The Value of the Mass

The Value of the Mass
Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Franciscans of the Primitive Observance

A Call to all my readers!!

I'm trying to find out any information I can about the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance. If anybody knows anything please comment on this post. I'm looking for things like contact information, locations, constitutions, or vocations info. All help will be appreciated.


Matt said...


They are a Franciscan renewal group that broke off from the CFRs over their failures to live the primitive Franciscan rule. I heard the CFRs took some liberties with their Rule that these guys didn't like.

They have a house near the Mount in Maryland, where some of their friars study. Their original foundation is in the Fall Rivers diocese, at New Bedford, MA. Cardinal O'Malley, OFM Capuchin, was the bishop who setup them up as a diocesan order.

They wear a rough wool habit and live in simple wooden cells with only a desk and table. Heat is provided by coal and wood fired stoves. They do have a single toilet with septic system, which the Cardinal mandated they have over an outhouse.

Last time I heard, they had about ten guys in various stages of formation. They are serious about obedience (you need to ask permission to use the bathroom when outside the monastery) and contemplation. They are primarily ascetics and contemplatives, much like the original Capuchins, which are their role models. They have a quester which begs for food from the neighborhood each day.

Since they are espousing a primitive Rule, they really don't have an internet presence. You'll have to go on news articles.
and the lives of early Capuchin saints.

They are the most hardcore of the Franciscans. While other Franciscans are watching satellite TV on big screen TVs, they are doing penance.

Are you looking into a Franciscan vocation?

Anonymous said...

Contact the Fall River's vocation director; he should know how to get hold of Father Superior. They are a congregation of the diocese, not a pontifical order.


Zach said...

I realised that they weren't a pontifical order. As to looking into them, I can't answer that publicly at this time.

Does anybody know how charismatic they are? I know that the CFR's are very into the charismatic movement which was something when I was first discerning that kind of put me off to that order. (I'm not against the charismatic movement per se, but it doesn't attract me by any stretch of the imagination.) I suppose I could ask them that. Thanks for the phone #. I'll be sure to call them ASAP.

Anonymous said...

The FPO can be reached at:

Co-Redemptrix Friary
30 Trinity St.
Lawrence, MA 01841

Peace !

Anonymous said...

Beware. Some serious problems with this community (eg. very limited oversight from Cardinal O'Malley, major influence/control from a layperson who claims to receive revelations from the Blessed Mother).

Anonymous said...

Beware. Some serious problems with this community (eg. major influence from a layperson who claims to receive revelations from the Blessed Virgin Mary, very limited oversight from Cardinal O'Malley).

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if anyone can help, but I am trying to get in touch with Fr. John Sweeny, FPO he was a visiting missionary at St.Phillip neri, in maryland this weekend. I heard him speak and he left a profound impression in my heart and I wanted to thank him for his words and kindness. The parish office does not have a way to contact him and I have a strong desire in my heart to let him know how much he has helped me to change my life. If anyone knows how I can reach him or has an idea of how to get in touch with an FOP I would surely appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Did you still want to know Fr Johns address or are you all set?

Anonymous said...

The comment regarding to 'beware of this community' is without basis in fact and without merit. Both statements (Carinal O"Malley, layperson) are incorrect, and deserves no attention.

~~~mary said...

To the person looking to contact Fr. John -
He should be able to be contacted at the seminary in Emmitsburg (or they could direct you) for he is on staff. A quick search gave me this as the contact info for the seminary:
Mount St. Mary's Seminary 16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd Emmitsburg, MD 21727-7797. Phone: 301-447-5295 Fax: 301-447-5636 Email Inquiries:
As for the person offering the that people should "Beware" - you are way off base. These men are very traditional and thoroughly prayerful. Shame. I hope you soon find a more purposeful way to spend your time than casting aspersions upon men dedicated to the salvation of your soul.
Peace. ~~~mary
P.S. As for the charismatic question about them - they aren't wave your hands in the air, slain in the spirit Charismatic Movement sorts. However, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is active in their ministry and the priests of the order would surely give someone a priestly blessing if they were asked. They are an order cut from the clothe of their spiritual father St. Francis.
Can you tell that I have nothing but respect for these men?

Zach said...

I appriciate all the info about the FPO's. Although, this is an old post. I'm not really looking into them anymore. I couldn't find enough information on them and my primary concern was as to weather or not they did the traditional Mass.

Anonymous said...

Since they send their friars to the Mount, I would venture to guess that they are not trained in the traditional mass. However, I wold venture to guess that they are open to it, if not celebrating it already. Ultimately, you will never know until you visit them.

Anonymous said...


The FPO's are no longer in Emmitsburg. They moved their hosue of studies up to Boston due to a few conflicts.

I know the FPO's very well and have spent time with them on many occasions. Their charism is beatiful and they are a very HOLY bunch of them.

They are not charismatic although they seem to be "overflowing with the Holy Spirit".

Someone wrote about how the brothers had to ask permission to use the restroom. This isn't true. They are obedient but reasonable.

They are like the CFR's in many ways although they are essentially more contemplative and removed from culture.

Fr. John is the holiest priest I have ever met. He reminds me of Padre Pio!

The "beware comment" is completely false. I know that woman personally who was under accusation and it is totally incorrect.

Lindsay said...

If you're still curious, they have expressed an openness to learning the Traditional Mass.

One of my best friends is in formation with them now and he in particular has a great devotion to the Traditional Mass. Since they are now being trained at St. John's Seminary in Boston, I'd say it's reasonable to assume they will be learning the old rite in the near future. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

servusmariaen said...

i'm interested in them as well. Zach i tried to send an email to you but it bounced back.

ETMC said...

Does anyone know the FPO's Boston mailing address?

Lindsay said...


Co-Redemptrix Friary
30 Trinity St.
Lawrence, MA 01841

ETMC said...

Thanks! :-)

Lindsay said...

Any time! Br. Lawrence Mary, a novice this year, is a close personal friend of mine. Unfortunately, until he's done with his novitiate, I can only write to him at Christmas and Easter! Hopefully I'll make it to Boston for his first vows :o)

Anonymous said...

I came across your site looking for more info on the FPO myself.
I have been serviing the Traditional Latin Mass in Nashua, NH and Northern Massachusetts...Methuen actually.
A diocesean priest started saying the TLM about a year ago in Lawrence, Ma and we moved it for now to Methuen. One of the FPO Friars came to the early TL Masses
and has since taught himself the Traditional Latin Mass. I served the Mass for him last night...a very gentle holy the other posts(like a Padre Pio)...I can provide more info...but there is at least some interest in that community...a second FPO friar attended the TL Mass last night.

Lindsay said...

To the last poster,

If you see that friar again, see if he answers to "Br. Lawrence". If he does, could you tell him Lindsay asked you to tell him I'm praying for him? I think it'd really mean a lot to him.

Thanks, and God bless you!