Category Archives: Priesthood

New Religious Benedictine house


Religious vocations are vital to the life of the Church. May we pray for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood & Religious life, lived fully in accordance with the Traditional Doctrine of the Church.

The pioneer foundresses of St. Joseph Monastery in Silver City, NM saw their religious house blessed by His Excellency Bp. Bernard Fellay on February 10th, 2018, the feast day of St. Scholastica.

With that momentous act, the Benedictine monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silver City, NM gained a sister congregation of contemplative Benedictine sisters.

Bishop Fellay explained the significance of a new convent for the Church and Tradition thus:

We have two things. First, the blessing itself, which is pouring down the blessing of God and God’s graces, and that makes this place of the earth a holy place, a place of graces. That is the most important part. Then, it’s important for Tradition because it is the first contemplative American monastery that we bless. We hope that there will be many graces and many vocations here. In a country like the United States, which is very materialistic, there is an urgent need for depth that is given by contemplative life and contemplative monasteries. To know God, you must elevate yourself from the earth. You must get that look of the Faith. Nothing but contemplation will do that. This contemplative house for the Benedictine of Americans will complement the traditional Carmelite congregation.”
Fr. Cyprian spoke in the same vein, adding,

The long-desired convent project now completes the Benedictine picture, with both men and women living the Rule of St. Benedict in mutual support and collaboration. The recent extensive acquisition of additional acreage allows room for expansion and privacy to each monastic community. The Benedictine nuns represent the original form of feminine religious life as it developed from the Roman Virgins of apostolic times, made famous by the daughters and relatives of the Apostles and later by the Church Fathers, such as St. Ambrose. Rome is full of the shrines of these first nuns who lived the religious ideal from the very beginning of Christianity, in the imitation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who Herself was a consecrated virgin in the service of the temple.”



Conferral of the Cassock & Tonsure


On February 2, Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, nine seminarians received the cassock and twelve the clerical tonsure from the hands of His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay. The following describes what the ceremonies signify – death to the world and the promise of a life devoted to the service of God.

The black color of the cassock signifies death to the world and to self. The world, in this sense, is nothing other than the rebellion of creatures against God, which always springs from disordered self-love and is fomented by the attractiveness of created goods when they are sought after without any reference to the divine Goodness. Concerning this, St. John says, “Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world…for all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 Jn. 2:15-16).

This mystical death is an aspect of the Christian life stressed by St. Paul. “Know you not that all we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death? For we are buried together with him by baptism into death…Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer…So do you also reckon, that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:3-11). The cassock reminds the one who wears it, as well as all around him, of the necessity of this self-renunciation, after the example of Christ. “Christ died for all, that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

The Tonsure
The clerical tonsure signifies the same thing. Five locks of hair are cut from the seminarian’s head in the form of a cross. It is a giving of self and the renouncing of everything superfluous and vain. The Church prays on behalf of the tonsured that the Holy Ghost may “defend their hearts from the entanglements of the world and worldly ambition.” As their hair is being cut, the ordinands say, “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my lot; it is Thou who wilt restore to me my inheritance” (Ps. 15:5).

By the tonsure, the young men become clerics, members of the clergy. The word “cleric” comes from the Greek kleros, which means “portion” or “lot.” Those who dedicate themselves to the service of God have God himself as their promised reward, even as He was the special inheritance of the priestly tribe of Levi, who did not receive a portion of the Promised Land. “You shall possess nothing in their land,” the Lord said to Aaron, “neither shall you have any portion among them; I am thy portion and inheritance in the midst of the children of Israel” (Num. 18:20).

The Surplice
After the tonsure the new clerics receive the surplice. White in color, it signifies “the new man, who is created according to God in justice and holiness of truth.” The surplice is put on over the cassock as the positive aspect of the Christian life, which follows upon the negative aspect, death to self. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mt. 16:24). What happens if we follow Christ? “He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12). Christ is the light of the world; as Simeon said, “A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Lk. 2:32).

The prophet Malachias had foretold that the Lord would come to his Temple “as a refining fire” and would “purify the sons of Levi” so that they would “offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice” (Mal. 3:1-3). Christ is a fire that purifies the heart, enlightening it with faith and inflaming it with the warmth of charity. The Church prays for the tonsured, that Christ may send the Holy Ghost to “open their eyes from all spiritual and human blindness and bestow on them the light of eternal grace.”

We may conclude, then, with the petition that Holy Mother Church makes at Candlemas: “Lord Jesus Christ, the true Light who enlighten every man coming into this world…mercifully grant that, even as these lights, enkindled with visible fire, dispel the darkness of the night; so may our hearts, enlightened by an invisible fire—the splendor of the Holy Ghost—be free from all blindness of vice, so that, with our mind’s eye cleansed, we may be able to perceive what pleases thee and conduces to our salvation; so that, after the murky perils of this world, we may deserve to attain to the unfailing light.”


Archbishop Lefebvre on the Priesthood


The great Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of St. Pius X for the Catholic Priesthood, during the most catastrophic crisis in Church history.  He knew that without holy priests, souls could not be saved.  In these sermons, we read the words of a great saint, with a great love for the True Church, who wanted nothing more than to pass on what he had received, for the salvation of souls.

“Now, the cleric, that is, he who intends to participate in the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, engages himself to holiness by his very function. It is no more the matter of a promise made in front of God, in front of Heaven, in front of the Elect of Heaven, in front of the Church, to profess holiness, but his very function is one of holiness because he participates in the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. To be a priest and not to search for holiness is a contradiction in terms. The priest must essentially be holy because of his function, because of the Order that he receives. Every admonition the bishop gives on the occasion of each ordination recalls this exigency. You, my very dear friends, who received the Orders of Lector and Porter yesterday, you remember well that the bishop told you: you must give the example by your life; you must sanctify the faithful by the example of your life, not only by your words, not only by your functions, but by the example of your life. And the same is true of every ordination, and much more by the priestly ordination. This is very important; it is a very profound commitment.”

Fr. Frank Kurtz celebrates 20 years of Priesthood


Fr. Frank Kurtz is prior of Queen of Angels in Dickinson, Texas, the priory closest to my home parishes in Louisiana. The Society proves a brief interview with Father, relaying some of his story and how he got to where he is today. Happy Anniversary, Father!

~Damsel of the Faith

Interview with Fr. Frank Kurtz

Could you tell us one of the events causing you to choose to enter the seminary?
I went to public schools and was a protestant until the 4th grade. That year (1980) my parents enrolled my brothers and I in Catholic (Novus Ordo) school because they knew we would get a better education.
As it happened, this was a very conservative Catholic school and parish. The priest was around 80 years old and had been at the parish since World War II. He wore a cassock, the sisters wore habits, everyone knelt at the communion rail and received communion in the traditional matter, we were taught Baltimore Catechism and sung some Latin. This was my introduction to Catholcism. I was only 9 years old and was when I first started thinking about becoming a priest.
After a few months my brothers and I were baptized and received into the Church. Our parents followed us into the Church a few months later.

Why did you come to the SSPX?
By the time I was in High School, I was still thinking about maybe becoming a priest. But at the same time, I was looking for a compromise. That compromise was to become a History Teacher. I was still Novus Ordo, but was displeased with the liberal aspects I saw in the Church.
I happened upon a TV special on Fatima and this convinced me that I should pray the Rosary. I was probably about 15 years old. But for the most part I suppressed the thought of becoming a priest.
After my high school graduation I was going to college. One morning in the Kansas City Times Newspaper, there was an article about SSPX, St. Vincent’s and St. Mary’s Academy and College. I decided that I would go to one of these Masses and see it for myself.
The first time I attended Mass with the SSPX was January 7, 1990. That was it. I was a Trad from that day forward. I started read the books by the Archbishop and by Michael Davies. I also started thinking about becoming a priest again.
That fall I transferred to St. Mary’s College. I years later, I entered Winona.

A fond memory of your seminary time?
There are so many! I especially liked Acts of the Magisterium with Bishop Williamson. There he was in his element. The ceremonies were always as solemn as possible and very beautiful. I was a sacristan and so getting ready for the big ceremonies like Corpus Christi and ordinations stick fine in my memory. And who could forget are trip to Rome and other European cities in 1995 (72 days if I recall correctly).

An anecdote of your priestly life?
I have been blessed to have always been placed in an apostolate were there was a school. Dickinson (4 years), Browerville-Long Prairie (3 years), St. Michaels School in England (3 years), Wanganui, New Zealand (2 years), St. Louis (5 years), Dickinson (3 years and counting). So I still became a teacher.

What would you say to a young man today?
I would simply quote St. Augustine: “Our hearts have been made for Thee O Lord, and they will not rest until the rest in Thee”

25 years, what are your regrets looking back?
My sins.

What are your prayers, looking forward?
I pray for perseverance of course. I have now witnessed marriages for those I gave first Holy Communion. I have had a teacher teaching for me that was once my student. Soon there will be someone I once baptized that will seek marriage. I have also seen children grow-up to become priests and religious. Others grew-up and now I teach their children.
It goes by very fast. My prayer is for the SSPX to continue to grow and that our school apostolates continue to produce the fruit that it does.

Prayer Crusade for Priests


One of the most important apostolates of the SSPX in the United States is the prayer crusade for priests, under the spiritual direction of Br. Gabriel Marie. The purpose of the prayer crusade is to pray much and devotedly for the welfare and sanctification of the priests of the Church, which is an emmense grace and privilege for the faithful. The prayers of the faithful keep our priests steadfast in holiness so that we might all have the Faith, for as St. John Vianney famously said, the parish will be holy only if the priest is holy

I’m blessed to be a member of  the Crusade. One of my greatest loves has always been the Priesthood, which I hold in high reverence. There are currently 1,478 Crusaders. I highly encourage everyone to join. We will save the Church by supporting our good priests, our most solemn duty.

Crusaders pledge themselves to pray for vocations to the Priesthood, for the sanctification of priests, for faltering priests or those struggling to persevere. May Our Lady of the Clergy protect them all under her mantle. St. John Vianney, intercede for the priests.

~Damsel of the Faith

The Consecration Prayer:

Almighty God, in union with the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, and in union with the most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I, (name___), consecrate to Thee and resign into the hands of Thy Mother, my life and my death as a sacrifice of love for the sanctification and fidelity of Thy priests. To this end, O Almighty God, I beg Thee to grant me the grace of perseverance until death. I promise to fulfill to the best of my ability the obligations of the Prayer Crusade for Priests. Let me love Thee, O God and serve Thee faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.

The Daily Oblation:

O Jesus, humbled in the Eucharist to be the source and center of charity of the Catholic Church and the strength of souls, I offer Thee my prayers, my actions, my sufferings in behalf of Thy Priests, to the end that each day may behold the wider extension of the Kingdom of Thy Sacred Heart.

A prayer to be prayed for all priests:

O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, Good Shepherd, Font of life, Who by a special favor of Thy most tender Heart hast given to us our Priests, in order to accomplish in us those holy ideals with which Thy grace inspires our hearts, let Thy mercy, we beseech Thee, come to the aid of our Priests. Grant them, O Jesus, lively faith in their works, unshakable hope in their trials and fervent charity in their intentions. May Thy word, radiant with eternal wisdom, become through continual meditation the never failing nourishment of their interior life; may the examples of Thy life and Passion be renewed in their conduct and sufferings, for our instruction and as a light and consolation in our sorrows. Grant, O Lord, that our priests, free from all earthly attachments and solicitous for Thy glory alone, may persevere to their last breath in the fulfillment of duty and in purity of conscience. And when in death they deliver into Thy hands a task well done, may they have in Thee, Lord Jesus, their Master on earth, the eternal reward of the crown of justice in the glory of the saints. Amen.




Keep thy Priests


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“With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests. With all your strength, love your Creator, forsake not his ministers.”  ~Sirach 7:29-30

One of my favorite poems of all time is “Keep them, Dearest Lord,” a beautiful poem written for priests. I don’t know who wrote it. If anyone does, please comment below and let me know. I’ve always had a great devotion to the Priesthood and praying for priests. My trinity of devotions include the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Catholic Priesthood, for these three are equally the foundation of the Church. Without one, we cannot have the other and without all three, the Church would lost her supernaturality.  Hence, why satan has attacked these three so viciously and continues to do, for He knows that Christ gave the Church the means of salvation through the Priest, who offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for us, the Victim and fruit of that Sacrifice being the Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Let us love our priests and pray for them. I dedicate this poem to my own pastor, Fr. Greig Gonzalez, SSPX.  May God love and bless him, for his untiring love and dedication to his flock.

Keep them, I pray Thee, Dearest Lord,
Keep them, for they are thine,
Thy priests whose lives burn out
Before Thy consecrated shrine.

Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure,
Shelter them in Thy Heart.

Keep them, and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice for souls
Seems but in vain.

Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
They have no one but Thee,
Yet, they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.

Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress.
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, Dearest Lord, to bless.


+Henry Joseph O’Leary, D.D., Archbishop of Edmonton

Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for Fr. Gonzalez and strengthen him! St. John Vianney, St. John Bosco and all patrons of priests, intercede for the Priests of God!

~Damsel of the Faith

“Honor God and respect the priest”  ~Sirach 7:31

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2016 Priest engagements, SSPX

Annually on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, priests make their official engagements, becoming perpetual members of the Society of St. Pius X.

May God bless these men, eternal priests in the Holy Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Congratulations to our US District Priests, Fr. Jonathan Loop and Fr. Gagnon, as well as to Fr. Therasian Xavier, District of Asia.

The SSPX welcomed new additions to its priestly fraternity – Three as perpetual members and eight as new members.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) is the day reserved for when the clerics of the Society of St. Pius X make their engagements to their religious family. This year was no exception, with 2 priests of the United States District making their perpetual engagements: Fr. Jonathan Loop and Fr. Gagnon.

Additionally, one other priest, Fr. Therasian Xavier, from the District of Asia, was warmly welcomed to the seminary to make his engagement. Father was ordained in Winona in 2011.  His first assignment was Palayamkottai, India, and he has been there ever since.  He was made prior in 2015.

Finally, we received the joyful news that 8 seminarians made their first engagements this year: Maurizio Balestra, Phillip Delallo, Patrick Dvorak, James Hewko, Joseph Horak, Michael Marcopolus, Edward Simmerer, and Jonathan Steele.

Follow the Immaculate

In the sermon of the Mass, Reverend Father Yves le Roux explained how Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, is the perfect model of generous submission to God.  It is not by chance that Archbishop Lefebvre chose this feast day for the ceremony of engagement.  As her children make for the first time or renew their complete oblation of self to God, they ask her to bring them into the same spirit which penetrated her whole life.

We congratulate the priests who made their perpetual engagement and ask the charity of your prayers for them as well as for the perseverance of those who have just officially become members of the Society of St. Pius X.

Pope St. Pius X, ora pro nobis!

~Damsel of the Faith