What’s up at Ave Maria University and the Motu Proprio

You all remember the dust up last year over the presence of Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, at Ave Maria University.  Controversy swirls around the place.  It seems, sadly, that people can’t get on the same page there.

What is happening with the Motu Proprio?  My understanding is that some student want the older form of Mass there.

I found this on the blog AveWatch.

My emphases and comments.


We give thanks to Almighty God, as we accustom ourselves to the excellent facilities of our permanent Campus. At this time, the Administration of the University have given this directive on our liturgical practice. It is hoped that all our efforts will enable us to continue to have beautiful and dignified liturgies, always fully in accord with the mind and the liturgical law of the Church.

The ordinary location for most of our Masses this semester will be the “Ballroom,” set up for worship, on the first floor of the Student Union. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved there only, until further notice and until the air conditioning functions properly in the “Ark Chapel” (near the Chaplain’s Office) and in the “Library Chapel” (tentatively to be called “Our Lady’s Chapel”).

The liturgical timetable remains largely the same, except that the first Sunday Mass will be at 8:00 a.m. (rather than 8:30 a.m.) to accommodate time constraints, and the 5:15 p.m. Sunday Mass will be at 8:00 p.m. at the request of Student Life (5:15 p.m. only on August 26, no 8 p.m. Mass that day). The 7:50 a.m. weekday Mass may have to be adjusted to 7:30 a.m. to accommodate class schedules, but this remains to be determined upon the arrival of students after August 20. Thus, starting August 26, the ordinary Liturgical Schedule will be:

  • Mass: Sunday: 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon, 8 p.m.
  • Mass: Weekdays: 7:50 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 5:15 p.m.
  • Mass: Saturday: 9 a.m., 4 p.m. (Vigil for Sunday)
  • Confessions: Sat.: 9:30-10:30 a.m., Sun.: 11:15-11:45 a.m., Mon.-Sat.: 2:45-3:45 p.m.
  • Liturgy of the Hours (in Ballroom or in Ark Chapel): Morning Prayer: Sunday at 9:30 a.m., Saturday at 8:30 a.m., Weekdays at 7:30 a.m. (may be adjusted in Sept.); Evening Prayer: daily at 5:15 p.m.; Night Prayer: daily at 9:20 p.m.
  • Evening Rosary Walk: 9 p.m. daily, from Student Union

The 8:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday will be in Latin, in the ordinary Novus Ordo form. The 7:50 AM Masses on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be in Latin, in the ordinary Novus Ordo form. Normally all other Masses will be in English.

The practice of celebrating Mass ad orientem is accepted [It had better be!  This really is the normal way Mass is to be celebrated, if you examine the rubrics.] at the first Mass of the morning for a priest or priests having a personal preference for this practice. However, ad orientem is not considered the ordinary or obligatory practice at Ave Maria University. [Huh? Who do these people think they are that they can establish a policy about something which is ENTIRELY at the discretion of the priest?  I guess they can always threaten to fire a priest who does not conform.]  At all other Masses the priest or priests are directed [Does this strike anyone but me as overweening?] to celebrate Mass facing the congregation.

It may happen that a priest wishes to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass of the Roman Rite, a Mass in accordance with the Roman Missal of 1962, commonly called a “Tridentine Mass.” This may be out of personal preference or in response to requests from the faithful. In accord with the provisions of “Summorum Pontificum,” the Holy Father’s apostolic letter given “motu proprio” (“on his own impulse”), arrangements will be made beforehand through the Chaplain’s Office to celebrate properly the Tridentine Mass in the Ark Chapel or in the Library Chapel. At the present time, the Tridentine Mass will not be available in the “Ballroom.”

The University’s opening Mass on August 27 will be in English, with the priest facing the people.

Respectfully submitted,

Office of the Chaplain

I understand the need for order in the life of an institution.

The tone and "directives" here strike me as being both pompous and, frankly, inflammatory.  If they are trying to avoid conflict by means of these directives, I bet they will fail. 

That said, I am very pleased that there are Novus Ordo Masses in Latin at that school.  I hear good things about Ave Maria.  I also hear disturbing things.  I am an outsider, but it seems to me that their controversies are being generated from within.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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