Spirituality of the Institute

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right whose reason for being is the honor of God and the sanctification of priests in the service of the Church and souls. Its specific aim is missionary: to spread the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ in all spheres of human life and society. Our work is carried out under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception, to Whom the Institute is consecrated.

The Catholic Church traditionally recognized and promoted a deep harmony between faith, liturgy, life, and the power of beauty in attracting the human senses to the things above. For this reason, an integral part of the Institute's charism is the use of the traditional Latin Liturgy of 1962 for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the other sacraments.

Great care for a solemn liturgy, complete fidelity to the doctrine of the Church and the Holy Father, and awareness of the central role of grace, especially charity — these are essential elements of the Institute's spirituality, which is drawn from our three co-patrons: St. Benedict, as the symbol of unity between faith, culture, liturgy, and life; St. Thomas Aquinas, as the beacon of fidelity to the Church's doctrine and the papacy; and St. Francis de Sales, as the gentleman priest of an ever-growing love for those in material and spiritual distress.

Spirituality Francis de Sales

Our motto, taken from St. Paul, is "Live the truth in charity" (Eph. 4:15). It is echoed by our patron St. Francis de Sales who instructed, "Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet."

This is the principle of our apostolic work. Fruitless discussions or, worse, uncharitable polemics never help to attract souls to the Lord. Again, to quote St. Francis de Sales, "One drop of honey attracts more bees than a barrel of vinegar." The revealed truth of our Holy Catholic Faith is in itself attractive because of its depth, brilliance, and logic. Wherever it appears clothed in the beautiful garments of charity, it becomes ever more acceptable to those who might otherwise fear its inevitable consequences for our lives and the sharpness with which it cuts through our weaknesses and our excuses.

The famous religious poet, Gertrude von Le Fort, wrote of the Church and the revealed Truth, "I have fallen in your Faith like in an open sword, and you have cut all my anchors." How much more easily does a soul accept the grandness and the majesty of Divine Faith when it is presented with the merciful charity and patient meekness which Our Lord himself shows all the time to His children.

This is why the members of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest strive to follow the example of St. Francis de Sales, who was, at the same time, one of the most knowledgeable theologians of his period and the "Doctor of Charity." Certainly, our goals to teach truth with charity and to live in our communities according to the great commandment of charity can only be achieved with a daily struggle against one's own shortcomings and continuous collaboration with the gifts of grace.

Charity does not replace daily mortification. On the contrary, he who wants to be full of charity towards the Lord and his neighbor must mortify his own will continuously. This is why St. Francis de Sales, the great teacher of Divine Love and apostolic charity, has rightly been called "the most mortifying of the Saints."

At the Service of the Church's History and Tradition

The mission of the Church is to continue throughout history the teaching of the eternal truths taught by its Divine Founder and handed down in an unbroken tradition from the Apostles and their legitimate successors. It is this unbroken tradition which, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, guarantees our union with Jesus Christ who was, is, and always will be (Heb 13:8).


Spirituality Traditon

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest desires to be in perfect continuity with this authentic tradition. The founders of the Institute, through their ecclesiastical studies in Genoa under the late Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, and in Rome, where they served cardinals and clergymen representing the great Roman school, were granted the grace to be immersed in the stream of the Church’s unbroken tradition.

They realized that there is no need to recreate Catholic tradition, there is a need only to pass it on. This is “living tradition” in its true sense: tradidi vobis quod et accepi – "I pass on to you that which I have myself have received" (I Cor 11:23) – and the modus operandi of the Institute of Christ the King.

Glorifying God through Music, Art and Architecture

Catholicism is the religion of the Incarnation. Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, sanctified material reality by becoming flesh. Among the ways His Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, sustains the mystery of His redemptive incarnation throughout time is her abundant tradition of music, art, and architecture—treasures created not only to lift minds and hearts to heaven, but to serve as visible and tangible means by which we give worthy veneration to God.

Spirituality Architecture

The Institute draws heavily from this tradition, primarily to ensure an appropriate setting for the greatest of mysteries on Earth—the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our founder, Monsignor Gilles Wach, reminds us often that the Mass is like a priceless diamond that needs a dignified, beautiful setting to show even more its value and brilliance.

Spirituality Art

Throughout Church history, liturgical aesthetic details that help to make the invisible mysteries of eternity visible for all to behold were among her primary preoccupations. For the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, they still are.