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A Royal Traditional Latin Nuptial Mass

Hapsburg wedding in U.S. held in church with new shrine to Blessed Karl 

By Kenneth J. Wolfe POSTED: 9/11/12

( Remnant Editor's Note: Remnant readers may recall the name Katie Walker as that of the gifted Remnant columnist from a couple of years back, who had also been a pilgrim with Remnant Tours on our 2008 Pilgrimage to Chartres, France. We couldn't be happier for Katie on the occasion of her entry into holy matrimony.  May God bless and keep the bride and groom in His good care now and forever. MJM


St. Mary Mother of God church in Washington, D.C., is a parish where many traditional Catholics have visited, from the March for Life to vacations to business trips.  Originally established as the city's German church with German sermons, it is now known for its well-attended traditional Latin Masses with English sermons each week and has become a hub of Catholic tradition in the nation's secular capital.

On Sunday, 2 September 2012, a shrine to Blessed Karl was dedicated, with a first class relic of the beatified last emperor of Austria, whose full royal name is Charles Francis Joseph Louis Hubert George Otto Mary of Habsburg-Lorraine.

On Saturday, 8 September 2012, Blessed Karl's great-grandson was married at Saint Mary's.  The Washington Post's favorable coverage is here:

It was a glorious day. Miss Kathleen Walker wed Archduke Imre of Austria (Imre Emmanuel Erzherzog von Habsburg-Lorraine), with three diocesan priests using the traditional Latin order of marriage followed by a traditional Latin Solemn High Nuptial Mass in the presence of a bishop.

The Reverend Monsignor Charles E. Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington was the celebrant; the Reverend Father Gregory S. Thompson of the Diocese of Arlington served as deacon; and the Reverend Father Edwin E. Perez of the Diocese of Arlington served as subdeacon. 

The music was carefully planned by Katie (she is a friend) and Imre. The men of the parish schola sung the propers in Gregorian chant, while a group of Christendom College alumni and friends formed a choir, accompanied by strings and pipe organ, to sing Franz Schubert's Mass Number Two in G Major. Two organists rotated pieces on the magnificent tracker pipe organ. Several men and boys from Saint Mary's served as acolytes, thurifer, MC and torchbearers.  The pastor of the church, Father Alfred J. Harris, was in choro with three other priests.

A great honor for Katie was the presence of her former boss (she was the communication director for the Diocese of Arlington's Catholic Charities).  His Excellency Paul S. Loverde, bishop of Arlington, sat
in choro with the other priests and made remarks from the pulpit after the Last Gospel.  As far as I can tell, this was the first time Bishop Loverde has heard a traditional Latin Mass in many, many years.  May there be many more!

The official photographer for the wedding, Craig Spiering, is well known to traditional and conservative Catholics in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. for outstanding and professional work, especially concerning the traditional Latin Mass.  More royal wedding photos from him may be viewed at  A list and photos of prominent guests who attended may be found at a website covering royalty:

No Elton John, strapless gowns or unity candles at this wedding.  May it serve as a model for many other couples around the world.

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