I received good news today (Sunday 14 September, as I write). Not all the news – most – I have received lately has been good. Perhaps things have not gone well in Blackfen or in Bakersfield, but in Dunn, something good is up.
First, I have written occasionally about the need to reach out through the traditional forms of our Catholic Faith to the Latino communities with whom we share our places of worship. We have to bring communities together. A while back I posted a question about Extraordinary Form resources in Spanish HERE. There were good responses. And recently I posted about a beautiful new Latin and Spanish hand missal from Angelus Press HERE.
Today I had news of a fine development in the Diocese of Raleigh, NC. Fr. Paul Parkerson of Sacred Heart Church in Dunn, has done something special.
On Sunday, the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum going into effect, Fr. Parkerson announced that his parish will have TLMs with preaching in Spanish. But, there’s more.
For 10 years, TLM has been offered at Sacred Heart along with two English language Novus Ordo Masses, as well as a Spanish Novus Ordo Mass.
On the last weekend of this month, September, they will have
- Saturday, 5:30 p.m. English, Ordinary Form (no change)
- Sunday, 9:00 a.m., Extraordinary Form with repeated readings and sermon in English
- Sunday, 12:00 p.m., Extraordinary Form with repeated readings and sermon in Spanish
- Religious Education classes between the two TLMs in both languages for 90 minutes.
Fr. Parkerson told me that he pondered this change for a long time. The news of the Spanish hand missal, which he read here, pushed his decision along.
Father wrote me a note with some other comments, some of which I can share. Thus, Fr. Parkerson:
Both before the motu proprio, and after, Sacred Heart Parish has taken on a kind of special apostolate – not just to provide the TLM for those who desire the older Form of the Mass, but also to familiarize, and refamiliarize all the Catholics in the Parish and in the Diocese of Raleigh with the Traditional Mass in all its beauty and mystery. I often say, “We started out this ministry to assist those who simply wanted the Tridentine Mass, but in the process, starting with myself, we fell in love with the Older Mass and Sacraments.” I am a convert, personally, but learning the older Mass has been like a second conversion, transforming my whole understanding of the Faith – and helping many people in the Parish to have a far more profound understanding of the Divine Mysteries which take place at Mass.
At the Parish level here at Sacred Heart, various attempts have been made to bring about greater unity in the – esp. between English speakers and Spanish speakers, most of which have been unsuccessful.
Last Christmas, the Latinos asked me to lead them in the devotion of “Las Posadas” but were insistent that the Americans participate. When the issue of the language difference was brought up, the Latinos themselves were the very ones to ask for the TLM since, according to what they had learned after my years of teaching them this, “Latin is the language of the entire Church and provides us all with the opportunity to worship together.” We had a TLM followed by Posadas, and this was probably, the most successful “multi-cultural” event we have ever had in the Parish. The key, as I knew then, and as I am certain now, was the Latin language and the ancient Form of the Mass which belongs to every Catholic legitimately. It makes everyone equal, if they will open their hearts to its beauty.
In pondering the differences between Catholic immigrants throughout the centuries, it occurred to me, as it has to many others, that there never used to be such disunity amongst Catholics, despite their idiomatic differences. They all shared a common understanding of the Mass of the Ages, despite the fact that the homily may be in a language other than their own mother tongue. (I’ve never heard anyone complain about not understanding the sermon, though.)
After speaking with the Parish Council and several trusted priests, I decided that, for the good of the Parish and for our apostolate to the diocese, it is time to take things to the next level. Therefore, on the 7th anniversary of Summ. Pont., I announced a change in the Mass schedule which will go into effect on the last weekend of September.
My main point in presenting the Parish with this upcoming change is that it must be seen for what it is: GOOD. As our dear Pope Benedict XVI said, “What was good and holy for previous generations remains good and holy for us today.” It is our intention, in this Parish, to live by that simple truth spoken by the Holy Father, and to help all Catholics who come to this Parish to understand the older Mass through the use of Missals and other worship aids. The new Latin/Spanish 1962 hand Missal just made available by Angelus Press is a Godsend.
To pass along history from generation to generation, is a great gift. It is our duty to do whatever we can to shake off the religious, doctrinal, and liturgical amnesia which seems to be paralyzing the Church and to rediscover the gift of the Faith as it is so beautifully contained in the Treasure of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its Traditional Latin Form.
Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Parkerson and Sacred Heart Parish. Excellent news.
Finally, Fr. Parkerson told me that they are now looking for a good hymnal for Spanish TLMs. Perhaps there is something out there like the old St. Gregory Hymnal? Anyone? Help?