Blast from the Past

A reader as alerted me to this, a letter from one Fr Steven Fisher to Fr John Zuhlsdorf of WDTPRS. This is not the same Fr Steven Fisher is it?

'Fr Z, 
For information (and publication if you wish). As well as the weekly EF Low Mass on a Sunday morning at 8.30am we are introducing regular EF Sung Masses in this parish, thanks to a quartet of music scholars from our local university in Canterbury. We will be starting on Sunday 7th December at 6pm with Palestrina’s Missa Brevis. 
The Parish is St Ethelbert’s, 72 Hereson Road, Ramsgate, Kent, UK
(Tel: +44 1843 592071; www.rc.net/southwark/ramsgate). 
In 597AD St Augustine landed in Ebbsfleet (which is in the parish of Ramsgate) and converted the pagan King, Ethelbert. We are delighted to be regularly offering Mass in a form that would have been, in its essentials, the same as that offered by Saint Augustine when he arrived on these shores. 
P.S. Except on Sundays we face ad orientem at all Masses (OF & EF,
including school ones). 
Brick by brick… 
With my best regards
Fr Steven Fisher'

Nowt so queer as folk is there!? Brick by brick, indeed! I guess we can all agree the Church was a different place in 2008. New era and all that...This can't be the same priest...can it? And is this the same Fr Steven Fisher as described and quoted in The Telegraph?

For Catholics in Ramsgate, Kent, Fr Steven Fisher is the man of the hour. Parishioners of the Pugin-designed St Augustine’s in the town had feared their church might be about to close but now Fr Fisher, who serves a neighbouring parish, says he will celebrate a Tridentine Mass there every Sunday. 
Augustus Welby Pugin, who was something of a social theorist as well as an architect, designed St Augustine’s as part of his vision of an ideal Catholic community in the area, though as he died at 40 (of syphilis, probably) he didn’t live to see the church completed.
It is profusely decorated and Pevsner called it a “marvel”.
 
But earlier this month the Benedictines, who had looked after the church for more than a century, announced they were leaving their abbey and seeking a new home, so the congregation of St Augustine’s, understandably in this age of padlocked churches, feared the diocese would close it. 
Then Fr Fisher, the parish priest of St Ethelbert’s, Ramsgate, stepped in, proposing to parishioners that he could transfer the Tridentine Mass that’s currently offered at St Ethelbert's to St Augustine’s. 
“I gave the people a democratic vote,” he says, as if that was the most natural thing to do in the Catholic Church. They voted by 75 to zero in favour of the plan. From January, a Tridentine Mass will be celebrated in the Lady Chapel of St Augustine’s on Sundays at 8.30 in the morning. 
“The people seem happy about it,” Fr Fisher says. He has also engaged a caretaker to open up the church to visitors on Sunday afternoons. 
Fr Fisher, who sounds very friendly and sensible on the phone, is keen on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, as it's also known, although “it was Bishop John Hine [an auxiliary bishop in Southwark] who mooted this possibility to me”. 
The Extraordinary Form particularly suits St Augustine’s, according to Fr Fisher, since it’s the Mass as Pugin would have known it and besides, he says, breezily: “I’ve been saying it weekly since before Summorum Pontificum.”

Was the same Fr Fisher at Our Lady of the Rosary now discontinuing the 'bi-ritual' standard of the parish running a 'bi-ritual' parish previously, as recently as 2009 onwards?  What possible objection could Fr Fisher have to the model of Our Lady of the Rosary established by his predecessor? And as for 'visitors' and the conflict that may or may not pose to a (welcoming) Christian community, I would imagine Ramsgate received quite a few. The mystery deepens, the fog thickens and this priest begins to take on an identity that is somewhat 'enigmatic'.

Comments

Anonymous said…
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewmcfbrown/100014921/the-tide-is-turning-traditional-latin-mass-returns-to-a-pugin-masterpiece/

“…Then Fr Fisher, the parish priest of St Ethelbert’s, Ramsgate, stepped in, proposing to parishioners that he could transfer the Tridentine Mass that’s currently offered at St Ethelbert's to St Augustine’s.

“I gave the people a democratic vote,” he says, as if that was the most natural thing to do in the Catholic Church. They voted by 75 to zero in favour of the plan. From January, a Tridentine Mass will be celebrated in the Lady Chapel of St Augustine’s on Sundays at 8.30 in the morning.

“The people seem happy about it,” Fr Fisher says. He has also engaged a caretaker to open up the church to visitors on Sunday afternoons.

Fr Fisher, who sounds very friendly and sensible on the phone, is keen on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, as it's also known, although “it was Bishop John Hine [an auxiliary bishop in Southwark] who mooted this possibility to me”. The Extraordinary Form particularly suits St Augustine’s, according to Fr Fisher, since it’s the Mass as Pugin would have known it and besides, he says, breezily: “I’ve been saying it weekly since before Summorum Pontificum.”

The Bones said…
So why is the EF now toxic and divisive?
The Bones said…
The priest must simply be following orders.
Anonymous said…
Whose orders? +Pat Lynch? Bexley Deanery is under him, as is Greenwich Deanery but, as far as I know he hadn't stopped the EF at Holy Cross in Plumstead Common (Greenwich Deanery) where Father Fisher was PP before Blackfen. Perhaps, we should just wait until Father Fisher has settled or contact him direct.

http://www.lms.org.uk/find-a-mass/mass-listings-summer-2013

God bless
Sonia

P.S. Congratulations and best wishes!!!
Anonymous said…
EF toxic and divisive? Certainly not! Bishops, priests and laity but, never the Holy Mass whether EF or OF.

God bless
Sonia

Wake up England said…
Looks rather as if The Pope doesn't agree about the merits of the EF of the Mass. That's why Cardinal Burke's got the sack. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
Anonymous said…
The man is a contrarian aand naturally destructive! Having been PP of Ramsgate, he joined abbey, only to sell off a vast amount parishes movable property in the infamous Ramsgate Abbey sale some of which was actually left to his Church and designed for it by Pugin himself. When he arrived at his previous parish I recall there was a bit of a stir. He has a psychological need to be noticed and those around him suffer!
Konstantin said…
I don't find this convincing evidence that he was forced. 2008 was six years ago, people can change easily within such a time frame, especially considering that the TLM was still new and exciting back in '08, feelings that might have easily worn off by now...
Anonymous said…
Anonymous 18 September 2014 @13:00

According to Southwark's schedule of clergy appointments, Father Fisher was clothed as a Benedictine novice on 2nd February of 2011. In any case, the auction of liturgical vessels (which was in February 2012) would have been a community decision as is the norm with religious life.

God bless
Sonia
Lynda said…
Runs with the hare, and hunts with the hound, perhaps. The Sacred Deposit of Faith does not change and this includes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is an essential part of the Faith - coming to us through Christ, and the Revelation of Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium. It is not a matter of likes, whims, democracy, etc.
Fr. Fisher's Facebook page, and the company he keeps may hold all the answers.
Gungarius said…
I think the best thing we can do is pray.

This article by forest murmurs links to what it says is a priestly blog.

http://forestmurmurs.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/priest-bloggers.html



This is a post on that blog

http://revsafisher.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/success-secret-strengthen-your-success.html


This is another one

http://revsafisher.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/many-humans-in-accurate-association-are.html


Gungarius said…
I think the best thing we can do is pray.

This article by forest murmurs links to what it says is a priestly blog.

http://forestmurmurs.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/priest-bloggers.html



This is a post on that blog

http://revsafisher.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/success-secret-strengthen-your-success.html


This is another one

http://revsafisher.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/many-humans-in-accurate-association-are.html


Ubi Caritas said…
It seems that the real Fr Fisher may be being held captive somewhere while his svelte doppelgänger wreaks havoc in Kent. He looks so much smilier and friendlier in this than in the recent photo on Rorate.

Gungarius - to be charitable it looks as though the blog has been deleted and that the site has become a spam links farm where the robot text is designed to bring in search queries which may use the advertising links on the page. I doubt it's the man's actual site. I checked the WaybackMachine internet archive, but the URL isn't listed -- they just direct to the current live site.
Gungarius said…
There is a detailed report of alleged events here:

http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/
Pelerin said…
I have just read the last link given by Gungarius which gives details of what has been happening at Blackfen. I shall make no comment except to say how upsetting and unsettling this all must be for everyone concerned.
Anonymous said…
Update to this post is that Steven Fisher, formerly Fr Fisher is leaving the priesthood and has outed himself as gay.

See Rorate Caeli
No he hasn't what a load of tripe! He has resigned as a parish priest but has become a full time Maths teacher.