We announce with joy our upcoming canonical erection at which our new bishop Mgr Guglielmo Borghetti will officiate. On January 19 2015, we made a request to Monsignor Mario Oliveri in the following terms, which summarize the situation of the community since its foundation:
“Excellency and dear Monsignor,
In your letter of February 6, 2008, you paternally welcomed me into your diocese of Albenga-Imperia to found here the monastery of St. Catherine of Siena, where the monastic traditions handed down by our founders and liturgical traditions lived according to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of the previous Pope Benedict XVI are kept alive.
On March 21 2012 you gave us the grace and joy of erecting the monastery as a public clerical society of the faithful ad experimentum for three years.
For the last seven years, despite numerous attempted vocations which were not always successful, the community is currently stable with 3 members, the minimum number required by law to form a group of persons (can. 115§ 2).
For the last seven years in Villatalla the divine office and the daily sung mass have been offered continuously without interruption and the divine praise continues to be faithfully celebrated faithfully seven times a day and once at night in Gregorian chant, the Catholic Church’s own song, from matins at 3:30 am to Compline at 8:00 pm.
With the ad experimentum of the society coming to an end on March 21 2015, Brother Antoine, Brother Marie and I myself come humbly to ask your Excellency for the grace to see our community erected as an institute of consecrated life under diocesan law. This grace will give our community a stronger and more stable ecclesial recognition and will protect its charism from possible disputes, which are especially to be feared during this period of unrest and uncertainty for the Church. I also think such recognition will attract more vocations who need reassurance about the reliability of our community.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the expression of our very respectful and filial sentiments in Mary.”
The approval of the Constitutions by the Holy See is a condition of validity for the erection of a diocesan institute. Signed on March 25 2015, it arrived too late for Monsignor Oliveri because that same day, at the request of Pope Francis, he renounced the jurisdiction attached to his office of diocesan bishop. Mgr Borghetti had to take the time to get to know his new diocese and to make his first visit to us on 12 March 2016. On several occasions and in public He declared that without having a personal feeling of tradition He nevertheless fully respected the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI. He has kept his word: several masses are currently celebrated according to the traditional rite in the diocese at the request of groups of the faithful and He himself will come and erect us and receive our monastic vows on March 21 next. At His request, the traditional Mass will be solemnly celebrated by the former Vicar General of Bishop Oliveri, Bishop Giorgio Brancaleoni at 11am, and He himself will assist in choir.
Dear friends, I come to share with you our joy in receiving the approval of the Holy Church to continue our monastic life in full fidelity to the grace transmitted and received at Bedoin in 1970 by Dom Gérard of which I had the honor to be the first disciple. Magnificat!
Thank you for accompanying us with your prayers on this blessed day and we ourselves include you in ours every day. May God bless you and your families!