Brick by Cincinnati Brick

cincinnatiHere is a brick by brick piece in the Cincinatti Enquirer.

Catholic group looks to form Latin parish

The 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.

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27 Responses to Brick by Cincinnati Brick

  1. …the pews were replaced years ago by 1970s-style orange chairs.

    Jerry Springer might have had a point after all, about throwing chairs.

    Today, we attended Christmas Mass at the only parish within 50 miles that offers the TLM. This was the Novus Ordo, BUT:

    – The Mass parts were chanted in Latin.

    – Father turned and faced the tabernacle during the Credo, and made sure everyone genuflected for “Et incarnatus est…”

    – Father recited the canon of the Mass in Latin, from “Hanc igitur…” to “Per Ipsum, cum Ipsum, in Ipso…”

    Brick by Christmas brick! And Merry Christmas!

  2. As the article suggests, there are options for attending the TLM in the Cincinnati area (three I can think of, not counting one in Dayton, a city that is part of the archdiocese), but none offer the Traditional form exclusively. It has been estimated that about one-tenth of one percent of the faithful in the Archdiocese currently attend a Traditional Mass, but that number would probably increase were it made more convenient. There would probably be a lot more already, but for a formidable presence of the SSPX, SSPV, and at least one other sedevacantist group. The Archbishop is wise to allow for this endeavor to continue, as well as to hold off on any financial commitment. It has to come from the people themselves — like any other parish.

    If I were to move back to “the Queen City of the West” in the near future, this is where I would go to Mass.

  3. Maltese says:

    Great article! I always find this train of thought bemusing however: “Others have more practical concerns: They say the current Mass is better simply because few people speak or understand Latin.” I would always ask, ‘better’, how? Evelyn Waugh comes directly to mind:

    “The nature of the Mass is so profoundly mysterious that the most acute and holy men are continually discovering further nuances of significance. It is not a peculiarity of the Roman Church that much which happens at the altar is in varying degrees obscure to most of the worshipers. It is in fact the mark of all the historic, apostolic Churches. I think it highly doubtful whether the average churchgoer either needs or desires to have complete intellectual, verbal comprehension of all that is said. He has come to worship.” [From a letter to William F. Buckley Jr., written by Evelyn Waugh, reprinted in "Nearer My God."]

  4. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    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.”

    But you can have Chant, or Polyphony. Or Haydn or St. Saens or Tchaikovsky. Or Low, or High, or Pontifical at the faldstool. True, you can’t do it with a committee of untrained amateurs, but there is far more choice and creativity in putting on a beautiful traditional mass Massl than this suggests. We would all do Mother Church a favour be letting the unexposed that it’s not a dictatorial, brittle, unchanging and impersonal rite.

  5. jcn0903 says:

    Kudos Eoin! Oh the nonsensical musical pablum to which one is endlessly subjected in most parishes.
    Father, is there a link to contribute to this effort?

  6. Gail F says:

    This is my archdiocese; this is great news. I have made a (very) small contribution, all I can afford at this time, but I intend to give more as I can. Here is the web site should anyone wish to contribute — the bottom “how you can help” button tells you where and how to send funds:

    http://www.restorestmarks.org/

  7. Golatin5048 says:

    I LOVE my bishop of Cinci! Brick by Brick for sure! Hope there might be one… you know… where I live up here in the north…

    God Bless my Archbishop!

  8. Felicia says:

    “I think they are really attracted to a greater sense of reverence and mystery,” said the Rev. Mark Wojdelski , pastor of Holy Family.

    Hey, I know him! He was stationed at St. Clement’s in Ottawa for a while just after ordination—glad to hear he is doing well!

  9. Last Wednesday, the 22nd, my fiancee and I attended the dedication and consecration of a church for an exclusively EF parish, Mater Misercordie. I’ve been waiting until photos get published to say anything, but this was just too good an opportunity to miss saying so. It was presided over by someone who should be familiar, Bp. Thomas Olmstead; he did the entire consecration/dedication in the extraordinary form, and then sat in choir dress while the regular pastor said Mass.

    The new Church is beautiful, and it all came around since sometime around August. It was really inspiring to be there and see such a vibrant parish with such love for the EF. (And something like 80% of the females in attendance had a veil or mantilla, I chalk most of the rest up to visitors for the ceremony.)

    The parish website, where I keep expecting the photos: http://www.phoenixlatinmass.org

  10. Laura says:

    Sounds like a lovely parish!

  11. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Awesome! Totally Awesome. Here in Ontario in the Greater Toronto Area, we have very little options for a TLM. It’s either an Oratory, you have to drive your way out to Scarborough to a parish, or the Sunday at 11am for a Missa Canta at a parish that takes a transit and a bus ride to a part of the city a little hard to get to. All these places that have it are not easily accessible without a car and time. Even our Cathedral with the Archbishop Thomas Collins does not have a Latin Mass. The only other option is the valid but illicit SSPX mass which ironically is somewhat close to where I live (but I won’t go as I know I have a 100% chance that my standard Roman Catholic church has a valid and licit mass)

    However, there is an effort underway by a group of laity to have a permanent base for the Latin Mass in the GTA. It is the Toronto Traditional Latin Mass Society. http://www.unavocetoronto.com/ While their first effort was not succesful due to conditions not being suitable for a permant establishment of an FSSP parish, they will continue to work with the archbishop to try and make it happen. Spread the word if you can and join up! the more members the more likely it will become a reality.

  12. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    This is great news from my hometown! I worked for the archdiocese for six years, and never imagined this would begin. Power to the people of God for stepping up!

  13. dahveed says:

    Hi Father Z,
    this is great news. I live to the west of Dayton, where the good Archbishop granted us a great FSSP parish (one I hope to join soon) at Holy Family, and am really happy that he’s allowing for this as well. I completely agree with you. The Mass of All Ages is beautiful and reverent, and fills me with both joy and awe. Much, much better than, shall we say, the days of the seamless garment. I mean he who I reference no disrespect, but rather wish to say how pleased I am that Archbishop Schnurr is allowing for parishes that prefer the Tridentine Latin Mass. If I may, Father, the link herein is to Holy Family, one of the most beautiful parishes in Dayton.
    http://www.daytonlatinmass.org/

  14. The idea is to give people who now attend Latin Mass 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.”

    This is one of the big problems with the practice of the extraordinary form today. It is generally offered as either a diocesan-sponsored Mass or is organized by a group of the faithful who pay rent to a local parish that has a time slot (and a suitable altar) available. The attendees tend not to have any identification or involvement with the parish apart from attending Mass there. It’s all understandable, but lamentable. I think it also promotes the extreme individualism that is common among those on the far right (not to mention the far left!). It’s hard to belong to a universal Church when the bonds to one’s particular local Church are so weak.

    I think more non-territorial extraordinary-rite parishes would be a better alternative. I liked what I saw in Wausau, Wisconsin back in 2000, where a parish that was otherwise being closed was instead reborn as an extraordinary-form parish with a full-time staff. The difficulty with this approach, however, is that it tends to be limited to inner-city churches that were arguably over-built with ethnic parishes to start. Suburban parishes are usually in far less danger of closing or consolidating. In the suburbs, the traditionalists would have to build their own new churches, which can be far more expensive. I’d love to see that, though– a counterpoint to the typical round suburban church that has been mandated by those controlling the levers of power.

    The other problem with reclaiming closed parishes is that closing them in the first place can be difficult and emotional. There may be more extraordinary-form Catholics than, say, Polish or Italian Catholics in a given area, but reallocation is far easier said than done.

  15. mrsmontoya says:

    A recent brick laid in our home church was the resurrecting of an old alter crucifix, which I discovered in a closet last year and moved to the sacristy safe. Our new pastor had it cleaned and it now resides on our alter.

    The most recent brick was the inclusion of incense and bells, and a chalice veil and proper alter cloths, for the Christmas Masses. Father is starting with the High Holy Days – in time may we have all these for all masses. But for now, we have greater reverence than before, a good thing.

    Merry Christmas!

  16. Scamandrius says:

    I wonder what His Excellency Bp. Santay and Fr. Jenkins will have to say about this new parish which “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.” Since when has Immaculate Conception been operating as a Catholic church? Isn’t it on the boarder of Cincinatti?

  17. I so agree with your comments Father Z. Our little chapel St. Benedict’s in Chesapeake, VA (I think you visited us about 1 year ago) is staffed with two FSSP priests who offer the TLM 2 times a day. It only seats 125 people and is crowded to the doors both Masses (we are dedicating our new building in March which will seat 350). We currently have 4 vocations to the priesthood and a virtual stable of altar boys. Our tiny chapel also gave over 400% of our expected pledge to the diocese during the recent campaign. (the 2nd highest $ per family in the diocese)

    The TLM community needs its own facilities: rectory, church, and classrooms rather than as hangers-on at other parishes. I have been to several of these Masses for extended periods of time and the parish life just doesn’t really exist when you only go to Mass once a week with other traditionalist minded folk and then are expected to attend daily NO Mass, CCD, etc staffed by the types that hate the TLM. For some reason it just doesn’t work well.

  18. AnAmericanMother says:

    Evan, Andrew,

    Our local FSSP parish is in the suburbs, just inside the limits of Smyrna GA, a town on the NW fringe of Atlanta. It was originally a small Baptist church that was purchased, renovated, and got the full consecration/dedication treatment (in Latin) from our now-retired Archbishop Donoghue.

    We do attend Mass there when our regular parish choir is not “on duty”. I really enjoy the effect created by the contrast between the outside and the inside . . .

    somebody comes walking up thinking this is a Baptist church, opens the door and goes,

    Whoa, what has happened to the Baptists?

    The altar is exquisitely beautiful

    The effect on visitors opening the door is almost worth a trip all by itself. Add an excellent priest (who delivers a cogent, well reasoned and eloquent homily), enthusiastic support from dedicated servers, a small but competent schola, and a devoted congregation — an excellent parish well worth a visit.

  19. RichardT says:

    Ah, I remember sharing a bottle of champagne with Mr Paver when the current Pope’s election was announced. Pleased to see that he is doing good in America.

  20. Since when has Immaculate Conception been operating as a Catholic church? Isn’t it on the boarder of Cincinatti?

    Although I have no idea who “Bp. Santay and Fr. Jenkins” are, Immaculate Conception is a schismatic community under the SSPV and out of communion with Rome. It’s within the city of Norwood, essentially an urban Cincinnati neighborhood within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese.

  21. AnnAsher says:

    Absolutely TLM fosters more frequent Confessions! Not due to some depressed self loathing either- but due to a deeper and deeper experience of God’s love and realization of my value in His sight. As a result, I more and more recognize and detest sin.

  22. Thank you very much for focussing attention on our efforts once again, Father.

    On a couple of points that have been raised: the language in the article about the Archbishop having “promised no money” is a something of a red herring. We were never expecting any such thing. As Mr. Alexander says above, this is like any other nascent parish, where fundraising is the responsibility of the faithful who are petitioning for the new parish to be erected. The Archbishop has provided strong support for our fundraising efforts, however, in the public letter that he has written: http://www.restorestmarks.org/Letter.htm

    The website also contains details for those who would like to learn more about the project, and how to help. There is a great deal of work ahead for our community, and we would be tremendously grateful for any assistance and charitable support that anyone could offer.

    Richard: I think often and fondly of that glorious afternoon, when I reflect on all the wonderful things the Holy Father has done since!

  23. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    (Also) worth considering might be the approach of St. Willibrord’s in Utrecht in the Netherlands (supposedly the only church in NW Europe with all services in Latin): OF in the morning, EF in the evening, every Sunday.

  24. Ben Yanke says:

    “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.”

    So, so true. If only all priests understood this.

  25. Ben Yanke says:

    “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.

    So, so true. If only all priests understood this.

  26. Ben Yanke says:

    I might also add it is the same way with music. Buy the gradual. Sing the gradual. It’s all in the book.