There are many Catholic "settings". There are not only parish communities, but also more loosely defined academic settings, such as you would find in a Catholic University.
Students have need for spiritual support, ongoing instruction in the faith at their level of apprehension. They need sanctification through the sacraments, especially confession and Holy Mass.
So, it is only reasonable that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum would spark interest on the campuses of Catholic Universities.
We are seeing that at some Universities (which, by the way should be adhereing to Ex corde Ecclesiae) there is both resistance and also welcome shown to the expressed desires of students for something they believe would nourish their spiritual lives, namely, the older form of Mass. We have seen a pretty fair response on the part of the University of Notre Dame, for example. On the other hand, there less warmth being shown at Franciscan University in Ohio and Ave Maria in Florida.
What is going on at the Jesuits place in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University? It isn’t really known for strong adherence to Catholic doctrine these days.
Here is a report from The Hoya, Georgetown Universities newspaper.
My emphases and comments.
The Latin Mass may be coming back to Georgetown, if one group of students has its way. [Why put it like that?]
Two students submitted last month a formal request to the Office of Campus Ministry for the addition of a Catholic Tridentine Mass on Sundays in Dahlgren Chapel. Administrators said that they are considering the proposal but have not made a decision.
The students first asked Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Timothy Godfrey, S.J. on Sept. 7 for the addition of the Mass on Sundays at Dahlgren Chapel, one of the students, Steven Picciano (COL ’09), said. Picciano said that at least 50 Georgetown students support this request, and that five Jesuits have already agreed to say the Tridentine Mass should the proposal be accepted.
Fr. Timothy Godfrey, director of campus ministry, said he "will follow the same route as the Archdiocese [of Washington, D.C.] and take time in the implementation of this Mass." He said the archdiocese is working on determining what a "stable group of faithful" entails.
Godfrey said the implementation of the Tridentine Mass has been delayed by logistical complications, including the need to train priests in saying the Mass. Furthermore, he said, the availability of Dahlgren is limited on Sundays, leaving little time for another Mass. [Gosh. You would think that the priests around Georgetown University would be pretty smart and could learn this without much difficulty.]
"Campus Ministry already holds six Masses on Sundays, baptisms, marriages," he said. "Difficulty arises in trying to meet all sorts of needs."
Godfrey said that he is working with Fr. John Langan, S.J., the rector of the university’s Jesuit Community, and that the next step in the process — if the Mass is permitted — is for priests to say the Tridentine Mass in university-sanctioned Masses in Copley Crypt. He said that no specific timeline has been established for making the decision.
Picciano said that, as a result of not having a Tridentine Mass on campus, some students attend Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Chinatown, and are, "by extension, excluded from the Georgetown community."
"As a Catholic university, it makes sense to meet the spiritual needs of Catholic students," he said.
Picciano said a Tridentine Mass is already said every Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Copley Crypt, typically by Fr. Stephen Fields, S.J., although this Mass is not part of the university’s official schedule of Masses.
Picciano said the Tridentine Mass offers a more solemn, humble and contemplative approach to worshipping God than the contemporary Mass.
"It enhances the atmosphere of Mass," he said. "It’s a way of praying to the highest."
The Tridentine Mass is a traditional Mass that is said in Latin, offers more time for reflection and contemplation, and includes slightly different prayers, [Well… maybe more than slightly in quite a few cases.] although the basic structure of the Mass is the same as contemporary Masses. The use of the Tridentine Mass sharply declined after the Second Vatican Council, which was held from 1962-1965. Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed the legitimacy of the Tridentine Mass in an apostolic letter released in July.
"In parishes, where there is a stable group [There is that bad translation again.] of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful [harmonizes] with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and [favoring] the unity of the whole Church," Benedict said in the letter, "Summorum Pontificum."
According to the letter, in churches that are not parishes or associated with a convent or monastery — such as Dahlgren — it is the duty of the rector to grant permission for the use of the Tridentine Mass.
Fields, one of the five Jesuits who expressed support for the proposal, said the Tridentine Mass can help enrich the spiritual experience of Catholics on campus who choose to attend the Masses, adding that some students are trying to form a Gregorian choir to enhance the Masses.
"I hope that the consequences [of adding the Tridentine Mass] will be a healthy addition to the diversity of worship on campus, a cultivation of contemplative prayer, a renewal of the riches of Gregorian chant, a deeper appreciation of the Church’s history and tradition and a deeper love of the Mass as the principal act of worship of the Church," he said.
"Campus Ministry has been most gracious in honoring the request of the students on campus," [YAY!] Fields said. "The Pope asks that a stable group [bad translation] of worshipers request the Mass and that their pastors willingly accede to it. But some details had to be worked out with the archdiocese, and the students had to identify priests able and willing to celebrate it. It is quite complicated, and the priests need a period of training, which is still going on."
Natasha Labeaud (COL ’09) expressed support for the offering of a Tridentine Mass on campus.
"I would probably go," she said. "It would be a nice option to have because it relates to the roots of Mass in general."
Not bad! Not bad at all!