D. of Fort Wayne-South Bend: Bp. D’Arcy’s excellent words and actions about Summorum Pontificum

His Excellency Most Rev. John M. D’Arcy, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend (Indiana) has made some comments about the TLM and Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum in their diocesan newspaper

I think you are going to like what you read (with my emphases and comments!

News & Notes

By Bishop John M. D’Arcy

Diocese solidifies
celebration of the Latin Mass

Must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage
 
With such words does Pope Benedict XVI present to us the reason for the right use of what he has called the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. In this decision, Pope Benedict showed his great pastoral heart and gave a place to the traditional Latin Mass, the Mass promulgated by blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962, “never abrogated” and named it as “extraordinary form of the liturgy of the church” — he also showed his understanding of history. In a letter written to bishops, the Holy Father said too often the serious divisions in the church could have been avoided if the church or the Holy See had taken an extra step toward reconciliation. He hopes to reconcile those who have separated themselves from the church.

Mindful of all those who treasure the Latin rite and indeed of many young people who find themselves better able to worship in it because of what they sense as a strong sense of mystery, the pope has made it possible for the older Latin rite to be celebrated without any special permission. [YES!  There it is!  Well done, Your Excellency.]

Indeed since Pope John Paul II allowed this under some conditions and encouraged bishops to be open to it, in a special apostolic letter in 1988, we have been blessed to have in our diocese what is now called the extraordinary form. This is the Mass that I grew up with and prayed at Our Lady of Presentation Church in Brighton, Mass., the Mass I celebrated for the first 10 years of my priesthood. It has been celebrated every Sunday in each end of our diocese since 1989.

In Fort Wayne, several senior priests have made this available. I salute [YES!] Father Dan Leeuw, Father Adam Schmidt, and there have been others. In the South Bend area, one thinks especially of Father Jim Seculoff, who celebrated this Mass both in St. Mary, Bristol, and also in St. John the Baptist, South Bend. More recently several priests of Holy Cross have filled in, Father Jerome Esper, CSC, and Father Tom Blantz, CSC.

A special new priest

When Pope Benedict XVI issued his motu proprio, I thought immediately of Father George Gabet, FSSP. Father George is a native of St. John Parish, New Haven, and attended Bishop Dwenger High School, where among other things, he played football.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of ordaining Father George according to the old rite, the rite by which I was ordained 51 years ago at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. For many years, my good friend Dominic (Nick) Harris has asked me to bring in a member of Father George’s community, the Fraternity of St. Peter, to give assurance that this Mass could be celebrated well into the future. The significant number that attend the Mass in Fort Wayne are worried that with priests aging, they may not have anyone to celebrate this Mass. Father George is a member of a religious congregation called The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and they are dedicated to the celebration of Mass under this form.

With the help of Father Bob Schulte, our vicar general, we reached Father George, and with the approval of his superiors, he began his ministry with us this past Sunday.

Father Gabet will be responsible for celebrating the Mass according to the extraordinary rite in both Fort Wayne and South Bend. He will have the spiritual care of each community. To the extent possible, he will celebrate the Mass in each church each Sunday, and where necessary, he will call on other priests to help him.

Father George will also assist as part-time priest chaplain at Lutheran Hospital, [a little ironic, but… hey!] Fort Wayne and will try to visit each Catholic patient there twice a week.

His community has asked that he be assigned as a chaplain to each group and that the group have a heavenly patron. Of course, we have chosen St. Mother Theodore Guérin.

Father George will live at Sacred Heart rectory, Fort Wayne, but will be responsible for the pastoral care of each community, working in close communion with each pastor. Like the priests of other religious congregations, he will be a full member of our presbyterate, and I am pleased to welcome him back to his home diocese. I know he will be a blessing for us.

Professor Mark Searle

Many years ago when the Latin Mass [grrrr….] was reintroduced in our diocese at the request of Pope John Paul II, I met Professor Mark Searle, who served for a short time on our Diocesan Liturgical Commission and who was an eminent liturgical scholar teaching at Notre Dame. He later died quite prematurely. At any rate, he gave me clear advice when this Mass was first restored. He said, “Bishop, it is very important for you to celebrate that Mass with the people so they have a sense that they are fully part of the diocese.” I was privileged to do so, and now I intend to do so again. [Excellent advice!  This is something I wrote at the very beginning when the Motu Proprio was being prepared: if bishops want to exercise control over this business, they must themselves be involved and visible celebrating the older forms.] I have asked Father George to set up a time so I can celebrate this Mass in each end of the diocese. [Huzzah!] I will need to rehearse again, and it will bring back so many memories. I look forward to it and to meeting those many people including, I am told, a few young people who come from the surrounding area to pray at this Mass.  [Waht a very different attitude we see from this bishop than that of so many others, who show little more than cold stinginess in regard to the Holy Father’s provisions and the feelings of so many lay people..]

 

 

 

WDTPRS applauds Bishop D’Arcy! 

 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to D. of Fort Wayne-South Bend: Bp. D’Arcy’s excellent words and actions about Summorum Pontificum

  1. TJM says:

    Father Z, as a former member of Bishop D’Arcy’s diocese, I can attest to his orthodoxy and common sense. He is a prophet and a
    hero. When the sexual scandals were brewing in Boston, Bishop D’Arcy, fearlessly took on his superiors, I believe it was
    Cardinal Mederios at the time, and demanded the Church stop protecting molesters and drive them from the priesthood. His reward:
    he was sent to Fort-Wayne/South Bend in the Midwest. I suppose if Bishop D’Arcy had “gone along to get along” he might have ended up as the
    Cardinal Archbishop of Boston. He has also been relentless in denouncing the “Vagina Monologues” being performed on the Notre Dame campus. I recall many
    years ago that he offered the TLM himself to let the people of the Diocese know that it was a venerable and worthwhile form of
    celebrating the Eucharist still. He is too be congratulated. Tom

  2. Emilio says:

    “His reward: he was sent to Fort-Wayne/South Bend in the Midwest. I suppose if Bishop D’Arcy had “gone along to get along” he might have ended up as the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston.”

    You make it sound as if here were banished to the gulags by an appointment that you yourself admit was very positive for the Church in that diocese and for the region. Isn’t being assigned the ordinary of a diocese not a sign of the Holy See’s trust in a priest? But I agree, he is truly a great man, this is great news and I give thanks for it! May other bishops follow suit.. and may some bishops have the courage to bring up the adherence to Summorum Pontificum as a topic for discussion at the USCCB meeting this Summer, which will be AFTER the PCED clarification document is out!

  3. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “What a very different attitude we see from this bishop than that of so many others, who show little more than cold stinginess in regard to the Holy Father’s provisions and the feelings of so many lay people..”

    Correct, Father. It is nice to encounter TLM-friendly bishops.

    The solution regarding anti-TLM bishops is, of course, simple: Select future bishops from the ranks of TLM-friendly priests.

    Latin Church dioceses would then be governed by TLM-friendly bishops.

  4. Please, send him to Cincinnati next, we need his kind, Pilarczyk has got to go, no hope of TLM here until he is gone. We have numerous churches up here in the “northern wasteland” that could be used but people here are afraid to ask for a Latin Mass for fear of forced closure.

  5. TNCath says:

    Bishop D’Arcy is already 75. I’m afraid he won’t be going to Cincinnati or anywhere else at this point. However, I do applaud the courageous stances he has taken over the years, especially during the sexual abuse crisis and his public chastisement of Notre Dame. I find it especially providential that he was sent to Fort Wayne-South Bend and not to a larger diocese or archdiocese. I think that’s part of the problem we’ve had in dioceses over the years: sending bishops who “play the game” with the USCCB and/or don’t “rock the boat” to run-of-the mill, low profile, or Catholic minority dioceses. If the Church is going to get stronger, she better start recognizing the importance of these dioceses. They need strong bishops just as much as(if not more than) the high profile archdioceses such as New York, Boston, or Chicago.

  6. TJM says:

    Emilio, as a native of that “gulag” keep in mind that Bishop D’Arcy was already an auxiliary bishop in Boston when he was translated to
    Fort Wayne/South Bend, not exactly the epicenter of American Catholicism. I’m just a realist about from whence I come. As a member of
    that Diocese I was thrilled that we received a man of his outstanding character. But being a bit of a skeptic, I still would humbly suggest,
    that his being sent there was not exactly a sign of approval but a means of getting him out of Boston where he might have “embarrassed” the Church
    (what a joke) for his brave stand. In hindsight, if the Church had followed his lead, they would have saved not only young people from
    nasty predators, but would have saved the Church’s reputation (not to mention the money). Tom.

  7. David says:

    First of all, Bishop D’Arcy is practical and well studied at politics, but at the same time sincere. I think he really does care for the souls of those under his charge.

    Secondly, as a traditional Catholic in South Bend, I’m extremely grateful to Bishop D’Arcy for bringing in the chaplaincy, and I look forward to him offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for us according to the liturgical books of 1962. He is taking charge, and that’s what all bishops ought to do—be leaders!

    That being said, I wouldn’t go so far as to canonize him. There’s more to this story than just Bishop D’Arcy bringing in the FSSP out of the kindness of his heart. A lot went on here, in both sides of the diocese, that led up to this. It has been a two-decade struggle, and the prayers and perseverance of the lay faithful, in both halves of the diocese, accomplished more than was indicated either the bishop’s statement or the accompanying article in Today’s Catholic.

    There’s no doubt, though. God and our guardian angels have accomplished a great thing through Bishop D’Arcy and Fr. Gabet. I’m very pleased that we have been given this opportunity.

  8. David says:

    Also, as concerns Bishop’s D’Arcy’s “brave stand” in Boston… that’s being overplayed here. On December 7th, 1984, as auxiliary bishop in Boston, Bishop D’Arcy complained about the assignment of Fr. John Geoghan’s assignment to St. Julia’s because of his “history of homosexual involvement with young boys.” However, Bishop D’Arcy never suggested that Fr. Geoghan be removed from active ministry. Perhaps the only thing that saved Bishop D’Arcy from a similar fate as Cardinal Law was that he was appointed to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in 1985. The knowledge that he had or didn’t had was never seriously questioned by the Boston Globe.

    That’s the past, however, and I honestly think that Bishop D’Arcy learned an important lesson from what happened in Boston. He was one of the first to insist that candidates to the priesthood be men who would make good parents (thus disqualifying homosexuals without actually saying it), and he made this statement years before the instruction of 2005.

  9. David says:

    Also, as concerns Bishop’s D’Arcy’s “brave stand” in Boston… that’s being overplayed here. On December 7th, 1984, as auxiliary bishop in Boston, Bishop D’Arcy complained about the assignment of Fr. John Geoghan’s assignment to St. Julia’s because of his “history of homosexual involvement with young boys.” However, Bishop D’Arcy never suggested that Fr. Geoghan be removed from active ministry. Perhaps the only thing that saved Bishop D’Arcy from a similar fate as Cardinal Law was that he was appointed to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in 1985. The knowledge that he had or didn’t had was never seriously questioned by the Boston Globe.

    That’s the past, however, and I honestly think that Bishop D’Arcy learned an important lesson from what happened in Boston. He was one of the first to insist that candidates to the priesthood be men who would make good parents (thus disqualifying homosexuals without actually saying it), and he made this statement years before the instruction of 2005.

  10. Aaron Sanders says:

    I’m glad to see two things:
    1) the bishop is restating, and now in a public manner for the whole diocese to see, his intention to celebrate Mass for us in the traditional form. This is something he brought up in a letter to our community back when he moved our priest (and thus traditional Mass) away, and we were beginning to becomes skeptical.
    2) he is acknowledging the young people in the community – although I think his having heard that “a few young people” come to this Mass is a bit understated, as the average age at the traditional Mass in South Bend is probably a decade or more lower than the average age at the other parish Masses, just from eyeballing the gray hair to baby ratio.