Missionaries of Charity seek instruction about the TLM

This just in from the guys at St. John Cantius:

Father

Recently Sister Marcella, MC, the Regional Superior of the Missionaries of Charity in the North America, asked the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius to provide instruction in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the superiors of the houses of the Missionaries of Charity in the United States.

On March 12, 2008, these sisters visited the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius for a day of lectures and discussion. Fr. Scott Haynes, SJC, gave various talks throughout the day on the history, spirituality and mystical theology of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

A DVD presentation of the Low Mass was used to instruct the sisters in the ritual of the Traditional Latin Mass and its meanings.

Other lectures of the day included a presentation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the importance of the silence of the Mass, the history of ad orientem prayer, and means of external and internal participation in the Mass.

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25 Responses to Missionaries of Charity seek instruction about the TLM

  1. joe says:

    Laus Deo!

    AMDG,

    -J.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    Wow! This is potentially huge, given how visible that order is.

  3. Deborah says:

    Is it possible that they are considering the traditional Latin Mass for their order?

  4. The affect that this order can have if this heading where I think its heading. Brings a smile to this persons face.

  5. TNCath says:

    Wouldn’t it be a sensation if the Missionaries of Charity insisted that Mass be said ad orientem in all their institutions! I think the priests serving our local community of the Missionaries of Charity would have a fit!

  6. Joe says:

    This is good news. The Extraordinary Form is for everybody and getting to see a body of sisters want to learn more about it shows that this ordo missae has a ton of life in it. Orders intent upon looking for internal renewal through prayer and re-examination of their charism and constitutions will find new fruit. I wish the best on the Sisters of Charity as they rediscover and hopefully integrate the graces attached of the Usus Antiquor into their daily lives.

  7. Melody says:

    My experience is that authentic Catholic spirituality (which the Missionaries of Charity definitely have) eventually leads one to old form. Or to put it another way: Deep inner prayer seeks its expression in glorious liturgy (outer prayer).

  8. Melody:  My experience is that authentic Catholic spirituality (which the Missionaries of Charity definitely have) eventually leads one to old form. Or to put it another way: Deep inner prayer seeks its expression in glorious liturgy (outer prayer).

    A good question. 

    I wonder if this isn’t another dimension of my argument about the newer and older form of Mass as being analogous with needing different foods as we grow older. 

    I’ve dealt with different dimension of that, for example, here.  I used to use this anaolgy when talking about liturgical translations.  Now I am taking it in a new direction.  For example, here (that entry roused up only about 200 comments…).

    As I have posted before:

    To grow into serious committed Catholics capable of making an impact on society, we need all that the Church desires to give us.  We adults could if necessary get by on baby food alone.  We could, if necessary, survive on milk and some nearly predigested veggies, but we would not thrive.  Would we be able to do our work well?  Could we respond with zeal and vigor to God’s will in our lives, having been fed only on such pabulum?  A new translation is in preparation.  More satisfying nourishment will come, God willing, through our beautiful prayers in a new translation, which will increase our yearning for the perfect food, containing in Itself all delight. 

    And …

    At the risk of being somewhat provocative, I suspect the older form, the TLM will become (at least for a while) the “grown up Mass”, while the Novus Ordo, still reverent and sound in so many ways, will be lighter, less challenging.

  9. Patrick Kinsale says:

    It may interest you to know that Sr. Marcella is the flesh-and-blood sister of Fr. Jim Isaacson of St. John Cantius. They are both just wonderful people.

  10. Matt Q says:

    Yes, brick by brick, but geez, that’s some huge brick!! LOL Thank you, Lord.

  11. techno_aesthete says:

    Some Sisters of Charity used to attend the TLM where I sing in the choir. There was a lady who would drive them to the Mass. They definitely appreciated the TLM.

  12. Melody says:

    Amen to that Father Z. Personally, I would like to see a revised vernacular mass as something of a “Children and RCIA Mass” used to educate people (“the milk” you could say), with the TLM as the major form of worship. High hopes to be sure, but less likely miracles have occurred. Granted, I know I’m in the minority here (the ever cursed upon moderate that I am… ^_^)
    I think there is something to be said for the Novus Ordo in that those newly attending the TLM more often devote themselves to the prayers of the mass than to private devotions.

    BTW: Did you happen to get my email about more TLM masses at St. Mary’s by the Sea?

  13. Rich Freeman says:

    This is quite interesting. Imagine if every one of the hundreds of outposts in the Missionaries’ network were to adopt the traditional liturgy on a regular basis! I don’t know if Mother Teresa ever said anything about the traditional mass…perhaps someone here can tell me. I do know that she went to some lengths to see that the Novus Ordo masses said throughout the world in her convents were done correctly (a daunting task since Novus Ordo norms by the very nature of this bureacratic
    bouillabaisse are in a constant state of flux). I remember, for example, that it was irregularities in the liturgy that caused her to pull her sisters and novices out of a church on Chicago’s West Side, ( the sisters reportedly got up enmasse one day and left the church never to return) close down the food pantry there and the school, build a large addition to her convent near this church, and move everything onto her own premises. Thus it wouldn’t surprise me if this is being done in accordance with her wishes expressed before her death and, of course, there’s always the possibility that it’s being done in accordance with her wishes expressed after the passing of her earthly body in her role as heavenly intercessor for the order she founded.

  14. Father M says:

    What a sweet piece of news. And I’m glad, Fr. Z, that you revisited the food analogy. It works. But by the same token, we do have to remember that some foods are positively devastating for children. The adults may be able to tolerate them, at least for a while, but children should be kept far from them–however attractive and interesting those foods might seem at first glance. If I were raising children today, I would be searching everywhere for a safe spiritual diet for them.

  15. Carolina Geo says:

    In a world full of bad news, this is great!!! Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. The Missionaries of Charity will experience a revitalization of their work like they have not seen in 40 years. They do so much already; this wonderful order will become even moreso. I am filled with hope for the Church.

  16. The M.C.’s as a group haven’t forgotten the Sacrifice of the Mass. “I thirst”, written next to the always large crucifix, provokes active-receptive participation. TLM, a resounding yes.

    Mother Teresa was always condemned by the up-to-date priests as being old fashioned in her prayer. Yet, these same priests couldn’t bring themselves to serve Christ in the poor as did she. They couldn’t serve Christ at Mass as did she.

  17. “children should be kept far from them—however attractive and interesting those foods might seem at first glance. If I were raising children today, I would be searching everywhere for a safe spiritual diet for them.”

    Fr. M, I beg to differ. I am raising three girls, who have attended the Extraordinary Form of the Mass since early childhood. The eldest(14) sings in a Schola. I remember the Latin Mass before my First Communion, with a sense of mystery. I believe that my daughters sense the same awesome love of God through the power of His Sacrifice. They get it.

  18. “children should be kept far from them—however attractive and interesting those foods might seem at first glance. If I were raising children today, I would be searching everywhere for a safe spiritual diet for them.”
    Fr M I beg to differ. My memories of TLM before my First Communion were that of the awesome mystery of God. My three young girls have been attending TLM for years, sense this as well, and love TLM. My eldest (14) sings in a Gregorian Schola. They understand enought to follow in the missal, and are learing to pray with the Mass. It has been a wonderful experience for our family to attend TLM.

  19. Simon Platt says:

    Leticia – I think Fr. M was making the opposite point to that which you inferred, that is, that if he were raising children he would take care to avoid some – not all – novus ordo celebrations because they would not properly nourish the children’s spirituality. I don’t think he implied that the TLM was not a safe spuritual diet for children!

    I’m sure Father will correct one of us at some point.

    Simon.

  20. Ken says:

    The sisters based in Washington, D.C. have attended — sometimes in double digits — traditional Latin High Masses in D.C. and Alexandria, Va.

  21. The real question is: once priests learn the Extraordinary form and experience all its richness….why would they ever want to celebrate the Ordinary form again?

    A priest friend of mine here in the Arlington diocese, once he started celebrating the Extraordinary form (which he did clandestinely for a year or so before the MP) said he could barely tolerate celebrating the Novus Ordo.

  22. Derik Castillo says:

    “Other lectures of the day included a presentation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the importance of the silence of the Mass, the history of ad orientem prayer, and means of external and internal participation in the Mass.”

    The lectures did not include the importance of Communion in
    the tongue, because of the well known quotation from Blessed Mother Teresa “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.”

  23. LeonG says:

    The lectures did not include the importance of Communion in
    the tongue, because of the well known quotation from Blessed Mother Teresa “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.”

    Mother Teresa used to hand out Communion herself to her sisters who stood up to receive it. This is almost as critical from a Thomist perspective. When I was at the NO service in the Sisters of Charity orphanage in Bucharest some years ago, everyone was in a lotus position & not all hosts went straight into the mouth either. There was quite a syncretic touch to the proceedings. The Holy Mass in Latin will not avail itself easily to liturgical syncretism.

  24. I find it incomprehensible that Vatican II was able to get away with the disasters it “hath wrought!” I like Pope Benedict’s term for our Latin Mass…”the extraordinary form!” It clearly means “beyond ordinary,” “superlative” “outstanding” That the Missionaries of Charity in the US are taking this action should set an example for others orders, considering how sincerely dedicated they are to serving Our Lord. I do think we all must be very careful in our words and deeds lest they set TLM back in any way. We must be very mindful that our Pope’s remaining time on earth is indefinate, and his successor could really botch the renaissance.

  25. I find it incomprehensible that Vatican II was able to get away with the disasters it “hath wrought!” I like Pope Benedict’s term for TLM…”the extraordinary form!” It clearly is synonymous with “beyond ordinary,” “superlative,” outstanding,” and more. That the Missionaries of Charity in the US are taking this action should set an example for other orders, considering how sincerely dedicated they are to serving Our Lord. I do think we must be very careful in our words and deeds lest they set TLM back. We need to speak constructively, speak softly but carry a big stick, said TR. We must be very mindful that our Pope’s remaining time on earth is, like all of us, limited, indefinate. His successor could really botch the renaissance.