Fr. Philip L. Bourret, a retired Jesuit priest who was ordered by his Jesuit superiors to stop saying traditional Latin Mass, died at 94 this week, according to the California Cathlic Daily.
Jesuit Fr. Philip L. Bourret, reportedly ordered by his superiors in March 2006 to stop saying the traditional Latin Mass or face suspension, died Jan. 29 in Regis Infirmary of the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos. He was 94.
According to an obituary published in the San Jose Mercury News, Fr. Bourret had been a Jesuit for 78 years and a priest for 66. “Most of his priestly ministry took place in Asia, where he was a pioneer in the Catholic Church’s use of radio and television for educational and religious purposes,” said the obituary. “For the past several years, Fr. Bourret has been in active retirement at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos. During his retirement he continued his work in Catholic radio and television.”
A story published by St. Joseph’s News Service on March 23, 2006 reported that Fr. Bourret had been “commanded” by his immediate superior, Fr. John Martin, to stop saying the traditional Latin Mass at a small private chapel in Santa Clara.
The story said Fr. Bourret was offering the traditional Latin Mass once a week on Tuesdays at “a small independent chapel” used by retired priests. But that came to an end when Fr. Martin, his immediate superior, learned about it and told Fr. Bourret to stop or face suspension.
“There is no excuse for Fr. Martin, or any other Jesuit superior, doing this to a man who has served God and His Church well for nearly 70 years,” Anthony Gonzales, president of the St. Joseph’s Men Society, commented at the time.