From Sunday through Wednesday, the local and universal Church can celebrate the Ordinations in the traditional rite of four new American priests for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, at the hands of Cardinal Burke. This joyous occasion occurs seven years after the landmark ordinations of 2007 at the Cathedral, which was then the See of Cardinal Burke. Thanks to Archbishop Carlson, His Eminence will return to St. Louis-- this time at the Oratory-- and add four new men to the ranks of the steadily growing number of priests to offer the traditional Mass.
The main reasons I began this blog in 2007 were to support the timeless Mass and to support Archbishop Burke. Right after I began came the announcement that for the first time in nearly forty years, the traditional rite of ordination would be used in the Cathedral of a U.S. Metropolitan Archbishop by the Archbishop himself. The rumored Motu Proprio was around the corner. Heady days. I wrote my take on the situation as I saw it then, which you can read and see how well it holds up here.
Needless to say, the air of hopeful inevitability has cooled, and the Church finds herself in a swirl of self-inflicted confusion. But the answer now, as then, is precisely the same: restoration. Restoration of the faith, of catechesis, of Catholic witness, and yes, restoration of the Mass.
If you can, I urge you to make this beautiful event. It is long, but you won't feel it. The 2007 Ordinations lasted about four hours or so. I didn't notice it. It is sublimely beautiful. The choir is amazing. I suppose the schola will also be supplemented by Institute seminarians. The sacrament of Holy Orders is compelling.
Even if you are thinking "August" and "Oratory", you can rest easy. There is supplemental air conditioning installed.
I imagine the place will be packed. I hope so. In 2007, a packed Cathedral meant 1300 people. Perhaps the Oratory holds 800-1000.
Above all, whether you can make it or not, please pray for these priests. They are the future of the Church, and therefore the world.
Schedule of events:
Sunday, August 3: 8th Sunday after Pentecost, 8am Low Mass, 10 am High Mass
Monday, August 4: Feast of St. Dominic, 8 am Low Mass, 6 pm Solemn High Mass celebrated by. Monsignor Gilles Wach, Founder and Prior General of the Institute; future canons to receive their choir habits, enrollment ceremony of two affiliate priests.
Tuesday, August 5: Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, 10 am Solemn High Mass and Ordinations, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, Celebrant. Ordained: Benjamin Coggeshall, Joel Estrada, Francis Altiere, Andrew Todd. Reception following.
Wednesday, August 6: Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, First Masses of the newly ordained.
8 am: Canon Francis Altiere
9 am: Canon Benjamin Coggeshall
10 am: Canon Joel Estrada
11 am: Canon Andrew Todd
12 Noon: Solemn Te Deum
God bless the Institute!