Pater Johannes Paul’s Homecoming Mass in the Vienna Oratory

Primizmesse von P.Johannes Paul Chavanne OCist

One of the best parishes in Austria is St Rochus, the parish of the Vienna Oratory. In a time when many in Austria are trying to find “new” pastoral strategies, the Oratorians do basically what the Redemptorists did in the 19th century under St Clemens Maria Hofbauer, “Apostle of Vienna,” but with something of the mischievous humor of the Oratory’s founder, St Philip Neri. They have glorious liturgy; simple and down to earth preaching and catechesis; perpetual eucharistic adoration; confessionals in which the lights burn most of the day; very effective, unpretentious programs for children, youth, and young mothers, and for the disabled, the poor of Vienna’s third district etc. And their Church is full, they have lots of families with young children, lots of altar servers, and so on. And there have been a good number of vocations to the religious life and to the priesthood from their parish in recent years.

The latest Pfarrkind of St Rochus to be ordained to the priesthood is  my confrère Pater Johannes Paul.  On Sunday he celebrated a homecoming Mass there with all the solemnity with which the Primizmesse is traditionally attended here in Austria. He celebrated Mass in the Ordinary Use of the Roman Rite, in Latin save for the readings and intercessions, and (as is usual in St Rochus) ad orientem. He wore a neo-baroque chasuble, sewn for him by the Cistercian nuns of Marienfeld. Here are some photos (all copyright except for the one of the sermon, which is from St Rochus’s facebook page).


3 thoughts on “Pater Johannes Paul’s Homecoming Mass in the Vienna Oratory

  1. I’ve noticed, that P. Johannes Paul has his thumb and index finger joined after the consecration of bread, just as it is prescribed in the extraordinary form. Is this the usual practise of Heiligenkreuz Abbey?

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures, Father!


    • Some of the fathers here keep thumbs and index fingers joined from the lavabo on (the old Cistercian custom), others from the consecration of the host, others only when touching something (the chalice, the the missal etc.), others not at all…


  2. No disrespect intended, but why do “traditional” priests wear “baroque”, “Roman”, and “fiddleback” chasubles? They represent departures FROM tradition. In the 1500’s, chasubles worn by high ranking clergy became so heavy and stiff with ornament that priests had difficulty moving in them. Instead of simplifying, the sides were CUT away, which of course allowed that worn underneath to be made elaborate and showy too. A vestment was basically altered to accommodate – a fashion “statement”. The once ample, ancient, and stately chasuble became flaps of cloth that hung down, front and back. St. Charles Borromeo condemned it. The change came without approval from the top. Even a pope or two asked priests to wear the Gothic.


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