On Sunday morning I stuck my head into St. Augustine’s parish in South St. Paul. This is the parish where the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis had approved the celebration of the older form of Mass, many years ago.
Now, under Summorum Pontificum, my friends Fr. John Echert and the assistant Fr. Bryan Pedersen with the help of Fr. Robert Altier celebrate the older form. I have written of Fr. Echert here and here. I have written of Fr. Altier as well, for example, here.
I used to help out there years ago, and I have my own memories. However, I wanted to see what was going on today.
I figured there were about 250-300 people present, though I was told the crowd was down a little.
There were, as you might expect, rose vestments, though they were a bit on the pinker side.
I saw a lot of people I knew, for example, families and individuals who once might have frequented St. Agnes and other sound parishes in the area. Apparently they are looking more for the Extraordinary Form.
After Mass Fr. Pedersen was training young men who will be serving the solemn liturgies of the Triduum.
I simply took a pew in the very back and watched and listened.
There were, in the back, many young families with several children. They were very well behaved indeed. The people were quite devout. After the consecration there was some organ music until the end of the Canon, which I could have done without I think: silence is good.
It was a very nice glimpse into a normal parish where normal people can have the older form of Mass normally.
BTW… since the hideous red shag carpet was stripped from the sanctuary, the old ironing-board altar never found its way back to its place. They use the main altar for all Masses now, older and newer.
Wonderful things are happening there.
Brick by brick.