Message from Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP to the parishoners of St Mary's
July 6, 2015
Dear Members of the St Mary’s Community in Warrington,
Fraternal greetings in the Lord Jesus.
We are very grateful to Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, O.P. for his fatherly invitation to serve in the Liverpool Archdiocese; as well as to Abbot Cuthbert Madden, OSB of Ampleforth Abbey, for generously making this beautiful church available for our ministry.
We very much look forward to meeting with the faithful at St Mary's; as well as with Fr David Heywood, P.P. who will have the responsibility of the Parish from September, and with our fellow clergy in the Warrington Deanery and across the Archdiocese. We thank Mgr John Devine, P.P. for agreeing on an introductory meeting with the community at St Mary’s on 5th August (7pm). We are eager to learn more about the rich history and life of the community, so as to meet its expectations to the best of our abilities. We are confident that the great resources and skills of the local community, combined with the particular charisma of our Fraternity, can secure a happy future for St Mary’s, please God. Any members of the faithful will be welcome to meet with us and take part in the community life at St Mary’s, even though they may not live in the neighbourhood.
The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) is an international society of Roman Catholic priests, canonically similar to the Vincentians, Paulists, Oratorians or the Maryknoll Fathers inasmuch as they make promises like diocesan clergy rather than take religious vows; and like religious they lead communal life and abide by specific Constitutions approved by the Holy See according to the charisma of their founder(s).
The FSSP was founded in 1988 through direct involvement of Pope St John-Paul II and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Its mission is two-fold: first, the formation and sanctification of priests with the help of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite, and secondly, the pastoral deployment of the priests in the service of the Church (currently engaged in parochial ministry in 120 dioceses on 4 continents). This includes the whole range of ordinary pastoral activities: sacraments (especially confession and Holy Mass), catechism, spiritual accompaniment, etc.
Blessed with many vocations, the FSSP numbers 413 (average age 37), comprising 253 priests and 160 seminarians. Those include 7 priests and 10 seminarians from the UK. Two of them come from the Liverpool Archdiocese: Wigan and Mawdesley. Two others come from the Wirral and Birmingham; others from the South of England, from Wales and from Scotland. Our prayer network, the Confraternity of St Peter, numbers 4,700 worldwide. Members pray for vocations, and we are delighted to hear that your own prayers to the same end were rewarded by God with the priestly ordination of Fr Matthew Jolley at St Mary’s last week.
In these Isles, the FSSP is canonically established in the dioceses of Portsmouth and St Andrews & Edinburgh where Holy Mass is offered daily, and of Northampton (weekly Masses). We also serve monthly in the dioceses of Brentwood, Dunkeld (Scotland), Cork & Ross and Ferns (Ireland).
Two years ago, for the Silver Jubilee of our foundation, we were honoured to receive the encouragements of our Holy Father Pope Francis through his Apostolic Nuntio: [extract] "The Holy Father exhorts them, according to their own charisma, to take an active part in the mission of the Church in the world of today, through the testimony of a holy life, a firm faith and an inventive and generous charity".
May Our Blessed Lady, St Mary’s of Warrington, intercede for our fruitful service to the souls redeemed by the Her divine Son Our Lord.
Signed: Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP (Superior of the FSSP in England)