At last, a photo of the “stable group”!

With an amused biretta tip to JG, who inspired this,  o{]:¬)  here we finally see a photo of a "stable group".

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Florida John says:

    I always picture myself as a STABLE shepherd, on my knees adoring the Holy Child!

  2. Karen Russell says:

    ROFL! It’s perfect!

  3. Guy Power says:

    Manger for the evening: 1 Mina ($16)
    Hay to lay upon, one crib, and a candle: 25 Drachmas ($4)
    A “stable group” for the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass: PRICELESS!!!
    But will three people be enough to satisfy parameters set by bishops?

  4. Mark Johnson says:

    Fr. Z:

    You have mentioned a couple of times that “stable group” is not an exactly accurate translation. I have searched your blog to see where you might have given a more correct one, but if you did, I couldn’t find it. Can you enlighten me on that?

    Many thanks (but understanding that you can’t answer every question).

  5. Florida John says:

    Mark, Cardinal Hoyo told 30 Days magazine this about how many are a stable group: notice he doesn’t use the word stable:

    30 Days:
    The motu proprio does not set a minimal number of faithful needed for the request to celebrate the Mass of Saint Pius V. Yet, in the past, the news was leaked that a minimum number of thirty faithful was considered…

    CASTRILLÓN HOYOS: That is the clear evidence as to how, regarding this motu proprio, pseudo-news[reports] were spread out by those who had not read the drafts or by those who, in an interested manner, wished to influence its elaboration. I have followed the entire iter which has led to the final text and, as I recall, no minimum limit of faithful ever appeared in any draft, not of thirty, not of twenty, not of a hundred.

    Snipped from Rorate Caeli
    Florida John

  6. Ave Maria says:


    And as the wonderful Caryll Houselander pointed out in her book
    “Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross”, it all began with that stable group.
    Or some other good thoughts on that ‘stable group’ come from Fr. Frederick
    Faber in his meditative “Bethlehem”.

    How I look forward to a Christ centered liturgy!

  7. Andrew says:

    Mark Johnson:

    Unofficial English translations of the MP text came up with the “stable group” phrase, by rendering “Ubi coetus fidelium continenter exsistit (where a group of faithful continues to exist) as “where there is a stable group”. The meaning of “stable” is not the same as “continenter” – which refers simply to something done in such as way as to be contained in one place or in one uninterrupted timeframe, even if done only briefly. For example “continenter loqui” means “to keep talking”. “Stable” (unwavering, established, long-standing) implies a more rigid criteria.

  8. Michael says:

    Is continenter an adv. (continually)? In that case, it woud seem to mean that the group has to constantly be there and not disappearing and reappearing, in other words, stable.

  9. Syriacus says:

    “In Bethlehem, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae omnium temporum adhaerentium continenter exsistit”

  10. Father Z,


    BTW, here is a link to a growing Summorum Pontificum Contact Database. Looks like there are futher attempts being made by orthodox minded Latin Catholics to get organized. Good stuff!

    In ICXC,


  11. Michael: The adjective “stable” can also lend the impression that the group isn’t changing in number. That is the problem.

  12. Sean says:

    The progressive objection.

    Animals – insensate
    Angel – imaginary
    3 wise men – holiday visitors
    Jesus – not human
    Mary – unhistorical
    Joseph – not a group

    Request denied.

  13. Mark Johnson says:

    To Florida John and Andrew: Thank you! for answering my question.

    To Sean: Haha! Very good.

Comments are closed.