St. Mary's Spring Hill

 
     

     
 

History of this Church

1973 - 76



Overview of the 1970s 

This chapel traces its initial origin to the umbrella organization that came to be known as the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement that consisted of priests trained and ordained within the mainstream Roman Catholic Church who were generally elderly and retired or close to retirement who may have offered the Novus Ordo but had become disenchanted with it and sought a home with this group which in its turn was looking for such priests to help out with the increasing demands as remnants of lay-people emerging from the wreckage of Vatican II looked for clergy who desired to remain faithful or return to Catholic Tradition.

Under the auspices of the O.R.C.M. a nucleus group formed, a chapel was built and because of a division among the priests that developed in 1979 - all risked being lost before it had even begun...and only in the space of 5 years !



1973



The Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement or ORCM 1973

The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.  (Baltimore Catechism).

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted and offered for the first time at the Last Supper.  The Holy Mass is the core of the whole Catholic Church.  For approximately two thousand years our Mass has remained unchanged.  During the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) Pope Pius V issued the still binding Decree Quo Primum.  This Papal Decree ordained that the Universal Tridentine Mass was to be offered throughout the Roman Catholic world “in perpetuity.”

Enemies of the Roman Catholic Church have launched a ruthless attack upon the Mass.  It is members of our very own hierarchy that support this destruction.  His Holiness Pope Paul VI, in (by) his Apostolic Constitution ‘Missale Romanum’ of April 3, 1969, established the Novus Ordo Missae to replace the Traditional Latin Mass of the Roman Rite.  Their determination has resulted in the decline of the true Faith throughout the world.  We know, however, that our Church can never be destroyed because Christ promised to remain with us “even unto the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28:20).

All was not bleak.  An ever growing number of steadfast Catholics has risen.  One of the most notable of those is Fr. Francis E. Fenton.  Fr. Fenton studied for the priesthood at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. where he received his MA degree in Philosophy in 1940 and a STL degree in theology in 1944.  He was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1944 in Hartford, CT. (KB)

Fenton became disaffected with the Vatican II reforms of the liturgy being implemented in the U.S. in March, 1970 and and began celebrating the Tridentine Mass in a private home in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. In March, 1972 the group acquired a chapel in Brewster, New York. In Jan, 1973, Fr. Fenton, together with a group of traditional laymen, founded the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement, Inc. (ORCM), with Fr. Fenton as its first National Director.

Later they purchased a chapel in Monroe, Connecticut, where in January, 1973 they installed as pastor the Dominican priest, Fr. Robert McKenna, who had recently joined the ORCM. Operating out of its headquarters in Monroe, CT., ORCM member priests traveled to various sections of the country offering the Latin Mass.

As a lecturer and author, Fr. Fenton has won himself a reputable name among Traditionalist Catholics.  Most of his talks dealt with the Communist conspiracy, especially pertaining to the Roman Catholic Church.

By fall 1975, the ORCM had gained Monsignor Paul Marceau, and Fathers Charles P. Donahue, Leo M. Carley and Daniel E. Jones, the English Benedictine Placid White, Joseph Gorecki and some other priests, totaling eleven, and services were being held in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and New York. A growth period followed, and by 1979 a circuit system set up among the eleven priests offered the Tridentine Mass in sixteen states.


Fr. Joseph H. Gorecki

Born on July 1, 1927 in Baltimore, Maryland. Having received his primary and secondary education in Catholic schools (they were Catholic at that time), Father joined the Franciscan Conventual Friars after graduation from high school and completed his novitiate year at Becket, Mass. He then attended Saint Bonaventure University in New York State and received his philosophical training for the priesthood at Saint Joseph Cupertino Seminary in Ellicott City, Maryland.

After taking simple vows in the Franciscan Order, Father left the Franciscans and worked in industry for five years in the Baltimore area. He then resumed his studies at Towson State Teachers College, Maryland, where he received a Master Degree in Education, after which he taught school for three years in the Baltimore public school system.

In 1955 Father Gorecki was incardinated into the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. and began his theological studies at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1959 in Saint Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport by Bishop (later Cardinal) Lawrence Shehan. After serving in several parishes in the Bridgeport Diocese, Father was assigned to the Norwich (Conn.) Diocese for two years of parish work there. He then served one year as Chaplain at Saint Vincent Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn.

After struggling with the "Novus Ordo" for some time, Father Gorecki joined the ORCM on March 4, 1978 (the feast of St. Casimir). The straw that broke the camel’s back in his case was, as he readily admits, the compulsory giving of Communion in the hand. "When I walked into Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Monroe, Conn.," said Father Gorecki, "I felt that finally I was back home where I belong. In the ORCM I am back in the right place with the Faith for which I was ordained 19 years ago. "

Source: ORCM  Newsletter, April 14, 1978, Issue No. 34,  p. 1


Fr. Daniel E. Jones

Born January 31, 1942 in Westcliffe. Colorado. Attended grade and high school in Delta, Colorado and, for one year, the Colorado School of Mines [college]. His training for the priesthood included three years at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and four years of theology at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. Was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1968 in Delta, Colorado. Father Jones joined the ORCM in 1973.

Source: ORCM  Newsletter, April 29, 1977, Issue No. 27, p. 6

 

Fr. Mario Blanco

Now 49 years of age, Father Mario P. Blanco was born on January 19, 1929 in San Jose, Costa Rica and received his early education in that city. After attending secondary schools conducted by the Salesian Fathers, he made his philosophical studies for the priesthood in El Salvador and received his theological training at Saint Thomas University in Guatemala. Following his ordination to the priesthood on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1960, Father Blanco spent more than ten years in teaching, mostly in Catholic schools in Central America. After a brief period of parochial work in a Salesian parish in Guadalajara, Mexico, he came to Sacramento, California in 1970 and served for several years in the Diocese of Sacramento until, by the grace of God, he became convinced that he could no longer in conscience go along with the Novus Ordo Church and so took the logical step of leaving it. Not long afterwards some of our ORCM members in the Walnut Creek-Sacramento area of California came in contact with Father Blanco and told him of our apostolate and dire need of more priests. Having read our literature and determined to his own satisfaction that the ORCM was everything it appeared to be, he expressed the desire to join our ranks. And this he did on June 24, 1978.

Father Blanco is due to receive an MA degree in June of 1979. Until then he will continue to reside in the area of Sacramento, working with Father Henry Angelino at our ORCM Mass location in Walnut Creek, California as well as going on our Mass circuit in the western sector of the USA.

Because of his fluency in the Spanish language, it is our hope that Father Blanco will be of particular help to our ORCM apostolate in the future in those ORCM locations where there is a heavy concentration of Spanish-speaking Catholics.

Father Blanco's entrance into our ORCM brings our total of priest-members to eight - a very small number, to be sure, but we started with only two. A ninth priest will be joining our ranks a few weeks hence, and a tenth priest in November. So, while getting priests of the calibre we seek has been, far and away, the most difficult task we have had from the beginning, the picture, thank God, is becoming ever brighter in this respect, with several additional prospects also presently on the horizon. We heartily welcome Father Blanco to our ORCM and assure him of our prayers.

Source: ORCM  Newsletter,  July 23, 1978, Issue No. 36, p. 1


Fr. Andrew Bonet C.R.

Father Andrew A. Bonet was born in Mallorca-Balearic Islands, Spain and pursued his studies for the priesthood in that area of the country. In 1923 he professed his religious vows in the Order of Clerics Regular (the Theatine Fathers, an Order founded in 1524 whose main purpose was to be the sanctification of the clergy and laity). Because of the approaching Communist Revolution in Spain, Father Bonet was sent to Rome for the completion of his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood there on August 14,1932.

For some 17 years following his ordination Father Bonet did priestly work in Italy, including a period of some seven years in which he was the Director of the Theatine Seminary in Rome. In 1949 he was assigned by his Order to work in the United States and, during the ensuing twenty years, served in several parishes in Colorado and Mexico City, Mexico.

In March, 1969 he resigned his position as pastor of a parish in the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado, reportedly having been requested to do so because he was "too much conservative." From 1969 until very recently he has been serving as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Antonito, Colorado.

Much more could be written about Father Andrew Bonet but, at his request, we have tried to keep this biography of him rather brief. Most of his priestly life has been spent among the poor and humble. They, he writes, are the people "he likes the best." Although now 72 years old, he, in his own words, "drives often about 600 miles a day, goes to bed about midnight and gets up at 5:30 every morning for Mass, confessions, etc." Having been urged to retire, he has decided to do so by joining and going to work for our ORCM!

Father Bonet has moved to Florida where be is now the pastor of our ORCM congregation in Spring Hill (Tampa area) and where, if all goes well, a chapel will soon be under construction. He will also serve our ORCM group in the Orlando area of Florida. It is indeed a distinct pleasure to receive Father Andrew Bonet into the ranks of our ORCM priests. May the good Lord grant him many more years of active priestly service to the cause of our God-given Faith!

Source: ORCM  Newsletter,  December 20, 1978, Issue No. 39, p. 1


Fr. Roy Randolph

Father Randolph is both a convert to the Faith and a former Anglican clergyman. During his 25 years in the Anglican ministry he served that Church in various capacities, in parish work, as a missionary in India, and as a chaplain in the British Army during and immediately after World War II, receiving in the course of his military chaplaincy an award from the British government. After the war and some further theological study, he spent some ten years in pastoral work in South Africa.

As a member of the Anglo-Catholic faction in the Anglican Church, Father Randolph found himself moving steadily over the years towards the Roman Catholic Church. Finally, having abandoned Anglicanism, he became a Roman Catholic on the Feast of Saint Joseph in 1960. Following his conversion, he studied for a year in Rome and then taught some 31/2  years in South America and Spain. And then it was, in Seville, Spain, that he entered his theological studies for the Catholic priesthood. On May 1,1967 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by the Cardinal Archbishop of Seville. Following his ordination, he taught Greek and English in the minor seminary of the Archdiocese of Seville for three years. Not long thereafter he came to North America and settled in Canada where he presently resides. Father Randolph writes, in part, as follows: "Within two or three years of my leaving the Anglican Church and entering the Roman Catholic fold, the Catholic Church had transformed itself to a very large extent into a duplicate of the Anglican Church. The liturgy had been radically revised in a Protestant direction; the principle of pluralism in belief had been adopted in practice; discipline had been allowed to fall by the board except against those who sought to adhere to the traditional liturgy of the Church. I prayed hard and hoped that somehow things would get better - but things got worse. To an ex-Anglican there was a distinct feeling of 'I have been there before.' The revolutionary changes in the Church in the last 15 years bear a striking similarity to the events of four centuries ago in England when the people had imposed upon them an alien faith and liturgy."

That last sentence quoted above is perhaps as good a statement as any to express the reason why Father Randolph saw fit to join the ORCM. We are most pleased to have him with us and we pray that God will abundantly bless his dedicated priestly efforts on behalf of our divine Faith.

Source: ORCM  Newsletter, September 11, 1978, Issue No. 37, p. 1


Fr. Placid White O.S.B.

Born in England on November 8, 1898. A convert to the faith at age 18. Ordained priest in the Benedictine Order on July 7, 1925. Served the Church in a variety of priestly duties for the following 25 years, in pastoral work as a teacher, on the foreign missions, and as a military chaplain in the British armed forces. Came to the United States in 1951 and was assigned to the Benedictine Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, Colorado, where he was stationed for the following 24 years. Assumed pastoral duties at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Stratton, Colorado in March, 1975 and presently resides there.

  Father White has been working with our ORCM for the past several months and offering Mass at our chapels in Aurora and Pueblo, Colorado. He will also be bringing the Mass and Sacraments to some of the traditional groups on our Mass circuit. For Father White's much needed help in our ORCM apostolate we are very grateful, especially so when we realize that he is 78 years of age. May God grant him the health and the strength to serve the cause of traditional Catholicism for many years to come!

  Source: ORCM  Newsletter, April 29, 1977, Issue No. 27, p. 6


Fr. Robert McKenna O.P.
Robert Fidelis McKenna, O.P., third son of James and Irene McKenna, was born in Danville, Illinois on July 8, 1927 and was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating from Aquinas College, he joined the Dominican Order in 1951 and took the religious name Fidelis. In 1958 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Dominican Order in Washington D.C. by Amleto Cardinal Cicognani.

Refusing to say the Novus Ordo Mass after Vatican II, he took leave of the Order, retaining the Dominican habit and rite for Mass, to join Father Frances Fenton, a priest of the Bridgeport Diocese in Connecticut, in his founding of the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement (ORCM) and opening of Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Monroe, Connecticut

Since 1978, Father McKenna has remained alone at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel, assisted by the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary whom he founded and who teach in the chapel's St. Dominic's Academy.

On August 22, 1986, Fr. McKenna was consecrated a bishop with the traditional Roman Rite in Raveau, France by Bishop Guerard des Lauriers, O.P., himself a Dominican and noted theologian who taught at the Lateran University in Rome and who advised Pope Pius XII on the definition of the dogma of the Assumption in 1950. Bishop Mckenna retired from active ministry in October 2011.

Source: information gleaned from internet retrieved July 26, 2012


Fr. Kenneth R. Hodgson

A former clergyman of the Episcopal Church, Father Hodgson became a Roman Catholic in December, 1955. He prepared for the priesthood at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome and was ordained on April 7, 1962 at the Church of Saint John Lateran in Rome. Following his ordination he taught for some years at the College of Saint Pius X in Newcastle, Australia (a college which he helped to establish), and then served as Acting Administrator of Saint Mary's Cathedral in Hobart, Australia. His last position in Australia was that of Rector of Saint Bede's College, the largest Catholic college in that country.

At the request of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Father Hodgson came to the United States in 1977 to work with the Society of Saint Pius X. Throughout the year 1978 he taught Church History and Sacred Scripture at the Society's seminary in Armada, Michigan.

In addition to membership in the Australian College of Education, Father Hodgson holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English, an M.A. in history and an S.T.L. in theology. If that were not enough for one priest, he also has an honorary degree in literature. He has published works on Saint Cyprian, Juliana of Norwich, William Langland and others.

With the appearance of this brief biography in these pages, Father Hodgson formally becomes a member of the ORCM, bringing the total of our priest-members to 11. As always, it is a distinct delight to welcome another real priest to our ranks. Because he is presently ill, Father Hodgson will not be able to become active in the ORCM for some time. Once back in good shape though, he will be on our Mass circuit and writing for this newsletter, among other things. Since he is a mere 50 years of age (or is it 51 now?) we do intend to keep him working! Despite all those degrees (!) Father Hodgson is a true and humble priest. Please give him a frequent remembrance in your prayers.

Source: ORCM  Newsletter,  March 30, 1979, Issue No. 41, p. 1


Fr. Victor Mroz O.F.M.

Father Victor Mroz was born on January 29, 1915 and prepared for the priesthood at several seminaries of the Franciscan Conventual Fathers in Poland. During a portion of his seminary years the priest who was his superior and confessor was Blessed Maximilian Kolbe. Fr. Mroz was ordained to the priesthood in Crakow, Poland on July 20, 1941. Following his ordination he served briefly as a parish priest in Kalvaria, Poland and then as master of the major seminary of his order in Lwow, Poland.

  During World War II Father Mroz was a chaplain of the Polish Underground Forces as well as a temporary chaplain in the United States Third Army under General George Patton. In July, 1947 Father Mroz came to this country where, for the following two and a half years, he was engaged both as the editor of a Polish daily paper and as a missionary and retreat master in Wisconsin. In December, 1949 he volunteered for missionary work in Japan and remained in that work in Japan for the next 18 years. From 1967 to 1977 he served as a parish priest in churches of the Friars Minor Conventual, first in Canada and then in the United States. For the past eight years he has also served as chaplain of the Deaconess Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y.

  Some six weeks ago Father Victor Mroz left the Franciscan parish in Buffalo where he had been stationed to join the ORCM. In fact, he informed me very exactly in writing that he took this step on "November 25,1977, al11:00 A. M. ", Because there was a total attendance of approximately 770 people at two ORCM lectures in Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y. in November, 1977, and because Father Mroz resides in Buffalo, our ORCM will have a permanent Mass location in that area. Father Mroz will also be on our ORCM Mass circuit.

Source: ORCM  Newsletter, January 4, 1978, Issue No. 32,  p. 1


Fr. Henry Angelino

Born on November 23. 1913 in Oakland, California, Father Angelino was raised and attended grade and high school in the Santa Clara Valley area. Interestingly, one of the factors that led to his decision to study for the priesthood was his keen interest in Church history and in the part played by the Church in the creation of the architecture and concomitant arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

Father Angelino studied for the priesthood in Italy, including some three and a half years at the Gregorian University in Rome. One of the last American students to leave Rome prior to America's entry into World War II, he completed his theological training at Saint John's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and was ordained on April 27, 1943 by the late Archbishop of Los Angeles, John J. Cantwell. Father Angelino has an STL degree in theology.

After having served for many years as a parish priest In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Father Angelino, because of his refusal to accept the "new Church," was eventually, as he puts it, "eliminated" from there and given an assignment in the San Francisco Archdiocese, which he found "even more 'liberal' and Protestantized." Although new to the ORCM as a priest-member, he has been working with us for some time. He is the pastor of our ORCM group in Walnut Creek, California, offering Mass regularly there, and once monthly in Sacramento.

Source: ORCM  Newsletter, January 4, 1978, Issue No. 32,  p. 1

The ORCM was an active movement, and from its presses came several books and numerous pamphlets on the Mass, modest dress, freemasonry, obedience to the Pope, and modern trends in the Catholic Church. The movement stood firm on Pope Pius V's legislation Quo Primum Tempore and the belief that the Mass of Paul VI's was doctrinally unsound, that it is influenced in the Protestant direction, and was thus faithfully following Martin Luther's and Cranmer's gradual reforms of the liturgy. Fathers Donahue and Carley disassociated themselves from the ORCM. Father Donahue approached Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X becoming a formal associate in December 1978 - he passed away in December, 1995. Father Carley (still living) remains on friendly terms with the SSPX as well.


ORCM  Constitution and Bylaws
(Original version)

(Editor's note: This shows the original intent of the organization that sponsored the origin of this church and demonstrates the reason for the continued existence of this church)

PREAMBLE

To insure that the Orthodox Roman catholic Movement, in the face of the current subversion of the Church, remains loyal to her genuine Magisterium and the Papacy; and that our children be preserved from error and carry on the traditions of the Church: we, the officers of the ORCM, hereby declare our intention to abide by the doctrine, form of Mass, Sacramental rituals, and traditions of the Church as taught and approved at the death of Pope Pius XII (1958), except in such cases where changes have been made or may be legitimately made by proper Church authority.

Article I

Section 1 – The purpose of the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement shall be 1) to preserve the traditional Roman Catholic Religion as it existed historically up to, and including, the pontificate of Pope Pius XII;  and 2)  to provide the means whereby all those who wish to practice, or continue to practice, that Religion, may be enabled to do so.

Section 2 – It shall also be an objective of the ORCM to carry out whatever actions are necessary for the propagation of the traditional Roman Catholic faith, including the provision of religious instructions in that faith for the children of its members.

Article II

Membership in the ORCM is limited to those who desire to practice the traditional, Roman Catholic religion.  

Article III

Section 1 - The ORCM shall consist of an indefinite number of chapels, and all properties shall be leased, rented or purchased by the ORCM, in the name of the ORCM.

Section 2 – It shall be the responsibility of the membership of the various chapels to support the ORCM as a whole.

Article IV

Section 1 – The officers of the ORCM shall be: a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, all three officers having equal voting rights.  Their tenure of office shall be four years, with each officer permitted to succeed himself once in the same office. Their duties shall be whatever duties are required for the proper functioning of the ORCM.

Section 2 – Election of officers shall be as follows: a nominating committee, chosen by each chapel during the month of January every four years, shall present to the secretary of the ORCM the names of those it nominates for the offices to be filled, offering one name for each office. The current officers of the ORCM will then choose, from the names presented to it, one for each office at some time prior to the second Sunday in April, at which time, or during the week following the second Sunday in April, a meeting will be held whereat the newly appointed officers will assume their duties.

Article V

Section 1 – The regular meeting of the officers of the ORCM will be held on the second Sunday, or during the week following that second Sunday of each month,  throughout the year.

Section 2 – Special meetings of the officers of the ORCM may be called whenever any of them requests such a meeting.

Article VI

Section 1 – The ORCM would automatically disband if and when the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church returns to the doctrinal and moral teachings, and to the form of liturgical worship, and to the enforcement of disciplinary laws, as all of these prevailed in the Church at the time of the death of Pope Pius XII.

Section 2 – In the event that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church returns to the above at some future date, with the ORCM thereby disbanding, its assets would then be given to the Church.  

If the ORCM were to disband for any other reason, the assets which it possessed at that time would be divided among the following tax-exempt organizations:  American Friends of the Sacerdotal International Fraternity of St. Pius X, Inc. and the International Seminary of St. Pius X, Econe, Switzerland.  The amount each of these would receive would be determined by the officers of the ORCM who are in office at the time of the disbandment.


GUIDELINES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATIONS OF CHAPELS

1. The ORCM-appointed priest who serves the chapel will be the pastor and administrator.

(a)   The priest may appoint any committee (building committee, maintenance committee, etc.) as he sees fit to help with the administration of the chapel.

(b)   The priest may form any societies (Holy Name, Altar-Rosary, etc.) as he sees fit to help with the spiritual life of the communicants.

2. All chapels must comply with the Constitution and By-laws of the ORCM.

3. Certificates of Incorporation of ORCM must be filed with the State Department of the state in which the chapel will be established.  Any other legal requirements of individual states must be met.

4. After the chapel is established and financially secure, there will be a collection taken once a month for the support of the ORCM nationally.

NATIONAL ORCM OFFICERS

Fr. Francis E. Fenton, President Robert W. Cleary, Secretary Francis J. Maney, Treasurer


1974



A MAN SEEKS THE FAITH FOR HIS FAMILY AND HIMSELF ON THE FLORIDA NATURECOAST 

Monsignor Marceau
It is the intent of the ORCM to establish countless chapels throughout the United States.  One of those chapels is Our Lady of Fatima Chapel, Spring Hill, FL.  

The person most responsible for founding Our Lady of Fatima is Joseph F. X. Mullane, a former seminarian for the Missionary Priesthood with the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity and a retired New York City Policeman.  

While residing in N.Y., Mr. Mullane and his family attended Fr. DePauw’s Ave Maria Chapel in Westbury, Long Island.  

Having moved to FL. in the mid 1970’s, Mr. Mullane began traveling from New Port Richey to Ft. Lauderdale to attend the Traditional Latin Mass after being placed in touch with one of the early ORCM priest members: Monsignor Paul F. Marceau: (KB)

 

 

With a growing interest and need to attend a Traditional Mass in the Pasco/Hernando Counties area, Fr. Fenton suggested to Mr. Mullane that he rent a hall and be put on the circuit Mass.  Traveling priests would come celebrate scheduled Masses. Thus began the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima.

About April 1975, Joe Mullane tried to recruit Fr David Heffernan from Tampa to Our Lady of Fatima.  Fr Heffernan had not said the Traditional Latin Mass since 1968.  He was middle of the road, fed up with the banners and peace and all the other ad nauseam events that were now a part of the modern church.  Father’s main worry was losing his hospitalization benefits.  He was also concerned with what his friends would think of him if he were to break with the establishment.  Mr Mullane also contacted Fr John Tracy from St Michaels’s in New Port Richey (now Hudson).  His feelings were the same as Fr Heffernan’s. (KB) [Editor's note: there is no evidence in the parish archives for the information given here; it is supposed that these must be the personal reflections of the author KB.]


 

1975



Advertisements were placed in local newspapers announcing the celebration of the Traditional Mass.  

First Lecture of Fr. Fenton


Letter of Bishop McLaughlin to Joe Mullane

These advertisements came to the attention of Charles B. McLaughlin, then Bishop of the St. Petersburg, FL. Diocese.  In July 1975, Bishop McLaughlin wrote to Mr. Mullane admonishing Traditionalists from distributing literature about the ORCM in the St. Petersburg Diocese and celebrating any liturgies.  


Joe's response to the bishop

Joe Mullane was not deterred. He responded to the bishop as follows:

Mr. Joseph F. Mullane
Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement
Post Office Box 666
Port Richey, Florida 33568

July 29, 1975

Bishop Charles B. Mc Laughlin
Bishop of St. Petersburg
Post Office Box 13109
St. Petersburg, Florida 33733

Dear Bishop McLaughlin,

Thank you for your letter of July 9, 1975 expressing concern for "our holy Faith, the Church," and my soul.

It is precisely because I am concerned about preserving our Holy Faith, our Church, as it was established by our Divine Savior, and not only my own soul, but the souls of my dearly beloved family, that I take the active position you have implored me to discontinue.

It was because of the many things that have occurred in the course of Church history that the Fathers of Trent initiated the Doctrines that caused St. Pope Pius V to issue the Decree “Quo Primum”, which was to last in perpetuity, translated "for all time", so that Catholics for all future time would have this as their guiding beacon to avoid heresies in the future. These occurrences have raised up Saints such as Saint Anthansius and Saint Hermenegild, who refused to accept the directives that violated their Faith.

It would take something stronger than a Papal directive or the charitable admonitions of a Shepherd in the mist to rescind and re­place “Quo Primum". Pope Paul VI has not abrogated the Decree Quo Primum issued by Pope Saint Pius V. I am adhering to the binding command of this Saintly Pontiff, which is still in effect to this day.

John Cardinal Newman noted in his "Apologia Pro Vita Sua" in 1864, regarding the Church’s Infallibility and Catholic Faith : "Infallibility cannot act outside of a definite circle of thought, and must in all its decisions, profess to be keeping within it.....It must not go beyond them, and it must ever appeal to them. It must ever profess to be guided by Scripture and by Tradition....... Nothing then, can be imposed upon me different in kind from what I already hold, much less contrary to it. The new truth which is promulgated, if it is to be called new, must be at least homogeneous, cognate, implicit, viewed relatively to the old truth."

In my present action, I am in conformity with the Encyclical of Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", wherein he said in 1943, : "If the faithful, in a spirit of sincere piety understand what has been written here and hold to it, it will be easier for them to escape the errors which arise endangering the Catholic Faith and disturbing the peace of souls."

In this position, I am happy to say that I have the following Saints as my Intercessors: ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, feast March 7: SAINT HERMENEGILD, feast April 13: SAINT PETER CANISIUS, feast April 27: SAINT ANTHANSIUS, feast May 2: SAINT POPE PIUS V, feast May 5: SAINT ROBERT BELLARMINE, feast May 13: SAINT PHILIP NERI, feast May 26: SAINT POPE PIUS X, feast September 3: SAINT CHARLES BORROMEO, feast November 4. Each of the above Saints were firm in the defense of the Faith, and opposed the directives of the heretics of their day. Yet today, they have a high place in Heaven.

For the sake of our Holy Faith, the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, and for the sake of your own soul, I humbly request that you meditate upon the lives of these Saints. Review your present position as Bishop of St. Petersburg, wherein according to your letter it is apparent that you stand in open defiance of Saint Pope Pius V and His Decree "Quo Primum", since you forbid the Mass that has been in existence for the past one thousand years, going back to Saint Gregory the Great, and which was finalized by Saint Pope Pius V.

It is my constant prayer that Our Lord will guide the straying Shepherds and Priests back to His Holy Altar, and to His people.

May the Grace and Peace of the Holy Ghost be with you forever!

Very respectfully,

JOSEPH F. MULLANE


How the Chapel got its name

How did this chapel get its name ? One of the circuit priests (Fr. Mckenna) suggested the idea to Joe Mullane in a letter dated November 13, 1975:

This letter also demonstrates an early association between this chapel and the Society of St. Pius X with Fr. Clarence Kelly, ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, celebrating Mass for the group.

Controversy plagued the ORCM from the beginning. Fr. Fenton's membership in and vocal support for the John Birch Society led to continual criticism from potential supporters. While many respected the "conservative" stance of the Society and its strong opposition to Communism, they disapproved of Fenton's support of a non-Catholic organization, believing that this distracted followers from the more central concerns of the Traditionalist Catholic movement. 

Although initially some mutual co-operation existed between the Society of St. Pius X and the ORCM, (which was reflected in the fact that SSPX priests sometimes said Mass for the group that founded this church) Archbishop Lefebvre became increasingly skeptical of the ORCM ties with the John Birch Society that Fenton had and forbade all co-operation between his group and the ORCM.



1976



First Letter from the Chancellor of the Diocese

Following upon Fr. Mckenna’s suggestion, the title: "Our Lady of Fatima Chapel" was officially chosen even though the dgroup of faithful met in rented in rooms and mortuary chapels etc..

After the brush with the bishop of 1975, Joe Mullane next heard from the diocesan chancellor Very Rev. J. Keith Symons who would later be made a bishop, auxiliary of this diocese, then ordinary of Pensacola-Tallahassee and finally Bishop of Palm Beach (from which he resigned after admitting allegations from the early 1970s). Symons sent Joe a copy of an address of Pope Paul VI given earlier in 1976 which discussed in part the "rebellion" of Archbishop Lefebvre.


Speech of Paul VI in consistory of 1976

The article enclosed by the Chancellor is that which follows:

Polarization in the Church

 

During the May 24 consistory in Rome, Pope Paul VI described a polarity in the church, a problem which he said is a cause for sorrow. This polarity is manifested at times through superficial immaturity and at times by headstrong obstinacy, the Pope said. Both those who reject Vatican Council II and those who believe they are following the Council but who have "put themselves in a position of preconceived and sometimes irreducible criticisms of the church" are sources of the polarity, according to the Pope. During his address, Pope Paul singled out for criticism Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, leader of an international traditionalist movement based in Switzerland. People on the other extreme, he said, are not very numerous but they are very noisy. They believe "too easily that they are in a position to interpret the needs of the entire Christian people or the irreversible direction of history. " The text of the Pope's address, given during the private part of the consistory ceremonies, follows. Translation by L'Osservatore Romano.

Since the day on which, now more than three years ago, by the fixing of the number of cardinal electors, we filled the gaps created in your sacred college, this latter has suffered the sad loss of our brethren whom we all remember with affectionate sorrow; and on the other hand, some of its members have reached the established age at which they can no longer take part in the election of the Roman pontiff. We have therefore called you together today in order to create new cardinals, and at the same time in order to promulgate episcopal nominations, to ask you to pronounce your final vote concerning the canonization causes of three beati, and finally to receive the postulations of the pallia.

These are traditional and well-known aspects of every consistory yet they are not for this reason any less significant, in their ecclesial meaning and in their historical echoes, so as every time to fill with singular interest the celebration of this event of the Roman church. Yes, the consistory is a particularly important and solemn moment. We see that you are aware of this, through your participation and your presence; and for this above all we thank you.

I.

To dwell upon the circumstance that today most draws the attention of the Catholic community, indeed of the whole public opinion - the creation of new cardinals - we desire to emphasize that, by it, we have wished not to delay any longer in making provision for the exigencies of the sacred college, the more so since the publication of the apostolic constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo, in which we underlined the particular and supreme tasks of its members, called to the election of the Pope. And in filling the gaps, as we said, we have followed the criteria that we have most at heart: the representative nature and international character of the sacred college. The college wishes to and must present to the world the faithful image of the holy Catholic Church, gathered together from the four winds into the one fold of Christ (cf. Jn 10:16), open to all peoples, and to all cultures, in order to assimilate their genuine values and make them serve the good cause of the gospel, which is the glory of God and the uplifting of man.

Thus - besides the due recognition of very faithful servants of the apostolic see in the papal representations and in the Roman curia - we have thought first of all and above all of the residential sees, turning our gaze particularly to the young communities with a bright and promising future, together with and on the same level as those with an illustrious past and age-old history, rich in good works and sanctity. It is like an overall gaze that embraces the whole horizon of the world, where the church lives, loves, hopes, suffers and struggles: not one, from the extreme points of the horizon or even from the farthest lands, is absent.

If the representative nature of the Eastern churches seems today reduced, this does not mean any lessening of our esteem and consideration for those regions, which have been the cradle of the church, which still preserve with jealous care her very precious treasures of piety, of liturgy and of doctrine, and which find in their pastors, the patriarchs, who are most dear to us, together with their collaborators in the respective holy patriarchal synod, encouragement, light, and the power of cohesion. Indeed, we are pleased to take this occasion to bear witness to them of our more than affectionate benevolence, assuring them of our remembrance, of our veneration and of our prayers.

II.

The consistory, as we said, is a particularly serious and solemn moment for the church's life, which takes place in time. And we cannot let pass this occasion, which brings us into contact with you, without in your presence dealing with aspects and questions that are very close to our heart and that we consider of great importance, not without sharing with you the feelings of our inmost being. They are feelings of gratitude and joy, on the one hand, but also of anxiety and sorrow on the other.

1. The first feeling springs from that innate optimism - based upon the indefectible promises of Christ (cf. Mt 28:20; Jn 16:33) and upon the noting of phenomena ever new and consoling - which habitually fills our heart: it is the vitality and youth of the church, of which we have so many signs. We have had the proof of it in the recent Holy Year, which still radiates its influence on our spirit. The essence of the Christian life is in the spiritual life, in that supernatural life which is a gift of God; and we have the greatest comfort in seeing it developing in so many countries, in the testimony of faith, in the liturgy, in prayer rediscovered and enjoyed once more, in the joy preserved in the clarity of a spiritual outlook and in purity of heart.

We also see developing ever more and more love of the brethren, which is inseparable from love of God, which inspires the growing commitment of so many of our sons and daughters, and their profound solidarity with the poor, with those on the margins of society, with the defenseless.

We see the lines traced out by the recent Council directing and sustaining the continual effort of adherence to Christ's gospel, in an effort for Christian authenticity, in the exercise of the theological virtues.

We see with deep admiration the flowering of missionary undertakings and, above all, we have undoubted signs that, after a brief halt, also the most delicate and serious sector as is that of priestly and religious vocations, is having an undoubted revival in various countries.

We see in all the continents many young people responding generously and concretely to the instructions of the gospel, and showing an effort for absolute consistency between the heights of the Christian ideal and the duty of translating it into practice.

Yes, venerable brothers, the Holy Spirit is truly at work in all spheres, even in those that seemed most desolate.

2. But there are also reasons for sorrow which we certainly do not wish either to conceal or to minimize. They spring from the prominence of a polarity which is often irreducible in some of its excesses, and which manifests in various areas a superficial immaturity, or a headstrong obstinacy – in essence a bitter deafness to calls to that healthy balance which reconciles tensions, stemming from the great lessons of the Council, now more than ten years ago.

a) On the one hand there are those who, under the pretext of a greater fidelity to the church and the magisterium, systematically refuse the teaching of the Council itself, its application and the reforms that stem from it, its gradual application by the apostolic see and the episcopal conferences, under our authority, willed by Christ. Discredit is cast upon the authority of the church in the name of a tradition, to which respect is professed only materially and verbally. The faithful are drawn away from the bonds of obedience to the see of Peter and to their rightful bishops; today's authority is rejected in the name of yesterday's. And the fact is all the more serious in that the opposition of which we are speaking is not only encouraged by some priests, but is led by a prelate, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who nevertheless still has our respect.

It is so painful to take note of this: but how can we not see in such an attitude whatever may be these people's intentions the placing of themselves outside obedience and communion with the successor of Peter and therefore outside the church?

For this, unfortunately, is the logical consequence, when, that is, it is held as preferable to disobey with the pretext of preserving one's faith intact, and of working in one's way for the preservation of the Catholic Church, while at the same time refusing to give her effective obedience.

And this is said openly! It is even affirmed that the Second Vatican Council is not binding; that the faith would also be in danger because of the reforms and post-conciliar directives; that one has the duty to disobey in order to preserve certain traditions. What traditions?

It is for this group, not the Pope, not the college of bishops, not the ecumenical council, to decide which among the innumerable traditions must be considered as the norm of faith! As you see, venerable brothers, such an attitude sets itself up as a judge of that divine will which placed Peter and his lawful successors at the head of the church to confirm the brethren in the faith, and to feed theuniversal flock (cf. Lk 22:32; Jn 21:15 ff.). and which established him as the guarantor and custodian of the deposit of faith.

And this is all the more serious, in particular, when division is introduced precisely where congregavit nos in unum Christi amor, in the liturgy and the eucharistic sacrifice, by the refusing of obedience to the norms laid down in the liturgical sphere. It is in the name of tradition that we ask all our sons and daughters, all the Catholic communities, to celebrate with dignity and fervor the renewed liturgy.

The adoption of the new Ordo Missae is certainly not left to the free choice of priests or faithful. The instruction of June 14, 1971 has provided for, with the authorization of the ordinary, the celebration of the Mass in the old form only by aged and infirm priests, who offer the divine sacrifice sine popolo. The new Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old, after mature deliberation, following upon the requests of the Second Vatican Council. In no different way did our holy predecessor Pius V make obligatory the missal reformed under his authority, following the Council of Trent.

With the same supreme authority that comes from Christ Jesus, we call for the same obedience to all the other liturgical, disciplinary and pastoral reforms which have matured in these years in the implementation of the Council decrees. Any initiative which tries to obstruct them cannot claim the prerogative of rendering a service to the church: in fact it causes the church serious damage.

Various times, directly and through our collaborators and other friendly persons, we have called the attention of Archbishop Lefebvre to the seriousness of his behavior, the irregularity of his principal present initiatives, the inconsistency and often falsity of the doctrinal positions on which he bases this behavior and these initiatives, and the damage that accrues to the entire church because of them.

It is with profound sadness but with paternal hope that we once more turn to this confrere of ours, to his collaborators and to those who have let themselves be carried away by them. Oh, certainly, we believe that many of these faithful - at least in the beginning were in good faith: we also understand their sentimental attachment to habitual forms of worship or of discipline that for a long time had been for them a spiritual support and in which they had found spiritual sustenance. But we are confident that they will reflect with serenity, without closed minds, and they will admit that they can find today the support and sustenance that they are seeking in the renewed forms that the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and we ourself have decreed as being necessary for the good of the church, her progress in the modern world, and her unity.

We therefore exhort yet once again all these brethren and sons and daughters of ours; we beseech them to become aware of the profound wounds that they otherwise cause to the church, and we invite them again to reflect on Christ's serious warnings about the unity of the church (cf. Jn 17:21 ff) and on the obedience that is due to the lawful pastor placed by him over the universal flock, as a sign of the obedience due to the Father and to the Son (cf. Lk 10:16). We await them with an open heart, with arms ready to embrace them: may they know how to rediscover in humility and edification, to the joy of the whole people of God, the way of unity and of love!

b) On the other hand, in a different direction as far as the ideological position is concerned, but equally a cause of deep sorrow, there are those who, mistakenly believing that they are continuing along the lines of the Council, have put themselves in a position of preconceived and sometimes irreducible criticism of the church and her institutions.

Therefore, with equal firmness we must say that we do not accept the attitude of:

-Those who believe themselves authorized to create their own liturgy, sometimes limiting the sacrifice of the Mass or the sacraments to the celebration of their own lives or of their own struggle, or even to the symbol of their own fraternity; or who illegitimately practice intercommunion;

-Those who minimize the doctrinal teaching in catechetics or distort it according to the preference of the interests, pressures or needs of people, following the Christian message, as we have pointed out in the apostolic exhortation Quinque iam Anni, of December 8, 1970, five years after the close of the Council (cf. AAS 63, 1971, p. 99);

-Those who pretend to ignore the living tradition of the church, from the fathers to the teachings of the magisterium, and reinterpret the doctrine of the church, and the gospel itself, spiritual realities, the divinity of Christ, his resurrection or the eucharist, depriving these practically of their content and thus creating a new gnosis, and in a certain way introducing into the church "free examination." This is all the more dangerous when it is done by those who have the very high and delicate mission of teaching Catholic theology;

-Those who reduce the specific function of the priestly ministry;

-Those who sadly transgress the laws of the church, or the ethical exigencies demanded by them; -

- Those who interpret theological life as the organization of a society here below, reducing it indeed to a political action, and adopting for this purpose a spirit, methods, and practices contrary to the gospel; and the point is reached of confusing the transcendent message of Christ, his announcement of the kingdom of God, his law of love among people - founded on the ineffable paternity of God - with ideologies which essentially negate this message and substitute for it an absolutely antithetical doctrinal position, propounding a hybrid linking of two irreconcilable worlds, as is recognized by the very theorists of the other side.

Such Christians are not very numerous, it is true, but they make much noise, believing too easily that they are in a position to interpret the needs of the entire Christian people or the irreversible direction of history. They cannot by doing this appeal to the Second Vatican Council, because its correct interpretation and its application do not lend themselves to abuses of this sort. Nor can they appeal to the exigencies of the apostolate to bring closer those who are distant or who do not believe: the true apostle is sent by the church to give witness to the doctrine and life of the church herself. The leaven must be spread through the entire dough, but it must remain the leaven of the gospel. Otherwise it too becomes corrupt together with the world.

Venerable brothers! We have wished to confide these reflections to you, aware as we are of the hour that strikes for the church. She is and will always be the standard lifted up before the nations (cf. Is 5:26; 11:12), for she has the mission of giving to the world which looks to her, sometimes with an attitude of challenge, the truth of that faith which sheds light on the world's destiny, the hope which alone does not deceive (Rom 5:5), the charity that saves from the selfishness that under various forms tries to pervade the world and stifle it. This is certainly not the moment for abandonment, desertion or concessions; much less it is the moment for fear. Christians are simply called to be themselves, and they will be themselves to the extent that they are faithful to the church and to the Council.

We do not think that anyone will have doubts about the sum of indications and encouragements which, during these years of our pontificate, we have given to the pastors and to the people of God, indeed to the entire world. We are grateful to those who have made a program of these teachings, which have been given with an intention ever sustained by earnest hope and a serene optimism that is not divorced from concrete realism.

If today we have dwelt more at length on certain negative aspects, it is because the very singular circumstance and your benevolent trust have made us consider this as opportune. In effect, the essence of the prophetic charism for which the Lord has promised us the assistance of his Spirit is that of vigilance of indicating the dangers, of searching for the signs of dawn on the dark horizon of the night. Custos, quid de nocte? Custos, quid de nocte? These are the words that the prophet puts into our mouth (Is 21:11).

Until the serene dawn restores joy to the world, we will continue to raise our voice for this mission that has been confided to us. You, our friends and closest collaborators, are able above all and better than anyone else to echo these sentiments among so many of our brethren and sons and daughters. And while we prepare to celebrate the Lord who, with the signs of his passion and his glorious resurrection, ascends to the right hand of the Father, we must, looking up to the "open heavens" (Acts 7:56), remain full of hope, joy and courage. In the name of the Lord! In this holy name we bless you all.


Newspaper Fight between two priests: Fenton and Foynes

Before Joe Mullane could respond to Symons’ letter something else happened that actually proved Paul VI’s other point, and Fr. Fenton, the chaplain to the group got into quite a spat in the newspapers over it:

 

Priests Disagree Sharply On Changes In Church

Clearwater Sun, Tuesday, September 14, 1976, p. 2A

 

By RUTH DYCKMAN
Sun Staff Writer

NEW PORT RICHEY-In a scathing attack on recent changes within the Roman Catholic Church, the Rev, Francis Fenton charges that "collaboration with the Communists has marked the church in recent years.

Fenton was in New Port Richey Sunday to celebrate Mass in the traditional Latin liturgy-no longer approved by the Pope-for about 200 persons at the Ramada Inn, His visit was sponsored by Our Lady of Fatima Chapel. a local group of followers of Fenton's Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement. After the Mass, Fenton assailed Pope Paul VI, the church's organization, bishops in the United States and abroad, priests, nuns and others who he said were responsible for a "wholesale revision of all the sacraments, much of the doctrine, and a great deal of the liturgy of the church - a revision in Catholicism that is nothing short of a revolution."

The Rev. Aiden Foynes of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church reacted to Fenton's statements by saying that he didn't think Fenton and his orthodox movement show respect for the authority of the church.

"Father Fenton and a lot of these people suffer from paranoia." said Foynes.

Fenton, who is a member of the national council of the John Birch Society, said of the Pope: "It has not been proven that he is a legitimate pontiff. I assume he is, but I readily admit such a conclusion is difficult." Fenton said that in his 13 years as leader of the church Pope Paul had "an atrocious record'" He said the Pope was "an enigma, a weak man." He said he doubted the Pope's authority to change the liturgy for Mass from Latin to the languages of persons attending Mass. He said changes now in use within the church consist of "new material, unauthorized sacraments and border on heresy."

Foynes said he sees no reason why the Mass should be celebrated in Latin and denied that it is the "traditional" language as claimed by Fenton.

"When Latin was first used it was because it was then the vernacular of the people and the church continued to use it until recent times. But, Latin is no longer the language of the people and for the liturgy to be meaningful to the people it should he celebrated in the language they can appreciate and respond to because they have to make certain responses." Foynes said.

He said the Latin Mass such as used by Fenton went back only to the 16th century. He said its use was ended by the Second Vatican Council, the Pope, and bishops throughout the world." "I don't know where Father Fenton gets his mandate from," said Foynes.

Other changes in the church deplored by Fenton were:

"An emphasis upon the supper and the memorial instead of on the unbloody renewal of the sacrifice of Calvary. No distinction is allowed to remain between divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only ‘spiritually’ (not substantially) changed." "The real presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated."

"The position of both priest and people is falsified and the celebrant appears as nothing more than a protestant minister, while the true nature of the church is intolerably misrepresented."

Stressing that continuing to recite the Mass in Latin is important because its abandonment "sweeps away for good and all the unity of worship." Fenton also said that ecumenicalism was turning the Catholic faith into a form of Protestantism, which he termed "a heretical sect."

Fenton denounced "the heretics who masquerade as Roman Catholic priests and bishops" as well as Communists, Free Masons, Zionists, Henry Kissinger, Nelson Rockefeller "and their ilk," all of whom he said were a "criminal clique seeking world domination."

Foynes disagreed with Fenton's opposition to change: "If you look at the church as a dynamic institution moving through history: then inevitably it has to change and that in fact is the history of the church."

Referring to Fenton's orthodox movement which claims about 25,000 followers in the United States, Foynes said, "Those guys freeze a certain period of history and make that tradition."

Foynes said that in his opinion the church was not changing enough. "For the Catholic Church in the United States, it seems to me that the Pope's credibility has been weakened by the encyclical on birth control that banned ~artificial contraception." he said.

"In terms of his social awareness I think the Pope is not progressive enough," Foynes said.


 
 

 

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