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April 20, 2009


The Roman Catholic World

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart

Sunday, April 19, 2009 marks another day of triumph for the Traditional Latin Mass in the United States of America.   His Excellency, Frank J. Dewane,  Bishop of the Diocese of  Venice in Florida,  blessed the new all-Latin Mass church of  Christ the King, in Sarasota, Florida.   This beautiful new church will offer The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and all the Sacraments in the traditional Roman Rite.

The blessing of the church was followed by a Solemn High Mass celebrated by Father James Fryar, FSSP, in the presence of  His Excellency, Bishop Dewane, with Father Fausto Stampiglia, SAC, Pastor of St. Martha Catholic Church.   Father Robert Tatman, Administrator of the Quasi-Parish of Ave Maria and Father Justin Nolan, FSSP  also concelebrated during this historic occasion.   This is the first time that a Solemn High Mass has been celebrated in the Diocese of Venice, since its establishment in 1984.

The church was filled to capacity, so the overflow of visitors had to be accommodated in the parish hall, with  television screens set up  in order to view and follow the Mass.  Many of those present drove from very far,  evidence of  the growing love and appreciation for this beautiful liturgy among Catholics in the United States.

Bishop Dewane said during his homily that Christ the King Catholic Church is “a dream come true” and stands as  “grateful and responsive”  to our Holy Father’s Motu Propio “as a matter coming to the interior recollection in the heart of the Church.”   His Excellency also quoted Pope Benedict XVI in recalling that  “Our Blessed Mother is key to properly understanding the purpose of a church.”   His Excellency added that “Mary tells us why church buildings exist… so that Rome may live within us.”    Another significant quote was Pope Benedict XVI’s (during his years as Cardinal) when he stated that the Church “stands and falls with the liturgy”– a powerful message, given that the Traditional Latin Mass represents the purest form of  Eucharistic-centered liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Dewane also extended his blessings and heartfelt gratitude to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, and to Father Fausto for his many years of faithful service to St. Martha’s, and for his participation in the careful planning of  Christ the King Catholic Church.

The sacred music was beautifully sung  by the choir of Christ the King Church, under the direction of Leo and Carol LaBrecque, augmented by students from Ave Maria University [*]  on the polyphonic pieces, under the direction of Dr. Susan Treacy.   The Gregorian Propers were chanted as follows:

Introit: Christ the King Schola
Alleluia I: AMU Men’s Schola
Alleluia II: AMU Women’s Schola
Offertory: AMU Women’s Schola
Communion: AMU Men’s Schola

The Mass was followed by the dedication of the parish hall to Father Fausto, a  lively Roman with a charming accent, who also extended his kind words of gratitude  to Bishop Dewane– and referred to His Excellency as  “more Roman than the Romans.”

The celebration ended with a beautiful reception, which included two cakes decorated in honor of Christ the King Catholic Church and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

The Roman Catholic World  greatly appreciates Bishop Dewane’s support of  the Traditional Latin Mass.

Viva Cristo Rey.

[*] – Thankfully, the small Ave Maria University Sacred Music Dept., continues its program, in spite of the administration’s preference for Charismatic Music.

Photos of the event:christ-the-king-catholic-church-sarasota-florida-all-rights-reserved-marielena-montesino-de-stuart1






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Marielena Montesino de Stuart

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Copyright ©  Marielena Montesino de Stuart. All Rights Reserved.