Bp. Callahan removes ICKSP from Cashton apostolate, last Mass Sept. 29

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Nearly 20 years ago, at the invitation of (then) Bishop Raymond L. Burke, members of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest took up residence in the former convent at St. Mary’s Ridge as their North American headquarters. These were the days following Blessed Pope John Paul II’s permission for priests, with the permission of the local bishop, to offer the Mass according to the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII for those people who desired to worship according to this venerable form. Eventually Mass was offered to the public on St. Mary’s Ridge in this form. And then, four years ago, the small community at St. Mary’s Ridge was given their own resident vicar.

In the meantime Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI expanded Blessed Pope John Paul II’s permission for priests to offer the “Extraordinary Form” without specifically seeking the permission of their bishop in order to meet the needs and desires of the communities to which they have been sent. He even expressed the desire that all of those studying for the priesthood should be trained so as to be able to function with equal comfort in both forms.

More and more diocesan seminarians and even already ordained priests have taken up the call of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to learn to offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. As a result, Bishop Callahan has determined that the time has come for the Extraordinary Form community of St. Mary’s Ridge be served by the local pastor. Fr. Klos will begin meeting with community members at the beginning of September so that the catechetical year and planning for the year can begin in a timely manner. Canon Gardner’s last Mass will be Sunday, September 29.

Bishop Callahan appreciates the efforts of Msgr. Schmitz, Canon Gardner and the other canons of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest and looks forward to their continued service and collaboration in the Diocese of La Crosse, especially through their service at St. Mary’s Oratory in Wausau, WI. He is also grateful to Fr. Klos, the pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary- St. Mary’s Ridge, for his willingness to undertake shepherding those Catholics attending Mass at St. Mary’s Ridge who have a devotion to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Over the past two years over 70 priests have been moved as Bishop Callahan and the Diocesan Personnel Council have executed the Diocesan Pastoral Plan in order to best meet the needs of the Catholic population of the Diocese of La Crosse. This is one more movement in that effort. All members of Christ’s Body, the Church, are asked to continue in their prayers, support, and encouragement for Bishop Callahan and our priests, diocesan and religious, native and international, who continue to faithfully serve the people of this diocese in the person of Christ, Head of his Body, the Church, and Sovereign High Priest.
St. Mary's Bulletin

I have no idea what happened.  No time for commentary. I'll follow up later.


  1. If I read this right, it sounds like the TLM will continue, but with a diocesan priest.
    Without any evidence to the contrary, it also seems like there are a growing number of priests in the LaCrosse Diocese who know how to offer the TLM, & the Bishop wants to see that they can do so.

  2. I am not sure if this is...

    1-A good thing, growing openness of Diocesan priests towards the Latin Mass, "mission accomplished" for ICKSP they leave a thriving community behind and move on to set up a similar situation at another place in the diocese.

    2-A sign that the Latin Mass is "winding down."

    Frankly I'd think any Bishop would be happy to have some outside help to come in and run a parish to alleviate pressure on other parishes in the diocese.

    The Diocesan Pastoral Plan has produced more than a few odd results and transfers lately.

  3. sad news! Hope its just a matter of diocesean priests and seminarians learning the EF. On a lighter note:

    His Excellency, Bishop Donald Hying will be administering
    the Sacrament of Confirmation to our Candidates on Saturday, September 14th, 2013. The schedule of events is the following:
     Saturday, August 24th: After the 9:00 am Mass there will
    be a meeting of the Candidates with a spiritual talk followed by the exam.
     Saturday, September 7th: 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm there
    will be a meeting of the Candidates and two Spiritual
    Talks with Canon Hellmann.
     Friday, September 13th: Practice after the 6:30 pm Mass.
     Saturday, September 14th: High Mass and Confirmation
    celebrated by Bishop Hying.
     There will be a reception for everyone after the Mass in
    the Parish Hall. Come and show your support for the
    newly confirmed! This a great opportunity to welcome
    Bishop Hying to St. Stanislaus."

    from the bulliton this week: http://www.institute-christ-king.org/uploads/milwaukee/bulletins/2012/10th%20Sunday%20after%20Pentecost%202013.pdf

  4. I am grateful that the comments here are more charitable than at another web-site to which I was directed this morning. Thank-you.
    Just so you all know... The letter was approved by Bishop Callahan and the Institute of Christ the King for publication in the bulletins for both the Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo. I, the pastor of St. Mary's Parish, WILL continue the celebration of the Latin Mass each Sunday and also one evening per week (with adoration); also on Feasts and Solemnities. The Masses will be sung on a regular basis. The sacraments for which the pastor is the ordinary minister will be administered according to the books in force in 1962.
    According to Fr. Gardner, there are about 15 families who regularly attend the Latin Mass at St. Mary's Ridge and, for the past four or so years, have supported a full-time priest supplied by the Institute of Christ the King. It is my hope that they will continue to worship at St. Mary's, giving a continuing witness to the breadth and beauty of the Catholic faith. I look forward to offering the Latin Mass when I take over on the first Sunday in October.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Fr. Michael, I just read some horrible posting about this over on Facebook and I had to come over here and offer my support - as someone who loves the traditional form and the beauty of the EF I am appalled at the bad behavior, disrespect and unfounded fear-mongering some are proclaiming in their dark corners online. You and Bishop Callahan have far greater patience than I would have in dealing with them (though I suspect that the people in a snit are NOT the people who are at St. Mary's, I trust those people know what a blessing they have been given from everyone involved, ICKSP, Bishop Callahan and yourself!!)

      I know the travel to Cashton by the ICKSP priest was quite a distance for them to go, and I am glad to see a diocesan priest take the reins for them so they can focus on their own oratory and so that you can bring greater unity to the parish family.

      God bless your ministry to ALL of us! -Mary

    3. Mary! Seriously! They weren't sharing a priest with the oratory. The ICKSP priest was in residence!

      Someone else already mentioned this in the facebook post you were mentioning. I'm in contact with the people at St Mary's, and a lot of them are getting in a snit over losing a beloved priest and friend, in addition to losing the daily TLM!

      Who knows if Father Klos, all respect to him, has the time and patience to also keep up confession before every Mass and twice a week, the altar/rosary society, the holy name society, and catechism for the children? Canon Gardner was essentially running the services of a full parish, and now Father Klos has this also put on his shoulders. I doubt he'll have the time with a parish with 3 churches also being his responsibility.

      Plain and simple, it was a bizarre administrative decision.

  5. so it seems safe to assume that this isnt about distrust or anything bad.I hope his excellency will consider ICRSP in the future for any other openings in the diocese. I will remind people that one of the purposes of the ED groups was to introduce the TLM to a new generation unfamiliar with the EF, and promote it as much as possible, so this might just be a passing of the torch so as to move Canon Gardner on to a new Parish for similar reasons.

    Thank you Fr. Michael for taking on this responsibility! Thoughts and prayers with you daily!


  6. It is not clear from your post BadgerCatholic if the new priest will continue to celebrate the TLM/EF or not. Please find out. If not, it is heartbreaking! Where will the those attached to the TLM go?

    Fr. Michael, are you the "Fr. Klos" mentioned in the post? If yes, then thank you in advance for continuing to celebrate the TLM/EF at St. Mary's.

    1. Yes, Fr. Klos = Fr. Michael, has been a BC reader for some time. Yes, the Mass to continue, it appears weekday schedule will be different but Sunday schedule to stay the same.

  7. So this does appear to be good news, hopefully this even means that the institutes' "continued service and collaboration in the Diocese of La Crosse" means that with the torch being passed to Fr. Klos at St. Mary's the Institute will be able to "set up shop" somewhere new in the diocese. In addition to their fantastic work with the Traditional liturgy, the ICKSP's skill for taking care of parishes (usually of historic and architectural value) and keeping them up and running, is a great service to the local Catholic patrimony of wherever they go (imagine Milwaukee without St. Stans) etc.

  8. I fail to see how taking away the daily TLM is a good thing. This is a sad step backward, and unjust. If resources are available to keep the same daily Mass schedule, how can it be construed as just to limit it?

    I will keep this community in prayers, especially that this community's pastors will see it as an act of kindness and charity that this community can keep the daily TLM.

  9. Father Michael: I trust you are not referring to The Remnant when you accuse "another web-site" of being uncharitable with respect to this development. Since we more or less broke the story, I guess it's natural for me to fear that perhaps you are accusing us of being uncharitable, and I’d genuinely like to know why.
    Our one and only comment appears below and here is the link: www.RemnantNewspaper.com . Honestly, Father, I can't understand how anyone would find this uncharitable. I have lots of priest friends who do not know how to say the Old Mass. I meant no disrespect to you personally.
    But the bottom line is this: The folks at St. Mary's Ridge are losing their beloved priest and having their TLM schedule cut in half. This is not easy for them, as you know better than I. Some of them contacted us, and we ran the letter in question only after making inquiries to the parish offices. We’re only looking for answers as to why this happening. Is this uncharitable?
    Thank you for this consideration, and thanks also for what you're doing for the traditionalists in your care. We're glad to know you will continue to offer the Latin Mass for them during this difficult transition.
    In Christo Rege,
    Michael J. Matt
    Editor, The Remnant
    Here is the original Remnant report…
    “The following letter was reportedly distributed and read at the Mass offered by The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at St. Mary's Ridge near Cashton, WI. There are some perplexing aspects to this letter that leave us concerned. First, there is no signature on the letter. Why not?
    “ Second, the priest mentioned, Father Klos, has been the priest of the Novus Ordo parish (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, St. Mary's Ridge, WI) which shares the church with the Latin Mass Apostolate for several years. We are told that he does not know how to say the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and has not participated in any of the Latin Mass Apostolate functions thus far.
    “The then-bishop of La Crosse, Raymond Cardinal Burke, invited the Institute of Christ the King to take up residence in the old convent at St. Mary's Ridge in 1996 thus establishing the Institute in the United States. So, why this sudden move to hand it over to diocesan priests not known to be particularly favorable to the old Mass?
    “At this posting we have left a telephone request with the Institute’s offices in Cashton, WI, asking for further information and confirmation. In the meantime, let us hope and pray that this development has nothing to do with a much feared and widely predicted crackdown on the Traditional Latin Mass in general under the reign of Pope Francis …MJM”

    1. It was, in fact, The Remnant. I was horrified that you would claim that I don't know how to offer the Latin Mass and particularly hurt that you would claim that I am not known to be particularly favorable to the old Mass. What's more, I am not the priest of the "Novus Ordo" parish. I am the canonically appointed pastor of the the entire parish (which is why I signed all baptismal certificates). And you didn't call the "parish offices", you called the Institute's office. Now, can you begin to fathom why I was hurt?

    2. Fr. I for one just want to say thank you for your good work, count on my prayers!

  10. This is not a step forward...

  11. Replies
    1. I will offer the already established 6:00 Thursday evening Mass. From there the interest of the people to attend an Extraordinary Form Mass will determine how much further we go. If you belong to one of the two vehicles I sometimes see parked in front of church for the 7:00 am Mass I would be delighted to speak with you about a greater availability for the Latin Mass.


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