On Tuesday, October 7 the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, the Most Reverend Mark Pivarunas, CMRI ordained to the holy Priesthood two worthy candidates. These two new priests signal fresh hope and, having had the privilege of knowing both of these new priests, the traditional movement just got a big boost and that has nothing to do with the fact that Fr. Bernard Welp, CMRI will now be the tallest of all CMRI priests. His addition will offset the loss of Fr. Julian Gilchrist who lost his visa and must remain in New Zealand. With Fr. Bernard in the fold, His Excellency will have one more to help the burgeoning CMRI parish life in the midwest, west and New England. Fr. Bernard celebrated his First Holy Mass on Saturday, October 11 on the Feast of the Divine Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Mt. St. Michael's in Spokane where he grew up and matriculated and, in his first assignment, will now assist the pastor Fr. Casimir Puskorius, CMRI there.
Note: Tom Gilbrough, who provided the photos below, was sick that day and did not have the opportunity to take photos of Fr. Bernard's First Mass. Therefore, if anyone has photos they would like to send of that glorious event and also of the Ordination, please let the editor know at firstname.lastname@example.org
The other ordained priest is a first since before Vatican II. Fr. Alexander Kryssov, who is an expert on Church history, is the first true priest from Moscow and will return to the traditional parish he was a member of in the shadow of the Kremlin. They have been without a priest for quite some time and are so excited with the prospect of having their own back with them that some of the parishioners are traveling from Russia to Spokane to be present for his ordination. It is a tremendous accomplishment by His Excellency in providing the first Russian traditional priest and special kudos to Fr. Casimir, who initially took Alexander under his wing in giving him a crash course in English, Latin and other courses necessary for preparation to the major seminary. Now, Fr. Kryssov will need all our prayers to build up his parish, especially in light of intensified persecution by the KGB-oriented Russian government which, under Putin, is turning more and more hardline. It is no coincidence that Fr. Kryssov said his First Holy Mass on Monday, the Feast of the holy King St. Edward the Confessor and the 91st Anniversary of Our Lady's Last Apparition at Fatima on the main altar of Mt. St. Michael's. If the conversion of Russia can't come from the top due to not having a true pope, then let it begin at the grass roots level at ground zero of Communism in the shadow of the Kremlin when Fr. Kryssov returns home to begin the process of converting Russia one soul at a time. After all, in the end Mary's Immaculate Heart will triumph. We encourage you to read Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey's piece Planting the Seeds for the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart
Below are the magnificent photos provided by Tom Gilbrough of Saint Joseph's Graphics and Photography. If you would like prints, contact him at Tom Gilbrough
Priests-to-be garbed in alb, stole and maniple, Fr. Bernard Welp, CMRI and Fr. Alexander Kryssov hold their chasubles and candles as they kneel in preparation for entering the sanctuary and receiving Holy Orders.
Fr. Michael Anaya chants from the Missal as Fr. Gregory Drahmann, CMRI stands behind as one of the main servers. Behind them are other servers Fr. Francisco Radecki, CMRI (standing), the Deacon Fr. Benedict Hughes, CMRI (seated) and to the far right seated is Fr. Gerard McKee, CMRI, also serving the Ordination Mass.
His Excellency Bishop Mark Pivarunas, CMRI administers the Rite of Holy Orders for Fr. Kryssov and Fr. Bernard kneeling. On altar are the pastor Fr. Casimir Puskorius, CMRI in cope, Fr. Benedict and Fr. Anaya on either side of the Bishop.
Fr. Kryssov begins his First Mass at the Foot of the Altar with the Confiteor. He is flanked by Frs. Gerard and Benedict to his left and Fr. Rissling to his right with Fr. Bernard kneeling to assist as main server.
Fr. Kryssov incenses the altar assisted by Subdeacon Fr. Gerard and Deacon Fr. Benedict.
Fr. Kryssov reads the Epistle with Fr. Rissling in cope assisting. Behind are Fr. Benedict, Fr. Gerard, and Fr. Bernard.
Fr. Gerard, flanked by acolytes, holds the Missal for Fr. Benedict to chant the Gospel as Fr. Rissling looks on from the Gospel side of the altar and Fr. Kryssov from the Epistle side.
Closeup shot of the Gospel being chanted by the Deacon. Flanking Fr. Benedict are seminarian Joseph Cooper as incense bearer and Fr. Bernard.
Fr. Kryssov confects the bread into the Body of Christ at the Consecration.
Fr. Kryssov confects the wine into the Blood of Christ as he elevates the chalice.
Following the Second Confiteor before Holy Communion, Fr. Kryssov gives absolution.
Fr. Kryssov pronounces the Domine non sum dignus.
Fr. Kryssov administers Holy Communion to a Russian seminarian who flew from Moscow for Father's Ordination and First Mass.
Academy students were privileged to receive the Holy Eucharist at Father's First Mass.
Following Holy Mass, Fr. Kryssov stand proudly with two Russian seminarians. The three represent the hope for the future of the Faith in Moscow.
All participants in Fr. Kryssov's First Mass gather together after Holy Mass for a group photo on the altar at Mt. Saint Michael's in Spokane.