The National Shrine of Saint Philomena is maintained by an Association of Catholics known as "The Friends of Saint Philomena, Inc." [not for profit corporation. All donations are tax deductible. IRS # 45-4473074} The Association aims, in particular, to promote the teaching of the full Catholic Faith, the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass and devotion to Saint Philomena, the Patroness of Faith and Purity.


The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been celebrated in Latin in the Western Catholic Church for more than 1,500 years. This Mass helped produce thousands of Saints.

Pope Paul VI (1963-1978), had a good intention of winning back Protestants to the Catholic Church. This he intended to do by making the Mass more attractive to them. Thus was produced the “Novus Ordo” Mass which was introduced in 1969.  The highest Church authorities caused nearly everybody to believe that celebration of the Latin Mass was forbidden.  “Permission” to offer this Mass was nearly always denied by diocesan bishops. An horrendous persecution of priests faithful to this Mass took place. Many died of grief, went mad, took early retirement. Others were punished by “suspension*” or even put in lunatic asylums. Some, very few indeed, remained faithful to the Mass of their ordination, defying the unjust orders of their superiors, refusing the un-Catholic notion of “blind obedience”.

(*forbidden to say Mass or hear confessions)

Our Holy Father Benedict XVI now says the Latin Mass was never forbidden (“Summorum Pontificum”,  2007, A.D.)

Sadly, few, if any Protestants were attracted back to the True Church by the new Mass. Worse still, the “Novus Ordo” Mass was accompanied by sacrileges and the teaching of heresies. Disgusted by this “Protestant” Mass, hundreds of thousands of good Catholics stopped practicing their religion. The average  “Catholic” church and school today is the occasion of sacrilege and loss of the Faith. True Catholics cannot attend the “normal” service and most certainly cannot send their children to the “normal” “Catholic” school.

For several years many Catholics in Miami who held to the Faith of their Fathers attended the Divine Liturgy at Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Church.  Although being deeply grateful for the hospitality they found there, they yearned for their own rite.

Gradually they organized themselves. Priests were brought in from elsewhere to offer  Holy Mass in private homes, halls and hotels. Mass was said regularly for a time in the chapel of Woodlawn Park Cemetery. Catholics who attended were subject to un-Christian persecution from the Archdiocese of Miami. It was all rather like being Catholics in Elizabethan England!

In 1988, Fr. Gunther Richter (R.I.P.)  obtained a church building and named it after Saint Philomena to whom he was personally devoted. Here the faithful could once again hear the Mass of their fathers on a daily basis.  Father  Timothy  Hopkins replaced him in 1989.

In the same year Fr. Hopkins applied to Cardinal Mayer of the “Ecclesia Dei” Commission in Rome for a public “celebret” for the Latin Mass which should have made the ministry at Saint Philomena acceptable to the Archdiocese.

The Cardinal was gracious in his attempts to help us. He stated that we were indeed  a “group of Catholics seeking their legitimate aspirations” and were not “schismatic”.

The then Archbishop of Miami, Edward McCarthy, was not so gracious and ordered Father Hopkins out of his territory.  Father appealed his case to Rome, where it now rests.

According to Canon Law, Catholics may fulfil their Sunday and Holyday obligation at Saint Philomena Shrine (Canon N. 923). Father Hopkins was ordained by Monsignor Biaggio Terrinoni, Bishop of the diocese of Marsi, Italy in 1984. We acknowledge, love and pray for our Holy Father Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Miami.

Father Hopkins is proud and privileged to have been a friend and collaborator of the Society of Saint Pius X for more than 22 years and insists upon his demise that Saint Philomena Shrine in Miami be given to the charge of the Society.

As loyal Catholics, we pray daily for Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Fr. Hopkins was privileged to meet then Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome.

Cardinal Ratzinger celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass.

We received two Papal Blessings from his Holiness Pope John Paul II.


We are proud custodians of a First Class Relic of Saint Philomena given to us by the Vicar General of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Monsignor Peter Canisius Van Lierde.
The Authentication Letter reads as follows:

Reverend Father Timothy A. Hopkins, Pastor,
Herewith you receive a precious H. Relic of Saint Philumena you asked for in your letter of 26th. January, 1991 which arrived yesterday here on February 21, 1991.
God bless your ministerial work increasing your love and devotion to His Saints in the midst of your dear faithful people. With my kind regards and greetings.
+Peter Canisius J. van Lierde
titular bishop of Porfirion.


Please browse around our selection on the following pages. Any questions should be directed through the phone / fax / e-mail numbers given above.

May the Good Lord bless you through the powerful intercession of Saint Philomena!

Revd. Father Timothy A. Hopkins, R.I.P. Founder.


Revd. Father Enrique T. Rueda, R.I.P.
Assistant 2001-2009