Italian fraternity of priests coming to St. Peter in North St. Paul

| May 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

An Italy-based fraternity of priests will assume pastoral care of St. Peter in North St. Paul July 1, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced May 13.

Two priests of Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo will begin serving the parish this summer, and a third will join them in the fall. Also known as the Fraternity of St. Charles or simply “the Fraternity,” the order has about 130 priests serving around the world, including in Boston, Denver and Washington, D.C.

In a May 13 letter to the parish announcing the news, Archbishop Hebda said the fraternity contacted him to offer their help to the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis. Archbishop Hebda said Boston’s archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, recommended the archdiocese to the order.

Archbishop Hebda and Bishop Andrew Cozzens announced the news at the parish at Masses May 13-14.

“They were looking for a stable parish with a commitment to both Catholic education and evangelization,” Archbishop Hebda wrote in the letter.

He mentioned that both he and Bishop Cozzens became acquainted with the order while living in Rome “and were delighted by the possibility of welcoming such fine priests into the archdiocese.”

“After consultation with the archdiocesan Clergy Assignment Board, a few visits [from Fraternity priests] to the archdiocese and discussions with leaders at a number of parishes, there was agreement that St. Peter’s would be the best fit,” Archbishop Hebda wrote. The Fraternity priests “will be working with [St. Peter’s] existing parish staff and leadership to provide for both the sacramental and administrative needs of your parish community.”

St. Peter’s pastor, Father William Deziel, has been appointed pastor of Guardian Angels in Chaska. Its parochial vicar, Father Matthew Northenscold, has been appointed to the same role at Divine Mercy in Faribault.

Although the 128-year-old parish and its school will be in the care of a religious order, it “will continue to be an important parish” in the archdiocese, Archbishop Hebda wrote.

“While I am grateful to Father Deziel and Father Northenscold for their exceptional service and leadership here at St. Peter’s, I am confident that the presence of the priests of the Fraternity will not only be a blessing to the archdiocese, but also greatly benefit your parish and help you continue your growth and outreach to your fellow parishioners and those in need in your community,” he wrote.

Beginning in July, Fraternity priest Father Ettore Ferrario will serve as the parish’s pastor, and Father Pietro Rossotti will serve as the superior of the local community. Father Daniele Scorrano will join them later this year. Fraternity priests typically live together in houses of three or more men.

Father Ferrario has served at parishes in the archdioceses of Denver and Washington and taught at Catholic schools. Father Rossotti has taught at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. St. Peter will be Father Scorrano’s first assignment in the United States.

Father Massimo Camisasca founded the Fraternity in 1985 with seven priests and 10 seminarians. It has ties to the lay Catholic movement Communion and Liberation, and is inspired by the movement’s founder, Father Luigi Giussani.

“They are passionate men of prayer who have distinguished themselves in their commitment to bringing Christ into the modern world and who are looking forward to accompanying each of you by sharing your struggles, joys and questions,” Archbishop Hebda wrote.

The parish will hold town hall meetings to address parishioners’ questions and concerns about the change.

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