Dear friends,

Canon Fragelli continues his slow but encouraging rehabilitation. His treatment and medical interventions still prevents him from speaking, but his lips can be read and he manages, albeit still painfully, to write on a tablet.

He willingly asks for news and photos of the Mission of Mouila. To follow his programme of care he left the Careggi Hospital in Florence and is now in the Siena area. He will still need a lot of perseverance and courage: in this month of the Rosary, we entrust him with fervour to the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Victories.

In Christo Rege,

Monsignor Gilles Wach
9th October 2021


Last week was the annual general chapter meeting of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. It was a fruitful gathering of the Canons of the Institute from around the world.

Always at the end of August, the Canons and affiliate priests of the Institute gather at the Motherhouse and International Seminary of St. Philip Neri in the beautiful Tuscan hills for the annual general Chapter.

As secular Canons, the priests of the Institute attend this yearly meeting in order to maintain the all-important link between the Motherhouse and the Houses of the Institute throughout the world.

Fostering a strong unity of mind and purpose, this annual Chapter emphasises for the members of the Institute the fundamental importance of the unity of grace and nature inherent in the Divine Liturgy and in the Holy Priesthood by focusing the priestly interior life on the Holy Eucharist and the Sacred Heart. The Chapter is above all the opportunity for the Canons to pray the Liturgy together as a spiritual family, with our priestly Father, Monsignor Wach.

Each Canon reaffirms his commitment to live to the Constitutions of the Institute, which define the spiritual identity which is proper to it as a community. The Canons are to chant several canonical Hours together each day and to conform to the spirit and teaching of their holy patrons, St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Benedict.

One of the things that occurs during the Chapter is the assignment of priests to the apostolates we serve and to the seminary staffing.

It is the determination of the Superiors of the Institute that for England and Wales, the following appointments/re-appointments be made:

Canon Vianney Poucin de Wouilt will be re-assigned to the Diocese of Port Louis on the Island of Mauritius. He will leave toward the end of the year.

Canon Scott Tanner has been appointed as the Rector of the new apostolate at Holy Angels, Chelston (Torquay) in the Diocese of Plymouth.

Canon Matthew Weaver was ordained in 2018. He has most recently served as Secretary to the US Provincial in Chicago, Illinois. Canon Weaver will arrive in the UK during October and will be Assistant Priest at Ss. Peter & Paul and St Philomena, New Brighton. He will also become the Chaplain for the UK Chapter of the Sacred Heart Society, assisted by Mr. Kevin Jones who has been appointed as lay Pro-Provincial Governor of the Society.

Canon Gwenaël Cristofoli and Canon Ryan Post will remain at Preston (St Walburge’s and St Thomas and English Martyrs). They will be joined by Canon Godefroy Ducret who was ordained in July and will be 2nd Assistant Priest in Preston.

Canon Scott Smith remains as Chaplain to the Carmelite Community at Lanherne.

Canon Anselm Gribbin has been appointed to the Convent at Ardee, Co. Louth and Canon Michael Wiener remains at St Winefride’s, Shrewsbury.

I remain at New Brighton.

Our Blessed Lord certainly hears our humble and fervent prayers and I ask you to include us all and the Institute in your prayers.

Canon Amaury Montjean
Pro-Provincial of England



Praised be Jesus Christ!

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I express deep gratitude to God, who has brought me to this point of healing and recovery. As previously communicated by the leadership and staff of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for whom I also express my profound appreciation, I am no longer intubated with a medical ventilator. I have been transferred out of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and settled in a hospital room where the doctors, nurses, and numerous hospital staff have provided vigilant, superb, and steadfast medical care. For these dedicated professionals, too, I offer heartfelt thanks, as well as to the priests who have ministered to me sacramentally. To those who have offered innumerable Rosaries and prayers, lighted candles, and requested the offering of the Holy Mass, I extend my sincere gratitude, and I ask the Lord and His Mother to bless you all. I also thank my brother bishops and priests who have offered Mass for me or prayed for me at the altar.

This generous outpouring of grace unites me to you in a special way, as I am also particularly united to all victims suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. With all my heart, I express to you my wish that I could respond to every phone call, text message, and email. However, due to the intensive rehabilitation that I will soon begin, providing a response beyond these universal letters will not be possible. In your charity, I know you will understand this circumstance and accept that I must preserve my energy so that I can recover my health and strength. Hospital regulations limit visitors to immediate family members. During the forthcoming extended period of convalescence, it is my intention to provide only occasional updates when there is something significant to share with you.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe has accepted the necessary and crucial role of direct communication, on my behalf. Again, in your kindness, may I ask that you direct all of your communication to me through the Shrine’s website, at

Of late, I have been reminded of the motto that I took when I was selected for the episcopacy: “Secundum Cor Tuum” (According to Your Heart). All things ordered in and through the Divine Will have as their origin the Sacred Heart of Our Savior, whose fundamental motivation is His Eternal Love for His Father and for His children. Since Divine Providence has governed that I remain hospitalized for the present, I now reaffirm that same episcopal conviction: suffering, united with the suffering of Jesus Christ, is truly efficacious in His Divine Plan for our salvation when accepted willingly and wholeheartedly. Saint Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, teaches us the meaning of our suffering: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Col 1:24).

United with Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, I offer all that I suffer for the Church and for the world. Asking God’s blessing upon you and your family, and confiding your intentions to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and your holy patron saints, I remain

Yours in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph


Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
28 August 2021
Feast of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church


Some photographs from last week’s Chapter meeting at our Motherhouse in the Tuscan hills:

Above: Priests ordained in July give first blessings to their bretheren who were unable to travel for the Ordination ceremonies

Below: Pontifical High Mass offered by His Excellency, Bishop Luciano Giovannetti on the Feast of St. Louis


Below: Your Canons gather from across the world at Gricigliano



Our warmest heartfelt congratulations to Canon Anselm J. Gribbin who was incardinated into the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest during last weeks General Chapter meeting at Gricigliano.

Canon received the Choir Habit and distinctive blue pom-pom biretta of the Institute and Salesian Cross.

Benedíctus Deus in sǽcula!


Since 21st May, Canon Henrique Fragelli has been in the Covid intensive care unit at Carregi Hospital in Florence, Italy, in the care of specialised doctors.

The recovery of Canon Fragelli continues, he has begun to wake up. His full recovery will be gradual and slow. Let us persevere in our prayers to support his recovery so that it will be prompt and complete.



As is usual, at the end of June/beginning of July, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest cherishes the abundant graces bestowed by God during the liturgical ceremonies of Ordination week.

This year, twenty-two new Seminarians received the Cassock and Tonsure at Gricigliano on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively and on Thursday, eight new priests were ordained in Florence.

Rev. Monsignor Gilles WACH presided over the ceremonies of the reception of the Cassock on the feast of Ss. Peter & Paul (Tuesday 29th June), followed a day later when H.E. Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE carried out the Tonsure.

Reception of the Cassock


On the evening preceding their Ordination, the shortly to be ordained Canons received the Choir Habit

Ordinations to the Priesthood

The Ordination Mass was on Thursday 1 July 2021, the feast of the Precious Blood, 8 young men, surrendering all to serve Christ, His Church and His Faithful are now Priests forever! Deo gratias!

Mass took place at the Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano in Florence in the presence of H.E. Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.

The new priests are:

Canon Maximilien Vuylsteke (France)
Canon Christian Juneau (Canada)
Canon Nicholas Phillips (Nebraska, USA)
Canon Francisco Palomar Andres (Spain)
Canon David Le (California, USA)
Canon Bryan Silvey (Missouri, USA)
Canon GodefroyDucret (France)
Canon Julien Aumont(France)

Please pray for them!


To all dear friends of the Institute,

Together with Monsignor Gilles Wach and the Institute family all over the world, we seek once again your prayers for the deacons who will be ordained to the Priesthood on Thursday, 1 July 2021, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, at the Institute’s church of Saints Michael and Cajetan in Florence, Italy.

The deacons being ordained are:

Deacon Maximilien Vuylsteke (France)
Deacon Christian Juneau (Canada)
Deacon Nicholas Phillips (Nebraska, USA)
Deacon Francisco Palomas Andres (Spain)
Deacon David Le (California, USA)
Deacon Bryan Silvey (Missouri, USA)
Deacon Godefroy Ducret (France)
Deacon Julien Aumont (France)

Before this very special day on the 29th and 30th June, 22 men, who have now completed their first year of formation at the Motherhouse, Gricigliano, will receive first the cassock and then clerical tonsure.

Entrusting all to Our Blessed Lady, Mother of Priests, and an example of faithful, humble, and joyful acceptance of God’s will, I remain,

Faithfully yours in the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Canon Amaury Montjean


Taken for our sister site at

In these challenging times for Ireland, there is great joy in Ardee, Co. Louth!

The former Convent of Mercy, vacated last year has new owners. A young Roman Catholic community, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, purchased the iconic building which comes with an attached chapel and gate lodge set in 10 acres of land.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest intends to use the former Mercy Convent as a convent for the the female branch of their order. The Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart are semi-cloistered nuns. The first members will soon begin their community life in the footsteps of the Sisters of Mercy with daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the singing of the Divine Office in Gregorian chant. These young sisters will also prepare the convent so that the Institute African missionaries can find in Ardee a place where they can rest, pray and recover from their apostolic work in a much cooler climate.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest was invited to serve in Ireland, in the Diocese of Limerick, and established its headquarters there in 2006. The members of this Institute are also resident in the Diocese of Down and Connor (where in 2019 they reopened a former Presbyterian church in Belfast)  and in Galway.

Canon Lebocq, Pro-Provincial of the Institute in Ireland, offered €925,000 to save this property, thanks in part to local donations, but especially with an excess of €600,000 loan.

He said: “Our community is now on its knees, not only in prayer in the chapel, but also financially with over €230,000 to reimburse by 15th August this year. Prayers and donations are welcome!”

Built in the mid-1850s, the convent was designed by John Neville, then County Surveyor for Louth. The three-storey block built of coursed rubble features cut limestone for quoins and window surrounds as well as for the three-bay, single-storey porch in Perpendicular style. 

Founded in 1990, the Institute is a Roman-Catholic Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right in canonical form. The 125 priests of the Institute work all over the world to promote the spiritual Kingship of Christ. A special emphasis is laid on the harmony between faith and culture, and thus the young community has acquired a reputation for promoting the arts, especially sacred music and architecture. 

The Institute of Christ the King celebrates the classical Roman Liturgy, the Latin Mass, in its Extraordinary Form according to the liturgical books promulgated by Saint Pope John XXIII in 1962. This liturgy, promoted by Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis in various documents, attracts today an increasing number of people, especially young adults, students and families.

The motherhouse and international seminary of the Institute of Christ the King is based in Florence, Italy. 105 seminarians are currently being trained for the priesthood. It also has over 60 religious sisters, especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who live a semi-cloistered life, and 19 oblates (lay brothers). Among these are nine Irish vocations.

The average age of this community’s members is 24 for seminarians, 28 for sisters, 41 for oblates and 39 for priests. The community has missions in Gabon (Africa) and important apostolates in the United States, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Sweden and Rome, where their founder, Monsignor Gilles Wach, was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Pope John Paul II. The Vicar General of this community is at present Monsignor Michael Schmitz, who was ordained a priest by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger.

The Institute of Christ the King follows the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, which is expressed in the motto of the Institute: “Live the truth in charity,” and could be summarised in the famous quote of the Doctor of Charity:”Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet.”

The Institute also expresses its profound gratitude to His Grace Jude Okolo, Nuncio to Ireland and to His Grace Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh. They also thank in a special way His Excellency Matthew Madega, Bishop of Mouila in Gabon for his encouraging words to acquire a house in Ireland where the missionaries can come rest in a prayerful atmosphere.

No date has been set for any public opening and welcome to the Sister Adorers but a family already resides as caretakers on the alarmed premises.

Those who would like to know more about this important news for Ardee and for Ireland can find further information on their website ( or by subscribing to their newsletter.


Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest



Hale Street

Ardee A92 F8FP

Co. Louth

Support the forthcoming arrival of the Sister Adorers in Ardee


Always by the grace of God and following the kind invitation of the Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt. Rev. Mark O’Toole, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will begin a new apostolate at Chelston near Torquay, Devon later this year.

The Church of the Holy Angels, Queensway, Chelston will be served by a Canon of the Institute and possibly a seminarian.

Apt that the news was announced on the feast day proper of St Thomas Aquinas, doctor of the Church and co-patron of the Institute, Sancte Thoma de Aquino, ora pro nobis!

We look forward very much to arriving in Devon and serving our priestly ministry for the good of souls using the traditional liturgy of Holy Mother Church. The Institute is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right whose goal is the honour of God and the sanctification of priests in the service of the Church and souls. Its specific aim is missionary: to spread the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ in all spheres of human life. Our work is carried out under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception, to Whom the Institute is consecrated.

The Bishop of Plymouth made the following statement to the faithful of the parishes concerned on Sunday:

Statement to Holy Angels Church, Chelston
and to The Assumption of Our Lady Church, Abbey Road – 7th March 2021  

You will be aware that Fr John Smethurst will be celebrating his final Mass as Parish Priest here on 15th August.  Whilst he will continue to live in the area, in his own home, he will no longer be exercising care of the Parish from that date.  I want to put on record our immense gratitude to Fr John for all that he has given here at Chelston these past years.  I know that he is much loved and that you will miss his priestly pastoral care of you.  You will appreciate that it is only right that at this stage of his priestly ministry, Fr John no longer have the responsibility of the pastoral care of a community.  Whilst we hope he will remain well for many years to come, I know we will want to wish him well for the next stage of his priestly ministry where he will no doubt be available for priestly supply in this part of the Deanery, having submitted his resignation from ecclesiastical office as required by the Canonical requirements of the Church. 

I am sorry to say that there is no priest, diocesan or Religious, presently in the Diocese, available to come to Chelston after Fr John departs.  Nevertheless, it is important that we seek to ensure that all the people of Holy Angels continue to receive pastoral and spiritual support.  This will come under the oversight of Fr Colin Groombridge at the Assumption of Our Lady Church, Abbey Road, who will be your new Parish Priest. A Sunday Mass will continue to be celebrated here and the timing of this is to be worked out later.  The deanery clergy are also looking at the provision of a Sunday evening Mass at a Church in the area.  There will need to be close collaboration between the community here and the community at Abbey Road and I thank Fr Colin for taking on this new responsibility. 

Although there is no priest from the diocese available to come and work at Chelston, we are hoping to have a priestly presence here by establishing Holy Angels as a Shrine Church, with a priest, and possibly a seminarian, from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest ministering here.  An integral part of the Institute’s charism is using the traditional Latin liturgy for Mass and the Sacraments.  Holy Angels would be a place of devotional and spiritual life not just for the local community, but for people further afield in the Diocese.  There will be Eucharistic adoration every day, the Celebration of Morning, Evening and Night Prayer daily, as well as opportunities for Confession. 

So, whilst the normal pastoral needs of parishioners are met by Fr Colin, the Shrine and the Institute will maintain a Catholic priestly presence and devotional life in the Church.  We see this as being an integral part of the mission of the Church in this area, and complementary to other aspects of the life of the local Church.  The priest, or priests of the Institute – because others will visit at times – will hopefully also assist with pastoral care in the hospital and the local primary school.  This will all be done in collaboration, and with the guidance and co-operation, of Fr Colin.

This pattern of a Shrine Church, overseen by the Institute, in a local parish, is already happening in other places in this country – in the Dioceses of Lancaster and Shrewsbury.  It has proved to be very successful, and the presence of the Institute in those places is much appreciated.  The priests of the Institute are very respectful of local people, and participate well within the local deanery, and collaborate well with local clergy.

One of their number will be joining a meeting with the Parish after Easter, in 5-6 weeks’ time, when you can hear more about them, their work and their charism as well as ask any questions.  I am sure that you will make him, and other members of the Institute, welcome. 

I believe that this ‘new beginning’ for the Catholic community can be one filled with many graces and blessings, not just for the local Church but for the whole Diocese.  I thank you for your cooperation and ask for your prayer and support for this new chapter in the life of the Catholic community here.

+Mark O’Toole
Bishop of Plymouth