Great TLM news from D. of Fresno (and a friend of Fr. Z)

I got this nice piece of TLM news from the Diocese of Fresno. It involves a friend of mine, Fr. Angel Sotelo.


Contact: Keven Smith                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Pentecost Solemn High Mass to Involve Three Clergy, Incense, and
Gregorian Chant

Even before Pope Paul VI approved a new form of the Catholic Mass in  1970, it was a rare privilege for Catholics to attend a Solemn High Mass. On Sunday,  May 11 at 3:30 p.m., St. Anthony of Padua in Fresno will see the return of this  ancient ceremony, which requires three clergy, incense, and Gregorian chant.

The Solemn High Mass is the full ceremonial form of the 1962 Missal,  or extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. During the May 11 Mass, Fr. Matthew McNeely  of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter will be assisted by Fr. Angel Sotelo of St. Columba’s Church in Chowchilla, [HUZZAH!] as well as a subdeacon and several altar servers.

“Although we have a Latin Mass every Sunday, the Solemn High Mass is  an even more beautiful and reverent liturgy,” says Keven Smith, president of the  Fresno Traditional Mass Society. “Pentecost is an ideal time for this Mass. We very  much appreciate the extra effort of our priests and pastor in making this possible.”

Much of the Gregorian chant will be performed by the St. Blaise  Schola Cantorum. Mass will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the main sanctuary, with printed English  translations available.

The Fresno Traditional Mass Society is a chapter of Una Voce America.  Its members work to promote the traditional Latin Mass and Gregorian chant.

If you would like more information about this topic, please email

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jason in San Antonio says:

    Much of the Gregorian chant will be performed by the St. Blaise Schola Cantorum.

    And may their little throats be blessed.

  2. John Polhamus says:

    This is wonderful news. It’s an interesting phenomenon though, that the Extraordinary form is enjoying a “filter-up” phenomenon, don’t you think? It is cropping up most frequently in locations usually outside the population centre, or local cathedrals, and working its way towards them. I regard this as a good sign in that once the mass reaches the cathedrals once again, it will already be securely reestablished in the hinterlands.

  3. Tom says:

    “Although we have a Latin Mass every Sunday, the Solemn High Mass is an even more beautiful and reverent liturgy,” says Keven Smith, president of the Fresno Traditional Mass Society.


    Certain priests who have learned and offered the Traditional Latin Mass recently have offered Low Masses.

    As Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (our Pope) stated, Low Mass is not the ideal Mass to offer.

    Kevin Smith is correct in that Solemn High Mass is an even more beautiful and reverent liturgy.

    That is the form of Mass that our Holy priests must offer should they wish to restore tremendous liturgy to the Latin Church.

    Great news from Fresno regarding the TLM.


  4. Fr. Angel says:

    Fr. Z:

    Fr. Ralph has a larger Mass attendance (at least 300) of the Extraordinary Form down in Bakersfield, but our Fresno group is growing in baby steps (about 100+ now). Thanks for the “shout out.” I always tell people that this blog is the place to be for news, but was pleasantly surprised to see our humble group getting the press. God bless.

  5. PNP, OP says:

    Just slightly off-topic…Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP has created a blogsite for his NLM essays on the Dominican liturgy:

    Anyone who loves the TLM will find much here to be giddy about.

    Check it out! Fr. Philip, OP

  6. Keven Smith says:

    I should add that we in Fresno typically have a missa cantata on two Sundays per month, so the chant and incense won’t be a new thing for us. But the three sacred ministers will be.

    John Polhamus: aren’t you Jeff Morse’s buddy? He speaks highly of you. I know him from back in the Petaluma days.

    Jason: Your comment made me chuckle. We picked St. Blaise because of the obvious throat connection, but also because he was a hardcore, in-your-face martyr. There’s a wonderful St. Blaise prayer we say before each rehearsal.

    Fr. Angel: It was partly based on your glowing reports of this site that my wife thought to send in our press release. So you can’t be TOO surprised!

  7. Ken says:

    Great news — Missa Solemnis, Gregorian chant, positive press. Hopefully they can do better than 3:30 p.m. in the future after a solid turnout.

  8. John Polhamus says:

    Kevin, yes, I am privilaged to be a buddy of Jeffrey Morse. For those who don’t know, Jeff Morse is the choir director at St. Stephen Protomartyr in Sacramento, the FSSP parish, and has been doing spectacular work running a flourishing choir featuring about forty kids receiving instruction along a comprehensive musical education track, affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music’s criteria. It’s a serious credit to traditional liturgical activity in Central California, and IMHO, someone should profile him and his music program on one of the blogs!

  9. Steve Loftus says:

    I will probably travel from Bakersfield to Fresno with my family for this Mass. I had the honor to assist Fr. Angel in his care of the San Clemente Mission in Bakersfield, when the mission was in it’s glory. My family has been blessed to have been served by and had the privilage of serving both Monsignor Belluomini and Fr. Sotelo at the San Clemente Mission. Msgr. Belluomini and Fr. Angel are the kind of priests you can meet once and remember your whole life. They have both served the traditional communities in the Bakersfield and Fresno areas when other priest would have nothing to do with “those” kinds Catholics.
    Both of these priest have served the ordinary and extrardinary rite communities and never made either feel inferior, proof there is nothing to fear from the extraordinary rite in your parish.
    May God continue to bless these wonderfull priest with good health.

    P.S. The Bakersfield latin community fondly remembers the service of Fr. Z also. Maybe we should tell Fr. Harrison at St. Francis to get Msgr Belluomini, Fr. Sotelo and Fr. Z. together in Bakersfield for a High Mass. Please……

    P.S.S. Fr. Angel, since the Extraordinary community has returned to the care of Msgr. Belluomini the attendance has been well above 350 and growing.

  10. Father M says:

    Just a note to Tom:
    Many priests who offer the Low Mass do it because we have no other options. There has to be a small schola at least to sing the Mass. Then, too, the training of altar servers for the the Missa Cantata takes more time. Finally, some of us cannot find another priest who would even consider learning the Solemn High Mass. You are right, of course, in that the Roman Rite deserves to be offered in its fullness, at least on Sundays and Holy Days. That being said, in many areas we are simply doing the best we can to reconstruct a Catholic culture, and that takes time. We desperately need people who will learn chant and learn to serve and fit out the sanctuary in a dignified way. But be assured, Tom, we WANT to offer the solemn Mass. As soon as possible. And regularly.

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