Listen to an audio extract of Bishop Tissier de Mallerais' November 24th anniversary sermon on having confidence in God's will. View image galleries of his Pontifical Mass of thanksgiving and of the 3 deacons he ordained at Winona on November 28th.
During Thanksgiving week (November 24-28), St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minnesota had the grace to host Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, who turned 70 in September and has resided for two years now at Our Lady Immaculate Priory in Chicago, Illinois.
On Tuesday, November 24, Bishop Tissier began the week’s festivities with a solemn Pontifical Mass in thanksgiving for his 40 years of priesthood. Bishop Tissier was ordained a priest in Econe, Switzerland on June 29, 1975. He went to Econe last June 29th for the ordinations for the more solemn 40th anniversary celebration, but the seminary at Winona wanted to give the bishop this special opportunity to express their gratitude towards him by having him celebrate 40 years priesthood on the feast of St. John of the Cross, the great Spanish 16th century mystic, Doctor of the Church, and defender of the Faith.
Bishop Tissier preached on the following of God’s will [listen to an audio extract] in the various assignments which he was given in his 40 years of priesthood, including rector of the seminary at Econe during the turbulent 1970s, then as chaplain for the Society Sisters in St. Michel-en-Brenne in France, followed by his appointment as Secretary General of the Society of St. Pius X, and finally his appointment as one of the four auxiliary bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on June 30, 1988.
In his sermon, Bishop Tissier gave a detailed description of St. John of the Cross’ escape from prison by means of a rope made from strands of a blanket, lowering himself out of the jail cell into a garden, having been unjustly condemned by more laxist religious men of his time. Bishop Tissier did not hereby define himself as an example of mortification or mysticism, but allowed his audience to reflect on the trials that God will send to those who are called to serve Him in a more perfect way.
Then during the week, the bishop continued his series of conferences on the life of Archbishop Lefebvre which he has been giving to the seminarians of Winona in weeks previous, centering on the events leading up to the consecration of the four bishops on June 30, 1988.
Bishop Tissier made it clear that Archbishop Lefebvre was a man of humble obedience, but also a man of action and determination when it came to saving the Church in a time of serious crisis. Archbishop Lefebvre sought permission from the Roman authorities under Pope John Paul II for the consecration of traditional bishops, negotiating in particular with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI.
On Saturday, November 28, Bishop Tissier ordained three young men to the diaconate: an Englishman, Paul-Isaac Franks, and two Americans, Brandon Haenny and Francis Palmquist [see the image gallery below].
In the sermon, the bishop spoke of the deacon’s three main powers, to assist at the altar, to baptize, and to preach. To illustrate, Bishop Tissier used the example of the deacon and first martyr St. Stephen, who spoke eloquently and courageously in defense of the Catholic Faith, by professing the divinity of Christ without any compromise, and with the readiness to shed his blood in testimony to Christ and to His example of dying for sinners and pardoning His enemies.