In Memoriam: Monsignor Arthur Bastress, P.A. | November 8, 1927 - July 16, 2020 - UPDATE

 Updated: July 19, 2020, 1:00 PM

Catholic Review Article/Obituary

Ruck Funeral Home Obituary

With sadness the Gregorian Society of Baltimore announced that Monsignor Arthur Bastress, P. A. passed away Thursday, July 16th  (Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel).  He was pastor of the National Shrine of Saint Alphonsus for nineteen years (1998-2017) and was the one who filed the paperwork and fought to make the parish a national shrine.  As a true shepherd, he worked to meet the needs of his flock, adding Traditional Latin Masses so the Latin Mass community could grow and seeking special permission from the Bishop to celebrate the traditional Sacrament of Confirmation.  Even though he was 71 when he became pastor, he still gave the parish his all: restoring the steeple, bells, windows, heating and air conditioning, the organ, and accomplishing other various projects throughout the parish.   Although his diminishing health left him no choice, he did not want to retire from being pastor because there was more that he wanted to do for the church.  Besides being a priest and taking care of his flock, music was his passion. He had a stunning tenor voice and always liked to sing “O Holy Night” at Christmas time.  He loved directing the choir when he was not celebrating Mass.  Although he suffered from the same ailment as our patron, Saint Alphonsus, he took great delight in playing the organ until his arthritis completely prevented it. Without Monsignor the National Shrine of Saint Alphonsus would not be in the good shape it was when the FSSP came in 2017.  Throughout all nineteen years, Monsignor put his heart and soul into maintaining the parish and keeping the Latin Mass going. He did a lot for us and wanted to do more! It was a pleasure to know him; and looking back on what he did and where the parish is today, some deep gratitude is in order.  He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.   Tu es sacérdos in ætérnum, secúndum órdinem Melchísedech.

Hat Tip: Gregorian Society of Baltimore Facebook Page

Added News from Flock Notes (4:20 PM)

Today three Requiem Masses were offered at St. Alphonsus by the priests of the FSSP for the repose of Monsignor’s soul.  Additionally, the Absolutions at the catafalque were carried out following the midday Mass.

From the Mass of Burial:

"O God, who didst raise Thy servant Arthur to the dignity of the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech Thee, that he may be joined in fellowship with Thine apostles for evermore.  Amen."    —Fr. John Fongemie, FSSP


  1. Rest in peace Monsignor Arthur, and thank you for always being there for your most beloved niece Anne.

  2. May your soul rest in peace.
    You will be missed very much.
    Couisin Michael Connelly


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