Here is a brick by brick piece in the Cincinatti Enquirer.
Catholic group looks to form Latin parishThe first time Ashley Paver stepped into St. Mark’s Church in Evanston, he knew he’d found the right place.The tile mosaics, soaring arches, marble steps and lush stained glass windows gave the church the look and feel of an Italian basilica. As he walked through the empty church, Paver could almost hear the Gregorian chants and Latin prayers that defined Catholic Mass for centuries, from the Middle Ages to the 1960s. [Churches should be… and are… echoes of what people believe.]He could think of no better place to celebrate that ancient Mass again.“It really is perfect,” Paver said.Paver is part of a group of Cincinnati Catholics that wants to transform St. Mark’s into a parish dedicated exclusively to celebrating Mass, baptisms, marriages and other sacraments the way Catholics did more than a thousand years ago. [That makes them sound a little odd. I think better is: the way Catholics for a thousand years continuously until within living memory.]The new parish would be the first of its kind in Cincinnati and would restore the Latin Mass and other practices that were set aside over the past 40 years following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. [Remember: Just because there is a parish, that doesn’t mean that pastors cannot have the older form of Mass in their parishes. And all pastors can chose to use the older Rituale Romanum. ][…]“It’s something we’re coming back to,” said Mary Kraychy, executive director of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, an Illinois group that favors wider use of the Latin Mass. “It’s just more meaningful to a lot of people.”She said the number of Latin Masses offered in the United States has climbed from about a dozen in the late 1980s to more than 400 today. While that’s a small fraction of Catholic services nationwide, supporters of the Latin Mass say the trend suggests a desire among some Catholics for another, more traditional option. [And, of all the priestly vocations there are now, I suspect the percentage coming from places with a more traditional liturgical life will be a great deal higher than those coming from places with a liberal priest and abuse filled Masses.]Una Voce, the group behind the effort at St. Mark’s, wants to give them that option.The group mounted a campaign to raise about $2 million to buy and repair the 94-year-old church, which closed in July after the shrinking parish merged with three others.Group members want to revive the church as the home parish for Catholics from all over the Archdiocese of Cincinnati who want to return to a more traditional form of worship.Archbishop Dennis Schnurr supports the effort but has promised no money. [Fair enough. Though you would think that bishops would start getting the picture that is emerging. The traditional places are sound, faithful, vital and quite ready to go to the wall for a bishop who will stand up and be counted in the public square. If I were a bishop, and I had to chose where to put resources….]Instead of hosting an occasional Latin Mass, which already can be found at five churches in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, St. Mark’s would be entirely devoted to the practices of the old, or “extraordinary form,” of the Catholic Mass and the sacraments.The idea is to give people who now attend Latin Masses [How I dislike that “Latin Mass” term.] at several parishes in Cincinnati a church to call their own.“It’s normal for people to have their social lives, their parochial lives, centered around the parish where they worship,” Paver said. “The Mass shouldn’t be a commuter experience, where that’s all you go for.”[…]Matt Swaim, of Hartwell, said the Mass offers a formality and sense of awe that sometimes is lacking at other services. [“sense of awe”, what I am constantly harping on…]Swaim, 31, said he enjoys services at his current parish, which does not offer a Latin Mass, but he sometimes drives to a church that does offer one.“There’s something more reverent about it,” he said. “It’s like you stepped into a portal between heaven and Earth, and not into an elevator.” [I am lead to ask: “Then why aren’t you going to this form all the time?”]The archdiocese has one other parish dedicated to the Latin Mass, Holy Family in Dayton, which draws about 300 people to services every week. That’s up from about 50 when the Latin Mass was first offered there 20 years ago.“I think they are really attracted to a greater sense of reverence and mystery,” said the Rev. Mark Wojdelski, pastor of Holy Family. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] “Sometimes people are looking for something more serious. [One might be tempted to say “more adult”.] They don’t want to go to church to feel like they’re sitting in their living room.”Church officials have gone to great lengths to avoid a rift between those who prefer the Latin Mass to the Mass most Catholics attend today. They embrace the current form of the Mass, known as the “ordinary form,” and say the Latin Mass should not replace it. [Welllll…. market forces…. we shall see.]But they also say bishops should accommodate Catholics who favor the Latin Mass whenever possible.“Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in a 2007 letter to his bishops.There is tension, however, between Catholics who like the reforms of the past few decades and those who don’t.Some have complained the Pope’s embrace of the Latin Mass three years ago is part of a larger effort by conservatives to push their agenda on a wide range of issues. [And what would that be, exactly? Fidelity to Catholic doctrine? Great sense of identity?] Others have more practical concerns: They say the current Mass is better simply because few people speak or understand Latin. [That is an awkward way to put it.]Wojdelski said the Latin Mass is an “acquired taste,” but he said it still is a Mass most church-going Catholics would recognize as their own. He said the strict structure of the Latin Mass offers fewer musical and liturgical options, but that’s part of its appeal.“I don’t have a liturgy committee because I don’t need one,” he said. “The book tells me what to do and I do it. We don’t have a youth Mass or a teen Mass. It’s the Mass. You take it or leave it.”While it’s becoming more popular, demand for the Latin Mass remains modest. Of the more than 500,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington, about 1,000 might seek a Latin Mass each week. [QUAERITUR: What percentage of those going to Mass in regular parishes have been to confession with say… three months … before Communion. Now ask that of people who attend the TLM. Which group do you think will have the highest percentage?]Paver thinks more would come if they had a church closer to home. He hopes to find out soon at St. Mark’s, which, despite its grandeur, still has a long way to go to be ready.Several walls have suffered water damage, the electrical system must be overhauled and the pews were replaced years ago by 1970s-style orange chairs.“That was a poor choice,” Paver said, shaking his head at the chairs.To Paver and others who want to reopen St. Mark’s, the chairs are a reminder of why they want to return to more traditional ways.“There seems to be a re-evaluation going on,” he said. “A lot of people are rethinking where we’ve been over the last 30 or 40 years.”
Brick by brick.