People in Covington enjoy the use of the older form of Mass

Here is an uplifting article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about the situation of the older form of Mass in Covington, KY.  Summorum Pontificum is having an impact.

My emphases and comments.

Latin mass link to the ages
With Pope Benedict’s encouragement, more churches return to ancient rite

The traditional Tridentine Latin Mass practiced by all Roman Catholics for centuries before the 1960s has started to creep back into Catholic parishes across the country.

The Rev. Phillip DeVous has brushed up on his Latin at the request of some parishioners at St. Bernard parish in Dayton who wanted the old-fashioned Latin Mass.

"I think Catholics should check it out," DeVous said. "The church has a 2,000-year history. Even if people don’t prefer the traditional Latin Mass, the Holy Father gives them the option. They should know about it."  [That is a reasonable position.  People should know their Rite: as Pope Benedict explained in Sacramentum caritatis, we are our rites.]

Pope Benedict XVI decreed in an apostolic letter on July 7 that pastors of the Latin rite can decide to offer the old Latin Mass without seeking approval from a bishop.  [Exactly.  I would add that the pastor probably doesn’t even need requests of the faithful for this, perhaps even for a public and regularly schedule Mass.]

St. Bernard, a church of about 265 families, started offering the Latin Mass a week ago at 12:15 p.m. on Sundays. The Latin Mass [We hope for better terminology in the future.] moved from the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington to St. Bernard so the 100 devotees could have a regular priest and parish to call their own, DeVous said. The congregation comes from all over the Greater Cincinnati region.  [This sounds like personal parish.  Maybe we need some on the spot reporting.   But it should stay at the Cathedral too!]

"It will provide an opportunity for St. Bernard’s to be a spiritual home for them," DeVous said.

A Mass that can last as long as two hours in an ancient language might seem like something that would appeal only to old-timers.

But in the handful of area churches that offer a traditional Latin Mass, the congregations tend to have a younger mix.  [That’s right.  This isn’t about nostalgiaor rejecting Vatican II, blah blah blah.   This is about people looking for something to nourish their souls.]

Many people in their 20s and 30s fill the pews at these Masses.

Ashley Paver became enamored with the old rite in his native England when he converted [It would be interesting to poll congregations and check who is a convert.  I bet quite a few are converts or reverts.] to Catholicism. Paver, 32, of downtown Cincinnati, attended the Latin Mass at Covington’s cathedral and now attends St. Bernard.

"It is very beautiful," Paver said. "Sometimes people overplay the aesthetics element, but it does have great importance. There is a striking beauty to the Mass.[Beauty reflects and leads to Truth.]

It was this beauty that drew Chris and Tracey Cusick and their seven children to start attending the Masses in Covington.

The Cusicks moved from New Jersey to Union in March. They now attend St. Bernard.

Chris Cusick, 35, said the reverence and beauty in the old Mass will instill in their children a greater respect for God.

"The priest at our previous parish had done such a beautiful job celebrating the new rite liturgy, we were afraid that if we didn’t find something similar, they would lose the mysticism they had gained in the Mass," he said.

Many of those who attend the Mass are young with big families like his, Cusick said.


By making it easier for priests to offer the Latin Mass, the pope [also] hopes people will experience a closer connection with the history of the Catholic Church, DeVous said.

The connection with the past appeals to many like Paver.

"It is not only connected with Catholics all over the world now, but all Catholics that have ever been," Paver said. "It is the continuity, the way we use the same symbols. We pray in the same way they have through the centuries."  [This priest gets it: continuity.]

The Masses can last one to two hours depending on whether it’s a high or low Mass. Chants and polyphonic choruses fill the church.

Some people have come to misunderstand certain aspects of the traditional Latin Mass, DeVous said.

The priest saying Mass with his back to the congregation isn’t a haughty gesture. The position signifies the priest is facing the same direction as the congregation and leading them in the worship of God, DeVous said.

But the long Masses can be hard to adjust to at first, Cusick said.

"It is a challenge the first few times, especially with kids," he said. "We feel we are called to go because of the reverence shown in the Mass."


Since the 1980s when Pope John Paul II encouraged dioceses to offer the old form of the Mass, it has spread throughout the country, said Mary Kraychy, executive director of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, an Illinois-based organization devoted to promoting the traditional Latin Masses.

The number of U.S. parishes offering Latin Masses has grown from six in 1988 to more than 120, Kraychy said.

Requests for Latin translation missals from Ecclesia Dei have risen from 1,000 a month to 1,000 a week [!] since the pope’s July decree, Kraychy said.

"Many of them come to Mass totally confused at first," Kraychy said. "They feel this is part of their heritage that has never been explained to them. There is this wonderful sense of awe at this treasure."  [Yes!  The "I’ve been robbed!  Why didn’t people let me have this before?" phenomenon is pretty common.]

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has had some slight additional interest in expanding the number of Tridentine Latin Masses in addition to the two parishes that offer the Mass, said Dan Andriacco, archdiocese spokesman.  [LOL!   How predictable.  The archdiocesan spokesman says there is "slight" additional interest.]

Two archdiocese priests have expressed interest in bringing the Latin Mass to their parishes.

But the number of Catholics who practice the older Mass remains a small percentage of the total membership in the Cincinnati Archdiocese, with 100 people attending the Latin Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Camp Washington and about 200 people at Our Lady of the Rosary in Dayton, Andriacco said. 

But some see the appeal growing.

"In a world with so much busyness, this particular Mass is popular," DeVous said. "Some feel maybe too much was stripped away too quickly.

"It communicates to me with the music of traditional chants and polyphony. I remember it communicated an immediate sense of the sacred. It communicated the grand nature of God."

Nice, huh? 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Very nice indeed.

  2. TJM says:

    Slowly, but surely, tradition is being restored. Thanks for posting this heartening article, Father Z! Tom

  3. Fr. Wymer says:

    The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption still offers Mass in the extraordinary form as it has since Bishop Foys took the reigns of Covington 5 years ago. Fr. DeVous and a Norbetine priest by the name of Fr. William Fitzgerald, O.Praem (from Orange, CA) would celebrate the Mass there, where a number of people traveled from Cincinnati proper to attend (since the only Mass that was allowed in the extraordinary form was all the way in Dayton). I was edified by Fr. DeVous article and knowing him personally I think that he is doing a wonderful job in the vineyard of our Blessed Lord.
    -Fr Wymer

  4. Paul Stokell says:

    Would that the archdiocese Covington is suffragan to (Louisville, KY) have such a love for Catholic tradition and order on this same level. Archbishop Kurtz, who wrote a letter in support of the TLM whilst outgoing Bishop of Knoxville (and published on this blog), has his work cut out for him in his new territory, and certainly needs our prayers!!

  5. Johnny Domer says:

    Father, you brought up a point that I’ve been wondering about: it seems that the people who are less generous in interpreting Summorum Pontificum imply that it is necessary that a pastor receive requests from a “coetus” before he can actually offer the Old Mass publicly; however, it seems to me that HIs Holiness was giving a sort of obvious case in which a pastor ought to offer the Extraordinary Use, and was not saying a pastor couldn’t offer the Mass publicly of his own volition. Any thoughts on this?

  6. Father Z: I have been attending the 12:15 Mass at the Cathedral Basilica almost since it began, and was very saddened to see it moved as I did not feel any connection with its new home at St. Bernard (due to no fault but my own). Fr William Fitzgerald is a remarkable and wonderful priest, I hope Our Lord keeps him in the Covington Diocese and Greater Cincinnati area.

  7. RS says:


    Unfortunately, Fr. William, O. Praem. is going back to his abbey in California this summer (unless something has changed recently). However, we are still blessed with Fr. Hils, Fr. DeVous, Msgr. Neuhaus, our beloved Bishop Foys, and many other holy priests. And our seminarians are overwhelmingly traditional, as well. Things certainly have been steadily improving here over the past 5 years.

  8. Ashley Paver says:

    I am one of the laymen quoted in the article, and am happy to provide some further first-hand perspective.

    St. Bernard’s is not a personal parish for those attached to the extraordinary form. The existing parish community there continues undisturbed, although they have been extremely welcoming of the new parishioners. Those who had been attending the Mass previously offered at the Cathedral, under the provisions of Ecclesia Dei, have adopted St. Bernard’s as their parochial home. This transfer was arranged with the cooperation of the Rector of the Cathedral and the pastor of St. Bernard’s, and with the blessing of his Excellency the Bishop.

    Therefore, the parish has simply added extra pastoral provisions for the new parishioners, while continuing everything else as before. The Mass at the Cathedral has indeed been discontinued because it was never a parochial function: it was a central provision made by the Bishop under the prior indult, and has now been replaced by the Mass at St. Bernard’s. This causes no pastoral hardship. Although in a different city, the two churches are less than ten minutes’ drive from one another.

    I should clarify a couple of other things mentioned by Fr. Wymer. St. Bernard’s is in Dayton, Kentucky, in the Diocese of Covington. There is also a Mass in the extraordinary form celebrated in Dayton, Ohio, which is about fifty miles away in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. This is mentioned by Fr. Wymer as being the only Mass in that diocese in the older use. This is not true: there is also a Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Cincinnati itself, which has been celebrated for many years and which continues to flourish just a few miles away from us.

    The contact details of St. Bernard’s Parish are:
    401 Berry Street, Dayton, Kentucky 41074. Telephone: (859) 261 8506.

    The church is located just off KY Route 8, less than five minutes east of I-471, at the exit immediately south of the Ohio River. Sunday Mass is at 12.15pm, and on feasts as announced.

  9. ** Matt ** says:

    God bless Archbishop Burke. Credit should be given also to Cardinal George of Chicago, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, and also Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln.

    Bishop Bruskewitz was at the forefront of perpetuating the Tridentine Mass in his diocese, even creating personal parishes. It should also be pleasing to readers to know Bishop Bruskewitz has written the preface of the very popular Missal published by Baronius Press.

    God bless these bishops and men like them ( including the Pope :-) ) whom have been trying to promote a core piece of our Catholic Faith.

  10. Jim R. says:

    Father Z., I occasionally attend the Extaordinary Form of the Mass at the Dayton OHIO location, Our Lady of the Rosary, which was mentioned in the article. This Mass has been supported primarily by an F.S.S.P. priest from Indiana. Now in the last couple of months, the newsletter has stated that this priest will not be able to serve the Dayton Latin Mass Community for much longer. The newsletter asks us to pray that a suitable priest be found to offer Mass and guide the Community. Father Z, (and anyone else reading), please add this intention to your prayer list. I have talked to a couple of the most conservative diocesan priests in the area, but they do not seem interested in the Extraordinary Form at all. Perhaps there is the intimidation factor from the Archbishop still present.

  11. ** Matt ** says:

    “6-November-2007 — Catholic World News Brief

    Vatican Official Decries Opposition to Summorum Pontificum

    Rome, Nov. 5, 2007 ( – In an interview with the Italian Petrus web site, Archbishop Albert Ranjith Patabendige, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, acknowledged that the papal document, Summorum Pontificum, has been met in some dioceses with criticism and resistance. In some cases, the Sri Lankan prelate said, the hostility amounts to “rebellion against the Pope.”

    Reminding the interviewer, Bruno Volpe, that every bishop swears allegiance to the Roman Pontiff, Archbishop Ranjith said that “everyone, and particular every pastor, is called to obey the Pope, who is the successor to Peter.” He called bishops to follow the papal directive faithfully, “setting aside all pride and prejudice.”

    Archbishop Ranjith complained that in some dioceses, bishops and their representatives have set out policies “inexplicably” limiting the scope of the Pope’s motu proprio. He charged that the resistance to the Pope’s policy has been driven by “on the one hand, ideological prejudices, and on the other hand pride– one of the deadliest sins.”

    Early in October, in an address to the Latin Liturgy Association in the Netherlands, Archbishop Ranjith had delivered an equally blunt assessment of the response to Summorum Pontificum, saying that bishops were being “disobedient” to the Pope, and stifling the impact of the motu proprio by their policies. Diocesan bishops “do not have this right,” he said, and bishops who defy the Pope’s authority are allowing themselves “to be used as instruments of the devil.”

    Well, let’s see what these pefidious bishops think now?

  12. Tommaso says:

    The Australian born Norbertine Fr. Fitzgerald is a wonderful liturgist and former teacher at the Josephinum in Worthington, OH. He has been involved in the rescuing of sedes in his home country and I understand is recovering well from the serious burns sustained in an automobile wreck.

    Please pray for this good and holy priest.

  13. Legisperitus says:

    Fr. Fitzgerald is a great pastor of souls as well.

  14. Clayton Hynfield says:

    To Jim R. and others,

    My family lives in Hamilton, OH, but belongs to Ss. Philomena & Cecilia Church outside of Brookville, IN, the oratory administered by the FSSP priests who celebrate the TLM in Dayton, OH. It’s about a forty-five minute drive for us, but the church offers the full complement of the Sacraments in the extraordinary form (including a wedding planned for next year) and provides a wide variety of catechetical lectures (by a FSSP priest, no less!), family activities (All Saints party for the children and All Souls procession through the church cemetery most recently), and general Catholic community life. It’s a foretaste of Heaven on earth.

    If you want or need to stay closer to Dayton, I have heard from an interested parishioner of St. Ann Church in Lindenwald, OH (between Hamilton and Fairfield), that Rev. Fr. Mondiek, the pastor there, intends to jump through the hoops laid out by His Excellency Archbishop Pilarczyk to publicly offer the extraordinary form of the Mass.

    I don’t have any more information on potential usus antiquior Masses in the Cincinnati area, but at the very least, you can pray for Fr. Mondiek of St. Ann and for the archbishop and the faithful in his care.

    Yours in Christ,

  15. Jim R. says:


    Thanks for the response and comments. Fr Mondeik used to help out at the former Dayton “Indult” TLM by hearing confessions and helping to distribute Holy Communion. He never offered the TLM though. If he had to substitute, he offered the best traditional Novus Ordo he could Ad Orientum. Since he has been transferred, I’ve not seen any other priests helping out at the Dayton TLM. We miss him. I was glad you informed me which parish Fr Mondeik was transferred to. I looked at their website. I saw from one of their online bulletins that he restored using the Sanctus bells at his new parish. Nice touch. I guess Dayton’s loss is Hamilton’s gain.

  16. Scott says:

    I attend Sacred Heart’s Latin Mass in Cincinnati. The FSSP priest comes from Dayton to celebrate the Mass. It’s my understanding that in 3 to 8 months, they will be leaving the parish because of a dispute with the archdiocese about having a place of residence and starting a daily Latin Mass. Our priest was visibly and vocally upset with the archdiocese about this.

    “But the number of Catholics who practice the older Mass remains a small percentage of the total membership in the Cincinnati Archdiocese, with 100 people attending the Latin Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Camp Washington and about 200 people at Our Lady of the Rosary in Dayton, Andriacco said.” – This is absolutely false. There are a lot more than 100 people at Mass on Sunday. There are several hundred people, many of which drive long ways to attend. The confession line is over a dozen deep before Mass, there is a rosary beforehand, and no one leaves until kneeling for prayer after Mass. By far, the best parish I’ve ever attended. It seems like the archdiocese is trying to downplay the adherents to the TLM in order to continue disobeying the pope’s decree.

    I live a little ways closer to Cincinnati than Dayton (Fairfield). Losing both Masses would be discouraging to say the least. Especially when all the churches near my home are liturgical dancing, no kneeling, guitar playing, psuedo-Catholic churches. It’s nice to know that there is such a good priest in Hamilton though. They’re hard to find in this archdiocese. Read the Catholic telegraph regularly if you want to know the archdiocese’s orthodoxy. Back of the bus for TLM people. I might have to go to Kentucky or Indiana if I want to go to the TLM in a few more months. All of this AFTER Summorum Pontificum. Yikes.

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