Read in this post “Part 2” — the happy conclusion — of a ten-year history & project of NCCL action to help restore parish life for a Roman community.
(Part 1, the first ten years, 2005-2015, will appear in a post to be published later.)
Even before their now-former Pastor announced in late December, 2015 his decision & the Bishop’s permission to take sabbatical for an indeterminate period, the lay faithful of the Roman community in and around Allentown, Pennsylvania in attendance at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish had initiated communications with the Ordinary, Bishop John O. Barres.
Their request was simple.
To make provision for the continuation of parish life according to Summorum Pontificum as then-provided at St. Stephen of Hungary Church, by inviting the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to minister in the same spirituality.
Linked on this page (below) you’ll read numerous letters of request that the lay faithful sent, perseveringly, to Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown.
After some two dozen and more letters to His Excellency et al between June 2015 and May 2016, Bishop Barres granted the request, assigning the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to administer the Parish of St. Stephen of Hungary according to the disciplines, spirituality & missal of 1962 — all Roman.
Since several of the letters were repetitive, resembling the first petition found under page no.1, they are not included here.
Simply click on the link (below) to each numbered page of the correspondence to view each letter.
page 1 of the correspondence — letter dated June 1, 2015 to The Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown, being a sample of approximately 15 letters of its kind requesting continued administration of the traditional disciplines & Roman Missal of 1962 for the Parish, by inviting the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to serve the faithful there
page 2 of the correspondence — letter dated June 19, 2015 from Msgr. Gerald Gobitas, Diocesan Secretary of Clergy, communicating Bishop Barres’ acknowledgement of receipt of the request of June 1, and referral of it to the Priests’ Personnel Board
page 3 of the correspondence — letter dispatched September 2, 2015 to The Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown, being a response to his reply, a re-phrasing (for simplification) of the original request, and asking whether His Excellency is favorably disposed or not to it
page 4 of the correspondence — letter dated December 6, 2015 to Bishop Barres, reiterating the request, re-posing the question of His Excellency’s disposition, and reminding him the faithful await his response
page 5 of the correspondence — letter dated December 30, 2015 communicating to His Excellency, Bp. Barres, the repeated request after the announcement of the Pastor’s sabbatical and in anticipation of his impending departure, leaving the parish without a pastor
page 6 of the correspondence — sample letter dated December 30, 2015 to Fr. Patrick Schoneauer, administrator of St. Stephen’s, requesting a Mass to be offered at the Parish at least on Mondays
[Nota bene: The same letter, verbatim, was mailed within the same two-week period by a few parishioners to Fr. Schoenauer.]
page 7 of the correspondence — letter dated January 5, 2016 to Bishop Barres, thanking for the previous pastor and repeating the request for a pastor sharing the spirituality of the ancient Roman disciplines & using the 1962 missal
page 8 of the correspondence — letter also dated January 5, 2015 from a young mother joining the petition, and asking His Excellency to allow for holy Mass on holy days and as many days of the week as practicable during Lent
page 9 of the correspondence — letter dated January 20, 2015 from Msgr. David James, in reply to the letter of earlier the same month — January 5
[Nota bene: The same letter, verbatim, was received in reply to the other letter to Bp. Barres, also dated January 5.]
page 10 of the correspondence — letter dated January 22, 2016 to His Grace Archbishop Charles Chaput, Metropolitan of Philadelphia, asking how to obtain a response from Bp. Barres
page 11 of the correspondence — letter of January 22, 2016 to Bp. Barres asking if there are other Priests whom he might have asked to offer the traditional Roman Mass at St. Stephen’s Parish
page 12 of the correspondence — letter dated January 27, 2016 from Archbishop Chaput replying to letter of January 22
page 13 of the correspondence — letter dated February 2, 2016 to a Priest of the Diocese thought (wrongly) well-disposed, requesting he learn the old Mass to celebrate it at St. Stephen’s
page 14 of the correspondence — letter mailed February 15, 2016 [misdated December 30, 2015] to Bp. Barres asking why he has not replied to repeated letters, posing questions, and requesting audience
page 15 of the correspondence — letter dated February 20, 2016 to Bp. Barres notifying of misdated letter dispatched five days prior
page 16 of the correspondence — letter of February 17, 2016 to Bishop asking additional questions, and again requesting audience
page 17 of the correspondence — letter dated March 11, 2016 once again requesting audience, before it is too late to matter
page 18 of the correspondence — letter dated March 22, 2016 to Bishop Barres, after meeting him in passing between the doors of the Chancery, asking again for audience, and explaining the Roman ways & manners of the Romans at St. Stephen’s
page 19 of the correspondence — letter dated March 14, 2016 from Msgr. Gerald E. Gobitas explaining nothing hitherto unknown, and expressing only the obvious, without addressing — to purpose — the previous letters
[Nota bene: The same letter, verbatim, also dated March 14 was received by the other writer of the letter (noted above) dispatched to His Excellency on February 22.]
page 20 of the correspondence — letter dated March 22, 2016 from Bp. Barres in response to the letter of March 11
page 21 of the correspondence — letter dated April 5, 2016 to Bishop Barres explaining motivations for writing – according to the ways & manners of Romans – specifically chapter iii of St. Benedict’s Rule
page 22 of the correspondence — letter dated May 11, 2016 from Bp. Barres replying to requests by assigning the Fraternity of St. Peter to administer the Parish beginning July 1, 2016
page 23 of the correspondence — news released to the press etc. May 16, 2016 by Msgr. Gerald E. Gobitas of Bp. Barres’s decision to assign the Fraternity of St. Peter to administer the Parish beginning July 1, 2016
TE DEUM! DEO GRATIAS!