There is a long piece at AZCentral today about Fr. Walker, recently murdered, Fr. Terra, recently assaulted, and the Extraordinary Form they celebrated.
Here is some of it. Read the whole thing there. My emphases and comments.
Before attack, ancient rite defined priests’ lives
Haec commixtio et consecratio Corporis at Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christi fiat accipientibus nobis in vitam aeternam. Amen.
May this commingling and consecrating of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ avail us who receive it unto life everlasting. Amen. — From the Tridentine Mass
There is a moment in every Catholic Mass when the priest consecrates the bread and wine.
At that precise instant, Catholics believe, the elements become not only symbols of the Last Supper but the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
In theological terms, the moment is called transubstantiation. To Catholics, it is the holiest of moments as Christ’s presence in heaven becomes one with his presence on Earth, erasing all time and space. It is a moment of reverence and awe, one of the “mysteries of faith.”
This moment, Father Kenneth Walker once told his sister, was his favorite part of being a priest: “When I say the words,” he would tell her, “that make the bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord.”
Walker found that one thing made that moment even more reverent. Speaking the words in Latin, the tongue of the early church, imbued the mystery of faith with the majesty of ancient language.
Hoc est enim Corpus Meum … For this is My Body …
Walker’s colleague, Father Joseph Terra, also was in awe of the Latin Mass. He had told others he found it humbling that a sinner like him would be granted the grace to lead the rite.
Together, the two men would pray the Mass every day in a simple church near downtown Phoenix. It bears a Latin name, Mater Misericordiae, meaning “Mother of Mercy,” and had been created specifically to be a home for the Latin Mass. [As you know, I dislike the term “the Latin Mass” because the Novus Ordo ought to be in Latin as well.]
As members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, both men embraced what they saw as the purest way to express the sacraments, in the language of the early church, Latin, and performed with the priest facing the altar, not the congregants [That is, all of them facing the same way.] — his only job being to glorify God.
Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis … As often as ye shall do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of me.
The liturgy the two men celebrated is five centuries old. In the face of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the church codified the liturgy during the Council of Trent. It became known as the Tridentine Mass, after the Latin name for the Italian city.
The Mass was unchanged for 400 more years, until half a century ago, when Pope John XXIII and his successor, Pope Paul VI, literally turned the liturgy around.
No longer was the priest to face away from the congregation. [Inaccurate. The Novus Ordo, properly, is celebrated also ad orientem.] Instead, he would face the people and speak not in Latin, but in their own tongue. [Inaccurate in point of the law, if not in predominant practice.]
The new Mass, or Novus Ordo Missae in Latin, was part of a set of sweeping reforms in the 1960s by what became known as the Second Vatican Council that were meant to bring the church closer to the people, and the people closer to God. [How’s that working out so far?]
To many, particularly in the New World, the change was embraced and celebrated. [Are those the best words? “Embraced and celebrated”? I wonder. The only people asking for reforms were pointy-headed academics. People went along because that is what they did back them. Then they just wanted the chaos to conclude. They they just got used to it.]
But to others it sapped the beauty, reverence and mystery of the Mass. Some refused to accept the changes and continued the old traditions. Those churches were considered not to be in full harmony with the Vatican. [The SSPX is not its own “church”… yet.]
[Fr.] Salgado said Terra will soon be celebrating 25 years in the priesthood.
“Very deep in his faith,” he said. “A very good priest.”
Both men met while working in the Stockton, Calif., area. Salgado said Terra had been contemplating priestly life for a while. “He’d been thinking about it for many years and finally got around to it,” Salgado said.
In 1994, both men joined the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
“It’s something that you have in your heart,” Salgado said of the Fraternity. “We have a preference for the old rite and the extraordinary Mass.”
But it was a battle to say the Latin Mass in the Stockton Diocese, Salgado said.
Terra started saying a monthly Latin Mass at the chapel of a Catholic high school in Modesto, Calif.
Although Terra received permission from the bishop, “it was frowned upon,” Salgado said. [That’s a mild way to put it.]
Terra would also add orthodox touches to the ordinary Mass, covering the chalice with a veil, for instance, Salgado said. “If you were in any way displaying orthodoxy, they didn’t like you,” Salgado said. “Father Terra went through hell.” [Yep. Been there. Done that.]
Terra was soon transferred about 45 minutes east to Angels Camp, Calif. Salgado figured it might have had to do with Terra’s orthodoxy, including his wearing of the cassock, a traditional priest’s robe, and miter, [huh? No… I’ll bet “biretta”.] a ceremonial hat, around town. [It hasn’t been the custom of American priests to use the cassock as street dress since the Councils of Baltimore forbade the practice.]
Salgado, who was equally orthodox, was asked by parishioners to step in and say the Mass. Salgado agreed, joining Terra in his fight to keep the rite going. “We became fast friends,” Salgado said.
A bishop soon allowed weekly sayings of the Latin mass, and the crowds grew, Salgado said.
He said that while the movement started with older priests, it has become a young person’s movement.
[… skipping a lot…
The operator clarifies that Terra cannot describe his assailant, then asks again to confirm that Walker is unconscious.
“We could use an ambulance here,” he says.
Another operator asks if Walker is breathing, and when Terra replies that he is not, she begins to tell him how to perform CPR.
As he begins, the police and paramedics arrive.
After Terra yielded to them, authorities say, he performed one last act of mercy for his young colleague and administered the last rites.
Salgado, Terra’s friend, said last rites are typically administered in the language of the dying person. That way they are sure to understand.
But, although he hasn’t asked him during hospital visits, he is sure Terra would have administered the rites to Walker in Latin. And in the old manner.
In the weeks before he died, Father Kenneth Walker recorded two rosaries and devotions that will be broadcast on Radio Family Rosary.
The first, focusing on the Feast of Sacred Heart, will air June 23. The second, in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will air the next day.
Both broadcasts begin at 1:30 p.m. on station KIHP, 1310 AM.
A Requiem Mass is planned for Walker at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Catherine of Siena, 6401 S. Central Ave., Phoenix.