Happiness in Burlington, VT. Solemn Mass, older form, celebrated by Bp. Matano

There are video clips attached to news articles.  Very good!  Click here and here.

Burlington, Vermont – August 15, 2007

Wednesday was a holy day of obligation in the Catholic church — the Assumption of Mary.

But hundreds of Catholics attended mass in Burlington Wednesday night for another reason, too. It was the first Latin mass in Vermont in more than 30 years.

"This will be, for many, the first time they’ve experienced the mass entirely in Latin," explained the Rev. John McDermott of the Vermont Diocese.

But it was the mass Rosemarie Cartularo of Ferrisburgh grew up with.

"I went to Catholic school," she said. "We had to go to mass every morning and we said it in Latin. it was just beautiful."

This "extraordinary" form of the Mass was common from the end of the 1500s to the mid-1960s, but ended when Vatican II called for reform. The Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1971 created the "ordinary" mass Catholics know today.

"It’s going to look very different, it’s going to sound very different for most people," Rev. McDermott said. "But I think they’ll have a sense it is still the same sacrifice of Christ we’re celebrating."

Of course, most Catholics don’t speak or understand Latin, and the priest or bishop faces the altar — not the congregation. But Father John McDermott said it is still a time of community.

"It will be very different from what most people think about in mass in their parish on Sunday," he said. "It will be different, but different doesn’t mean it’s going to be excluding people from participating in prayer. We’re still there to praise and worship God. That has to be the primary focus."

And many Catholics are happy to see it back.

"The Latin mass just hits you in your soul," said Patricia Coleman of Charlotte. "It’s the universal Catholic mass."

"I think it’s a wonderful opportunity if we can bring more people back to church," Rev. McDermott said. "If this is an opportunity for building people up in faith, then that’s a very beautiful thing."

Kate Duffy – WCAX News

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Happiness in Burlington, VT. Solemn Mass, older form, celebrated by Bp. Matano

  1. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Associates of mine who were in attendance indicated that the bishop was “exceedingly gracious” in his reception of the congregation and “left no doubt” in their minds that what was formerly a relative wasteland for this liturgy would now be a peaceful oasis. The bishop is ordinary over the whole state of Vermont, which never had an indult.

  2. Paul Haley says:

    This gives me some hope that Vermont will return to its Catholic roots with the help of the extraordinary graces that flow from the TLM. I went to St. Michael’s College across the river in Colchester (used to be called Winooski) and graduated in 1962. We always had the TLM there because it was before the “novelties” of the post Vatican II era. I am told that there were over 1100 people in attendance at this Mass and from the surrounding states not just Vermont. This is a good sign and it bespeaks already what fruits the MP is bearing. Surely our readers know that Vermont needs help because of its immoral stand on various issues and St. Michael’s needs help also for it has embraced modernism in many respects. I pray that those TLM graces will prove to be insurmountable.

  3. Tim H says:

    My only quibble is the 1500~1960 dating of the extraordinary form, honesty dictates about 1000 years be shaved off the first date

  4. Who could not be moved by the bishop having said this:

    “If this is what it takes to fill all the churches, so be it.”

  5. danphunter1 says:

    Does anyone know if there will be a regularly scheduled mass in Vermont?
    Thank you and God bless you.

  6. Marcus says:

    God bless the good bishop! A nice pair of news clips, but a little too much emphasis on “the way it used to be.” This isn’t about nostalgia.

    The reporter’s question about if the celebration of the (Bl.) John XXIII missal will reverse the Catholic attendance trend was key. The answer was that many find the extraordinary form more sacred.

    That’s actually the story, isn’t it? People thirst and hunger for the truly sacred – and will eagerly search it out. They will not come and adhere to ‘church’ that is just as ordinary as the rest of the world.

  7. Rod F says:

    I was there and I cannot express the soaring of emotions during the Bishop’s homily. He spoke with extreme passion and vigor, at times thunderous would be a fair description. After 45 years in this diocese the thought ran through my head; not “we have a bishop” but “WE HAVE A LEADER!”. All too often in our recent history in the U.S. catholics have been unable to proclaim this.
    I am trying to get a copy of the full homliy to e-mail to Fr. Z.
    Also, do not let the description of attendance fool you. My money is on 700 in attendance. I know that it was pretty much SRO but I cannot find figures for how many the Cathedral seats.

    Pax

  8. dcs says:

    Rod F writes:
    I cannot find figures for how many the Cathedral seats.

    One of the news reports (check the videos associated with the web reports Fr. Z. listed) had the seating at 1,100. I must admit that it looks like less than that to me (perhaps 600-700). It is not a particularly large church.

  9. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Should we look for a rebuttal from the Diocese of Erie’s office of ecumenical relations?

  10. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Should we look for a rebuttal from the Diocese of Erie’s office of ecumenical relations?

  11. jonathan messer says:

    I used to attend St. Joeseph’s when I lived in Burlington for a while. When I saw the picture from the Mass and the whole church was filled, and it looked to be filled to capacity, I have to admit that my eyes were a bit misty…never, ever did I see so many people in that church before. Hopefully Bishop Matano takes a cue from last night and begins to offer this mass on a regular basis.

  12. Publius says:

    Well if anyone doubts the fruits of SP and the effect of making the Traditional Mass available, the woman in the WPTZ video, interviewed after Mass, says it all: “At first I was skeptical; I didn’t think I’d want it. But now I kinda think I do.”

  13. Ave Maria says:

    I wrote to my pastor and also to the pastor of a parish some miles from here
    (who I know has a liking for Latin) and today in our parish newsletter I
    got an answer from my pastor. He wrote that he got a letter requesting the
    extraordinary form of the Mass but in consulting the bishop (who has not made
    a statement on this topic thus far) and the diocesan liturgist, this will NOT
    be happening here. We do not have a ‘stable group’ and this is not something
    that can be ‘trotted out’ for the benefit of just a few and also Father is
    not trained in this form and will not have an opportunity to be trained as
    this would take much time and effort and he does not have the time.

    I expected as much. But I had to put in the polite and formal request; at least
    he cannot say that no one has asked. Now he can say that no one has asked but
    that nut X.

    I have heard nothing from the other priest either. The liturgist from that
    parish said he is getting requests from all over. Perhaps he is waiting until
    after Sept. 14th? If the ire of the bishop will be upon any priest who does
    schedule the extraordinary form in his parish, although he has a right to do
    so–will that stop a priest from continuing on? That is also possible. As my
    pastor has said, ‘We are on the cutting edge of the american catholic church”.
    We are into ‘peace and justice’ but not orthodoxy or even pro-life movements. Sigh.

  14. danphunter1 says:

    Ave Maria,
    Have courage and faith.Your diocese will soon have numerous mass’s in the Extraordinary Rite.
    God bless you.

  15. Jon says:

    If this is what it takes to fill all the churches, so be it.

    So let it be written. So let it be done.

  16. Serafino says:

    I have spent several days collecting my thoughts regarding the various diocesan responses to the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio. It seems rather clear now, that Bishops who support the Pope and are in fact in Communion with him, will assist in the proper implementation of his directives concerning the use of the Missal of Blessed John XXIII.

    Bishops who disobey the Pope will continue to set up “roadblocks, conditions, restrictions, exaggerated language requirements for both priests and laity, specific number requirements etc.” in an attempt to “derail” the extraordinary form of Holy Mass.

    If nothing else, we can now clearly see who is really in Communion with the Holy See, and who is not. This, I am sure, will be an “eye opener” for Pope Benedict XVI who asked his bishops for a generous response in this matter.

  17. Andrew says:

    It was the first Latin mass in Vermont in more than 30 years.

    Ehm! Excluding, that is, the Carthusian monastery of Transfiguration where the liturgy is celebrated to this day in Latin.

    http://transfiguration.chartreux.org

  18. canon1753 says:

    Also liturgy is celebrated in the mother tongue at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery in Westfield. It is a Solemes Congregation OSB monastery of Nuns. They are also quite gracious.

    I go on retreat there almost every year.

    I have heard very many positive things about the Mass at St. Joseph’s. I was not there however.

  19. I was there in Choir – St. Joseph’s holds 1100 – I would guess there were 1000 people
    present – many young people – young families – it was wonderful!

  20. Carole says:

    I was there too. Joy and immense gratitude still fill me. It was a truly proper and complete ritual of worship and Bishop Matano sounded thrilled about the response. People silently streamed into the church 30 min. ahead of time, dressed up, many bringing young children. Their demeanor said it all. Gregorian chant was beautifully sung by a choir conducted by a retired St. Michael’s professor. They have been singing together for years and finally had the mass that fit the music. I am profoundly grateful to the Holy Father and to our fine bishop. No announcement was made, but it’s clear that we will have the extraordinary rite once again, beautifully celebrated and fully supported. Holy God, we praise Thy name!

  21. Fr K says:

    ‘If this is what it takes to fill our churches, so be it.’ Now here is a pastoral bishop. Perhaps Archbishop Conti needs to do a re-think.

  22. RichR says:

    Events like this will speak for themselves. Individuals can oppose the return of the Traditional Mass, but numbers like this are hard to argue against.

    I think that Pp. Benedict has set things up where it is up to the people to make the motu proprio a dead letter or not. We either show up or we don’t.

    These people showed up….and how.

  23. RG says:

    I want to send my heart felt congratulations to those who were priviledged to attend the TLM yesterday in Vermont. I know exactly how you felt. I have been blessed to be able to attend the TLM for 10 years now. And last night once again, I had the most incredible experience of hearing it sung with full orchastra in the Cathedral in Camden NJ. Our pastor Fr. Robert Pasley has arranged for this to be our Thanksgiving Mass to Our Lady for allowing our parish, Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin NJ to exist. We were founded on October 13, 2000. We actually had latin mass there for three years prior but we became part of the diocese on 10-13-2000. The Latin mass was actually celebrated at this location prior to this, but I was not aware of it till 1997. Last night we had a packed cathedral once again. It was the most beautiful mass. You must get there at least 1 hour before in order to get a seat but it is worth every second. The most important thing I want to point out about the TLM, is that everyone who attends recognizes the reverence. You can’t miss it. When you don’t have all the distractions of the ordinary mass, those who attend the TLM know the True Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. You can concentrate on IT. One of the criticisms of the Latin Mass is that people are saying no one knows Latin, they don’t need to know it, they real along with the priest in english. It brings you in closer connection with the meaning of the prayers, you become engrossed in the prayers and understand the meanings of what is happening. But my favorite thing is the REVERENCE. It was lost but now we have it back. One other thing, Fr. Pasley is so inspiring, and gives such a wonderful example that our alter is filled with young alter servers, all boys, because they are the only ones we have and as you know they are the only ones who can aspire to become a priest. We already have one seminarian and his brother will enter in September. I am truly blessed to be a member of this parish, I thank God every day. May God Bless all of you with this Gift. One last thing I want to comment on is that Pope Benedict gave us this gift on 7/07/2007 and this was our 7th anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving for our parish. .. JUST A CONCIDENCE? I THINK NOT…GOD BLESS

  24. RBrown says:

    It was the first Latin mass in Vermont in more than 30 years.

    Ehm! Excluding, that is, the Carthusian monastery of Transfiguration where the liturgy is celebrated to this day in Latin.

    http://transfiguration.chartreux.org
    Comment by Andrew

    I made a vocational visit there in 1986, deciding instead to study in Rome.

    If I remember correctly, Novus Ordo Latin mass (even though OCart has its own rite). The office also was in Latin except for the readings at matins.

    The food was meatless but excellent. Superb soups and bread.

  25. RBrown says:

    If this is what it takes to fill our churches, so be it.’ Now here is a pastoral bishop. Perhaps Archbishop Conti needs to do a re-think.
    Comment by Fr K

    I think many of Abp Conti’s ilk are progressives–they think that elimination of Latin liturgy and ad orientem is simply part of man’s development. As progress has brought democracy, so also has it brought vernacular liturgy and the Mass as Meal ideology.

    BTW, Abp Conti has a year and half until he’s 75. Rome can simply name a coadjutor and all but eliminate the Conti influence in the archdiocese.

  26. Rosella says:

    I can’t believe my reaction! I watched a few moments of that video clip and suddenly BURST INTO UNCONTROLLABLE TEARS! And I was born in the 1960′s! I have no memory of it that would cause this deep emotion, but something about the music, the priests, the people’s faces…there is something very powerful happening!

  27. That’s a lovely video and story. I get the impression that everyone seems somewhat pleasantly surprised at their reactions.

    I’m of two minds about the response of the bishops. Some responses show the same shortisightedness endemic to bureaucracies everywhere. Others are much more positive, of course, and those are the fun ones. But I think everyone needs to remember that it was an institutional decision, implemented from top to bottom after Vatican II, that has led to the problems that many of these bishops are now responding to, particularly in those awkward “we’re not doing it because we don’t have time to learn” statements. What, all those parishes bursting at the seams and the flood of converts is overwhelming them? Or is it perhaps another liturgy conference, perhaps titled something like “The Diverse Dialogue of the Spirit of Peace and Justice in the Felt Banner”? If things hadn’t been in such sorry shape for so long, they wouldn’t need to be “learning” anything, and the bishops as a body are precisely the ones responsible for this. So, I think some of the negativity they’re displaying is the realization that in their liberalism in which they were taking the vernacular too far, fairly obliterating the Latin, they’ve painted themselves into a corner. Like any language, Latin lives or dies with a person in the “use it or lose it” manner. All those priests and bishops got some Latin, never used it, and now, pffft. Just when it would be very useful, they can’t call it up on command, quite like a certain kind of bishop can call up the pious frown for the cameras when announcing they’re doling out eleventy zillion dollars in out-of-court settlements.

    I think that instead of criticizing certain bishops as not being in communion with the Pope, try to cut them a little slack, or, you know, maybe pray more for them. Their lack of foresight has come back and bitten them, and they’re testy about it. Things will settle down after a while, particularly with more examples like this Vermont display. If they don’t improve, and they’re simply being stubborn, there is always recourse to Ecclesia Dei, rather a last resort, but it’s there, at least. Even if it must go that far, always remember: play nice.

  28. Nathan says:

    +JMJ

    A few observations about the discussion:

    –Three cheers for Bishop Matano, not only to say the Mass in the extraordinary form, but to give us a short, pithy rallying cry—“If this will fill the churches, so be it.”

    –The fact that there are so many bishops’ reactions in the public sphere is a huge change from papal liturgical documents in the past 25 years. It certainly seemed that every time Pope John Paul II (or, for that matter, Pope Benedict’s “Sacramentum Caritatis”) put out a document intended to correct liturgical abuses, it was met with complete public silence (and general ignoring in far too many parishes) by bishops and anyone other than “liturgy geeks” of whatever stripe. This is different.

    –Those who embrace the notion of a “the Paul VI Missal as a whole new ecclesiology” (on one extreme) or “the Paul VI Missal as a whole new religion” (on the other extreme) appear, understandably, to be running scared. I’m reminded of the rumors about Cardinal O’Connor’s (+RIP) reaction to the wonderful Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Cardinal Stickler in St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 (BTW, you had to be there an hour before if you wanted a seat for that Mass)—if the rumor was correct, the numbers and devotion of those who love the old Mass were completely unnerving to the good Cardinal.

    In Christ,

  29. Richard says:

    What’s interesting about this is how the priest says he doesn’t think the older form of the Mass won’t exclude anyone from prayer. Prayer is the one thing anyone thinks he’s supposed to be doing at the old Mass. What excludes people from prayer is the notion you get from going to Mass where one is made to think that participating in Mass means treating like your bestest friend in the whole wide world the person you don’t know sitting next to you in the pew. One would think that kneeling and praying to God in this situation would be too insensitive to the person you don’t know as you would be just ignoring them and paying all your attention to God.

  30. Kevin: I think that instead of criticizing certain bishops as not being in communion with the Pope, try to cut them a little slack, or, you know, maybe pray more for them. Their lack of foresight has come back and bitten them, and they’re testy about it. Things will settle down after a while, particularly with more examples like this Vermont display. If they don’t improve, and they’re simply being stubborn, there is always recourse to Ecclesia Dei, rather a last resort, but it’s there, at least. Even if it must go that far, always remember: play nice.

    A very good reminder!

    With that I think I will close this.