These editorials are shown in  the  Index in a chronological order, but the articles are  displayed below the index  in the reverse order, i.e . the newest one first, oldest one last.

1. Thoughts on the Feast of Saint Stephan Protomartyr (12-26-2009)
2. Thoughts on New Year’s Eve (12-31-2009)
3. Let us join them in prayer! (4-26-2010)
4. Preparing for Pentecost (5-8-2010)
5. The Servitores abroad – a visit to England (10-1-2010)
6. Celebrating an Anniversary (1-14-2011)
7. Standing firm (10-22-2011)
8. On the Brigittine Path (1-6-2012)
9. A call to action (3-18-2012)
10. Alea iacta est (7-12-2012)
11. Guest editorial by Gloria Thiele: The Brigittine clothing ceremony of June 10, 2012 (8-6-2012)
12. Gaudeamus! (8-29-2012)
22. A memorable trip, full of graces  to England in January 2017(3-21-2017)
23. Praising God in choir louder and more often. (10-2-2017)
24. On the margin of an obituary about a life well lived (2-13-2018)
25. The Tenebrae of the Sacred Triduum (3-26-2018)
26.Guest editorial by a Traditional priest on vocations (7-7 2019)
27.Guest editorial by a Traditional priest on vocations (7-7 2019)
28.Traditional contemplative communities  – we need them and we have them, Deo  gratias!(8-25-2019)
29. Who was Saint István (Stephen), the King  of Hungary? (09-02-2019)
30.Traditional contemplative   orders  in the USA  are here to stay, Deo gratias! (3-8-2020)
31.Responding to the Corona virus with  prayers… (3-16-2020)
32.The martyrdom of Blessed Vilmos Apor, Bishop of Győr, Hungary (2020-04-02)
33. Guest editorial by a Traditional priest on living  with the  Coronavirus
34. Guest editorial by a Traditional priest on freedom (2020-7-19)
35. A voice of sanity  -the  Superior General of the  FSSP  speaks. (2020-8-25)
36. The Brigittine Office, its demise and resurgence. (2021-5-9)
37.  A plea for help
38. ExcerptsFrom an  Advent sermon of ” tab to read excerpt from the  Advent sermon of Reverend Father Joseph Valentine  FSSP. ( 12-19-2022)

From an  Advent sermon of ” tab to read excerpt from the  Advent sermon of Reverend Father Joseph Valentine  FSSP. ( 12-19-2022)

From an  Advent sermon of ” tab to read excerpt from the  Advent sermon of Reverend Father Joseph Valentine  FSSP. ( 12-19-2022)

If moern American secular society took any notice of our proceedings here today, the liturgy for this 1st Sunday of Advent would probably come as a bit of a shock, because here it is not Christmas yet (and the ‘jolly old elf’ is conspicuously absent!). Instead of Christmas warm fuzzies, today’s Gospel gives us terrible signs and disturbing wonders… ominously roaring seas… the powers of heaven shaking, and men fainting for fear of the One who is about to come on the earth… and not a sugarplum fairy in sight! Instead of the Savior who came as a helpless babe, the Gospel speaks to us of the Savior who will come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire… and the Holy Tradition of the Catholic Church calls us to prepare for December 25th, not with a month-long party, but with a season of repentance and solemn introspection. II

There are several reasons for this counter-cultural attitude toward the season… the first entirely practical; Holy Mother Church knows, as every athlete or musician knows, that one simply cannot claim the prize without first doing the work. The runner cannot enjoy the ‘thrill of victory’, until he has first spent many hard hours training his body for the race… and the musician cannot expect to experience the joy of the spotlight, until he has slogged through every scale and arpeggio in the lesson book; In a similar way, we cannot expect to come to the true spiritual joy of Christmas until we have done our spiritual ‘heavy lifting’… the prayer, penance, and acts of charity that build strong and holy Christians. Another reason for the shockingly ominous overtones of Advent is rooted in our Tradition itself; traditionally the Liturgy treats the first Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as being one with His second Advent; The Lord who came to us as an Infant Savior is the same Lord who will come again in terrifying splendor to judge the world. He will be our judge whether we like it or not… but it’s up to us whether we take Him seriously as our Savior, and live according to what He has taught us

37.  A plea for help!

On June  13th tragedy has struck, the Brigittini Servitores in the shape    of  the departure of   our  priestly candidate, who discerned that he did not have a Brigittine  vocation.  This means that a   from Tyler on June 13th, the double form of the  Brigittine community  (with  male  and  female members   of traditional observance ceased   to  exist.

       Originally  Brigittine communities  had double monasteries (with  male  and  female members ) . However,  this form  of monastic life disappeared around  the time of the  Protestant Reformation,  and so far, all attempts of resuscitating it came to nought. Although the present attempt failed, w are still open to the possibility of restarting a double community, i.e. we will not turn a way suitable  male applicants.

In  the meantime, the  Brigittine Servitores is  surviving as a community  of  Sisters,  thanks  to   the support of the    two Fathers associated with our  work,  and the parish priest and  faithful of  the Saint Joseph the Worker Church. Several people from among the laity stepped up to the plate, to keep the public Divine Office going.  Lately, there have been several inquiries from girls and women interested in becoming Brigittines . However, we cannot count on  the payments from pledges made to support the community with a priest, when  there is no priest, so  if you are able  to help financially, please do!

However, even if this help will be less for us  if you also donate to the Benedictine  Abbey of Clear Creek , a community with a a greater role  in these critical times in the fight for the preservation an propagation of the Catholic faith, than the Brigittini Servitores   See their Web Page at:  )

They are  in serious need in order to compete their building  project to house the large number  of entrants, so please help them  as well!

Here is a video of the construction:

May God shower you with his blessing, enabling you to help! Please pray for our two needs. i. e. vocations and money!

36. The Brigittine Office, its demise and resurgence. (2021-5-9)

 A  momentous event.

On February  3rd 2021 in the church of  Saint Joseph h the  Worker in Tyler Texas  a  momentous event took place   – recitation of the Brigittine Divine  Office in the   manner, as it  was recited in the  the  15th and  16th century, before the virtual  destruction of double monasteries by the  Portestant Reformation..

How was  this Divine  Office it he  Brigittiines  done?

Proximity of the Brigittine Brothers to the Sisters in the double monasteries made a double Divine Office possible. The men recited or chanted the regular Divine of the diocese. The Sisters were present during it.  At the conclusion of each Hour, the Sisters proceeded with the chanting or recitation of the Brigittine Divine Office. Adding to the regular Divine Office the Brigittine Office with its Marian orientation, it fleshed the Office out, putting it under Our Lady’s mantle, so to speak.

Why did this  stop?

In the wake of the Portestant Reformation, the male branches dwindled away.  whilst a few of t women’s communities weathered the storm a bit better. There were no efforts since then to re-establish double monasteries, which would make the  double Brigittine Office  possible.

There were several  attempts to re-establish male branches of the Brigittines. The se attempts a,  all came to naught until the 1970-es, when Brother Benedict Kirby founded the Brigittine Brothers in the USA. The community, good friends of ours,  is still thriving. It is located in Amity in the Archdiocese Portland. They are conservative Novus ordo. The Brothers recite the  Liturgy of the  Hours in English.


Of the  purely contemplative communities of the Brigittine Sisters, of  Syon Abbey o England survived by going into  exile and when the times were favourable ,returned to England. The ceased to exist tin  2012. Three other communities of this type have resurfaced by the twentieth  century , but only two of the m have survived. However, the survival of these communities did not mean survival of the  traditional Latin  Brigittine Office.

By the 70-es all Brigittine communities of Sisters   were using the  vernacular and either the updated, shortened and simplified Divine Office, commonly referred to as the “Liturgy of the Hours” or an updated and shortened version of the Brigittine Divine Office in the vernacular

Use of Latin Traditional Brigittine Office by the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute.

At present, the original Brigittine Office in Latin is still in use by the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris.  We recite the traditional Latin Roman Divine Office in full. In  addition, , to each  Hour of the 8 Hours of the Roman Office. we also add   the Brigittine propers (all parts of the  Office other than the psalms) of the  corresponding  Hour of the  Brigittine  Office.  For the Brigittine  Office we ., are using  the texts of the traditional Brigittine Breviary in use by Syon Abbey until the late 60-es. . We are able to do this, thanks to the  generosity of Lady Abbess of Syon , who provided us with the texts of traditional Brigittine Breviaries.


 However, this way of recitation is a modification of the original way of saying the Office, in which  parts of it are recited  by the Brothers and parts of it by the Sisters.  With the reestablishment of the  male branch, we will be back to the original format.

35. A voice of sanity  -the  Superior General of the  FSSP  speaks. (2020-8-25)

It is God’s call that matters ( Interview by Christophe Geffroy  of La  Nef )

Source: The  FSSP WEB page in France:

Edited translation by Google -quite accurate.

Father Andrzej Komorowski, originally from Poland, was elected in July 2018 Superior General of the Fraternity Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre (FSSP). He speaks to us here about the  Fraternity and its  future.

La Nef – You are Polish, a country where the traditionalist movement has not developed as much as in France or the United States: how did you come to know and be attracted to the Fraternité Saint-Pierre?

Abbot Andrzej Komorowski – My very first contact with the Traditional Mass was in 1996. I was then a student in Poznan and some of my friends attended the Traditional Mass. A little out of curiosity I went there for the first time, then I began to attend regularly, to serve Mass and to take an interest in the question of liturgical reform and the traditionalist movement. It was then through a Polish deacon from the seminary in Wigratzbad that I got to know the Society of Saint Peter.

What is the liturgical situation in Poland? And what is the position of the Polish bishops with regard to the FSSP and the extraordinary form of the Roman rite?

The situation has changed a lot since the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007. Previously, there were a few places where the traditional mass was celebrated, not always regularly. Today we have about 45 places where Mass is celebrated every Sunday. We have 41 dioceses in Poland, so on average there is a little more than one traditional Mass per diocese. It’s a huge step forward, but there are still many devotees who do not have the opportunity to attend. I would say that the Polish bishops are rather indifferent to this question because they do not give the liturgy a central place. Above all, they see that the number of Catholics attached to this Mass is very low compared to that of the faithful practicing in the ordinary form. In Poland there are a lot of priests and a lot of masses, but the quality of the celebrations is not “extraordinary”!

Are you, like your compatriots, a great admirer of the holy Pope John Paul II? What do you think is his most essential contribution?

First of all I must say that my compatriots are attached to the person of John Paul II rather outwardly. There are many squares, streets or schools that bear his name, but his thought is not really known. We are proud of him, but unfortunately it does not go much further, even in the life of the Church. However, I think he inspired many priestly vocations. After the fall of communism, he reminded us that we must remain faithful to all aspects of our Catholic faith in individual and social life. Finally, I believe that his defense of Christian morality, especially concerning respect for life and the sanctity of marriage, is the most important.

You were elected Superior General of the FSSP almost two years ago: what is your assessment of these two years of experience at the head?

These first two years were an opportunity for me to get to know our apostolates and our confreres better. With over 300 priests around the world, there are some I had never met personally. And the superior is above all at the service of his colleagues. Our community is growing and we must be grateful to Providence. But, more members and more apostolates also means more difficult and delicate situations. The last three months marked by Covid-19 have also placed us in unprecedented situations. We were, like many diocesan priests, faced with a difficult choice: not to abandon the sheep and to obey the orders of authority. We do not know what the future will bring us, but I believe that if we are faithful to our vocation and to our Constitutions, we will be able to manage all kinds of crises.

How would you characterize the FSSP, its uniqueness? In other words, what are the main motivations that drive a young person today to knock on your door rather than elsewhere?

As our Constitutions say, “the Sacrifice of the Mass is at the heart of the spirituality and the apostolate of the Fraternity”. Thus, we seek the sanctification of priests, by conforming their whole life to the mystery celebrated at the altar, the redemptive sacrifice, and by living together, which makes it possible to strive for the perfection of charity. We are supported by three pillars: faithful observance of Latin liturgical and spiritual traditions, a healthy Thomist formation, and fidelity to the successor of Peter and to the Magisterium of the Church. We do not welcome vocations of a typical profile; but it is certain that fervent families, scouting, Catholic schools, are the breeding ground for many of these vocations. Converts are also turning to our Fraternity. For example, one of the formative priests of Saint Peter’s seminary was baptized as an adult while pursuing a doctorate in philosophy at the Sorbonne: the discovery of Saint Thomas Aquinas led him to Christ.

What is the current situation of the FSSP, especially in France, are you developing as you wish or are you still encountering obstacles?

The progression is constant and regular in the world: this summer, we will have the joy of counting fourteen new priests and, at the start of the school year, we will open several apostolates. This progression can also be seen in France, where requests are even greater than the capacities of the FSSP. The Motu Proprio of 2007 was decisive: the demands of the faithful have not stopped growing since then. Certainly, the non-celebration by our priests of the ordinary form could be considered as an obstacle to our development. There are indeed fewer and fewer priests in the dioceses and some bishops regret that we do not celebrate according to the missal of Paul VI. But we are convinced of the missionary dimension of the traditional liturgy, which is not reserved for those who already know it but can attract the most distant souls to Jesus Christ. If we were to celebrate the ordinary form to “reach more people” that would imply, in a nutshell, that we recognize that the extraordinary form is not suitable for today’s evangelism and should remain reserved for “initiates”. It is true that this is often a point of misunderstanding. Nevertheless, in France, some forty bishops have entrusted us with a mission in their diocese. It is also a French bishop, Mgr Renauld de Dinechin, who will ordain at the end of this month of June in his cathedral of Laon, three new priests for the Fraternity.

You say that the refusal of concelebration can be an obstacle to your development: how would concelebrating with the Ordinary call into question the fact that the Church recognizes the legitimacy of your attachment to the extraordinary form?

This question of concelebration arises differently in different countries. In France this has taken on a very great importance, to the point of eclipsing the other signs of communion, foremost among which is Eucharistic communion itself. It is true that the priests of the FSSP do not concelebrate because they have chosen the extraordinary form. Having a character of its own, recognized by the Church, whose heart is the faithful observance of Latin liturgical traditions, is a talent to be cultivated, a condition of fruitfulness, and not any hindrance. Our foundation, with the characteristics that are ours, was approved by the Holy See in 1988. We are faithful to our founding acts. Concelebration, moreover, is not obligatory according to the Code of Canon Law, as we were reminded a few years ago by the Ecclesia Dei Commission. It cannot be a condition for a mission in a diocese. Moreover, I observe that we are not lacking in apostolates, on the contrary! Finally, our choice is certainly due to an attachment to this liturgical form but also recalls the insufficiencies of the ordinary form. This is the reason why, since we don’t have to, we don’t wish to celebrate or concelebrate it.

Today in France, a large part of vocations escape the traditional diocesan circuits to go to new or traditional communities: how do you explain this phenomenon, is it not a danger for dioceses lacking in vocations?

Perhaps this question should above all be the subject of reflection in the dioceses … What is certain is that vocations do not follow “circuits”, and seminars are not “channels”. What is first in a vocation is the call of God. What matters is to go where God actually calls. Because just as each soul is unique, vocations are not interchangeable. They should be welcomed as a gift from God. I will cite a historical example showing that we must not fall into a false dialectic: far from harming the dioceses, the development of societies of apostolic life after the Council of Trent (Oratorians, Lazarists, Eudists, Sulpicians …) has greatly helped to the revitalization of the diocesan clergy. Seminaries of traditional communities, among other characteristics, offer Thomist training in philosophy as well as theology; St. Thomas Aquinas has been designated by the Church as the Common Doctor whose very sure teaching must be followed in seminaries. The vitality of the seminaries of the traditional communities is due in large part to this fidelity to Thomism. Here we bear witness to a wealth that can benefit the whole Church. Once again, I am convinced that the extraordinary form is missionary by nature: by the richness of its symbolism, the density of its prayers, its sense of the sacred and its very marked theocentrism. Just as it attracts many young Catholics, so it attracts young vocations thirsty for the absolute.

The priests of the traditional communities serve places of worship that can be qualified as “privileged”, because of the number of priests per faithful from which they benefit and also because these practitioners are very motivated: this operation in relatively closed silos (your priests only serve these chapels) is it not dangerous and how do you therefore participate in the evangelization that our world so badly needs?

Allow me to answer you by using this expression of Benedict XVI: we will not make the desert bloom again without “spiritual oases” where souls can come to drink and recharge their batteries. Our places of worship are not Indian reservations: they are outposts in a de-Christianized world for spiritual recapture. They offer, thanks be to God, spiritual means for holiness, an essential condition for a new evangelization. Let’s face it, our chapels are privileged by the number of priests available, that is a fact. For the rest, I would temper your words: there is certainly in our churches, as in any parish, a nucleus of fervent and “militant” faithful, but there are also more and more “starters” or converts who have been able to be touched by the transcendence of the traditional Mass, by the personality of the priest who addressed them, or even by this or that member of the community. On the other hand, wearing the cassock promotes a habitual apostolate in the world, from the slightest exit in the street! This allows our priests to stay in touch with the population, to know their outlook on the Church and the priesthood and thus to exercise an apostolate with people far from God or from the Church. Thus the priests of the FSSP remain in touch with reality. This is the simplest and most natural evangelism!

Finally, as proof that we do not only serve the interests of a few privileged faithful, allow me to mention the recent approach of the Fraternity, in connection with other friendly traditional communities, with the Council of State which made it possible the reopening of all the churches in France: this clearly shows that we are seeking the common good of the whole Church.

A final word: what is for you the priority for the Church today?

Refocus everything on Christ. It seems to me that, in recent years, the Church has become for many more and more like an NGO: it is more often a question of saving the planet or finding solutions to social and economic problems, than of the salvation brought. by the Son of God. God became man to bring us life, life in abundance. If man is to regain true balance in the world, he must turn to the Lord and above all obey the laws established by the Creator.

34. Guest editorial by a Traditional priest on freedom (2020-7-19)
The first part of  the sermon of by Rev. Father  Joseph R Valentine FSSP, Pastor of Saint  Joseph  the Worker Church, Tyler TX
Saint  Paul  writes to the Romans For when you were the slaves of sin, you were free from justice. But what fruit had you then from those things of which you are now ashamed?

This time of year, we hear a lot about “freedom”… but when you think about it, “freedom” is a slippery word.

On July 4th -the patriotic speeches tell us- we celebrate our nation’s “freedom” from British tyranny. But if you listen to British patriotic speeches, they will assure you that Great Britain is the “land of hope and freedom”, and the protector of “freedom” around the world.

I have ancestors who died fighting on both sides of the Civil War; I doubt that they would have been in agreement about very much, but I would bet that both would would agree that they were laying down their lives for “freedom” (as they killed each other!).

The greatest political event of the past century was the terrible struggle between the “free world” and the tyranny of Communism… and yet, if you were to talk to an old-style, unreformed Soviet Communist, he would tell you that this struggle was all about “freedom” from “Capitalist oppression”.

Today we seem to be afflicted with anarchists who are eager to destroy all of society in the name of “freedom”… but freedom from what? For many our contemporaries, “freedom” has become an excuse for a semi-organized tantrum.

It is clear that everyone is in favour of “freedom”… but it is equally clear that “freedom” is in the eye of the beholder!

As Christians, we too celebrate our freedom… the greatest freedom there ever can be, which Our Lord Jesus Christ won for us on the Cross… but we also have to ask ourselves what this freedom really means… we have ask ourselves what we have been freed from… and what we have been freed for.


In Christ, we have been set free from sin and death… free from mankind’s ancient bondage to the devil, but in the Epistle, Saint. Paul reminds us that this freedom has two parts. He writes that we have been “set free from sin and become slaves to God” Saint John Chrysostom comments;

There are two gifts of God which Paul points out here.  First there is the freeing from sin, and then there is the making of slaves of righteousness, which is better than any freedom. For God has done the same as if a person was to take an orphan who had been carried away by savages into their own country, and was not only to free him from captivity, but (also) to set a kind father over him and raise him to a very great dignity. This is what has happened in our case. For it was not just that God freed us from our old evils: He also led us into the life of angels. He opened the way for us to enjoy the best life, handing us over to the safekeeping of righteousness and killing our former evils, putting the old man in us to death and bringing us to eternal life.

For many of our contemporaries “freedom” has come to mean freedom from morality (especially sexual morality); it has come to mean freedom from the consequences of our actions (as in abortion); for many it has even come to mean freedom from our rightful place in nature (as in homosexuality and “transgenderism”). For many moderns “freedom of religion” has come to mean freedom from religion.

These so-called “freedoms” are not Christian freedom; The freedom which Christ has given us is not the freedom to be whatever we want to be, but rather the freedom to be what we ought to be… to be what men should have been from the beginning; faithful and righteous children of our heavenly Father.

33.Guest editorial by a Traditional priest on living  with the  Coronavirus (2020-4-19 )
From the parish bulletin of 2020-4-19 by: Rev. Father  Joseph R Valentine FSSP, Pastor of Saint  Joseph  the Worker Church, Tyler TX

On of the ‘hoops” I had to jump through in my seminary training was a summer of “CPE”; “Clinical Pastoral Education”. CPE is an intensive 8-week ‘on-the-job’ course on how to be a hospital chaplain. It’s not really a bad idea, but CPE is universally dreaded by seminarians, not so much because of the program, but because of the people who run the program. You see, CPE directors tend to be either angry feminist nuns, or Protestant ministers who completed their academic training, but who had such obnoxious personalities that no one would actually hire them to run a church… so they become CPE directors and devote themselves to tormenting students who might actually stand a chance of being pastors someday. Horror stories abound.

My CPE experience was not really all that bad, and I learned some important things; How to deal with the sick and those who care for them; How to work in the unique and highly structured environment of a hospital; The experience of being on-call for 24 hours and having to dive in at a moment’s notice and deal with whatever human tragedy rolled into the Emergency Room. And I learned something about myself; I can stand almost anything for 8 weeks!

We are now beginning our 4th week of the Great Lockdown. How long will it last, and how long can we stand it? I wish I knew. As we face the heartbreaking situation of closed churches, Masses behind locked doors, and the loss of the Sacraments, maybe we should ask ourselves what we are supposed to be learning from this ordeal? What is the Lord trying to teach us here? When a scientist’s experiment fails, it’s not a failure if he learns something from it!

My hope is that this crisis will increase our appreciation of the treasure that we have in the Mass and the Church’s public worship, our appreciation of the Sacraments, and of the fellowship that we enjoy with our fellow parishioners. Perhaps it can also increase our appreciation for the things that we don’t need an open church for; the Rosary, spiritual reading, and our prayerful conversation with Our Divine Lord. They can lock us out of a building, but they can’t lock the Lord Jesus inside! He is with us and strengthens us in this and all of our trials. Stay holy, my friends!

32. The martyrdom of Blessed Vilmos Apor, Bishop of Győr Hungary (2020-04-02))

After a fruitful life as priest and Bishop of Győr in the rather  critical times of the  2nd World War , Blessed Vilmos Apor gave his life to protect the  purity of women  sheltering in his  episcopal residence fro marauding  Soviet soldiers. He was shot on Good Friday , March 30th 1945, dying from his wounds on April 2nd  1945

Source: Selected chapters from:

The final act

‘On the same day Bishop Apor asked all men present, including the physician, to help him if action were needed, since, as he put it, “We must all die one day, and one had better sacrifice one’s life for a good cause on a day like this.” His words showed clearly that he was ready to protect those under his care by laying down his life for them.’

‘At supper time, Bishop Apor told me, “Ilona, go and help them to distribute supper.” I went into the laundry, which by then we used as a kitchen, and which was a few steps lower than the entrance to the cellar, from where a heated exchange of words was heard. The dispute concerned the wish of some Russian soldiers to take women “for peeling potatoes”. (Later we learnt that this was the phrase commonly used by the Russians when they wanted women.) Bishop Apor then entered the cellar and asked the elderly men and women there to volunteer to go to peel potatoes, so that the young people would have time to hide. A number volunteered.’

‘A short time later the Russian soldiers returned. There were four or five of them, and they were all drunk. Nobody knows why a young girl came out of her hiding place, which was in the apple cellar, but the Russians saw her and ran after her. The girl screamed, “Uncle Vilmos! Uncle Vilmos, help!” The bishop ran up the stairs leading to the entrance to the cellar and shouted at the Russians, “Out! Get out of here!” For a moment the bishop’s dramatic intervention took the Russians by surprise, and they went towards the exit. Then one of them turned back and with his machine-gun fired a series of shots. Sandor Palffy, the bishop’s seventeen-year-old nephew, jumped in front of him to protect him and was hit by three shots. The bishop, too, was hit by three bullets; one lightly grazed his forehead, the second passed through the right sleeve of his cassock, and the third, the most dangerous one, penetrated his abdomen.’

‘Leaning on the arms of the diocesan chancellor and his secretary, the bishop walked as far as the archway leading to the big cellar. The light of the lamp fell on him, his forehead was bleeding and a woman refugee cried out, “Our father bishop, you have done this for us!” In a low voice, but smiling, the bishop replied: “Willingly. Very willingly.” The doctor administered first aid, but saw that an operation would be necessary. The bishop’s sister, Gizella, assisted the doctor. The bishop was then put on a stretcher, covered with a blanket and taken to the hospital

Notes by the Editor

These excerpts are taken from  the rather lengthy article, cited above. This article gives the  biography of Blessed Vilmos  Apor,  history of the closing months of war, the challenges of the times and the courageous response of Blessed Vilmos  Apor and some of his fellow Hungarian prelates  . If you have time, I strongly  recommend reading it all.

Why take time to   read this now? Well,  wea re also living in challenging times  with the in the shadow of the  Corona virus , facing a Holy  Week in which the liturgical splendour will be available only via televised  ceremonies. Yes, we need courage to cope with   restrictions, accepting them as  mortifications and as acts fo chirty to keep our neighbours safe. Let us  pray the prayers approved by the Hungarian episcopal  conference  for the intercession of Blessed Vilmos  Apor to see us through!

 Istenünk! Te Boldog Vilmos püspöknek megadtad, hogy életét feláldozza juhaiért. Közbenjárására add meg nekünk, hogy akaratodban helytálljunk és testvéreink üdvösségén fáradozzunk. A mi Urunk, Jézus Krisztus, a te Fiad által, aki veled él és uralkodik a Szentlélekkel egységben, Isten mindörökkön örökké. Ámen.

A loose translation: Oh God  Almighty who granted the grace to Blessed Vilmos  Apor to sacrifice his life for his sheep, we ask that through his intercession graces  to do  Thy will and to labour for the salvation of or neighbours  through Christ  Our lord… Amen

30. Responding to the Corona virus with  prayers… (3-16-2020)

Prayers,   which are  badly needed, especially   in view of church   closings in many  dioceses.  I am humbly offering  below two suggestions.

First suggestion. Use the „Prayer in times of epidemics” on days when  you are not coiming ot Holy Mass .The Very Reverend   Father    Komorowski, , Superior  General of the Fraternity of Saint  Peter , has directed this prayer to be said after all FSSP Masses (public and private) around the world. Therefore this This prayer  is said at Saint Joseph the  Worker Church  Tyler TX  after each Holy Mass.  ( We are truly blessed that in our dicoese public Holy Masses  are still being said, Deo gratias!)  After these prayers, our  Pastor, Reverend   Father Joseph Valentine FSSP gives us a special blessing.

Second suggestion.  Join the Hungarian initiative! In Hungary people have  been asked to say daily either a decade of th rosary or at least a Hail  Mary or an Our Father at 7.45  a.m,  Central European time. which  would be int he middle of the night here, so another tmie  fitting into  your schedule should be chosen.  My recommendation is between 2.45 pm- 3 p.m. , the hour when  Our Lord died on the  cross.

Our Lady pray for us!

29. Traditional contemplative   orders  in the USA  are here to stay, Deo  gratias! (3-8-2020) 

In  a previous  editorial (“Traditional contemplative communities  – we need them and we have them, Deo gratias!,” dated August  18th  2019 ) I wrote about the importance of contemplative orders, and my firm belief that  yes, they will be around , in spite  the roadblocks.

Yes, there is attrition , at times leading into closure of convents because lack of vocations and yes,  there are pressures aimed for transforming them into  something less than purely  contemplative forms of life, witness the directives of  Cor orans and stories of apostolic visitations. . Below are some examples.

Convent closing attempt in Marradi,  Italy   – see

Poor Clares’ monastery in Tennessee quietly closes; last four nuns move – see quietly-closes-last-four-nuns-move-on/

Shock Visitation In German Charterhouse: Homosex Visitator, Monks Flee -see

 These events  should evoke our pity, compassion and   indignation, making  us in the meantime at the same time to rejoice even more fervently on seeing viable survivors .  By the grace of God, between December 26th 2019 and January 5th   2020 I was  given a chance to see 3 flourishing   religious houses on American soil.  A good  friend, , called Jennifer, did the driving , giving both of us a chance to talk as we were traversing though several  states.  Of the three places,  I was familiar with one, but for the other  two, it was the first time to see them.

Our first stop was the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of   Clear  Creek  in Oklahoma.  We have stayed at Bethany House, the retreat house for women, very ably run by our  long -time friend, the devout and cheerful Miss Kim, oozing hospitality and plying  us with delicious  food.

 I have made visits to the Clear Creek Abbey many times.   I often  spend the Sacred  Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil ) and Easter there, in order to  be present at  all the  splendidly rendered liturgical ceremonies of the Season.   Yes, of course it is  splendidly rendered, with more than  50  monks skilfully chanting.

  This sizeable community grew in leaps  and bonds from the handful of founding settlers,  hailing from  form the Notre-Dame de Fontgombault Abbey in France on September 15th, 1999.   The community was canonically established as priory on February 11th 2000, eventually  becoming an  Abbey   on February 10, 2010.  You can read more about its history on their WEB site Go to the  tab “Abbey” and then  scroll down to “History”!

I have not previously  visited  the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of  Apostles at the Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus in Gower MO, although I have met some of the Sisters when they were in Pennsylvania.  I have also  received some very helpful advice from m Mother Abbess via phone in the past.  All this was before the community moved to Gower where it reached the rank of  an Abbey.


The  church  of the Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus,  Gower MO

 Please see more about them on their WEB site   If interested in their history, click on the side bar of  “Our Abbey”, then click  on the  tab “About  Ephesus” on the .pull down menu.

The Abbey church is beautiful,  built in the style of traditional Catholicism.   It even has rose windows, one of which was directly in front of the  place where I was sitting. The chant of the Sisters is beautifully rendered and no wonder – there are enough of them  to produce a decent  volume of sound. They are also privileged to have access to expert direction, for before  to entering  religious life, their Abbess was  a professional musician, playing in the Columbus symphony orchestra.  However, good chant is more than perfectly rendered notes of good music; for that classical music and  operas will do.  No ,chant is for God, chanted by consecrated souls and it flows, it sanctifies the space and all those within it,  even outside visitors.

Although I have been interested  for quite a time to see the Abbey at close quarters, the difficulties of getting there made me put such plans on a  backburner. However, this time there was an additional reason and  – mirabile dictu ( wondrous to say) –  Jennifer’s offer to drive me there made this visit possible.

The additional reason for the visit was to see again Mother  Annuntiata, the now retired Prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Clear Creek.  When the  Priory of the Benedictine Sisters of Clear Creek was operational, I stayed  with the Sisters there quite  a few times.   However,  after the death of Sister Catherine of happy memory, the Priory was closed and Sister Annuntiata was invited to retire athe Benedictine Abbey at Gower.

On retreat at Clear Abbey, 2016 November. From left to right:Sister Margarita, Mother Annuntiata, Most Reverend  Cardinal   Burke, Very Reverend  Abbot Philip  Anderson, Sister Catherine

2019 Spring – Benedictine Sisters of Clear Creek with  visitors

During my visits to the Sisters at Clear Creek,,  I was always warmly welcomed, and included in the community life of Sisters, a truly beneficial change from my often  solo existence.  It was truly a place for respite,  a chance to charge one’ spiritual batteries for me as well as for those who ever set foot in  the place.  It was also there where lost and disturbed souls, often from  far-away  places, regained their faith, found peace for their souls and strength to restart their life in a sensible way.   Whether sick or healthy, far  away or living nearby, the door and hearts of the Sisters were always open to all comers.  Their hospitality was underpinned by their daily attendance at Holy Mass and scheduled liturgical prayers. The oratory attached to t the convent was a thing of beauty, with lots of flowers, whenever the  liturgical  season permitted them.  The  monks of Clear Creek Abbey provided the sacraments and spiritual guidance for the  Sisters.  The monks and the Sisters were there for each other, both with their prayers and practical help to each other, offered with cheerful charity.

No wonder therefore  that the highlight of the trip to Gower was to see dear Mother  Annuntiata  again.  She looked well.   It was heart-warming to see how the Sisters of Gower lavished their care on her, making her to feel welcome, ensuring that she  was comfortable and had a everything which she needed   Thanks to the unflagging diligence  of the smiling and friendly Sister Emmanuel, we were able  to have our meals together with Mother  Annuntiata  in the  guests’ dining room.

Our contact with other members of the community was limited. Originally, Mother Abbess was planning to see me, but man proposes and God discloses;  she became indisposed,   making a face to face meeting  impossible. However, I had a chance for a conference with the Prioress , Sister Scholastica , so contact between the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of  Apostles of Gower MO and the Brigittini Servitores of Tyler TX Has been established, with mutual a awareness of our particular missions.

Our next stop was at the convent of the  Benedictine Sisters of Mary  In Ava MO.   As far as missions go ,the communities of Gower and Ava  are cut from the  same cloth, for Ava is a daughter house of the  Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus in Gower MO.   Naturally, there is a difference between  the two communities.  The motherhouse  in Gower consists of  a sizeable community, which has been  in existence for  several decades , dwelling    in a largeish  monastery with an Abbey church of its own, a setting reminiscent of the grandeur of Cluny, and with the sedateness of it.

In contrast, the convent at Ava, nestling in the Ozarks, consist of a small band of carefully selected pioneers, fervent, joyful, full  of the wonder of what they are doing and eager to share their enthusiasm.  Their joyful enthusiasm  was catching.  We were warmly received ,  had a chance for talking with Mother Superior and the Sister accompanying her several times , being refreshed ad inspired by our conversations.    Their small but beautiful oratory made it possible to participate more in the Divine Office than at Gower, where in the large abbey church visitors are hermetically isolated form the nuns’ choir.  At the end of our  visit we were introduced to the whole community and their  Father Chaplain

The Benedictine Sisters of Ava MO with their visitors

The  oratory of the Benedictine Sisters of Mary at Ava MO

The community of Gower also   had a small beginning  and  with some ups and downs,  with  many crosses on the way. The  community of Ava has the support and experience of  their motherhouse to draw  on. It  is  therefore not  likely that they will experience  the same difficulties as their mother house had to earlier on.   By the grace of  God, the community at Ava  will grow, too ; however, what they have now is infinitely precious  as it is.  May their glow  never fade!

If one regards the visit of the  three religious establishments as a painting of the landscape, the travel itself can be viewed as the frame of the painting.   In our case, both the painting and the frame were refreshing and sanctifying.  Travelling in a comfortable  vehicle with drinks of water and coffee handy to keep us going in-between stopping for meals, was an ideal setting for good conversations which were edifying, spiritually fruitful and entertaining.  Talking was punctuated by  pauses by silent  periods for meditation, religious  reding  and for prayers, usually of the Hours of the Divine Office, which I would not miss even if I was not bound to their recitation.  During these silent  periods  Jennifer continued to drive.  Our  spiritual batteries were recharged both by visiting the religious houses and by getting there; all in all,  a blessed time.  May God be praised for granting this trip  to us!

Back in the Residentia of  the Brigittini Servitores, it was a time to take stock.  Amidst rejoicing that yes, traditionally oriented religious communities, of which we saw only three , but aware of many more,  are flourishing in the USA , my determination was strengthened not to cease my efforts to create a similar setting in which a traditionally oriented religious community lives  by the relatively unknown Brigittine  charism,  ad  maiorem  Dei  gloriam.

Please pray that my efforts to get the Brigittini  Servitores better known will be fruitful, including the  first step of  writing an editorial about what we are what we are and doing !

28. Who was Saint István (Stephen), the King  of Hungary? (09-02-2019)

A quite accurate of summary of the life of this  Saint is related in the 9th lesson of  ad Matutinum  on the Feastday of Saint  istván.


The English translation (which I edited in some places for minor inaccuracies.)t is printed below:

Saint Stephen (cca 975-1038), King of Hungary (1000-1038), brought the faith of Christ and the title of kingdom to his country. He obtained his royal crown from the Pope, and, anointed King at the Pope’s command,  who  conferred d the title of  Apostolic kingdom  on Hungary. He founded various religious houses at Rome, at Jerusalem, and at Constantinople. In Hungary, with wonderful devotion and generosity, he established the archiepiscopal See of Eszertergom and ten other bishoprics. He was famous for his great love of the poor and his constancy in prayer. He ardently venerated the Mother of God,  declaring her the Patroness of Hungary with the title of Grand Mistress of Hungary. and building a very large church in her honour. In turn, he was received into heaven by the Virgin on the Feast of her Assumption.  By decree of Pope Innocent XI, however, the Feast of this saintly King is kept on the day on which, with his help from Heaven , the Christian army in a hard-fought engagement recovered the strongly fortified citadel of Buda in 1686 .


Under Soviet occupation Hungary  became a republic in  1946 .  However, at the  present  the Holy Crown of  Saint Stephen,

with which all Hungarian kings were crowned, is in the Hungarian Parliament under an honour guard,

 thanks to U.S. Army General Patton, who in  1945 saved the Holy Crown from the possible malignant designs of the atheistic  Soviet  Union,  bringing  it to the  Untied states to be guarded at Fort  Knox until it was deemed to be safe to return it to Hungary. The present-day Hungarian Constitution makes reference to the Constitution of Saint István.

Before  1945, the time of Soviet occupation, the Hungarian Particular  Feast of Saint istván was celebrated with  great splendour on August 20th of each  year and the Sacred Relic  of the almsgiving hand  of Saint István was carried In procession on this Feastday.

Under the Communist regime, installed during the  Soviet occupation, the  processions  were stopped, but the  Feast renamed as a national  holiday, albeit renamed  several times – Feast of the New Bread (traditionally, bread from the newly harvest grain was always baked around this date) Feast of the new Constitution ( a bit ironic , given the fact that this Constitution (now defunct) was imposed on the  country by the Communists) , but they could not  stop people celebrating this day.

With  Hungary being free again, it is celebrated with great splendour again -the bridges over the Danube are illuminated, there are parades in costumes, there  is dancing and feasting on the streets. Once more, the  Sacred Relic  of the almsgiving hand  of Saint István is carried procession, accompanied by the honour guard of  soldiers of the Hungarian army.

The spirit of Saint  istván Is not just remembered by honouring customs and relics, it is lived. The constitution acknowledges the inheritance of Saint t István and its Christian past and present.  Tiny  Hungary, bled almost white by two  World Wars  still  has the generosity to aid  both materially and by encouragement Christians the third world where Christianity is under attack, not only with material support for the indigent , but also with funds designated for rebuilding of churches.

Hungary is not the only country with a remarkable past, from which lessons can be drawn for the present. Let us follow the example, remembering and following the example  of Saints  and non-canonised holy men who worked to for the preservation of the Catholic faith in the United States. Well, perhaps we do, for there is  much to be thankful.

In these ratter difficult times for  the Catholic Church,  sizeable segment of Catholics in the United States are visibly, audibly palpable adhering to traditional values , witness the availability of the Tridentine  Mass and religious orders adhering to the Liturgical tradition and traditional values and forms.  Neither is Our Lady forgotten, for it is realised that it is She  will eventually crush the serpent’s head  and helping us to retain our faith and sanity until this happens- Our Lady of the  Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the Americas.

27. Traditional contemplative communities  – we need them and we have them, Deo gratias! (8-25-2019)

I like the writings of  Hilary White. I read them with benefit  I terms of  deepening my understanding in these crisis laden,  critical times in the life of the e Catholic Church.  By and large agree with her take.  In this vein, I thoroughly recommend reading her analysis of the papal document, Cor  Orans in  the article titled  “Pope Francis versus the  contemplative orders”.

I therefore  was eager to see one of the latest articles , titled    <Monastic  propositum> and the way through the  desert”


This is a  well written article in which the author marshals some arguments to prove her point . However, I view the issue differently

I think that for maximum  benefit, the best approach is to read the article of  Hilary White before looking at my comments. I am not  dissecting the article paragraph by paragraph ,but i will quote from time to time as I marshal my arguments for the viability of and great necessity  for traditional contemplative  orders.

It makes things easier that both Hilary White and I reserve the word “traditional “ for those  who use exclusively the Tridentine Mass and Latin traditional liturgy

Some thoughts on organic development.

The form of Western Monasticism crystallised in the 6th century when Benedictine monasteries were established. In a way, it was a development from the  communities of the  Egyptian desert, which originally started with a hermit type of life. In North Africa, the  coenobite community of Saint  Augustine of Hippo, a veritable seedbed of future bishops, can be regarded as bridging  form  between the coenobites of the Egyptian desert and the monasteries of the Benedictine order.   The scene did not  become  monochromatic, for new forms, albeit having the same  basic principles   -Cistercians, Carthusians, and other varieties of Benedictine  monasticism – came into being. The Brigittines , my particular order, came into being in the 14th  century. Although it has  an Augustine  constitution , it is spirituality is basically Benedictine, with some additional  features .Many other types of rreligious  orders   also came into being,  i.e. the appearance of Carmelites in Europe and the emergence of  mendicant .orders, e.g. the Dominicans and Franciscans. Indeed, there was such a  plethora of communities with   different constitutions and rules, that the Church stepped in and decreed at the 4th  Council of Lateran in 1215 that  new religious orders religious orders have to choose one of the  four existing approved rules  – Augustinian, Basilian, Benedictine,  or Franciscan. (Canon  13). The appearance of not strictly contemplative orders and definitely  active ones came later – Jesuits, Oratorians, Passionists, teaching and nursing orders.

This is  by no means a comprehensive  list.  Its purpose is to show how religious orders were not just a phenomenon o the medieval times,  but existed and flourished with their original constitutions and rules  right  up to the  2nd Vatican  Council which   ushered in the time of  updating religious  life into forms, thought to be more suitable to the current  era.

The emergence of communities adhering to traditional  forms  of religious life, by and large following  their original,  not updated constitutions and rules.

To put it mildly, the updating did not  quite work in  terms of invigorating religious life.  Several religious  departed from their institutions.   Religious communities   disappeared and disappearing, in larger numbers than before,  because of lack of vocations.  Some  new orders following the Novus Ordo liturgy came into being, but full restoration of previous discipline by and large is restricted to  communities adhering to traditional  Latin liturgy of the Church, which includes Tridentine Mass and traditional Latin Divine Office.  Most of these communities are contemplative.

 The restoration fulfilled some basic needs, not only  for the  Church at large but  both  for souls, intent  to find a setting in which they work best for the  sanctification of their souls and union with  God and devout people, living  the world, in need of inspiration and spiritual  support,  a good  source of which is Holy Liturgy.

As Dom  Delatte  (1848-1937; Abbot of  Solesmes 1890-1921) has said  in one of his retreat  conferences:

(From: The Spirit of  Solesmes p.177. Ed. Sister Mary David Totah OSB. Pub. Burns and  Oats 1997. ISBN: 1-879007-22-3.)

In  other words, living this kind of life is not nostalgia for the medieval times, just a burning  desire to express our love of God in a visible, audible form  by offering fitting homage to His Divine  Majesty,  providing for the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ,  light  houses of graces for the world, in the same way in which Benedictine monasteries were instrumental in m transforming  Europe into a Catholic continent from  land inhabited by  cultured pagans and uncivilised Barbarians.

As for the desire for impressive buildings, here, too it is a question of restoration of visibility of the faith,  as opposed  to  the destructive   manoeuvres of those intent on remodelling  churches.  Read  the book of Michael S. Rose: Destruction of church architecture by renovation (ISBN: 1-891432-03-X)

 Although there are traditional orders which have impressive churches and monasteries in spacious grounds, they did not usually start this way. The impetus was to live the life in a religious community, even if at the beginning this was in very simple accommodations , such as  a barn or rented  houses, often in impoverished  neighbourhoods.   Neither were they always welcomed by bishops at the start. However, being faithful to their vows and concentrating on their  very own  Opus Dei, God could be relied to provide the rest.  On  a personal  note, I  joyfully pray,  chant, and do penance at times with others , at other times by myself in a simple trailer, relying  on the generosity of the faithful for my sustenance  .

I like the writings of  Hilary White. I read them with benefit  I terms of  deepening my understanding in these crisis laden,  critical times in the life of the e Catholic Church.  By and large agree with her take.  In this vein, I thoroughly recommend reading her analysis of the papal document, Cor  Orans in  the article titled  “Pope Francis versus the  contemplative orders”.

I therefore  was eager to see one of the latest articles , titled    <Monastic  propositum> and the way through the  desert”


This is a  well written article in which the author marshals some arguments to prove her point . However, I view the issue differently

I think that for maximum  benefit, the best approach is to read the article of  Hilary White before looking at my comments. I am not  dissecting the article paragraph by paragraph ,but i will quote from time to time as I marshal my arguments for the viability of and great necessity  for traditional contemplative  orders.

It makes things easier that both Hilary White and I reserve the word “traditional “ for those  who use exclusively the Tridentine Mass and Latin traditional liturgy

Some thoughts on organic development.

The form of Western Monasticism crystallised in the 6th century when Benedictine monasteries were established. In a way, it was a development from the  communities of the  Egyptian desert, which originally started with a hermit type of life. In North Africa, the  coenobite community of Saint  Augustine of Hippo, a veritable seedbed of future bishops, can be regarded as bridging  form  between the coenobites of the Egyptian desert and the monasteries of the Benedictine order.   The scene did not  become  monochromatic, for new forms, albeit having the same  basic principles   -Cistercians, Carthusians, and other varieties of Benedictine  monasticism – came into being. The Brigittines , my particular order, came into being in the 14th  century. Although it has  an Augustine  constitution , it is spirituality is basically Benedictine, with some additional  features .Many other types of rreligious  orders   also came into being,  i.e. the appearance of Carmelites in Europe and the emergence of  mendicant .orders, e.g. the Dominicans and Franciscans. Indeed, there was such a  plethora of communities with   different constitutions and rules, that the Church stepped in and decreed at the 4th  Council of Lateran in 1215 that  new religious orders religious orders have to choose one of the  four existing approved rules  – Augustinian, Basilian, Benedictine,  or Franciscan. (Canon  13). The appearance of not strictly contemplative orders and definitely  active ones came later – Jesuits, Oratorians, Passionists, teaching and nursing orders.

This is  by no means a comprehensive  list.  Its purpose is to show how religious orders were not just a phenomenon o the medieval times,  but existed and flourished with their original constitutions and rules  right  up to the  2nd Vatican  Council which   ushered in the time of  updating religious  life into forms, thought to be more suitable to the current  era.

The emergence of communities adhering to traditional  forms  of religious life, by and large following  their original,  not updated constitutions and rules.

To put it mildly, the updating did not  quite work in  terms of invigorating religious life.  Several religious  departed from their institutions.   Religious communities   disappeared and disappearing, in larger numbers than before,  because of lack of vocations.  Some  new orders following the Novus Ordo liturgy came into being, but full restoration of previous discipline by and large is restricted to  communities adhering to traditional  Latin liturgy of the Church, which includes Tridentine Mass and traditional Latin Divine Office.  Most of these communities are contemplative.

 The restoration fulfilled some basic needs, not only  for the  Church at large but  both  for souls, intent  to find a setting in which they work best for the  sanctification of their souls and union with  God and devout people, living  the world, in need of inspiration and spiritual  support,  a good  source of which is Holy Liturgy.

As Dom  Delatte  (1848-1937; Abbot of  Solesmes 1890-1921) has said  in one of his retreat  conferences:

(From: The Spirit of  Solesmes p.177. Ed. Sister Mary David Totah OSB.

Pub. Burns and  Oats 1997. ISBN: 1-879007-22-3.)

In  other words, living this kind of life is not nostalgia for the medieval times, just a burning  desire to express our love of God in a visible, audible form  by offering fitting homage to His Divine  Majesty,  providing for the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ,  light  houses of graces for the world, in the same way in which Benedictine monasteries were instrumental in m transforming  Europe into a Catholic continent from  land inhabited by  cultured pagans and uncivilised Barbarians.

As for the desire for impressive buildings, here, too it is a question of restoration of visibility of the faith,  as opposed  to  the destructive   manoeuvres of those intent on remodelling  churches.  Read  the book of Michael S. Rose: Destruction of church architecture by renovation (ISBN: 1-891432-03-X)

 Although there are traditional orders which have impressive churches and monasteries in spacious grounds, they did not usually start this way. The impetus was to live the life in a religious community, even if at the beginning this was in very simple accommodations , such as  a barn or rented  houses, often in impoverished  neighbourhoods.   Neither were they always welcomed by bishops at the start. However, being faithful to their vows and concentrating on their  very own  Opus Dei, God could be relied to provide the rest.  On  a personal  note, I  joyfully pray,  chant, and do penance at times with others , at other times by myself in a simple trailer, relying  on the generosity of the faithful for my sustenance  .

Blessed Vilmos Apor Residentia of the Brigittini Servitores

Could traditional religious life disappear as the Modernists hoped, using the same Syren song  as the Protestant reformers at the time of Luther  and later on: ”Let us return to the simple forms of ancient times” ?  The present trends indicate otherwise.  As a  very wise priest remarked, love and appreciation of t the Tridentine  Mass is becoming a youth movement in our days.

No, traditional religious life will not disappear.  We are assured that the Church will survive to the end  of times,  Now, what kind of  Church  would that be without the backbone of religious orders?

If your vocation is in the desert, ,go for it, but do pray for the coenobites as they are praying for you.

  1. Guest editorial by a Traditional  priest on vocations. (7-7 2019.)

Sermon of July AD 2019 by: Rev. Father  Joseph R Valentine FSSP, Pastor of Saint  Joseph  the Worker Church


Back  when I was in the seminary, I noticed an interesting phenomenon; Every fall when a new school year started and a class of new first-year inarians reported for registration, it seemed as if there was always one man who showed up, got out of his car, took one hard look at the seminary building, got back in his car, and disappeared! These fellows must have been contemplating going to the seminary for years… they had certainly gone through a long application process in order to be accepted… but there is something so appallingly real about actually standing there in the shadow of that seminary building with the open door staring you in the face… about walking through that door and saying, “yes,I am going to try and become a Roman Catholic priest”… there’s something so real about that that it sends some men scrambling up the on-ramp and back onto the Interstate!

Truly, you don’t “choose” a vocation… you stop running away from it! To be called by the Living God is a wonderful and a terrible thing… and perhaps the most wonderful and terrible thing about it is that we are all called by God… we all have a vocation, a unique role to play in the Divine plan and a unique venue in which to work out our own salvation and to help those around us work out theirs. We are all called by God to be part of His Holy Catholic Church, and within the Church each of us is called to a specific vocation; priesthood, religious life, marriage, or to an apostolic single life in the world. Sometimes we face the full drama of our vocation in a moment-of truth like a wedding day or ordination day, (or registration day at the seminary) but through most of our lives Our Lord Jesus Christ leads us gently along the path; He knows that, in our human weakness, we cannot stand to see too much of our future in one glance, so He leads us on one step at a time so that when the moment-of-truth actually comes, most of us find that taking to our heels is no longer an option. Like fish in a net, we are pulled in so slowly and patiently that we find ourselves in the Master’s boat before we even realize we’ve been caught!


Today, we read one of Holy Mother Church’s greatest ‘vocation stories’; The call of St. Peter. Notice first of all, that the Lord didn’t scare Peter off by laying the whole plan on him all at once; He didn’t tell him that he had been selected to be the first Pope… He didn’t mention moving to Rome… He didn’t say anything about standing up to the most powerful and dangerous people in the world and telling them truths they didn’t want to hear… not a word about martyrdom. Instead He approached the future Prince of the Apostles through the things he knew and understood already. St. John Chrysostom says; For in His condescension to men, He called the wise men through a star, the fishermen through their art of fishing.The Lord first enlisted Peter’s help in a very simple and practical way; the enthusiastic mob was so anxious to get close to the Lord that they were about to push Him into the lake! He needed a safe platform from which to speak to the crowd, so He climbed into the boat and very politely asked Peter to row Him out a few yards; a non-threatening request! Peter listened attentively to what The Lord Jesus had to say to the crowd, but then things started to get weird; the young Rabbi turned to the fisherman and said; “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught”.

Say what? By now it was well into the heat of the day and any fisherman will tell you that you can’t catch fish during the heat of the day… that is why Peter, James and John had been out fishing all night (and, anyway,the fishing was terrible; even doing everything according to the book they had not caught anything). Now they had gotten their nets dried out and repaired and they were ready for bed… only to be told to go out and try again at the worst possible time!

Once the Divine Master has enlisted us in His cause in little ways, He asks us to take on bigger tasks… quite often things that we don’t understand; His way of gently leading us along the path of obedience and slowly preparing us for the moment-of-truth to come; the point at which we must make the fateful choice whether or not to become willing partners in the Master’s work.

I always imagine Peter smiling indulgently and perhaps even chuckling a little as he says; “Master, the whole night through we have toiled and have taken nothing; but at Thy word I will lower the net.”

But contrary to the laws of nature, the net was immediately filled to the breaking-point with fish… enough fish to fill the two boats almost to the point of sinking!

St. Ambrose says; He who before had taken nothing, at the word of the Lord encloses a great multitude of fish. For this is not a work of human skill; it is the fruit of the divine calling.

I think that St. Peter’s response to this miracle is instructive; Had he been a proud man, he might have attributed this marvelous catch to his own ability; Had he been a skeptic, he would have chalked it up to coincidence or some freak of nature; Had he been a selfish man, he might have simply accepted the windfall as just compensation for allowing the Master to use his boat… But with his humility, honesty, and his natural ability to recognize and seize “moments-of-truth”, St. Peter threw himself at the Lord Jesus’ feet saying, “depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” He knew that he was hooked! He realized that the miracle was really a “vocation”, calling him to something that he could scarcely imagine… and it scared the socks off of him! The Lord reassured him saying; “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men”, and together with the sons of Zebedee, St. Peter followed the Son of God and walked away from his boats and nets (not to mention a small fortune in seafood!).


The Lord called St. Peter from his life of fishing and made him “captain” of another sort of “boat”… a “trawler” that was to take in a vast multitude of souls… draw them in by it’s nets and raise them up out of the murky water of their sins to eternal life. He was neither surprised nor impressed with the fisherman’s objection, “I am a sinful man, O Lord”… and notice that the Lord did not deny Peter’s sins, but merely said, “fear not”; He knew what Peter was before He called him, and He called him anyway… just as He knows what each of us is before He calls us. The Lord does not call saints to His work; He calls ordinary sinful men and women and invites them to become saints through doing  His work.

Again, St. Ambrose says; Let you also say, “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man”,so that the Lord may also answer you, “Fear not”. For the Lord is kind to those who confess their sins… See how good the Lord is,Who has given so much to men; so that they even have power to give life.

25. The Tenebrae of the Sacred Triduum (3-26-2018) 

In our days, the Holy Masses of the Triduum are still done both in the churches using Novus Ordo Missae   and where the  Latin Traditional liturgy is celebrated, but Alas! – chanting of  the Tenebrae the on the  three days of the Triduum is pushed back to the islands of traditional  Latin liturgical  observances, where the Tenebrae are invariably performed in full by the religious orders and even some parish churches and chapels usingng the traditional  Latin liturgy , especially when these chapels and churches are affiliated to schools and colleges.


What is the Tenebrae?

The following tables below show its component parts.


The following article from Wikipedia   describes and what the traditional Tenebrae is and how and why it disappeared.

The table given in the Wikipedia article is different from the tables given above…

The Wikipedia editor simply used the scheme for ad Laudes. However, even the Benedictine communities are using the scheme above, and not the one given in the Wikipedia.

Why go?

The Church is in crisis and prayers, especially liturgical prayer are powerful weapons.  I could not put this better than the Reverend Father Prior of the Silverstream Priory did:

“So long as there are monks in their choir stalls, manfully singing the praises of God by day and by night, and monks in adoration before the altar where the living Christ is truly present in the sacrament of his love, the Church will be forever young, forever alive and equipped to continue her mission into generations to come.”


I urge you to go, if you possibly can. Search the directories of churches and chapels f using the traditional Latin liturgy, or addresses of traditional priestly societies, find out their schedule for the Holy Week and then go, making the sacrifice of time and cost of the trip.

However, if this is not feasible, then pray it on your own. The Officium Divinum has the full text with Latin and English in parallel columns.

First type in the date desired on the top of the page.

Click on the drop down boxes for Rubrics 1960 and  English (which will give you the Latin and  English). Then go to the line above and click on Matutinum first, then on Laudes.

Print it and select a time and place to say it on the appropriate days.

Let us all pray with the Church and for the Church AMDG!

24. On the margin of an obituary about a life well lived (2-13-2018)
2018-02-06Br Martin RIP

  Whilst our heart is filled with sorrow because Brother Martin OSsS, so kind, so cheerful,  is not among us , we should thank God that we have known him, inspired and edified by the example and cheered in encounters with this   consecrated soul ,living his  holy  vocation to the full

In a way, it was a unique vocation. The Brigittine Brothers, a contemplative order, to which Brother Martin belonged for close to a quarter century, is a truly trailblazing enterprise.    In the chaotic situation of the recent decades, when even previously established orders simply dwindled away a group of dedicated Americans achieved under the inspired leadership of Brother Benedict Kirby (RIP) of happy memory what others have been unsuccessfully trying for more than 100 years in Europe –  to re-establish a male branch of Brigittines after the Brigittine Brothers were simply swept away in the wake of the Protestant reformation.

Several of those who have tried the life, did not persevere.  Those who did and do to this day, made and are making it work by turning their hands to any of the tasks presented without decreasing the time for prayer- daily Holy Mass, the full Divine Office (also known as the Liturgy of the Hours) recited in common, adoration and rosary each day.

Amity2016-12                                                         Amity2016-13

May God grant the graces to the confreres of dear Brother Martin to carry on with their work of sanctifying themselves and others AMDG and may Our Lady dry their tears of grief!

Amity2016-03                                                             Amity3

23.  Praising God in choir louder and more often. (10-2-2017)

There have been some positive developments here in Tyler, but once again, not in the way in which it was envisaged.

As you probably already know, the recitation of all 8 Hours of the Latin traditional Divine Office is a basic feature of the in the life of the Brigittini Servitores, whether in private if there is no one else available, or in pubic, if there are others.  As far as the public recitation of the Divine Office goes, we lately gained a lot of ground. We now have ad Primam every day except on Sundays.  In addition, the whole group recites the Brigittine hymn for ad Primam after ad Primam each day. Ad Vesperas is scheduled for 5 p.m. every day, except Friday, but since only one other person besides myself is seriously committed, there are days without it.  For ad Completorium on Friday after the evening Holy Mass   we have several parishioners and – most important –  our beloved parish priest also takes part in this!  The group reciting ad Sextam after the 10.a.m Holy Mass on Sundays has also swelled in size,

How this came about?  On the heels of an apparent failure.

We have received several inquiries from people, whose age is above the age limit for regular entry in religious life, yet desirous for   religious life.   In order to meet their needs and also to have enough numbers for public excitation of the Divine Office, which in turn is likely to attract more vocations, we have experimentally started a program for Associate Sisters.  They, follow a mitigated rule, associating with us for prayers and instructions, but are responsible for their own living arrangements and upkeep.

The experience with the first three candidates was disappointing, to put it mildly. The fourth one, N., moved here from another state.  She already had some familiarity with the Divine Office, acquired through long distance communications prior to her arrival.   Friday ad Completorium and Sunday ad Sextam existed before her arrival, after her arrival her presence resulted in the establishment of daily ad Primam and ad Vesperas.  She likes the parish, and he opportunity for daily Holy Mass and the Divine Office.  She has put aside her religious aspirations for the time being, but she wants to continue with the public recitation of the Divine Office.  A second person bought two others to the Divine Office – an elderly ex-religious lady and a young man aspiring to religious life are there for ad Primam daily and for the Friday and Sunday Hours in public.

The program outlined in the article titled “18. The Brigittini Oblates – starting religious life after 40 (1-12-2016)” on this section is still in place, with two modifications.  The name of Oblates has been changed to Associate Sisters and instead of promises, simple vows, renewable yearly are taken after the probationary period.

The door is open, the welcome mat is ready to be laid out, get in touch and come for a visit!

22. A memorable trip, full of graces  to England in January 2017(3-21-2017) 

Brompton Oratory, London.

This 10 day’s long visit  to England was wonderful in every possible way. I made all the contact which was planning to make.

The main aim of the trip was to spread the word about the Brigittine tradition in general and about the Brigittini Servitores, the Brigittine Brothers of Amity and Syon Abbey (now closed, but the last Lady Abbess, now called Sister Anne is still alive) in particular. The Brigittini Brothers of Amity and the Brigittini Servitores both were, and are drawing heavily on the traditions of Syon Abbey and are beholden to Sister Anne for her support, prayers and information provided. The highlight of the trip was my meeting with Sister Anne in Plymouth where she now resides. I shall give the details about the Plymouth trip in the last section of this account.

London is dearly familiar to me. I lived there for 10 years, wen to medical school there and before entering religious life, visited it frequently.

The setting during my stay was close to ideal. It also helped that with a cell phone with international roaming and the i-phone provided by the hotel free of charge, I was able to keep in touch with Rev. Father Chaplain of the Brigittini Servitores. I stayed at the Rembrandt Hotel, a very comfortable and well run English hotel, practically opposite to the Brompton Oratory where there was daily Tridentine Mass.

I spent some time with my cousins, visited a Hungarian social l gathering, where I had the chance to speak with the Hungarian Catholic Father assigned to England. Rather than the Brigittine project, the topic was mainly about liturgical tradition and Traditional Latin Mass in which Father was interested,

In contrast, the focus of conversations with the other three priests was about the Brigittini Servitores, and working toward a resurgence of Syon Abbey. An abbey closed can be reopened within 100 years. I shared information about Brigittines and about the Brigittini Servitores, offering to continue to supply material and expressing willingness to train interested British applicants either from a distance via mail and phone or on site for those who would be willing to travel to our USA base. I asked the Fathers for their prayers and to disseminate the information. The most what can be expected if that if they have vocational iniquity, they will mention the Brigittini Servitores The District Superiors of both FSSP and SPX were friendly, willing to talk about their missions – very busy indeed. They were somewhat interested in the Brigittine project. Compared to a. Father of the Brompton Oratory and Sister Anne, these two Fathers were relatively more pessimistic about the state of the Catholic faith in England. This is understandable, for although both Fathers are British, as members of international priestly societies, they are looking at it more from the outside. However, on one topic the views of all were the same – namely, Rome and the general trend emanating from it.

I also went to the Tyburn Chapel  maintained by Benedictine Sisters using the Novus Ordo Mass.


There is perpetual adoration in the Tyburn  Chapel.

I saw and prayed at the Tyburn tree memorial which is on a traffic island near Marble Arch marking with a plaque the site of gallows where the many of the Holy English martyrs gave their lives for their faith.


When I set out for Plymouth by train, I broke off the journey at Reading to have coffee at the train station with Rev. Father District Superior of the FSSP. (With the Rev. Father District Superior of the SPX, we had lunch at an Italian restaurant in London on the day after my arrival).  We spoke for about an hour or so, then I took the train again, from the very same platform where Rev. Father Dominic Barberi, the Passionist Father who received Blessed Cardinal Newman into the Catholic Church, had his fatal heart attack in 1849.

The highlight of the trip to England was my meeting with Sister Anne, the retired Abbess of Syon Abbey, now sadly closed.

Sister Anne became Abbess in 1976,  after the updating of the 60-es was already in place. The closure of Syon Abbey (part of the spiritual patrimony of England) was a tragedy for the Catholic Church and even the whole world, given the fact that contemplative orders are in the nature of power houses. We discussed in what way can be the tradition of Syon Abbey be kept alive. An abbey closed can be reopened within 100 years. However, for this British vocations are essential, so this may or may not happen soon, but it is worthwhile to save resources and practices for the hoped for resurgence. Sister Anne has placed the material from Syon Abbey in safekeeping at Exeter University where it is being made good use of in terms of research and articles. Sister Anne is in contact with them and is also taking part in any conferences related to the Brigittine tradition in England.  She is also very supportive of what Rev Father Allen Chaplain of the Brigittini Servitores, and I are aiming for – a Brigittine community following the original (i.e. before the updating in the 60-es) Syon tradition, including Brigittine Divine Office in the Latin traditional form (the propers of which I am already using). I was not sure of her stance on this, so I am absolutely delighted of her supportive attitude.

I spent most of the day with Sister Anne. We went for Holy Mass to the cathedral where Sister Anne was baptised and confirmed. Sister Anne asked the taxi driver to take us back from the cathedral to Sisters’ home the long way around so I could see some of the sights such as Mayflower point.

The home for elderly Sisters, where Sister Anne is living, is lovely. From Sister’s windows one can see the sea and part of the Cornish coast. We had a private lunch together, and talked until late afternoon when I returned to London.

I came back home strengthened and refreshed, ready to roll up my sleeves. Please pray that we shall  be given the graces to continue living the Brigittine life, praying and working  AMDG.


On the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary we turn to Our Lady with increased confidence as we remember the victory over the Sultan at the naval battle of Lepanto by Christian princes led by Don John of Austria in  October of 1571, and the victory over countless hordes of Turks at Pétervárad in Hungary in the battle led by Prince Eugene of Savoy, 1716. Here is the story of the birth of this Feastday as it is told in the Lessons in the Breviary on the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy  Rosary (Amended text of the English text of the Officium Divinum)  (

5th Lesson.

From this healthy exercise have grown up numberless good fruits in the Christian Commonwealth. Among these deserved to be named is that great victory over the Sultan of Turkey, which, and the Christian Princes, whom the most holy Pope Pius V. had roused, won at Lepanto, in  October 1571 The day whereon this victory was gained was the very one whereon brethren of the Guild of the most holy Rosary, throughout the whole world, were used to offer their accustomed prayers and appointed supplications, and the event therefore was not unnaturally connected therewith. This being the avowed opinion of Gregory XIII., he ordered that in all Churches where there was, or should be, an Altar of the Rosary, a Feast, in the form of a Greater Double, should be kept for ever upon the first Lord’s Day of the month of October, to give unceasing thanks to the Blessed Virgin, under her style of Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, for that extraordinary mercy of God. Other Popes also have granted almost numberless indulgences to those who say the Rosary, and to those who join its Guilds.

6th Lesson, 1st part.

In the year 1716, Charles VI., Elect-Emperor of the Romans, won a famous victory over countless hordes of Turks, , in the kingdom of Hungary, upon the day when the Feast of the Dedication of the Church of St Mary of the Snows was being kept, and almost at the very moment when the brethren of the Guild of the most holy Rosary were moving through the streets of Rome in public and solemn procession, amid vast multitudes, all filled with the deepest enthusiasm, calling vehemently upon God for the defeat of the Turks, and entreating the Virgin Mother of God to bring the might of her succour to the help of the Christians. A few days later, (upon the Octave of the Feast of the Assumption,) the Turks raised the siege of Corfu. These mercies Clement XI. devoutly ascribed to the helpful prayers of the Blessed Virgin, and that the memory and the sweetness of such a blessing might for all time coming endure gloriously, he extended to the whole Church the observance of the Feast of the most holy Rosary, for the same day and of the same rank, as it had already been in the places before mentioned.

Our Lady of the Holy  Rosary, help us with our  prayers!


Let us rejoice  about having  one more  Saint of the Brigittine family to help us along in our sanctification and with our prayers and sacrifices of the sanctification of the world!!

The achievements of Saint Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad are close to the miraculous- such as getting back the house where Saint Brigitta lived in Rome into Brigittine hands, to bring the Brigittines back to Sweden after an absence several hundred years and to establish several houses of the now flourishing Roman branch.

As for ecumenism, Saint Maria Elizabeth prayed and sacrificed for the conversion of Sweden and her contacts with Swedish people had this aim, not the modern type of all religions are equally nice approach. .

As for saving Jewish lives, it was a noble act, but  not unique to her- many Catholic priests and religious risked  -or even gave – their lives for this.

Quotations from Saint Maria Elisabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957)


The story given in the source  is less than full, but  these quotations are wonderful.

 Prayer from  1904:

“Dear Lord, I do not ask to see the path. In darkness, in anguish and in fear, I will hang on tightly to Thy hand and I will close my eyes, so that Thou knowest how much trust I place in Thee, Spouse of my soul.”

She said (undated): “We must nourish a great love for God and our neighbors; a strong love, an ardent love, a love that burns away imperfections, a love that gently bears an act of impatience, or a bitter word, a love that lets an inadvertence or act of neglect pass without comment, a love that lends itself readily to an act of charity.”

Prayer for the intercession of Saint Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad, O.Ss.S. (1870 – 1957)

Composed by the Rev. Father Chaplain of the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute  in 2013 (to then  Blessed Maria Elizabeth )

O Saint Maria Elizabeth, who in the midst of thy own infirmities wonderfully hastened to the aid of those needy in body and soul, and who didst faithfully pursue thy  vocation as a daughter of Saint Birgitta of Sweden, obtain for us by thy gracious intercession

Your request goes here:

Almighty everlasting God, show forth Thy power by granting our petition through the intercession of Saint Maria Elizabeth so that all may  see how beloved she is in Thy sight.

We ask this for the increase of Thy glory and for the joyful exaltation of Our Lady, the angels, and all Thy Saints in the eyes of men.

Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Our Father.        Hail Mary.        Glory be.


Rather than my own composition, I am sharing something inspiring.

Servants of God Bernát Károlyi And Six Companions (“Franciscan martyrs”)

Source for contents:

Servant of God Father Bernát Károlyi

(Born in 1892)
Birth into heaven: 2 March 1954

Father Bernát Károlyi had come back to Hungary from a highly successful mission in China in 1938. For three years, he lived in different places in Hungary, and in 1941 he moved to the convent of the Franciscan order in Kecskemét. In 1945 he was appointed prior. As the Soviet front-line was approaching, he organized the management of the hospital, the treatment of the patients who had been left behind and the reception and food supply of the constantly arriving refugees. In 1945 he protested against the humiliating treatment of political prisoners, thus he was arrested. At that time, however, the charge against him was dropped. In 1946 and in spring 1949 he was tried again for “anti-democratic” preaching, but he received light punishment. On 26 November 1949 he was arrested again for “anti-democratic conspiracy against the people’s republic”. On 18 November 1950 he was sentenced to fifteen years of prison for conspiracy against the state.

In the prison, Father Bernát was tortured and deprived of food, but he did not lose his faith. According to the memories of his fellow prisoners, he continued to hear confessions and practice works of charity even under such circumstances. When he was taken to hospital he only weighed 35 kg. He passed away in the hospital on 2 March 1954.

The memory of his martyrdom has not faded; when his process of beatification was to be initiated, 700 Catholics of Kecskemét signed the petition.

Servant of God Father Rafael Kriszten

(Born in 1899)
Birth into heaven: 5 September 1952

Father Rafael Kriszten, who was known for his pastoral activity in the Franciscan convent at Margit körút from 1941 to 1946, was also carried away from Hatvan in 1950. During the war, he saved many persecuted people and helped the starving by giving them what was available in the kitchen of the convent. In August 1949 he was transferred to Hatvan, where the faithful treated the Franciscans with a lot of love and respect. At that time the persecution of the Church was quite overt. On 19 June 1950 the first group of religious was deported, and the Franciscan fathers were also prepared for their turn. However, on that day the trucks did not stop in front of the convent to take them away but to leave there the Piarists and the Salvatorian Sisters, who had been carried away from elsewhere. Nevertheless, people thought that the soldiers had come to carry away the Franciscan Fathers, therefore, the faithful gathered in front of the church in protest. The police called on Father Rafael to disperse the crowd, but he did not succeed. During the night, the political police dispersed the demonstration using violence, and they beat all the religious to pulp. The four Franciscan Fathers were taken to 60 Andrássy Street. On 26 May 1951, Father Rafael was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy against the democratic state. He served his sentence in the prison of Conti Street, where the inhumane conditions and treatment destroyed his already poor health. He passed away on 5 September 1952.


Servant of God Father Zénó Hajnal

(Born in 1900)
Birth into heaven:1 April 1945

In the last period of World War II, in March 1945, the village of Nagyatád (in Somogy County) lied in the front-line of the national socialist and Soviet troops. The inhabitants were trying to escape, led by Father Zénó Hajnal, Superior of the Franciscan convent. During the Holy Week of 1945 they reached Gyékényes, where Bulgarian and German troops were fighting each other. On Easter Sunday, the Bulgarian soldiers occupied the village and chased away the inhabitants. They made the parish priest, Father Pál Martincsevics and Father Zénó, who was staying in his house, join the group. When a Bulgarian soldier caught sight of the priests, one in habit and the other one in cassock, he called them and shot them without any reason. No one else was hurt. The soldier’s action was motivated by hatred for the faith.

Servant of God Father Krizosztom Körösztös

(Born in 1900)
Birth into heaven: 27 October 1944

Following the re-annexation of the Southern part of Hungary in 1942, the Franciscan Province of Saint John of Capistrano was asked to establish a convent in Novi Sad in order to provide spiritual care to the Hungarian inhabitants who had had to move there. The Franciscans organized the religious education and the popular missions, but in the autumn 1944 they had to face the sudden advance of Serbian guerrilla troops, who regarded the Catholic Church as their enemy.

Father Krizosztom Körösztös became Superior of the convent of Novi Sad after having returned from a mission in America and from the battles by the Don River. His Superiors offered him the possibility of returning to Hungary, but he wanted to stay with his faithful. The Serbian troops reached Novi Sad on 23 October 1944, feast of Saint John of Capistrano, they occupied the city and captured all the men. Father Krizosztom still had the chance to flee, but as the rest of the Franciscans did not have such a possibility, so he decided not to leave them. The religious and the rest of the captives were led to the barracks, where the Franciscans kept consoling their fellow prisoners and hearing their confessions for several days. In the morning of 27 October, Father Krizosztom and other men were taken to the neighbouring barrack, with the promise of being released that day. The next day they were beaten to death at the sound of music.

Servant of God Father Szaléz Kiss

(Born in 1904)
Birth into heaven: 10 December 1946

Father Szaléz Kiss was the spiritual director of the novices of the Franciscan convent of Gyöngyös from 1944, thus he was the superior when the Russian troops entered the town. In order to unite the youth of the town, in 1945 he organized the Christian Democratic Youth Association, which hindered the youth activity of the communists, who, therefore, strongly disapproved of it. Father Szaléz Kiss was arrested on 28 April 1946 with the feigned charge of leading an armed conspiracy and having instigated his students to kill Soviet soldiers, having promised them the absolution in advance. The documents of the process have revealed that the entire process was based on feigned charges and the majority of the testimonies were not given by Father Szaléz. The memories of his co-defendants, who were later released, point out that although the Franciscan father was beaten up terribly, he did not break the seal of confession. The trial was led by the Soviet officers, without interpreters, who sentenced Father Szaléz to death. He was executed on 10 December 1946 in Sopronkőhida. The Hungarian province of the Franciscan order has honoured Father Szaléz Kiss, since his death, as a martyr of the seal of confession.

Servant of God Father Kristóf Kovács

(Born in1914)
Birth into heaven: 1 November 1944

Another martyr of the convent of Novi Sad, Father Kristóf Kovács asked for being transferred to Vojvodina in 1944 because he wished to become a martyr for Christ. He was also arrested on 26 October 1944 and deported along with other captives. Father Kristóf consoled his fellow-prisoners, heard confessions during the night, after the tiresome marches, and he often administered the sacrament of penance to people who had not gone to confession for decades. The guards disapproved of the pastoral activity of Father Kristóf and other priests, thus they separated them from the crowd during the marches. He and Father Mihály Kamarás were constrained to run with heavy guns in their hands while the guards were beating them with iron rods and guns. One of the blows fell on his forehead, thus he was unable to go on. The soldiers put him on a truck and shot him just outside the village of Indijja.

Servant of God Father Pelbárt Lukács

(Born in 1916)
Birth into heaven: 18 April 1948

The legal proceeding of Father Pelbárt Lukács, a member of the Franciscan convent of Hatvan, was joined to the case of Father Szaléz Kiss. He was accused of acting as a liaison between the towns of Hatvan and Gyöngyös in the anti-Soviet conspiracy and of having had information about the preparations of the murder of soldiers in Gyöngyös. Father Pelbárt was arrested at the beginning of May 1946, and the Hungarian authorities handed him over to the Soviet military tribunal. His trial took place under unlawful circumstances; Father was sentenced to ten years of forced labour and was deported to the Soviet Union. In the work camp, his gastric disease became worse and he died of cancer of the larynx on 18 April 1948 amidst terrible suffering. He was rehabilitated by the Soviet authorities in 1993. His fellow Franciscans have always remembered him as a martyr.

Let us pray for their intercession and beatification !

Those who obtain favours through their intercession are asked to notify the
Office of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest

1014 Budapest, Úri u. 62.


  1. I. The idea behind the Brigittini Oblates

 We have received many applications from people over 40 years of age. We ourselves have been impressed by their strong desire of a deeper and more structured spiritual life than it is may be possible in the world.

In general, most religious orders encountered difficulties with more mature applicants on account of lack of flexibility, slower learning ability and high costs health care for age related infirmities. Thus, they usually establish an age limit.

However, there is much which more mature people can give. They can join in community prayers, including taking part in praying the Hours of the Divine Office. They can aid the Institute by sharing their insights born of experience. They can aid the Institute by putting their skills acquired during their secular career to good use.

Therefore in addition to fully professed Brigittini Servitores, the status of Brigittine Oblates has been established.

The Brigittini Oblates undertake to promote the mission of the Institute as defined in its Constitution and observe those precepts of religious life which are feasible in their circumstances.

Life as a Brigittini Oblate program could be the answer for persons of more mature age who feel that they are called to embrace religious life.

The excerpt from the rule of the Brigittini Oblates will give an idea what is asked of the oblates and what is offered by the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute.

If interested, send an e-mail to:

  1. II. Excerpts from the Rule of the Brigittini Oblates



 #1. The Oblates of the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute are souls wishing to live a deeply spiritual life but because age, infirmity, outside commitments or uncertainty about their calling they are not able to embrace religious life in the full. As Oblates, they undertake to promote the mission of the Institute as defined in its Constitution and observe those precepts of religious life, which are feasible in their circumstances.

#2. The Oblate program could be the answer for persons of more mature age who feel that they are called to embrace religious life.

In general, most religious orders encountered difficulties with more mature applicants and therefore established an age limit for entrants.

However, we ourselves have been impressed by the strong desire in many of these souls for a more intense and structured spiritual life than it is possible in the world.

#3. The Oblates of the Brigittini Servitores do not take vows. Instead, they make a solemn promise in front of the altar to observe chastity in the celibate state, to live simply in the spirit of poverty and to obey the Rules for the Oblates. This promise is for one year and may be renewed yearly, without limitation as to the number of renewals.

#4. The authority for permission to make or renew this promise resides in the Chapter. The Chapter is also empowered to dismiss an Oblate in case of gross misconduct. The recommendation for making or renewing the promises or for dismissal rests with the appropriate Superior (e.g. Superior of men or of women) who will make the recommendation for action in writing and, presents the case orally at the Chapter meeting. The decision of the Chapter is made by majority vote.

#5. There is no postulancy, only a probationary year, during which  the Candidate will put on the attire of the oblates. During this probationary year the Oblates will start following the Rules under the guidance of the Master or Mistress of the Oblates.

#6. The probationary year for the Oblates can end in three possible ways:

  1. The Candidate becomes a fully-fledged Oblate.
  2. The Candidate petitions the Chapter for admission to the Novitiate of the Brigittini Servitores. The Chapter reviews the request and may and may not grant it.
  3. The Candidate leaves the program, either by her own desire or by the decision of the Chapter.


 #7. The Oblates handle their own financial affairs. They maintain their own lodgings and provide their own meals. Oblates are also responsible to cover the costs of their health care and are expected to carry health insurance.

#8. The Oblates have access to the Residentia of the Brigittini Servitores at scheduled times for prayer in common, shared meals, conferences, use of the library and work.

#9. Lodgings should be within a 10 mile radius or less than 1 hour of driving distance from a church or chapel where a priest saying the Tridentine Mass is in residence. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is to be formally enthroned, within one month of taking up residence.  The lodgings should be simple.

#10. Neither TV nor Internet is permitted in the lodging of an Oblate. Access to internet once a week on a predetermined schedule can be obtained through the computer in the Residentia.

#11. Every Saturday, the Master or Mistress of the Oblates reviews with each Oblate the work done during the preceding week, paying particular attention to the amount of reading and studying done. After this, plans are made for the coming week. This plan must include details of reading, study, tasks done for the Brigittini Servitores and outside activities. Prior to this review, the Oblate prepares a written report of the work record of the previous week and the weekly plan of the coming week and presents this at the meeting.


 #12. Both during the probationary year and afterwards, the Master or Mistress of the Oblates will serve as instructor or preceptor.

 #13. During the probationary year the Oblates, with the aid of the Master or Mistress of the Oblates as instructor, will familiarise themselves with

  1. the Divine Office (the Latin breviary of 1962 and the Traditional Brigittine Office in Latin (1906 Breviary of Syon Abbey in England),
  2. the Constitution of the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute, the Rule for the Residentia and the Rule of life for the Oblates.

#14. During the probationary year, the Oblate Probationers will begin and continue afterwards as Oblates under the preceptorship of the their study of Master or Mistress of the Oblates

  1. the catechism of the Catholic Church,
  2. the history of the Catholic Church,
  3. the works of the Church Fathers and spiritual writers,
  4. the history and spirituality of the Brigittine orders, including those of the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute,
  5. the Latin language which is the language used for the prayers of the Tridentine  Mass and for the Latin traditional Divine Office.
  If interested, send an e-mail to:


The year of 2011 was a year of crosses, for Syon Abbey has ceased to exist.


The closure of the Syon Abbey in 2011 was sad news indeed.

However, as plans are unfolding for the celebrations of   the 600th anniversary of its foundation, there is hope that what it represented will live on.

Quietly in her corner, Sister Anne (previously Lady Abbess Anna Maria of Syon Abbey) has been and is busy working towards the preservation of the tradition of Syon Abbey. In the academic-historical level, she is aiding and is aided by scholars from the University of Exeter. The celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the foundation of Syon Abbey is one fruit

There will be celebrations at Syon Park, the site of the original Syon abbey in the 15th centenary.. For details please see

Whilst admitting that ecumenical celebrations may be appropriate at times, I am rather cautious about them. Nevertheless, I am giving details about the events at Syon House to indicate the breadth of the anniversary celebrations.

The 4 days’ long academic program at Darlington Hall is excellent. For details, please see

Meanwhile as these celebrations are taking place in England, two Brigittine groups in the USA are also celebrating the Feastday of Saint Birgitta on July 23rd. Once again, we have been invited to the Monastery of the Brigittine Brothers of Amity to celebrate the Feastday altogether and to spend a few days with them. Both the Brigittini Brothers and Brigittini Servitores shall unite themselves with the celebrations in England, for both groups are indebted for the help given to them by Syon Abbey.

As Lady Abbess of Syon Abbey, Sister Anne has welcomed the birth of these two communities in the USA, rejoicing in their birth and aiding their growth. Sister Anne’s support, prayers and advice have been invaluable in the development of my own Brigittine vocation and in developing the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute. Neither did she cease to provide her generous help after the closure of Syon Abbey.

Please join me in my prayers that these celebrations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will be a source of graces for many and that by the mercy of God our communities will grow in numbers and holiness, thank you for your prayers and God bless you all!



Please see the summary of this event by “Zenith – the world seen from Rome” ( below this editorial. I have underlined in bold two salient points which seem to indicate that this decision could possibly be reversed.

We have until July 17th to effect reconsideration.


Let us therefore learn from the past, when in response to prayer offensives (public and in common) disasters have been averted. The best reference is the victory at Lepanto after a rosary crusade, but it is easy to find innumerable examples of the same positive Divine response to the heartfelt plea of the faithful.

I am inviting my fellow Catholics to join me in putting our shoulders to the wheel and pray, pray and pray. I myself have spent the night of Thursday before 1st Friday in in prayer, planning to do the same next Thursday and praying earnestly for a good outcome each day.

I respectfully suggest to those in whose power is to arrange these things to mount prayer offensives, using extra prayers before or after Holy Masses, public rosaries and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament,   with or without all night adoration.

Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us!

BMV -7 sorrows02

In Christo


US Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex “Marriage”

Mandating Marriage Redefinition “A Tragic Error” Says US Bishops Conference President

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Rome, June 26, 2015 (

The United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex “marriage” across the country today. Five of the Supreme Court justices ruled in favor, while four dissented. While the decision will overturn state bans on same-sex “marriages“, it allows opponents of the ruling three weeks to ask for reconsideration. 

“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority ruling.

However, in his dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that the question of same-sex “marriage” had “nothing to do” with the Constitution.

“Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us,” he wrote. “Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

“The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage,” he continued. “And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.”

Chief Justice Roberts went on to say that majority decision to legalize same-sex “marriage” was an “act of will not legal judgement”. He also questioned whether in a democratic republic, such a decision should be made by the people through their elected representatives “or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law.”

“The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer,” he concluded.

“A Tragic Error”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that despite the Supreme Court’s decision, “the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable.”

“Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today,” he wrote. “Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail.”

Archbishop Kurtz called the Supreme Court’s decision “wrong” and immoral”, stressing that it is unjust for the US government “to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”

Citing the Holy Father’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, the USCCB President said that protecting the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman “is a critical dimension of the ‘integral ecology’ that Pope Francis has called us to promote.”

“Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home,” he wrote.

Concluding his statement, Archbishop Kurtz encouraged Catholics in the US to continue to move forward in faith, hope and love.

“Faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions,” he wrote.



This invitation is for sturdy, enterprising souls , delighting in challenges and interested to increase the glory of God to swell the numbers of the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute, a religious institute with a central mission of liturgical prayer, so that it will grow enough to survive.

Yes, it is pioneering in terms of living as simply as the our American forefathers did, but not in attempting something brand new, but rather with the specific role of doing something which has been done in and for the Church throughout the ages.

There is nothing new about liturgical prayer. Indeed, it existed even before the birth of our Lord, at the time of King David. Some of songs of praise went on eat the earliest times of the Christian era, but the full blown praises through established forms of the Divine Office came into being  after the formation of religious orders in the 6th century. Since then, it has never completely faded, albeit the volume of public celebration has decreased in times of oppression of the Catholic Church such as the French revolution, Spanish civil war, Communist governments. Sadly, the volume of prayer winging its way from earth to heaven has also decreased in our times.. Yes, it is sad, because it was not  an external enemy which has done it, but those  inside the barque of Peter and even of ten with good will, but unduly influenced by the current secular philosophies. Some of this stemmed from misinterpreting the message of Vatican II.

In the wake of Vatican II there has been some rethinking of religious life. In the course of this urge to update, some orders modified themselves, others disappeared. New orders came into being; they usually were active. With the accent on external activities, liturgical prayers were shortened, simplified and the Latin was replaced by the vernacular. However, the very spirit of renewal gave the impetus for the religious attached to the traditional Latin liturgy not only to return to the traditional mode of liturgical prayer, but indeed to establish a form of religious life more contemplative in bent, with the liturgical prayer in its center. This group consists of both existing communities, which, after experimenting with new ways, returned to the traditional form and new foundations dedicated to amore contemplative form of life and using the traditional Latin liturgy, often referred to as the “Extraordinary Form”..

In God’s vineyard nothing is new. Later on, If time permits, a subsequent article will show how in different times, new religious orders were practically tailor-made to give effective help to correct particular current ills or deficiencies. In the same way, other traditional communities have come into being today with the aid of Divine Providence to reset the imbalance of our times. There are now Benedictine, Carmelite and Franciscan, Augustinian and Redemptorist communities besides others not so widely known, and in good standing within the Church which follow the traditional Latin liturgy. Many of them had a rough time when starting, in terms of resources or even candidates, but then invariably, expansion followed.

At present, the Brigittine Servitores is the only Brigittine group adhering to the traditional Latin liturgy. Of the two usual problems, resources and vocations, the vocations are more pressing. It is true that we do not own property and our present residence is a rented trailer in in a trailer park. However, there is space for two more candidates, heating and cooling systems are adequate.. A very great blessing is that the church is practically next door. As I see it, it is time to have more when we are bigger and if our own history and the history of others is any guide, God will always provide. This simple living may even be a good way to weed out those with no taste for truly embracing the vow of poverty and attract sturdy souls who can be moulded into religious capable of taking their part in building up the community.

There have been several inquiries and even some visits, but not such enthusiasm for this way of life that a commitment would result. My experience of visits remaining simply visits of interest is not very different from the experience of other Superiors with whom I am in contact. Those who come here are good souls and desirous of deepening their spiritual life , but given the fact that they often do not have access to daily – or sometimes even weekly – Tridentine Mass and regular spiritual direction means that they had no means at their disposal for a preliminary preparation. Of course it is not completely unheard of that in some cases the call to religious life is so clear that no prolonged discernment is necessary, but when this is necessary, a suitable, spiritually nourishing setting is an advantage. In our case, some of our visitors found such a setting for themselves either during our exploratory talks before their visit or after it. This is why we are encouraging visitors who give us much joy and add some spice to our life – but of course there is some preliminary checking to ensure that such a visit would be fruitful and not simply a waste of time for both parties.

So please come and see us! Furthermore, if you are already at the point that you are seriously considering entry, please do not worry about having to know Latin and having to be familiar with the Divine Office on entry. A formation program has already been set up and you will be able to progress step by step, rejoicing on the way of being already in God’s vineyard, Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God:

The next letter will deal with some specifics of Brigittine life, explaining how it is I similar or different from .other, predominantly contemplative forms of religious life. Please pray that I shall find the time for it reasonably soon!

14. Reflections on a memorable visit (1–11-2014)


It is customary to make resolutions when a new year knocks on our door, especially those which are most likely to advance further some project, existing or new. I, too, made some resolutions, but there is no question of a new project, just continuing on the Brigittine path, albeit with greater strides in terms of sharing with others. One tool for doing this is to tell you, dear readers of this WEB page, more about ourselves and more frequently. Please pray that this will happen!

What is on the horizon for this year?

In 2012 the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris was established in the diocese of Tyler as a public association of the Catholic faithful. In 2013 the move to a bigger Residentia was made, in order to provide adequate quarters for Postulants.  If God so wills, 2014 may see postulants taking up their abode in it, given the recent increased interest in the Brigittini Servitores. There were several inquiries and even two visits last year. However, let me put future aspirations aside and fulfil my promise of giving the highlights about our visit to The Brigittine Brothers of Amity in July 23rd.

Our Father Chaplain and I were privileged to share the life of the community for close to a whole week.

The central event was celebrating the Feast of Saint Birgitta in a grand style, with sung Mass celebrated by Archbishop Sample, who preached on the importance of contemplative religious orders for the Church.

The liturgical celebration was followed by festive dinner, with close to 200 people in attendance. The enthusiasm of the participants for the Brigittine Brothers was almost palpable.  After the celebrations were over, community life continued in its grove. We were invited to the community’s meals and recreation and had ample time to share spiritual insights and stories with each other. It was a truly blessed time, with the cohesion cemented together by praying in common.

In addition to the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated for the Brothers,  thanks to the presence of Father Chaplain, there was a Tridentine Mass daily, thanks to the presence of Father Chaplain.  The  schedule which made it possible for both groups to pray the Divine Office together as well as other community devotions, such as the daily  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction, rosary and the nightly litany of the world. We were present and took part in all of this, praying after the joint prayers in the chapel the Hours of the 1962 Roman Divine Office either jointly or in private, without the Brothers.

Different liturgical forms, but the same Brigittini spirituality, creating a bond, with the bigger, more firmly established and thriving community encouraging and helping the fledgling Brigittini Servitores to press on, with both groups hoping and praying for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the other.

Attracting good vocations is a common concern for not only for the Brigittine Brothers and us, but is a challenge for of almost at all religious communities, and even more so for a fledgling community. On the other side of the coin, I came across many people, searching rather futilely, sometimes for a decade or more, for a religious community which would suit them, when time may be better spent in establishing  the framework for solid, devotional life in the world.. I shall address the question in my next article, suggesting ways and means  as how to find out what is God’s will for you, in terms of entering or not entering religious life and if it is entering, where you should enter. In the meantime, let us go on prying for each other!

Gaudeamus! (7-15-2013)

Life never stands still for the Brigittini Servitores!.  Something wonderful happens almost every year!  In 2011, the parent organisation of the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris, the Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute, was erected into a public association of the Catholic faithful.  In 2012, the Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute became the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris, also retaining its status as a public association of the Catholic faithful.

 On July 23rd, 2013, the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris (both the Foundress and the chaplain of the Brigittini Servitores) are going to celebrate the feast of Saint Birgitta in style!  We have accepted the invitation of the Brigittine Monks at the Priory of our Lady of Consolation in Amity, Oregon, to celebrate this feast-day together with them.  (A photo of their priory is below.)


The Brigittine family has several branches.  We are aware of each other, rejoice in the existence of each other, exchange information and even visit for time to time for our mutual edification and spiritual support.  Our closest bond and most frequent contact is with the Brothers in Amity, founded in the USA in 1976.  Their website address is  They have been especially welcoming to when we came into being as Brigittines  and most helpful ever since in many ways.  You can see them in procession–Our Lady leading them, of course!–in the photo below.


The Brothers are unique as the only Brigittine branch of men.   We Brigittine Servitores are also blessed to enjoy a unique characteristic among the communities comprising the religious family of Saint Birgitta today.  Our daily religious life revolves around the venerable and ancient traditional Latin liturgical rites universally in vigour in the Latin Church until the post-Vatican II era.

All of us in Saint Birgitta’s family, different branches on the same spiritual tree, rejoicing in our common heritage and spiritual orientation, look forward with holy anticipation to celebrating Saint Birgitta’s feast-day with equal fervour and delight.

Please pray that all will go well!   May our holy Mother Birgitta be delighted about the festivities in her honour and intercede for us to grow in graces and numbers!

A newsletter about the trip will follow.

In Christo

Sister Margarita OSsS
12.Gaudeamus! (8-29-2012)
 News about the canonical recognition granted to the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer at Papa Stronsay Island:
Below is an excerpt  from the webpage, with a brief history and nature of this island.
History of the island of Papa Stronsay
Over 1400 years ago St. Columba (521-597) met with Brude, the King of the Picts, and also the chief ruler of the Orkney islands. In that meeting, recorded for us by Saint Adomnán of Iona (627 – 704), (Vita Columbae Bk 2 Ch. 43). St. Columba said to King Brude: “Some of our brethren have lately set sail, and are anxious to discover a desert in the pathless sea; should they happen, after many wanderings, to come to the Orkney islands, do thou carefully instruct this chief, whose hostages are in thy hand, that no evil befall them within his dominions.” The Saint took care to give this direction, because he knew that after a few months St. Cormac would arrive in Orkney. So it afterwards came to pass, and to this advice of the holy man, Cormac owed his escape from impending death. These early monks — Papari — gave their name (From Latin, Papa via Old Irish, Papar – Fathers) to the islands where they set up their monastic settlements, their “deserts in the pathless sea”. Their islands were called Papey, there were three such Papey islands in Orkney although through the centuries we now know of only two: one called Papey meiri (or big Papey – big Priests’ Island – today known as Papa Westray) and one called Papey minni (or little Papey, — little Priests’ Island — known now as Papa Stronsay). For more than 1400 years this island of Papa Stronsay has been set apart from the other Orkney islands as a holy island. It is recorded in the Orkneyinga saga (Ch. 18) that there were still monks living here 955 years ago when, in 1045, the Viking Earl Rognvald came to Papey minni to collect malt for his Christmas ale. The monks apparently produced malt from barley and to this day the island’s small peninsular is called Corn Graand. The Earl in his viking barge, replete with shields covering its bulwarks, and a host of oarsmen did not return home alive. They were warmng themselves in the monastery when the house was surrounded by Rognvald’s rival, Earl Thorfinn whose men quickly set fire to the building. They let the religious escape but slaughtered Earl Rognvald and his men.
The island of Papa Stronsay:
Area: 74 ha (183 acres), Height: 43 ft (13 meters) above sea level. Location -Latitude: 59.15°N; Longitude: 2.58°W. National Grid Reference: HY 666 293
The island of Papa Stronsay is owned by the Monastery, which assures us the privacy and solitude that we need to live our life. Papa Stronsay is about 6 minutes by boat to the neighbouring Island of Stronsay. The Name “Papa Stronsay” means “Priests Island of Stronsay”. The name from the Papar monks, who inhabited the island, withstood even the Viking invaders who settled Orkney from the 8th century onwards, because of the community of priests – monks, most likely – on Papa Stronsay. There are no gas, electricity, phone or water lines coming to Papa Stronsay. Electricity is generated by a diesel generator.
Yes, indeed, this is worth celebrating with song or even dance, for lost ground on the northern tip of the British Isles is reclaimed for the faith, AMDG! Looking at the news, this good news is just part of the same process of Catholic tradition (Traditional religious life included) advancing. Let us therefor go forth with a thankful heart and renewed hope!
In Christo
Sister Margarita OSsS
11. Guest editorial  by  Gloria Thiele: The Brigittine clothing ceremony of June 10th, 2012 (8-6-2012)
God cannot be outdone in generosity, for more often than not, God give us what we needed, even without asking for it. Just as I was contemplating how to describe  the ceremony. This was the case with this guest editorial in which Gloria published a description (much better by an observant than a participant). Gloria submitted an account to an internet link (gloriainexcelsis says: In commenting to Father Z.), sent me a copy and generously permitted for me to use it on the webpage . How very like Gloria, to step in where needed! All I had to do is to copy it. Many thanks, Gloria!
Guest editorial  by  Gloria Thiele: The Brigittine clothing ceremony of June 10th, 2012.
It was a particularly beautiful External Solemnity of Corpus Christi. We were graced at our small Latin Mass parish (about 35 families and growing), St. Joseph the Worker, in Tyler, Texas, by a visit from our Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese, now bishop of Mayguez, Puerto Rico. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Alvaro Corrada del Rio, S.J., was in attendance to confer the Brigittine habit on Sister Margarita Igriczi-Nagy, O.Ss.S (previously of Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute which now became Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute). We had a sung Mass, Rev. Scott Allen, FSSP, the Pastor, celebrating. After the Credo was chanted, the Bishop was seated in the middle of the sanctuary at the altar rail, Father Allen seated to his right. Sister, standing at the back of the church began chanting the first part of Psalm 44, in Latin) answered by the choir. As she proceeded to the sanctuary entrance to kneel before the Bishop, Father chanted the second half with the choir responding. The Psalm is one of Sister’s favourites and requested by her.  The first line of the Psalm is ( English translation) “My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.”  The second half begins, “Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear; and forget thy people and thy father’s house.” I’m in our little choir. I got all choked up and could hardly sing. The ceremony was so beautiful. Sister, kneeling on the hard floor – and she is 75 years old – begins, “Iube, Domne, benedicere!” (Pray, Lord Bishop, a blessing!)  The Bishop blessed her and inquired, “Quid vis, filia”(What do you ask, daughter?) And so from there she said that she wanted to follow the Brigittine path, and to direct the Servitores on the same path. The name of the Servitores is now changed to Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris, and she wears the Brigittine form of the habit, with crown.  Each part of the habit was blessed, one by one – sandals, tunic, belt, scapular, wimple, veil and crown. The crown is a white circlet of fabric, with a cross of white over the top of the head. It has red jewel like accents at each juncture. A picture of St. Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden, shows her wearing such a crown. As Sister went into the sacristy to change into her new habit, two of the choir members sang Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” in Latin, with all the proper words. It was permitted, since the vesting was not actually part of the Mass. Sister requested this particular “Ave Maria,” because it was played even during the Communist occupation of Hungary, Sister Margarita’s country of origin. It means a lot to her. There is so much more about the Brigittines, the charism, etc. Sister is dedicated to the Mass, the Divine Office, promoting the Office to the public, and Latin literacy. She is a wonder. Mass proceeded, followed by the Corpus Christi procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. It was a memorable day for all present. Luncheon followed to honour Bishop Corrada and further celebrate the day.  Bishop Corrada gave the homily, by the way. It was wonderful, strictly on the Eucharist, the gift of Himself that Christ left with us to be with us until the end of the world. He concentrated quite a bit on St. Paul’s Epistle of the day.
10. Alea iacta est (July 12th, 2012)
Alea iacta est (“the die has been cast”), said Iulius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon. As you see form the changed name on the letterhead of the webpage, the Servitores also crossed a Rubicon of sorts.
On June 10th, our Bishop, Most Reverend Alvaro Corrada del Rio, SJ, has put the Brigittine veil and crown on me. In line with custom, man new foundations such as the Servitores sooner or later define their own spirituality and ally themselves with one of the existing religious families.  The other Brigittines are very welcoming towards the Servitores. We shall be the only branch, using the Latin Tridentine Mass and saying the Liturgical prayers in Latin. I am simply following a call on this.
More details will follow later. In the meantime, the history of our Brigittine aspirations is detailed in the editorial “On the Brigittine path”  of 1-6-2012. Please pray that the Brigittini Servitores shall grow and flourish for the greater glory of God!
In Christo
Sister Margarita OSsS
Compare these two flags! One is one side of the flag of Hungarian army until 1945, the other is the Brigittine banner. Yes, I am a 1956 Hungarian, If God wants my prayers for Hungary on the Brigittine path on American soil, so be it!
Hungarian flag -until 1945-1Hungarianflag 1990-now
9. A call to action (3-18-2012)
Every country in the world, including the United States of America, is beset by problems. We spend much time in thinking, speaking and writing about them, devising solutions. By all means, let us continue. Let us also make use of a powerful weapon in our problem solving, namely never omitting to pray for our country each day. Below is an example of efforts in this line. Let us not just ask in these prayers, but also give thanks to God for the good things what he has given to this land in His infinite mercy!
A CALL TO PRAYER – Translated from Hungarian to English.
On Feb. 22nd the Mária Rádió (Radio Maria) will launch a national prayer broadcast in all evenings at 8 p.m. from the Marian pilgrimage shrines in Hungary and in the annexed territories. With these prayers, people who feel a responsibility for the welfare of their nation, are turning to God together. Every family can join the prayer via the radio, with those praying also putting lighted candles in their windows, indicating that they joined the nationwide prayer.
The Radio Maria presents this prayer time every day, broadcasting from different locations, including Bodolló, Celldömölk, Doroszló, Máriapócs, Mátraverebély-Szentkút and Csíksomlyó. The Holy Bible says that if a person or a community is in big trouble, they need to cry out to the Lord with their full strength The people cried out to God when distressed by the enemy, when the community was languishing in captivity in Babylon, and the blind Bartimaeus cried out to Christ (cf. 3.9 Judges, 1 Kings 8.48 to 51; Mk 10.47). God heard these cries coming from the deep.
Our nation and the entire Western culture in many ways are going through an internal crisis. Many people are overtaken by despair and hopelessness. Many people do not have any ideals for which they could honestly be enthusiastic. Many people are haunted by internal emptiness, a feeling of being in the desert (cf. XVI. Pope Benedict: Ubicumque semper).
During the toughest years of Communist dictatorship the Paulist monks of Czestochowa launched an evening prayer, which was called ” Apel’ The prayer was said, quite specifically for Cardinal Wyszyński but also for the whole nation. The prayer session consisted of a hymn expressing faith and togetherness, of reading form the Holy Scriptures with a commentary on the reading, one decade of the rosary and a final blessing. The prayer was becoming widespread. After the regime change the televised broadcast of the Apel began. Many families at home in the evening are joining the Apelprayer of Czestochowa via TV, with the whole family calling out to God.
The Hungarian people too have an elementary need to cry out to God, so Radio Maria will launch these prayer broadcasts at eight p.m. every night from Hungarian pilgrimage shrines of Our Lady on Feb. 22 Ash Wednesday. As a sign of taking part in this prayer in common, we ask the participants to put a candle in the window, thus confirming that Christ, the Light of the World, is present in their home.
8. On the Brigittine Path (1-6-2012)
The Servitores is currently engaged in preserving and transmitting to future generations the Latin traditional Brigittine liturgy.
We began exploring the Brigittine path in 2002 and since then we have been touch with the Lady Abbess of Syon and received valuable help and guidance, including the very precious gift of the traditional Latin Brigittine Breviary. After the promulgation of Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” it was considered feasible both by Lady Abbess and myself to work towards associating the Servitores with the Brigittine family, which has communities established in several countries and using for liturgical prayers the language appropriate for their country,. Since then, adherence to Latin traditional liturgy became respectable and legitimate.
Embracing the spirituality of old standing religious orders which updated themselves after Vatican II without the updating is not an unknown phenomenon. There are Benedictine, Carmelite, Franciscan and Redemptorists communities who are using the Latin traditional liturgy and continuing the traditional way of religious life.
In 2011 the Syon Abbey of the Brigittines in England closed its doors, essentially because of lack of new vocations. This abbey, established in 1415, survived the penal times of England during which it was in exile, two world wars and the post war social upheavals, but in a fashion similar to many other religious communities, has not done well in terms of attracting vocations in the wake of the changes imposed on their liturgy and way of life. However, the contact between the retired Lady Abbess and Servitores is continuing.
The essence of Brigittine spirituality is a focus on the Eucharist, the Passion of Our Lord in a Marian setting by means of liturgical prayers, drawing on the revelations of Saint Birgitta. In its original form, there was strong reliance on priestly support from priests also embracing the Brigittine spirituality. In the wake of the Reformation, the male branches dwindled away, whilst women’s communities weathered the storms a bit better. However, they did not continue using the Brigittine Office. Some of them switched to the use of the Roman Divine Office after the Council of Trent and all of them switched to the vernacular and modified the Office in the 70s when the Liturgy of the Hours was promulgated. The Brigittines of Syon Abbey started using the Roman Divine Office during their exile from England. The community returned to England in 1861. In 1906 with the approval of the Bishop of Plymouth, Syon Abbey returned to the use of the Brigittine Office and continued using it until the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms.
Given the central place of liturgical prayer in the Brigittine way of life, the starting point for embracing the Brigittine spirituality is praying in the Brigittine way, alongside with studying the Brigittine traditions in depth. The work has been going on in earnest for some time now.
In 2010 the Servitores started adding the Brigittine propers to the Hours of the 1962 Latin traditional breviary, used by priestly societies and communities adhering to the traditional Latin liturgy of the Church. This is a stepwise process, in order to prevent any dislocation due to sudden changes in liturgical prayers. The aim is to add the Brigittine propers to all Hours except ad Matutinum, where only the readings, consisting of the visions of Saint Brigitte are taken. At present, the Brigittine propers are added to 3 of the Horus on most days. On Our Lady’s Feastdays the propers are added to all Hours, except ad Matutinum.
At first sight, one may even wonder if this addition is advisable, given the already long periods spent in liturgical prayers with the full reception of the Divine Office. However, even with these additions, we spend less time in liturgical prayer than in the original form of Brigittine life established by Saint Birgitta. Originally, where there were male Brigittines as well, the Sisters were present during the recitation of the regular Divine Office by the Brigittine Fathers and Brothers. Immediately afterwards, the Sisters proceeded with the recitation of the Brigittine Office.
The Brigittine Office is essentially a version of the Little Office of Our Lady, expanded to the length of the regular Divine Office, with the unique Brigittine feature of the readings ad Matutinum. Adding the Brigittine propers to the regular Divine Office, it fleshes it out, putting it under Our Lady’s mantle so to speak, with its Marian orientation.
The Roman Divine Office was originally part of Brigittine form of liturgical prayer. Its retention also makes sense from the practical point of view. . A central activity of the Servitores is to help others to learn how to say the Divine Office. Since priestly societies adhering to the traditional Latin liturgy of the Church are using the Roman Divine Office, this is the form in which the faithful need to be familiar, in order to be able to take part in the Divine Office in their parishes and missions.
There it is, in a nutshell. If it is God’s will for us to succeed, it will help to preserve a precious treasure of Catholic religious life. Hereby I am also extending an invitation to those who feel called to religious life to explore this path, best suited for pioneering spirits ready to roll up their sleeves for AMDG.
Please remember us in your prayers, beseeching almighty God that we may be given the graces to persevere, the financial means to continue and vocations to ensure the future of the Servitores. Thank you and God bless you all!
In Christo.
7. Standing firm (10-22-2011)
On August 31 2011, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Álvaro Corrada del Rio, SJ, Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler TX, issued the decree of erection of the Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute as a public association of the Catholic faithful. This was done after a careful scrutiny of our Constitution and Rules which lays down the guiding principles for religious life with the traditional Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church at its center and its promotion as its primary external mission. Such wonderful things have happened to several other groups following the Latin traditional liturgy after the 2007 Motu Proprio of the Holy Father.
There have been very few times when the Catholic Church has not been beset by problems, often escalating to crisis level. Eventual, the crisis was resolved, often with the aid of groups which simply continued to profess and practice the faith, even in the face of opposition which came from powerful prelates within the Church. The attempts to suppress the Tridentine Mass after the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass had created such a crisis-like situation.
In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” clearly stated that the Tridentine Mass had never been suppressed and remains a valued form of the Holy Mass. This made attachment to the traditional Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church acceptable and a respectable Catholic stance… In the wake of this the Motu Proprio the several groups of religious attempted to come out from the cold, so to speak, by seeking full approbation, without being forced into unacceptable compromises in the name of fidelity to the Pope.
These efforts did not always succeed. Some groups simply were refused approval and so they remained in an irregular canonical status. Others were approved initially, but then slowly pushed into the compromise of abandoning exclusive adherence to the Tridentine Mass. In general, the stance of the bishop, based on understanding of the issues, was the key to success.
God in His infinite mercy has blessed the Servitores with a bishop who had a deep appreciation about the value of the traditional Latin liturgy for his diocese. His Excellency also had a strong determination to promote religious life within the diocese, supporting already established or emerging groups with viable apostolates, Servitores included. From time to time, The religious of the diocese are also getting together, to be aware of the different missions of other groups and to learn from the approaches of others. Many of us have a chance of meeting our bishop face to face on a regular basis, both to keep him up to date on our affairs, to receive valuable guidance and if needed, practical help.
So what else can I say beside Te Deum and Magnificat?
If you check the Prayers page, a new prayer, A prayer for our bishop, has been added.
In Christo.
6. Celebrating an Anniversary (1-14-2011)
The First Sunday of Advent is a major milestone in my life. It marks the 25th anniversary of my full recitation of the Traditional Latin 1962 Divine Office. I want to celebrate this by talking about the Divine Office, presenting some of its features whilst also sharing how its love shaped my personal Odyssey
On the Divine Office
The Divine Office is one part of the Holy Liturgy, the public prayer offered up by the Church on behalf of and for the needs of all the faithful
Its basic skeleton is the psalms. The use of psalms in liturgical prayer goes back for more than 3000 years. We know that King David (ca 1000 BC) composed a few psalms; the Holy Bible tells us that he sung some at the time of the transfer of the Ark.
The Divine Office not only comprises psalms, but many other elements such as hymns, verses, prayers and even lessons and short chapters for our edification. If one looks at the Hour of the Divine Office as a piece of a beautiful jewelry, say a necklace or a ring, the psalms are the gold framework, the other elements the precious jewels. It is a song, embodying many varieties of poetry. It is a loving protestation our love of God, recounting His goodness. It is a prayer in the time of need for ourselves and others. It is an epic poetry, recounting not only what God has done for us, but also the virtues and deeds of Our Lady and the Saints; and as most epics, it urges us to follow examples of noble deeds and noble sentiments. It is also a soldiers’ marching song, impelling us to greater efforts assuring us of the possibility of victory on the spiritual battlefront.
In the early Church, the Christian faithful gathered in the evening before Sundays and spent the night reciting prayers and hymns until the Holy Mass early morning. The Hours of ad Vesperas, ad Matutinum and ad Laudes were born this way. Later on with the development of monasticism it was felt that there should be more prayers during the day, and so the Hours of ad Tertiam, ad Sextam and ad Nonam were added. The morning prayer of ad Primam before the start of daily work and the night-time prayer of ad Completorium were the last two additions.
Since it is the public prayer of the Church, all priests and many religious are bound to the recitation of the Divine Office under pain of sin. By saying the Divine Office not only ensures that they work for the salvation of others, but doing so also sanctifies them to a greater degree than any other type of prayer.
All priests are bound to the full recitation at the Divine Office. Secular clergy may recite the Hours on their own, in private, but joining with others in common recitation also fulfills their obligation. For religious congregations, the number of Hours and the manner (i.e. whether in private or in common, and if in common, which Hours are to be chanted and which recited) is determined by their Constitution. In general, contemplative orders say the whole Office, active orders say only some of the Hours. Naturally, religious are permitted to go beyond the minimum obligation. In addition to priest and religious, devout faithful are also free to make the Divine Office part of their prayer life. In some Traditional parishes, the faithful join in some of the Hours; others recite the Divine Office on their own. This is a time hallowed custom, witness the many beautifully illustrated breviaries, often preserved in museums, which were made for specific people..
The Servitores are bound to the full recitation of the Divine Office. We take four vows, adding the obligation of full recitation of the Divine Office as the fourth vow besides the standard vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. A Servitor regards the Holy Liturgy as the fulcrum of our life, fitting in other duties and activities between the Holy Mass and the Hours of the Divine Office. Indeed, one may even say that the Servitores came into being because of the love of the Divine Office, the official praise of the Church, the Bride of Christ, to our Creator.
How the Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute was born.
It began in the mid-70s, when I came upon a volume of the Hours of the Divine Office in Latin and English, published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1964. It opened a new window for me, so I quickly purchased the other two volumes. I read the introductory explanation about the nature of the Divine Office avidly; this was something new for me. I was also beginning to say some of the prayers from it, in a rather random fashion. My love for the Divine Office grew progressively and I was already praying a few of the Hours on a daily basis by the time of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. There, meeting with other people who were so attracted to the Divine Office that it was already a part of their regular prayer life, I experienced two things. First, I felt some disappointment when I realised that the Latin version of the Psalter in my book was not the one used by those reciting the traditional Divine Office, but a newer version of the psalms, approved by Pope Pius XII for private recitation. This was easy to remedy, I was able to obtain a volume of the Divine Office with the Vulgate version totally in Latin. I also discovered the joy resulting from recitation of the Hours in common. I came back from Lourdes, praying the Divine Office with such regularity that I could commit to its full recitation was not a rash assumption of an unmanageable burden.
God often pays back for our puny little efforts of reaching out towards Him with graces of desire to do more. By the time the Sacred Triduum of 1986 rolled around, I was able to follow the prayers with some understanding and even to take part in it with others. The beautiful lamentations of Jeremiah truly moved me. I offered up my profusely flowing tears to Our Lord, shed for His sufferings and for sufferings depicted so similar to the sufferings of people in Hungary, my native land where, compared to the largish flow of happier times, the songs of praise became just a trickle. Walking in the sunshine afterwards, I just knew with a certainty what I was called to do – to fill the gap with my voice.
At that time, Hungary, my native land, was still under Soviet occupation. In the 50s almost all religious orders were outlawed, their members forbidden to associate with each other. A few Franciscans and Benedictines were allowed to continue as teaching orders, but contemplative orders were absolutely illegal. This law was in force until the 90s. One could assume that once a vowed religious, their habit of prayers will survive, no matter what; however, it was not really possible to pray the Divine Office without any books or opportune occasions in camp or in prison, where many priests and religious were sent..
After that, I was led stepwise, not acting rashly, always acting in obedience to those who were directing my spiritual life. In the end, the Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute saw the day.
I started to beseech my confessor to permit me to be bound to the full recitation of the Divine Office under pain of sin. Father hesitated in the name of prudence, and then inexplicably, I obtained the sought after permission on August 14, which in Hungary is also the Feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe.
Next came the desire to present the flowers of praise in a nicely prepared bouquet, i.e., the need for a rule of life. With this in place, the time for the next step was ready – to set up the framework for a religious association to which other likeminded faithful could join. Hence the Servitores Reginae Apostolorum Institute was born. Our love of God overflows into charity towards others, reaching out to them so that we can pray for them and with them, to strengthen their faith, and understanding of it and also help them to make the Divine Office part of their prayer life. Where and how this is done will be the subject of the next article.
5. The Servitores abroad – a visit to England (10-1- 2010)
A case can be made out for a monthly editorial letter not only about the current preoccupations of the Servitores, but also about those things which are permanent in our lives.
As it is often the case, it is hard to start when one has so much to say. However, the recent visit of the Holy Father to Great Britain gave me a good starting point. With England so much in the news, It may be more interesting for our readers to hear more about my trip to England this summer. This trip had three highlights:
1. Traditional Solemn High Mass Saint James church of the Spanish Place in London
2. Daily visits to the Brompton Oratory for the Tridentine Mass and talking with Oratorian Fathers
3. Conference with the Lady Abbess at the Brigittine Abbey of Syon
1. Traditional Solemn High Mass Saint James Church of the Spanish Place in London
The first Solemn High Mass of Rev. Father S. Harkins FSSP in England was celebrated in Saint James Church of Spanish Place in London. This church, originally a Spanish embassy chapel, was a place of refuge to Catholics during the Penal Times. This was my first visit there. You can learn more about its history form this website:
Rev. Father S. Harkins had already celebrated a Solemn High Mass in Scotland, where the Primate of Scotland was in attendance, Through his generosity and the energetic organising ability of the English Region of the FSSP, those living south of Hadrian’s wall were also privileged to be present a this momentous occasion and also to receive Father’s first priestly blessing.
2. Daily visits to the Brompton Oratory for the Tridentine Mass and talking with Oratorian Fathers
The Brompton Oratory is the church of the London Oratorian Fathers. Blessed Cardinal Newman was also an Oratorian, but he established his base in Birmingham. The London Oratorian
community was established by Rev. Father W. Faber, one of the sanest Catholic priestly writers and also the composer of many beautiful hymns. The Fathers of the Brompton Oratory survived when so many religious commutes dwindled away and are doing magnificent work. The following article describes things as they stand for the Brompton Oratory (except that there is now a Tridentine Mass offered daily),and is worthwhile to read:
3. Conference with the Lady Abbess at the Brigittine Abbey of Syon
Compared to these two magnificent churches, the chapel of Syon Abbey of the Brigittine Order is very simple and yet infinitely precious because it too, breathes English Catholic history; for within it is a stone from the gatehouse of the original Syon Abbey, destroyed during the Reformation. When forced to flee, the Sisters carried this stone with themselves to exile and from country to country during their enforced wanderings. When they went back to England the stone came with them.
There is a good article with many pictures at Both at Saint James Church at the Brompton Oratory, I had the privilege of talking with FSSP Fathers and the Oratorian Fathers. In essence, these were courtesy visits; however, with the Lady Abbess of Syon Abbey it had a definite purpose, namely, furthering the existing ties between Syon Abbey and the Servitores.
It has been realised as early as 2003 that there are many elements in the Servitores which are close to the Brigittine spirituality. I was accepted as a Sister of the Chapter of Syon Abbey in 2004 and since then we have been united in prayer. In general, in the wake of Vatican II Council the existing Brigittine communities updated their constitutions and Offices and are using the vernacular. The 2007 Motu Proprio of the Holy Father legitimised the use of Latin traditional liturgy by any community wishing to do so, so closer association between traditional and updated communities is not unusual, any more.
With the generous s help and guidance of the Lady Abbess and the assistance of Fathers guiding the Servitores, we are learning more and more about the Brigittine way of life. The process of adding step by step the Propers (i.e. parts other than the psalms) of the Brigittine Office to the end of the Hours of the regular 1952 Latin Divine Office has begun. Given the Marian orientation of the Brigittine Divine Office, it is fitting that the first Hours adapted were those of the Offices on the Feast-days of Our Lady.
In my next letter, I shall write about something very permanent in our lives, namely the central significance of the Traditional Latin Divine Office in the lives of the Servitores. The Divine Office is one of the two significant components of the Traditional Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church: The other component is the Traditional Latin Mass.
4. Preparing for Pentecost (5-8-2010)
It is a nice traditional custom to follow in the wake of the Blessed Mother and the Holy Apostles and spend the time between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost in prayer. I am therefore placing the Novena to the Holy Ghost on the “Prayers (Section of Devotions)” page.
The novena to the Holy Ghost is a novena for the 9 days, from Friday after Ascension Thursday, to the Vigil of Pentecost, inclusive. The meditations and prayers differ for each day, focusing on a particular gift of the Holy Ghost. However, the intentions should be the same for each day of this novena. In the copy provided, the prayer intentions and the intended recipients are in red letters. Feel free to substitute your recipient (which of course, can be you) and intentions!
Another prayerful custom to keep is to recite the Litany of all Saints on ever one of the Rogation Days (Monday-Wednesday inclusive, before Ascension Thursday.) by. In their fullest form, these litanies are sung during a procession. Naturally you can also say them in private.
3. Let us join them in prayer! (4-26-2010)
Prayer campaign – Mondjatok áldást! (Say a blessing!) – from May 1 to June 9, inclusive.
Source of information: Magyar Kurír
In these days, when they are attacking and humiliating Pope Benedict XVI with untrue accusations from many sides, two Hungarian national Marian shrines are asking the Catholic faithful to join them with prayers and/or for sacrifices for 40 days.
The Rector of Máriapócs, Rev. Father István Kapics and the Rector of Mátraverebély–Szentkút, Rev. Father Peregrin Kálmán OFM are asking all men of goodwill and religious communities to join them by performing some form of sacrifice daily for 40 days. These sacrifices can be prayers, fasting or corporal works of mercy. The starting date is May 1.
This is how these 2 Fathers put it:
Let us jointly offer up these sacrifices for the Holy Father and for those attacking him, as Saint Peter urged us: ‘”Not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this are you called, that you may inherit a blessing.” Saint Peter I, 3:9.
The prayer campaign and the name of participants will be forwarded to Rome by the Rectors of the two shrines. Let us show the flag from this side of the Atlantic as well!
The Servitores will say Psalm 6, one of the penitential psalms, daily during these 40 days.
How to join?
You can send your name and the nature of the sacrifice through the Servitores via e-mail write to the shrines directly:
Nemzeti Kegyhely
4326 Máriapócs, Kossuth tér 25.
Nemzeti Kegyhely
3077 Mátraverebély–Szentkút 14.
2.Thoughts on New Year’s Eve (12-31-2009)
One nice Catholic custom is to say a Te Deum for God’s gifts in 2009 just before retiring (or before midnight if we are still up) and a Veni Creator Spiritus on rising tomorrow, for the help of God in 2010.
Let us be profuse in our thanks, for the spiritual and temporal gifts and for the crosses, whether these are sufferings because of misfortunes affecting us, or the pain of witnessing the misfortunes of those who are near and dear to us.
Let us be bold in our request, without however, forgetting that the most precious gifts – both for ourselves and others – are spiritual, leading to our sanctification, However, whilst on this earthly pilgrimage, we have temporal needs as well and in the spirit of openness, let us not be diffident in laying our hopes, needs and wants at the foot of God’s heavenly throne.
To make things easier, I am putting the copies of these prayers ( taken from the Breviary section of On the “Prayers” page
Wishing you a blessed New Year and asking for your prayers –
In Christo: Sister Margarita
1. Thoughts on the Feast of Saint Stephen Protomartyr  (12-26-2009)
After months of prayerful deliberations, the website of the Servitores is born as the first fruit of very grace-filled Christmas.
This is also a fitting day for something noteworthy; for this is the anniversary of Cardinal Mindszenty’s arrest by the Communists in 1948. Sometimes dates are significant; for not only is this the Feast of Saint Stephen, the Protomartyr of the Church, but is also the namesake of Saint Stephen, King of Hungary.
Cardinal Mindszenty did not bend in the face of opposition and weakened as he was by his past sufferings, neither did he stop working for the welfare of souls and the glory of the Church.
Wishing to follow in his footsteps of ceaseless labour, I am humbly presenting to all readers my puny little offerings. Please help us with your prayers that we persevere and with your suggestions that this WEB-site would be an aid to all, but especially to those who deeply love the Tridentine Mass and the rational Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church.

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