Los Angeles and the reception of Summorum Pontificum

I got a tip from a reader about an interesting situation in Los Angeles about the use of the older form of Holy Mass in the wake of Summorum Pontificum.

As you might guess, there has not been a lot of clerical joy demonstrated in Los Angeles about the so-called "Traditional Latin Mass".

Here is snap shot of one parish.

Keep in mind that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum warmly enjoins pastors of souls to receive willingly the requests of the faithful for the older Mass.

Here is what my e-mailer sent with my emphases and comments:

Here in Los Angeles, you know the TLM is not encouraged.  There has been, though, over the years one parish that has vigorously defended the faith and befriended tradition.  Ss. Peter and Paul in Wilmington.  The former pastor completely revitalized the church 15 years ago and renovated the entire interior and exterior.  He built a beautiful parish hall and gardens and even a stunning perpetual adoration chapel.  There are the pictures on the website.  [I looked.  They’re nice!] The Novus Ordo was said and much latin was incorporated.  The people had latin guides and they knew the responses and said them with vigor! [Just as the Council required.]

The pastor’s tenure was up though and the Norbrertines took it over.  The SoCal Norbertines have a reputation as being the champions of orthodoxy in the area, but many parishioners have been terribly disappointed for many reasons.  After the MP was released numerous parishioners began requesting a TLM, and one of the associate pastors even knows how to say it.  Sadly, though, it has not been received well.  A somewhat patronizing and condescending letter was written by the pastor (see below).  [I include this below.] The pastor said that he would only consider it if 125 people signed a petition [The Motu Proprio does not impose a minumum.  One can understand that it might be hard to begin a parish-wide initiative for a small group, but… remember, there is an assistant who knows the older form and not many places in LA where you can find it.  It might actually have been a great service to the whole Catholic community.] and committed to attend it 3 Sundays out of every month – and he would not allow them to have it in the church but rather in the rundown, dirty 1950’s school hall a mile away!!  [There’s the heart of a pastor for ya.] If, only if they maintained an average attendance of 125 per week for an entire year [!] then "maybe, M-A-Y-B-E" he would consider having it in the church!! And if they didn’t keep an average of 125, then he would pull it and put back the Novus Ordo!  [Does this strike you as a willing reception of the request?]

The Sunday they had that announcement, there were already forty signatures by the end of the 10:00 AM mass.  Now there are well over 100.  Obviously, many people voiced their disgust with the arrangement and so he relented and is now allowing the mass to be held….get this….in the church at 6:30  IN THE MORNING!  That means all the TLM young families will have to get their many kids up at 5:30 AM [Yah.. that sounds easy!] - which of course is too early. This is also too early for the many commuters and it is too early for a choir – that means only low masses!  I am a long time parishioner and I can say that many of us are very upset.  These rules are what you keep talking about.  They go against the spirit of the MP.   This is such a beautiful church building with a knowledgeable and devout congregation.  It would be a perfect place for the TLM community.  Maybe you could give this some PR and put the heat on.  [I prefer to create light, rather than heat. Though WDTPRS is ready to put fire to certain feet on occasion, bringing things into the light of day remains the best way to make people reflect.] The people want it, they have a church and a priest even, but still they are being thwarted.  There are empty slots in the afternoon they could have had in it or it could have been substituted for a later morning mass.  There is no reason for this.  Below is the bulletin announcement and some pictures of the church and the website with more pictures.  One last irony was that in the same letter the pastor laid down these rules he spoke of how the Norbertine charism is to promote good liturgy.  [Yes, that is indeed the case with the solid Norbertines I know.]

Here is what the 7 October 2007 bulletin of that parish says:

 

Update on the
Tridentine Mass

On July 7 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic Letter allowing any priest to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the version of the Roman Missal which was originally promulgated by Pope St. Pius V and which was revised and reissued by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. (The so-called “Tridentine Mass” is simply the Mass celebrated using this older version of the Roman Missal. It is celebrated in Latin. It was the norm in most of the Church until Pope Paul VI published the revised Roman Missal in 1970.) According to the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter, beginning September 14, 2007 the Mass may be celebrated using this Missal “in parishes where there is a stable group of faithful [There’s that BAD TRANSLATION again.  Perhaps it was the lousy translation, the inaccurate "stable group" canard that spurred the pastor to say that there had to be 125 people for a year?] who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition”. This means in practice that if there is a sufficient number of parishioners who request it and are willing to attend it regularly, the pastor may arrange for the Mass to be celebrated using the Missal of Blessed John XXIII on a regular basis.

Therefore, after consultation with superiors, the office of the Regional Bishop, [Who was without doubt more than enthusiastic about the older Mass being at that parish, I’m sure.] and the Pastoral Advisory Board, the “Tridentine Mass” will be celebrated in the church on Sundays, beginning the first Sunday of Advent, on December 2nd of this year. It will be celebrated at the earliest Sunday Mass hour which will be at 6:30 am. [Convenient.  This strikes me as a way of saying, "Hey you… GET TO THE BACK OF THE BUS!"] (This means that the 6:45 am Mass gets moved back 15 minutes earlier. The other Mass hours on Sunday stay the same.) This change will be on experimental basis for six months until June 1, 2008. If it remains constant with about at least 100 people attending, it will become a permanent fixture after June 1st. If with time it begins to dip well [vague] under 100 showing a waning of interest, then the Ordinary Form of the Ordinary Rite as it is now currently celebrated in English will be reinserted at 6:45 am. So if you want to attend Mass celebrated the way it used to be before the Second Vatican Council, [INSERT BIG SHRUG AND SIGH HERE] mark your calendars for Sunday, December 2nd at 6:30 am. There is no longer any need to sign any petition in the bookstore.
Father Raymond Perez, O. Praem.
Pastor

A couple things.

First, the pastor did actually do something.  People got the Mass onto the schedule.  That is good. 

Now, without being snotty about it, it is time to ork with the pastor to get that to a different time slot for the sake of the children.  The older Mass tends to be well-attended by young families with more than one child.  That time slot is little better than cruel.

Some delicate attention needs to be given to this situation.  I suggest a firm application of the Rules of Engagment, especially Rule #4.

If the pastor of the parish reads this: 

I applaud that you decided to work with this group.    Can you not now open your heart to these good people and help them out with a better time slot?  For the sake of their children?  Be good to these people.  They will be rocks of dependability in the parish on every level and this Mass will enrich everyone’s live.  Make it a little later. 

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.

48 Responses to Los Angeles and the reception of Summorum Pontificum

  1. John says:

    Although many great things have followed from the motu proprio, evidently it is still necessary to pray much for priests, that they return with alacrity to the sound traditions.

  2. Le Renard says:

    Here in Los Angeles, you know the TLM is not encouraged.

    It seems that it is discouraged in almost every parish I visit there.

  3. techno_aesthete says:

    My mother, who is in the Arch. of LA, is having a similar problem. She spoke to her pastor about having the extraordinary form and he insulted her. I told her about the suggested process and sample letters to a pastor, bishop and PCED in Rome on Una Voce America’s Web site.

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    It’s common observation that the TLM is heavily attended by young Catholic families with lots of children. So in any ordinary parish setting like this one, at least half the counted attendees at a reasonably scheduled TLM likely will be children. Some of the others will frequently come from an hour or more away.

    Consequently, scheduling the lone parish TLM at 6:30 am — which it’s extremely difficult to get a family of 6 or 8 or more ready for, especially if coming from some distance — has the appearance of a deliberate attempt to decrease Mass attendance as much as possible.

    It certainly does not seem a good way to encourage Mass attendance. But what kind of pastor wants to discourage Mass attendance? What sense would that make?

    Is there some other sensible way to look at this? Some mitigating factor that might explain this pastor’s behavior as something other than what it appears to be?

    PS. I don’t know many TLM attenders who want the “Mass celebrated the way it used to be before Vatican II” — perhaps the fast low Mass that some types chatter on about. Most folks nowadays want the TLM celebrated the way it more frequently is NOW — a beautiful high Mass with the people’s prayerful participation a model that ordinary Mass congregations might well emulate.

  5. Well, there’s another one for the Ecclesia Dei files….

  6. Bernard of Arezzo says:

    I wonder if we are jumping the gun… the letter from the pastor says he consulted with various bodies in the diocese. He then lists the conditions without saying where they came from (from him or from on high) Maybe they are the one’s restricting the mass and he is falling on his sword for them. This would be more in keeping with “Norbortenism” than disobedience. Isn’t this the catch-22: the more traditional priests tend to be the more obedient ones…

  7. CDB says:

    Knowing that the Norbertines there are good people, and having attended their English NO liturgy, where all the fixed parts of the liturgy are in Latin, and seeing this quote: “after consultation with superiors, the office of the Regional Bishop, and the Pastoral Advisory Board”,, my hunch is that there is heavy pressure being brought to bear at a diocesan level. After all, it is not a Norbertine church, but a diocesan parish under their care. I also understand the Archdiocese squashed their original attempt to remodel the sanctuary sans “people’s altar.”

  8. Joshua says:

    I know the priests of that parish and the one priest they mention who knows it is a good friend of mine. He is a very ardent supporter of the old liturgy and was so vocally while he was the Assistant Dean of Religious Affairs at my college. Those people could have no greater advocate. Fr. Perez I do not know so well, though I have met him. I am assured that he is a very good priest.

    While LA hasn’t said anything publicly, they are against the Old Rite. In the past they used to give permission for weddings and funerals. When our college chaplains issued a routine request a while back for a wedding they were told by the chancery that no further permission was ever going to be granted. The parish, if it were more obscure, might have attempted the old Rite without such consultation, but they are too much watched by the diocese.

    Pray for them.

  9. FranzJosf says:

    I have a feeling that in the not too distant future Cardinal Castrillon is going to be a very busy man indeed.

  10. Romulus says:

    So if you want to attend Mass celebrated the way it used to be before the Second Vatican Council,

    It’s asking too much to suggest that at this late date active clergy can honestly see an attachment to the TLM as unrequited nostalgia. I’ll pray for the softening of hardened hearts.

  11. Brian Day says:

    Sts Peter and Paul in Wilmington is not my parish, heck it isn’t even in my diocese, but I’ve been there many times for the OF Mass in Latin. (I haven’t been there since the Norbertines took over.)

    Every third Sunday at 9:30AM is the OF in Latin. Why not make the EF available on the first Sunday of every month. Then, as conditions permit, add more Latin on Sudays, either as the ordinary form or extraordinary form.

    It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Plant the seeds and let the fruits of the TLM grow!

  12. David says:

    I realize for those involved this may not be funny, but at last try to see the humorous side. . .The Tridentine Mass must be attended by at LEAST 100 followers who are willing to get up at *5:30 AM* on a Sunday? What he ought to do is have an “ordinary” mass at 6:30 AM sometime too for a control. That would be much fairer.

  13. MSusa says:

    Umm, Father. We have Norbertines where we are and we had to move because of all the “things” going on in mass. In fact, on All Saints Day he had a concoted “prayer service” with him on the front row; no mass tho. It is the same for all in his group too.
    Are there more than one group of Norbertines? Just wondering. Because we definitely have a more than bad taste in our mouths.

  14. Le Renard says:

    Why not make the EF available on the first Sunday of every month. Then, as conditions permit, add more Latin on Sudays, either as the ordinary form or extraordinary form.

    It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Plant the seeds and let the fruits of the TLM grow!

    Brian Day,

    You have good intentions here and what seems like a good suggestion as well —

    However, why is it that devout Latin Rite Catholics have all of a sudden become processed as 2nd Class Citizens and, for the most part, denied what is rightly a part of NOT only the Church — but, more importantly, our CATHOLIC Heritage?

    What now?

    Should we also be singing spirituals like “We Shall Overcome”?

  15. Suzie says:

    The Tridentine Mass is now offered at St. Therese Parish in Alhambra at 1:00 on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sunday of the month, I believe. The first Sunday is at the Little Sisters of the Poor residence in San Pedro, and the second Sunday is at Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte. I believe there is a 9:00 Mass at Daniel Murphy High School on the 4th and 5th Sundays of the month. The Mass at St. Therese is a new development since the motu proprio. Their website says they are hoping to make it an every Sunday event.

  16. Paul Murnane says:

    Living here in the archdiocese and knowing how things typically operate, I think the most important part of the bulletin announcement was this bit: “Therefore, after consultation with superiors, the office of the Regional Bishop,and the Pastoral Advisory Board… I read this as the pastor saying, “it’s out of my hands” as it’s certainly not reflective of how the Norbertines have operated here. I think there was tremendous pressure put on the pastor and the Norbertines from the chancery. The Cardinal has his own TLM program in which the only weekly TLM is in Ventura County and the rest of scattered each week to the far corners of LA county. Allowing a fairly accessible weekly TLM does not fit that program. One need only to see photos of the LA Religious Ed conference to see what that program is.

    To Fr. Z’s point that “there has not been a lot of clerical joy in LA, I would say there has not been a whole lot of public clerical joy. This is not an environment that is friendly to priests friendly to the Church’s liturgical traditions. In fact, one might say it is one of the more oppressive dioceses in which to work (as I’ve been told several times). Many priests friendly to the TLM are keeping their heads down and doing what they can around the fringes and waiting for Feb. 27, 2011. I’ll stop there. Fr. Z, if I’ve stepped over the line, please delete this paragraph.

  17. Susanne says:

    I live in the diocese of Los Angeles and in the same regional area of St. Peter and St. Paul. This past tuesday I meet with a good priest friend of our family who is also in the Los Angeles Diocese. He told me that Cardinal Mahony never! sent a letter to him telling him not to say the extraordinary form of The Holy Mass in public. This same priest told me to tell my pastor of my parish, “he doesn’t need permission to say the extra ordinary form from The Cardinal, because The Holy Father has given the permission to say it!” This same priest says “it is very stupid to go and ask the the chancery office( he calls them middle management) for permission to say the extra ordinary form.” He said ” just do it !” Requiring the priest knows how to say it!” which in this case the priest does. He also mentioned how on Monday the Los Angeles diocese had a big meeting with 500 priests, Bishops and the Cardinal one of the things they talked about was the extra ordinary form in their individual groups and he said nothing was mentioned not to say it or being discouraged to say it. Sounds like there is something else going on at St. Peter and St. Paul as well as my parish.

  18. David says:

    The new TLM at St. Therese will be said by a Norbertine Father, as is the new weekly TLM at the JP2 Polish Center in the diocese of Orange.

  19. Susanne says:

    Oh! By the way my parish, I was told had way over 500 people who signed a petition for the extra ordinary form. Something indeed is up!

  20. E Regan says:

    I saw a post on this at Domus Dei. It was posted on September 13 and seems to corroborate the points made by the author of the above post. Here is the link: http://www.domusdei.org/2007/09/13/ss-peter-paul-church-and-the-motu-proprio/

  21. Alberto says:

    It’s about time that someone spoke about the Norbertines at Saints Peter and Paul. I am a long time parishioner there. I like the Norbertines, but I hate to say it: since they have arrived, the parish has taken a downward turn. It’s not the same. When we were told that the Norbertines were going to replace our former priests (who were beloved and made the parish what it is today) everyone was ecstatic. But now many of us are disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. They are good priests. It’s just that they aren’t as present to the people as the former priests were. They don’t seem as devoted to the details of the Mass as the other priests were. They don’t use the microphone properly so that some of the priests really can’t be heard. The preaching before was really good. Now, with some exceptions, it’s lackluster. Even the church isn’t as clean and tidy as it used to be. A lot of people have noticed these things and have made comments. What is most disturbing now is what Fr. Raymond is proposing for the TLM. When I heard him say he was going to have the TLM in the school I nearly choked. We have an awesomely beautiful church and he was planning to have the Mass in a dingy school hall? Absurd. Please pray for our parish. I have to say that Fr. Michael is a very holy priest and the people really love him.

  22. LR says:

    I too have been a long time parishioner and have noticed/heard much displeasure with the Norbertines…not an impressive bunch!
    Being an authentic orthodox Catholic priest in today’s society requires much more than flowing white robes. A little ownership would be nice…but I won’t hold my breath.

  23. Anne says:

    I can understand the comments made about the early hour — it is early — but it not impossible, even with
    children. I know because I do it for DAILY Mass at least twice a week here in Indiana at exactly the same time being discussed here. I’m not talking about Sunday (although we do that too!). But we homeschool, and the
    other daily Mass at our parish (at 8 a.m.) is the parochial school Mass and it was very awkward for us to
    attend that. So for the last 3+ years we have been going to the 6:30 a.m. Mass during the week. In Lent,
    the time actually changes to 6:15 a.m. (gasp!) so more workers can attend before they go to work at 7 a.m.

    Granted, this is the Novus Ordo (although our parish will have its first scheduled Traditional Latin Mass
    this weekend), but this 6:30 Mass has historically been the most well-attended daily Mass in our whole
    archdiocese! These people just simply love to attend Mass, regardless of the time.

    As I said before, I know the time being proposed is early. But perhaps everyone could take a deep breath and
    consider something that doesn’t seem to be being given serious thought — just try it for a year. Tell your
    children that the TLM is that important to your family that for 52 times in one year you are all going to
    do this to show the pastor that you really do care. Then, maybe he’ll have positive pressure to switch it
    to a better time.

    BTW, we have 5 children and another on the way. It is possible to get them all to Mass at that time. It
    just takes a lot of planning and patience.

    Hope I’ve helped in some way.

  24. Anne says:

    I can understand the comments made about the early hour — it is early — but it not impossible, even with
    children. I know because I do it for DAILY Mass at least twice a week here in Indiana at exactly the same time being discussed here. I’m not talking about Sunday (although we do that too!). But we homeschool, and the
    other daily Mass at our parish (at 8 a.m.) is the parochial school Mass and it was very awkward for us to
    attend that. So for the last 3+ years we have been going to the 6:30 a.m. Mass during the week. In Lent,
    the time actually changes to 6:15 a.m. (gasp!) so more workers can attend before they go to work at 7 a.m.

    Granted, this is the Novus Ordo (although our parish will have its first scheduled Traditional Latin Mass
    this weekend), but this 6:30 Mass has historically been the most well-attended daily Mass in our whole
    archdiocese! These people just simply love to attend Mass, regardless of the time.

    As I said before, I know the time being proposed is early. But perhaps everyone could take a deep breath and
    consider something that doesn’t seem to be being given serious thought — just try it for six months. Tell your
    children that the TLM is that important to your family that for 26 times you are all going to
    do this to show the pastor that you really do care. Then, maybe he’ll have positive pressure to switch it
    to a better time.

    BTW, we have 5 children and another on the way. It is possible to get them all to Mass at that time. It
    just takes a lot of planning and patience.

    Hope I’ve helped in some way.

  25. Kathy says:

    I agree, that sounds terribly early on a Sunday morning with kids.

    But, one thing the TLM’rs will have to learn to live with is that, in addition to whatever political manuverings seem to be going on, they are still going to be a minority group in the parish. Minority groups do not fare well in American Catholicism. If you don’t believe me, take a look at when your parish holds the Spanish Mass. Bet you 5 bucks its not at 10:30 on a Sunday morning.

    Certainly there are exceptions, but what I’ve seen most often is 12:30 or 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.

  26. Could I say to the Pastor of St. Peter & St. Paul, Wilmington :
    It will be a great hardship for most people, and impossible for others, to attend a Mass as early as 6.30 a.m.
    As a matter of pastoral solicitude, would he consider scheduling the Mass to a later time for the conveninence of the faithful ?
    The decision is, of course, for him to make. He is the pastor.
    But it would be a most charitable act on his part, and very much in the spirit of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio and his accompanying letter.
    I ask him most earnestly to consider this request.

  27. Joshua says:

    Alberto wrote:
    “I have to say that Fr. Michael is a very holy priest and the people really love him.”

    And he is well missed here at TAC!. I was under the impression that your previous pastor, for 13yrs, was a Nobertine, before the parish was actually handed over to the Nobertines. Fr. Michael, when he was here, would speak very highly of him. And the majority of the Nobertines at St. Michael’s Abbey do indeed care for the details of the Mass. Fr. Michael was one of them, but I have met many others. It is unfortunate that things have went downhill, but nothing is perfect.

  28. Alberto says:

    The previous pastor, as surprising as that may sound in LA, was a diocesan priest. For about 2 years, if I am not mistaken, the Norbertine Father Michael was the assistant at Saints Peter and Paul. It was then that he endeared himself to the parishioners here. I do not like to compare priests. We should love, respect and pray for all priests. It is hard, though, when our expectations were so high to see things starting to fall apart.

  29. Brian Day says:

    Le Renard,

    However, why is it that devout Latin Rite Catholics have all of a sudden become processed as 2nd Class Citizens and, for the most part, denied what is rightly a part of NOT only the Church—but, more importantly, our CATHOLIC Heritage?

    All of a sudden???
    Um…hasn’t this been the situation for the last 40 year?

    All I can say is, please review Fr. Z’s Five Rules of Engagement.

    As a wise priest once said: “Don’t let the good be the enemy of the perfect.”

  30. LR says:

    The Norbertines should not be waving the banner of orthodoxy unless they have the will to back it up. I have heard for a very long time that the SoCal Norbertines were “different” and “orthodox”, but this is simply not the case. Actions speak louder than words.
    Alberto, keep up those high expectations or things will further deteriorate. I will continue to attend Mass at Saints Peter and Paul, but my frustrations are getting the best of me.

  31. LW says:

    I agree with Alberto and LR – from what many of us have seen, the Norbertines are over-rated. Are most personally orthodox? Probably. But, in this climate that is so hostile to tradidional forms of Christianity it takes much more than personal conviction and a habit to get things done. You mentioned that they are simply never around – that is interesting becauseI get the impression that they consider themselves as contemplatives. Thats great but not for a busy parish church. This whole TLM debacle is symptomatic of a larger problem. My question is – are the Norbertine higher ups aware of these serious issues? And if they are not, then that points to a much deeper issue. There is definitely a universal spirit of discontent and frustration growing here.

  32. LR says:

    Great point LW! Where are the higher ups?
    I think the Norbertines are “conservative” not necessarily “orthodox”

  33. Thomas says:

    I am surprised at what I am reading. I have attended the NO Mass at St. Michael’s Abbey (Norbertines) for 20 years because they provided the ‘holiest’ version of the NO around. It taught my children how much more there was to Holy Mass than what was offered in any parish church in OC. For some years now, these priests have been driving into SJCapistrano and down to San Diego every Sunday to provide excellent low and high TLM’s for the faithful and dedicated groups attending those Masses every Sunday. and when Bishop Brown recently opened up an additional parish (before the MP) to this Holy Mass, it was a newly ordained Norbertine that took the job.
    and now that Serra Chapel is getting a clean-up , the Norbertines have offered their Abbey to hold the TLM for us while the chapel is closed for 6 weeks.
    the Norbertines are known in my circles for solid homilies that go to the heart of Catholic teaching every Sunday. As confessors, they are superb. Again, I am quite surprised at what I am hearing.

  34. Alberto says:

    The Norbertines are very cautious. They do not want to rock the boat. They just walked into a primo parish and they don’t want to fall out of graces with Mahoney. This may explain Fr. Raymond’s veiled hostility to the TLM. At the same time, Fr. Raymond does not appear to be a very confident leader anyway. I do like him as a person and I kind of feel bad for him. But I think he is a little over his head. I don’t think he did his homework on this one. He should have called a parish wide meeting. He should have polled the people at the Masses and then based on that input (not just signatures), he should have devised a clear plan, with parish support. Instead we get confusion: At first the TLM was going to be in the school and now it’s going to be in the church. I am sure we have not heard the last chapter in this very clumsy implementation of the moto propio.

  35. Lawrence says:

    St. Peter and Paul is not my parish but I have attended Mass there with my family many times. It is an example of what a Catholic parish should be. I do appreciate the fact that confession is available throughout the weekend. I have gone to confession there over the last 5 years or so and the priests are always very good. Before the Norbertines were there another religious order was in charge of the parish but I don’t know which one. I just remember them being very good priests. It is unfortunate that there is all this commotion over the implementation of the MP. The more “traditional Mass” is the 9:30. In my opinion that would be the perfect fit for the Tridentine Mass.

  36. LW says:

    LR – I think you are two-fot two. I have been waiting for someone else to make that same observation. They do not want a fight. “Prudence” is often cowardice in disguise. This whole business about the pastor consulting the bishop and the authorities I’m sure is just a smoke screen. I think he consulted them in order to find a way out of the situation. He was obviously handwringing. It is obvious that the pastor does not support these faithful TLM parishioners – 100 people ars supposed to go to mass at 6:30 in the morning,and if they don’t then the mass will be cancelled -c’mon! The Norbertines dropped the ball on this one. Alberto, if you are a regular parishioner there, then you know it has nothing to do with “high expectations”. There simply seems to be no leadership. and objectively the parish is sliding – and the number of priests in residence has doubled! I have seen for years that the Norbertines are not what they are cracked up to be. Sure, if you go down to St. Michaels you can get swooped of your feet with the latin and chant, and it is easy to preach orthodoxy to a room full of conservatives, but how does one fare in a tough controversial situation – that is what has forged the great reformers.

  37. LR says:

    Thomas, you make me laugh.
    Don’t get caught up in myopic circles of praise for the Norbertines. I state again, they are “conservative” not necessarily “orthodox”. “Strong homilies” do not cut the mustard when there is a starvation of spritual nourishment. This instance regarding the TLM at 6:30am is RIDICULOUS on face value.
    Alberto, sounds like you are beginning to see the light. Keep up those high expectations!

  38. Thomas says:

    LR you make me cringe with your comments. You say that ‘this instance’ regarding the TLM at 6:30am is ridiculous, and so it may be. Your own words though say that you and the others are speaking of an instance of a recent period of dissatisfaction and disappointment with ONE Norbertine’s behavior in a position of responsibility to his parish. And by the way, I agree it is ridiculous.

    however, I am speaking of 20 years of being in the presence of these men at prayer and at play, in administration and in service. They are surely just men. Yet because of their influence, my children grew up knowing what a Holy Mass looked like and prayed like. both Novus Ordo and Tridentine. And are devout catholics in their twenties, helping to pass on the beauty of our faith to others. This is not myopia. The Norbertines’ orthodox teaching of our Catholic Faith comes through loud and strong in their homilies because they are orthodox.

    Am I wrong in assuming that you, LR, have not had a personal talk with Fr. Raymond about the problem your parish is having? And have you spoken with Fr. Abbott?

    Is everyone on this post also speaking only to each other?

  39. David C says:

    On a related note: St. Peter Chanel in Hawaiian Gardens will be starting a TLM at 1pm every Sunday, starting Oct 14th.

  40. E Regan says:

    You see? No one can blame Cardinal Mahony for this one. Look at how easy it is! It’s not that complicated. The pastor of St. Peter and St. Paul made a huge pastoral blunder by making such a big deal about such a simple matter and talking down to the parishioners (“just MAYBE if you are really good” …). Spare us the condescension, please. In lots of ways the situation at St. Peter and St. Paul is more ready for the TLM because they have used Latin in the Masz for years. People in L.A. travel for a good Mass. I am one of them! St. Peter and St. Paul and St. Peter Chanel have the reputation for being 2 of the few places where you can hear a decent Mass and get a solid homily. I bet anything you will see people making the switch from Wilmingotn to H.Gardens and St. Peter and St. Paul will end up the worse for it. What gets me about this is that all this consternation was completely unnecessary. I don’t know who is ultimately responsible for the decisions at St. Peter and St. Paul, but somebody really blew it on this one.

  41. LW says:

    Regan – I think you are right. I hear a lot of talk that people are not happy any maybe getting ready to move.

    Tom, it is obvious that your mind is already made up about the Norbertines – I am not going to try to change it, but I could list a half dozen major issues or incidents that have caused me to have great suspicion of the Norbertines for many years. Just remember, there are scores of orthdox priests who love the cassock and the chant and who talk the talk with great fire and then buckle as soon as the slightest opposition comes down the pike. I have met so many of them and I am so surprised by how many people they fool into thinking that they are “warriors” for Holy Mother Church. It is not difficult to preach humani vitae to a church full of conservatives.

    All I’m saying is – expolore Norbertineland outside of St. Michaels, keep your eyes open, listen to what people are saying and don’t be so impressed with the external trappings – I assure you – you are missing some things.

  42. Felix says:

    Father Z, you say that having the Traditional Latin Mass at 6.30am strikes you “as a way of saying, Hey you … GET TO THE BACK OF THE BUS!”

    Would that it were. In my city, where I take two buses to get the TLM, the buses don’t run that early.

    Clearly the aim is to say, “Y’see? There really wasn’t much demand, after all!”

  43. Le Renard says:

    Brian Day,

    While I acknowledge and respect the Novus Ordo Missae and do attend it; nevertheless, I still find that the Traditional Latin Mass is too much a part of our Catholic Heritage to dismiss it as if it were some sort of relic of the past to be dispensed with like yesterday’s garbage, as folks of the more liberal kind are doing in many parishes today (including priests) who have even gone to the extent of adopting Protestantism in their Masses so as to even call Mass a ‘service’.

    Fr. Z forgive me; it’s just so frustrating to see what seems almost like the extinction of Catholicism in America. Catholicism in the U.S. has all but mutated into a form of Protestantism with all the Protestant elements that have entered into the Mass, such as Praise-the-Lord Healing services, rock-n-roll worship music, and the like.

    It seemed like no end to this tyranny until Pope Benedict XVI who has come along to help bring back Tradition into the Church and the rightful restoration of the Liturgy, both the Novus Ordo & the TLM.

    Hopefully, even his worst detractors will not hinder his blessed work prior to fruition.

    Thanks to His Holiness Pope John Paul II (in spite of JP II’s own personal failings) for having not let this great man retire when then Cardinal Ratzinger wanted to back then and helping pave the way to his papacy.

  44. E Regan says:

    In light of the news that St. Peter Chanel will be having the TLM every Sunday at 1pm, I do not think we’ll be making the trip to St. Peter and St. Paul anymore. The latter church is very beautiful and was built for the TLM. In spite of that, the pastor’s bulletin letters and pulpit announcements do not suggest, at least to me, a genuine openness to the MP. I said it before, and forgive me if I am wrong, but Father’s tone is condescending. It’s funny. Most of us are young families who are simply looking for a place where the Mass is said beautifully and doctrine is faithfully taught. We thought we could find that in a parish run by the Norbertines but we have been disappointed, and not only in this area, but in other areas as well. I think it was Alberto (I do not know him but would like to meet him) who said it: The parish is not the same as it was before. Many people I know at St. Peter and St. Paul feel let down by the Norbertines. I speak only for myself and my family, but I think we will find what we are looking for PLUS a more welcoming attitude with the Oblate of the Virgin Mary priests at St. Peter Chanel.

  45. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    The first set of stained-glass windows after the photo of the altar…did anyone else catch St. Josemaria Escriva in the middle of the three? Brilliant.

    That parish looks like a mighty large mustard seed. Just what the doctor ordered for the reform of a mighty large archdiocese.

  46. mario says:

    I spoke to Fr Michael he said it was best thing was to place to the mass at 6:30 am to space the masses and hour and half apart. In the end I think we wont have a TLM at SPPC. Simply because as the bulletin states if the numbers drop we wont have the mass anymore. So have the mass at a difficult hour and no one will go hmm Seems like a setup for failure the TLM was doomed from the begining. Even if the the demand is there many with families and who travel far wont be able to go.

  47. E Regan says:

    Another nail in the coffin of what had been one of the great lights of Catholicism in the desert of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Who is ultimately responsible for this debacle — the floundering pastor or the Norbertine higher-ups or both — is anyone’s guess. But whatever the case, they have much to answer for. My family is making a permanent switch to St. Peter Chanel where the TLM crowd is not made to feel like sentimental throwbacks or second class citizens.