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February 2010: Apostolate in Sweden and Finland

F ollowing the successful Pontifical Mass celebrated in Copenhagen by


Bishop Kozon, this was the first FSSP trip to Sweden and Finland in the
year 2010. The long journey to Scandinavia began at the International
Seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in Wigratzbad in Bavaria,
where ordinations to the Subdiaconate and Minor orders had taken place on
the 13th of February. Among those receiving orders was a Finnish seminarian
who was ordained acolyte. It was also an opportunity to visit with the
Norwegian seminarian who is studying in his first year. Please keep our
Scandinavian candidates in your prayers during this Lenten season.

Fr. Benjamin Durham, FSSP and Deacon Jérôme Bücker, FSSP (who had served
as subdeacon at the Pontifical Mass in Copenhagen) arrived Tuesday in
Sweden, where they had the opportunity to visit with some faithful living in
Småland. It was wonderful to celebrate the Holy Mass there, as well as give the
Sacraments to those faithful who are living quite far from any church. Our host
was kind enough to take us to visit an old wooden church, amidst much snow
and freezing temperatures. (See photo below)
On Thursday the 18th of February, Fr. Durham was invited by some of the
faithful living in Stockholm to celebrate Holy Mass in Stockholm’s Catholic
Cathedral. The Mass was fairly well intended and Fr. Durham preached briefly
on the meaning of Lent. Following the Mass, our intrepid travellers spoke
briefly with some of the faithful, many of who were familiar; and then it was off
to catch the ferry that would take us overnight to Finland.

After a brief night’s rest, we drove a few hours to Holy Cross Parish in Tampere,
where we were greeted by the two resident priests, Fr. Zenon and Fr. Robert.
It turned out that our visit coincided with the activities of the youth group
which is made up of young people from Helsinki, Turku and Tampere.
Therefore, some of the youth had the opportunity to attend Holy Mass in the
Traditional Roman rite.

After having visited Tampere both Friday and Saturday, it was time to leave
Sunday for an afternoon Sung Mass in St Henry’s cathedral in Helsinki. The
Mass was beautifully sung by the Cathedral choir under the direction of Markus
Mäkelä. Deacon Jérôme Bücker sang the Epistle and served the Mass, in which
Fr. Durham also preached to the faithful present. It was rather cold in Helsinki
as well and the holidays meant that some of the regular faithful were unable to
attend.
Some members of the youth group had returned to Helsinki and were also in
attendance. It seems that the Traditional Latin Mass continues to attract many
young people as well as those who wish to convert to Catholicism.
Fr. Durham and Deacon Bücker remained in Helsinki on Monday where they
celebrated the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch. It is an important
feast for our Fraternity and as Fr. Durham had announced on Sunday, an
occasion for those faithful who are members of the Confraternity of Saint Peter
to gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. Some of the faithful in
Scandinavia are already members and support our work through prayer and
sacrifice. We are very thankful for this and we are always glad to meet
members of the Confraternity. If you are not already a member, it is always
possible to join.

On our return journey to the FSSP General House in Fribourg, Switzerland,


during our 51 hours of travel by ferry and by car, we were happy to visit Fr.
Otto Michael Schneider, Parish priest in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Fr. Durham
offered Mass there and we were able to chat briefly with Fr. Schneider and see
the parish church sticking out of the snow that has been forming in much of
Europe this winter.

We are very grateful to the many priests and faithful who support this itinerant
apostolate of the FSSP. The Fraternity needs your continued support in order
to build for the future. Despite some difficulties, it is a joy to be able to work
with the clergy and faithful in the Nordic countries and to celebrate Holy Mass,
give the Sacraments, as well as provide some instruction for the faithful.

Please keep our apostolate in your prayers during Lententide as together we


strive, through prayer and sacrifice, to live ever closer to Christ.

God bless you!

Fr. Benjamin Durham, FSSP

Deacon Jérôme Bücker, FSSP

FSSP Nordic Apostolate 2010