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Details and Nature of the 1570 Society (as produced by P. Bright)

NATURE : The 1570 Society is an association of lay Catholics, formed in Ely, Cambridgeshire, in the year
2010 for the primary purpose of facilitating the local celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the
Sacraments of the Catholic Church by validly-ordained priests, all in accordance with Sacred Tradition and
the laws of the Roman Rite in effect immediately prior to the death of Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli). It’s
secondary purpose is to support the dissemination of sound Catholic doctrine.

NAME : The name of The 1570 Society commemorates the year in which the Roman Missal, restored in
accordance with a decree of the Council of Trent (1545-1563), was promulgated by Pope Saint Pius V.

THEOLOGICAL POSITION : The theological position of The 1570 Society corresponds with that set out in
the attached statement of the Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI).

VISITING CLERGY : Fr Eugen Rissling and Fr Johannes Heyne are independent Catholic priests based in
southern Germany, who co-operate with Bishop Mark Pivarunas, Superior General of the Religious
Congregation of Mary Immaculate and Rector of the Mater Dei Seminary in Omaha, USA.

EUGEN RISSLING: ordained priest by Bishop Günther Storck on 28 October 1989.
Günther Storck (1938-1993): ordained priest by Bishop Blasius Sigibald Kurz, OFM, on 21 September 1973;
consecrated bishop by Bishop Michel Louis Guérard des Lauriers, OP, on 30 April 1984.
Blasius Sigbald Kurz (1894-1973): ordained priest on 21 December 1919; consecrated bishop by Pope Pius XII
on 29 October 1939; appointed Prefect of Lingling (Yungchow), China, on 21 May 1948.
Michel Louis Guérard des Lauriers (1898-1988): ordained priest for the Dominican order on 29 July 1931;
consecrated bishop by Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô-Dinh-Thuc on 7 May 1981.
Pierre Martin Ngô-Dinh-Thuc (1897-1984): ordained priest on 28 December 1925; consecrated bishop by
Archbishop Antonin-Fernand Drapier, OP, on 4 May 1938; appointed Archbishop of Huê, Vietnam on 24
November 1960.

JOHANNES HEYNE: ordained priest by Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI, on 13 May 2006.
Mark Anthony Pivarunas: ordained priest by Bishop George Joseph Musey on 27 June 1985; consecrated
bishop by Bishop Moises Carmona on 24 September 1991.
George Joseph Musey (1928-1992): ordained priest by Bishop Wendelin Nold of Galvaston, Texas on 22 May
1952; consecrated bishop by Bishops Moises Carmona and Adolfo Zamora on 1 April 1982.
Moises Carmona (1912-1991): ordained priest by Bishop Leopoldo Díaz Escudero on 15 October 1939;
consecrated bishop by Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô-Dinh-Thuc on 17 October 1981.

SERVICES : Currently, the Society arranges for Mass to be celebrated on Sunday afternoons, normally at
intervals of 4 or 5 weeks. Mass begins at 14:30 h. Confessions are normally heard before Mass from about
13:15 h, but are also heard after Mass when the need arises. The Mass is said non una cum, using the Roman
Missal as published in 1947.

VENUE : The Old Dispensary, 13 Saint Mary's Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4ER.
A map showing the location of the venue, the nearest car parks, and the pedestrian route from the railway
station, can be view via this link:
The venue is very close to the Cathedral, and the walk from the railway station takes no more than 15
minutes. Car parking in Ely is free of charge, and on Sundays is without time limit. The venue has two toilets,
both suitable for wheelchairs.

DECORUM : Although the Mass venue is not, per se, a ‘house of God’, due decorum in dress and conduct
should be observed whilst it is in use as a substitute and especially whilst the Blessed Sacrament is present.
Attire should be such as is respectful of the Divine Presence, and such as avoids drawing undue attention to
the wearer or giving scandal to others. Adults should avoid harshness towards children too young to
understand how to behave well in church.

[Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 1262, §2: Men in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at
sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of
things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially
when they approach the table of the Lord.]


Fr Oswald Baker (1915-2004) was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1942 by Mgr Thomas Leo Parker, MA, the Bishop of Northampton. He subsequently served as a curate in a succession of parishes around the diocese. In 1952, he took up his appointment as parish priest at the church of Saint Dominic in the Norfolk town of Downham Market, where, in addition to his parochial duties, he also served as Catholic chaplain to the Royal Air Force station at Marham, as well as chaplain to the Sacred Heart Convent in Swaffham.

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) led to unprecedented changes in the doctrines, worship and
discipline of the Catholic Church, not excluding its most sacred daily act of worship, the Mass. In 1969,
Paul VI promulgated a new missal containing the text of a “New Mass” (Novus Ordo Missae), which, in the
name of ‘ecumenism’, had been concocted by a committee advised by six Protestant clergymen. After much
controversy, the “New Mass” was introduced to the dioceses of England and Wales in 1971. Father Baker,
was one of the few priests around the world to clearly see through this imposture, and he declined to admit
the “New Mass” into his parish. In this stand, he was left for some time in peace by his bishop, but
shamefully there was pressure from Rome to extinguish the public celebration of the true Mass.

In August 1975, the auxiliary bishop with delegated oversight of the parishes in East Anglia, sought Father
Baker’s removal from office on account of his exclusive adherence to the traditional rite of Mass. But the
parishioners, acting independently of Father Baker, formed an action committee to defend him against the
threat of removal, and elected Mr R E Beaver as chairman, Miss C C Zilahi as secretary, and Miss M K
Staszewska as treasurer.

An appeal, made by the committee on behalf of Father Baker, was dismissed by the Auxiliary, as also was
Father Baker’s own appeal to the Ordinary in Northampton. After a canonical process, Father Baker was
suspended from office on the spurious charge that his ministry was ‘harmful’. As from 1 January 1976, he
was denied the use of the parish church, as well as the benefit of any income relating to it. The only
concession made for his welfare was in his being allowed to remain in residence at the presbytery.

The action committee, now under the name of ‘The 1570 Society’, redoubled its efforts to provide him with
necessary moral and material support. With funds raised provided by sympathisers far and wide, a domestic
property at No 48 Bexwell Road, Downham Market was bought and adapted to provide an oratory (private
chapel) where Father Baker could celebrate Mass in suitable surroundings. The building, renamed Saint
Pius V House, was blessed in November 1976 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Following Father Baker’s death in 2004, an arrangement was made with Bishop Mark Pivarunas, CMRI,
for a priest, flying from the USA, to make a pastoral visit to Saint Pius V House every six to eight weeks. Then
in 2006, following the ordination of Fr Johannes Heyne by Bishop Pivarunas, an alternative arrangement was
agreed, whereby Fr Eugen Rissling and Fr Heyne would alternate in making pastoral visits at intervals of 4 or
5 weeks from their respective parishes in southern Germany.

Prior to Father Baker’s death, legal ownership of Saint Pius V House passed to Mrs Kathleen Hatfield (née
Staszewska), a parishioner since 1962, but following her own premature death in May 2010, the property was sold privately. To remedy the loss of this Mass centre, Miss Zilahi sought an alternative venue for hire.


Suitable accommodation not being found in Downham Market, the search moved to Ely where the Old Dispensary in Saint Mary’s Street was identified as offering the best available solution. The first Mass was celebrated there on 12th September 2010, and a management committee was formed under the revived name of ‘The 1570 Society’.

Patrick Bright (Chairman/Secretary)
Revision 4 : May 2017

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