Thursday 29th September 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Violent Death At Church . . . Phoenix Priest Follows Christ All The Way To Calvary

June 22, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Mater Misericordiae Mission here, just north of the complex of Arizona state-capital office buildings, is a good place to see babies, toddlers, and kids, brought to the Traditional Latin Mass of 1962 by their parents.
It’s the type of faith community where hope and trust in the future seem to inspire confidence to have larger families, and where God’s guidance is still assumed.
On Father’s Day, June 15, a poster in the foyer of the adjoining church hall advertised a late-summer pilgrimage to visit sites of the English martyrs.
While a trip to the United Kingdom would consume thousands of miles, a modern martyrdom occurred here the night of Wednesday, June 11, perhaps 50 steps from the poster.
The young associate pastor of the Latin Mass community, Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP, 28, was fatally shot in the contiguous rectory while the pastor, Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP, 56, was severely beaten by a violent intruder who disappeared into the night.
Although Phoenix police reportedly feared that the battered Terra wouldn’t survive through the night, a miracle seemed to have occurred. The church’s makeshift bulletin for June 15, which also was Trinity Sunday, said Terra was making “excellent progress,” with “a full recovery” expected.
Even though both of the church’s clergymen suddenly had been removed from serving their people, the historic resilience of the Catholic Church swung into action.
Only a few days later, on Father’s Day, Mater Misericordiae’s regular three Sunday Masses in Latin were celebrated, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation was freely provided, by other clergymen with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) who arrived on the scene.
The Sunday congregation recited the rosary, as customary, before Mass. The Glorious Mysteries began hopefully, as usual, with the Resurrection.
Although no proceedings for formal sainthood had been rushed prematurely onto anyone’s calendar, the deceased Walker was described by some people here as a saintly young priest.
Parishioner John Thurau told The Wanderer that he recalled Walker’s “young, bright face, almost an angelic disposition. Holiness exuded from his personality,” and complete faithfulness to the Church. “That was his personal gift or charism.”
Another parishioner, Bill Haley, told The Wanderer that Walker, ordained only two years ago, “just had the joy of entering into his own vocation” and was set on bringing people to Christ and Christ to them.
The Phoenix-based Arizona Republic quoted a Knights of Columbus officer, “If there was ever a person prepared for heaven, Fr. Walker was a good candidate.”
An online story in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sun, quoted parishioner Eileen Mallaire: “Fr. Walker was such a sweet, gentle young man. He was a wonderful young priest.”
No surveillance cameras had been pointed toward the nighttime attack, nor could the badly injured Terra provide much of a description of the assailant, news reports said.
During the Father’s Day Masses, police vehicles and news cameras remained outside Mater Misericordiae Mission. With a suspect still unidentified and motive uncertain, who could know what might happen next, there at Monroe Street and 16th Avenue?
The suspense soon was to end. Strong DNA evidence and the word of a few citizens tied up loose ends. One person reportedly went to the police station and said a man had been bragging about beating and robbing a priest.
On the night of Father’s Day, police arrested career criminal, transient, and all-around loser Gary Michael Moran, 54, who had gotten out of prison only a few weeks earlier and reportedly had already skipped a scheduled parole meeting. Moran had just served eight years for a rather similar crime — breaking into an apartment and stabbing a sleeping man.
When news of the church violence broke, some people noted that even hardened criminals usually avoid attacking members of the clergy. But Moran seemed to be a full-plumed inhabitant of Weird World. Making his initial court appearance for the rectory attack, Moran sat in a wheelchair, although he didn’t seem to need to.
Mater Misericordiae’s contiguous rectory, with its barred windows, plainly was part of the structure anchored by the steepled church, which seats about 200 people. It seemed highly unlikely that any potential criminal would have thought he was merely entering a secular residence or some sort of small business.
The same day that Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia announced the arrest, a Requiem Mass for Walker was held at St. Catherine of Siena Church in South Phoenix on Monday, June 16. To the pleasant surprise of the congregation, the injured Terra was able to leave the hospital to attend in a wheelchair. There was no question why Terra needed a wheelchair after the recent attack.
Both of Terra’s hands had large bandages on them, his face showed signs of the battering, and prominent red lacerations crossed the top of his head that was struck repeatedly with a metal rod. But he was alive and apparently rapidly recovering.
One discordant note was that Phoenix’s liberal Democrat mayor, Greg Stanton, seemed to be putting his face before the cameras as often as he could.
As much as the mayor might seem to be adding a note of reassurance, Stanton makes himself more comfortable in his daily chores by rubbing shoulders with Planned Parenthood and homosexual activists — perhaps the expected environment of liberal Democrats, but hardly of orthodox Catholics who turn to the spiritual strength of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, not abortionists and Sangerites.

Pro-Life Ministry

A person who spent any time around Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission would have been aware of Walker’s and Terra’s self-sacrificing, dedicated lives. Even when no congregants were in the church, I had seen the two priests seated on either side of the main altar, saying and chanting Latin prayers early and late.
They offered Mass twice daily, at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and twice on Saturday morning, as well as the three Sunday Masses. Confession was offered before each of the daily Masses, on Saturday afternoon, and throughout Sunday morning.
The two priests prayed outside abortion clinics each week, as well as providing all the sacramental and personal assistance expected in a parish. However, as a Latin Mass church, it didn’t have traditional boundaries because it drew people from throughout the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area.
Parishioner Thurau told The Wanderer on June 14:
“A very important aspect of Fr. Terra is his pro-life ministry throughout his tenure…including forceful sermons against contraception and abortion and as a leader of prayer at local abortion clinics. He is very studied in the cultural dynamics and history of depopulation and the destruction of the nuclear family. He gives dynamic sermons which debunk the theories of notorious depopulation advocates such as Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich.”
The two priests, Thurau said, were “incredibly devout and focused on their mission as priests of the Church,” as well as being “equally…faithful in presentation of the Latin Mass.”
Word of the attack spread quickly through the close-knit church family. Thurau told The Wanderer that one of his sons, an altar server at the church, got a phone call about 2:30 a.m. from another server about the violence a few hours earlier. “I practically fell out of bed at the shock,” Thurau said.
Parishioner Haley said he quickly phoned a priest friend after his wife, Maureen, awakened him about 12:30 a.m. when she read the news online.
That priest already was at the hospital where Terra was receiving emergency treatment, Haley said, so he dashed over to be near his pastor.
“The most remarkable thing about that night,” Haley said, was that the seriously injured Terra only talked about other people, not himself, when Haley was allowed to go back to see him.
Although Terra had been beaten bloody, he said, “Hi, Bill, how are the kids?. . . [H]is concern was for my children,” Haley said, adding that Terra also “rejoiced with me about a couple that was just able to have a baby. . . . He was just so happy for them.”

Do Not Be Afraid

Terra even saw a positive aspect to the violent attack, Haley said — the Devil is furious over the good works at the church.
The priest “wants the parishioners to know,” Haley said, “there’s good happening at Mater Misericordiae because the Devil doesn’t like it, and we cannot be afraid….It’s so important that we don’t give in to fear,” which would be “paralyzing.”
KPHO-TV news reported that Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted said of his visit in the hospital with Terra, “We were moved to tears more than once, but we had many smiles and laughs as well.”
Although Terra sometimes could look stern during his day-to-day work, he had a sense of merriment about him, perhaps a leavening from the Holy Spirit.
Thurau recalled Terra’s “very dry, remarkable sense of humor” by recounting that at a recent party anticipating his 25th anniversary of priestly Ordination, Terra recalled Jesus “saying the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church, so Father told the congregation they shouldn’t fear his involvement would have any dire consequences” for Mater Misericordiae.
Terra’s attraction to the Latin Mass apparently had caused him some career troubles earlier as a priest in a California diocese, but that ended when he joined the FSSP to flex his talents.
As in some other U.S. urban centers, there’s a sharp demarcation in Mater Misericordiae’s neighborhood. The mighty lawmaking apparatus of Arizona state government is only a few minutes’ walk away, but lost-looking souls can wander past the lower-class housing along Monroe Street, which the church faces. Nighttime can feel like a dubious time to be afoot on Monroe.
Directly south of the rear of the church is a six-level state parking garage, with the Arizona State Land Department building immediately to the west of the garage. Walk just past the land department and, behold, there’s the Arizona state legislature and governor’s Executive Tower to the west, and Arizona Supreme Court building to the east. But on Monroe, one understands why the church’s rectory has strong bars on the windows.
Still, The Catholic Sun quoted a Phoenix diocesan official that Mater Misericordiae was felt to be “a safe place to live.”
Vicar General Fr. Fred Adamson added that Terra is “a pretty strong man — he’s not afraid of anybody — and if anyone came in there and asked him, he would give them the shirt off his back. That’s the type of priest he is — a real servant of God,” the Sun said.

“God Is Beauty”

A can-do second-career priest built like a boxer, Terra personally helped in the major renovation of the former Hispanic Baptist church that became Mater Misericordiae in 2010, as well as overseeing the project. The church building retained a modest brick exterior, but the interior was re-crafted like a jewel box.
“A reverent traditional crucifix behind the altar is set amid a rainbow of color in the sanctuary, blue, orange, pink, gold, yellow, red, and white,” The Wanderer wrote in a February 2011 story about the new Latin Mass facility.
Sitting down for an interview with The Wanderer then, Terra reflected on architectural beauty expressed in a place where God dwells:
“God is beauty, that’s one of His attributes,” along with other perfect qualities including justice, mercy, and love, Terra told The Wanderer. “. . . And our hope is to see God face to face. . . . What that means is that the house of God must also be beautiful. . . . So beauty is not a luxury, it’s essential for the house of God, and it should be as beautiful as we can make it.”
Although one couldn’t declare that Mater Misericordiae looks exactly like Heaven, one can hope that Fr. Walker is able to say his church on Earth did a good job at preparing him for the glories of the next world.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Shocking Report Reveals Scientists Have Created the Word’s First Baby With Three-Parents

A shocking new report claims the world’s first three-parent baby (pictured above) has been born. Children born through ‘three-person IVF’ would contain some genetic material from each of three different people. There are about 50 known mitochondrial diseases (MCDs), which…Continue Reading

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Emails Show California AG Kamala Harris Teamed Up With Planned Parenthood to Target David Daleiden

New emails show officials in the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris teamed up with the Planned Parenthood abortion business to target David Daleiden, the pro-life advocate who filmed undercover videos exposing the abortion giant selling aborted baby parts. Earlier this year, California authorities seized a laptop and hard drives containing the video footage collected during Daleiden’s 3-year investigation of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains, according to a…Continue Reading

Benedict XVI Admits Qualms of Conscience about Vatican II

After the German publisher Droemer Verlag first released it on 9 September 2016, much has already been deeply discussed and variously reported about Benedict XVI’s new interview-book, Benedikt XVI. Letzte Gespräche (Benedict XVI – Last Conversations) which so far has only been published in the German language. It has been shown, for example, how the former pope supports whole-heartedly Pope Francis’ papacy and how he still defends his decision to leave his Petrine office, not…Continue Reading

">We May Not Have A Church To Go To . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Calling hours will at Vedder And Scott Funeral home on Tuesday September 27th from 4pm to 7pm. 122 N Genesee Street Montour Falls NY 14865 A Mass of Christian Burial Will Be held at 11am on Wednesday September 28 with a reception to be held immediately following at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church. 905 N. Decatur Street Watkins Glen NY 14891 Dear Friends, Paul Augustine Likoudis, age 61 of Caywood, NY, passed away due…Continue Reading

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

Homily For The Funeral Mass of Phyllis Schlafly

By FR. BRIAN HARRISON, O.S. (Editor’s Note: Fr. Harrison concelebrated and gave the homily at the funeral Mass for Phyllis Schlafly held on September 10, at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. reprinted with permission.) + + + Dear Friends — Whenever Christian believers gather in God’s house to mark the passing from this life of someone…Continue Reading

Obama: God-Given Rights “Was A Radical Idea”

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Barack Obama affirmed this week that the Declaration of Independence recognizes that “individual human beings” have “God-given rights.” Yet, he insisted this was a “radical idea” at the time of the founding. Were he right — which he is not — history would see it as one radical idea Obama…Continue Reading

Never Trump? . . . The Case Against “Sitting Out” The Presidential Election

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: To receive an electronic copy of this four-part article with footnotes, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “When you have a binary choice, you must make a decision. It’s frankly irresponsible to stay on the sidelines right now, given where the republic is heading” — Marjorie Dannenfelser,…Continue Reading

Bibi Backs Trump — On Putin

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Since Donald Trump said that if Vladimir Putin praises him, he would return the compliment, Republican outrage has not abated. Arriving on Capitol Hill to repair ties between Trump and party elites, Gov. Mike Pence was taken straight to the woodshed. John McCain told Pence that Putin was a “thug and…Continue Reading

Sex On The Brain

By DONALD DeMARCO The late Malcolm Muggeridge, who, in his later years, had some sensible things to say about human sexuality, lamented that people “have sex on the brain, and that’s an unhealthy place for it to be.” What he meant by this remark was based on his observation that sex, which is a natural…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Faithfulness Of Converts

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 2 Kings 5:14-17 2 Tim. 2:8-13 Luke 17:11-19 There is an old saying that states that converts make the best Catholics. There are, of course, several reasons for this; there are also numerous exceptions to this rule that can be easily demonstrated in the lives of the saints.…Continue Reading

The Role Of The Sacred Liturgy In Developing A Catholic Conscience

By FRANCIS CARDINAL ARINZE Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered this lecture at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 2016. (The lecture is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. We are presenting it in two parts because of…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . How Catholics End Up As Practical Protestants

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church is in the business of making Catholics, of proclaiming and calling all to the fullness of saving truth in Jesus Christ our Lord. Our mission to those who doubt or refuse some of our teachings is to call them to that fullness, whether Catholics already in our pews or Protestant brothers and sisters…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Is Faith Necessary For Salvation?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM For most of us who are cradle Catholics, it is not difficult to believe, since we received the theological virtue of faith in Baptism and grew up with it. Our parents and/or teachers taught us all about the Bible stories, the catechism, the sacraments. We learned to pray the Creed from an early age, and…Continue Reading

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Texas there is an old building that is part of the Missions National Historical Park of the National Park Service near San Antonio, Texas. This restored mission was founded in 1731 on the San Antonio River by the Franciscans and named after the soldier saint, St. John of Capistrano. In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Franciscans…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading