New Orleans: Pontifical High Mass – 1 November

I got this from a kind reader:

Father, I have been informed that Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans will celebrate a pontifical High Mass according to the 1962 missal on the feast of All Saints, at St. Patrick’s (the only indult parish in the archdiocese).  Archbishop Hughes is due to submit his resignation for reasons on age this December.  I doubt it’s the swan song he’s envisioned for himself, but we’ll give him, his chancery entourage, and the clergy of New Orleans something to remember.
We are particularly attentive to liturgy at St. Patrick’s, and rather extensive preparations are under way to bring it all off "after the high Roman fashion".  I’m hunting up someone to photograph and perhaps make a video of the occasion.

This sort of news like balm for the soul.

I sincerely beleive that if bishops really wanted to control the use of the older form of Mass, they would institute it themselves at their cathedral, with all the resources of the diocese used to make it the showcase of the region, and be the celebrant at least once a month.   He would make sure a few places had it and did it well.  People would flock to the cathedral and those places rather than try to get it going in their parishes.


I applaud Archbp. Hughes for this decision. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I have thought the same thing myself, Father. Our Cathedral has seen a drop in attendance due to shifting demographics so it would make fiscal sense as well as liturgical and catechetical sense. And to make it even better, the Cathedral has a Schola which could be used for High Masses. As to whether our Bishop has an interest in this arrangement, I don’t yet know, but you’ve provided the impetus to find out.

  2. Mark says:


    Kind of related, but not as ‘brave’ (can’t think of the right word, sorry): on the Assumption, there will be a High Mass according to the 1962 Missal at St Andrew’s, Ravelston (the usual Parish where the FSSP Priests celebrate Mass) which will, unless I am mistaken, be presided over by Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, Abp. of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

  3. M Kr says:

    What is meant by the “high Roman fashion”?

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    We are extremely fortunate in the Archdiocese of Detroit that three of our auxiliary bishops – Boyea, Quinn and Reiss – are in our “regular rotation” at the indult Mass at my parish, St. Josaphat’s. We don’t have (yet) pontifical High Mass, with all the trimmings, but the episcopal support and presence is certainly encouraging.

    When the bishops do come and celebrate with us, it’s a clear demonstration of their pastoral sollicitude and makes us feel (yes, feelings sometimes matter) less like the red-headed stepchild and more like full members of the archdiocese.

  5. Romulus says:

    Mr. K:

    The phrase is from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4, Scene 15. Cleopatra is speaking of Antony’s death, and of her own which is shortly to follow:

    Good sirs, take heart:
    We’ll bury him; and then, what’s brave,
    what’s noble,
    Let’s do it after the high Roman fashion,
    And make death proud to take us.

    I didn’t mean to suggest anything untoward about our Archbishop, whose 75th birthday falls this December. All I meant to say is that we’re looking forward to giving him an “Extraordinary” send-off.

  6. +Kaspar says:


    Word is that Archbishop Hughes will not be retiring this December, but will be staying on for a time to see the Archdiocese through the Katrina mess. In fact, he may stay on two more years.

    As a member of the clergy in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, I too applaud his decision. I alos applaud your Pastor, Fr. Klores, for the many good works he continues to do.

  7. Anon says:


    I was just in Detroit for the weekend and saw there were two Tridentine Masses offered. However I was with family and they wanted to go to “Greek Town” in Detroit. At St. Mary’s there in Greek Town was/is offered the Latin version of the NO with Gregorian chant. With trepidation I went and I was blown away with the beauty of the Mass (well, maybe not “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” put in the middle). All I could think is I have to tell someone; not enough people are here and this is simply wonderful. Yes it still pales compared to the Tridentine Mass said reverently, but it left me in tears. I get so tired of NO Masses when I travel, but this was pure joy. By the way, whether or not the crowd took the Host in the hand or on the tongue, it was done kneeling at the altar rail. And lots of incense, a tabernacle in the center of the altar, candles and a darn good homily, too.

  8. EJ says:

    That’s wonderful news for the Church of NOLA. God bless His Excellency! But who says the Pope will actually accept his resignation?

  9. I don’t like it when people post as “anon” or “anonymous”. I am tempted to delete the comments. I have no idea how to address such a comments. Some creative handle is better.

    I don’t like it when people post as “anon” or “anonymous”, just to make it clear.

  10. Romulus says:

    Fr. Z: I should also mention that Archbishop Hughes is a member of the Vox Clara commission, so he has more than one reason to be thinking about Latin and liturgy. I don’t know much about the Archbishop’s views, except that he’s on record as pro-“consubstantial”.

  11. David Kubiak says:

    As to the “high Roman fashion”, I assume this means a Pontifical Mass from the Throne. The perennial issue since the first Indult has been how appropriate it is for bishops to celebrate in the old rite in a manner that was unrubrical in 1962, which usually means what Americans call the Solemn High Mass. The E.D. Commission may have issued some opinion about this, but if so I haven’t seen it. Personally I hate to see the traditional rubrics ignored, but I know this is a minority opinion.

  12. Patrick Walesby says:

    Very Interesting Comments. Our Holy Father says Mass in Latin every day, soon here will show the world how it is done in what some still call the “old way”. What ever Mass is said , it said for the Glorey of Gid and the redemption of our Souls. So let all alike, preists and non priests, pray the the Priest saying the Mass says it properly with grace and dignaty and not as though he has to get it over and done with in half an hour. A simple Low Mass is the Sam as a High Mass, just with a little more gilding on the lilly. So brethen, stop pitch and get praying

    Patrick Walesby

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