The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is granted a personal parish in Rome

Posted on July 5, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It is with great joy that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter announces the opening of a personal parish in the Diocese of Rome. The decree of erection of the parish, which is dated Easter day of 2008, states that in conformity with art. 10 of Summorum Pontificum, “and after having received the proposal of the Cardinal Vicar, the Holy Father has established that in the central sector of the Diocese of Rome, in the 1st District, and in a fitting place of worship, namely, the Church of Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini […] should be erected a personal parish, in order to guarantee proper pastoral care for the entire community of Traditional faithful residing in the same Diocese”.
The Fraternity of St. Peter is deeply grateful to the Holy Father and his Vicar, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, to be entrusted with this parish in the See of Peter. Of the many dioceses where the Fraternity serves, this is the tenth apostolate which has been erected as a full personal parish, and the first in Europe. It is hoped that this particular parish will serve not only the local parishioners, but that it will also provide a fine example of the beauty and solemnity of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite to the many pilgrims and students in Rome. Rev. Joseph Kramer, FSSP, has been appointed as the first pastor of the parish Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rector of the venerable Archconfraternity of the same name, and Rector of the church.
The installation of Fr. Kramer as pastor, and official opening Mass of the parish will take place on June 8, 2008. The Fraternity of St. Peter asks for your prayers in carrying out these new duties towards the faithful, and the Diocese of Rome.
From the General Secretariat FSSP, on May 7, 2008.
More information: Photo album: Santa Trinità dei Pellegrini
The following is taken from an article in the FSSP French newsletter, the “Lettre aux amis” of May 2008.
Dear Friends of the Fraternity,
As you know the Fraternity of St. Peter has a particular attachment to the Eternal City. It is in Rome that we were founded. Those instrumental in our foundation were the Holy Father John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, the Sovereign Pontiff and Bishop of Rome. Finally we were given the great grace to take the name of the Prince of the Apostles St. Peter, patron of Rome; the first order to take on such a name in two centuries. Since that first great act of fidelity to the Successor of Peter by our founders our Fraternity has kept a continuous presence in the Eternal City. In our less than twenty years we have sent 15 men for licentiate and doctorate work at the Roman Universities and have had a very small chapel, S. Gregorio that we have served as chaplains since 1997.
It is then with great joy that on behalf of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter I can announce to you that on Easter Sunday (March 23, 2008) the Vicariate of Rome granted a personal parish to the care of our Fraternity at the church of Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini. The Fraternity is honored that the Holy Father has established this personal parish to serve the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite in the heart of Rome, and that through his Cardinal Vicar Camillo Ruini the FSSP has been chosen to serve it. What better example could be found of an application of Summorum Pontificum! It is only fitting that Rome, the heart of the Church is the first Diocese in Europe to confide a personal parish to our Fraternity.
The church Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini stands in the very center of Rome only 100 meters from the Palazzo Farnese, near the Ponte Sisto. It would be hard to imagine a finer location. The church, which dates from the beginning of the 17th century, has a rich history in Rome. It was built by the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims which was founded under the inspiration and direction of St. Philip Neri, with the specific mission of housing and caring for pilgrims in Rome. The church has its very roots then in the work of St. Philip who is often called the third apostle of the Eternal City, whose mission was a true reform of bringing faithful back to a zealous practice of the faith through processions, devotions and the liturgy. The church also has the mission of receiving pilgrims at its origins and further reinforces the mission of the Fraternity in Rome.
Typical of the Roman churches of the Counter-Reformation period, Trinità dei Pellegrini has a wide sanctuary with no liturgical choir, enabling the faithful to see the sacred ceremonies more clearly. Likewise, the 8 side chapels, two major ones and 6 minor, are constructed in such a way as to not distract from the principal sanctuary. The church contains several interesting artworks, such as the “Madonna and Child with Ss. Francis and Augustine” of Giuseppe Cesari, (also called the Cavaliere d’Arpino), under whom the painter Caravaggio worked during his Roman sojourn, and the famous “Mass of Saint Gregory” by Iacopo Zucchi, an interesting document of Roman liturgical practice in the later 16th century. However, the most outstanding piece by far is the majestic painting of “the Trinity” by the Bolognese painter Guido Reni. Commissioned by Card. Ludovisi, the nephew of Pope Gregory XV, in 1625, this beautifully balanced and colored painting, done when the artist was 50 years old, is a version of the “mercy-seat” motif; God the Father, at the top of the painting, is shown with open arms, with the Holy Spirit at His chest above the Crucified Christ. The figure of Christ is painted in a stark white which causes him to stand out against the colorful background, echoing the Elevation of the white Sacred Host taking place during the solemn Mass celebrated underneath the painting at the main Altar. It is considered one of the most beautiful retables in all of Rome.
In establishing a church in Rome to serve as the centre for the traditional Mass the Vicariate not only wanted a parish life which would serve those living in the city, but also a place which would receive the pilgrims coming to Rome who desire to worship according to the extraordinary form. The Vicariate of Rome stated from the start that the structure of a personal parish is the one which best makes these faithful feel at home, and thus active members of the local Church. It also best manifests the priests’ relation to the bishop and their concrete duties towards him. In this way our priest, like every parish priest, will form a sort of bridge for the people to their pastor, the bishop.
A second purpose of this magnificent church is to give an example of the full liturgical life of the extraordinary form in all of its splendor. One of the main efforts of the Fraternity of St. Peter will be to provide a church with a living liturgical life which can serve as an example of what Pope Benedict XVI refers to as the “treasures of worship and culture accumulated” in the Roman Rite. Masses and offices will be offered solemnly with highly trained ministers and musicians. For years the Russian College in Rome has served as a living example of the beauty of the Eastern Rites. Here the Rites are carried out in full solemnity. Many priests and faithful have come to know and appreciate these Rites in this beautiful setting. It is now our duty to try to do something similar in the Eternal City. How many pilgrims and how many young priests will have their first contact with the beautiful ritual of the Extraordinary Form at Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini. The duty that lies before us is very humbling, but very exciting. We can only thank His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI for this opportunity.
I ask for your prayers for this endeavor which is important not only for our community but for the whole Church. We
will be glad to use Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini for all offices and Masses of our twentieth anniversary on October 18, 2008. I also hope to see you there to celebrate the opening of our parish on June 8, or at another time in Rome in the not too distant future, in the heart of the See of Peter.
Very Rev. John Berg, Superior General FSSP

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