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Sunday 21 February 2010


TORONTO--Only three weeks after a Solemn High Mass was held on Candlemas assisted by transitional Deacons and Seminarians of St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto; and less than a week after a column appeared on Rorate Caeli Blog extolling the provisioning of the Traditional Latin Mass in Ontario, it was announced today after the Mass for Quadragesima Sunday that effective next Sunday, February 28, 2009, the Toronto Apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter will come to an end.

Apostolate Chaplain, Father Howard Venette, FSSP addressed the nearly 100 congregants following the Mass advising the shocked congregation that the departure was due to "internal personnel" matters. Father Venette will be reassigned to Orlando, Florida following his 19 month stay in Toronto.

The FSSP was invited to Toronto by Archbishop Thomas Collins with the hopes of establishing a personal parish for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. In September 2009, a public announcement was made by the Fraternity and on the Archdiocese of Toronto web page that Canadian Martyrs parish would be the location over a six-month transitional period. Within days of this announcement and without public explanation, the situation changed and the parish plan did not materialise.

Recently, the Fraternity was advised that while a parish was not currently available, its provision would depend on the continued growth and financial viability of the community. In the last 19 months, attendance at the Sunday Mass at St. Theresa Shrine Church increased over 100% from the attendance under the former indult at the Missa Lecta to the Missa Cantata.

Upon arrival in Toronto, Father Venette was in residence at Holy Cross parish where the Mass was celebrated daily and on High Holy Days. Following the situation in September over Canadian Martyrs, Father was moved to St. Brigid's where the daily Mass schedule changed from week to week and the High Holy Day liturgies were split between St. Brigid's and St. Theresa's Parish.

According to officials from Una Voce Toronto, Archbishop Collins had indicated that he desired no less than "five" Extraordinary Form Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto every Sunday.

A Solemn High Mass was being planned for St. Theresa's for March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, Patron Saint of Canada and has now been cancelled. After the departure of Father Venette, the only daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese of Toronto will be at The Toronto Oratory Church of the Holy Family. The Oratorians continue to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis Sundays at St. Vincent de Paul Church at 11:30AM.


Pascendi said...

Absolutely shocking news. very, very sad.

Carl said...

Very sorry to hear this shocking news. My heart and prayers go out to all at the apostolate.

Anonymous said...

Something is frightening someone in the archdiocese. 19 months is not even a substantial amount of time. A couple of weeks ago there was still some talk about the possibility of an establishment of a parish and now the Society is cast out lot, stock and barrel and parishioners who are true to the faith and the heritage of the church are left out in the cold? Millions are given every year to the Archdiocese to fund Share Life, which recently has been exposed as contributing to groups with dubious activities. But of course no one talks about it.....
I wonder when this exile will end.....

Anonymous said...

How sad when minds remain so small that Christians can not put unfortunate disagreements behind them! Let us pray for a big heart in the Archbishop!

Anonymous said...

A big thank you to Fr. Howard Venette. His time with us, although brief, was not in vain. He touched the hearts (and souls) of many by way of his humility, liberality, chastity, patience, temperance, zeal and brotherly love. He WILL be missed! The Archdiocese
suffers greatly, not only from Fathers departure, but also the lack of an FSSP parish.
Fr. Venette and the FSSP will continue to be in our family’s daily prayers. S&N

Anonymous said...

Is it absolutely clear that this change is from the Archdiocese? Could it not also be an internal FSSP question?

Fr Paul McDonald
Diocese of St. Catharines

Mrs McLean said...

That's my question, too, Vox. I know how disappointed and frustrated you must be. But Archbishop Collins is solid and has been so positive about the Extraordinary Form, that I can't imagine he could at all be the reason for Fr. Venette to be moved to the U.S.

Could you find out if this is a matter internal to the FSSP? The Oratorians are also friends of the EF, and they're going strong.

I'm so sorry for your distress. How very disappointing for you and the east-end Toronto Catholics who love the EF.

Anonymous said...


The official reason given is that the FSSP has "internal personnel" issues. This is the reason they are leaving to staff parishes where they have more permanent arrangements.

This is simply a report of the facts.

That beings said, it goes without saying that had there been some serious indication of permanence, perhaps even a stable "sharing" relationship the "personnel" problem may have not arisen.

Anonymous said...

Sad news indeed.
But there is still hope.

Here is the link to the Church of the Transfiguration in Toronto, which offers the Gregorian Rite of Mass daily:


Unknown said...

is it confirmed that the priest will be assigned to Orlando or Ocala?!?!

Anonymous said...

Not sure Ed, he said "Orlando" or a few miles from Orlando...does the FSSP have two parishes there?

You can write him through www.fssptoronto.com

Lucky Florida!

M. Alexander said...

When my father in law was dying we went to visit him and attended a Novus Ordo Mass in Toronto. The priest (also a canon lawyer) refused to give me Holy Communion under the pretext that I would spread disease by not receiving in the hand. I was holding my baby and unable to receive in the hand at any rate. The fact that I was also wearing a veil and kneeling I think was not in my favor. After I was refused Holy Communion I wrote to the Bishop and was told that the priest had acted correctly and there must have been something about me that caused him to refuse my Holy Communion. The Papal Nuncio said there must have been some "misunderstanding."


Vox Cantoris said...

Dear M. Alexander,

I'm sorry that you're experience in Toronto was so poor. Yes, it's always the fault of the "laity" always, "our" misunderstanding. The blowback to this blog from over H1N1 and now today is strong. They don't like the challenge. Well, what can they do, excommunicate me? If you are here again, please visit The Oratory, communion in the OF can be received kneeling and on the tongue, every day.

Dear Dan Hunter,

Respectfully and in charity, there is no need for anyone in Toronto to attend the SSPX as a substitute. The EF is offered daily, Missa Lecta and Sunday Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis at the Toronto Oratory at www.oratory-toronto.org. Further, the Mass will continue at St. Theresa Shrine and I will shortly create a new blog for the Mass to promote it on the internet and the usual, Facebook!

Anonymous said...

Incredible news. Makes one wonder what will happen to otehr FSSP apostolates in not-so-Traditional-friendly diocese and archdiocese...

Anonymous said...

All I can do is venture an opinion in this matter: The Conciliar Church is fundamentaly inimical to the TLM, be it offered by FSSP, SSPX or any other "traditional Catholic" apostolate. I think you'll find with enough digging that the principle diocesan authorities and, perhaps, other players in the shadows have brought this about deliberately.

Anonymous said...

Vox Cantoris,

Thank you for the information about the Oratory and daily Mass I was unaware of that.

Also do you know if there is a Traditional Latin Mass offered in Niagara Falls NY?

I am an alumnus of Niagara University and if I am ever in the Niagara area I would like to assist at holy Mass.
I am familiar with the one in St Catherines, but I would like to find one in Niagara Falls USA.
God bless/

Vox Cantoris said...

Dear Dan Hunter,

I appreciate your understanding. I'm not "slagging" the SSPX and there are many good people there, but until the most unfortunate situation is resolved, I cannot encourage anyone to attend.

I can't speak for Niagara Falls, N.Y. but I do know that there is one if not two in Buffalo--I think one is at St. Anthony of Padua or Lisbon depending on your persuasion!

Vox Cantoris said...

Dear Warren,

I am not encouraging "slagging the bishop" but unless it gets rude, I am not going to delete or edit the comments.

This has gone on for many years and must come to an end.

I have not said in my article that they were "asked" to leave. However, is it not fair to say that "nothing was done to encourage the opposite result?"

What is that saying about silence being approval?

To use your most patronizing and unfortunate term "traddies" can be an angry lot, have you wondered why? But to say that they are "catholic in name-only" is terribly unkind at this time.

Are you familiar with Psalm 146:3?

"Put not your trust in princes or the children of men in whom there is no salvation."

Rudeness is not acceptable, questioning policy is acceptable.

Dauphin said...

A petition to the Archbishop is being organized to provide a daily Mass, reschedule the Sunday celebration to the morning, and have a chaplain appointed. Here's the wording:

"We the undersigned humbly and respectfully request, in accordance with Article 7 of the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, that a provision be made in the east end of Toronto (east of Yonge Street to Scarborough) for the daily celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (typical edition of 1962). We request also that the current Sunday celebration be rescheduled to the morning, in order to facilitate growth in attendance and ensure continued viability.

In order to accommodate these needs, we also respectfully propose that Your Excellency appoint a chaplain, as foreseen in Article 10 of the Motu Proprio, to oversee the pastoral care of this community."

Bring as many people as you can to St. Therese at 1 pm Sunday!

Anonymous said...


Mike said...

Parody, "Hitler Rails Against Pope Benedict" timely for these events.

Anonymous said...

There's no need for the SSPX. In other news, the lever has been removed from the list of simple machines. Newsflash: shut up and obey. More news at 9!

Anonymous said...

Fr. Venette had recently performed a miracle in August, 2007 during his time at Queen of Angels Oratory in St. Catharines Ontario.

My wife, being 5 months pregnant at the time had an ultrasound with devistating results that included 4
areas of the unborn childs body that had been detected with birth defects.
My wife and I then immediately scheduled another ultrasound appointment at a university medical center in Hamilton a few days after the first one.
Before we arrived in Hamilton, we went to Queen of Angels Oratory and asked for Fr. Venette's blessing.
The final results of the ultrasound in Hamilton was to expect a 100% healthy baby girl on her due date in January, 2008.
On January 9th, 2008 Elizabeth Carol Nolan was born a perfectly healthy 9 pounds, 5 ounces.

Thank you Father Venette.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dorothy Cummings McLean said...


There's an old proverb that suggests you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

There's also an old story about a bet between the sun and the wind. Sun and wind made a bet about who could make a priest take his coat off first. The wind tried to blow the coat off, but the more the wind blew the more the priest shivered and held his coat tightly around him. Then the sun shone at the priest. It beamed brighter and brighter, warmer and warmer, until the priest, warm and smiling, took his coat off.

I suggest that it is warn sun and not bitter wind that is going to help the EF flourish both in Toronto and abroad. Why not, instead of angry comments, write about what it is about the EF that enriches your soul?

Yours in Christ.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the FSSP always takes a position in a diocese with the understanding that there are long term prospects for a parish of their own. No traditional priest wants to share a parish with the Novus Ordo, there's too many issues with that.

That said, a disagreement as fundamental as communion in the hand on top of a question of permanence could easily lead a priest to prefer to be somewhere else when the opportunity comes up. And the FSSP has an interest in keeping their priests happy.

There are still dioceses clamoring for the FSSP.

Vox Cantoris said...

Dear Father MacDonald,

Please accept my personal apology for the tone of one of the posters in this combox which I have now deleted.

God bless you and thank you for all your work.


mike said...

Communion in the hand is reverent?

Even without being able to understand the Spanish language, this video
really makes one wonder if Communion in the hand. is acceptable.

Unknown said...

I was able to contact the priest and he said he's going to be at the FSSP church in Sarasota and help out in Ocala.

Vox Cantoris said...


Well our loss is your gain, no doubt about that!

I've looked up the web page and read the bulletin from last Sunday...the catechetics, music, attendance, activities...a real parish life...it makes this situation here all the more heartbreaking.

Please keep us in your prayers!

Unknown said...

Hey Folk!

It looks to me like a lot of you folks are jumping the gun. I suppose, given the treatment of Traditionlists through the years it would not be surprising if you didn't feel the way you do but it isn't necessary wise.

The reason given for the FSSP leaving is personnel problems within the FSSP. Why can't you accept that until you know otherwise? Don't commit the sin of rash judgement and for heaven's don't start threatening to withold money.

Anything I've heard of Archbishop Collins is good but I also know that a lot of bishops have a mistrust of Traditionalists. IF and I emphasise IF that is the case with the archbishop then accusations without a base and threats are, from your oint of view the worst move you could make.

Pray and give the archbishop the benefit of the doubt. You may well be surprised.

Rene Dimatulac, Pickering, Ontario said...

It is really sad for Fr. Venette & FSSP to leave Toronto area. Yes, he is very humble, patience & all kind of a virtues that a religious priest must possess.

I've been following this form (EF)since the 1st televised (EWTN) & "legal" celebration of Extraordinary Form on Sept. 14, 2007, the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. I even drove 19 hours to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament (Mother Angelica)in Hanceville, AL. to witness a "live" celebration last Oct 24/09.

Nevertheless, for those who still want to be at EF of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can go to Queen of Angels Oratory (St. Catherine, Ont.) or St. Clement (Ottawa). The priests are all member of FSSP.

Hope that the FSSP Superior realize that Toronto needs a priest even for Sundays only and reconsider sending one in future. Also, we can request with the Institute of Christ the King Soveriegn Priest to send one. The website is: http://www.institute-christ-king.org/home/

Someday, let's all pray, that all Church leaders, especially Archbishop Collins & Bishop Henry (of Calgary - also issued a letter forbidding distribution of Communion by tongue during the swine flu) will come into union and full obedience to the Holy Father in regards to Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Fr. Steven Szakaczki, formerly from St. Bernadette, Ajax (although not a FSSP) celebrates the EF. He is now at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Richmond Hill, Ont. He use the Roman Missal 1962 during the celebration and he may be willing to even on Sundays.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that Fr. Venette will now be coming to St. Francis de Sales in Mableton Georgia.