St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to have Traditional Mass

Summorum Pontificum is bearing fruit!

I received this wonderful bit of news via e-mail from a seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, in Philadelphia:

I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that the rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia made the announcement tonight at the rector’s dinner.  Next semester St. Charles will have the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, an elective on the Mass and Sacraments from the 1962 form, and the Eucharist and Liturgy classes will be modified to cover the extraordinary form.

These are all the details for now.  God Bless Pope Benedict!  We never thought this could ever happen, even a year ago.  There will be celebration tonight in Philadelphia!

Clearly this move has huge importance for all the seminaries in the United States!

I think some of the seminarians tore off from the meeting to dash off messages to WDTPRS.  Here is another note which described the news this way (slightly edited):

Excellent news! St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, which trains seminarians frmm about 17 dioceses will be having the Traditional Latin Mass here starting next semester. Our rector just announced it to us tonight and many of us were very excited. He even said they will incorporate the theology of the Traditional Mass into our semester class on the Eucharist, as well as offer an elective class to the theology students on how to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.

This decree came straight from Cardinal Rigali, the Archbishop of Philadelphia. We have yet to receive details on how often the Mass will be celebrated, but either way, this news is overwhelmingly exciting!

You can hear the energy this has inspired in the writer!
 
But wait… there’s more!  Another note:

Good news from the front!

The rector here at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary has just announced that the seminary will be saying the Traditional Latin Mass in accord with the Motu Proprio.  He also said that the seminary will be offering a course on how to say the Extraordinary Form as well as how to perform all the pertinent sacraments in that form with a proper understanding of the theology of it.  Additionally, this theology will be incorporated in the course on the Eucharist.  This plan was drafted a while ago, sent to the Cardinal, and was recently approved.  Further details concerning the nature and frequency of the Holy Sacrifice will be announced at the beginning of next semester (Spring 2008).

This announcement has been such an encouragement to the many traditional minded seminarians here.  We rejoice greatly over this great gift that God has given us as we await His Greatest Gift, His Son, Jesus Christ.

Isn’t this positive news?

Now I urge all these men to be prudent and charitable and pay attention to #2 of the Rules of Engagement.

I hope we will have constant updates about the Masses and the classes!

I am very happy for seminarians all over the United States.  I know that in St. Louis steps were being taken in this direction.  Now Philadelphia. 

WDTPRS applauds the Rector of St. Charles and his Eminence the Archbishop!

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34 Responses to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to have Traditional Mass

  1. Sid Cundiff says:

    The first positive liturgical news that I’ve heard about an American diocesan seminary in years.

  2. John says:

    I realize that dogmatically this comment isn’t sound, but… it’s almost like the Church is slowly becoming herself again.

    Just a simile.

  3. Matthew Mattingly says:

    This is wonderful news! I live about 2 miles from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, and visit there often.
    I have always been impressed by the entire campus, the buildings, the beautiful chapels on the Upper and Lower Sides (Theologate and Philosophy divisions), and the holy lives lived by the seminarians.
    We had a family fried who was a priest of the Phila. Archdiocese (now deceased unfortunatly), who entered the seminary shortly after WW II. He had been captured by the Germans during the war and had spent a long time in prison. But He entered the seminary as an older vocation in about 1950, and was ordained in 1957. He always told us how the seminary was so filled with students back then (when of course there was only the Tridentine Latin Mass),that seminarians were sleeping in the basement on cots! This was around 1954-1957. Of course, Pius XII (who is really a Saint in heaven), was Pope then. There were close to 550 seminarians at Saint Charles at this time.
    I always felt badly over the last 10 years, visiting the seminary, looking at the buildings are realizing how few students there really were compared to the days our firend spoke of. I knew something had gone terribly wrong, but it was sad to see the seminary looking so empty. I knew something was missing.
    But this is tremendous news! The return of the Tridentine Latin Mass will be a great blessing for the seminary and the students. Now, like generations of holy priests before them, they will be taught the Tridentine Latin Mass, and learn to celebrate all the Sacraments according to the pre-Vatican II Missal. What a blessing. They will be finally in touch with the real traditions of the Catholic Faith. This can do nothing but help increase vocations enormously.
    I’ll bet that with this news, there is a flood of applications to Saint Charles Seminary now. I hope this good example is repeated in many other seminaries. That is possible. Though I doubt ANY formation houses for the notoriously liberal religious Orders of priests in the USA will re-introduce the Tridentine Latin Mass. They will be content with what we’ve had for the past 40 years. And that’s a tragic mistake.

  4. Jon says:

    Wonderful, wonderful news. This has implications from sea to shining sea and beyond.

    I was just in Cardinal Rigali’s beautifully renovated cathedral on Monday. The main altar along with celebration has been returned to its proper place beneath the baldacchino. Crucifix and candlesticks have been arranged in the traditional manner. Best of all, the Blessed Sacrament has been returned from a side altar where it long resided to a splendid tabernacle at the rear of the sanctuary.

    BTW, what was going on in the basilica when I was there? Forty Hours Devotion.

    St. John Neumann, pray for your most worthy successor.

  5. Jason in San Antonio says:

    One of their alums was in the news recently.

  6. Claud says:

    Wow. St. Charles, formerly known for its liturgical conservatism, is now cutting-edge progressive.

    Gotta love the irony.

    And a proud day to be a Philadelphian!

  7. xathar says:

    I understand that St. Joseph’s Seminary at Dunwoodie will similarly be offering the TM as an elective starting next semester.

  8. dcs says:

    I was just in Cardinal Rigali’s beautifully renovated cathedral on Monday. The main altar along with celebration has been returned to its proper place beneath the baldacchino. Crucifix and candlesticks have been arranged in the traditional manner. Best of all, the Blessed Sacrament has been returned from a side altar where it long resided to a splendid tabernacle at the rear of the sanctuary.

    Not only that, but the most egregiously modernistic “side altars” have been removed and are being replaced with altars to Our Lady and St. Joseph. Now, if only that silly mosaic in the rear of the nave could be removed (frequent visitors to the Cathedral should know what I am talking about).

  9. EJ says:

    First St. Louis, now Philadelphia – now if only Mount Saint Mary’s in Maryland followed suit. With Cardinals Keeler and McCarrick now on the sidelines, this might now be possible – not that the present Archbishop of Washington is any less frigid toward the extraordinary form (there is STILL no official policy with respect to the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese of Washington, though one was promised by the Archbishop by September 14 back in July) but the new Archbishop of Baltimore is a very fair and orthodox bishop. This is great news though for the Church in the United States and especially for Philadelphians-congratulations!

  10. Patrick Rothwell says:

    “not that the present Archbishop of Washington is any less frigid toward the extraordinary form (there is STILL no official policy with respect to the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese of Washington, though one was promised by the Archbishop by September 14 back in July).”

    I don’t know why there is no official policy in Washington, but I do know that at least one chancery functionary who would have had input into SP implementation has been on extended sick leave. That could very well be a contributing factor to the delay. I wouldn’t assume mischief unless there is more substantial evidence pointing in that direction. In any event, the Washington Archdiocese isn’t exactly lacking in Tridentine masses, and we know there is now a weekly EF mass at the Shrine, and supposedly there will be regular EF’s at Georgetown, in addition to the 3 or 4 former indult parishes.

  11. Patrick Rothwell says:

    Another possibility is that Washington is waiting for the dubia to come back from Ecclesia Dei instead of implementing a policy now that will have to be re-written later.

  12. D says:

    There is an elective course in offering the Traditional Mass being offered at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe this spring as well. It was offered in response to requests by the seminarians.

  13. PATER, O.S.B. says:

    Matthew Mattingly said:

    “. . .I doubt ANY formation houses for the notoriously liberal religious Orders of priests in the USA will re-introduce the Tridentine Latin Mass. They will be content with what we’ve had for the past 40 years. And that’s a tragic mistake.”

    AHEM! I am proud to announce that Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA, run by the Benedictines of Saint Vincent Archabbey, will be offering an elective course this spring on how to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form (as requested by some of our bishop sponsors). Granted, I am sure there are some monk professors who are not happy about this, but it will be taught by a Benedictine who regularly offers the TLM. In addition, while not part of the seminary, there is a weekly Low Mass on Fridays on our campus that gets a number of seminarians who attend. Hope is alive!

    Pax,

  14. James Capaldi says:

    As a native Philadelphian, I am very happy to hear this news. It appears that the Restoration of the Church begun by our Holy Father is spreading slowly, but surely. Let us all remember to offer extra prayers for all seminarians throughout the world that they may have this blessed opportunity to experience and learn the immemorial Traditional Latin Mass, the “most beautiful thing this side of heaven.”

    Deo gratias!

  15. former sem says:

    This is the first Diocesan seminary I’ve heard of that’s actually acknowledged the existence of the MP. The Josephinum in Columbus, OH continues its policy of only permitting seminarians to attend the TLM once a year (permitting, not mandating) While a visit to the local Orthodox Church is required each semester. The line that I heard so often explaining why the Josephinum won’t teach the Latin Mass or tolerate its being said on campus is that it is both divisive (presumably to the benefactors) and that the seminary’s “liturgical director” hasn’t gotten a final interpretation on exactly how to implement the new “pastoral provision.”

  16. momof7 says:

    Has any one heard if they are going to celebrate the extraordinary Rite at Mount St Mary’s in Emmitsburg?

    Msgr. Rholf’s used to celebrate the TLM for us in Peoria when he was there, it would seem odd that he wouldn’t want it at the Mount.

  17. BK says:

    Comment by D: “There is an elective course in offering the Traditional Mass being offered at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe this spring as well. It was offered in response to requests by the seminarians.”

    And there is a daily and Sunday TLM in the crypt church there now!

  18. dcs says:

    I don’t see that any “official policy” is necessary except with regard to the education of priests (whether in the seminary or under, for example, the auspices of the FSSP).

    One should be careful not to conflate the policy of St. Charles Seminary with what is going on in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As far as I know only one new weekly traditional Mass has been added since the provisions of Summorum Pontificum came into effect. Philadelphia can’t be compared to St. Louis in this regard.

  19. Servus Dei says:

    As far as I know, the Josephinum has never required their students to go to an Orthodox service but to the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom offered at an Eastern rite parish, and even that is not required this year, according to my sources. There are some on the board of trustees who are asking for the TLM to be taught and offered, but there is still resistance within the faculty. Pray that the Josephinum and other seminaries will follow the example of St. Charles Borromeo and allow students to embrace the Mass as it has been celebrated for so long.

  20. Claud says:

    True enough, dcs, although the seminarians coming out of St. Charles into the archdiocese may help remedy that.

    I’m a little disappointed that seemingly no traditional Masses are springing up in Bucks County.

  21. Jim R of ADW says:

    Comment by Patrick Rothwell —

    \\\”…and we know there is now a weekly EF mass at the Shrine.\\\”

    If so, I would love to attend. However, it is not on their Mass schedule. Is it a private m

  22. dcs says:

    I’m a little disappointed that seemingly no traditional Masses are springing up in Bucks County.

    There are none in Chester or Delaware Counties, either. Of the six vicariates, only three (Phila. North, Phila. South, and Montgomery) have a regular traditional Mass. Which is fine if one drives, but not so good if one depends on public transportation. However, I’m not complaining because three weekly TLMs is more than many dioceses have.

    I know that Card. Rigali wrote a letter to the priests of the diocese about Summorum Pontificum, but as far as I know its contents have not been made public.

  23. Patrick Rothwell says:

    Jim,

    It\’s apparently every Wednesday at 12:10, in the Lourdes Grotto chapel according to the New Liturgical Movement folks. And, yes, it is a private mass. They also say that the Lourdes chapel is being reserved as the place for private EF masses, since it has its own sacristy with everything that is required for the EF. Who knew?

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Jon: This has implications from sea to shining sea and beyond.

    Indeed, I suspect that a few years hence we’ll look back and see that this was the tipping point. When we finally knew for sure that Summorum Pontificum was really going to implemented across the nation and beyond.

    ….. with a proper understanding of the theology of it. Additionally, this theology will be incorporated in the course on the Eucharist.

    This is the key — not just that the TLM will be celebrated at St. Charles Borromeo, not just that the seminarians will be taught to celebrated it, but that they will be taught the theology of the traditional Mass.

    For it’s not “just the Mass” that matters. We don’t attend the TLM merely to experience beautiful and reverent liturgy. It’s the belief and faith it nurtures and has embodied down through the centuries that counts most.

    It’s the restoration of authentic Catholic faith and belief that constitutes the “new springtime of the Church” which, at long last, is upon us.

  25. seminonymous says:

    Certain significant steps have been made to bring the EF mass to my seminary on the west side as well… No dates or details yet though.

  26. Pascendi says:

    When I first read, a TLM at St. Charles Borromeo, I hopingly thought, In Cleveland!?…Boy, who was I kidding!…Good news for Phili!..Maybe the same wind will blow this direction.

  27. Michael C. says:

    Ah yes, they follow behind the footsteps of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, which has been having the Extraordinary Form for months.

  28. TerryC says:

    Let us hope that this is indeed a sign of what is to come. I say this as someone who is attached to the N.O., but long to see it celebrated always in the reverent way that it should be.
    It is my belief that the more the Traditional Latin Mass bleeds into the N.O. the better the N.O. will become.
    Having priest who are trained to say both version of the Mass of the Latin Rite can only make tham better priest and make all of the Masses they say better Masses.

  29. Angelo says:

    TerryC:

    “It is my belief that the more the Traditional Latin Mass bleeds into the N.O. the better the N.O. will become.”

    What a perfect example of the hegelian thesis construct:
    thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Let us hope & pray that this
    was not the Holy Father’s intention.

  30. CB says:

    First of all, don’t get in an uproar about St. Charles. One, the training is for priests as part of a priestly institute, not for seminarians. No special theology is going to be incorporated into the seminary course on the Eucharist as if the eucharistic theology differs between the TLM and the Novus Ordo. And, as a result of posting this, the clergy office in Phila. will most likely be even more nervous about letting the TLM be done at the seminary. They have already basically blocked one priest in Exton, PA from saying the Latin Mass.

  31. RC from Philly Pa says:

    I am from Philadelphia. Our Archdiocese has produce may good priest, bishop and yes cardinals. It is with great joy that Cardinal Rigali has given permission to let the next generation be able to keep the flame glowing. This is to not to let the 1962 mass die off into the neather world. PAX

  32. Angelo: What a perfect example of the hegelian thesis construct:
    thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Let us hope & pray that this
    was not the Holy Father’s intention.

    Of course that was part of the Holy Father’s intention. All the better for everyone if celebrations of all Mass improve.

    And I think that “Hegelian” analogy is very poorly applied. Rather… it is misapplied.

    However, this is officially declared a “rabbit hole” for this entry and I will excise comments about it. This is the stuff of another conversation.

  33. Robert Badger says:

    This is indeed great news and a sign of how much has changed at St. Charles since I attended seminary there in the College Division (1997-2001). During my time, attending the old rite of Mass could well be a formation issue and was frowned upon by some in the faculty.

  34. Robert Badger says:

    I should offer a brief clarification on my earlier comments. Attending the Tridentine Mass could get you in some trouble, especially if you came from a diocese, as I did, where the Bishop was opposed to the seminarians attending the TM. The Camden diocese, at least during the years of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio did permit their seminarians to attend Mass at Mater Ecclesiae, a TM parish in the Camden diocese. Bishop DiMarzio even attended the Masses himself.

    We were blessed to have beautiful liturgies celebrated in the New Rite. I have the fondest memories of 40 hours, often with the presence of Archbishop (now Cardinal) Foley. We kept a lot of traditional devotional practices, something which is reflected in the Archdiocese as a whole, too. We did pray the rosary as community. We had weekly Eucharistic Adoration, sometimes twice-weekly. And the philosophy I received as a seminarian was solid. Also, we had the Novus Ordo in Latin at least once a month.

    I do have fond memories of the place and am glad to hear that it is doing well under Cardinal Rigali’s able guidance.