More about the TLM at AVe Maria University

As you know, not many Catholic universities have rushed to implement Summorum Pontificum when students make requests for the older form of Mass.

However, we did hear that Ave Maria University finally made a move to see to the legitimate spiritual desires of the students desiring the traditional form.

I wrote a while ago that Fr. Fessio would be the point man at the University in the matter of the TLM.

I received a little by e-mail from a student at Ave Maria, which I share here:

Dear Father,
 
I received a letter from the Bishop today concerning the use of the extraordinary form on campus. In it, he quoted from the letter he sent to Fr. Robert Garrity, the Chaplain of Ave Maria University, on December 17, 2007. Here is the text.
 
Due to the demand for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, both from Catholics residents in Ave Maria Town as well as from students, faculty, and staff at Ave Maria University, and in accordance with the "Summorum Pontificum", it is fitting that a Sunday Mass be celebrated on campus in the Extraordinary Form. In keeping with the same manifest desire, it would seem opportune that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite be celebrated on a daily basis at the University, and at a convenient time. Further, it is noted that, in accordance with "Summorum Pontificum", unscheduled Masses can also be celebrated by priests on campus, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
 
I thought this might clarify some of the rumors going on surrounding the TLM at Ave Maria. I think that the Bishop is being very fair in this matter.

 

This is excellent support from Bishop Dewane and I am glad for the news!

I wonder what will happen at other Catholic schools throughout the world.

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30 Responses to More about the TLM at AVe Maria University

  1. AS says:

    Bishop Dewane is a wonderful asset to the diocese and Ave Maria. Unfortunately AMU has still not submitted itself to the jurisdiction of Bishop Dewane in the things that matter. This is why AMU cannot be called a “Catholic school.” The Diocese of Venice labels it as a “private institution in the Catholic tradition” because its accountability is not the Bishop but rather a layman.

    Also, the situation will never be fully solved until the liturgical accountability at the University and the Town falls solely on the bishop rather than the University President who is neither a member of the clergy nor has any liturgical training.

    It is very difficult for a school to claim being “Ex Corde Ecclesia” when its very core expression of that is not in line with the Church by being separated from the Bishop. Also, the Oratory is yet to be consecrated by Bishop Dewane. The Oratory would be the sole provider of the Sacraments for the entire town and its rector would naturally be the AMU Chaplain…. who currently has accountability to Mr. Healy and not Bishop Dewane. You can see the problem there.

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    It appears to me that Bishop Dewane is making it pretty clear what AMU has to do in order to be approved as a official Catholic university with an Oratory in which Mass and the sacraments are offered. Would that all bishops would assume responsibility for the colleges and universities in their dioceses.

  3. Wondering says:

    I’ve heard elsewhere (http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=85379) that “[w]ithout Bishop Dewane’s consecration, no one can celebrate Mass in the oratory, which Ave Maria officials hope will also serve the surrounding Ave Maria town.” And since he hasn’t done so, no Masses can be said in the Oratory.

    Can anyone explain?

  4. AS says:

    Wondering,

    The Oratory has not been consecrated yet.

    If you were bishop, imagine this situation.

    A man comes in and builds a university and hires priests to come say Mass and to teach theology. He does not seek your approval of whom comes in and who does what. He appoints a chaplain that is accountable only to his right hand man, who is a lay man who has no theological or liturgical training.

    This man now decides to build a “Catholic” town. He constructs a church for the town and university and plans to staff it with the same priests. That town is technically under the jurisdiction of another parish within the area. None of the people in the town will be financially supporting that parish nor the diocese which you are over. The chaplain of the university is not under your jurisdiction and does not report to you. The university is not accountable to you. They expect you to consecrate an Oratory and approve it for a pseudo-parish status but they do not want you appointing the priests that would run the oratory.

    You don’t have control over what happens there.
    They aren’t financially supporting the diocese.
    They do not submit to your authority.

    How would you feel? That is the situation at AMU.

  5. Still Wondering says:

    AS:

    Yes – that’s how I understood it. I know quite well how most-things-Ave-Maria run, and are run. I am an Ave Law alum.

    I understand that Mr. Monaghan has quite the vision and that it may (the jury’s still out) be quite misdirected. But what I was (am) wondering about is how and why the local Ordinary has authorized, for lack of a better word, the celebration of Mass according to the Extraordinary Form, when he has not consecrated the Oratory for any Masses at all.

  6. magdalen says:

    Deo Gratias to this bishop who seeks to serve his people’s needs and
    lawful requests.

    Now for AMU to get in line.

  7. dcs says:

    But what I was (am) wondering about is how and why the local Ordinary has authorized, for lack of a better word, the celebration of Mass according to the Extraordinary Form, when he has not consecrated the Oratory for any Masses at all.

    I understand there are other chapels on campus that the bishop has authorized for the celebration of Mass. I don’t know if that answers your question.

  8. Lynea says:

    + This is an awesome move on the part of the Bishop. I’m almost inspired o sign up with the university because of the Bishop!

    Does anyone wish to conjecture as to whether or not this increases the possiblity of Steubenville ever regularly celebrating the Extraordinary Form? Perhaps this actually increases the odds to approximately 1 in 5m?

  9. Matt Q says:

    AS wrote:

    “Wondering,

    The Oratory has not been consecrated yet.

    If you were bishop, imagine this situation.

    A man comes in and builds a university and hires priests to come say Mass and to teach theology. He does not seek your approval of whom comes in and who does what. He appoints a chaplain that is accountable only to his right hand man, who is a layman who has no theological or liturgical training.

    This man now decides to build a “Catholic” town. He constructs a church for the town and university and plans to staff it with the same priests. That town is technically under the jurisdiction of another parish within the area. None of the people in the town will be financially supporting that parish nor the diocese which you are over. The chaplain of the university is not under your jurisdiction and does not report to you. The university is not accountable to you. They expect you to consecrate an Oratory and approve it for a pseudo-parish status but they do not want you appointing the priests that would run the oratory.

    You don’t have control over what happens there.
    They aren’t financially supporting the diocese.
    They do not submit to your authority.

    How would you feel? That is the situation at AMU.

    =====

    ()

    1. Under the dictates of Vatican II, it’s a lay association and can continue to do what they are doing.

    2. As far “supporting” the diocese, you don’t know what donations they give the diocese, and I have hard time with any diocese thinking they are some holy IRS and demand tribute money.

    3. Bishops don’t appoint people to run a religious order, therefore, a lay association is not obligated to have a bishop “assign” them a priest.

    4. Regarding, “How would you feel? That is the situation at AMU.” I am pretty sure the bishop is handling matters based on fact, not on how he **feels**. You don’t base decisions on feelings. That’s an irrational form of conduct. One doesn’t **feel** like paying his bills. One doesn’t **feel** like going to Mass. One **feels** like telling his co-worker to… Yeah, let’s live by feelings.

    5. If the bishop is having such a hard time with Ave Maria, then he would have given his encouragement for the Tridentine Mass, although any priest can say it there. A priest already has the Pope’s permission–of course, he does need faculties from the bishop whose diocese he may visiting. That permission part, yes, I give that point.

    I think there is more to this than anyone wants to admit. Why else would there be this “oh so confidential” blabbery?

    **22-January-2008–Catholic News Agency
    Local Bishop Skips Ave Maria University Dedication amid Complications

    Naples, Jan 22, 2008 am (CNA).- Ave Maria University’s dedication of its new oratory has been delayed as Ave Maria organizers continue to seek Bishop of Venice Frank Dewane’s presence to consecrate the building, the Naples Daily News reports.

    Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria University president Nick Healy had invited Bishop Dewane to consecrate the oratory and to celebrate a dedicatory Mass for Sunday, January 13.

    Bishop Dewane instead celebrated an annual Mass for circus performers at a Sarasota church, honoring the history of the Ringling family.

    Without Bishop Dewane’s consecration, no one can celebrate Mass in the oratory, which Ave Maria officials hope will also serve the surrounding Ave Maria town.

    The diocese and the university confirmed that conversations between the two were proceeding, but had not been resolved. Those involved in the proceedings did not address details, considering them confidential.

    “We won’t make any comment about the relationship with the diocese,” Healy said last week. “We’re very hopeful that things will get resolved and it will become clear. There are issues that are not easily understood and hard to explain and we don’t want to comment on it.” Canon law experts suggest Ave Maria’s difficulties in securing the consecration arise from canon law, the Church regulations governing authority, ownership, and control over spiritual and practical matters.

    “In one sense it’s very complex; in another it’s not complex at all,” said the Rev. Phillip J. Brown, an associate professor at Catholic University’s School of Canon Law. “Nothing can be done without the authority of the bishop.”

    Any pastor for the oratory at Ave Maria must be approved by the bishop. Pastors at other Catholic colleges are often recommended by the religious orders running the schools. However, since Ave Maria University is lay-run, it is doubtful they will be given the power to make such recommendations, called the “right of presentation.”

    “A right of presentation would never be granted to a new parish today,” Brown said.

    Further, Ave Maria University’s canonical status differs from many other Catholic universities. Ave Maria does not meet the official definition of a Catholic university, but is “a private university in the Catholic tradition.” Officially Catholic universities must agree to follow a number of church norms on education and are usually under the administration of the bishop.

    According to Healy, the university community is “a private association of the faithful.” “It’s not an association that represents the church publicly,” Brown said. “It’s purely private.”

    It is unclear whether this status is in fact affecting the requests for the oratory’s consecration.**

    Yeah, really unclear.

  10. Chironomo says:

    Many in these parts think that Monaghan “counted his chickens” before the eggs were even laid… and yet those chickens are coming home to roost (what a mixed metaphor that was!)… I can’t say for sure what is on the Bishops mind on this matter except that there are a number of serious issues that need to be worked out before things can move forward. It is not simply a matter that the Bishop “won’t show up” to consecrate the Oratory, but that there are still serious problems with consecrating the Oratory with the current “political” situation at the University. In all fairness to Bishop Dewayne, who has shown incredible patience, he is having to deal with pressure from all sides on this. Why would he want to give his blessing to a group that doesn’t feel it really needs his blessing except to achieve their own ends? It is shameful at the least, and is quickly approaching scandalous…consider what will happen if they can’t work this out.

  11. Deborah says:

    As has already been stated in previous posts here, since AMU is a lay private apostolate there is no requirement for permission from the bishop. Nor should a private school adhering to the Catholic tradition be considered in some way disobedient or not in line with the diocese since they choose not to be under a bishop’s authority as when “Catholic” is in the official name of an association – that is ridiculous!

    There are many privately run schools which choose not take on “Catholic” formally and this is partially due to many problems with dissident bishops who would run them down in a minute. In fact, private schools are the only way to ensure truly orthodox Catholic catechesis for our children since the status quo curriculum used at the majority of Catholic schools is straight from the progressivists and the heretical Dutch Catechism.

    As laity we have the canonical right to form our own groups and apostolates, including private schools, and assign our own chaplain/spiritual advisors, etc. Thanks be to God for this canonical right for the laity or most bishops who are opposed to most things traditional would suppress them (I am speaking generally and not specifically about this bishop whom I don’t know.)

    Holy Mass can be offered in a classroom or a chapel that isn’t consecrated. A private Mass can even be offered in someone’s living room or outside if the need should arise.

    It seems the issues here have to do with private vs. public. The oratory is desired to not only be for the students rather for an entire area of the diocese which is not a usual circumstance for any university even those called “Catholic”. I’m sure this is keeping one or more canon lawyers quite busy at trying to figure out how things can work.

  12. Anchovy says:

    Looks as though they scheduled the EF and then UNscheduled it. They are still having “unscheduled” EF Masses, but not at very convenient times. Whatever will they do about altar rails? Last I heard they had been scrapped as part of the oratory plan. The kneelers that the students were using for an altar rail in the temporary chapel (ballroom) were removed because people were using them to (of all things) kneel for Communion.

    The administration thinks the trads will scare away the “average Catholic” prospective donors, students and residents, and then what will become of the university and the town? Are there enough trads in the country or even the world to fill that place? Does the administration really have to listen to the bishop, or can they make it on their own? They’re between a rock and a hard place! It’s so hard to portray the university and town as “hip” when the place is crawling with Latin-loving, kneeling, Communion-on-the-tongue Catholics! A house divided cannot stand. Still Wondering, are you still wondering?

    A lot of people besides Tom Monaghan have sacrificed a great deal for what has already been accomplished out in Ave Town. Some have left and some are still there. If the whole thing collapses, then it will be a terrible waste. Yes, save the liturgy, save the world. But what will it profit anyone, if in fighting liturgical battles they lose their soul? Pray for these people, one and all, to know and do God’s will. Pray that the peace of Christ will prevail.
    Pray for Ave Maria University and Town and its students, employees and residents, past, present and future.

  13. dcs says:

    The oratory is desired to not only be for the students rather for an entire area of the diocese which is not a usual circumstance for any university even those called “Catholic”.

    Please see Can. 1223ff for the Church’s laws on oratories and private chapels. The Ave Maria “oratory” would appear to be neither an oratory nor a private chapel.

    I suspect Bp. DeWayne’s letter to Fr. Garrity has something to do with THIS.

  14. Larry says:

    While AMU has its supporters and its avid critics, the fact is that this is one of only a handful of universities in the country that are truly Catholic. There are a number of Catholic universities that are led by lay people but few as truly orthodox Catholic as AMU. It is most untrue that AMU is not wanting to contribute to the diocese or be part of the diocese.

    The complexity comes in that while it is, in effect, a university chapel, it is holding itself out to a wider service including the people of the new town of Ave Maria. A wonderful thing and an incredible investment by a single person, Mr. Monaghan. They did not “count their chickens” ahead of time. Bishop Nevin was very supportive of the proposed arrangement and that was changed by the new Bishop DeWayne. As unfortunate and as sad as that is, Indeed Rev. Brown has it right, “nothing can be done without the authority of the Bishop”

  15. Andy says:

    The key to resolving this situation seems obvious. Return Fr. Fessio to the position of chaplain, in charge of the liturgical life of the school. He held this position at the beginning, until Nick Healy (a former maritime lawyer, let’s remember) removed him and took over the liturgical decision-making himself.

    The problem as I and many others see it is that Healy wants to recreate the Steubenville model at AMU (even as FUS has slowly but surely been moving away from that model). Thus he is continually trying to force styles of liturgy on the students that they don’t really want, and limit or deny styles of liturgy that they do want. And all the while telling Tom Monaghan that AMU will never become mainstream and attract enough students unless it moves beyond its “traditional” image, thus appealing to TSM’s focus on the bottom line.

  16. AS says:

    Matt Q,

    So if I set up a “lay association of the faithful” and hire my own priests and build my own town (that is already within the canonical limits of an existing parish) and build “St. Patron Saint of Pizza’s Catholic Oratory” for the town…I can demand that my local bishop consecrate it for our own personal use as a public oratory for the new town which is canonically a part of “Our Lady of the Poor Catholic Church” and not give the bishop any recourse to who is appointed rector of said oratory not have any authority in the daily running of said oratory including the celebration of the sacraments? That sounds wonderfully…not right.

  17. Michael says:

    It’s so hard to portray the university and town as “hip” when the place is crawling with Latin-loving, kneeling, Communion-on-the-tongue Catholics! A house divided cannot stand.

    Is this satire or does the writer really believe that we are still living in the seventies? I thought that one of the points of Summorum Pontificum was that we are all one Church, whether we hold to the traditional forms of worship or the new. How can a University that claims to be truly orthodox discriminate against those the Holy Father has embraced?

  18. Henricus says:

    The administration thinks the trads will scare away the “average Catholic” prospective donors, students and residents, and then what will become of the university and the town? Are there enough trads in the country or even the world to fill that place?

    Who are these fearsome “trads” that are so scary? Thanks to good Pope Benedict, the extraordinary form of the Roman rite is not just for “trads” anymore, it’s for Catholics. But perhaps this is one thing that the charismatic-leaning administration of AMU doesn’t yet understand, nor that it’s continued charismatic shenanigans that are more likely dry up their support. (Speaking as a former AMU donor for this reason.)

    I suspect that in AMU’s case it’s a matter of “Save the liturgy, save the university!”. And that when they get in line with the direction the Church is now moving, they’ll be able to resolve their problems.

  19. Alexander says:

    I found it quite ironic that a Clown Mass and Circus Liturgy performing diocesan Ordinary would order a “conservative” University from “the Catholic tradition” as Ave Maria to offer the traditional Roman Rite in its main church he did not wish to consecrate on the day he was concelebrating with clowns (“presiders”) at the people’s altar (altar table) during a Circus Mass.

    Are even real liberals more honest than the Charismatic Renewers? At least the real indifferentist liberals are, the Charismatics keep alleging that I am darkened by the influence of Satan (what human is not on this fallen earth) and that the TLM was from the “Dark Ages when the movement of the Spirit had not yet come over the Catholic Church, though it was in other Evangelical communities.” Sounds like gnosticism (“we are initiated and favoured with special grace”) and quite some neo-protestantism.

    Anyway, the Pizza Man should take care of his business and leave the faithful Roman Catholics their liturgies (is he going to forbid Byzantine Rite Catholics their Sunday Divine Oblation too?). He is a benefactor, nothing more. Catholics should be modest. God bless the Pizza Man though. He seems a nice guy anyway.

  20. Mike Williams says:

    The Mass for circus performers in Sarasota has been held for decades– it’s not a “clown mass” but a liturgy offered for a community that has long supported the Church there. This is from St. Martha’s parish website–

    “In 1927, on October 1, St. Martha’s became a parish and, shortly after, the Ringling Circus arrived to set up its winter quarters in Sarasota. Father Charles L. Elslander, St. Martha’s first pastor, showed great concern for all the Circus personnel.

    Soon the parish outgrew its little mission church that faced Adelia Avenue. Plans were made to raise funds to build the present church facing Orange Avenue. The Circus offered to stage two performances each year on parish property for the benefit of the new church fund. From 1935 to 1941 Ringling put on shows in the area that today is the parking lot behind the church. With that great help from the Circus, work on the new church could start in 1940…. The Official Circus Chaplain is listed among St. Martha’s priests. Every year, when the Circus is in the Tampa area, Father George “Jerry” Hogan comes to St. Martha’s for a Circus Mass and he meets here with clergy and religious who minister to Circus personnel when they are on the road. Father Jerry records at St. Martha’s the sacraments he administers when he is traveling with the Circus.”

  21. Chironomo says:

    Alexander… the “Circus” Mass at St. Martha’s was around WAY before there was a Novus Ordo Mass or the dreaded “Clown Mass”. This is NOT what you’re thinking! This Mass was said for some 30+ years in the older (Latin) form of the Mass in Sarasota. It is in the same vein as the Masses said yearly for the Police and Fire officers in Boston and Chicago, or a Mass said for any other special group within a parish. For many years, the Ringling Brothers Circus community WAS Sarasota. The Bishop was at this Mass because he is expected to be at this Mass. Bishop Dewayne is, and has been, an avid supporter of SP and has clearly shown this at every turn.

  22. Regarding the so-called Circus Mass: It is a wonderful tradition that St. Martha Parish in Sarasota offers a mass for circus personnel. However, I am certain sure that originally this mass, for many years, was offered in the Tridentine form. I am also certain that in those days the priests did NOT have images of clowns and circus animals on their vestments, which only serves to rob the holy sacrifice of the mass of the reverence that is due to God alone and turns it into entertainment! Also, Ave Maria University\’s problems would be solved with a conversion of heart for those who desire to insist upon their own will and disregard the Holy Will of God concerning the direction that the Church is moving in terms of her liturgy (as best exemplified by the writings and actions of Pope Benedict).
    Lord, we pray that, in Your great mercy, You would bring back beauty, reverence and orthodoxy to our hearts and to our liturgies. Help us each to die to our own egos and desire deeply to do only God\’s will. Let us pray for each other and love each other. That is the only way that the real enemy will be defeated.

  23. Alexander says:

    I am not trying to demonize Bp. Dewane, or only see the evil sides, but that wás a Clown-like Mass. Not as worse as elsewhere, but certainly not Catholic and not faithful even to the rubrics of the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI of 1970.

    “Last Sunday, Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank Dewane celebrated Mass at a Sarasota church accompanied by priests wearing colorful Ferris wheels, clowns, giraffes, unicycles, lions and merry-go-rounds on their vestments.”

    (Source: Naples News – http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/apologia/vpost?id=2440626 )

    Sounds pretty much like a mock of Roman Catholic sacred vestments and church sacrality.

    Of course I approve every Holy Mass offered to Circus people, even in tents if necessary, but a Holy Mass, not a community celebration of human banal daily life only.

    And I am sure that the pious pre-conciliar Circus Entertainers did not sacrifice that much money for their own sacred church in order to see it mocked by the local diocesan bishop who brings in banality into the liturgy.

    Sorry, I do not want to spit fire, but I am not going to approve such a bishop until he repents of these abuses. St. Padre Pio and St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Carolus Borromeus are the norm for the Latin Church, not today’s “average” cleric playing liturgy. Those “reactionary” norms of mine may offend some people, but then that’s their problem.

    God bless you all and take care!

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Alexander: I am not trying to demonize Bp. Dewane

    Really? At any rate, this event — whatever its merits or lack thereof, and whatever his personal reservations, if any — was no doubt already set in concrete on his schedule before Bishop Dewane arrived in Venice as the new ordinary. Rather like some of the questionable liturgical events Pope Benedict participated in during his first year in office. But don’t be surprised if there are further constructive changes in Venice during the next year, just as there have been in Rome.

  25. Brian Mershon says:

    From Sacrosanctum Concilium

    26. Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the “sacrament of unity,” namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops [33]

    Therefore liturgical services pertain to the whole body of the Church; they manifest it and have effects upon it; but they concern the individual members of the Church in different ways, according to their differing rank, office, and actual participation.

  26. Alexander: Sorry, I do not want to spit fire, but I am not going to approve such a bishop until he repents of these abuses.

    Not around here.

  27. Mike Williams says:

    Alexander, some of the vestments were not what most who read this blog would hope, but your conclusions are otherwise baseless. And while I’m sure we all would prefer to see the clergy vested otherwise, the Mass as seen in the following clips doesn’t support your point of view.

    http://www.baynews9.com/VideoPlayer/?Circus_Church_113

  28. Chironomo says:

    Henry Edwards… can I assume you are from the DOV? There have already been MANY constructive changes in the two years that Bishop Dewayne has been here. Many of them have been uphill battles (eliminating the “afternoon Easter Vigil” for instance, which was a fixture in 3 out of 4 parishes here). And many more are to come… as for Alexander’s response to the Circus Performers Mass… yes, this was set in stone on his schedule, and probably is for many future years to come. I have been to this Mass several times through the years, and with the exception of the vestments it has always been a very reverent and very prayerful occasion. And yes, the priests and Bishop DID wear the circus themed overlays as far back as the 1940′s according to archived pictures.

  29. Frau Blucher says:

    Everybody should read the new post on Avewatch (who also cites Fr. Z’s blog in a post earlier today).

    Gratitude: A Strategy for Lay Investiture

    http://avewatch.com/?p=12

  30. Fr. Tim Navin says:

    The Circus Mass was an old tradition by 1950 in Sarasota. Msgr. Ellslander was the only Catholic priest for 30+ years in Sarasota County. In the 20′s through the 40′s there were southerners who would cross the street to the other side when they saw Msgr. Ellslander coming so as to not want to be on the same side of the street with a Catholic priest. Now Sarasota is a very urbane and sophisticated city but it was a very southern town in the worst sense many years ago. Watch the movie, “The Greatest Show On Earth” with Charleton Heston, Betty Hutton and Jimmy Stewart. That’s Msgr. Ellslander blessing the circus train with the altar boys in Sarasota in 1950. You’ve got to know your history to know where your going. Look before you judge.