Monday, February 23, 2009

Pictures of Monsignor Wach's Mass

As you may know,on Sunday the 15th of February we had the honour of welcoming Monsignor G. Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Whilst in Limerick he celebrated Holy Mass, met with the faithful who attend Mass and Dr.Donal Murray, Bishop of Limerick. This was his second visit to the Institute's Apostolate in the Limerick Diocese.

Incensing the Cross

Canon Lebocq chants the Epistle

The Gospel is Incensed

Canon of the Mass

After Mass, Monsignor Wach chatted with members of the congregation for a while before went to lunch

Thank you for coming Monsignor and please be assured of our prayers!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008



Throughout the pages of the prodigious writings of Saint Francis de Sales, the reader is seized as much by the optimism as by the realism of the author. During an age desiccated by the austerities of Calvinism and of a paganising humanism, the holy prince-bishop of Geneva made true devotion both accessible and appealing, and was able to parry in advance the assaults of Jansenism already menacing the horizon. The confidence that Saint Francis de Sales inspires in his disciples has no other source than “the love that Jesus Christ bears for us”, to speak like him. He sees the evidence of this love especially in the sacrifice of Calvary. “It is certain that the heart of our dear Jesus saw yours from the tree of the cross and loved it.” The holy Doctor takes pleasure in describing the great mystery of our Redemption by using images that are simple but so very rich in teaching: “Yes, without a doubt, as an expectant mother prepares the crib, the linens and the swaddling clothes, (…) thus Our Lord, having his goodness large and pregnant with you, seeking to deliver you to salvation and make you his child, prepared from the tree of the Cross all that is necessary for you. (…) These are all the means, all the attractions, all the graces with which he leads your soul and wishes to draw it to perfection.” From this foundation, entirely contained in the mystery of the Cross, Saint Francis de Sales rises up to the very source of salvation, the internal conversation of divine love of the Holy Trinity, who, from all eternity, prepares for us the hidden graces of our salvation, as we read in the book of Jeremias: “I have loved you with a perpetual charity, and leaving I drew you with me, having pity on you.” Being nonetheless realistic with respect to the natural limits of man, Saint Francis de Sales does not disdain them, but, on the contrary, wishes to profit from the ability of man to contribute intelligent and active cooperation towards his own salvation. Contrary to Luther, who wishes to crush reason in the name of faith, our saint replies that both of these are “daughters of the same Father, the first through the mediation of nature, the latter through the mediation of means still higher and more elevated. They can and must remain together like two dearly affectionate sisters.” Against the Protestant heresy, Saint Francis rehabilitates the human will and affirms liberty: “Children are neither good nor bad … they walk during their childhood like those who, leaving a village, go straight ahead at first, but after some time they find that the road forks and splits in two; it is within their power to take the right or the left, according to which seems the best way for them to go.” Human nature, in spite of original sin, is certainly not entirely corrupted. Weakened, she can nevertheless rise up again, with the help of God strengthening her own efforts. Here is nothing else than the affirmations of the first sessions of the Council of Trent, which could be summed up as the optimistic and objective union of nature and grace. An optimist, Saint Francis concludes that one must never become discouraged, even if one has lost the state of grace by mortal sin. These falls, far from drawing us far from God, must be used to give a new impulse to our desire to live according to the will of God: “Several falls into mortal sin, provided that this be not with the intention to stagnate there, nor with turning a blind eye to evil, do not prevent one from making progress in devotion, even though one loses it mortally, which one nevertheless recovers with the first true repentance of one’s sin.” Saint Francis de Sales gives us the means for a spiritual recovery (which starts with repentance) to the sinner himself, appealing to his generosity rather than to coercive measures. He explains himself in these terms, quite indicative of Salesian spirituality, using one of his favourite images taken from the art of medicine, “I believe it is better to simply show them the malady and give them the knife that they themselves may make the incision.” Truly, according to Saint Francis de Sales, sin has not entirely suffocated man’s natural inclination to love God. Salesian optimism is not passive, like that of the quietists later on. Grace builds upon nature. A courageous effort on behalf of the soul that mobilizes the intellect and the will is necessary. The grace of God assists the good will of men. Our Lord and Saviour is our support and our guide in the spiritual life only in proportion to the serious engagement we make ourselves. Saint Francis de Sales calls upon our generosity; and this generosity requires self-denial.

Excerpts of a conference given by Monsignor Schmitz- For the priests of the Institute

As you know, we are often asked what distinguishes our beloved Institute from other traditional groups. It is not difficult to identify a number of significant traits, such as, for instance, our canonial life, shown forth by our choir habit, our salesiano-benedictine spirituality, our motto – Veritatem facientes in Caritate – that we endeavour humbly to put into practice, finally, and perhaps above all, our solemn liturgy, which expresses our attachment to the great liturgical tradition of the Church.
But all of these – along with many other characteristic traits which give our Institute a common identity – are contained in the notion of romanitas. […]
The Church is not Catholic or Roman because of Rome, but Rome is the providential means which manifests the divine and universal dimension of the Catholic Church to the world. In this sense, Pope Pius XI wrote in a letter to Cardinal Gasparri at the time of the famous Concordat of the Lateran in 1929: “The universality of the Church is found already both in letter and in practice at the dawn of her existence and in the preaching of the Apostles. Thanks to the work of the Apostles and their collaborators, the Church rapidly expanded above and beyond the confines of the Roman Empire.” […]
The Church of Rome and the romanitas, of which we are presently speaking, are limited not only to the historical frontiers of the Roman Empire, but constitute a realisation of God’s plan for Catholicism, far vaster than the Empire. Thus, we know that after the conversion of the Roman Empire to Catholicism, it was the Church who upheld the romanity of the Empire and not vice versa. We must thus refute the idea that would attribute the romanity of the Church to the great number of means given her by the Roman Empire to bear Catholic culture throughout the world. […]
Thus, what Rome was never able to achieve by force of arms, she would achieve by religion; dominating the entire globe. Catholicism, the universality of Rome and romanitas find their source in the Catholic Church, founded by Our Lord, and sent to Rome that Rome might be the instrument of His victory. […]
Romanitas is not a simple characteristic of the Church amongst others, but the sum total of these characteristics. That is why all heretics have consistently attacked it, ascribing the epithet “Roman” to the Church of the Lord; thus realising instinctively that everything is contained in this mark of the Church. A famous representative of the Roman School, Fr Mariano Cardovani, thus expresses this truth: “Only he who has found and recognised the true Church can understand that she is Roman. That is why romanitas is more than a simple means of research, it is a result, a conquest, and cannot be taken as a point of departure.” […]
We can underline the apostolicity of the Church, we can prove her unity, her catholicity and thus establish where the true Church of the Lord is to be found; but all of these things, owing to our faith in the Church, are united in the concept of romanitas. […]
And it is for this very reason that even those who refer to themselves as “traditional”, as soon as they undergo a weakening of their faith in the divinity of the Church, will begin to have difficulties with her romanity. I am not referring here to overt Gallicanism or Febronianism, but to the subtleties of those who mistrust Rome, who desire to change her style, those whose human weaknesses go against the great Roman spirit and tradition, who have a difficult relation with the papacy, because the latter is not sufficiently German, or American, or French… All of these things show forth a weakening of faith in the Church as this faith should guide us to a romanitas, the realisation of God for His Church. […]
As Monsignor Wach has always said, the charism of the Institute can be expressed as the pursuit of grandeur in the service of the Church. Grandeur – the liturgy and the life of the Church of Rome – is the gift of God that our founder had the spiritual prescience to welcome.
“Think big”. We need to think big; we need to acquire a loftiness of the spirit, which will enable us to breath with divine lungs. God’s universality and omnipresence live in the Catholicity of the Church.
This grandeur, which comes not from us, must never leave us. We must grow in catholicity, in personal grandeur; not in considering ourselves to be great, but in accepting this greatness as a gift of God’s grace. There is thus no room for attachment to small or petty things, no room for jealousy between one another, nor for politics in our apostolates. […]

The Institute teaches us to have great souls, open to God’s inestimable grace, filled with the great truths of the Faith, rejoicing in the beauty of solemn liturgy, in sacred music and in art as the reflection of the divine. We must have a noble and generous life-style, not thinking of ourselves, but of the Church’s goal to bring Heaven to earth, and to carry all things heavenwards.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pontifical Right for Institute and Our Sisters

With deepest gratitude to the Blessed Trinity, to Christ Our King, and His Immaculate Mother, to St. Joseph, to St. Michael the Archangel, to our patron saints, to the entire court of heaven, and with filial thankfulness to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and his faithful collaborators, we have the joy to announce a very important event:
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
On the feast day of Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary, the Vice-President of the Commission Ecclesia Dei, Very Reverend Monsignor Camille Perl, has read in our Seminary chapel the official decree by which, in the name of the Holy Father, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest was erected to the status of a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right. Also our Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus received the status of Pontifical Right. The Decree was signed by His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. A Solemn Te Deum followed the reading of the Decree.
Born out of a profound union with the Holy Father in Rome and the Institute's founder and members having always lived in a continuous and unwavering spirit of faithful Romanitas, the Institute was granted the Pontifical Right after the formal time of experience and interrogation which is a traditional custom for the Holy See. Various positive Apostolic Visitations conducted by the Roman Curia and a very favorable consultation of all the Most Reverend Bishops in whose Dioceses we are invited to serve have finalized this canonical process.
After this affirmative evaluation of our spirituality and our international presence and work, the Pontifical Right is an expression of the appreciation of the service of the Institute of Christ the King by the Roman Pontiff and his collaborators to whom we are deeply obliged. The Pontifical Right will make it even easier for the Institute to conduct its service for the Church according to its constitutions and gives to Monsignor the Prior General rights and duties that are in unison with our canonical lifestyle.