4 Americans make Profession for the Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart

With the shortage of vocations in today’s crisis, it is no small miracle to see women giving their lives to God in such a full way. God bless them.

https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/four-americans-take-habit-and-make-religious-profession-consoling-sisters-49326

For centuries, the Catholic Church in the United States relied heavily on foreign missionaries, European priests and religious, to fill up its ranks. Now, in some small way, at a convent in Vigne, Italy, some 45 miles north of Rome, Americans are beginning to return the favor.

On June 28, 2019, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in a 14th century church in the Italian hilltop town of Narni, four Americans advanced along the path of religious life in the Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The ceremony began with two postulants taking the habit of the congregation. Celine Archer and Madeleine Bomberger, both of St. Mary’s, KS, approached the altar in wedding gowns, escorted by their fathers. After Fr. Emmanuel du Chalard, spiritual father of the Consoling Sisters, blessed their new religious garb, they left the church, returning after a few moments clothed in these habits and the white veils of novices. When they returned to the sanctuary, Fr. Chalard imposed upon them their new religious names, Sr. Maria Gabriella dell’Addolorata and Sr. Maria Margherita dell’Annunciazione.

A solemn high Mass then began, and after the Gospel was sung, two more young Americans approached the altar. Sr. Maria Maddelena (Rita Bomberger, Saint Mary’s, KS) and Sr. Maria Bernadette (Aleina Cassian Bissing, Post Falls, ID) knelt before the open tabernacle and pronounced the three vows of religion, as well as a fourth, particular to the Consoling Sisters, of promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart. Fr. du Chalard then bestowed up them black veils and the distinctive medals and rings of the congregation. Finally, each received a crown of thorns on her head and cross on her right shoulder, symbolizing union of wills with the Passion of Our Lord. The profession ceremony concluded, they returned to their places for continuation of the Holy Sacrifice.

Despite temperatures soaring into triple digits, many friends of the Sisters attended the moving ceremony to offer their support, encouragement, and prayers. Notable among them were the Sisters of the Society of Saint Pius X and the Disciples of the Cenacle, as well as world-renowned historian and defender of Tradition Professor Roberto de Matei and his wife. The United States was also well-represented. Large contingents of the families of all the candidates made the long trip to support their daughters and sisters, as did an impressive number of friends and former schoolmates. Three American priests were in attendance as well. Frs. John Mark McFarland and Alexander Wiseman functioned as deacon and subdeacon of the Mass, while Fr. Otto Keiser added a clerical presence to the small army of photographers. The moving ceremony and the profoundly Catholic joy of the sisters will not soon be forgotten by anyone present and are sure to inspire many other young ladies to seek the religious life under the banner of the Sacred Heart.

The Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart were entrusted by their dying founder, Fr. Basilio, CP, to the care of the SSPX in 1996. At that time, there were only six sisters, all Italian. Years of spiritual growth and increasing knowledge of Tradition followed, but new recruits were sorely lacking. Then, thanks especially to new interest generated by the Sisters’ orphanage in India, the situation began to improve. In the last few years, a small but steady stream of candidates has sought admission to the novitiate, both in Italy and in India. Now, in addition to Italians and Americans, the congregation boasts of sisters from France, Mexico, and India. Five more young ladies are expected to begin their postulancy at the motherhouse in Vigne this year. Four of them are American.

This growth is not without its trials. Most pressing is the need for more room. The Sisters have outgrown the small motherhouse and plans for expansion remain ensnared in bureaucratic red tape. In the meantime, they are seeking temporary accommodations in the vicinity, but with no success thus far. This Sisters would greatly appreciate your prayers for these intentions.

Nevertheless, as Fr. Chalard expressed it in his sermon for the ceremony of June 28, “How can we not thank Our Lord for these new vocations, when we see the collapse of the religious life and the closing of so many convents, one after the other?” And he added a plea that we pass on to our readers throughout the world, “Do not forget to pray for these vocations and their perseverance.”

O Lord, grant us many holy religious vocations!

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The Immaculata Project

“Archbishop Lefebvre wanted St. Mary’s to be a place of renaissance for the Catholic Faith in the United States.”

A beautiful must watch about the Immaculata project in St. Mary’s, Kansas.

Saved by the blood

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A reflection from Fr. W. Faber:

https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/blood-christ-which-sacraments-receive-their-strength-have-mercy-us-39490

But we should have a very imperfect notion of the empire of the Precious Blood if we did not take into account the chief methods by which it does its work.

We have seen some of the principal ways in which it spreads its empire; let us now see the means by which it spreads it. These means are the Sacraments.

But our clearest idea of the Sacraments is that which we gain from Hugh St. Victor and the elder theologians. They are the making visible of invisible grace. In them the Precious Blood has clothed itself in visible forms.

In the matter and form of the Sacraments it has put on its priestly vestments, of unearthly fashion, and of manifold significance.

Indeed, the grace of the Sacraments is the very physical grace which was in the Soul of Jesus, replicated, as theology speaks, that is, repeated again and again in us, and repeated in us by means of the Precious Blood.

The seven Sacraments are hieroglyphics of some hidden wisdom of God. Christ instituted them as Man; and thus they are the going-on of the Thirty-Three Years upon earth.


On another note, please pray for Louisiana as we brace for a hurricane & flooding rains… Thanks.

~Damsel of the Faith

A Cathedral for St. Mary’s, Kansas

Immaculata Church Rendering

 

Exciting news regarding the Society in St. Mary’s, Kansas!

https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/designs-budget-and-timeline-released-unveiling-new-immaculata-project-48917

Beyond being the biggest Catholics Church in Kansas, this will be the biggest Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) church in the world. With a seating capacity of over 1,500, it will serve the growing community of St. Mary’s for generations to come.

There is an old tradition at a wedding where the father of the bride lifts his daughter’s veil and reveals her to her groom. Many legends and lore sit behind this practice, but from where such a custom comes, who can absolutely and conclusively say?  Nevertheless, there it is. “And there came one of the seven angels, who had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and spoke with me, saying: Come, and I will shew thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Apoc. 21:9). The veil is lifted, and the beauty of the bride is revealed to her husband. “And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Apoc. 21:2). Such a lifting of the veil occurred on June 15 at St. Mary’s Academy and College, revealing the new Immaculata, the future Society church in St. Marys, KS.

A Fire Scars the Kansas Prairie

Since a fire, sparked by faulty wiring, destroyed the Immaculata chapel on Nov. 8, 1978, the largest community in the SSPX in the United States has lacked a fully realized church structure. The crown of the campus, the small but stately Immaculata chapel that had been raised with the money of 300 alumni of the old St. Mary’s College; the chapel that had taken into her bosom countless faithful and sent many forth to become priests; the chapel that persuaded Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre that St. Marys, KS should become the flagship of the Society in the United States—that crown burned down almost before the ink had dried on the closing papers. In keeping with the latter analogy, the pride of the U. S. District, the flagship, had suffered the loss of her flag. Now, the hope and the promise of a new flag—a grander and more glorious flag—was unveiled at Ignatius Auditorium on the St. Mary’s College campus.

During the unveiling, Mr. Nicholas Novelly, the head accountant at St. Mary’s College, noted that behind great losses is always the hand of Divine Providence. The insurance money, while originally intended to rebuild the chapel, was used to nourish the infant campus of St. Mary’s. For over 40 years, the school and the campus grew, as did the surrounding community.

Since the fire, Mass and the various liturgical ceremonies have been celebrated in temporary chapels: first, a room in Jogues Hall served as the temporary church for the fledgling campus, and then was moved to the former Jesuit cafeteria which could seat around 500. But as the parish grew from a mere handful of families to over 4,000, filling the Assumption Chapel from wall to wall, larger ceremonies, such as Christmas Midnight Mass, the liturgies of Holy Week, confirmations, and First Communions were held in the auditorium and the altar erected on a stage.

As soon as the fire had been doused, many hoped the chapel would be rebuilt. However, time after time, different rectors had to delay the project as fundraising for the Immaculata took away much needed funds from the day-to-day operations of campus. Mr. Novelly reported that, from former fundraising and donations, just over $15.7 million has been raised, but to complete this project, $14 million more is required. Even so, Mr. Novelly stressed that the donations to the Immaculata cannot come by cutting donations from the operations of the school and the parish.

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The Immaculata Will Watch Over Saint Marys

The plans for the new Immaculata will move the building from its original location on the hill beside Bellarmine hall.  Due to the lack of space for parking, a new site was chosen on a higher hill, near the cemetery, which could better serve the parish without conflicting with the school. “Our goal too, with this expansion, with a larger church,” Fr. Patrick Rutledge said, “is to give you a chance to come to Mass, to pray at Mass, to not have to stand at the back of a church behind seven rows of people, to be able stay after Mass and make a thanksgiving, to not feel like you have to relinquish your parking spot as soon as you possibly can, as so many of you have to do each Sunday because of our growth.”

The majesty of the church will be evident to all, with two bell towers reaching 111 feet in the air, a 12-sided copula (representing the 12 stars that crown Mary) on which will rise a statue of Our Lady to become the highest point of campus, as well as the town. “Our lady looking over her town,” Fr. Rutledge said, “the Immaculata looking over her town, protecting her town as she has already done.”

A Measured – but Grand – House of God

The Immaculata will become not only the largest Catholic church structure in Kansas but also the largest such building within 350 miles of St. Marys. “We’re not just building a chapel,” Fr. Rutledge said.  “We are really building something significant. Especially as our Church, our Catholic Church, is struggling so much, what a breath of fresh air this will be!” It will contain eight confessionals, a reliquary chapel, a baptistry, two side-chapels with seating for 50 people, a cry room with seating for 100, and a choir loft that also can seat 100. The parking lot itself will be able to hold 465 vehicles. “Since there are about 15 people per vehicle,” Fr. Rutledge joked, “it should be enough.”

David Heit, the lead architect from CIVIUM Architects, told the audience that this project was special to him and to his team. “It is not just another design problem, not just another large building, but definitely something unique for us,” he said. “And now we find ourselves (perhaps not in a literal way, but still in a way) offering a brief prayer each day before we set to work, understanding that what we do needs to be divinely inspired.”

And, lest the desire for greater majesty carries away the appropriate measure of material things, David Eddy, the manager of pre-construction for the U.S. District and Preconstruction Director at Fransen Pittman, has set forth a measured budget.  Mr. Eddy has been involved in some of the previous conversations on the Immaculata, and now his job is to make sure that the church is both beautiful but on budget, “to make sure we are designing a building that is buildable,” he said, “and a building that matches the needs of the District and of St. Marys.”

A Sign of Tradition’s Growth in America

Fr. Jurgen Wegner, the District Superior, turned the thoughts of the audience from the stone and the windows to the broader vision of what the new Immaculata means not only to St. Marys but also to District and the wider world.  First he spoke of the past, the reason for purchasing St. Marys “with the idea of restoration of the Catholic Faith. And a restoration that has to come from the center of the United States,” Fr. Wegner said.

“It was a big sacrifice for many of the pioneers to make the decision to leave a well-established situation elsewhere in the United States and to come to Kansas where you have hot summers, chiggers, and all kinds of awful things,” the District Superior continued. “But it was their faith that brought them here, and really this idea of the pioneer to build. These early years for the faithful and the priests were difficult years.”

“It is the energy, the sacrifices, and the tears of all those who started off here, who made this place the place where other traditionals want to go, who made this place—in a certain way, it in the beginning was just an awful place—now becomes a refuge and a desirable place for every Catholic.  We want to say thank you to these pioneers—many of them have left us already, such as Fr. Bolduc, who died two years ago.”

Then he spoke to the future, the future of Tradition. “This day is not just the day where we think about a nice church building out of brick and stone, it is a day where we think about the restoration of the Church.  And if in the beginning St. Marys was the place pretty much nobody knew, nowadays the flagship of the District, the biggest parish of tradition in the world—and so is tradition.  World-wide tradition started out very small. As soon as it grew, it was attacked. But now the times changed.”

The time has come, with the building of the new Immaculata, “to give back tradition to the church,” Fr. Wegner said.  “St. Mary’s—a place where, in the past, over 1,000 priests have been ordained should be a source of priestly and religious vocations. And if you succeed with this church-building project, the building of a church in stone, but also the building of a church in people, in the souls, I’m sure the District will succeed.”

Prayers Will See the Project Completed

Fr. Rutledge closed the unveiling with a plea for prayers. He asked the parishioners to pray as they consider the amount that each can donate to the cause of rebuilding a church worthy of Mary, and to pray throughout the entire build. He asked the parishioners to place their pledges at the feet of Our Lady on August 15—providentially it was 40 ago, on August 15, 1979, when the new cornerstone was laid for the first attempt to rebuild the Immaculata—and “there on the feast of Our Lady,” he said, “to make a commitment to her, for what you will sacrifice and what you will give to her for this project.”

“The biggest thing that we have to do for this project is pray: to pray that the design team builds something that Our Lady wants; we need to pray that all of us working on the project keep the higher principles in mind as we do the work; pray that, humanly speaking, we build something that is reasonable for our budget… We need your prayers.”

The groundbreaking is scheduled for May 31, 2020, 40 years after a strong wind knocked down some of the walls that had remained standing after the fire. “In one year, we will break ground on the Immaculata,” Fr. Rutledge said.  “Not only is May 31 the Queenship of Mary, but next year May 31 also falls on Pentecost Sunday.”

Following Fr. Rutledge’s announcements, Fr. Wegner presented a gift from the District to the new Immaculata. “It is something very special,” he said, “something we want to give back to this parish, as a sign of gratitude for our ancestors and as a sign of encouragement to you.” That gift was the relics from the altar of the original Immaculata.

Fr. Carl Musemeche’s First Mass

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June 22nd, the day after Ordinations, was Fr. Musemeche’s First Mass in the Ordination tent, attended by two of the three bishops of the Society, Bp. Tissier de Mallerais & Alfonso de Galeretta. It was truly a joyous occasion & a beautiful ceremony. Being able to attend the ceremonies made me think of the days of Archbishop Lefebvre, which sadly I’m too young to have seen. It must have been a great honor to be in his presence as he configured men into priests of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls & the Church. His legacy continues because, in his words, “if his work is of God, he will use it for the good of His Church.”

The primary purpose of a priest is to make sacrifice to God by reenacting the Sacrifice of Christ on the cross in an unbloody manner & to forgive sins in the name of God.  They are greater than the angels in heaven for not even they have the supernatural powers of the priest. With it, comes grave responsibility for every soul within their care, they must acccount for, whether for good or evil.  To whom much has been given much is required. May God bless our Fr. Musemeche as he begins his priestly life in St. Mary’s, Kansas.

“We hold firmly with all our heart and with all our mind to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to the maintenance of this faith, to the eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth. We refuse on the other hand, and have always refused, to follow the Rome of Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies which became clearly manifest during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.”  ~1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre

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Sacred Heart of Our Lord

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As the Month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus comes to a close (and not the wretched Pride month, celebrating the great sin that cries to heaven for vengeance) here are a few reflections from the saints:

“It is in the adorable heart of Jesus that we shall find every help for our necessities, every remedy for the cure of our ills, the most powerful assistance against the assaults of our enemies, the sweetest consolation to soothe our sufferings, the purest delight to fill our souls with joy. Are you in sorrow? Do your enemies persecute you? Does the recollection of your past sins disturb you? Is your heart troubled or full of fear? Throw yourself, so to speak, in the wounds of Jesus Christ, even into His Sacred Heart, it is a sanctuary, it is the retreat for holy souls, and a place of refuge wherein your soul is safe. It is to Him and through Him that we should ask for all we require; it is through Him and in Him that we should offer to the Eternal Father all we do, because this Sacred Heart is the treasury of every supernatural gift, the source of every grace. It is the channel through which we unite ourselves more intimately to God, and through which God communicates Himself more freely. It is, in fine, to this Sacred Heart we should continually strive to unite ours – no longer wishing to have other desires or sentiments than those of Jesus – and then we may be sure that His will and His Sacred Heart may, so to speak, merge into our heart, and that the two will be as one. Draw waters at leisure out of the Savior’s fountains: you will never exhaust them.”   ~St. Peter Damien

“The Sacred Heart of Jesus has been wounded in order that by means of the visible wound we may see the invisible wound of His divine love. Who would not love this Heart so wounded for the love of us? who would not return love for love to a Savior who has done so much for us? Thy side, O Lord, has been pierced in order that we should find an entry into Thy Sacred Heart. Oh how sweet and good it is to seek repose in that Heart divine. From my Savior’s sacred wounds, I find out His Heart’s secret: I now can fathom the depths of God’s goodness, for the bowels of mercy which caused Him to come down from heaven to dwell with us are open to me.”  ~St. Bernard

 

2019 SSPX Ordinations

 

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I had the great honor & pleasure of attending the Ordinations in Virginia for our own Fr. Carl Musemeche. It was beautiful beyond description & I highly recommend those who have never witnessed them to make every effort to do so.  It was truly a heavenly experience. May God bless our 5 new priests of the SSPX.

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