It is with great joy that we honor and enshrine into the Tower of Trent this year the Most Reverend Mark Anthony Pivarunas, CMRI. The interregnum - where the "Seat of Peter is empty" - had only been 22 days old at the time of his birth on October 31, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. With the commemoration of His Holiness Pope Pius XII's death this coming October 9th it will be 50 years. Little did young Mark realize what lay ahead during his youthful days in growing up and encountering a different Church than his parents had introduced him to. Both of his parents were of Lithuanian descent. Since those days in the windy city, His Excellency's mother is deceased while his father now lives in the Dallas, Texas area.
As a young adult, Mark Anthony Pivarunas entered the religious life in September of 1974. After a year's postulancy, he entered the novitiate on September 8, 1975, taking the religious name of Brother Mary Tarcisius. He made his first profession of vows on September 12, 1976. Four years later, on the same feast day, that of the Holy Name of Mary, he made his final profession of vows in the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen.
Brother Tarcisius received the usual seminary training, displaying proficiency in philosophy and in dogmatic and moral theology. He was among those in the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen to take the lead along with Father Dennis Chicoine, CMRI in removing its founder Francis Schuckhardt from the latter's position as Superior-General in 1984 following revealtions of the latter's perversity and abuse of his position by ruling in a cult-like manner.
Having received the commendation of his superiors for his progress in both virtue and learning, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 27, 1985 by the Most Reverend George Musey. Following his ordination, Father Tarcisius served as rector of the Congregation's seminary for four years. In 1989 he was elected by his fellow priests to head the CMRI as the Congregation's Superior General.
Since his elevation to the episcopacy by the Most Reverend Moises Carmona on September 24, 1991, the feast of Our Lady of Ransom (Our Lady of Mercy) Bishop Pivarunas has founded and operated Mater Dei Major Seminary at his parish in Omaha. His travels have necessarily become more extensive as he visits numerous parishes in the United States, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere to administer Confirmation and to ordain. His zeal for souls has led him to travel extensively throughout Nebraska and into neighboring states to provide the Mass and sacraments for the members of his flock.
Bishop Pivarunas has been an indefatigable worker toward unity among traditional Catholics in these times of confusion and error. He had providentially been the last bishop consecrated by Bishop Carmona for a week later the traditionalist Mexican prelate was killed in a car crash in Mexico's mountains enroute to a mission church. Bishop George Musey had been the first consecrated by Bishop Carmona on April 1, 1982 a year before the split of the nine from the SSPX, Bishop Pivarunas the last. In 1992 Bishop Pivarunas, with a view towards assisting clergy formerly belonging to SSPX, asked Fr. Dolan to receive episcopal consecration. After considerable hesitation, Fr. Dolan agreed in mid-1993. The Most Reverend Daniel L. Dolan, who is also being enshrined this year into the Tower of Trent Hall of Honor, was consecrated a bishop in St. Gertrude the Great Church in Cincinnati on November 30, 1993, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, during the course of a Solemn Pontifical Mass. The rite took three hours, and all the solemnities of the Pontificale Romanum were observed with Bishop Pivarunas serving as the main consecrator.
Since his consecration nearly seventeen years ago, he has provided the Church with two bishops, including Bishop Daniel Dolan In addition, His Excellency has ordained eighteen new priests with two more to be ordained at Mt. St. Michael's in Spokane on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7 when Father Mary Bernard Welp (formerly Randy Welp) and Father Alexander Kryssov who will return to Moscow in Russia to head up a traditional parish there. If we can't get a true Pope to consecrate Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart, then the CMRI is determined to do the next best thing, bring the True Presence to the very core of Communism and let God do the rest. These international intenations are focused not just in Russia, but elsewhere throughout the world where Bishop Pivarunas has administered the sacrament of Confirmation to several thousand children and adults throughout America, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, South America, and Europe. He has indeed lived up to the motto he took for his episcopacy: Animam pro ovibus ponere (To lay down my life for the sheep). To go the extra mile for someone in need is his way of life. He knows no other.
He is also one who is not afraid to face up to problems. A veteran of the Shuckhardt shenanigans that so divided a parish, he recently had to face the insurrection of the collusion of fifteen sisters of the Congregation who had been working against the Order's staunch sedevacantist theological opinion, undermining the students at St. Michael's Academy in Spokane by giving credence to the heretical Hegelian Fr. Joseph Ratzinger as a true pontiff. For two years these nuns had been collaborating with the counterfeit church of conciliarism through outside studies at Gonzaga University and in constant contact with the bankrupt diocese of Spokane where the ordinary of that see, William Skylstad, at the time president of the useless, dangerous United States 'Catholic' Conference of 'Bishops', in concert with the influence of the New Age Missionaries of Charity and a pastor still wet behind the ears at a church near the base of the Mount had all plotted to convince these suddenly clueless nuns that they were in schism by staying with the CMRI and they offered them refuge in their Novus Ordo lodges, cleverly concealing what was really going on. To everyone's shock, they bought the lies of the conciliarists hook, line and sinker where today they attend the Novus Ordo and speak Modernity without blinking, thinking they are "finally in the right church". Oh, will they be in for a surprise at each's Particular Judgment. Please keep them in your prayers for their souls are at stake, especially those who have taken vows and broke their vows for the promises of the world.
When it came to the surface last June, Bishop Pivarunas did not blink. He did not try to cover it up as conciliar potentates have done ad nauseam of any problem, specifically the sodomite pedophilia sexual scandals and fraud of practically every conciliar diocese. No, being the no-nonsense hunting outdoorsman he is, he took the bull by the horns, so to speak. He flew to Spokane and delivered a landmark sermon from the pulpit on Trinity Sunday, June 3, not compromising one iota, yet, in CMRI charity, reminding he was their spiritual father and extended the offer to still cover their insurance and other necessary amenities for a year, but they could not stay if they continued to deliberately undermine all the CMRI stood for. His Excellency noted that there would be no reason for the CMRI to exist if we did indeed have a true pope. But since we have not had one for 50 years, there is a need to carry on the traditions and truth of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. He determined to resolve it because, as he flatly stated, "I am not going to let my spiritual family be destroyed...stop talking and do more praying" His words can be heard, as well as his solid arguments and syllogisms for sedevacantism at CMRI Archives as well as the CMRI Site and some of his talks are also archived at Christorchaos.com.
Since that sermon more young women have joined, and those who have stayed have been reinforced in their resolve to take up whatever slack was created by their departure. Reverend Mother Mary Dominica was elected to head the nuns in obedience to His Excellency. Now well over a year after the departure of those fifteen confused nuns to the modern church, the CMRI spirit has returned to the Congregation's houses and the remaining good Sisters are determined as ever to carry out their daily vows in the spirit of humility and joy. Without a strong spiritual father, this would never have been possible.
As with several other honorees this year, we have asked Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey to pen his appreciation for several of those enshrined this year. He does so with great enthusiasm here for His Excellency:
One of the first people I contacted in April of 2006 when I determined that I could no longer keep pretending that the evidence strongly suggested that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI had long ago defected from the Catholic Faith and had thus expelled himself from the bosom of the Church, thereby disqualifying himself from holding ecclesiastical office legitimately, was His Excellency Bishop Mark Anthony Pivarunas, whose very clear articles I had seen on the www.dailycatholic.org. His Excellency was most gracious to take my phone call. I explained to him that I was coming to the conclusion that the conciliar "pontiffs" had defected from the Catholic Faith by virtue of having violated the Divine Positive Law. His Excellency asked me if he could share this news with his priests, and I answered affirmatively even though it would be another two to three weeks before I began to write publicly at www.Christorchaos.com that the sedevcantists could be right after all. His Excellency had the Very Reverend Casimir Puskorius, the pastor of Mount Saint Michael's Church in Spokane, Washington, to telephone me in June of 2006 to invite me to speak at the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen's annual Fatima Conference that year.
We had the privilege of meeting His Excellency for the first time on Tuesday, September 26, 2006, the Feast of the North American Martyrs, at Mary Immaculate Church in Omaha, Nebraska. His Excellency invited me to lecture to the high school students at Mater Dei Academy for several days. We also had the privilege of being present on the occasion of the ordination of Mr. Randy Welp to the transitional diaconate on Friday, September 29, 2006, the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.
It was a pleasure to be around His Excellency, who works from early in the morning to late at night, and who spends himself tirelessly for his sheep. It impressed us greatly that His Excellency drove great distances every other weekend most months to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in various parts of Kansas and Colorado, taking his yellow Labrador Retriever, Buster, with him, driving at the time in an old Subaru without any air conditioning. Bishop Pivarunas is on the telephone at all times of the day and the night helping his sheep with their pastoral difficulties. Although frequently exhausted after his long weekend drives, Bishop Pivarunas teaches in both the academy and seminary every week during the school year, squeezing in several trips a year to Mount Saint Michael's Church and Academy in Spokane, Washington.
If His Excellency Bishop Robert F. McKenna exhibits that of Saint Dominic de Guzman, and if His Excellency Bishop Daniel Dolan exhibits the priestly demeanor of Pope Saint Pius X, it should be noted that His Excellency Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas exhibits the priestly demeanor of Saint John Bosco. His Excellency is blessed with a great charism for dealing with the young. An avid hunter who hunts with rifles and with bows and arrows, Bishop Pivarunas once shot a buffalo in the heart while he was perched in a tree. A fisher of souls, Bishop Pivarunas is also a fisher of fish. His Excellency's skills of hunting and fishing often provide the students at Mater Dei Academy and Mater Dei Seminary with enough food for weeks on end. His Excellency takes students on hunting and fishing trips, using those occasions to pray the Rosary with them and to discuss the Faith.
Bishop Pivarunas is well-versed in canon law (and the canonical principles used to interpret canon law) and in Thomastic philosophy and moral theology. The two-hour presentation he gave at the Fatima Conference in 2006 to refute the arguments made against sedevacantism is outstanding. This lecture, broken up into four parts, can be accessed on the links page of my own website. We were very impressed with His Excellency's exactitude as well as his plain-spokenness. Indeed,. Bishop Pivarunas has an excellent sense of humor, telling us after a bird had shattered the left windshield west of Mithcell, South Dakota, a few hours after he had blessed us on our journey from Omaha, Nebraska to Spokane, Washington, "My blessings are not good across state lines."
His Excellency demonstrated his sense of humor recently when he wrote to His Excellency Bishop Donald Sanborn, the rector of Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida, that among the other differences they had was this one: Bishop Sanborn shopped at Loew's Home Improvement while he, Bishop Pivarunas, shopped at Home Depot.
His Excellency is so very good to his sheep, taking a personal interest in them, helping them to move from one place to another or spending time welcoming newcomers to Omaha or even putting on overalls to pull down a tree that was threatening to fall down on a parishioner's home. His Excellency's pastoral care extends to the milk cow that he keeps to provide milk for the Sisters in Omaha and for the seminarians and students of the academy. There was a search, recounted in one of his marvelous Adsum newsletters, conducted with flashlights at night in the cornfield of a neighbor near where the cow is housed.
An apostle of True Devotion to Mary, Bishop Pivarunas promotes total consecration to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. And at the heart of the entire apostolate of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen is a complete and total loyalty to Our Lady's Fatima Message, including prayer for the fulfillment of the collegial consecration of Russia by a true pope with all of the world's true bishops. His tender, filial devotion to the Mother of God is most inspirational. He has offered up all of the storms to which the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen has been subjected by the adversary as the totally consecrated slave of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. We are very privileged to know this good shepherd of souls whose zeal for serving souls is limitless.
And so, as indicated in the opening paragraph, it is an honor and privilege for The Daily Catholic to enshrine this year a man dedicated to carrying out what is truly Catholic as it was at the time of the death of the last true Pope, His Holiness Pius XII. Like the others honored this year, Bishop Pivarunas has navigated the storms by setting his compass on the Two Pillars, a vision first given to St. John Bosco who worked tirelessly to help young men and women to find their way in this life by avoiding the worldly pitfalls of the world, the flesh and the devil. Throughout the years the waves have lashed at Bishop Pivarunas' ship, threatening to sink it, but if it is of God as has been shown by the resiliency of the Congregation, then nothing can stop it. With His Excellency at the ship's helm, the faithful can take confidence he will steer them closer to Heaven's shores. As the head of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, it is fitting that he be honored with the Cross of Truth and enshrined in the Tower of Trent Hall of Honor on Our Lady's Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on August 22 this year and we proudly proclaim that day as appropriate for celebrating Bishop Mark Anthony Pivarunas, CMRI Day throughout all of Christendom.
For those inducted so far into the Tower of Trent Hall of Honor see HALL OF HONOR