Franciscan University at Steubenville approves TLM

I got this note via e-mail:

Dear Friends,
 
I have great news for all of you: the University today approved the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Liturgy for the campus. Their statement is as follows:
 
The Traditional Latin Mass
In response to those students who have demonstrated their commitment to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite Mass, Franciscan University will celebrate its first Traditional Latin Mass in Christ the King Chapel on Sunday, March 30. Those interested in being trained as altar servers or assisting in other ways should contact Rob Palladino, director of Chapel Ministries (Ext. 6506). The time of the Mass will be announced at a later date, once Chapel Ministries has determined the length of time needed to temporarily transform the Chapel into the proper environment for the Traditional Latin Mass and how that impacts the rest of our Sunday Mass schedule. As we take the next step in this unfolding process, the Franciscan Friars will continue to assess the pastoral needs of our students and respond to them as appropriate. <end statement>
 
This is great news for us, but we have lots of work to do. The chapel would like us to assist in the following ways:
 
If you want to serve at an EF Mass, both if you want to be trained or if you are already trained, sign up by Sunday in the chapel office. Training will begin very soon.
 
The chapel needs donations. Flood the blogs and websites with requests. Checks can be made out to "Franciscan University" but "TLM ONLY" must be written on the memo line. These donations are tax deductable. We are especially in need of the "red book" Missals and cassocks and surplices for servers.
 
Msgr. Schmitz will be here on February 28; he will probably say an EF Mass and give a talk. More on that to come.
 
Drs. Weber and Healy will be available for the professor panel; Prof. Sirilla is unable because he is working on his dissertation. I have asked Dr. Hildebrand instead.
 
The Mass on March 30th will be at 4 PM.
 
I’m very excited! Keep praying for the school! God bless,

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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62 Responses to Franciscan University at Steubenville approves TLM

  1. What is the Latin for “YYYAAAAAAAHHOOOOOOO!!!”? 8^)

  2. AdAltareDei (an FUS Student) says:

    DEO GRATIAS!

  3. FUS Faculty says:

    There’s also talk of a second Mass in April… let’s hope…

  4. FUS Student says:

    I really hope that they do the right thing and offer the TLM weekly rather than the once a month that is offered in the only parish in the Steubenville that actually celebrated the traditional liturgy (St. Peter). How in the world can you enter into the spirituality of the traditional mass once a month? With different seasons (like Septuagesima), readings, saint days, etc. one cannot properly acclimate to the traditional spirituality by only going once every 30 days.

  5. Braadwijk says:

    It’s nice to see the improvement, but with this one I feel the university may only be doing it reluctantly because the public called them on their opposition. Now that there’s a crack in the facade it’s up to the students to pull it together and show their support.

  6. DebSTS says:

    Two things . . . First, the letter says “altar servers,” not altar boys. I hope they are not considering training girls for the TLM. Second, this is interesting considering this comes shortly after the University made arrangements to transport students to St. Peter’s for the TLM. Believe, St. Peter’s was packed on January 20, standing room only. Perhaps this slight inconvenience of bussing students sent the message loud and clear!!

    Overall, and whatever happened to change the administrator . . . God be praised!!!

  7. Mark Spencer says:

    We are all very excited here at Franciscan! Let’s be grateful for this step and for the opportunity to worship God in this way. It probably will be only once a month to start out with, but that’s something to work with. The Friars are still uncertain about this whole thing, and so we need to be supportive and grateful, while still moving ahead slowly but surely.

  8. Paul Murnane says:

    …..The time of the Mass will be announced at a later date, once Chapel Ministries has determined the length of time needed to temporarily transform the Chapel into the proper environment for the Traditional Latin Mass and how that impacts the rest of our Sunday Mass schedule……

    great news! Chapel Ministries should view that awesome youtube altar transformation video. It shouldn’t take too long to determine the time needed.

  9. DebSTS says:

    I can’t help but wonder if this announcement is the result of all the transportation efforts of FUS to get the students to St. Peter’s. Believe me, the TLM was packed on January 20, standing room only. Whatever prompted the administrators to change their tune, may God be praised!!!

  10. Mark Spencer says:

    Deb, the university is not planning on having girls serve at this Mass. They just used “servers” because it is the term used around here.

    And as I said in my e-mail, the Mass will be at 4 PM; the Schola will be singing for it; it will be the Mass of Divine Mercy Sunday (as the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, has adapted it for the Extraordinary Form).

  11. Mark Spencer says:

    Deb, the university is not planning on having girls serve at this Mass. They just used “servers” because it is the term used around here.

    And as I said in my e-mail, the Mass will be at 4 PM; the Schola will be singing for it; it will be the Mass of Divine Mercy Sunday (as the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, has adapted it for the Extraordinary Form).

  12. Antonius says:

    Would the people in charge care to reveal the real reason for their up-til-now opposition?
    “The University today approved the Extraordinary…” Incredible – the HOLY ROMAN CHURCH approves of one of its own rites, so any Catholic university just better do the same.

  13. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Can someone find out if this Mass will be offered during the summer months as well?!

    Ir would be awesome to have the TLM at the Franciscan Conference–especially BOSCO–as an alternative to the Praise Masses that have existed in the past!

  14. DebSTS says:

    Mark, I hope you are right. But as you know–at least this is true in the world of legalities–what’s in writing carries the most weight, NOT what is word of mouth. There’s always some feminist out there who is an opportunist. And if FUS said “altar servers,” they have left themselves WIDE open. I am not trying to be negative, just truthful.

  15. Thom says:

    ::First, the letter says “altar servers,” not altar boys. I hope they are not considering training girls for the TLM.::

    Males of university age are not “boys” anymore. Hence, I surmise, the use of
    the appropriate term “servers.”

  16. Thom says:

    ::First, the letter says “altar servers,” not altar boys. I hope they are not considering training girls for the TLM.::

    Males of university age are not \”boys\” anymore. Hence, I surmise, the use of
    the appropriate term \”servers.\”

  17. Deborah says:

    Wonderful news! Congrats to the FUS students.

    Please feel consoled that many traditonal Latin Mass communities began on a monthly basis leading to weekly, and some even daily.

  18. Irulats says:

    Truly this is pleasing to God.

  19. Antonio says:

    Wonderful news!
    Well done Friars!!

  20. joan says:

    I realize this topic generates lots of emotions, but I would encourage you all to be grateful for the ok for the TLM at FUS. No matter how long it took or what the reasons were, FUS has a methodical way about approving anything. There are a LOT of logistics that go in to this. I encourage you to be supportive and helpful. I’m sure most (if not all) of you will agree that FUS is the most amazing institution of Catholic higher education. Let’s cut back on the criticism.

  21. Pistor says:

    Perhaps sks could post the link for the fraternity transformation video here for the kids at FUS. And remember they did it in 15 minutes. Can the students top that?…. I’d sure like to see ‘em try

  22. Fr. B. Pedersen says:

    How can we call them “altar boys” if they are in fact all men? What about Altar Men! Seriously, folks Altar Servers is the correct term to use. Indeed what priest who is willing to celebrate the extraordinary form would ever consent to liberals trying to insert something like girl altar servers into the ancient use? Certainly not me or any other priest that I know who celebrates the ancient use.

  23. Derik Castillo says:

    Praise to God! Lets exercise almsgiving using this wonderful
    opportunity to show up the unity of the Roman Catholic Church.

  24. jack burton says:

    FUS Student said: “I really hope that they do the right thing and offer the TLM weekly rather than the once a month that is offered in the only parish in the Steubenville that actually celebrated the traditional liturgy (St. Peter).”

    They have had two EF Masses since the motu proprio came into effect which equals a good bit less than one EF Mass per month. In spite of the months that transpired between EF Masses the second one was still a TLM-Novus Ordo hybrid Mass in many ways.

    FUS Student then said: “How in the world can you enter into the spirituality of the traditional mass once a month? With different seasons (like Septuagesima), readings, saint days, etc. one cannot properly acclimate to the traditional spirituality by only going once every 30 days.”

    Amen! Far less than once a month and with the rubrics cast aside. I believe that things will only improve with time but at the same time the impression sometimes given the St. Peter’s is a traditional haven is incorrect. Relatively speaking this is true, but for those who acclimated to the Roman rite (meaning the traditional rites) the climate in the diocese of Steubenville could be described as impoverished to say the least.

  25. Diane says:

    Paul Murnane said: great news! Chapel Ministries should view that awesome youtube altar transformation video. It shouldn’t take too long to determine the time needed.

    Tom Sofio of FUS public relations contacted me, along with many other bloggers to clarify the position of the university after we had made some posts in the early days of Summorum Pontificum.

    In one of my email exchanges, I encouraged Tom to look at that very video, for which I provided a link, suggesting that FUS could get some ideas from it. He was very grateful for the video and was going to pass it along to others there at the University.

    I know some people want it to all happen right now and I can understand it. I have the TLM available to me daily and I am so happy with it. I can’t imagine getting it only monthly or periodically for the very reasons stated above, is that you miss out on some interesting things in the cycle.

    However, I believe that FUS will come along and if we look back in a year from now, students desiring the TLM will have it weekly, and I believe that those who “fear”
    having it on campus, will loosen up about it.

    The best thing people there can do is to keep a positive dialogue going, express gratitude, and be patient.

    Speaking in general about this patience are some words to ponder by St. Augustine from “On Patience”:

    This patience the Lord taught, when, the servants being moved at the mixing in of the tares and wishing to gather them up, He said that the householder answered, “Leave both to grow until the harvest.” That, namely, must be patience put up with, which must not be in haste put away. Of this patience Himself afforded and showed an example, when, before the passion of His Body, He so bore with His disciple Judas, that ere He pointed him out as the traitor, He endured him as a thief; and before experience of bonds and cross and death, did, to those lips so full of guile, not deny the kiss of peace.

    If Our Lord showed patience and charity to a man he knew would betray him, how much more we should show to fellow Catholics who may not fully understand all that we do about the TLM? It’s only by the grace of God that we do understand.

    Pray. It will be given to you in God’s time.

  26. CarolinaGeo says:

    I am obviously happy for the students at FUS, but I did find one thing curious in the following quote: “once Chapel Ministries has determined the length of time needed to temporarily transform the Chapel into the proper environment for the Traditional Latin Mass and how that impacts the rest of our Sunday Mass schedule”

    Why is the “environment” for the Novus Ordo any different than that for the Tridentine Mass??? Do they mean that they’ll need to remove the statues and replace them with balloons? Or remove the candles from the altar and replace them with jars of jelly beans or something? Or perhaps they’ll cover the tabernacle with a poster? Crimony – the environment for ANY Mass should be one of grandeur, awe, and reverence. They should not need to change things back and forth from the grandiose to the banal.

    *end of rant*

  27. jack burton says:

    CarolinaGeo,
    The chapel is sometimes described as a multipurpose building. It is most frequently used for Mass no doubt, but they also use it at times for performances, talks, charismatic events (such as being prayed over and slain in the spirit by charismatic prayer teams) and a Protestant preaching rally in which local Protestant pastors come to preach to the students at what is know as the “preach out.” There are other functions that typically take place in the chapel as well but I’m not sure this has anything to do with the statement you quoted. Perhaps the main thing is that they have a cluttered mess of band equipment next to the altar and they don’t have a way of removing it and putting it back gracefully. The altar is a wooden table style and they move it off to the side quite frequently so I don’t think moving it back for ad orientem would be a problem.

  28. jack burton says:

    Oh, and the tabernacle is in a side chapel that is separated from the rest of the chapel by a thick curtain. They have a statue of Our Lady and one of St. Joseph in the main part of the chapel as of a couple years ago (perfectly lovely statues). Prior to that they would rotate various airbrushed banners which were generally the extent of the decorations unless the band equipment counts for something.
    During my years at FUS Masses in the gymnasium became more and more common and if there is ever to be a campus wide EF Mass on campus it will have to be in the gymnasium which would introduce new difficulties. When Masses in the chapel are too crowded (which isn’t uncommon on Sundays) they often resort to having EM’s stations outside of the chapel and the people in the back of the Church are funneled out of the chapel and looped around back in through another door. Perhaps after the Saint Peter’s turnout they are actually frightened by the crowd that this EF Mass will generate and are wondering what to do. Obviously this 1970′s chapel has no Communion rail and I wonder how they will distribute Communion if it happens that they have a large turnout. The Masses on campus follow the cast of thousands mentality and the idea of a campus Mass without EM’s is almost inconceivable for me. haha

  29. I am not really surprised that this has happened, and have believed that it was only a matter of time. I believe Franciscan to be an orthodox institution and so reasoned that eventually orthodoxy would win over fear and doubt. It may come slowly, but I have no doubt a regular TLM will come.

  30. People, think about whether you might be fueling the idea that traddies are out to mess things up. I know that’s a false idea, but it’s “Ha, those NO freaks will never get it right, will they?” attitudes that make some people think it.

    Know what would actually be helpful? If enough supplies for this Mass come in, they’ll have a harder time saying no if they are going to try to at this point; if enough money comes in labelled “TLM only” they might just decide the best thing to do with it is to actually replace the ugly chapel. If you care enough to complain, care and donate instead. It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness — so quit muttering about the difficulties here and do what you can to help us out!

    There’s something interesting about these comments for another reason. In some places I’ve read everyone insisting it is impossible to “improvise” the old form, here we’ve got people complaining that this old form Mass was partially NO. Is there a double-standard, or do you just not argue about those two contradictory positions nearly as often as you argue about things like the NO?

    Meanwhile we get people taking one somewhat wrong statement and misconstruing it to insinuate that we practically have clown Masses. For your information, the statues stay, as do the candles. In case you’re wondering about liturgical dance, we could argue about the claim that there has been any here — the closest I think we’ve ever come to it is the opening and closing songs of the youth conference Masses, but as far as I remember nothing actually within the technical beginning and end of the Mass with the Sign of the Cross and nothing at all in the usual Masses.

    By the way, if I was feeling like having a fight I’d quote the Bible where it calls a certain sinistre person by the name of The Accuser.

    How many of you have seen, for some contrast, the 6:30 AM Mass that is devoid of all that noisy music, hardly has EMs, and seems pretty much between you and God? (It’s not lacking in attendance either, indeed is sometimes outright packed.) How many of you have heard how quiet it gets in one second when the closing song ends and practically everyone in the chapel gets on the kneelers? Will someone please YouTube *that* for a change?

  31. By the way, about the Communion rails, we’re trying to get them somehow. Mayhap, supposing they could be considered “in the way” during other events (yes, it’s not nice that our Chapel is multipurpose but then we don’t exactly have many spare buildings to use, frankly), they are the “temporary transformation” that they need to “assess the time needed for”?

  32. totustuusmaria says:

    This is good news, and we’re all very happy about it.

    Of course at first the Masses will be more infrequent. A good response from the students and further knowledge of how to offer the Mass well would change that. Things aren’t perfect, but things are very good, and this past day was a VERY good day for Franciscan Students. Please everyone thank the University and take advantage of this.

    Also, please stop the negativity. If you’re not a student, a faculty member, or someone close to the process, you don’t know what’s going on. If you are a student, talk with me or another leader in the Dom Gueranger society. We’ll take care of your concerns. The University has been very good and friendly to us. They’ll listen to your concerns. Just talk with me.

  33. jack burton says:

    Shakespeare’s Cobbler said:
    “There’s something interesting about these comments for another reason. In some places I’ve read everyone insisting it is impossible to “improvise” the old form, here we’ve got people complaining that this old form Mass was partially NO. Is there a double-standard, or do you just not argue about those two contradictory positions nearly as often as you argue about things like the NO?”

    I’m not sure what you mean that it is “impossible” to improvise the “old form”, of course it is theoretically possible to have some manner of mockery Mass using the missal of 1962 as a base.
    Perhaps what you are referring to is the valid point that the rubrics of the extraordinary form are more precise and such things as ad orientem celebration and the use of Latin have a way of ensuring greater integrity to the Mass. I wouldn’t say that it is “impossible” to celebrate this Mass poorly or with abuses anymore than I would say it is impossible to celebrate the ordinary form properly and without abuses. I think you are misunderstanding what some people have said but I can only speculate since I don’t recall every making this kind of observation anywhere although I do agree with it.
    Having said that I should address the other aspect of your statement: your interpretation of my comment regarding the recent EF Mass in Steubenville is not consistent with my actual intentions. I was making an observation and not merely “complaining” in order to vent steam or something. Included in my statement was the view that the Masses will improve. In fact, my view is not that the people involved could care less about the rubrics but rather that this Mass is very different from the ordinary form and that they are still learning the ropes. I was responding to the idea that there is an extraordinary form Mass once a month in Steubenville (which is false) and concurring with the sentiment that access to the full riches of the extraordinary form rites is not available in this town. One of the reasons is that the Mass has only been celebrated twice, and not once a month, and the other was that as of now the Mass is not celebrated properly. Again, this was not intended as a snide criticism but as a statement of fact and clarification of the situation in this town.
    I love Saint Peter’s parish and was blown away by the fact of the EF Mass being offered there and the less than perfect second run is only to be expected and I don’t hold it against anyone. Nonetheless, I hope that the third run will prove to be consistent with the proper celebration of the extraordinary form! What is so wrong about this?
    The statement about the campus chapel are another matter but I fear this post is already a bit long so perhaps another time. Peace.

  34. nick says:

    This is marvelous news. I can remember the Franciscans trying to stop the celebration of the Traditional Liturgy @ the HLI Conference back in 1991. Father Paul Marx overrruled them in favor of the Traditional Mass. We had about five priests a day offering the Tridentine Mass throughout the conference and just a handful concelabrating with the Franciscans. They won’t like this, but at least the students will benefit from this. Too bad it is Schmitz. He is just trying to promote his group and their “founder”.

  35. David says:

    ::First, the letter says “altar servers,” not altar boys. I hope they are not considering training girls for the TLM.::

    Not to push the nomenclature too much, but:

    If you look in many Roman Missals to the Latin, you will find “S” for the Priest’s part which comes from the Latin word for Priest, that being Sacerdotes. You will also find that the responses are given by the person designated “M”. This “M” means Minister and to minister is to–SERVE!

  36. Well, I was actually referring to the fact that elsewhere some traditionalists have argued that returning entirely to the old form would wipe out the abuses because they just can’t be done in it. Also, I guess I got a fired off by the insinuations about balloons in place of the statues and whatnot by the other commenter and took what followed more negatively than I should have and/or didn’t distinguish whose comments I was referring to. My apologies. I should be more careful not to fall into the very thing I don’t like other people doing, that being jumping to conclusions about stuff.

    Please do send prayers our way if you can’t send any other aid; I do think that a lot is riding on that.

  37. Mark Spencer says:

    In the e-mail posted here I said that donations should be made out to “Franciscan University.” Since then I learned that it would be better if they were made out to “Christ the King Chapel” with “TLM ONLY” in the memo line. Thank you

  38. Deborah says:

    Shakespeare’s Cobbler-“By the way, about the Communion rails, we’re trying to get them somehow.”

    Communion/altar rails are ideal although there are many TLM communities that simply reserve the front pews/seats and use those kneelers to receive Holy Communion.

    Of course, some chapels may not have kneelers and/or pews.

  39. Michael says:

    Why can’t people simply kneel on the ground? That’s what many of the French groups do where communion rails have been removed. In Poland, people kneel on the ground for communion even in the Novus Ordo. It’s only difficult if you have knee problems or need to lean on something, in which case you’re probably going to be standing even if there were a rail.

  40. Proud Alumnus says:

    As a very proud alumnus of Steubenville and now a priest in NJ I hope that this becomes a weekly and not just a monthly ‘event.’ It would be good for Steubenville.

  41. Proud Alumnus says:

    As a very proud alumnus of Steubenville and now a priest in NJ I hope that this becomes a weekly and not just a monthly event. It would be good for Steubenville.

  42. This is wonderful news! Praise God!

    I plan to contact the FUS administrtaion to express my support as an alum.

    I also believe that the more “positive” the tradition-minded students are in welcoming this Tridentine Mass, the more likely it is that it will continue.

    Kudos to all who have persevered in prayer and holy action!

    Gordo

  43. it’s quite possible that people here would kneel on the ground if they had to. When my older brother was at Steubie they knelt on the bleachers during Masses in the fieldhouse. I can’t imagine they’ve changed much for the worse since then, so…

  44. Carolina Geo says:

    Thanks to jack burton for responding to my earlier post and clarifying the situation. However, I still maintain that they do not need to set up multiple times for Mass, whether it’s Novus Ordo or Tridentine. Why the need for band equipment around the altar? Leave it in the pub on Saturday night, where it belongs. It shouldn’t be anywhere near Mass on Sunday morning. The environment of the Mass shouldn’t change depending on the form: it should be an environment that evokes solemnity, piety, and awe.

  45. Joseph Gryniewicz says:

    Gordo the Byzantine:

    That’s a wonderful idea! The school really listens to the concerns of the Alumni because their endowment is based on the alumni. If you know anyone else whose an alum, maybe they would like to write to thank the school as well. The best place to write a thank you note to is to the president, the friars, or the chapel. What a great idea!

    Also we are incredibly happy to have Msgr. Schmitz coming. He is truly an amazing man as we’ve gotten to know him, and we have connections with ICKSP which have really impressed us with it. Please continue to pray.

  46. jack burton says:

    I just reread my previous comments and I must apologize because they strike me as potentially rude in some respects. So it is clear I believe FUS to be one of the finest concentrations of serious Roman Catholics that I have ever come across. Anything in my prior posts that may come off as less than supportive of FUS is simply rash posting. I do confess that on a personal level I have a touch of resentment because of some facets of my own experience at the school but these sentiments are irrational and if this has come through in my remarks I do apologize.

    Carolina Geo,
    I agree but in my experience (and I mean no disrespect of any kind here) there are certainly individuals of notable station who flat out do not like the TLM. In my years there I heard homilies cutting down traditionalism and things “pre-Vatican II”, et cetera. In one discussion with a notable individual I was shot down with quotes from “Environment and Art.”
    Of course the school is a mixed bag and plenty of people there obviously love, or are at least interested in, the extraordinary form. I am not trying to smear the school I’m just saying what I believe to be true and pertinent here. Having said this I must also say that these exact individuals that I have in mind as being uncomfortable with the TLM are not selfish people and are in fact some of the most real and authentic pastors I’ve ever known. I believe this issue involves a degree of culture clash and perhaps a generational gap of sorts. In the end I have no doubt that the school will serve the pastoral needs of the students with generosity but the expectation of 100% smooth sailing seems unlikely. I’m pleasantly surprised that there is talk of the EF Mass this soon! Perhaps even tempered my impressions are too negative after all.

    Peace.

  47. Maureen says:

    Re: kneelers

    You can also bring a mat or small pillow for your knees, as people did for hundreds of years — particularly in cold climes like ours! :)

  48. michael r says:

    i don’t even personally like the TLM, but i see it’s value. I’m very happy for the people of Stuebenville. very exciting too!

  49. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

    It is unclear from your announcement if they mean to have the old Mass every Sunday starting on 30th March or not. Do you have any news about this? What is Rob Palladino’s full telephone number?

    Sincerely,

    Peter Karl T. Perkins

  50. mike says:

    Good Heavens. Perkins has followed me here. Don’t anyone give him an answer. He will break out in hives and stomp around in OCD frustration :-)

  51. Henry Edwards says:

    I was shot down with quotes from “Environment and Art”.

    A lot of people have been, despite the fact that this infamous document does not now and never has had any official authority. Despite the fact that it was only a committee document never approved by the bishops as a whole — or, as I understand it, even by the full bishops committee it purported to represent — it was often quoted in parish and diocesan discussions as “the bishops’ policy”, to the uncalculable detriment of Church design and wreckovation in this country. This is a first-rate example of the fast and loose play that over three decades of manipulation brought us to where we are today.

  52. dino says:

    The time is really almost nil. In California, we transform a chapel for EF Mass in under ten minutes.

  53. Tony says:

    Someone said that the Mass to be celebrated on 30 March is to be that of the Divine Mercy; but this it should surely be that of Low Sunday ‘Quasimodo’ – an ancient and venerable Sunday – not the JPII novelty of Divine Mercy (worthy though it be); let DM merely be commemorated, and let the ancient TLM calendar be followed in this regard – and a pox on novelty!

  54. jack burton says:

    Amen Henry. At least “Music in Catholic Worship” has finally been put to bed. :-)

  55. Conly says:

    Great for Steubie. Can anyone shed some light on the Benedictine college in Atchison, Kansas? The student have to travel 2o minutes to St. Joseph, Missouri to attend a Latin Mass.

  56. Mark Spencer says:

    Tony:

    I call your attention to the fact that other TLM communities such as the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be offering the Mass of Divine Mercy Sunday on March 30. So this is not some novelty attached to Steubenville, but really has precedent.

  57. dcs says:

    I call your attention to the fact that other TLM communities such as the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be offering the Mass of Divine Mercy Sunday on March 30. So this is not some novelty attached to Steubenville, but really has precedent.

    There are no Propers for the Feast of Divine Mercy in the 1962 Missal AFAIK (how could there be? Bl. John XXIII suppressed the devotion), so while they might be celebrating the feast they would use the Propers for Low (Quasimodo) Sunday.

    We celebrate the Divine Mercy at Mater Ecclesiae, too, but the Mass Propers are those of Low Sunday.

  58. Ann says:

    To my knowledge, the unreformed mass does not exclude girls and young women from serving. In our diocese both males and females are permitted (although there are only three old-style masses [two weekly and one monthly]) in the whole diocese. It seems silly to allow girls to serve at some times, and at other times not. Ann

  59. jack burton says:

    Ann,

    Based on the legislation a Bishop can permit or deny altar girls in his diocese. In dioceses in which the practice has been allowed it is then up to the discretion of the individual priests. The same legislation speaks of the value of retaining the traditional altar boy scenario and pastors who opt to restrict service at the altar to boys are acting laudably.
    “It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes.”

    You may find it silly, but based on the manifest mind of the Church, “it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar.”

    My personal opinion is that the altar girls legislation will be reversed in the future. In examining the approval of this practice I have come to the conclusion that the rationale of the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts on this matter was quite flawed (just my amateur opinion). Put simply, it was an unfortunate mistake. It seems at least possible that this issue will be revisited in the future and in my opinion an open critique of their work (and the subsequent decision of the CDW’s based thereon) would essentially invalidate the practice. At the very least I believe there may be more restrictions such that it becomes a rather extraordinary practice.

    From a pastoral standpoint I think this disciplinary change was similarly unfortunate. The flip side to the altar girls legislation is: “Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these. Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers…et cetera.”
    In practice, at least in many places, the service of girls at the altar is treated as though the same as that of boys and the scenario described above, with its important pastoral implications, is undermined. In spite of the unfortunate approval of altar girls one still cannot escape the fact that in the official legislation altar boys are given priority and that pastors who encourage this are acting laudably. I believe the inner tension of the current legislation will inevitably result in its reassessment. We’ll see I suppose.

  60. Ann says:

    Jack, the phrase “boys or youths” does not exclude girls and young women, neither does the statement on the propriety of having boys serve at the altar recommend exclusion of girls or young women. That is a matter of your interpretation. If there were ever a need for a more inclusive approach to welcoming youngsters of both genders to assist at the altar, it is now. I have had lay people from two neighboring parishes express their concerns about how their priests tend to chum with, talk to, pay attention to and give special jobs to boys while tending to ignore the girls. In light of the recent crisis, we need to be aware that Catholic laity are less inclined to suspend their disbelief in observations of priests. The people in the pews notice things now they they may have ignored in the past; and the preferential treatment of boys is something of some concern, particuarly in light of the John Jay report. It is not an appropriate time to make a cause celebre of refusing the ministry of altar server to girls and young women, since it is not likey to be recieved by the laity in the intended manner (as well-intended as your idea may be). I hear your point that being an “altar boy” may indeed place a young man in a setting that would tend to encourage a religious vocation, but the same point can be made of young women, who also by a closeness to the Eucharistic liturgy may be moved toward a similar vocational conversion, even if not to presyteral orders.

  61. Larry says:

    Ann

    As promoting vocations to the Priesthood is very important these days it would be wrong to allow any girls to serve, even in the well intentioned thinking of promoting womens vocations. A womans vocation is to serve others and God but not to serve at the altar like a Priest, that is a man’s vocation. To deny that is the deny the incarnation of Christ as a man and His decision to do that.

    This takes nothing away from a woman as a woman has her own dignity apart from a man. It is unfortunate that these days many feminists have pushed inclusiveness to the point of insulting women by saying they only have worth by being allowed to do what men do. A woman is dignified even if she doesn’t do everything a man does, just like a man is dignified even if he doesn’t do everything a woman does.

    We need not seek to promote inclusiveness just to feed cultural desires.

    God Bless
    Larry

  62. jack burton says:

    Ann said:
    “Jack, the phrase “boys or youths” does not exclude girls and young women, neither does the statement on the propriety of having boys serve at the altar recommend exclusion of girls or young women. That is a matter of your interpretation.”

    That is not my interpretation to begin with. That quote was from one of the very CDW instructions permitting and/or clarifying the service of women/girls at the altar and I was not suggesting that the current norms exclude girls and women. As far as recommending the exclusion of girls or young women, this is not what I was saying either. “Recommend” is not the right word, but if you take the legislation as a whole, it is obvious that the service of girls/women at the altar is not equivalent to the service of boys/men (I will simply use men and women henceforth). Even the dubious interpretation of Canon Law which is the basis of this disciplinary change puts the service of women in a different category to that of men. The subcanon in question speaks only of functions served “by temporary designation” whereas the prior subcanon speaks specifically of “men” who are admitted on a stable basis to the ministry of acolyte. Although the contextual legislation (most importantly “Inaestimabile donum” and “Liturgicae Instaurationes”) already spells out quite clearly the meaning of this canon, the PCILT apparently ignored this and chose to assert that the subcanon which speaks of lay people (in general, so men and women) serving by temporary deputation as lectors, commentators or cantors applies to the service of the altar as well.

    “There are, of course, various roles that women can perform in the liturgical assembly: these include reading the Word of God and proclaiming the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. Women are not, however, permitted to act as altar servers.” – Inaestimabile donum

    “In conformity with norms traditional in the Church, women (single, married, religious), whether in churches, homes, convents, schools, or institutions for women, are barred from serving the priest at the altar.” – Liturgicae Instaurationes

    This is part of the reason why the PCILT interpretation of canon 230.2 is suspect at the very least.

    You assert that the phrase “boys or youths” (which I quoted from the CDW) does not exclude girls and young women and of course I agree with you, but this was not my point in quoting from that document. My only point in that specific instance was to call to mind the fact that the legislation repeatedly affirms that maintaining the tradition of “boys” at the service of altar exclusively is “laudable” and I propose that they would not stress this fact if it was virtually meaningless, which is what I believe to be the logical conclusion of your perspective.

    The July 27, 2001 clarification from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments says: “such an authorization [altar girls authorized by diocesan bishop] may not, in any way, exclude men or, in particular, boys from service at the altar, nor require that priests of the diocese would make use of female altar servers, since ‘it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble tradition of having boys serve at the altar.’” – Notitiae, 421-422 Vol 37 (2001) Num. 8-9, pp 397-399

    Similarly paragraph 47 of the March 25, 2004 clarification: “It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of comprehension. Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these. Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers. Whenever such associations are international in nature, it pertains to the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to establish them or to approve and revise their statutes. Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms.”

    This legislation of course does not overturn the prior approval of women serving at the altar by temporary deputation, but it does, I think quite clearly, reaffirm the priority of the laudable tradition and also highlights the distinction since the call for associations and the like, established or approved by the CDWDS, only pertains to male youths. Similarly, the simple fact that girls can be entirely forbidden from service at the altar by the diocesan bishop shows that they are not on the same plane.

    Ann said:
    “If there were ever a need for a more inclusive approach to welcoming youngsters of both genders to assist at the altar, it is now. I have had lay people from two neighboring parishes express their concerns about how their priests tend to chum with, talk to, pay attention to and give special jobs to boys while tending to ignore the girls. In light of the recent crisis, we need to be aware that Catholic laity are less inclined to suspend their disbelief in observations of priests.”

    The priesthood is only available to men and as such it seems that a certain unique treatment of altar boys over altar girls is quite naturally and unlikely to go away. The old father-son, mentor-apprentice type of deal which is not a bad thing at all. Quite frankly, these priests may in fact be acting laudably by focusing attention on the altar boys. To me this problem highlights something of the rashness of the altar girls permission.

    “The people in the pews notice things now they they may have ignored in the past; and the preferential treatment of boys is something of some concern, particuarly in light of the John Jay report. It is not an appropriate time to make a cause celebre of refusing the ministry of altar server to girls and young women, since it is not likey to be recieved by the laity in the intended manner (as well-intended as your idea may be).”

    I’m sure you’re right that a large number of the faithful would resent a prohibition of altar girls, but to this day a large number of faithful resent the permission of altar girls so either way someone is going to whine about it. I think the real issue is being authentic to the faith and I believe that in the long run the prohibition of altar girls would be better for the priesthood and orthodoxy in general. This is of course a personal opinion and I admit that I could be wrong, but I must say that the argumentation in favor of altar girls often tends to reinforce this belief.

    “I hear your point that being an “altar boy” may indeed place a young man in a setting that would tend to encourage a religious vocation, but the same point can be made of young women, who also by a closeness to the Eucharistic liturgy may be moved toward a similar vocational conversion, even if not to presyteral orders.”

    Certainly serving at the altar could be a very enriching and spiritually fruitful activity for a young person of any sex, and I do appreciate this point very much. I suppose my perspective would be that such benefits ought to be weighed in light of all the factors and considerations involved and in the end the hypothetical rewards of this kind are outweighed by the other issues involved.

    I believe pastors are within their right and are acting laudably when they restrict service at the altar to boys, and all the more when they encourage associations and support possible priestly vocations, but at the same time I don’t condemn girls and young women who serve at the altar. They are pursuing something that is perfectly legitimate according to current Church discipline and I would never want to make this issue a personal matter. I only mean to speak on a theoretical level and I wish it were easier to do so without seeming to invalidate or belittle the service and devotion of the many girls and women who serve at the altar. I can only commend such persons and yet I am convinced that the decision to change the discipline was a mistake on many levels.