New Peak in Membership in the Fraternity of Saint Peter -- Request by the Faithful of Bishop Zdarsa
Positive growth in the Fraternity of Saint Peter. Deaconal Ordination
(Wigratzbad) The Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has published the latest statistics of its personnel. The community of world priests, who cultivate the traditional Roman Rite and teach tradition, currently has 270 priests, 23 deacons and 132 seminarians.
The priestly brotherhood was established in July 1988 as a clerical society of apostolic life. It was founded by six members of the Society of Saint Pius X, who did not want to take the step to break with Rome, which was undertaken by the bishops who were participated in the episcopal consecrations not allowed by Pope John Paul II.
During the founding month, the founders were received in audience with Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. They wanted to continue the work of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in an ecclesiastical framework and in unity with Rome. Rome offered them a quick canonical recognition. As early as 18 October 1988, the Holy See established then as a society of papal law. 2003 was the final recognition by Rome.
As a result of the events of July 1988, a new space in the Church had apparently emerged for another priestly society, which was bound to tradition. While the Society continued its growth outside of Church recognition, the new establishement of the Society of Peter grew within it. It was not just a matter of course.
425 Members in 117 Branches
Obviously there was and is need. The Fraternity occupies a special task in priestly education. In Germany a priest's seminary is held in German and French, in the USA and in Australia, two seminaries in English. In Mexico, a Spanish priestly seminary is under construction.
Since its inception the Society of Saint Peter has experienced steady growth. Over the past twelve years, an average of eleven new priests have been consecrated to the Society every year. In 2016, 16 new priests were consecrated. In 1988 there were six founding fathers at the beginning. In 1992 the Society already had over 100 members, In 1997, 200, 2006, 300 and 2014, 400. Today, there are 425 members.
The Society has 117 branches worldwide, including 82 canonically built houses. From these, 226 locations are supervised in 124 dioceses. The number of parishioners supported by the Society is 38. 51 Society Brothers come from the Federal Republic of Germany, 13 from Austria and three from Switzerland. The German district is responsible for 68 locations in 23 dioceses.
Founded in 2007, the Confraternity of Saint Peter , an association for the faithful, who feel particularly indebted to the FSSP and want to support their apostolate through prayer and sacrifice, counts 5,231 members. 856 of them come from the German-speaking areas.
Prayer Site Wigratzbad to the Fraternity of Saint Peter
In the German-speaking world, it is the special wish of many faithful, considering the generous and paternal gesture by Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg. Since the oldest priestly seminary in the Society is located in Wigratzbad, and this place is especially connected to a place of prayer, there is a desire that the diocesan place of prayer be entrusted to the Society. Since 1976, the prayer site has been managed and supervised by a diocesan priest, who is the director of the prayer place. In 2011, the acting Prayer Director was appointed. The relationship with this priest and the seminary has not been entirely friction-free due to incomprehensible unkindness.
Through the seminary there are many priests and seminarians who are available for the pastoral care, service of the altar and the care of the pilgrims. Liturgical points of friction, as they were provoked by unnecessary reconstruction work of the altar room of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sacred Heart of the Virgin Mary, are to be automatically repaired. In times of priest shortage, the diocese would have more priests available for other tasks, the Wigratzbad prayer site would be in the best hands and would create a precious spiritual center of Roman tradition in the diocese, which is rich in other pilgrimage churches.