuary, which was first built in the 13th century, raised to the dignity of a basilica in 1932, and magnificently restored over the past years by very dedicated members of the faithful.
The Solemn Mass of installation took place on the 8th of September, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, principal patroness of the Diocese. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. John Berg, in the presence of Msgr. Alain Chardonnens, Vicar general of the Diocese; as well as several canons and other priests who were in attendance. A small collation was prepared after Mass by the Association of Faithful for all those who were present.
As of now, in addition to the eleven weekly Masses, numerous activities will also be proposed. Hope to see you soon at the Basilica of Our Lady of Fribourg !
IN SÆCULA SÆCULÓRUM includes selections of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony sung and recorded by the seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in their chapel at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary. This album provides the listener with a melodic tour winding through the Liturgical Year of the Latin Rite. Of all the arts, music touches most closely upon the Sacred Liturgy. Within the sphere of music, Gregorian chant takes pride of place. It offers matchless breadth, splendor, and a stunning beauty which befits Divine Worship.
While Gregorian chant has been a pleasant expression of heavenly things for over a thousand years, it is also universal, speaking effectively to men of every place and time and culture. Thus, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI calls Gregorian chant a "supreme model of sacred music."
Each morning, the seminarians place themselves in the Presence of God, asking Him for assistance (Track 1, Deus in adiutórium). Each day ends with a hymn sung to Mary, the Mother of God, praising her and begging for her maternal protection (Track 22, Salve Regína). Throughout the day, the seminary community sings several times, using the ancient Latin chants for the Divine Office and for Holy Mass. Whether in the classroom or in the chapel, Gregorian chant plays an essential role in the traditional formation of future priests at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary.
More information and track listing: www.fsspolgs.org/cd.html
Fr. Pierre Gaudray, spiritual director at St. Peter's Seminary, celebrated his 90th birthday on the 5th of June. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Rouen on the 29th of June 1948, and has been residing at the seminary for more than twenty years. For this unique occasion, he celebrated the Sung Community Mass and preached to the seminarians on the subject of priestly fidelity, for which he could draw from his own experience. At lunch, the Seminary community had the pleasure of presenting Fr. Gaudray with a photo album, which gave him the opportunity to look back at his more-than-sixty years as a priest. The village mayor was delighted to come to the Seminary for this special anniversary. Our Superior General, who was in Rome at that moment, as well as many other priests were able to send Fr. Gaudray a video message as a touching tribute on this special occasion. Ad multos annos!
On Ascension Day (May 17), Bishop Vitus Huonder celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the beautiful sanctuary of Our Lady in Birnau on the shore of Lake Constance. An impressive number of faithful from near and far attended the dignified ceremony. The Ministers and Altar servers came from the Seminary of Saint Peter, while the chant was assured by the Collegium Musicum, a boarding school with a classical musical profile.
Both the splendid Pontifical Mass and the pleasant weather contributed to the joyful atmosphere of the day. (For next year: Ascension Day, May 9, 2013, 14h00)
From the 13th April to the 13th May 2012, one of the largest religious events of the year took place in Trier (Germany): The Pilgrimage to the Holy Tunic of Christ -- Our Lord’s seamless garment, for which the soldiers cast lots at Our Lord’s Crucifixion (John 19, 23-24). This symbol of the Incarnation of God and the unity of the Church has only been displayed for veneration three times in the past century.
The Ecclesia Dei communities chose to make a pilgrimage to this valuable relic of Christendom on the 20th of April, beginning in the Basilica of St. Matthias.
Walter Cardinal Brandmüller celebrated a solemn Pontifical Mass in the former abbey church of St. Maximin, with the attendance of over 2,500 faithful. Also present was Bishop Ackerman of Trier. From the Basilica, the many pilgrims went in procession to the Cathedral to venerate the precious relic. The day ended with solemn Pontifical Vespers.
Sunday’s High Mass (22 April) was celebrated by the rector of the seminary, Fr. Franz Karl Banauch, for the intentions of the German-speaking faithful.
May 7, 2012: Wigratzbad's French Seminarians welcomed by a parish in Alsace for Good Shepherd Sunday, April 21-22, 2012
On their return to seminary, following the Easter Break, the seminarians were welcomed by the parish priest and put up for the night by several families, who were delighted to welcome these young men who are studying for the priesthood.
Saturday evening was a time of prayer fo all, before the Blessed Sacrement exposed. On Sunday morning, in Sts. Peter and Paul Church, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated with Fr. Hubert Bizard, Fr. Alban Cras, and Charles Gauthey as the sacred ministers. Before the sermon, the local parish priest gave some touching words of welcome, reminding us that "in learning about others, we can see that we love the same Christ and that we seek to love Him in the same Church... there are not those people of the past, nor those of the future; but that we are all one in Christ and form one body".
The seminarians were able to sing Solemn Vespers in a newly-renovated Marian sanctuary before thanking their hosts and continuing their journey to Wigratzbad, where the last study term awaits them.
On the 19th of March, the seminarians went to sing the Mass of Saint Joseph in the former Benedictine abbey church of Irsee (now a parish church). Fr. Jose Calvin offerred Holy Mass for the seminary's benefactors and gave a sermon in Latin from the rather unique pulpit, which is designed in the form of a ship. There are only four such pulpits in all of Bavaria.
During Lent, the many autels of the abbey church are covered with representations of the Passion, dating from the 18th century. Holy Mass was followed by a visit of the former abbey, as well as an afternoon visit to St. Crescentia's Monastery. Later that afternoon, the seminary community sang Vespers in Saint Blaise's Church in Kaufbeuren.
Following in the footsteps of those who have shared our faith from the earliest days, the community of Saint Peter's Seminary also began Lent by receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday (22 February). They are received in order of dignity of one's office: firstly, the priests, then the deacons, and so on. Clerics have the privilege of receiving the ashes in the form of a cross on the top of the head (where they traditionally keep the clerical tonsure). "Remember that thou are dust and unto dust thou shalt return!" This spiritual reminder of our human condition inspires us all to a greater Faith in our Saviour and His grace, by which nothing is impossible.
We are pleased to announce the creation of two personal parishes for the extraordinary form in the diocese of Coire: St Maximilian Kolbe in Zurich and Immaculate Conception in Oberrath. Bishop Vitus Huonder entrusted St Maximilian Kolbe to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and appointed Fr Martin Ramm as the first parish priest. Fr Ramm will be in charge of the faithful attached to the extraordinary form in the canton of Zurich. The inauguration of the parish will take place on March 4 in the presence of Fr. John Berg, Superior General of the FSSP.
The Pupils of the '2nd class' at the Croix des Vents- St Joseph School in Sées, France (a boarding school of the FSSP) travelled to England last December, in order to gain exposure to English culture and to practice their English in a solid Catholic environment. For the week that they were in England, the pupils had English lessons in the morning; followed by excursions to London, Reading and Oxford, in the afternoon. They also had the opportunity to meet and speak with some English Catholic families. The School thanks all those who helped to make this trip possible: in particular, the Fraternity Apostolate in Reading, without whose help such a trip would not have been possible; the Benedictine monks of Douai Abbey, for their warm welcome; as well as the many people who were kind enough to receive us. Many thanks to all.
At the beginning of February 2011, then more recently in mid-December, the parish church of Pequannock saw its choir locking itself within its walls to record Christmas songs. The project was not something new since a first CD had already been recorded and released in June 2010. The idea of recording a CD was born not only from the desire of many parishioners, but especially as a practical means to keep track of the different pieces of music learnt and sung at the cost of much hard labour over the past five years.
With about 35 members, most of whom are musically talented teenagers, the choir met two weeks before Christmas to make digital recordings of polyphonic songs in Latin, German and French as well as English Christmas Carols, all of which they sing with great pleasure before and during the Christmas Midnight Mass every year.
The undertaking, although executed in a very amicable atmosphere, was not easy to set up. Firstly, one must find a date that accommodates everyone, then overcome the passing colds and coughs, and finally above all to record the entire program in a mere five or six hours, whilst being forced to omit corrections that a perfectionist would hardly be satisfied with. But now it is completed. Our voices make music, but a computer is necessary to produce graphics and the combined result is a CD which a music house based in Manhattan will produce.
Those with musical ears will certainly find some imperfections (and we will willingly concede them), but they will not stain the pleasure that all the young singers had in realizing this recording, nor the joy they have to sing together Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. For those interested, the CD will be released in the fall of 2012...
At the invitation of Fr. Philippe Joachim, FSSP, the Vice Rector of St. Peter’s Seminary, Wigratzbad and 12 seminarians were present at the Fraternity apostolate in Nantes for the feast of the Epiphany, 2012. Fr. Hubert Bizard preached on vocations during the sermon in the church which was particularly full for the visit. All of the servers of the parish other than the torch bearers (known as the ‘petits rouges’ because of their cassock) were replaced by the seminarians from Wigratzbad. Following the Mass there was a reception organized by ‘Faith and Tradition’. The occasion was a great success, and Mr. Jehan-Michel Rondot, thanked everyone in particular for their devoted work, and spoke of the strong growth of the community throughout the last 20 years. Originally having a priest only every second week, they now have two priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter present fulltime at the church. A number of young men from Nantes are currently in formation at the seminary in Wigratzbad, and in just the last two years two others have been ordained priests for our Fraternity.
Thanks to the gracious welcome of Fr. Rougé, pastor of Sainte-Clotilde, the many members of the Fraternity who were in Paris following Christmas celebrated a solemn Mass on January 3rd in honor of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. As can be seen from the photos, the faithful in Paris were quick to fill up the beautiful Basilica for the occasion.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Guilhem Le Coq with Rev. Karl Marsolle and Hubert Cœurderoy as deacon and subdeacon. The sermon was preached by Fr. Arnaud Evrat, General Secretary of the Fraternity. All who were present expressed their pleasure to have been able to pray for the intercession of St. Genevieve in such a fervent and glorious manner in the very heart of Paris.