Things We Lost in the Fire
As seen in the picture I took above, I visited the new Immaculata Church in Kansas. The new $42M Church was consecrated (dedicated to God) on the third of May, 2023.
The Immaculata was built by the SSPX. They are canonically-irregular but not schismatic. Remember that in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI lifted the putative-excommunications previously placed on their bishops. Even the current Vatican recognizes all their Masses as valid, and even all their confessions as both valid and licit. Although I have no desire (nor intention) to leave my Archdiocese and apply to the SSPX, I very much admire their adherence to keeping the ancient Catholic faith during this time of near-global apostasy. (As I replied on Facebook earlier to a concerned reader, “A Franciscan visiting a Dominican Church in the Middle-Ages doesn’t automatically make him a Dominican.”)
Recently, I was on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s show and we discussed the Jesuits. We both agreed there was some type of missionary-spirit shared by both St. Ignatius and Archbishop Lefebvre. Upon arrival at St. Mary’s College in Kansas, I was immediately reminded of my own Jesuit education since this University/Seminary used to be owned by the Jesuits. The new Immaculata Church book describes the history of these Jesuits in Kansas, their University and even the old Immaculata Church:
The Jesuits established a liberal arts college in 1869. The campus also housed a boy’s high school and a girl’s school run by the sisters of the Sacred Heart until it closed in 1879… In 1931, the beloved and renowned St. Mary’s College closed its doors as a liberal arts school but re-opened in the fall as a Jesuit theologate where seminarians from throughout the country and across the world came to St. Mary’s to finish the final two years of their fourteen-year course of study… The old Immaculata now served as the Jesuit chapel and witnessed the ordination of 1,000 priests.
The history of St. Mary’s continues: Vocations flagged after the Second Vatican Council. Consequently, the Jesuits transferred the theologate [seminary] back to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1967… Ironically, the revolution in the Church that closed the Immaculata also led to its rebirth as a place of Catholic tradition…[In 1978], Archbishop Lefebvre agreed to acquire “the college” solely because of the “magnificent Church” Within months of the purchase—to the shock of all—the Immaculata, almost fully restored, caught fire due to an electrical short. The blaze gutted the interior, leaving only a limestone shell and a partial bell tower. SSPX faithful worked for decades to restore the “symbol,” but to no avail. Archbishop Lefebvre later recalled that he “would never have accepted the purchase of St. Mary’s without this magnificent sanctuary. The fire was a true catastrophe, a stroke of the devil.”
The burning of the original Immaculata Church in Kansas in the 1970s represents, in some sense, the Church at-large as seen in the above statistics. Hence, I call this blog post, “Things We Lost in the Fire,” in reference to a small but sturdy Church in St. Mary’s, but also due to all “the changes” that gutted the Catholic Church on every continent in the world during and after the 1960s.
What then was rebuilt in St. Mary’s the past few years and opening this year of Our Lord 2023?
Here’s some pictures I took that may tell part of the story of the return of the glory to the Church:
As I always say, I hope Jesus returns soon -or- I hope we soon see the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as prophesied by Our Lady of Fatima, leading to a time of peace in the Church. A clue to this comes from Our Lady of Good Success who prophesied in the 16th century that after the 20th century would come “a complete restoration of the Church.” Notice that such a restoration predicted in the 16th century means that (in the rarely-used future perfect tense) something will have been lost that will be regained after the 20th century.
So, instead of bemoaning the near-total loss, the SSPX built an enormous temple in which the faithful can worship God and honor Our Lady under the title of The Immaculata. I can’t help but think this Church is a cameo of the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Whereas we lost so many things in the fire of the 1960s onwards (to even this continued-destruction of the faith and liturgy, as anyone who even makes a cursory glance at recent Vatican news can see) we nevertheless have the promise of a “complete restoration.”
Mary has always been described as the exemplar of the Catholic Church. Mary is everything that the Catholic Church on earth wants to become: Sinless, glorious, and in-heaven. That is why it’s fitting that the theme of the Immaculata in Kansas is Mary and the Apocalypse. Of course, when you read the word, “Apocalypse” you may think of raging in hell or final battles on earth. That is definitely correct. But if you read the book of the Apocalypse, you will see that earth and hell are completely secondary to the vision of heaven. The book of the Apocalypse is primarily about heaven, not hell. And that is the single unifying theme of the Immaculata in St. Mary’s, Kansas: Mary as the portal to heaven and Mary as the exemplar to all the elect.
These are the two main themes to the new Immaculata Church and that new temple in Kansas is a portal into heaven.
The glory and beauty of this Church represents not just our hope heaven, but the hope we have of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the entire Catholic Church at-large to return to Jesus Christ in lieu of modernism. This has been prophesied by Our Lady of Good Success to be “the complete restoration” of the Church. She exactly predicted a period of sacramental destruction in the 20th century, in fact. But after the fire, the Church would return with much greater glory than she ever had before that mutiny of modernism that tried to destroy her. Such, I believe, is already represented (and perhaps even predicted) in the glorious and new Immaculata Church of St. Mary’s, Kansas.
35 thoughts on “Things we gained in the fire”
From Fr Nix’s article, I hi-lited this –
“So, instead of bemoaning the near-total loss, the SSPX built an enormous temple in which the faithful can worship God and honor Our Lady under the title of The Immaculata.”
– end quote –
So … this is my experience for some years now at SSPX chapels. They don’t enter into current theological or political controversy. Ever. They don’t spend even a sentence criticizing FSSP, their own “separated brethren”; no handwringing or sadness or anger at this that or the other injustice; no fear expressed of future persecutions and limitations; no criticizing other theological positions and chest thumping over the superiority of their own position.
No “bemoaning”, in the words of Fr Nix.
They live in Sacred Tradition, which is a very happy place to be. They are “doers of the Word and not hearers (speakers) only”. They call themselves “spiritual field medics” to the Faithful. Most SSPX Priests spend much of their time on the road visiting far away, remote chapels and isolated locations bringing the Catholic Church, Her liturgy and Her Sacraments to the spiritually starving. And rebuilding – rebuilding that which was burned down by criminal arsonists.
The spiritual criminals will be defined, charged and convicted one happy day. But that is not their role in the Body. Their role is to rescue the lost, sustain the Faithful and preserve Sacred Tradition in all its manifest glory … as seen in their newly consecrated Church building.
And that is how I now see it for myself. I have come to firm convictions in conscience surrounding the current (tiresome) controversies and I’m done with them for the most part. I intend to follow the holy missionary example of my SSPX Priests.
Btw, praise God! for this miracle begun by Arbp LeFebvre in Kansas. Quite a structure! Quite a story!
“They don’t enter into current theological or political controversy. Ever.”
And the anti-sede tome titled “True or False Pope” published by the SSPX’s publishing house Angelus Press, co-authored by a “former”, still living, 33rd degree mason?
Their 50 part “Crisis” series? Really Aqua?
Yes, in my experience within the Church and in private conversations with my Priests it is exactly as I said.
The controversy I refer to is frivolous speculations, (for instance), about the meaning of the ‘58 smoke (etc).
There is no controversy over Sacred Tradition, where they live, except to the extent anyone is deviating from it. They speak to that, and since we live in an age of rebellion there may be controversy caused by the friction of widespread error … but no debate.
As one example: here is the SSPX teaching on the Papacy:
It doesn’t shy away from Assisi, either. It explains the origins of the Papacy, the divine power of Office, the weakness of its humanity – a comprehensive whole, drawn from the well of Sacred Tradition – referenced throughout. One other element about the Pope, so often missed these days – Our Lord is central to almost every paragraph. There is no Pope (or point) if there is no Lord.
The answers are all there, easily accessibly, no debate. They explain, and then move on to more important things, like … building a new Church, beauty in the eyes of God.
And there’s the rub. The “SSPX’s teaching on the papacy” vs the “sedes teaching on the papacy”. Just a quick glance at the link you provided shows the SSPX relies on Scripture and Abp. Lefebvre’s understanding of the papacy. The sedes use the Church’s teaching on the papacy, because it is The Church which is the pillar and foundation of truth…..which is why we are Catholic.
For me it became very clear who has the correct position; it’s the mere existence of the SSPX and their never before in Church history 50+ years of “irregular canonical status”that also points to the truth of ’58 sedevacantism.
Here is a link to what the Church Herself via magisterial documents says about the papacy
This is quite simply brilliant, this key point excerpted from the link.
– quote –
“In a very famous sermon delivered at the occasion of the priestly ordinations in 1982 in Econe, Archbishop Lefebvre *compared the Church and the drama of our days with Our Lord and His Passion*. He said the following:
‘We see Our Lord humiliated and annihilated to a certain point and ask ourselves how this is possible for Him, being true God and true man. Now one part of the people say: Since this humiliation to such a point is a reality He can not be true God because for God this is impossible.—These are the Arians, followers of Arians who denied the Divinity of Christ. Others say: Since He is true God His annihilation can not be real, His Passion certainly was only in appearance, He only had taken a body in appearance but He was not really man.”
And the Archbishop made the application to the Church.
“There are people who are seeing the passion of the Church and the tragedy of papacy and so they conclude that such a degradation of papacy is not possible and so the pope can not be the pope. Others draw the contrary conclusion saying: Since the pope is pope, all the reforms coming from Rome must be good, it is only an appearance of bad and so they swallow the poison.’”
– end quote –
Two fatally mistaken sides of the same coin – that coin being a fundamental misunderstanding of the true nature of the Messiah, on one side, and the true nature of Messiah’s visible Vicar (Viceroy), on the other (heads and tails). Even St Peter himself was not immune to the mistake at the primordial dawn of the Church. Fascinating. It blew me away when I read that from our +Bishop.
“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out”. – JRR Tolkien … “it” being Sacred Tradition imho.
Most beautiful comment! I totally agree! I am so very thankful to God for my devoted, faithful and holy SSPX priests. My pastor was present at the consecration and can be seen in some of the pictures. I so wish I could’ve been there.
It is indeed a beautiful Chapel built to honor the Immaculata – and I love it – so beautiful..we should all be crying as we walk in!
The Divine Providence is at work here. What was originally Jesuit Catholic in St. Mary’s Kansas is no more: the Jesuits abandoned Catholicism long ago and now they are for the most part, extinct. The flowers on the Kansas plains were over-taken by weeds and died, but the Gardener of Heaven has allowed those weeds to die-off and has re-planted the garden with new flowers, those of the SSPX.
It really irks me to hear fellow Catholics bash the SSPX and insist on the tired old lie about them being in schism. It’s time to stop that and no, I don’t care what Cardinal Burke thinks, and I sure as hell don’t care what the looney tunes in Ferndale Michigan think.
The antichurch is here, it is visible and it is laughing at all of us while spitting at Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. I don’t have enough hours in the day to point out why Jorge Bergoglio is an antipope, If you read this website, you should already have all the evidence you need but for the cliff notes version… 1) obviously invalid resignation by Pope Benedict and 2) pacamammy bitch-demon worship.
If you are a Diocesan Traditional Latin Mass Catholic and are being obedient to your sadistic Bergoglio-bishop by having Mass in the basement without protest, why can’t you see that you’re being treated like blacks were in the Jim Crow days when they had to watch the movies in the balcony and use the back entrance? At least they protested. This business of being obedient while the Church is being destroyed is truly pathetic. What will you do when – not if – Antipope Bergoglio mandates an invalid consecration, after he shuts down the FSSP and ICK along with the remaining Diocesan TLMs?
St. Katherine of Siena had the guts to call an antipope an antipope. St. Nicholas of Myra had the guts to punch out a heretic at the Council. Tens of thousands of Vendeeans were martyred rather than give up their Catholic Faith. But no, we’re supposed to just shut up and say “thank you sir may I have another” while our Catholic Faith is raped, beaten and pillaged? No way!
The antichurch can huff and puff all it wants but the gates of hell will NEVER prevail against Holy Mother Church. I salute the SSPX and the grassroots faithful who made this incredible Church in Kansas happen and pray that they build many, many more – as fast as they can.
“The antiChurch is here, it is visible….”
“The antichurch can huff and puff all it wants….”
And yet….the SSPX are maintaining their attachment to and in defense of the ‘antichurch’ and Bergoglio. What am I missing here? The disconnect is astounding!
Me too…cognitive dissonance truly abounds. The same SSPX that approved the V A X, just like Bergoglio who calls it an act of love!
Yes, the disconnect is astounding isn’t it?
How bout I retract what I posted and urge everyone instead to go 1958 sede? Would that be more acceptable?
How do you do it? You call the VII Church (at least the Bergoglio portion?) of it the antiChurch,. You rightfully call out the pachademon worshipper as not the pope, while cheering and supporting the SSPX who DO claim Bergoglio is the pope and the VII Church is still the Catholic Church.
I’m sorry if I find the anti-sede position, most especially from BiPers, absurd. You clearly see the problem with Bergoglio, yet remain steadfast in your support of those who cannot, for whatever reason, see what you see. The sede position is at least consistent.
And how do you know that every SSPX priest, or for that matter, FSSP, ICK or TLM-Diocesan priest actually says “Francis” at the Te Igiter? You don’t because the Te Igiter is said in silence. Is everything 100 percent perfect with the SSPX? No. The SSPX, FSSP, ICK, and all others are societies of human beings who, unlike Our Lord and His Mother, are sinners and are subject to intentional and unintentional error just like us lay folk. Oh, and the same applies to the sede priests you want us all to convert over to.
To my knowledge, there aren’t any 1958 sede chapels anywhere near where I live. Should I therefore stop going to Mass at my FSSP parish? Should I stop going to confession when I screw up for fear the sacrament anywhere other than from a 1958 sede priest be invalid? Should I stop going to Eucharistic Adoration on Thursday night at a Diocesan parish in walking distance of my house because, some sede says that it’s not really Our Lord? Yeah, why don’t I just barricade myself inside and read 1958 sede stuff all day long, waiting for the Apocalypse and hope that God will take me straight to Heaven because I turned away from all them other fake Catholic Churches cause the 1958 sedes said they were fake?
Kono, I used to really enjoy reading your comments here but this non-stop, dead-horse beating you do with every. single. post. here is tiresome and downright sad. This post was to present a glorious new Church, which just happened to be built by the SSPX and its donors (not all of whom are SSPX). And, just like all the other posts, regardless of the subject matter, you take it upon yourself to hijack the combox for your 1958 sedevacantist propaganda that by the way is so un-persuasive.
You’re obviously passionate about being a sede so why don’t you do something about it and start your own website, with likeminded sedes to make your case? It’s really disrespectful to keep hijacking comboxes the way you do.
I’m sorry my comments are so upsetting to you. It simply puzzles me how you say the Bergoglio Church is the antiChurch and Bergoglio a false pope, yet support the SSPX who hold exact opposite views as you. And at the same time be so adamantly against SVism.
As far as staying home and not going to Mass because there are not sede chapels near you; I hold the same position as the CMRI. If SSPX is all you have, go! But beware. Make certain the Society priest is validly ordained. If he came over from the NO, make sure he’s been conditionally re-ordained.
I know for certain that Abp. Lefebvre and the Society at one time believed as the sedes that the new rite episcopal consecrations were and are invalid. If that be the case, then NO priests, even the FSSP and ICK priests are not validly ordained because the “bishops” who “ordained” them are not in fact bishops.
If you’re angry at me for pointing out these facts, I’m sorry. This information is available, not just at sede sites but even from old SSPX documents and Abp. Lefebvre ‘s books.
Kono. You are not upsetting me, nor making me angry. I just don’t understand why you have to push your sedevacantist opinions on pretty much every single post that Mark writes. I think it’s really sad to see you beat this dead horse over and over again to an audience that’s having none of it.
For the record… I believe ALL the popes after Vatican 2 were lousy popes but, they were popes. History is filled with holy popes, good popes and not-so-good popes. Eucharistic Miracles have been happening quite a bit post Vatican 2 in Diocesan Churches all over the world. Many of these have happened in modernist parishes with modernist priests. God is not going to allow a Eucharistic Miracle to happen in a bastardized Catholic Church. Jorge Bergoglio is clearly an antipope and the antichurch consists of the priests, religious and laity that are going along with him and not resisting. Diocesan priests, FSSP priests, SSPX priests, etc. who are ignoring him and are prepared for the worst when it really comes (i.e. invalid consecration) are the Remnant. All of this has been prophesied.
I will continue to go to Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite offered by the FSSP, SSPX, ICK and the dwindling number of Diocesan Churches that offer it. I will continue to go to Confession and Eucharistic Adoration. If I walked by the most liberal Jesuit Church that happened to have Eucharistic Adoration, I would go inside without hesitation and spend some time with Our Lord. I am blessed to live in an Archdiocese with a rich Catholic history and five official places of pilgrimage within the Archdiocese: I am not about to ignore those holy places in these dark times.
If you really think 1958 sedevacantism is the way, whatever, you have the right to free will. But, if you’re goal in life is to convert people to go along with you, your combox hijacking here (and on other sites too) isn’t working.
kono, I’ve struggled with this as well. Maybe he’s the pope? Maybe he isn’t? I don’t really know. I do know that Judas was an apostle. But, anyone who followed him would’ve ended up in hell. I suppose one day we’ll all know the truth. For now, God reads our hearts. He knows who loves him and who wants to cling to tradition. Can we try to be one as Jesus has prayed? SSPX is not the enemy of sedes. Many of us agree with you on some points.
The antiChurch is Bergoglio. He’s an antipope. He’s squatting on top of the Catholic Church. You are outside of the Catholic Church. Instead of fighting evil from within the Church, the True Church, you’ve adhered yourself to a group of pouty Catholics who proclaim, with zero authority, that the see has been vacant for 65 years.
Your disconnect is astounding. Your movement traces back to men, in Vatican 2. The Church goes to Christ. The institution of the Church still exists, and instead of fighting it you’ve taken part in a cosplay version of the true church.
I don’t know how many times you can be told this and refuse to see.
‘58 Sedes who attach to valid clergy are not outside the Church.
Thanks Mark. It’s obvious that everyone here simply wants to be Catholic. Prayers for all. And prayers for a good and holy Pope to straighten things all out.
“Valid clergy”. What on earth does this mean? Do you mean a priest validly ordained who leaves the Church and caters to sedes? Well, isn’t that a convenient loophole. Since they will always be a valid priest yet not actually be part of the Catholic Church, and be working from outside of the Church.
My question is this: if Vatican 2 is finally rejected and everything goes back to the way it used to be, or as close as possible, will the Sedes stop their movement? I’ll guarantee you they won’t. Because sedvacantism is child-trantrumism. The Church has changed many times. Even the TLM changed over the course of 2000 years. Only here do we have a group of people who pretend to know what is true, what is right, and established camp intentionally outside the church.
So spin it, but the cult is so entrenched they’ll always be outside the church. Even with “valid clergy”.
James, It’s funny you should mention that. Over here in the Raleigh Diocese, we just got a massive dose of Jim Crow as the local ordinary decided to “sabbatical” or isolate both of our priests who offer the TLM at what’s been a vibrant oasis parish.
This comes a year after stopping two other priests after just learning it. Now, the parish, according to the bishop, won’t have enough resources to offer the TLM (duhh! You stripped it of “resources” intentionally). Folks wish to send letters, petitions, and all that jazz, but it’s a useless gesture because the bishop is a foot soldier of the antipope (consecrated by none other than Captain Wilton Gregory).
So, yes, the diocesan system is on its death bed. The SSPX is the future. Archbishop Lefebvre, ora pro nobis.
Chris, I am sorry to hear this. I grew up in NC but in the diocese of Charlotte. The Raleigh diocese was always known for its modernism but I know the traditional movement has started to gain momentum. I know that’s a geographically huge diocese. Depending on where you are, there’s an SSPX chapel somewhere near Raleigh and another in Goldsboro. Rest assured of my prayers.
Amen, James! Agreed!!!
Some of the leadership of the SSPX may be in error as some of the leaders of the current Roman Curia and associates. So do we stop being Catholic? Do we stop attending Mass? These errors are like so many in Church history. We as faithful Catholics, faithful to our Lord and His Church are called to recognize the errors, persevering in the faith. In my experience, the priests that serve the SSPX chapels are devoted, faithful and zealous for the salvation of souls and the preservation of tradition. So, go ahead, criticize and go sede if you choose. In the end,our purpose is to know, love and serve God as best we can in our current situation.
Exactly this. Thank you.
What you said –
The issue isn’t so much “against the SSPX”; it is the “anything but sedevacantism” that needs discussion. The OP here will direct Catholics to the SSPX but not to sede chapels. He even admits that the sede clergy have valid ordinations and consecrations. Keep in mind that the SSPX in the past (I’m not clear of their position today) believed as the sedes that priestly ordinations were doubtful and episcopal consecrations were invalid. If their position has changed, is it not worthy of asking or wondering what changed? The Society now has priests who come from the NO without being conditionally ordained. If these NO convert priests ordinations are invalid then their convecting the Eucharist, absolving sins and anointing the sick are also invalid. SSPXers, imo should at least ask these questions before dismissing SVism and it’s valid clergy. The fact that many here are ’22 sedes, the advantage
of going to sede chapels for Mass, you’re not uniting your prayers with a priest in communion with the obvious heretic Bergoglio. Win, win.
Truly, this isn’t a rant against the SSPX, so much as it is a rant against the “anything but sedevacantism” position. And even IF the sede position is wrong, the VII Church’s teaching that all paths lead to salvation would include us. Again, win, win.
“..even IF the sede position is wrong, the VII Church’s teaching that all paths lead to salvation would include us. Again, win, win.”
Thanks for the hearty chuckle 🤭!
Where can I read this in the documents? The Church said it doesn’t reject what is true in other religions. Even pagans can believe things that are true. For example, Aristotle’s philosophy was with modifications accepted as true even though he was a heathen.
This is a caricature of what Vatican II taught pushed by Freemasons in the clergy.
Actually, never mind.
Sede, Sede, Sede, blah, blah, blah, Sede, blah, blah, Sede, Sede, blah, Sede, blah, blah, blah, Sede, Sede, Sede, novus ordo watch, Sede, VII, Sede, Novus Ordo Watch, Sede, blah, blah, Sede.