Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Santa Susanna

The American parish in Rome.

Truth be told, I don't know one American or Canadian in the Alma Città who attends this parish.


  1. Not surprisingly. It's staffed by Paulists.

  2. Ahhh, the Roman NPR/NCR parish! Che fun! No one goes there because you never know what you are going to get. Anything but Latin.

  3. What a surprise! LOL !!! This parish is run by an aged group of 2-3 Paulist Fathers (Congregationof St. Paul, founded in the USA in the 1850's...not the same as the excellent traditional Order of St. Paul the First Hermit(Paulines), founded in Hungary in the 13th century and now mostly in Poland and about 15 other countries with membership of close to 600).

    The American "parish" of Santa Susanna was given to the USA based Paulist Fathers (whose original purpose was missionary work and attempting to convert USA Protestants), around the 1930's. Today, the Paulists are a small group of aged dissidents, fanatical ecumenists, and elderly liturgical radicals numbering less than 130 members (down from 400 before Vatican II). They only have about 90 priests remaining of their total compliment of 130, and what used to be a fairly substantial presence in Rome (before Vatican II, Santa Sussana boasted about 20 Paulists), there are now at most 3 aged priests.
    A fairly traditional Italian Cistercian cloister of nuns is attached to Santa Susanna and has about 30 nuns.
    But the Paulists are a radical group (pro-gay, pro-marrier priests, pro-women priests etc.) and are a totally aged and burnt out group with no vocations. Their Masses at Santa Susanna reflect the USA Catholic Church.....which is why most Americans in Rome go to any other Church in Rome where they can be exposed to REAL Catholicism, rather than to their "national" parish of Santa Susanna.
    Very sad what has happened to this once great parish, and to the Paulists, which once had a a magnificent tradition and brilliant leadership and apostolates of conversion.
    Does anyone remember "The Christophers" TV series (dating from the early 1950's up until right after Vatican II? It was created and hosted by the Paulists, and had a tremendous tradition of introducing the traditions and values of the Catholic Faith to mainstream Americans by using Catholic Hollywood actors in short skits and plays each week....each segment with a moral story. Some actors who participated were Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Joe E. Brown, Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Jane Wyatt, Dorothy McGuire, and others. The show was trashed when the Paulists adopted a radical agenda right after Vatican II (show ended around 1966).

    Is anyone surprised?

    Never fear, the Paulists won't be at St. Susanna for much longer. Maybe the next group of priests will be more Catholic, and therefore more open to the ancient traditions of our Church!!

  4. We stopped by there on our last trip to Rome. It was the only church in the entire city that was locked up tight! HA!

  5. My family and I attended a Mass there while on our first pilgrimage to Rome in 2004. We quickly found out what we didn't want to see while we were in Rome, namely, American liberalism in the heart of the Church. There was an American flag on one side of the altar and a Papal flag on the other. The sanctuary was built up on a wooden platform that made it seem more like a Church in the round than the beautiful Romanesque structure that it is. Oh, yes... and we were the only Americans there. Go figure. The priest was goofy and irreverent, wore sandals to celebrate Mass, and when he walked down the street to go to his house he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. What a disgrace to the religious life.

  6. Mass schedule posted, yes, but no confessions schedule. Go figure!

  7. What is the "American Catholic Church" in Rome? isn't it still the Roman Catholic Church?

  8. In 1922 Pope Benedict XV gave it to the Americans and authorized the Paulist Fathers to create a "national" church for American Catholics in Rome. The old U.S. Embassy was next door (torn down by Mussolini). U.S. President Warren Harding requested such a parish.

  9. I think it is one of the only churches in Rome where they actually tore out the old High Altar. As an American, how embarassing. (Plus the church was taken over, ignoring the protests of the Nuns whose church it was.)

  10. The Paulists run the parish that serves my university. After several
    years of seeing how this order treats the Faith, I've moved on to
    another parish, and hope to never see the inside of another Paulist

    What is especially sad is that decades ago the Paulists were known
    for their liturgical and doctrinal orthodoxy. Let the current decadence
    of the Paulists be a warning to all congregations!