Just before leaving for Chicago last week I received notice from of the tragic assault on two priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in Phoenix which claimed the life of Fr. Kenneth Walker FSSP and left the Pastor, Fr. Joseph Terra, in severe condition. This is a very shocking incident that also throws some light on the state of our secular society which strives more and more for a disastrous freedom from God and from religion. Attacks on Catholic churches not only in Islamic countries or in China but even in Italy and the Unites States make us worry. Security will become also for churches a topic of ever growing importance and urgency! We want to offer Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter our heartfelt condolences.
As announced at High Mass, we will have a Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Fr. Kenneth Walker at 8:00 a.m. this Monday, June 16 followed by the Rite of Absolution. I invite you to please join me at St. Gianna Oratory for this Requiem Mass. During my stay in Chicago last week I was able to discuss this terrible tragedy also with my Superior Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz who will send a letter of condolence to the Fraternity of St. Peter in which he will assure them of the prayers of the Institute of Christ the King for Fr. Walker, as well as for the recovery of Fr. Terra and for their family members and for their community.
I have changed our bulletin online version so that it shows the Requiem Mass for tomorrow morning. As our Sunday bulletin is printed always in the middle of the previous week, I will be able to address this tragic act of violence against Catholic clergy in next week’s bulletin.
The website http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/ has several articles on Fr. Walker, about his family’s way to the Latin Mass and his way to the priesthood. At the age of 28 and shortly after his second ordination anniversary his priestly life which was so promising was so violently put to an end. His priestly life however will continue now in eternity with God. I was very impressed to hear that the badly wounded Fr. Terra administered the sacrament of Extreme Unction to the dying Fr. Walker.
At St. Gianna Oratory we have a young couple which was married by Fr. Terra just a few years ago: Alan and Mayra Aversa. It was then Alan who emailed me with this deep saddening news last Wednesday night. I have been praying since then for the two priests and I invite you to be close to them through your prayers.
In the coming weeks we will need to address also the question how we can improve security at Holy Family Church. We are close to downtown and to the university, but there is a larger homeless population in our neighborhood as well as the usual drug trafficking at night etc.
With the assurance of my prayers, I am sincerely yours in Christ the King,
Canon Richard von Menshengen