Wonderful news in Charlotte

Check out this article from the paper of the Diocese of Charlotte, NC, The Catholic News & Herald of 21 Dec. 21, 2007.  His Excellency Most Rev. Peter J. Jugis is bishop there.  You might remember there was a Mass at Wake Forest, in that diocese.

My emphases and comments.

Traditional celebration
Extraordinary form of Mass to be offered in diocese
staff writer

CHARLOTTE — Older Catholics wanting to re-experience the Catholic Mass as they remember it pre-1962, or young people curious about the “old Mass” will soon be able to attend such Masses in various churches throughout the Diocese of Charlotte.  [From the onset I am ready to shout, "This is not mainly about either nostaligia or curiosity!"]

In July 2007, in the long-awaited and much-debated document ‘Summorum Pontificum,’ the pope relaxed restrictions on the use of the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council.

The pope said that Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal should be made available in every church where groups of the faithful desire it. The Mass from the Roman Missal, in use since 1970, remains the ordinary form of the Mass, while celebration according to the 1962 missal is the extraordinary form.

“The main benefit of Pope Benedict’s document is two-fold,” Bishop Peter J. Jugis said. “It recognizes the beauty and legitimacy of the extraordinary form of the Mass and promotes the unity of the faithful because, as Pope Benedict has noted, there are people devoted to this form of the Mass.”

“Both forms of the Mass are legitimate means of worship; we don’t want to hurt or leave people behind because of their devotion to earlier liturgical forms,” said Bishop Jugis.

“We’ve had a good response from our priests wanting to celebrate using the 1962 missal,” said Bishop Jugis. “However, many of them need to learn the rubrics and details of the 1962 missal.”

Therefore, 14 priests from the Diocese of Charlotte participated in a five-day training session on the 1962 missal in Hickory Dec 17-21. They studied the rituals of the missal and the prayers, which are recited in Latin.  [Great news!]

But diocesan priests won’t be the only ones brushing up on their Latin.

“Catechesis will be necessary for parishioners, as well, to fully appreciate the Mass of the 1962 missal,” said Bishop Jugis.

“The major differences between the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Mass you’ll notice are the priests’ orientation during the liturgy and the use of Latin prayers,” said the bishop.

In the extraordinary form, the priest and the people face the same direction in worship, as the priest leads his flock in prayer.  [Thanks for avoiding the cliches.]

Prior to the Second Vatican Council, a church’s altar was placed against the wall at the back of the sanctuary. During the consecration of the Eucharist, the priest therefore faced away from the congregation.

The Second Vatican Council decreed that a church’s altar should be placed in a central location in the sanctuary, allowing [but never requiring] a priest to face the congregation during the consecration.

Bishop Jugis said that a priest celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass will now stand in front of the altar, between it and the congregation.

The extraordinary form of the Mass will be offered in certain churches beginning in 2008. Catholics interested in attending a Mass should contact the office of their vicar forane — a priest who coordinates pastoral activities among groups of churches — to find out Mass times and locations.

“It will be up to each individual priest to determine when he is comfortable celebrating the Mass,” Bishop Jugis said.  [Thank you, Your Excellency, for treating priests like adults.  Thank you for not engaging in the tactics of intimidation.]

Since his ordination four years ago, the bishop said he has received letters from all areas of the Diocese of Charlotte requesting the extraordinary form of the Mass.

“These are individuals who are grateful that Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged the wider use of the 1962 missal,” he said.

“Going forward, Pope Benedict said we’re not going to leave anyone behind,” the bishop said. “We’re all going forward together.”

Contact Staff Writer Karen A. Evans by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail kaevans@charlottediocese.org.

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  1. Patrick says:

    The anti spam word I put in was “Pray for our priests”, and so we should, especially here in Charlotte as they work hard and prepare to celebrate the Holy Mass according to the 1962 Missal.

    This is great news here in Charlotte, and news for which many have been praying. Our prayers will be with our Bishop and his priests as they move this forward.

    I am looking forward to the catechesis of the Laity. This is great, what a Christmas present!!

  2. Little Gal says:

    “It will be up to each individual priest to determine when he is comfortable celebrating the Mass,” Bishop Jugis said. [Thank you, Your Excellency, for treating priests like adults. Thank you for not engaging in the tactics of intimidation.]”

    I guess I don’t think I see Quality Control/Assessment-be it from a professional peer or a superior as a bad thing. QC exists in one form or another in manufacturing, academia, theatre etc. In my work setting we get both peer and supervisor review frequently. Frankly, it’s a good thing to obtain the perspective and indeed correction of others. I think this is especially important when one is learning a new task. So, I cannot see the objection to a priest who wants to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and who is not familiar with it, going thru some type of review by his bishop to determine that a baseline is being met–in both the rubrics of the Mass and Latin pronunciation.

  3. Tom S. says:

    Thanks, Father Z. for getting the word out!

    Now comes even more wonderful news from this diocese!! I just got this on my email!

    Sunday, 13 Jan 2008, 330pm, Our Lady of Grace church in Greensboro, Father Ferguson will offer the MEF. Bishop Jugis might be able to be in attendance. Also some priests who are learning this Mass and who would like to see a High Mass plan to be there…
    Folks, this is what we’ve been waiting for: a MEF, in a major urban center, in a beautiful traditional church (Grace is one of our loveliest), with kneelers, tabernacle, candles, and all the rest… Bishop Jugis and other priests need to see how popular this Mass is. So tell all your friends.

  4. danphunter1 says:

    There will be a Tridentine, hopefully High, Mass on January 13th at Our Lady of Grace church in Greensboro NC, Diocese of Charlotte at 3:30 pm.
    Father Ferguson FSSP will offer the Sacrifice.
    If there is anyone out there who can sing the Ordinary parts of the Mass and lives in North Carolina, please contact the FSSP seminary at Denton Nebraska and speak to Father Ferguson about this holy cause.
    There is a good chance that His Excellency Bishop Jugis will be at the throne at this Mass.
    Gloria in Excelsis Deo

  5. TJM says:

    Little Gal,

    I think turn-about is fair play. I think we take your suggestion and apply it to ALL priests who celebrate the Novus Ordo. They should go through the same type of training with their bishop (and perhaps the Pope should re-train certain bishops that we all know and love on how to celebrate the Mass according to the Novus Ordo). That’s where the liturgical problems are. That’s why, in part, so many folks have abandoned the Novus Ordo for the sanity of the TLM. The priests who celebrate the TLM are very serious about how they celebrate the Mass unlike a wildman priest in my parish who runs around (yes, literally) the church throwing his arms up in the air while making up most of the prayers. I think next Sunday I’ll bring a net to catch him.

    On a serious note, the most encouraging aspect of all of this from an episcopal perspective is that the YOUNG bishops are the ones who get it, who recognize the problems of the last 40 years and are willing to respond generously whereas certain of the older bishops can’t see the forest for the trees and keep pushing the “glories of Vatican II.” “Yes, if we just tweak the new Mass just a little bit more, make it more “relevant” to modern life, the people (declining numbers, yawn, yawn) will love it and we’ll all just do a big group hug.”

    Merry Christmas to all,


  6. Little Gal says:


    What you have stated is not an ‘apples and apples’ comparison. But for the sake of your point, in our diocese the Cardinal did make the rounds to every parish and offer feedback on(NO) liturgy to pastors. Whether they take it or not is something else.

    I have no issue with priests being provided with regular feedback on anything that has to do with their vocation. It takes humility to accept feedback for any of us as professionals or as simple persons. If a priest is wary of demonstrating competency or can’t take constructive critique, that is an issue of concern whatever form of the Mass that they prefer.

  7. AlephGamma says:

    Little Gal,
    I believe TOm’s comment is very close to an ‘apples and apples’ comparison and overall valid. From what I can tell – and have experienced – Novus Ordo services are very sloppy and in some cases could be compared to American Idol (minus the judges and voting of course) and a form of Quality Control (QC) for them would be very relevant as well. – attempt at humor – As someone who speaks and understands several languages I know for a fact that the pronunciation of some priests in the common language is lacking as well. -/attempt at humor- Therefore if QC is going to be applied, it should be applied for all – ‘non pro multis’. Lastly as a question of ‘quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ – the layers of supervision, especially as applied in the U.S. and A. needs to stop at some point and certain people need to be treated as the adults they are, especially priests.
    Just my opinion,
    Luis F.

  8. Sid Cundiff says:

    Things are indeed changing in North Carolina.

  9. danphunter1 says:

    I tried to leave this post yesterday but it did not take.
    Here goes:
    On January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, there will be a Solemn High Mass at the Mother Church of the Diocese of Raleigh NC, Sacred Heart Cathedral.
    This Mass has been requested by His Excellency Bishop Burbidge who wants to promote extensive usage of the Missal of 1962 in Raleigh North Carolina.
    The Sacrifice will be offered by Father Paul Parkerson with Father Tim Meares as Deacon and Father Robert Ferguson FSSP as Subdeacon.
    The Cathedral is on Hillsbourough Street, in downtown Raleigh.
    The Mass in on January 6th at 4:30 pm. If you are able to assist please come and support the return of the Tridentine Mass to the Cathedral of Raleigh after a 37 year absence.
    God bless you all.

  10. Indeed they are, Sid. Dan, thanks for the comment about the Greensboro mass… making note.

  11. Brian Mershon says:

    A futher update.

    Fr. Kenneth Novak, the long-time pastor of three SSPX chapels in North Carolina, and editor of Angelus magazine, yesterday said in his sermon that there are at least 20 priests in the Charlotte diocese who have expressed interest in learning and offering the TLM.

    He emphasized the SSPX has been accused of being against these Masses, and said that of course, the SSPX has been assisting priests and that Angelus Press has been selling materials to these priests and to others all throughout the U.S. with an interest in learning the TLM. So far from being selfish with the TLM, the SSPX’s official position is to aid and abet its growth, while continuing to warn the faithful against the continued excesses of false ecumenism, still promoted by some of these same priests and bishops.

  12. Henry Edwards says:


    Although many of the episcopal “quality control” initiatives we’ve seen appeared suspicious in their motivation, I do believe thought should be given to the possibility of celebration of the TLM by unqualified priests, especially when demand for the extraordinary form reaches the point that ostensible ability to celebrate it becomes a feather in a priest’s biretta.

    However, one aspect of all this puzzles me. It would appear that the priest’s Latin qualifications would be (if anything) even more important for celebration of the ordinary form in Latin, since all the Latin prayers (including the EP with multiple options) are recited audibly in the Novus Ordo. Yet, never have I heard even a hint of a suggestion of testing a priest’s ability before allowing him to celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin.

    I wonder why. Is there not the same genuine concern that the new Mass be done well as their is for the old Mass?

  13. danphunter1 says:

    No, in general there is not the same concern that the new Mass be done well as has been seen lo these last 30 plus years with clown Masses, coke and pizza Mass’s etc.
    I think this is because so many bishops and priests have lost their faith and once that happens anything goes.
    If one does not believe that the Sacrifice of Holy Mass is exactly that, a S
    sacrifice, the Sacrifice, then it can be made into anything that the whim of a priest wants to make it.
    This is one of the main reasons that the Tridentine Mass will return as the Ordinary Form of Holy Mass, eventually.
    It is much more difficult to abuse the Tridentine
    than the Novus Ordo.
    As far as testing priests for Latin competency goes, I would not worry to much about it.
    The priests that want to learn the Tridentine Mass are for the most part good and holy men who, if they make mistakes will soon correct them and learn to offer the Mass correctly and reverently soon enough.
    Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

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