Casa Cristo Rey
Recently Purchased House to Expedite the Mission’s Progress in Latin America
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in Mexico has begun soliciting donors to help raise funds for the purchase of a new pastoral house that will aid in the expansion of the Traditional Mass in Latin America and Spain. This new house will represent a great step forward for the development of the local apostolate, by making new space available to expand the evangelical and vocational efforts of the FSSP and the Traditional Latin Mass in Spanish speaking countries.
- The house will help the parish in Guadalajara by providing the space necessary to hold catechism classes and other parish events.
- By January 2016, candidates will be received for periods of vocational discernment.
- In the summer of 2016, St. Junipero Serra Spanish Institute, a school for priests and seminarians within a Traditional Catholic setting, will open.
- In 2018, the FSSP is hoping to open a first-year house of formation for seminarians to learn English and complete their first spirituality year before joining their fellow seminarians at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska.
Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish welcomes her first three lay volunteers at the mission in Guadalajara, Mexico. These young adults come from a traditional background and are planning to serve the mission for approximately six months. During their stay, the volunteers will help Fr. Heenan and Fr. Romanoski with a variety of projects including the establishment of Casa Cristo Rey, working at a local orphanage, assisting in teaching catechism classes, participating in many church organized groups, such as the men’s group, women’s group, acolyte group and service group, and promoting the mission through sharing their experiences. If interested in the volunteer program
Opening Summer of 2016
This summer the FSSP is opening the St. Junipero Serra Language School for seminarians. Located at the new house in Guadalajara purchased by the FSSP, Casa Cristo Rey, the school will provide seminarians extensive Spanish courses allowing them to reach a greater number of parishioners. In order to successfully engage the people, priests must be able communicate through use of the Spanish language, and must also understand the culture, devotions, and traditions of the people to whom they minister. Spending time immersed in another culture opens one’s eyes to the incredible Catholicity of the Church. With the growing numbers of Spanish speakers in America, many parishes are in need of priests that can communicate in Spanish, and the FSSP is working to meet these needs. Open to FSSP and Diocesan seminarians alike, St. Junipero Serra Language School strives to additionally give all students a traditional experience of the faith that will benefit them in the years to come.
Providing a solid Catholic education to the young in Mexico is an ongoing battle, but many families at Nuestra Señora del Pilar Parish are willing to work together for the good of their children. Due to the strict requirements put in place by the Mexican government, homeschooling is rare, and these parents find themselves exceeding a typical course load so they may include necessary Catholic supplements. The families join together in an effort not only to give their children a Catholic education, but also a life centered around the Catholic faith. Several families utilize the flexibility of their schedules to attend daily Mass, help at the parish, and lead or assist with church organized groups. These families gather bimonthly at a home to discuss their progress and help each other develop a sound curriculum that is suited to strengths and weakness of each child. With the development of Casa Cristo Rey, meetings will be held at the new house each week. These weekly gatherings, and those of various church groups, provide support for the parents, and allow the children to develop wholesome friendships.
The Traveling Lady of Zapopan
On October 12th, approximately one million people gather around the Cathedral in Guadalajara, Mexico. Flooding in from the towns and cities of the State of Jalisco, they congregate for the homecoming celebration of a tiny cornhusk statue. It is an image of the Virgin Mary, known in Jalisco, as the Traveling Lady of Zapopan.
The Virgin is adorned in a regal gown, and carried upon a flower-laden litter to her home, the Basilica of Zapopan, where she will retire for the winter months. Amidst the crowd, many can be seen following the Virgin crawling on their knees. At the end of the trek, the archbishop of Guadalajara says a Solemn Mass outside the Basilica in the plaza, and a festive celebration ensues. On this day, she is accompanied by a grand procession to her Basilica, but the journey of the Traveling Lady of Zapopan began much earlier.
The Virgin was brought to Zapopan in 1541 by Father Antonio de Segovia during a time of great strife between the Conquistadors and Indians. It is said that Father Antonio, with the hope of preventing bloodshed, went among the Indians bearing the image about his neck and exhorted them to make peace with the Spaniards. As he began to preach, the Indians saw brilliant rays of light issue forth from the statue of Our Lady, and immediately threw down their weapons. In thirty-six hours Father Antonio de Segovia brought more than six thousand Indians to the Spanish Viceroy and asked for peace between them. Subsequently, Father Antonio called the image La Pacificadora, “She Who Makes Peace.”
Patron of the State of Jalisco and the city of Guadalajara, the Traveling Lady of Zapopan is revered throughout Mexico. There are countless miracles that are attributed to her, and in 1734 she was proclaimed Patroness against storms and lightning. In 1821, when Mexico became independent, the Virgin of Zapopan was further proclaimed Patroness of the State of Jalisco and its army. Each year, the religious statue of the Madonna visits the churches throughout the archdiocese. She resides within each church for about a week, and after four months, ends her travels with the final procession to the Basilica of Zapopan.
Maria Goretti Group for Young Ladies
On the third Saturday of each month, a group of young girls gather in an effort to preserve and strengthen their femininity in Christ. Focusing primarily on girls from the ages of five to sixteen, the leaders of the group help the girls realize that being a strong women does not require leaving the home to obtain secular jobs. The culture today continually attacks the family dynamic, and these girls learn that they must seek to accomplish the tasks of their state in life in holiness, whether this entails homemaking or otherwise. Accordingly, the fine skills of cooking, sewing, and photography are taught in an effort to encourage this approach by utilizing women’s natural aspiration for beauty.
The main focus of this group, however, is to develop the virtues of femininity through the spiritual life. Every meeting begins with Mass and is followed by social time in a park and a lecture from one of the priests or another prominent spiritual leader in the community. The group is divided into levels according to spiritual achievement. They enter as Water Droplets, and are required to visit Our Lord in adoration once a week and work on progressing in their relationship with Our Lord until they reach the final level of the Hurricane. One of the leaders explained, “We don’t only want them to be spiritual, but to be fully developed as good students, daughters, sisters, and persons. Sometimes people are tempted to focus solely on spiritual things, but we want to help them become women of integrity with a good balance of all things in their life.”into good students, daughters, sisters, and persons. Sometimes people are tempted to focus solely on spiritual things, but we want to help them to be women of integrity with a good balance of all the things in their life.”
According to popular belief, Catholicism is thriving in Latin America. The last twenty years, however, show a decline in the number of practicing Catholics from 82% to 72%. Unfortunately, it is apparent through recent studies that although nearly 90% of Latin Americans are baptized into the church, a significant number leave the Catholic Church for protestant sects. Many say they desire a more personal connection with God, while others search for a religion that appears to have stronger moral demands. According to these studies, however, one underlying element must be noticed and addressed: the tradition of the catholic faith must return to Latin America. The Traditional Latin Mass, for example, is abundantly beautiful, leading her attendees to better know, love, and serve Our Lord. Traditionally, the Church took its rightful responsibility to instruct the faithful, instilling moral virtue in light of its teachings. Thus, with the aid of the tradition of the Church, there is still hope of bringing our fellow men to Christ in Latin America and to once again hear.
- Profiles of Other Parish Groups
- FSSP Mexico Fundraising Campaign
- History of the Apostolate