Ave Maria University and the TLM

I got this by e-mail:

It is my sincere honor to inform all of you who have yet to hear that as of 3:00PM today, Wednesday January 16th, Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. has been approved by Ave Maria University (The Chaplain’s Office) to publicly celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the 7th Editio Typical of the Missale Romanum promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII of 1962 in the ballroom Chapel in the Student Union Building!!!  During a meeting of all the Priests on campus this afternoon (1:30PM-3:00PM), Fr. Fessio explained to his brother Priests that he has received his Certification [The idea that Fr. Fessio needed certification to say Mass is very strange.  It does not seem to be in keeping with Summorum Pontificum.] to celebrate the Mass in this form per request of His Excellency Bishop Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, Florida which was administered by Fr. James Fryar, FSSP this past Saturday night, Fr. Fryar being the Bishop’s delegate to Ave Maria in matters of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. It is prudent to also note that Fr. Eamon McManus and Fr. Matt Lamb are also willing and capable of celebrating the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form but have yet to receive their certification from Fr. Fryar to fulfill Bishop Dewane’s request. As of this moment, Fr. Fessio has been approved for public celebration at the following times:

Wednesday (weekly): 7:00AM or 7:50AM (yet to be finalized)
Sunday (weekly): 8:00AM (a new slot of 9AM will be created to retain the celebration of the Mass according to the Ordinary Form in Latin)

However, Fr. Fessio will be out of town this upcoming Sunday the 20th, hence the first celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass will be one week from today at either 7:00AM or 7:50AM in the ballroom Chapel.

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38 Responses to Ave Maria University and the TLM

  1. danphunter1 says:

    Praise be to Jesus Christ and His Mother Queen of Heaven and Earth!
    This is the best news to come out of strife ridden Ave Maria.
    God bless the good Father Fessio.
    Deo Gratias!

  2. Fabrizio says:

    “Certification”?

  3. JML says:

    The only thing I can think of is that Fr. Fessio can show that he knows the rubrics and the Latin. I would imagine that the FSSP is a good source on whether or not you can say the black and do the red.

  4. RichR says:

    Our schola sang for a Pontifical Tridentine Nuptial Mass that Fr. Fryar assisted at. Bishop Gracida of Corpus Christi presided. Fr. Fryar is a holy priest, so I would think that he would not be a pushover with anything fuzzy about Summorrum Pontificum. I wouldn’t get too suspicious about this “certification” until I’d seen more information.

  5. Jacob says:

    Is this really anything or just a bone tossed to the ‘traditional’ community before the university loses its final shred of credibility as a ‘Catholic’ university? It can’t even get its oratory approved by the bishop for various reasons…

  6. John Hughes says:

    As a priest who enrolled in the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter’s training program for the Extraordinary Form, I think I know what this statement means. This “certification” is merely a document proving that the celebrant was trained by the Fraternity. While under canon law it has no weight, it does provide assurance that the priest knows the rubrics of the Traditional Latin Mass. Father Fryar also helped teach the training program in Denton.

  7. John Hughes says:

    As a priest who enrolled in the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter’s training program for the Extraordinary Form, I think I know what this statement means. This “certification” is merely a document proving that the celebrant was trained by the Fraternity. While under canon law it has no weight, it does provide assurance that the priest knows the rubrics of the Traditional Latin Mass. Father Fryar also helped teach the training program in Denton.

  8. jack burton says:

    Yeah, I doubt the certification is a big deal (could be seen as a good thing really) but I have to admit that that part of the article made me chuckle. Father Fessio is finally certified to celebrate the Mass. hehe
    He wrote the book on the Mass of Vatican II for crying out loud. haha It just sounds funny to me.

  9. Funny all this emphasis on making sure priests are highly qualified to say the old Mass when so many priests nowadays don’t say the Novus Ordo properly. Maybe we should require “certification” for the Novus Ordo too. Such an odd double standard.

  10. Serafino says:

    In general, I am not comfortable with priests needing “approval” to celebrate the TLM. As Father stated, S.P. does not required any “approval.” However, after attending a local celebration of the TLM by a priest in his middle forties, I do believe, something has to been done in order to insure that these good, and well intentioned priests really know what they are doing.

    Nothing the Father did, or failed do invalidate the Mass. However, both the “secret” prayer and the canon was prayed “ad alta voce.” The Epistle and Gospel were both in English facing the Altar. It also seemed as if Father had no idea when and how to genuflect at the proper times.

    Things really got bad after the “Pater” when he did the fraction of the Host at the “Agnus Dei” instead of the proper time. The private prayers before the Priest’s Communion were also prayed “ad alta voce.” Although a low Mass, we even got a “Pax Te Cum.”

    Once again, it is not my intention to criticize the Priest who certainly gets an A for effort, However, it seems to me, that those who wish to celebrate TLM, must be well prepared to do so. The TLM, unlike the Novus Ordo Missae cannot, and should not be “winged.”

    Some priests, though well intentioned, still have a N.O. approach to the Sacred Liturgy. If left unchecked, it will lead to TL Masses which could be as bad as some of the N.O. Masses

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    Before Vatican II, I understand many seminarians spent much or most of their last year before ordination practicing and preparing to celebrate Mass. Why would anyone think that a priest ordained since Vatican II would not need considerable preparation for celebration of the TLM?

    I\’m sure Fr. Fessio was a good student, but it\’s certainly good that he had such a wonderful teacher as Fr. Fryar, some of whose qualifications I mentioned in a post yesterday:

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/01/the-older-form-of-mass-tlm-like-a-symphony/#comment-44816

    It seems to me that this situation describes a model of the ideal — training and certification of each priest (by a mentor priest) with the facility to celebrate the older form, before actually doing so regularly and publicly.

    Without doubt, such a requirement is susceptible of abuse, but what is not? Who would rather see the traditional Mass abused by poorly prepared celebrants? Either a \”double standard\” in a positive and wholesome sense, or we will surely see with the TLM a repetition of the commonly observed abuse of the newer form by poorly prepared celebrants.

  12. FUS Student says:

    I am glad that Ave has decided to offer the TLM on campus. Maybe they can talk to the admin here at Franciscan.

  13. techno_aesthete says:

    Only an hour, or less, for a Sunday Mass? The Sunday Missa Cantata that I assist at averages one hour and fifteen minutes and it runs longer on certain feast days (like Palm Sunday). Does that mean they intend to only have a low Mass on Sunday?

  14. jack burton says:

    Yeah, the Sunday Mass I assist at is around 1.25 hours long which seems normal to me. If benediction follows it is of course a bit longer. I wish there were all day liturgies during Holy Week.

  15. Roman Sacristan: Funny all this emphasis on making sure priests are highly qualified to say the old Mass when so many priests nowadays don’t say the Novus Ordo properly. Maybe we should require “certification” for the Novus Ordo too. Such an odd double standard.

    EXACTLY!

  16. Different says:

    Since “certification” is not required in SP and since some bishop’s seem to be inclined to have something of that sort, I think we should support and call for certification of ALL roman rite priests in BOTH forms. Maybe this is a good opportunity for a bishop to say, “well, we’re requiring it of all priests who want to say the extraordinary form, so we thought we’d go ahead and require it of all priests regardless of the form. That way I can better fulfill my role as the steward of the liturgy.

    Where is the brave bishop who will require all of his priests to be “certified” or go through “training” in both forms?

  17. Richard says:

    I agree that the “certification” requirement is indeed odd and unncessary. But let’s look at the good side. This will ensure that priests who offer the TLM in the diocese do so correctly, and hopefully, reverently without any of the liturgical abuses that plague the Novus Ordo. This will make the TLM stand out more over the Novus Ordo, and attract more people who hunger for solemnity and reverence that are missing in typical Novus Ordo Masses.

  18. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z,

    Since, like it or not, there may be “certifications” is some places, why not YOU prepare some extra difficult exams for priests to practice with before they sit those exams for real. I remember you once saying that there are some things with which you could trip up pretty much any priest. Just a suggestion, but, I hope, a helpful one. Does any other priest out there think so, even if you don’t need it yourself? Think of those just starting out and who have inimical bishops in the extreme…

  19. living in ave maria says:

    Twice a week? They are throwing us crumbs.
    This is actually not good news for thos of us waiting so long here for the
    Latin Mass. Yes, I am happy they did this at all, but it is not the fullness
    of the old rite at all that we will have here. Obviously, there can be no
    High Sung Latin Masses in under an hour and the 8am time slot is hard
    with children.

  20. Richard: But let’s look at the good side. This will ensure that priests who offer the TLM in the diocese do so correctly

    This will also ensure that bishops who are hostile to the older form of Mass will have a tool against the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.

  21. Fr. Renzo: why not YOU prepare some extra difficult exams for priests to practice with

    I think it would be best to focus on how priests are celebrating the Novus Ordo. Otherwise there is a double-standard in operation.

  22. Deborah says:

    I’m not big on the certification idea since it would be too easy for bishops who are hostile to the traditional Roman liturgy to make it so difficult as to frustrate priests from making the effort.

    Besides the Holy Father did not mention such a certification criteria in SP and we must always be careful not to give away rightful freedoms that the faithful have for the sake of a false sense of obedience.

    It would be good for the SP clarifications to shed some light on this mandatory certification issue. There needs to be something universal to avoid discrimination.

  23. living in Ave Maria:

    No. They are making a start.

    Brick by brick, dear readers, brick by brick.

  24. Please don’t entrust your money or your children to any project of Tom Monaghan’s. Take it from one who’s been burned: there are too many other options out there-don’t hitch your horse to that crazy wagon.

  25. Henry Edwards says:

    Why not just admit that there certainly is a “double standard”? Obviously, there are presently no rubrically mandatory (“under pain of mortal sin”) standards for celebration of the Novus Ordo, never have been, and likely never will be. But there are mandatory standards for celebration of the TLM, always have been, and (let us pray) always will be.

    Perhaps we should worry less that too few priests will be celebrating the TLM, and more that as TLM competence becomes a feather in the biretta for clerical advancement, a flood of new wannabee celebrants will obliterate the felicitous double standard that we now enjoy.

  26. milanta says:

    The important thing is it will be a Mass according “the Missale Romanum promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII” and celebrated by a jesuit. Much better, I think!

  27. Chironomo says:

    Don’t get too “hung up” on the certification issue. Bishop Dewayne has been VERY supportive of Summorum Pontificum, going to the extent of bringing Fr. Fryar to the Diocese to allow the growth of the TLM through the training and, yes, certification of diocesan priests to say the Mass properly. This is NOT a Bp. Trautmann type “certification”… Fr. Fryar has been given the mission of building and expanding the TLM Masses in the Diocese, and being the very holy man he is, he knows the limits and boundaries of what he is supposed to do, I’m sure! By saying he has “certified” Fr. Fessio to say the Mass, he is simply saying that he feels confident that Fr. Fessio is able to say the Mass as it should be said, an issue which was surely not in question by Fr. Fryar! The point of the process which has been put in place in the Diocese of Venice, and which is working extremely well, is to assure high quality liturgy. There is no process that would allow the Bishop, or Fr. Fryar, to forbid a priest from saying the TLM should he so desire, nor would there appatrently be any desire to do so on the part of Bp. Dewayne.

  28. Larry Brooks says:

    All this fuss over “Certification”. The Code of Canon Law and the Pope’s MP give the Bishop the “duty” to make certain that a priest celebrates the Mass properly. Of course we are all well aware that no matter how well trained a priest might be there can still be problems. Priests today are certified to some extent because they are taught in the seminary how to celebrate the Sacraments. It is clear that a bishop if he is to fulfill his duty as bishop needs to have some assurance that a priest knows how to celebrate the Mass and this is especially true of the TLM. Why? Because there are a lot more rubrics to follow, plus pronouncing a different language. I would not like to be in a bishop’s office when you people start calling to complain that Fr. So and So doesn’t say the TLM properly! The last thing the TLM needs is an innovative celebrant! One brick at a time and don’t throw them!

  29. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Fr Z, you’re right, of course.

  30. Chironomo: Thanks for the clarification about Bp. Dewayne. That is helpful.

    I am still concerned that the precedent of “certification” in one place will strengthen “certification” in places where bishops are not favorable.

  31. James DePrisco says:

    The certification is not nefarious. The flip side is the training. The purpose of it is to make sure the priese does a good job. Fr. Fryar would not cooperate with it if it was nefarious. And it is open to any of the priests. The only reason that the other two priests have not been trained and certified is because Fr. Fryar is one of the businest priests on the earth. Regards.

  32. Deborah says:

    “I am still concerned that the precedent of “certification” in one place will strengthen “certification” in places where bishops are not favorable.”

    My point exactly, Fr. Zuhlsdorf.

    It sounds like in this case the bishop is very good – wonderful! And I don’t believe anyone here is questioning whether a priest should receive the proper instruction to offer the traditional Latin Mass.

    However, as Fr. Zuhlsdorf rightly points out this could set a precendence and again put the power into the hands of a bishop who is not so charitable.

    Let us be smart and remember where we have come from!

    Remember the reasons why the Holy Father liberated the traditional Roman liturgy. He certainly did not take the power away from diocesan bishops for the fun of it. Most bishops were abusing their power and banning the TLM from their dioceses.

    Of course, there are some great bishops who have been charitable toward the traditional Roman liturgy and the faithful who attend. However, do not think that Summorum Pontificum will stop any attempts by some bishops to regain control over limiting the TLM even through seemingly innocent strategies. We must never let that happen again.

  33. AveStudent says:

    As an Ave student, I plan on attending this mass and even help serve as I have served the mass now for 6 years. There are a good amount traditional students on campus here, and many more who are interested in going to the old mass, unlike many “traditionalist internet watchdogs” make it seem. It is funny how so many people have adapted the art of making good news seem terrible. This is wonderful news. It looks like, despite all of the efforts of the many anti-traditional ‘traditionalists’ out there, that Ave Maria is one of the best choices for college-bound traditionalists.

  34. Matt says:

    AveStudent wrote:

    “…that Ave Maria is one of the best choices for college-bound traditionalists.”

    ()

    Why is that, and what makes it so about your institution? Just curious.

  35. Fr. Z,

    Thanks for making a post. You’re welcome.

    Soldato_di_Christo

  36. Also at Ave Maria says:

    I wonder if this will help us get our Communion rail back (actually, a bunch of kneelers lined up to form a rail)? The administration has been adamant that kneeling for Communion is not to be encouraged, and they finally moved the kneelers completely out of the temporary chapel and, it is whispered, off the campus entirely.

    Before this, on the temporary campus, there was a rail and the vast majority of people knelt for Communion. There is no question that the administration has set out to “break us” of that “habit” on the new campus. I hope the TLM coming to Ave Maria will help us get back our Communion rail (in a recent survey, 165 students wanted the rail back, vs. 18 who didn’t).

  37. Belloc says:

    Also at Ave Maria: Healy claims he is following the USCCB by removing the rail (gee, would anyone have believed 5 yrs. ago that AMU would be quoting the USCCB in defense of their position?). Anyway, the USCCB has no authority. My advice is to write your Bishop, Bishop Dewayne, and ask him if he has any problem with you all having a Communion Rail for your Mass at AMU. Then print his reply. Start there if you want to fight this.

  38. kdpfam says:

    “Please don’t entrust your money or chiledren to any project of Tom Monaghan’s”. Boko, I am sorry you and your child had an unpleasant experience, but I think a blanket condemnation of all that TM has done is a bit broad. Part of Ave Maria is its Institute of Pastoral Theology which is a program which offers a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology. Its professors travel to 4 locations throughout the United States 9 months each year, taking an enormous time from their families. It is a 3 year program. Although the name and “type” of degree might be misleading, it is a program that is completely orthodox, i.e. no post Vactican II nonsense. The reason I point this out is that despite all of TM’s follies, and no doubt some have suffered because of them, there are many holy, dedicated people who work there speading and teaching orthodox Catholicism with charity. Kim