A new “personal” extraordinary use parish in Omaha

I want to share an e-mail I received. 

Edite and with my emphases and comments.

Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

I wanted to share my family’s good news today!

We were happy to hear at this morning’s Mass at Omaha’s St. Patrick church (a shared indult parish), [I take it that means both uses were in use there.] that the Archbishop of Omaha (His Excellency Elden Curtis) has decided to make Immaculate Conception Church the first Traditional Latin Mass Parish in Omaha as of August 20, 2007. It is designated as a Personal Parish and entrusted to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, with Fr. John Brancich as Pastor, and Fr. Chad Ripperger as Parochial Vicar. [I am pleased that this is occuring.  However, I would have been far more pleased had it been staffed by diocesan priests.] We will enjoy full use of the Traditional form of the sacraments. Our move will begin on August 20, and the first Mass will take place on August 26th. The Church even comes with its own bowling alley under the gym!  [Interesting!  I know three old German parishes in St. Paul, MN which had bowling alleys!]

The archbishop is providing a transition period for the approx. eighty parishioners who attended the Novus Ordo Mass, by allowing one Saturday evening Mass in english until December 31st of this year. They will also be able to request a Novus Ordo funeral Mass in the future, in which case a priest will be brought in to offer the Mass. [Too bad it isn't staffed by diocesan priests who could use both Missals.] Ten or more of the olderparishioners have stated that they will stay at Immaculate Conception even with the Traditional Mass being offered. They stated "That’s what they grew up with, we can get used to it again". Thatis great news for us. We are growing even before it’s official!

Our Pastor mentioned this as an historic day for us. He said we may be, in fact, the first parish where the full implementation of the Motu Proprio will take place in its full implementation. Incredible!  [I think the provisions of the Motu Proprio were implemented long before there was a Motu Proprio at Mater Ecclesiae in the Diocese of Camden.  It is a fully functional "Tridentine" Parish, but staffed by diocesan priests. But I am delighted that this is happening in Omaha!]

Immaculate Conception Church is in the National Registry of Historic places, and our pastor mentioned that this is perhaps the most beautiful parish that the Fraternity of St. Peter has use of in all of North America. It is simply stunning!

We have been waiting for this day for almost 20 years! Deo Gratias!

This is a very good piece of news.  I am delighted for the people there in Omaha. 

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31 Responses to A new “personal” extraordinary use parish in Omaha

  1. BWest says:

    Very cool.

    Maybe that idea will catch on here in Iowa, I pray it does. Whatever water they drink over there, send some this way please.

  2. torear says:

    We’ve had the traditional Mass under the indult since 1988 at St. Patrick’s and it’s been under the tutelage of the Fraternity for many years. Fr. Gabet was our chaplain prior to moving up the order’s hierarchy. I started attending about 5 years ago and we’ve had access to daily Masses the entire time I’ve been assisting (the major liturgies such as the Easter Vigil and Midnight Christmas Mass would end up getting alternated between the two missals year by year).

    Moving us into our own parish is been something both the FSSP and the Archdiocese has been working on for some time. Originally we were going to move into another nearby church, which unfortunately was going to take a lot of time and a LOT of money to get back into usable shape. However, here we must tip our cap to the diocesan pastor of St. Patrick’s, Fr. James Buckley. He was given both St. Patrick’s and ICC after our former pastor was arrested for embezzlement. Both churches are in the same parish territory. He was the one that went to the Archbishop and said he didn’t think the mainline community could support both churches and put on the table giving us Immaculate Conception.

    Our apostolate has been growing quite a bit over the past year or so, and I can’t wait to see what we can down now with a real home for ourselves.

  3. RBrown says:

    Also: Fr John Brancich has already been working in the archdiocese of Omaha for a few years.

    BTW, Abp Curtis of Omaha is another who is past retirement age.

  4. Mark says:

    This is indeed fantastic news, Father. Do you forsee more appointments like this where FSSP Priests are entrusted with these Parishes? I know you said you would have preferred diocesan clergy, but I am thinking about the future of the FSSP, and trying to work out what is happening there.

  5. Nick says:

    Wow, that guy is lucky…but I got some good news myself…there was a local parish I visited today, it had a BEAUTIFUL high altar and all the artwork was still intact. I talked to the deacon right afterwards and he said when the MP kicks in there are plans to have a TLM regularly!

  6. Mike says:

    Why would have been far more pleased?

    BTW, St Casimir’s in Newark’s Ironbound section had a bowling alley in the basement when I visited about 10 – 15 years ago. I don’t know if it’s still there after the fire some years ago.

  7. Brian says:

    I am confused as to why you prefer Diocesan priests?

    My parish is staffed by FSSP priests, and I am so ever thankful for them! They are the best, personally I rejoice at the fact that they are growing, in my humble opinion, the more that the charism of the FSSP and the ICKSP is spread across the country the better off the Church in America will be.

  8. Craigmaddie says:

    I. Am. So. Envious!

  9. To the best of my knowledge, and please correct me if i am wrong, Mater Ecclesiae of the Diocese of Camden was the first full Tridentine Parish in the country, established by Biship DiMarzio, now in Brooklyn, when he was bishop of Camden in 2000.

    William A. Torchia, Esquire
    Philadelphia

  10. Maureen says:

    Re: why happier with diocesan priests?
    Any religious order is “outside” the diocesan structure. While this does provide parishioners with the extraordinary form, and soonest, it means that diocesan priests will be tempted to think that extraordinary form is only for outside priests from orders, not part of an ordinary priest’s ordinary toolbox and daily routine.

    So it’s a good beginning, but the parish and its priests will have to work to be a seedbed and not an end in itself.

  11. S.M.N. says:

    Mr. Torchia: Mater Ecclesiae is a mission church, not a parish. I’m not sure but would guess that St. Michael Parish in Scranton was the first fully Tridentine Parish (to use your term) in the USA.

  12. JH says:

    That is great news. However evne though I want the FSSP to grow I wish to that Diocesean priest could have staffed it and done both forms of the rite.

    I have mixed feelings about Parishes that Extraordianry form of the rite only even though I do not oppose them. Still I do feel sad for the people leaving that is tough.

    Still a good day

  13. RichR says:

    Fr. Ripperger is a very high profile FSSP priest. I wonder if this is the Fraternity’s way of giving maximum support to such a generous opportunity.

  14. Kevin says:

    re: Bowling alleys in St. Paul MN churches.

    St. Francis de Sales school located in the basement. 7th Street and Randolph
    Avenue neighborhood. apparently still going strong. I saw a recent
    advertisement for the alley in the Catholic Spirit newspaper.

  15. Bernard of Arezzo says:

    For what it is worth, St. Francis de Sales in Atlanta is a FSSP parish, established in 1999.

  16. torear says:

    I agree that it’s going to be important to involve diocesan priests and avoid an artificial division of “the extraordinary rite is for those religious orders and the Holy Father doesn’t intend for us secular priests.” The Fraternity does have the long history in Omaha, however, so this was a fairly easy decision.

    I did hear from Fr. Brancich that supposedly the Archdiocese is discussing putting together instruction on the traditional Mass for the priests of the diocese. It’s been discussed by other priests in Omaha before to offer the traditional Mass (and it’s been done to fill in at St. Patrick’s by either our previous pastor or one of the older Jesuits from Creighton University). Hopefully this will only encourage other priests of the diocese to offer the traditional Mass on at least certain occasions.

  17. dcs says:

    JH writes:
    However evne though I want the FSSP to grow I wish to that Diocesean priest could have staffed it and done both forms of the rite.

    I certainly have nothing against diocesan priests celebrating the TLM or being pastors of personal extraordinary-use parishes (how could I? I assist at one). However, if the traditional community in Omaha has already been served by an FSSP priest, why remove him? Isn’t it best for the community to continue with their current chaplain/pastor? (I very much dislike the American custom of reassigning pastors every 5-10 years.)

    I have mixed feelings about Parishes that Extraordianry form of the rite only even though I do not oppose them.

    Can one have mixed feelings about parishes that celebrate only the ordinary use, too? ;-) That would only be, oh, 99.9% of them.

  18. S.M.N. says:

    DCS: (I very much dislike the American custom of reassigning pastors every 5-10 years.)

    I dislike this custom, too, but the FSSP, from what I have seen, reassigns its priests even more often than that.

  19. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I’m heading to Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ next Wednesday evening, for my first ever Mass of John XXIII. I’m delightfully eager.

  20. dcs says:

    Jeff Pinyan writes:
    I’m heading to Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ next Wednesday evening, for my first ever Mass of John XXIII. I’m delightfully eager.

    Do you mean this coming Weds. (8/15) or the following (8/22)? There won’t be Mass at Mater Ecclesiae on the evening of the 15th — Fr. Pasley will be celebrating Mass at Camden’s Immaculate Conception Cathedral instead. It’s an annual event.

  21. kat says:

    I have heard homilies and retreat talks by 8 FSSP priests in the past 4 years and have been impressed by their clear teaching on moral issues, focus on preserving and transmitting the beauty of the Catholic faith, and attention to every detail of the liturgy.

    Much fruit will likely come to bear from this new parish.

    May God be given the glory and the Pope be given praise. And may be, the faithful become holier through the work of such good priests.

  22. jh says:

    DCS

    LEt be clear. I am glad on one hand too see this. But also I do have concerns that the extraordinary form of the rite might be just put into certain parishes. Therefore it might not be able to influence the ordinary form of the rite in which I in all likelihood will attend

    As to
    “Can one have mixed feelings about parishes that celebrate only the ordinary use, too? ;-) That would only be, oh, 99.9% of them”.

    Sure one can. I am hoping that is not a development we see in the future. However look at the letter. It appears that 70 of the 80 people will now be moving on from a Psrish that perhaps they loved because there will be ordinary form of the latin rite offered. For all you or I know these same people fought and encouraged in the past for a place that the extraordianry can be used. I have no idea of the situation there. However, it is sad that for those that the ordianry form of the latin rite shall be their mass. That some of these folks will not have their children married in their Church or their children baptized. IT appears they can ask permission to have their funeral there.

    Again I am glad to see this done. But the letter raises some alarm bells to me. PErhaps in this situation some had to lose out. That is all I am saying.

  23. dcs says:

    jh writes:
    But also I do have concerns that the extraordinary form of the rite might be just put into certain parishes.

    Since the Pope suggested creating personal parishes in the M.P., I can’t really see anything wrong with it.

    It seems to me that the intention is for both personal parishes and the celebration of the extraordinary use in territorial parishes.

    Not every priest who wants to celebrate the TLM will be assigned to a personal parish.

    I attend a personal parish and I know of at least two other parishes in the diocese that will be offering the extraordinary use.

  24. torear says:

    Well, let me throw in a bit more background for the situation in Omaha. Immaculate Conception was originally set up as a personal parish for Polish Catholics in South Omaha. As happens in a lot of cities, demographics change and that’s done a lot to whittle down the congregation at ICC over the years. St. Patrick’s and ICC are in the same parish and are maybe 5 minutes from each other. Also, Fr. Buckley’s concern as pastor of both was primarily financial: he didn’t believe the NO congregations of both churches could raise the funds to keep both running. He didn’t want to see ICC close due to a lack of funding.

    I know that Fr. Brancich is working tirelessly to be welcoming and accommodating for those that have made ICC home for so long. If there are concerns over those who are historically attached to ICC wishing for a wedding Mass or something of that sort in the ordinary form, while obviously we hope to serve them directly, I can’t imagine that being a problem (or it being a common concern). Personally, I see it as a great opportunity for evangelization. We come to the traditional Mass not simply for aesthetic reasons, but because we believe it is a truly authentic and rich expression of the Catholic faith. It shouldn’t just be for us and here’s the first stop in bringing this to the larger Catholic population in our archdiocese.

  25. Rose says:

    I’m also in Omaha. Our cathedral here, St. Cecilia’s, has a Schola which offers a variety of classes. I just received their fall brochure and two classes caught my eye.

    The first is entitled “Introduction to Summorum Pontificum”. It’s being administered by the chancellor of the archdiocese. The description of the class is “A general introduction to Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio on the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. What does it say? What is the place of Latin in the contemporary liturgy?”

    The second class is entitled “Ars Celebrandi: The 1962 Roman Missal or the Latin Mass”. It’s being offered by the pastor of the cathedral. Here is the description: “What is the Latin Mass? How is it distinctive from the Mass in English? How does Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision affect the everyday Catholic parish? What is necessary before a Catholic person or a parish community may experience the Latin Mass properly? This course will explore and consider the historical and practical character of the Latin Mass. The 1962 Roman Missal provides access into a distinctive expression of Church and spirituality. The liturgical calendar, the scripture cycle, the rubrics, the role of music and singing and the meaning of active participation will be highlighted. The celebration of the Latin Mass will be the final class session.”

  26. Jeff Pinyan says:

    dcs — 13 August 2007 @ 2:01 pm Do you mean this coming Weds. (8/15) or the following (8/22)?

    8/22. I’m attending my own parish this Wednesday for Mass. But I will certainly be there next week.

  27. Keith Ricks says:

    The Diocese of Richmond under retired Bishop Walter Sullivan was the first diocese that I’m aware of that allowed full Tridentine parishes in the U.S. St Joseph’s in Richmond was established in 1990, I believe, and a parish in Chesapeake was turned over to the diocese by a schismatic group, I believe it was the St. Pius X group, around the same time. Auxilary Bishop David Foley negotiated the group turning over the property to the diocese. I know Sullivan has always been seen by many as a liberal, but he was very collaborative and allowed the Tridentine mass to be permitted in Richmond when other dioceses lead by ordianries considered conservative, wouldn’t permit it all. Both parishes were staffed by Benedictine Fathers from neighboring parishes.

    Here in the Archdiocese of Washington we have a few parishes that offer the Tridentine mass, most notably, St. Mary, Mother of God in Chinatown, but no parishes that offer it to the exclcusuon of liturgy celebrated in the venacular.

  28. Keith Ricks says:

    The Diocese of Richmond under retired Bishop Walter Sullivan was the first diocese that I’m aware of that allowed full Tridentine parishes in the U.S. St Joseph’s in Richmond was established in 1990, I believe, and a parish in Chesapeake was turned over to the diocese by a schismatic group, I believe it was the St. Pius X group, around the same time. Auxilary Bishop David Foley negotiated the group turning over the property to the diocese. I know Sullivan has always been seen by many as a liberal, but he was very collaborative and allowed the Tridentine mass to be permitted in Richmond when other dioceses lead by ordianries considered conservative, wouldn’t permit it all. Both parishes were staffed by Benedictine Fathers from neighboring parishes.

    Here in the Archdiocese of Washington we have a few parishes that offer the Tridentine mass, most notably, St. Mary, Mother of God in Chinatown, but no parishes that offer it to the exclcusuon of liturgy celebrated in the venacular.

  29. JWDT says:

    Deo Gratias!
    Finally, I can attend the Indult in Omaha after visiting the zoo without being subjected to the following:
    1) Having my thanksgiving interrupted by the Men of the parish rushing to push out the ‘table altar’ as Father literally leaves the altar with the servers.
    2) Being subjected to the diocesan pastor of the parish give the sermon/homily to try and drive home that the parish wasn’t giving enough to the Archbishops Annual Appeal. The threat was if they didn’t step up to the plate they would fall out of favor with him & the Archbishop. This happened two out of the three times we attended here…needless to say we don’t stay the night anymore instead we have opted to drive home and attend where we aren’t subjected to such nonsense.

  30. Stephen Wilhelm says:

    1) St. Anne’s, Garwood, New Jersey, also had a bowling alley downstairs. Because of the large number of Mass goers, there were Masses both upstairs and downstairs throughout the 195os and 1960s. The lanes were covered and folding chairs were put up / down. What a difference after John XXIII! Both the Latin Mass and the two bowling lanes were removed at St. Anne’s. Now, fewer Garwood Catholics even go to Mass! Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI!!!
    2) I stuidied Latin both in high school and college. Knowing Latin makes the Tridentine Mass richer.
    3) Oh, yes, the Newark Archbishop closed down both St. Anne’s and Holy Trinity HS (Westfield, NJ) – my two alma maters – for the sake of political correctness. Thank God, literally, that archbishop is gone, after having helped destroy the local Church!

  31. Dr. Stephen Wilhelm says:

    1) St. Anne’s, Garwood, New Jersey, also had a bowling alley downstairs. Because of the large number of Mass goers, there were Masses both upstairs and downstairs throughout the 195os and 1960s. The lanes were covered and folding chairs were put up / down. What a difference after John XXIII! Both the Latin Mass and the two bowling lanes were removed at St. Anne’s. Now, fewer Garwood Catholics even go to Mass! Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI!!!
    2) I stuidied Latin both in high school and college. Knowing Latin makes the Tridentine Mass richer.
    3) Oh, yes, the Newark Archbishop closed down both St. Anne’s and Holy Trinity HS (Westfield, NJ) – my two alma maters – for the sake of political correctness. Thank God, literally, that archbishop is gone, after having helped destroy the local Church!