Vancouver: Extraordinary form of Mass alive and well

In the BC Catholic, weekly of the Archdiocese of Vancouver we find the following.

My emphases and comments.

Extraordinary form of Mass alive and well

By Cleveland V. Stordy

Pope Benedict XVI has been encouraging the offering of the Mass in the older form, from the 1962 Missal. That’s certainly happening in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, where the Mass is being offered in its "extraordinary form" regularly in three parishes.

First, the "extraordinary form" of the Mass has a new formal home at Holy Family Parish in Vancouver.

Archbishop Raymond Roussin, SM, named the parish the official home for the Latin Mass earlier this year. The parish will be administered by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter for the next five years. There are two Fraternity priests in the archdiocese.

The older form of the Mass in Latin is also being offered at St. Ann’s Parish in Abbotsford.

Several other priests and parishes have also expressed interest in using the extraordinary form. Father John Horgan, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Vancouver, has offered the Mass using the 1962 form several times in the last year.

[I think it is very important that when a bishop establishes a "personal parish", that priests not allow that to be the end of the story.  Summorum Pontificum aims at making the TLM and sacraments with the older, traditional forms more widely available, not isolated in a ghetto parish.  I applaud "personal parishes"!  Don’t get me wrong.]

One of these occasions was requested by family members of the late U.S. political columnist William F. Buckley Jr., who died in February. Buckley, a devout Catholic, had been a great promoter of the "traditional Mass," so his family thought it appropriate for a memorial Mass offered in Vancouver.

Over 125 friends and parishioners participated in the late June Mass, which included some music under the direction of Mark Donnelly, a brother of St. Jude’s pastor Father Lawrence Donnelly. A choir director at Holy Family Parish, he is known for singing in the chorus of Vancouver Opera and for singing national anthems at Vancouver Canucks hockey games.

Father Dominic Carey, the superior of the Society of Saint John in Paraguay, recently visited Sts. Peter and Paul Parish and offered the Mass in the older form for a week; each day more and more parishioners attended, some using old Latin-English missals for the first time in their lives.

Father Carey, who grew up in Vancouver and attended the Seminary of Christ the King at Mission, belongs to a new priestly institute that offers the Mass in both the 1962 and current forms. He has just received his doctorate in liturgy from the Benedictine university in Rome and is now teaching at a diocesan seminary in Paraguay.

Father Horgan believes that the two forms of the Mass can be mutually enriching, as Pope Benedict wrote in his letter to bishops of July 7, 2007.

Father Horgan has had a personal indult (permission) since 1989 to use the older form for Mass. He explained that its prayers and ritual gestures can be a powerful aid to the "active participation" requested by the Second Vatican Council.

"Active participation is first a thing of the mind and heart," [Yes.]  Father Horgan said. "We have to be more deeply united to the saving action of Jesus in His Paschal Mystery. The reverent awe which characterizes the extraordinary form is a powerful aid to disposing our souls to return `love for love.’"

Some of the differences between the two forms of the Mass are readily apparent. In the 1962 form of the rite, Communion is only given on the tongue, by an ordained minister, to kneeling recipients, and Mass was usually offered with priest and people facing the Cross together on the same side of the altar.  [But all of these things are also proper for the Novus Ordo… it is just that they are nearly never implemented as they should be!]

This is sometimes referred to as the priest "having his back to the people," but scholars and devotees of the older form of Mass reject this language, pointing out that most people at Mass offered in its ordinary form have their backs to other participants.

Different Mass prayers and readings are also used.

Pope Benedict has said that the readings of the Mass in the 1962 form may now be read in the vernacular directly, without having first to be read in Latin. Further changes are foreseen, such as the insertion of some of the modern prefaces, new developments of the lectionary, and the inclusion of modern saints’ feasts[We’ll see.]

"The Pope does not see this form of the Roman Mass as a museum piece but as a living form of the Church’s prayer," Father Horgan said. "Participation in this extraordinary form is not a sign of nostalgia for the past, but an appreciation of a rich expression of worship.

"His generous provision of this form of the Mass is not only an attempt to bring separated groups such as the Society of Saint Pius X back into the fullness of unity, but also to remind the whole Church that what was good, useful, and beautiful for 1,500 years is still a true and important part of the living Roman rite."

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter has had two vocations from the Vancouver archdiocese: Fathers Philip Creurer and Joseph Orlowsky.

In addition Father Mark Bachman, OSB, of Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in Clear Creek, Ok., a native of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish; and Brother Vianny Marie, OSB, from St. Ann’s Parish in Abbotsford, are devotees of the older form of the Mass.

Excellent article.  And WDTPRS applauds Archbp. Roussin.


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  1. John Hudson says:

    In addition to the two FSSP vocations from Vancouver noted in the article, there are currently three seminarians from Vancouver at the Fraternity seminary in Lincoln Nebraska. These are Garrick Huang, Brian McDonnell and Anthony Uy. Please remember them in your prayers.

  2. TJB says:

    We are still waiting for any sort of reaction to the MP over here in Eastern Canada. This is great news for Vancouver, unfortunately its over 5000 miles away. Rome is actually closer geographically. If only that big pond wasn’t in the way…

  3. Geoffrey says:

    I am uneasy in regards to “personal parishes”. I could just see parishioners asking about the Extraordinary Form and being told to “go over there”.

    I walked passed a Protestant church the other day and their sign read “Contemporary Service, 9am… Traditional Service, 10:30am”.

    I think Catholic parishes should follow suit: “Mass in the Ordinary Form, 9am… Mass in Extraordinary Form, 11am…” etc. Oh, what a wonderful world would it be!

  4. Karen Russell says:

    Good news for the west coast, but I’m with TJB–the last time I checked (on a map at Una Voce, only a few weeks ago) I would have to drive from the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia to somewhere in Quebec (16 to 24 hours one way) to attend the nearest TLM that did not necessitate crossing an international border. And there’s nothing significantly closer across that border, either.

    I will freely admit that health reasons have limited my ability to get out and about in the last year and a half (that situation is on the way to recovery) but I have not heard one public mention of Summorum Pontificum in that time, or one whisper of an effort to provide even one TLM here.


  5. Jason Petty says:


    I think you will begin to see parishes along that model; and it’ll just be a survival of the fittest, if you will. If, in 100 years, there are only ten people at the NO vernacular Mass, and standing-room only at the EF Mass, well, then there you go.

    Also, I was very excited to read about Abp. Roussin, a Marianist:

    Bishop Ray Roussin, S.M. took his primary and secondary studies in St. Boniface, Manitoba. In 1955 he joined the Society of Mary (Marianists) as a Postulant in St. Louis, MO. The following year he made his novitiate in Levis, Quebec, followed by First Profession of vows on August 29, 1957. He did his university studies in St. Louis, MO and at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, where he obtained a B.A. in 1960. He obtained a teaching certificate from the University of Manitoba in 1964.

    From 1960 to 1963 Brother Ray taught in St. Louis, MO at Chaminade College Prep School, and in St. Anselme, Quebec from 1963 to 1965.

    In preparation for seminary studies, Bishop Ray, then Brother Ray, studied philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis. In 1966 he began studies for the priesthood at the University of Fribourg in Fribourg, Switzerland and was ordained in Fribourg on March 21, 1970 as a member of the Congregation of Marianists. That summer he received his Licence in Theology (S.T.L.)

    Marianists are generally good men.

  6. JOe says:

    Vancouver also has an excellent co-adjutor bishop in Archbishop Michael Miller, who was translated there from his previous posting as Secretary (second in command) of the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome. Vancouver is truly blessed.

  7. Matt says:

    I personally like the readings in Latin first. That is the way it should be. My children are learning Latin and they can already pickup words without any missal. Teaching Latin should never have been abandoned in Catholic schools. Latin helps in sentence structure and also helps a child to properly form a coherent sentence. English allows a lot of flexability that in most cases allows for sloppy use of the language.

  8. Hilary says:

    Vancouver has always been one of the best places in Canada to be a Catholic. It was due largely to Archbishop Carney of sainted memory, and then many years under the wonderful Archbishop Adam Exner. The casual liturgical abuses and doctrinal nonsense that is the rule in nearly every other place in the country, esp. the east, are mostly absent there. THough the Catholic population is quite small compared to somewhere like Toronto, the people tend to be much more serious and Mass attendance is high. It also had the TLM there for many years before the MP, albeit in possibly the most out-of-the-way and inaccessible corner of the province of British Columbia. (The Skytrain would get you close, but you then had a harrowing walk across a major highway bridge with the logging trucks thundering past at top speed three feet from your elbow.) And the BC Catholic, (affectionately nicknamed the Beastly Catholic) was a major contributing factor to changing my mind about abortion. They had regular pro-life material in it and there was never any CanChurch nonsense. I’d say now that the BC Catholic is easily the best diocesan newspaper in the country.

  9. cascadura says:

    Geoffrey a personal parish is the very best way to go and there should be one in every diocese. After this is created then as time passes and/or geography mandates it can spread to individual parishes. It is the best of all worlds because:
    . you have easy access to everyday Mass at reasonable hours;
    . access to all the sacraments in the traditional rite with no hassle;
    . access to all the other traditional devotions and
    . you build a traditional community from which marriages and priests naturally flow.

    These are some of the obvious advantages but there are really too many to mention.

    P.S. For those on the East coast of Canada who desire the Mass please contact me. It is presently available on a limited basis in New Brunswick and also in Newfoundland.

  10. AnnaTrad says:

    Hilary said “It also had the TLM there for many years before the MP, albeit in possibly the most out-of-the-way and inaccessible corner of the province of British Columbia. (The Skytrain would get you close, but you then had a harrowing walk across a major highway bridge with the logging trucks thundering past at top speed three feet from your elbow.\”

    But now we are situated in the center of town in a very good location where people can and are finding us.

  11. Sharon Stockard says:

    “lEGEM CREDENDI STATUIT LEX ORANDI”——–( “the rule of prayer determines the rule of faith”) axiom of Pope Celestine I 422-32, By this is meant that the Church’s liturgy is the most effective means of preserving and interpreting the true faith.

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