Priests, seminarians at traditional Catholic order almost all recovered from coronavirus
OPFENBACH, Germany, March 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The German seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a traditionalist community of priests and seminarians, has reported that the coronavirus outbreak within its seminary “seems to have been overcome.”
While the seminary community in Wigratzbad is still in quarantine, “there are no longer any priests or seminarians in the hospital, and only a few seriously ill people remain,” the official French-speaking website of the seminary stated.
On the evening of March 13, the seminary had first announced that a priest, who stayed at the there as a guest, had contracted the virus, as reported by LifeSiteNews. At the time, the community, which is dedicated to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, had notified the public that all Masses in Wigratzbad would take place without the seminarians joining.
“With the powerful help of faith, hope and charity, we do not let ourselves be discouraged. In a few days, the first healed ones will be able to take over from the newly sick, to maintain the spiritual and material life of the house,” the seminary community wrote.
Since God only allows evil for the sake of a greater good, the community expressed its confidence in the Lord, “who alone is able to give meaning to our temporary existence on this earth.”
Since the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue had already been banned, the FSSP declared that only the celebrant would receive the Eucharist. The faithful were encouraged to do a spiritual communion.
On the next day, the French blog of the seminary, which has a German-speaking and a French-speaking section, clarified that the priest first infected with COVID-19 was from Italy.
“The whole seminary has been in strict confinement for a week, because the disease spreads rapidly. A dozen priests and seminarians are showing flu-like symptoms, forcing us to completely reorganize schedules and services. Cooks, cleaners, secretaries … we have to do everything by ourselves, but everyone is generous and adapts without difficulty.”
The community was using the quarantine to meditate on the meaning of life.
“Life is short and fragile, and if one is worried about one’s health, one must be even more concerned about one’s salvation. The invisible threat of illness stimulates us to trust more in God, and to increase our prayers and penances even more,” the French blog wrote.
On March 31, the website reported that everyone was able to gradually “get back to work, and classes have resumed more or less as normal.”
The seminary community thanked the Lord “for having saved us from the most serious consequences of the illness, and we remain, of course, sensitive to the distress that now affects the whole world.”
The priests and seminarians said they continue to pray “for the sick, especially the dying, as well as for the nursing staff and all those who devote themselves generously in these difficult times.”
“We also commend to your prayers our last sick people, because the virus still causes much discomfort and worry. May it allow all of us to renew our total surrender into the hands of the Lord,” the community added.