Good news in California: Bp. Garcia of Monterey – TLMs at a time “convenient for the people”

A biretta tip goes to PH of CA for this good story from the California Catholic Daily about what is happening in the Diocese of Monterey, under the guidance of His Excellency Most Reverend richard Garcia.

My emphases and comments.

Published: November 9, 2007
“At a time of day that is convenient for the people”

Plans for Traditional Latin Mass move forward in Monterey diocese, extraordinary rite also being celebrated in other dioceses

Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia has begun to fulfill his promise of assuring celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese.

In July, the Diocese of Monterey announced that it would have two Tridentine Masses in place by September — one at the northern end, the other at the southern end of the diocese. Initially, the Tridentine Mass was to be celebrated twice a month at both northern and southern non-parish locations.

In a September pastoral letter entitled “In Him We Live,” Bishop Garcia reiterated his promise – but noted that the number of intended locations for celebrating the Tridentine Mass had risen to three. The third location for the Mass, said the bishop, will serve the central region of the diocese.

Many [not "few"] of you have asked about our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s recent ‘Moto proprio Summorum Pontificum’ regarding the availability of the 1962 mass according to the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope John XXIII,” wrote Garcia. The bishop explained that “both forms [of the Mass] celebrate our participation in sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ: in the ‘ordinary’ form or post-Vatican II, we do so by means of our English (vernacular) language and communal prayer, while in the extraordinary or pre-Vatican II form, participation also includes listening to the prayers in Latin and joining our hearts to the words and actions.”  [YES!  Well said!]

The bishop, however, hinted that he might not meet the September deadline. [That’s okay.  They can be patient.] In celebrating the Tridentine Mass, said Garcia, “the Church has to be liturgically appropriate.” He said he was seeking “the assistance of Priests who can celebrate the Mass as our Holy Father has required, with the ability and heartfelt desire to celebrate the 1962 Latin Mass.” [I think I would be okay with a guy who didn’t really want to do it, but tried to do his very best.  As a matter of fact, I would admire him.] Garcia noted that he wanted the Mass celebrated “at a time of day that is convenient for the people [Hurray!] and Priests but without infringing on the already busy Sunday schedule of Masses in many of our Parishes.” [A very real problem.  It is hard to balance those elements.  It will take time to work things out.  Lay people can really help this process by being cordial and helpful in the parish.]

According to a Sept. 6 report, diocesan spokesman Kevin Drabinski said definitely that celebrations of the Tridentine Mass would not begin in September. He noted, however, that the locations for the Mass would be Pismo Beach, San Ardo, and at Mission San Juan Bautista.

The November Observer, the Monterey diocesan newspaper, reported that the first of the promised Masses has begun. Fr. Michael Bell celebrates the Mass using the 1962 Roman Missal promulgated by Pope John XXIII at St. Paul the Apostle’s church, a Franciscan Conventual parish, in Pismo Beach – but not twice a month, as indicated in July, but every Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

St. Paul’s also has weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, on Thursdays from 1-8 p.m.

Dioceses where celebrations of the Tridentine Mass have begun this year besides Monterey include San Diego, San Jose, Orange, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Though the Diocese of Santa Rosa has two locations for the Tridentine Mass celebrations (under the indult), Bishop Daniel Walsh in August said, “It will be some time before we see what concretely this permission for the use of the old missal will mean for our Diocese.”   [Note that Bishop Walsh did not suggest that he would decide if permission was given.]

I take this to be a very positive development. 

Good for Bishop Garcia!

People in the Monterey diocese should express their prayerful best wishes to him in a friendly and respectful way.

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