SEMINARIAN ALERT: Seminaries and the Traditional Roman Missal?

I would like some news from seminarians or seminary instructors.

What is happening in your seminary with the "Traditional Latin Mass"?

Are there celebrations of the older Mass now?  Are there plans?

Is there instruction for men now to learn to celebrate Mass with the 1962 Missale Romanum?  Are there plans?

What about the Rituale Romanum?  Any training for how to marry, bury and baptize?

Let’s avoid rumors.  Let’s get facts.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    At Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI, we are still awaiting directives from Cardinal Maida regarding the TLM. So as of 12/13, there is no progress with it in regard to it being celebrated at the seminary, or having any practicums on it. Remarkably, we have only started having the Novus Ordo in Latin as of this past October, and it is only limited to once a week on a Saturday morning.

  2. Pavegs says:

    St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore has also done little to date. There are seminarians that are interested and the faculty is willing to listen to us, which is great. First some of the seminarians are working on trying to get the Novus Ordo in Latin on occasion, and then hopefully the TLM will follow. St. Mary’s as many know has a bad reputation, but I can attest to the fact that St. Mary’s has significantly improved over the years. The faculty are orthodox and the formation is completely in line with the PPF. I think that what the rector is probably waiting for is directives from the bishops. If a Bishop asks for it, it will happen.

  3. TJM says:

    The above comments seem very hopeful. Keep up the excellent work! Tom

  4. john says:

    At St. John’s seminary in Boston, the topic has come up, and there is some interest amongst the seminarians, but nothing has been done as of now. The faculty wants to guage the views of the several diocesan bishops involved. Cardinal O’Malley has been silent since the release of the MP, but has been less than enthusiastic in the past. At this point, there is no Latin Novus Ordo either. There is some hope for the future, but I would not expect anything in the near term.

  5. danphunter1 says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf,
    You were just referenced on EWTN satelite radio.
    At about 3:30 PM EST. Patrick Madrid, on his call in show, Catholic Answers referred a woman to WDTPRS in reference to blue vestments in the Latin Rite Church.
    Mr Madrid said that your site has very “meaty topics for discussion”, and he has learned much from your analysis of things liturgical.
    Quite a plug.
    Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

  6. AnAnonymousSeminarian says:

    There is nothing evident going on at St. Mark (Minor) Seminary in Erie at the moment. Several seminarians seem to be interested in an occasional celebration in the EF, the OF in Latin, and/or learning a larger body of Gregorian Chant. Perhaps a group of us will ask; I suspect the faculty would be willing to at least consider it (and at least one faculty member might be able to learn the EF without much trouble or may know it already). The faculty here too are orthodox and formation is in line with the PPF.

    Bishop Trautman’s directives on the EF earlier in the year were rather disheartening to us, and we currently hesitate to ask to prevent tensions between the seminarians, the faculty, and the bishop. I believe that if the situation is approached correctly, there may be a solution that would be acceptable to all involved, but we are working carefully toward that. I would not be surprised if the situation is similar in other dioceses as well, making it a rather slow process.

    We’re trying to approach this carefully and soberly, and as Father has said, brick by brick. Fellow readers, pray for us.

  7. AnonymousSeminarian2 says:

    Mt. Angel Seminary is organizing to hold a high mass at a still undeclared date. Plans for continued celebration afterwards will most likely be gaged upon the students’ reception.

    No word on any discussion for classes on the extraordinary form yet.

  8. AnotherAnonymousSeminarian says:

    Fr. Z,

    At Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago, there has not been much done towards implementing the MP. At the beginning of the year, we were told that a committee was established to discern how the MP affects the seminary. There have been no updates since then. We also have not had the current rite of the Mass in Latin. The closest we’ve come to fulfilling the MP is occasionally chanting some of the parts of the Mass in Latin. There is some interest among the seminarians, but no one wants to really make any major waves at this time.

  9. Michael Walsh says:

    At the Seminary of Christ the King, in Mission BC, there are no plans for
    celebration of the EF that I am aware of. On the Abbott’s namesday we
    celebrated the Novus Ordo with everything in latin, except the readings and
    intentions. It was beautiful. It looks like the current plan is to have a
    Novus Ordo mass in latin once a month, possibly on the feasts of the apostles.
    We also use the Graduale Romanum for all the proper chants of the mass.

    As regards the Tridentine mass, there is a negative attitude towards it in
    some of the faculty members. This is likely do in part to their experiences
    of how it was celebrated in the past. Also, to my knowledge, no one has made any
    request for the EF to be celebrated, although I know of a handful of seminarians ,
    including myself, who would appreciate having it celebrated. Often it is from
    fear of being labeled that requests are not made.

  10. Marie says:

    From Archbishop Burke’s column, St. Louis Review, July 20, 2007
    The seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary will be provided the liturgical formation necessary to celebrate the Mass according to the extraordinary form. Their studies of Latin will also give attention to the texts of the extraordinary form.

  11. Anthony says:

    The rumor about having the EF at the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN is a a rumor. We have been doing an OF in Latin once a month.

  12. St. Louis Seminarian says:

    To clarify and add to Marie’s comment:
    The Friday Mass for the house at Kenrick Seminary is in Latin. There is an alternation between OF and EF, with the EF mostly being a dialog Mass. There was a solemn high Mass on the Triumph of the Cross, and a requiem high Mass for All Souls. The rector himself has even celebrated low Mass for the community. By the begining of the year four priest faculty will have celebrated the EF for the first time.
    There was initially some grumbling and some jubilation but I suspect very few people object to it, and most are quite excited about it.
    It is the intention that everybody will learn the EF, but it is a challenge to fit it in to the curriculum. Some of the current deacon class it learning it, and a few will be able to celebrate it by the time they are ordained.
    There are some major challenges, just from a practical perspective.
    The chapel is not really suited to it, there is just enough room between the altar and the steps, making incensing and communion a challenge. The building was built as a college seminary and it does not have choir seating for the students. Also the foot pace becomes the sanctuary because the altar is not elevated above the normal sanctuary anymore.
    The EF Masses are often long, partly because the priests are not racing through the cannon, partly because communion on the top step is logistically difficult.
    There is also a darth of talent. Some guys acted as ministers at the first EF Mass they attended. Otheres are now in the state where they have served probably a quarter of the EF Masses they have attended. Everybody is figuring it one step at a time.
    The priests of the local oratory of the ICRSS have been very helpful. Before the MP many students had the opportunity to sit in choir, and some even deaconed and subdeaconed at the oratory.
    There are still a lot of challenges to be overcome, but the Archbishop means what he said.

  13. FC says:

    Mount St. Mary’s has announced nothing publically re: the implementation of the MP. Unofficially, however, we know that plans are being made for implementation. There are substantial rumors of what it might entail, but this is no forum for rumors, even substantial ones.

    Since the MP took effect there have only been a few significant liturgical changes. 1. A new, beautiful tabernacle. 2. Re-carpeting our chapel. 3. New pews, not choir stalls. 4. Going from an occasional guitar Mass (maybe once a month) to two per week. They are used at our weekly Spanish mass and at what is new this semester, ‘Contemporary Tuesday.’ Contemporary Tuesday is basically singing Gather Hymnal hymns to guitars and piano.

  14. Josh Seminarian says:

    To date, the Pontifical College Josephinum has been avoiding the issue. The OF is celebrated once a month in Latin but chant is rarely integrated and is not done very well at that. Every Saturday in the college seminary we used to chant the responses in Latin, but that has basically been suppressed. Some members of the Board of Trustees, including bishops, would like the seminary to teach the EF to those theologians who are interested, but the administration avoids the issue as best as it can.

  15. A Friendly Seminarian says:


    Here at the Seminary of The Immaculate Conception, Huntington L.I. (under the control of the Diocese of Rockville Centre with Brooklyn men studying here). It is almost taboo to speak of the Traditional Latin Mass. I would say a majority of the seminarians aren’t too concerned with it, and while the rector occasionally celebrates one of the diocese’s Traditional Latin Masses, most of the faculty either do not speak of it or if they do they speak negatively of it.

    As you have posted Bishop Murphy has written favorably of the TLM. I am hopeful that in the next year or so they will begin to offer the TLM here. I pray they will one day train us seminarians in it, but if they do I think there might be an open revolt amongst the presbyterate!

    Many thanks for your wonderful blog!! I read it daily.

    — A Friendly Seminarian

  16. John the Baptist says:

    At St. John Vianney in Denver, we had our first OF in Latin on Dec. 8. It looks like we may have the OF in Latin once a semester with the schola singing Gregorian chant. The readings and intercessions were in the vernacular.

    At the beginning of the year the priests were going to implement guitar masses (a la Taize) on Fridays, but that (Deo Gratias) has never materialized.

    The Archbishop and the rector have said the seminary is not going to train seminarians in the EF. There are a handful of seminarians interested in learning it; and anyone who wants to learn it is free to do so on his own with his own resources. Some of the faculty are very positive to the EF and teach parts of the old Rituale in class. Others are either not interested or hesitant. I think they are uncomfortable with it because it is foreign to them. I do not detect hostility, but there is resistence.

  17. A friend says:

    While nothing has been said or announced at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston (Boston) Mass, my suspicions are that no move will be made to implement the EF of the Mass at this time. As a unique house of formation focusing on later-life vocations, and operating under an indult to form priests in 4 years, Bl. John has neither the time nor staff to support the EF right now.

    It has, in cooperation with St. John’s, started to offer training in Ecclesiastical Latin for seminarians who choose to study it.

  18. Timothy Clint says:

    To An anonymous seminarian from Erie at St. Mark’s Seminary if you are interested in learning a larger selection of Gregorian Chant
    including many of the Masses 1 thru 18 and propers from the Liber Usualis please contact me at have a love of Gregorian Chant but have found few who appreciate it.

  19. go2stjoe says:

    Down in New Orleans at Notre Dame Seminary we have a monthly Latin OF and have had 2 workshops on the EF that were mandatory. One on why the motu proprio was issued, the second on how the EF is different. The administration is supportive of the student’s interest in the EF and are looking into having an elective available which would teach the EF to seminarians. They just began requiring 10 hours of Latin from their pre-thology students…

    Also, Archbishop Hughes is celebrating the EF for the seminary for the Feast of the chair of St. Peter. So things are (slowly) moving along!

  20. Rev. Greg Villaescusa says:

    So we hear at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore how “the faculty is willing to listen to us,” That is great, who besides Fr. Perez is willing to listen to you?

    “some of the seminarians are working on.. the Novus Ordo in Latin,” well lets see if they get bounced. I remember the guys who pushed for exposition, who were told back in 2000 that exposition had to do with the plague, and that it is only done by people working with AIDS ministry????? Those guys didn’t last! How about the Rosary walk guys, I think one was ordained.

    Please don’t tell me they have exposition now. They only started exposition because the abuse crisis, and Michael Rose’s truthful book exposed their tendency of putting conservatives through hoops. (They called these poor chaps ‘submariners.’ IE they would pretend to be heretical to get ordained. They sadly even went so far as to denounce other conservatives to make themselves look more liberal.) The Faculty of St. Marys had to pretend to be Catholic to get more bishops to send, if they drop below a certain amount they dip into their precious endowments. How many guys are they down to now, 50?

    I can only pray the place empties, so they will have to live off their protestant night students. They still have that protesant teaching St. Paul. Imagine the one place where protties really went wrong, St. Paul, and one of them forms you. Nemo non dot quod non habit.

    “I can attest to the fact that St. Mary’s has significantly improved over the years.” Not because they wanted to, external pressures, financial need, Bishop Salterelli’s personal interest, and Cardinal Keeler interventions have pushed for what few reforms they have. Oh and the recent visitation I bet put them into hot water. (How I enjoyed taking that trip to Baltimore, to tell the truth about St. Marys.)

    “The faculty are orthodox,” Oh Dr. Lamaraux and Fr. Phil Keane, are gone??? Or is it still that Fr. Keane can not teach sexuality, because of his book that was centured by Rome? (Yet he still teaches reconciliation, which involves sexuality, since people confess those sins.) So, it is Dr. Lamaraux, she teaches sexuality. (Jokingly called by the sems: “Sex with Pat.”) Does she still teach “this is why John Paul II is wrong and Fuchs is right?” I just loved hearing her response to the sem who asked why JP II was wrong, how John Paul II was not a moral theologian, yet he wrote ‘love and responsibility.’

    “and the formation is completely in line with the PPF,” oh so no more BVC, the Bad Values Crowd who constantly snitched on people? (I remember one of their guys who is now a priest up north, singing at the early expositions, ‘lets adore the scary cookie.’ How did he get ordained? I guess he was so busy snitching on other people, they never worried about the fact he was a heretic. (He once told me that orders come from the people, not from the bishop. What a wonderful congregationalist.) So no more ‘formation issues’? No more people being told they are ‘unapproachable at the dinner table’ because they stupidly defended a Catholic Doctrine to a member of the BVC? No more CPE as a punishment for ‘thinking in black and white’ which means you think sin is sin? No more Dr. Greenwald being able to do entire psychological evaluations on people while only seeing them for 20 minutes? And if they are conservative they are always ‘Dan’ from Katarina Scheuth’s book. (I challenge anyone to read his evaluations of conservatives, it is like they are always the same person.)

    “I think that what the rector is probably waiting for is directives from the bishops.” Why wait, he has directives from the pope. How can a priest celebrate this rite, which is his right, if he is not proficent in the rite?

    “If a Bishop asks for it, it will happen.” The optimist. I used to be one, when I started at St. Mary’s, until I saw their lies. The guys living in pannic always looking over their shoulders for snitches. Four years of seeing the orthodox thrown out, because they opened their mouths, while the BVC flourished. How many guys told about things they did in ‘formation meetings’ while the accuser remained unknown? Yet the solpician model says you have the right to face your accuser.

    Maybe it will be like the benediction, the guys who go regularly will be noted and put through formation hoops, while the guys who don’t go will be ignored. (They were more interested in you being in class, than going to prayer.)

    Maybe they will have the Tridentine Mass in those little side rooms, with the perfectly square altars? You guys have so few students you can fit in those rooms again.

    The Tridentine Mass at the Pink Palace, I will believe it when I see it. And maybe if they start that, I might give them that thousand dollars they made all us seniors promise to give, right before our final ordination vote.

  21. Chris says:

    At Good Shepherd Seminary Sydney Australia Cardinal Pell has done nothing to implement the MP. The Rector Bishop Julian Porteous has ignored seminarain requests and the matter has been dropped. Seminarains are frightened to ask because it might result in their being asked to leave. None of the other Australain seminaries have made any moved to implement the MP. The Bishops have said nothing.

  22. Canadian Seminarian says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    As far as I know, none of the seminaries here in Canada have done anything concretely in response to the Motu Proprio. I know that mine has not. I’m not saying that they are not planning to, but it doesn’t seem that anything is on the agenda in terms of responding to the Holy Father’s desire.

    I personally know a few seminarians who would love to learn the Extraordinary Form but, for the time being, it seems like they will have to do that by themselves. Many of us do not want to create unnecessary tension in the seminary, so we mainly just remain quiet. I do know a few seminarians here who pray the Divine Office in the 1962 form, at least from time to time. But even that is something that we do not publically like to acknowledge.

    Father, it is sad that sometimes we feel torn apart between wanting to respond to the Holy Father’s desire as expressed in Summorum Pontificum, and not wanting to create tensions within the seminary itself. As it is, we do not learn Latin, and we are not permitted to wear a cassock (except for the occasional Mass at the Cathedral or on the occasion of an ordination). I know that these things are not essential to the Faith per se, but I also know that signs are important (such as wearing the cassock), because they express outwardly what we believe inwardly: that the priest is a man set apart from the world.

    Please continue to pray for us, and for all seminarians who are struggling inwardly between knowing what we should be doing (i.e. what the Holy Father is asking of us) and remaining faithfully obedient to our superiors, who do not always have the vision that the Holy Father does. Many of us just want to be holy priests when we are ordained, and to transmit faithfully the Catholic Faith in all its integrity to those whom we will be called to serve as priests.

    The patience of many seminarians is being tried right now, with all this confusion in the Church. I am sure of that. But I also believe that Our Lord is preparing the Church for something great. “In patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras”, as the beautiful Gregorian antiphon sings.

    Please pray for seminarians throughout the world. Pray especially that vocations are not lost in this battle. The world needs good, holy priests.

  23. Canadian Seminarian 2 says:

    Dear Father Z,

    So far not much has been done at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. It was announced at the beginning of this year that we will be having one OF latin mass, and one EF mass during the academic year. Many are interested in at least becoming familiar with the 1962 missal. Ecclesiastical latin classes just began this year as a somewhat compulsory course and there seems to be a good deal of support behind them, both from the seminarians and from faculty. There have been some problems with actually celebrating the EF in the seminary chapel, namely the fact that the altar has been placed so far forward that it is impossible to stand on the front side for ad orientem celebration. They really did a number on the chapel after the council! Anyway, hopefully something will be worked out for this coming semester. The seminary has great faculty and a great Bishop (Archbishop Collins), so things are looking up.

    As for the minor seminary in Toronto, St. Philip Neri Seminary. The Oratorian Fathers (who run the seminary) have been quite supportive of the MP. They have changed one of their three weekday masses in the attached parish church to being EF everyday. They have also added an extra Saturday morning mass in the EF. Although they have added these, i don’t know how much contact the seminarians have with them. They also have OF private latin masses regularly, and an OF sung latin mass on Sunday. This is a great seminary, very much striving to live with the Church in union with the Pope; a real blessing to the Church in Canada.

    Thanks from the many of us in Canada’s seminaries who are regular readers. Please keep us and all the seminaries of Canada in your prayers, as you are in ours.

  24. Vulnerata says:

    St Alban’s College, Valladolid, Spain is an English (& Welsh) propaedeutic seminary, with 19 students, all first-years. There is never Mass facing east or in Latin (apart from some Missa VIII or XVIII), and the attitude of the staff makes it seem unlikely that this will change. Teaching on the liturgy is exclusively on the OF, apart from unnecessary and ill-informed comments about the ‘old liturgy’.

  25. Mark says:

    I for one would love to know what is happening at the Pontifical colleges in Rome.

  26. Dutch Seminarian (YWBD) says:

    Dear Fr. Z,
    In the Netherlands this topic is hot as well; although we have the booklet with the translation – nothing has happened in the seminary of the diocese of Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch) till now. There are several seminarians who showed some interest but no one has formally asked any member of the staff.

    The ussual excuse from the staff, as we have discussed this topic informally, is that no one nows as much Latin (with/without the extraordinary form) to do so or they claim nobody is trained enough to do so. Regretfully, even the interview of mag. Hermans with Radio Vatican (in German) did not change anything.

    I personally know a lot of priests in the diocese who are praticing, but no one really knows the Extraordinary form that well yet…

    …and we would like for it to be trained for it (and regullary participate at a Mass like that) more regularly. Untill now we celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin ONLY once a month.

    Would it be an idea to post a default letter with proper arguments that seminarians can sent to their bishop and staff?

    Please pray with me (us) for all of this!

  27. Emilio da Palma says:

    I know a Seminary in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, where an old priest celebrate the Old Mass privately daily. The Rector, friend of mine, intends to learn the Old Rite, and because of this, I am looking for learning material in portuguese to give him.

  28. Mitchell NY says:

    Time to re-issue Pope John XXII’s Veterum Sapientia with perhaps an adendum from out current Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on the importance of Latin in Seminary Formation. It is an Apostolic Constitution of the CHurch and should not be relegated to the dustbin. Rather than coming out with something new (a NO novelty) just stick with what is out there and reiterate its’ importance and relevance in today’s world. Hermeneutic of Continuity in action..

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