Fr John Rizzo, a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, arrived in Australia recently to commence the Fraternity's apostolate in this country. The Fraternity of St Peter is an Order of Pontifical Right, whose priests enjoy the privilege of celebrating exclusively the Mass and Sacraments according to the typical editions of the liturgical books in use in 1962. The Fraternity is establishing a foundation in Melbourne at the invitation of Archbishop George Pell to minister to those who wish to exercise their "rightful aspiration" of attending Mass and the other sacraments in the Traditional Roman Rite.
The Fraternity was founded in the wake of Archbishop Lefebvre's consecration of four bishops without Papal permission. Archbishop Lefebvre, the four bishops and the co-consecrator, Bishop de Castro Meyer, were excommunicated for being involved in this act. The Pope responded to this situation by issuing the Papal motu proprio Ecclesia Dei which called on bishops to make the Traditional Mass more freely available.
The Fraternity of St Peter has witnessed phenomenal growth in the twelve years since its foundation, with presently some 104 priests and 140 seminarians. Four of these seminarians are Australians; the fifth Australian member of the Fraternity, Fr John Gresser, originally from Sydney, was ordained to the priesthood in Canada on 4 March this year before joining Fr Rizzo in Melbourne later the same month. A third member of the Fraternity, a Melbourne subdeacon, is due to join Frs Rizzo and Gresser later in the year for his pastoral placement.
For further information, readers may contact Fr J. Rizzo FSSP, tel (03) 9571 9274, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org