Monday, July 23, 2018

Where Fr. Phillips is Going; What Fr. Phillips Created

As we reported a few days ago, Fr. Frank Phillips, founder of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius and pastor of the church for thirty years, will be moving to St. Louis on the orders of Fr. Gene Szarek, the provincial superior of the Congregation of the Resurrection, with which Fr. Phillips was originally ordained.

Fr. Szarek is an accomplished letter signer.

The Resurrectionists are an international order with headquarters in Rome. Here in the American Midwest they have a seminary in St. Louis and a substantial presence in Chicago.

Indeed, on the Ministries page of their website they list St. John Cantius as one of their parishes.

They should take that down.

How do the Resurrectionists present themselves? Here is their Mission page:

Liberation of society, solidarity, unjust structures.

The paschal dynamic.

I've heard that people spoke that way once.

But I have no reason to doubt the Congregation contains some good priests.

Fr. Phillips is one of them.

By contrast, here is the Home page of the newly redesigned website of the Canons Regular:

And here is the first part of their mission statement:
The members of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius seek personal sanctity by imitating Christ in radical opposition to the values of this world. They wish to “Restore the Sacred” in the Church, in the world and in their own lives in pursuit not only of their own sanctification, but also the salvation and sanctification of all.
Radical opposition to the values of this world.

If that's not cutting-edge, nothing is.

Fr. Phillips is about to begin temporary residence in a place that is a sort of stale relic of an earlier century after being at the center of "where the action is" for thirty years.

And it was that center because he made it so. He created all of it, with the help and grace of God.

This is another reason why Fr. Phillips' exile fills me with sympathy and sadness.

What did Fr. Szarek create?

As you can see, the "Where Fr. Phillips is Going" images, below, are the three featured photographs on the "Mission" page of the Resurrectionists.

The "What Fr. Phillips created" images are taken from the substantial Flicker album at the new Canons site.

Are the following comparisons fair?

Of course not. Cantius has better photographers.

Where Fr. Phillips is Going:

What Fr. Phillips Created:

Where Fr. Phillips is Going:

What Fr. Phillips Created:

Where Fr. Phillips is Going:

What Fr. Phillips Created:


  1. Knowing well what Fr. Phillip's created (the first time I ever attend Mass was at SJC and it nearly converted me on the spot), I have little doubt that he will continue his exercise of heroic virtue in the face of this rank injustice, and in so doing reap a bounty of grace whilst simultaneously raining hot coals on the heads of his persecutors. He will be in my prayers.

  2. He will produce fruit wherever he goes. The early Church was scattered by oppression and persecution and wherever they went, they brought Christ.

  3. Is there still a fight afoot to bring him back or are we through now?

  4. When he founded the Canons, how did he not stop being a Ressurrectionist? Aren't the Canons a new Order?

  5. Fr.Phillips is going to St.Louis, Missouri, home of the late Mrs.Phyllis Schaffly, Miss Eleanor Schlafly and a large three generational family that produces The Cardinal Mindszenty Report, The past Phyllis Schlafly Report and many other conservative publications. My friend Phyllis was in large part responsible for the victory of Donald Trump. Well at least he says so. In the 80's when I went to Eagle Forum Conferences in Washington D.C. Phyllis announced where one can find a Latin Mass. As a then Protestant I did not attend. However that family has been a hot bed of traditionalism for generations . In this case Fr. Phillips is like Br'er Rabbit who convinced Br'er Fox not to throw him in the Brierpatch. Br'er Fox immediately threw him in the Brierpatch. Br'er Rabbit called. " Ha ha, I was born and bred in the Brierpatch." Thus outsmarting the Fox. The Resurrectionist did a good thing for his former member and protected him from the wrath of Cardinal Cupich. Cardinal Cupich is, in the mean while self destructing due to his close association to Cardinal McCarrick. To quote a gospel song " There is a God. He is alive." Mrs. Gay Caswell

  6. In all fairness, the parish of St. John Cantius in Chicago was founded by the Resurrectionists for a largely populated area in Chicago known as "Polish Downtown" or "Polish Patch". The Resurrectionists also founded many similar parishes in the Chicago Polish neighborhoods and many are standing today as a testament to the tenacity of those Resurrection fathers of that time.

    I'm not stating this to lessen anything that Father Frank accomplished, but more to what the Resurrection fathers are today in comparison. Father Frank renewed a parish that steadily lost its parishioners over decades of urban changes, starting with the building of Ogden Avenue, and the final blow of the Northwest Highway which is now called the Kennedy Expressway. (I was 4 when a good portion of our old family neighborhood was torn down to make room for this, and my family were members of St. John Cantius.) Anyway, Father Frank revived SJC and then had the insight to start the Canons Regular. Surprisingly, the Resurrectionists didn't see the value of his vision, however, did allow Father Frank to move this wonderful new religious order forward. And along with that, the wonderful renewal of our parish and sacramental life.

    Father Frank is a Resurrectionist in his heart. This order brought him to realize his vocation. Sad to say, it may have been the original Polish fathers that accomplished much during recession in the 1890s and the depression of the 1930s that Father was inspired by.

    Yes, it's sad indeed. The contrasts shown above by this blog are very valid. And more heightened when one looks at the Resurrectionists of over a century ago, even 60-70 years ago. Thankfully Father Frank's spirit is of the original Fathers that came to Chicago! And what a strong spirit it is!

  7. Seminarians in STL will seek him out for spiritual direction and liturgical formation. Cupich was unjust to him, but St Louis will profit from it.

  8. In all fairness, it was the Resurrection Fathers that built St. John Cantius for the area in Chicago known as "Polish Downtown" or "Polish Patch", along with many other similar parishes for the city. The tenacity of the Resurrection Fathers pulled through the recession of the 1890s and the depression of the 1930s in keeping these parishes strong. This, of course, is in sharp contrast to their order today.

    I don't say this to lessen anything that Father Frank accomplished at St. John's. This parish has been a part of my own family since my grandparents came from Poland and became members. I'm aware of St. John's before Father Frank and since he was assigned to be pastor in 1988. And thank God for that.

    Father, as we know, took a struggling parish and renewed it with the same tenacious spirit of the original Resurrectionists. It is sad that when he came up with the idea of restoring the sacred, the current Res. Fathers didn't see its promise. At least they had the insight to let Father Frank go for it.

    This blog made an excellent point, and when taken further back to when the Resurrectionists arrived in Chicago and all they accomplished, the sadness is more realized.

    Thankfully, Father Frank's spirit remains strong. God truly has a purpose in this priest and will continue blessing his path.

  9. Sorry to say, the youth and the priest in the CR mission page look very ill at ease..and just plain ill. I hope Fr. Phillips will help the order rejuvenate their home base of US operations.

  10. It is a mission field and many will benefit, me included! I only live 3 hours away from St. Louis.

  11. Thank you for posting both of my posts--I wasn't signed in when I posted the first and it looked like it didn't send. I then tried to recreate it. They basically say the same thing though differently. Thank you for continuing this coverage and updates on Father Frank.

  12. There always seems to be a rush for others to assure the one abused that he will be just fine.

    Lord have mercy. How about trying to spend a few moments walking in his shoes....

    Were there simple justice, he'd have been reinstated to continue the great work he had been doing and Cupich would have been invited to take a trip to Rome where a Pope who gave a shit would take him out behind the woodshed.

  13. That is too bad. I have sorrow for your community. Father Phillips will be okay. It is not so bad having to live with old modernist priests. As a priest myself i never had the chance to live in a community like what father Phillips created. I failed to create such a community myself, eventhough I tried as a pastor to restore tradition, and have a university degree in Latin, having learned and offered the TLM and all: but the people had no interest. It takes a special talent that Fr. Phillips had. I myself have been now sent as a subordinate to a modern "conservative" parish in a diocese with mostly old hippie priests and awful music, eventhough I myself am not considered an old priest...that's life, i suppose Christ wishes us to suffer in this way.

  14. Father Phillips, aka Padre Pio Part Deux.

  15. God bless you for this coverage. St. John Cantius saved my life, and I owe that to Fr. Phillips (and God) for making the parish what it is. I will never stop decrying Cardinal Cupich. Never. Not because I wish to gossip about him but because people need to know.

    At the same time, I predict that Father Phillips' goodness is so strong that he'll offer up his ill-treatment as prayer and sacrifice on Cupich's behalf, thus trigger a miraculous Paul-style conversion of Cupich. Just a prediction I have. In the meantime, Fr. Phillips will "extreme makeover" the St. Louis seminary from the inside out. Take it to the bank.