[Temporary link: Fr. Kenneth Walker's funeral fund - Update: total amount raised]
The Mater Misericordiae Mission, the Latin Mass community of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, run by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), was the scene of a terrible tragedy on Wednesday night, following the breaking and entering of their church by armed burglars.
Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP, Associate Pastor, was murdered. Requiescat in pace. Please, pray also for the consolation of his family: his parents, brothers and sisters. Father Walker was 28.
Father Joseph Terra, FSSP, Pastor, was severely wounded by the criminals, and is (at least to our knowledge as of this moment) hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition. Please, pray for his health and his complete recovery, through the mercy of God Almighty.
Finally, let us also pray for their parishioners, the members of the Fraternity of Saint Peter, and all who are affected by this ordeal.
Let us pray for the law enforcement officers, may they accomplish justice according to God's will, with the help of Our Lady, Mirror of Justice.
Let us pray for the criminals, may they find conversion and salvation on this earth and avoid eternal damnation.
Seven updates, including contact info for prayer intentions, letters and gifts of condolence, and memorials for Fr. Walker’s family: please, see end of the post.
R.P. KENNETH WALKER TU ES SACERDOS IN ÆTERNUM SECUNDUM ORDINEM MELCHISEDECH
Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP was born in Upstate New York near Poughkeepsie, the middle of 11 children (6 boys and 5 girls). His family moved frequently when he was young.
While his father was working construction in Wilmington, N.C, the family decided to build, with their own hands, a log cabin on some land they owned in nearby Tennessee. Their intention was to sell the home, but they changed their minds and moved in.
Father Walker gives his first blessing to his ordaining bishop, Bishop Bruskewitz
While living there, they visited a used bookstore and found a book called The Incredible Catholic Mass. It described the Tridentine Mass, which they had never seen nor heard. The book was considered worthless and the storeowner gave it to them for free.
The family was intrigued. The more they learned about the Traditional Mass, the more they wanted it in their daily lives. On his own initiative, Fr. Walker began learning Latin. The family decided to sell their log cabin and move to rural Pennsylvania near Scranton where the Traditional Mass was offered. Fr. Walker eventually became an altar server at the FSSP Apostolate, and after attending Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom Academy in Ontario, entered the seminary.
Note (4:30 PM GMT): it would seem like a good idea to simply pray and avoid speculating on motives right now; let us recall that this area of Downtown Phoenix (a couple of blocks from the Arizona State Capitol) is deserted and dangerous at night. May justice be done.
3rd Update (5:00 PM GMT): in a press conference, the Diocese's Vicar General added the following information: "Fr. Fred Adamson, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Phoenix, also spoke at the press conference. Fr. Terra, he said, administered the last rites to Fr. Walker in spite of his own suffering. Fr. Terra was being badly beaten in the attack, he said." (Diocesan newspaperCatholic Sun) 4th Update (5:50 GMT):
The FSSP have added the following information to their statement: Prayer intentions, letters and gifts of condolence, and memorials for Fr. Walker’s family may be sent via the community of St. John Vianney Chapel, in Maple Hill, Kansas:
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Walker c/o St. John Vianney Chapel
14611B Waterman Crossing Road
Maple Hill, KS 66507
5th Update (9:00 PM GMT): Friends and teachers of Father Kenneth Walker and recollections from his years as a student (article).
6th Update (9:45 PM GMT): Holy Hour: The staff of the Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude make the following announcement:
"There will be a Holy Hour to pray for the repose of Fr. Walker's soul and for Fr. Terra's health tonight at theCathedral of Saints Simon and Jude in Phoenix. The Holy Hour will include the rosary, Exposition and Benediction, and Gregorian chant. The Holy Hour will on 7-8pm Arizona time."
7th Update (11:45 PM GMT): The video recording was made available of the sermon delivered by Fr. Walker for the 9th Sunday After Pentecost, 2013 (July 21, 2013). The Gospel for that Sunday is well known: "When Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: 'If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written, My house is the house of, prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.' " (St. Luke 19:41-47)
Father Walker reminds us in his sermon to make use of the time of our own visitation, our short days here on this earth, with themeans provided by God: "let us then, make use of the means that God has provided for us to show our repentance, our submission, and our trust in Him."
† Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis, cum Sanctis tuis in æternum: quia pius es.