There is a great article in the latest Inside the Vatican Magazine on the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, and the Traditional Latin Mass. Writer Andrew Rabel interviews Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, the U.S. Provincial Superior of the Institute. He answers a wide range of questions about the Institute, as well as those about the traditional Mass and its attractiveness to the young.
So many times we hear that the classical rite of Mass is only for those who remember the Church before Vatican II, and are merely nostalgic for some illusory past that didn’t really exist. Monsignor Schmitz lays that misapprehension to rest.
The Institute of Christ the King has several oratories in the United States, including St. Francis de Sales Oratory here in St. Louis, Old St. Patrick Oratory in Kansas City, and the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago. You can find links for the Institute on the right side of the blog.
Some excerpts from the article:
Msgr. Schmitz, on the traditional faith and vocations to the Institute in America:
“Well, America is for me a revelation when it comes to the religious life, the traditional Latin Mass, and vocations. It is quite overwhelming how our apostolate has grown there, and how many very good vocations come from the United States. If I could take them all (our seminary is not big enough), I would be able to send 30 Americans every year…… I have to be selective, yet already I have accepted about 10 young men in our pre-formation program this year. We have just opened a pre-formation house in St. Louis, which is still to be totally set up. But more and more young men from the United States are directed by Holy Providence to the Institute.
Archbishop Raymond Burke has been to Gricigliano [the Institute’s seminary near Florence, Italy] several times to perform ordinations, and [this] year we will have our first ordinations in the United States, in his diocese of St. Louis. One could say that he is the founding father of the Institute in the United States.
Bishop Robert Finn is also a good friend of ours and has invited us into his diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph….”
Msgr Schmitz, on the concern that the rumored universal indult will take the Church ‘back in time’:
“Aside from the fact that it is impossible to go back in time, our experience is that the Traditional Rite attracts youth and young families, and much joy and life. And the thrust in their lives, which we hope to succeed in fostering, is to move forward in their spiritual growth, ever more faithful to what Our Lord wishes and ever closer to their final goal–heaven.”
Regarding the French Bishops’ concerns about the potential for “divisiveness” if the indult were granted:
“Perhaps we could respectfully posit that this may indicate that these prelates are not entirely familiar with the ‘traditional world,’ if you wish. Should they have first-hand experience of the growth and youth that the Traditional Liturgy of the Catholic Church generates, most certainly their fears would be calmed.”
Finally from a response concerning the spirituality of the Institute:
“…we draw from the legacy of St. Benedict who created in his time islands of faith and culture. This is what the Institute wants to do everywhere, at a much more modest level. We want to create islands of faith in a secularized environment, where the faithful can find support and sustenance for a solid Catholic lifestyle– not a narrow one, with a Jansenistic outlook on things, but rather through a broad, happy, joyful approach that still provides all the nourishment found in Catholic tradition, which the people need today to live in a difficult world.”
The article is really a very interesting read, and can be found in its entirety here: http://institute-christ-king.org/documents/InsideVaticanJan07.pdf