The Archbishop of Hartford, the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, has entrusted St. Patrick’s in Waterbury to the pastoral care of clergy from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. As of October 27, St. Patrick’s will once again become a territorial Parish and also the home of a new Oratory which will welcome people from across the Archdiocese who desire to attend the Extraordinary Form of Mass — commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass — and to receive the other Catholic Sacraments in this same Form. Local parishioners who attended an informational meeting earlier in September received the news with smiles and words of welcome for the new clergy. The Institute has fostered active parish communities in the spirituality of its patron St. Francis de Sales in fifteen dioceses across the United States since 1996.
Rev. Canon Joel Estrada of the Institute has been appointed Pastor of St. Patrick’s and Rector of the Oratory. He will be assisted by Brother Kevin Kerscher. The first Traditional Latin Mass at St. Patrick’s will be offered on Sunday, October 27, at 10:30 am by the Institute’s Vicar General, Monsignor Michael Schmitz.
Archbishop Blair commented, “I am very happy to welcome the Institute to the Archdiocese, not only for their parochial ministry for those who are drawn to the Traditional Latin Mass, but also for their commitment to the priestly spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. This will no doubt enrich and deepen the spiritual life of the people whom they serve as well as the priestly life and fraternity of all our clergy. I pray for God’s blessing on this new endeavor and ask everyone to extend a warm welcome to the Rev. Canon Joel Estrada at St. Patrick’s in Waterbury.”
St. Patrick’s had been previously one of two church buildings belonging to St. Blaise Parish, which will cease to exist as of October 27. The other nearby church building, St. Joseph’s, will also become a Parish once again for the Lithuanian community. As part of the arrangement with the Institute, local priests of the Archdiocese will continue to offer the English-language Mass at St. Patrick’s each Saturday evening, while the regular Mass schedule at St. Joseph’s will continue under the leadership of the Pastor, Father Fred Aniello.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, is based nationally in Chicago and internationally in Florence, Italy. In many cases, the institute’s ministry has revitalized and allowed for the care and restoration of historic churches in city centers. The Institute was established canonically in 1990 by Monsignor Gilles Wach and Canon Phillipe Mora. Its stated mission is “the honor of God and the sanctification of priests in the service of the Church and souls.” The Institute has been receiving an ever-increasing number of requests to serve across the United States since Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 issued a document allowing parish communities, with the blessings of their bishops, to offer the Traditional Latin Mass.
“Deeply grateful to Archbishop Blair for his gracious invitation, our entire Institute family is very glad for this new apostolate in Waterbury. St. Patrick’s will be an extraordinary spiritual home offering Masses with sacred music, daily confessions, days of recollection, classes in spirituality and doctrine, and youth formation activities among others,” said Canon Matthew Talarico, provincial superior in the United States for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. “With the help of God and the prayerful support of His people, the Institute seeks to carry on the traditions of St. Patrick’s with the truth and charity of Christ so very much needed in our world of today.”
For more information on Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, visit www.institute-christ-king.org. Contact the St. Patrick office at (203) 756-8837. The St. Patrick Church building is located at 50 Charles St, Waterbury, CT 06708.