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We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated last night against Fr. Joseph Terra and Fr. Kenneth Walker, two religious order priests who belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Fr. Walker’s life was taken. Fr. Terra remains in critical condition but stable.

The reported attack occurred at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix.

The police are still gathering information and trying to sort through the details of this senseless act of violence. We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

– See more at: http://diocesephoenix.org/news.php?newsmonth=201406&story=1443261423#sthash.fkq4Cbyo.dpuf

Patrick-McNeely-Fr.-Kenneth-Walker-Rene-Holt-Maura-BaklinskiTwo Catholic Priest who practice conservative Traditional Catholicism and the Mass of All Ages (Latin Mass) were attacked at their Catholic parish, the Mother of Mercy Mission last night and one was murdered.  This strikes close to home because the Fraternity of Saint Peter is very active in Idaho.  I also attend a FSSP led Catholic parish.  The FSSP is a very small community, some say remnant of Priest and laity dedicated to traditional Catholicism.  Most Priest associated with the Fraternity are very understanding of Christian families who need more space away from soul-sucking urban progressive states, and are thus supportive of things like the Catholic Land Movement and the American Redoubt concept.  It is also true, as Father Z says that the FSSP seminaries (schools for new priest) are growing, their parishes growing.  As a matter of fact Father Walker’s family moved their 11 children to a rural setting after building a home with their own hands.

“Weekly up to around 400 churches celebrate Latin Mass,” Goodwin said. “It has grown steadily over the past 20 years, as has our community (the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter). We started with 10 to 12 priests; now we have well over 200 priests.”

Many of those priests are younger; the average age is 36. Among other priestly fraternities, the average age is 65 to 75, Goodwin said. More at Father Z’s site.

The crime appeared to have occurred outside the church’s sanctuary.  The Phoenix Arizona police have found the priests SUV four blocks away, but have no further leads.  The Diocese of Phoenix released a statement early Thursday morning 12JUN2014 identifying the slain priest as Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP age 26 who is listed as associate pastor at the Mother of Mercy Mission.

This area appears to have a high Hispanic population.  Normally Catholic Priest are deeply respected in Mexican based communities, even criminal elements of that communities.  In Mexico if a criminal gang / organization were to murder a Catholic Priest, that would be over for that organization.  Period.  It is very strange when conservative Christian pastors are murdered.  Thus I wonder how this happened, who would do something like this, and why?  It is early in the investigation thus guessing will not help.  The Diocese of Arizona released the following statement on their website.

“We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated last night against Fr. Joseph Terra and Fr. Kenneth Walker, two religious order priests who belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter,” the statement said.

fsspUpdate 1:  The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has a biography of Father Walker.  Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP was born in Upstate New York near Poughkeepsie, the middle of 11 children (6 boys and 5 girls). His family moved frequently when he was young. While his father was working construction in Wilmington, N.C, the family decided to build, with their own hands, a log cabin on some land they owned in nearby Tennessee. Their intention was to sell the home, but they changed their minds and moved in. While living there, they visited a used book store and found a book called The Incredible Catholic Mass. It described the Tridentine Mass, which they had never seen nor heard. The book was considered worthless and the storeowner gave it to them for free.

The family was intrigued. The more they learned about the Traditional Mass, the more they wanted it in their daily lives. On his own initiative, Fr. Walker began learning Latin. The family decided to sell their log cabin and move to rural Pennsylvania near Scranton where the Traditional Mass was offered. Fr. Walker eventually became an altar server at the FSSP Apostolate, and after attending Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom Academy in Ontario, entered the seminary.

He was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in 2012, and currently serves as Assistant Pastor of Mater Misericordiae Mission, the FSSP Apostolate in Phoenix.

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix issued the following statement Thursday morning on Twitter:

We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated last night against Fr. Joseph Terra and Fr. Kenneth Walker, two religious order priests who belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Fr. Walker’s life was taken. Fr. Terra remains in critical condition but stable. The reported attack occurred at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix. The police are still gathering information and trying to sort through the details of this senseless act of violence. We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish. Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

Here is a link to AZ Central news coverage

Update 2: Fr. Walker was ordained a priest in 2012, and was 28 years old. Prayer intentions, letters and gifts of condolence, and memorials for Fr. Walker’s family may be sent via the Community of St. John-Marie Vianney:

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Walker
c/o St. John Vianney Chapel
14611B Waterman Crossing Road
Maple Hill, KS 66507

We ask for your prayers for the repose of the soul of Fr. Walker and that God might grant great consolation to his family and his parishioners in this terrible tragedy.

Oremus:

O God, Who didst give to thy servant, Kenneth, by his sacerdotal office, a share in the priesthood of the Apostles, grant, we implore, that he may also be one of their company forever in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Requiem Aeternam dona ei, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace.

Demons on the march.  I add to the many prayers for Father Walker, FSSP. And I pray for swift justice for his killer(s).  Anyone with information about the suspects or incident are asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377), or 480-TESTIGO (480-837-8446).

fr-walker-1st-mass-01

Father Walker during his first Mass