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 !
The Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement or
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).
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.”
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
out of its headquarters in Monroe, CT., ORCM member priests traveled to various sections of the country offering the
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
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.
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.
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.
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. "
Newsletter, April 14, 1978, Issue No. 34,
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.
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.
Newsletter, July 23, 1978, Issue No. 36, p. 1
Fr. Andrew Bonet C.R.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
December 20, 1978, Issue
No. 39, p.
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.
Newsletter, September 11, 1978, Issue No. 37, p. 1
Fr. Placid White O.S.B.
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!
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.
information gleaned from internet retrieved July 26, 2012
Fr. Kenneth R. Hodgson
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 30, 1979, Issue
No. 41, p. 1
Fr. Victor Mroz O.F.M.
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.
Newsletter, January 4, 1978, Issue No. 32,
Fr. Henry Angelino
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.
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.
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.
Newsletter, January 4, 1978, Issue No. 32,
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.
Constitution and Bylaws
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)
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.
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.
Membership in the ORCM is limited to those who desire to
practice the traditional, Roman Catholic religion.
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.
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
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.
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
The priest may appoint any committee (building committee, maintenance
committee, etc.) as he sees fit to help with the administration of the chapel.
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.
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
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
A MAN SEEKS THE FAITH FOR
HIS FAMILY AND HIMSELF ON THE FLORIDA NATURECOAST
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
While residing in
N.Y., Mr. Mullane and his family attended Fr. DePauw’s Ave Maria Chapel in
Westbury, Long Island.
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)
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.
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.]
placed in local newspapers announcing the celebration of the Traditional Mass.
Lecture of Fr. Fenton
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.
response to the bishop
Mullane was not deterred. He responded to the bishop as follows:
Joseph F. Mullane
Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement
Post Office Box 666
Port Richey, Florida 33568
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.
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
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.
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
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
May the Grace and Peace of the Holy Ghost be
with you forever!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
Other changes in the church deplored by
"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
"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
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
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
"In terms of his social awareness I
think the Pope is not progressive enough," Foynes said.