THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Approved society's, such as this one, truly are the last hope for Catholicism in America. As the liturgical tradition of the Church fades into the past, these societies (approved by the pope) are the LAST bastion of traditional Catholicism, and serve as our ONLY link to our historical roots. Thankfully, they are growing at an extremely fast rate, and thankfully, they enjoy the protection and favor of our current pope.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (Latin: Institutum Christi Regis Summi Sacerdotis) is a society of priests in the Catholic Church that celebrates the liturgy in Latin exclusively in its traditional form according to the liturgical books promulgated before the reforms of 1965 and 1969, or what is commonly called the Tridentine Mass, according to the regulations of Pope John Paul II's motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" of 1988. The Institute also preserves and patronizes traditional Latin Rite liturgical art and music and has undertaken the restoration and beautification of several churches. The Institute is a Society of Apostolic Life, whose rule of life is based generally on that of the secular canons. Father Michel Debourges (d. 2006), a member of the Institute, was one of the priests who offered the daily traditional Mass on the set during the filming of The Passion, directed by Mel Gibson. The Institute of Christ the King has as its stated aim the defense and propagation of the reign of Christ in all areas of human life, both private and social.
The Institute, founded in 1990, is based in Gricigliano, Italy, where the international seminary is located. The Institute's foundation was originally in Gabon, where the Institute still maintains several missions. Its founder is Monsignor Gilles Wach, STD, Superior General; co-founder is Father Philippe Mora, STD, Rector of the Seminary. Monsignor Wach and Father Mora received their priestly formation under the late Cardinal Siri (d. 1989) of Genoa.
The charism of the Institute is based on the example of its three patron saints: Saint Benedict, with his love for the solemn celebration of the liturgy, his emphasis on work and prayer, and his role in laying the groundwork for an integral Christian civilization in medieval Europe; Saint Thomas Aquinas, with his emphasis on the harmony between faith and reason; and, Saint Francis de Sales, with the importance he attached to teaching the Catholic faith with patience and charity, and to encouraging all Catholics to seek a life of holiness through the ordinary means of the Church, such as devout attendance at Mass and frequent confession.
The Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest are a women's community (founded in 2004) associated with the Institute, and are also based in Gricigliano. The sisters are non-cloistered contemplatives, and their way of life is based on the Benedictine tradition. The community celebrates Mass and the Divine Office using the Traditional Latin Rite. When the number of sisters has increased sufficiently it is expected that convents will be located near the Institute's churches, where the sisters will perform apostolic work such as teaching.
In the United States, the Institute is located in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California, with national headquarters in Chicago. Its oldest American apostolate is St. Mary Oratory in Rockford, Illinois; Fr. Brian A.T. Bovee is the rector of the oratory. The Institute's most recent foundation in the United States is in Kansas City, where in 2005 Bishop Robert Finn has established an oratory, a public church where the Mass and other rites may be administered, for the Institute at an historic church otherwise in danger of being closed. Superior for the United States is Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, who is also Vicar General of the Institute. The Institute applied to take over the redundant church of Ss Mary & Everilda, Everingham in the Diocese of Middlesbrough in England but this was refused by the bishop. In addition to its oratories in the United States and missions in Africa, the Institute also has apostolates in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
Two new priests of the Institute were ordained on July 4, 2006, by the Archbishop of Saint Louis, Raymond Leo Burke....