GLEN COVE, NY – Most people have heard that a priest was killed in Phoenix, and another priest was badly injured. They have heard almost nothing about the victims.
The badly injured priest was Father Joseph Terra, FSSP, the pastor of Mater Misericordiae Mission; the murdered priest was his assistant, Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP. Father Walker would have been 30 years old next year. Both were members of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, a society of priests with their own superior general, somewhat like an exempt order, created by Saint John Paul II. The fraternity’s greatest charism is the preservation of the older form of the Roman Mass in Latin.
Father Walker’s three great passions were preserving the older form of the Roman Mass, protecting the unborn, and defending human dignity. He was a leader of the Phoenix and Glendale right-to-life movements and its forty days of prayer for life. Both Fathers Walker and Terra were conspicuous for their participation in peaceful gatherings to pray the Rosary at Planned Parenthood clinics and similar facilities in Phoenix and Glendale.
Father Walker entered the seminary with a remarkably well-formed and mature vocation. In his application for entry into the seminary, he wrote:
“God, in His infinite love, desires all men to be saved and so to achieve their true end. Along with the Church, then, I am deeply grieved by these errors concerning the nature and dignity of man accepted by so many people in the world. On full view of the situation in the world, then, the only vocation that I could be satisfied with, as a work, would be one that would be dedicated to bringing people to salvation in whatever way God wills for me to do so.”
The murderer has been arrested. The crime seems to have started as an attempted burglary. Father Terra was badly injured but is making a full recovery.
There is great sorrow at Father Walker’s death in the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, both in Europe and America. A Requiem Mass was celebrated in Kansas. A Requiem Mass without the body present was celebrated in Phoenix. Votive Requiem Masses were celebrated in Europe and other locations in America. These were all in the older form that Father Walker so loved. Television reports of a “Mass of Christian Burial” were inaccurate.
The press and electronic media have not done their job. They have given expansive coverage to the crime and virtually none to the victims. Even the round-the-clock Catholic cable networks fell short of adequate coverage; they essentially ignored the funeral.
Father Walker’s young death must renew our dedication to his causes – preserving the noble liturgy, protecting the unborn, and defending human dignity.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom