Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen

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Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen
Congregatio Mariae Reginae Immaculatae
TypeSedevacantist Catholic religious congregation
HeadquartersOmaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Superior General
Mark Pivarunas
Key people
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church: CMRI church in Sulphur Springs, Ohio, United States

The Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (Latin: Congregatio Mariae Reginae Immaculatae; CMRI) is a sedevacantist traditionalist Catholic religious congregation.[1]

It is dedicated to promoting the message of Our Lady of Fátima and the devotion of the practice of Total Consecration to the Virgin Mary as taught by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.[2] Over the years, the Congregation has also been known as the Fatima Crusaders and Oblates of Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe.


Schuckardt period[edit]

The Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen was formed in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States, in 1967, by Francis Schuckardt,[1] with the assistance of Denis Chicoine. Schuckardt was layman who gained considerable fame as a charismatic speaker for the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima and served as its International Secretary.

In 1969, with the approval of Bishop Sylvester William Treinen of the Diocese of Boise, Shuckardt formed the group into a religious congregation of sisters and brothers.

With the implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, in about 1970, Schuckhardt and the CMRI came to believe that Pope Paul VI was not a valid pope (the theological position known today as sedevacantism), and therefore sought services from sympathetic Catholic priests who shared their views in this regard, among them Father Burton Fraser, S.J., a Jesuit from Colorado, United States, who became the congregation's spiritual advisor.[3] Other Catholic priests who became associated with the congregation include Father Lawrence Brey, Father George Kathrein C.Ss.R., Father Joseph Pinneau, and Father Clement Kubish.[4]

In 1971, from 28 October to 1 November, Schuckhardt was tonsured, ordained to the four Minor Orders, ordained a subdeacon and deacon, ordained a priest, and consecrated a bishop by Bishop Daniel Q. Brown.[1] Brown was a Catholic layman who formed conclusions identical with Schuckhardt and out of desperation, had himself ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop in the Old Catholic Church, but after talking with some priests, who convinced him that he had made a great mistake, repented of his ordination and consecration from the Old Catholics and his involvement with them, renounced his ties with them, made a public abjuration and a profession of faith, went to confession,[5] and received absolution from a priest.[3] Soon after, however, Brown returned to the Old Catholic Church.[6]

In 1977, the congregation acquired the old Jesuit scholasticate Mount Saint Michael in Spokane, Washington, United States, moving there its headquarters from Idaho.

In 1984, Chicoine and other members of the CMRI expelled Schuckardt from the congregation on reports of sexual abuses done by Schuckardt.[1]

Post-Schuckardt period[edit]

In 1984, after the ousting of Schuckardt, the CMRI sought out a sedevacantist bishop to ordain clergy for the congregation, and found Bishop George J. Musey of Galveston, Texas, United States, whose episcopal lineage, like that of most other sedevacantist bishops, traces to the Vietnamese sedevacantist Bishop Ngô Đình Thục.[3]

On 23 April 1985, three of the four remaining priests of the congregation formally and publicly took an "Abjuration of Error and Profession of Faith ad cautelam" before Musey in case, through their previous actions, they had incurred any ecclesiastical censures. Musey then conditionally ordained them.[3] He publicly stated that he had little reason to doubt the validity of their earlier ordinations, but he nevertheless decided that the most prudent course of action would be to bestow conditional ordination on them, as he believed that since the Holy See is vacant, an authoritative and binding decision on their orders cannot be made, and that the validity of their orders will always be doubtful in the minds of some.[5][a]

Other sedevacantist bishops who ordained priests for or assisted the congregation are Bishop Robert McKenna, O.P., Bishop Joseph Vida Elmer, Bishop Oliver Oravec,[6] and Bishop Moisés Carmona,[9] bishops whose episcopal lineages also trace to Thục.

In 1986, the congregation held its first General Chapter, establishing a formal set of Rules and Constitutions. In the same year, the Rule was approved by McKenna.

In August 1989, Father Tarcisius Pivarunas (Mark Pivarunas) was elected as the Superior General of the congregation,[10] succeeding Father Chicoine.[3]

On 1 February 1991, Carmona expressed his desire to consecrate as bishop whomever the congregation chooses. On 3 April 1991, Pivarunas was elected to be consecrated a bishop. In accordance with Catholic practice, Pivarunas discontinued the use of his religious name, "Tarcisius", and in accordance with the CMRI Constitutions, resigned his post as the Superior General. He was succeeded by Father Casimir M. Puskorius. On 24 September 1991, in Mount Saint Michael, Pivarunas was consecrated a bishop by Carmona.[3][11][12]

In 1995, Pivarunas was re-elected as the Superior General of the congregation, succeeding Puskorius. He remains the Superior General to this day.

In June 2007, 15 sisters living at Mount Saint Michael in Spokane were expelled from the congregation because they had come to disagree with the congregation's stance of sedevacantism.[1] They joined the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane and formed the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church (SMMC) under the authority of William Skylstad, bishop of Spokane.[1]

Present day[edit]

The CMRI operates a major seminary, Mater Dei Seminary, in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, as well as a minor seminary, Saint Joseph's Minor Seminary, in Rathdrum, Idaho, United States, while the Sisters' motherhouse is located in Spokane, Washington, United States.

They have expanded into Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia.[13][14] All in all, the congregation is responsible for over ninety churches and Mass centers throughout the world, at least thirteen schools ranging from K-8 to K-12 in the United States,[15] several publications, and an online store, Mary Immaculate Queen Center.[16]

List of Superiors General[edit]


  1. ^ Canonists such as Beste[7] and Regatillo[8] concede the presumption of the validity of Holy Orders conferred by the Old Catholic bishops in Holland, Germany and Switzerland only.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Graves, Jim (October 19, 2012). "The Return to Rome, Five Years Later". The Catholic World Report. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  2. ^ "CMRI's Marian Spirit: Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin". Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI). 10 August 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rev. Anthony Cekada. "Mt. St. Michael & CMRI: Brief Overview". October 1993.
  4. ^ Rev. Daniel B. Ahern. "Mount Saint Michael - A Systematic Study".
  5. ^ a b "CMRI Conference in Cincinnati, 1991 (improved quality, complete)". sedevideos.
  6. ^ a b Ruby, Griff. "The Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church", Chapter Nine, "The Advance of the Sedevacantists". 26 September 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  7. ^ U. Beste, Introductio in Codicem (Collegeville MN: St. John’s 1946), 951.
  8. ^ Jus Sacramentarium, 878.
  9. ^ "Adsum (October 2016)" (PDF). Mater Dei Seminary. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Superior General: Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI". Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI). Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Adsum (September 2016)" (PDF). Mater Dei Seminary. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Episcopal Consecration of Bp. Mark Pivarunas, CMRI". sedevideos. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  13. ^ "CMRI Traditional Catholic Latin Mass churches, chapels, schools, seminaries, convents". Omaha, NE | Spokane, WA: CMRI. 10 August 2016. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2019-01-01.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ "Links" (web sites of individual CMRI churches, chapels, schools, minor seminary). Spokane, WA: St. Michael's Traditional Catholic Parish. Archived from the original on 2018-04-22. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  15. ^ "CMRI Schools, Seminary and Convents". Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI). 17 August 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  16. ^ "CMRI: A Traditional Catholic Religious Congregation". Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI). Retrieved 12 July 2021.