More and more diocesan priests are becoming interested in becoming a diocesan hermit under Canon 603.  That’s what I am.  (My rule of life with approved apostolates is here.)  Some traditionally-minded Roman Catholic priests have contacted me over the last few years because they want to offer the traditional sacraments and no longer want to do the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM.)

What is interesting about the men contacting me is that they (like me) do not have the personality of being a hermit.  But they are more willing (and more likely) to live alone than to compromise their conscience anymore in typical parish life in the United States.  As more and more traditional (and even semi-traditional) young priests in parishes are seeing that they cannot in good conscience follow such orders as Traditiones Custodes (TC) they contact me furtively.  They wonder what it would be like to be a hermit.

Like me, they never wanted to be a hermit.  We all signed up to save souls as diocesan priests.  But they come to this conclusion:  Worse than the life of a hermit living in a condo would be following invalid orders like Fiducia Supplicans that commands blessings upon same-sex couples (yes, the word “couples” is in there nine times.)

Liturgically, more and more young conservative priests are unwilling to deal with Eucharistic Ministers (aka Eucharistic Monsters) and an indiscriminate approach to Holy Communion among non-practicing Catholics who come to Mass once a month or are contracepting or living in a second or third “marriage.”  They would like to stay in the parish and save souls, but not at the cost of their own soul.  At least, that is the conclusion I had to come to when I finally said I was only going to do the traditional sacraments about seven years ago.

What is unique about me is that I figured out there was no hermeneutic of continuity before your average conservative diocesan priest.  I figured out one needs to choose between the Fiducia Supplicans apostate-theology and Apostolic Catholicism.  Opting for the latter, I was among the first in this country to set up my own 501(c)(3) called Peregrino Hermitage Ltd. so I could keep praying all day and teaching online.  It gets lonely at times in living in a small condo, but I would never trade in my online teaching (hopefully saving souls) to face the nasty politics of parish life again (especially when the chancery backs up the “Susan of the Parish Council” against young conservative priests.)

If the Traditional Latin Mass and the other six traditional sacraments get sunk in most US dioceses following the rumored next-iteration of TC, you will see more and more traditionally-minded priests request a leave from parish ministry to enter some form of religious life or hermetical life.   I know it’s not what most of you lay people want to hear for your good priests, but there are priests much less extreme than me that are saying the best priests are now leaving the priesthood and getting laicized because they can’t take the wokeness from the Vatican anymore.  Better to be a hermit like me than get laicized because of an infiltration in the Church.

Another problem is that traditional congregations usually only let young men and young women to apply to their communities.  I have no problem with this.  In fact, I think this is an excellent idea, but it excludes a 45 year old priest like me.  In fact, it’s a good policity because it’s easier to transition from lone-ranger diocesan life in a parish to hermit life (like mine) that it would be to transition from lone-ranger diocesan life in a parish to a traditional monastery (like Clear Creek.)  Also, keep in mind that many of us have PTSD from lying and deceitful pastors in the NOM world from which we came.  Thus, we never want to live in community again.

Where’s the good news in all of this?  It’s that we diocesan hermits pray and read several hours a day, and as you know, what I pray all day for is the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the full restoration of the Catholic Church (as mentioned in Our Lady of Good Success) which surely must be what Our Lady said at Fatima, namely, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.  So while your favorite priests might trickle (or flood) out of parish life, my encouragement to you is this:  Still be good to them.  Because when the true Catholic Church goes underground, they’re going to still remember how to be parish priests for you and your family, with all the charity, and the sacraments and they teaching they once had in regular parish life.  They will continue to be Christ’s priests, and your spiritual fathers.