Seminaries The chapel of our seminary in Denton (USA)
On Wednesday, the 3rd of March, 2010, the new Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary was solemnly consecrated by His Excellency Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska (USA).
Three special days for the Fraternity of Saint Peter
(photo album 1)
On the 1st of March, about sixty priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter were gathered in Waverly, some miles from the seminary, for a fraternal meeting with our Superior General, the Very Reverend John Berg. The vast majority of priests of the North American District were present on this occasion, as were several priests from Europe. The following day, both Fr. Berg and Fr. Eric Flood, Superior of the North American District spoke to the priests about the development of the Fraternity and the importance
of community life. Fr. Vincent Ribeton, Superior of the French District was also on hand to speak about the state of affairs in his district. Lastly, Fr. Armand de Malleray, Chaplain of the Confraternity of Saint Peter had some very encouraging words on the growth of this important group of lay faithful who pray each day for the priests and seminarians of the Fraternity.
Solemn Vespers and Preparation of the Relics
(photo album 2)
The first part of the Consecration ceremony took place later in the day of the 2nd of March. At the conclusion of Vespers, which were chanted by the priests and seminarians in the seminary’s Aula Magna (the ‘Great Hall’, which had served as the temporary chapel), Fr. Berg began the preparatory rites. Firstly, the preparation of the reliquaries that would be sealed the next day in each of the altars of the new Chapel. Each small silver chest, containing the remains of several holy martyrs, was sealed with
a wax seal bearing the coat-of-arms of the Diocesan Bishop. These reliquaries were then placed in larger wooden chests and carried in procession through the cloister of the seminary to the solemn chanting of the Litany of Saints. Then, there was the blessing of Gregorian water, which is Holy Water with an admixture of wine and ashes. It is used to sprinkle the walls of the church during its consecration. Lastly, Fr. Berg blessed the incense that would burn on the altars the next morning. During the night,
priests and seminarians were able to pray before the relics of the Saints, which had been exposed on the altar of the former temporary chapel.
The Consecration Ceremony of the new Seminary Chapel
The Consecration of the chapel, which lasted more than four hours, began the following morning (3rd of March) at 10 a.m. Such a ceremony was not without several distinguished guests: In the presence of His Eminence William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei; the Chapel was consecrated by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, with the generous assistance of Their Excellencies James Timlin, Bishop emeritus of Scranton; Robert Finn,
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph; Edward Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa; the Very Reverend Father Philip Anderson, Abbot of Clear Creek Abbey in Oklahoma; and Frs. John Berg, Josef Bisig and Charles Van Vliet of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. Fr. Bisig is the current rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary and Fr. Van Vliet is an assistant to the Superior General.
I. Purification and Dedication of the Church
(photo album 3)
After having prayed before the relics and having vested, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz proceeded at first with the sprinkling of the church exterior with the aforementioned Gregorian Water. Accompanied by numerous clergy, he once again went around the new edifice. He then found himself before the doors of the new chapel which remained shut. Then with the end of his crozier, the Bishop knocked three times so that the doors might be opened to all. Once everyone had arrived in choir, the clergy having
taken their places in the new choir stalls, all began the chanting of the Litanies.
Then, the Bishop sprinkled the inner walls, the floor and the main altar with Gregorian water, while the seven co-consecrators sprinkled the seven other altars of the chapel.
Standing in the middle of the choir, the Bishop then traced the letters of the Greek and Latin alphabets in the ash that has been placed in saltire on the ground. All of these sacred rites indicate a taking of possession of the place that will become the Temple of God. This first part of the ceremony ended with the chanting of the Preface of the Consecration of a church.
II. Placing the Relics (photo album 4)
The entire clergy then accompanied the Bishop to the place where the relics were kept. The relics were then borne in procession by four deacons, each vested in a red dalmatic; and the relics carried into the new Chapel. The eight reliquaries were then placed by the various consecrators in their ‘sepulchres’ (small cavities in the surface of the altar) of the different altars and then sealed with cement, which had been prepared with Gregorian water.
It is worth noting that among the relics were remains of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope St. Clement, Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Saint Vincent of Saragossa, St. Thomas of Canterbury and Saint Lawrence. Each one of the eight altars also contained a relic of the priest-martyrs among the Cristeros, who gained their Crown of Glory during the religious persecutions in Mexico in the first half of the 20th Century and who were canonised in 2001.
III. Consecration of the Church and its altars
(photo album 5)
The twelve Crosses of consecration, each painted on the wall as well as the main doors of the chapel were anointed with Holy Chrism and the crosses then incensed by Bishop Bruskewitz. Followed the anointing of the five crosses engraved into the surface of the main altar and the four anointings of the front face of the altar. The co-consecrators made the same anointings on the side altars. After having incensed the altar, the Bishop placed grains of incense and five wicks in the form of a cross upon the five altar
crosses, which were then lighted by the acolytes while the Bishop intoned the "Veni Sancte Spiritus". This part of the ceremony was concluded by the chanting of the preface for the Consecration of an Altar.
Pontifical Mass of Dedication (photo album 6)
This Mass of Dedication followed immediately and was celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz. In addition to the Gregorian propers, the seminarians beautifully sang a polyphonic Mass setting for three voices, originally composed by William Byrd.
From Rome, His Eminence William Cardinal Levada brought good tidings from the Holy Father, in the form of a message which he read on the occasion: "His Holiness prays that the new chapel will always be respected as a sacred dwelling where Almighty God is glorified in His majesty, a center from which the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith are proclaimed with conviction, and a place where seminarians and teachers alike are inspired to the pursuit of holiness and ever-deeper communion
with the Lord and His Church ". Cardinal Levada then gave the sermon. He pointed out, among other things, that “the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has a special charism to assist the Holy Father in preserving the unity of the Church for those attached to the traditional form of the Mass, through the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum".
Following the Pontifical blessing and recession of clergy, a traditional group photo was taken with the distinguished prelates, priests and seminarians of the Fraternity as well as other priests present on this joyful occasion.
Thanksgiving (photo album 7)
During the reception dinner, which took place in the afternoon in the seminary’s spacious refectory, Fr. John Berg had the opportunity to thank the various participants: His Eminence William Cardinal Levada, Their Excellencies, as well as those who, through their prayers, donations or work, helped to bring such a great undertaking to fruition for the greater Glory of God – Ad majorem Dei gloriam!
Televised live on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN)
The Pontifical Consecration and Mass were televised live on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN).
Founded by Mother Angelica, the EWTN Global Catholic Network, now in its 28th year, is available in more than 150 million television households in more than 140 countries and erritories. EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world. For more information, go to www.ewtn.com.
About Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary
Located in rural Denton, Nebraska, is the English-speaking seminary for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. Men from all over the world, come to study for the priesthood in the seminary’s seven year program. A few represented countries include Australia, the French West Indies, England, Scotland and Nigeria. For more information, please go to www.fsspolgs.org.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary is the center of the world’s largest provider of training resources and materials for priests who wish to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Since June of 2007, priests from over 70 dioceses in the United States have been personally trained. For more information, please go to www.fssptraining.org.
The seminary building itself has a total of 100 seminary rooms and 13 priest suites. With construction on the seminary beginning in the fall of 1998, the Pontifical Consecration and Mass on March 3rd crowned the heart and jewel of the seminary, the chapel.
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
is 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.
Pictures from the phases of construction 2008-2010 (Others pictures of the construction)
Drawing of the future chapel.
September 2007: site of the future chapel.
September 2008: construction in progress....
October 2008 the columns are set.
September 2009: phase 17 of the construction.
December 2009: finishing the interiore.