March 17, 2010 // Local

Seminary chapel consecrated with local help

William Cardinal Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, delivers the sermon as seminarian Gregory Eichman looks on.

By Monica Eichman and S.L. Hanssen

DENTON, Neb. — The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter consecrated its newly constructed chapel at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Neb., on March 3. Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln consecrated Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel in the presence of William Cardinal Levada, prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
The consecration had numerous connections to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The Romanesque chapel was designed by architect Thomas Gordon Smith of the University of Notre Dame. Father George Gabet, chaplain of the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, assisted in the consecration of one of the seven side altars.

In addition, Deacon John Shannon of Fort Wayne helped transfer in procession the relics of 16 martyrs that were placed in the eight altars, while seminarian Gregory Eichman of Fort Wayne served as a master of ceremonies.
In keeping with the apostolate of the fraternity, the consecration of the chapel was celebrated in its traditional form and was followed by a solemn pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form.

Bishop Bruskewitz explained that a solemn consecration is typically reserved for cathedrals unless a church has a large enough endowment to ensure its perpetual operation. Because a consecrated church can be used for no other purpose than the sacred, most churches and chapels are simply dedicated. The consecration was, then, a particularly rare ceremony.

Co-consecrating bishops included retired Bishop James C. Timlin of Scranton, Pa; Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Okla.; and Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. Co-consecrating priests included Benedictine Abbot Philip Anderson of Clear Creek Monastery in Oklahoma and three priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
The lengthy ceremony was televised on the Eternal Word Television Network and will soon be available for purchase on DVD.

Father John Berg, superior general of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, called the event “the crowning achievement of a lot of years of preparation and planning.”

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter was established by Pope John Paul II in 1988. The fraternity’s first seminary was established in Wigratzbad, Germany, where Father Gabet received his training. As chaplain of the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Community, Father Gabet offers Mass in the extraordinary form every day at Sacred Heart Church in Fort Wayne and Sunday Mass at St. Patrick Church in South Bend.

Deacon Shannon has completed his studies at Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary and is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood May 22, 2010, in Lincoln. Seminarian Eichman is completing his fifth year of study at the seminary.

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