Again, priest teaches his flock about liturgy – this guy gets it! (Part I)

At St. Mary’s in Norwalk, CT, Fr. Greg J. Markey is instructing his flock on liturgical matters.

I have written about this fellow before.  He "gets it".

Let’s have a look at Part I (of two) with my emphases and comments.

January 18, 2009

           Part I: These past two Sundays I have dedicated my Pastor’s Column to New Year Resolutions.  First I recommended that following Pope Benedict XVI’s lead, people no longer receive Holy Communion in the hand, and start receiving on the tongue. [Three cheers!]  Secondly I recommended that people start correcting themselves when they use the Lord’s name in vain[Very good!  The two are connected.  Apparently this priest takes the cura animarum seriously.] This week I recommend that everyone in the parish make it a point to attend the 9:30 am Extraordinary Form of the Mass at least a few times during the coming year.   [Yes.  The EF is for everyone and a parish shouldn’t be divided into two ghettoes.]

            To begin to understand why, perhaps it is best to ask a question: How many Catholics today even realize that there is a liturgical crisis currently going on in the Church[!] Many parishes during the post-Vatican II era fell into irregular liturgical practices to such an extent that Pope John Paul II needed to commission a juridical document in 2004 for the universal Church in order to address the issue: “It is not possible to be silent about the abuses, even quite grave ones, against the nature of the liturgy and the sacraments as well as the tradition and authority of the Church, which in our day not infrequently plague liturgical celebrations in one ecclesial environment or another.  In some places the perpetuation of liturgical abuses has become habitual” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 4).  [After a while people think the abuses are the norms and that perfectly legitimate elements of the Roman Rite are abuses!]

            Habitual abuse means that neither the clergy nor the laity at Mass even realizes that the Sacred Mass, that which offers true worship to God and forms Catholic identity like no other act, is being deformed.  Such ignorance of the nature of the liturgy prompted Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to write in 2000: “Liturgical education today, of both priests and laity, is deficient to a deplorable extent.  Much remains to be done here.”  Sadly these attempts by Rome to correct liturgical abuse seem to have been virtually ignored by much of the Church at the parish level.   [Apparently not in Norwalk!  I wonder what Fr. Markey’s neighboring priests think about this?]

             Since I arrived here at St. Mary Church in 2003 I have tried to address these issues and as everyone knows, I have made the renewal of the liturgy a priority for the parish.  [As worhsip goes, so goes the parish.] The first thing I did as pastor was to simply bring St. Mary Church into conformity with the norms of the Church.  In the following years, I introduced singing the Latin Mass parts into all of the Masses, depending on the Mass and the occasion, as the documents require: “…steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 54).  [Excellent!  I almost never see a priest quote this!] Thirdly I reserved altar serving to boys alone in order promote vocations to the priesthood.  [Better and better.]  Finally, I have tried to imbue the liturgy here with a sacred spirit, avoiding profane greetings and actions, and I sought to build a sacred music program that would truly reflect our rich and ancient heritage.

            Most importantly, I have attempted to educate everyone about why I was doing all of this.  I have held numerous evening classes on the liturgy over the years, given homilies and written bulletin columns, trying to explain the proper spirit of the liturgy, and the authentic liturgical norms of the Church.

            Many Catholics, who have been rightly offended by the profanation of the sacred over the years, joyfully embraced these changes.  Some while not familiar with liturgical theology, have grown to understand better why a reverent liturgy is a more prayerful experience, and have also supported the changes. 

            Nonetheless the decisions I have made have been hard for others, and there have been not a few complaints.  I am sometimes saddened by the brazen words of people who come to me and criticize a St. Mary’s priest for actually prayerfully offering the Mass according to the liturgical norms[Isn’t that sadly so often the case?  They run at you with the invincible armor of ignorance and arrogance.] To me, the person’s comment is symbolic of the current liturgical crisis: many years of a more casual liturgy, and even habitual liturgical abuse, are hard to overcome.  Furthermore, the fact that so few parishes are implementing what the Magisterium is asking us to do makes the changes at St. Mary Church appear even more strange.
        [QUAERITUR]    Yet how many Catholics truly understand what the Mass is: the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ’s crucifixion to God the Father? (Catechism #1367) Some people are still coming to Sunday Mass expecting liturgical abuses or to be entertained by the priest, rather than the real reason we come – to worship God, offering this perfect sacrifice according to the means handed down to us by Mother Church. 

            If only more people understood that novelties and priestly creativity in the Mass take away from this transcendent reality, [MYSTERY] and suddenly the sacred act is profaned, taking on the mere personality of the priest.  No!  As Padre Pio says, at Mass we are to humbly pray like St. John and Our Lady at the foot of the cross.  Would that more people’s comments to me about the Mass reflected this understanding.

Fr. Markey has his head screwed on in the right direction, that’s for sure.

How many of you are wondering what it would take to move to Norwalk?

More tomorrow.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JGKester says:

    It truly is an amazing parish, one of the few in probably the latter part of the Church’s history to offer Solemn Mass (w/ deacon & subdeacon) every Sunday in the extraordinary form. This year Midnight Mass was in the extraordinary. To see some of the liturgical life of the parish, visit the archives of
    Some examples:

    Gaudete & Advent:
    First Solemn Mass:

  2. RichR says:

    How many of you are wondering what it would take to move to Norwalk?

    If I wasn’t a dentist with an existing practice…….

    I actually wrote a letter to this parish priest showing my support. Priests get all sorts of hate mail when they do something wrong, but they rarely get encouragement when they do something right (yet controversial).

  3. God bless Fr. Markey! I’d venture a guess that he’s gotten his share of flack and abuse from his fellow priests, his congregation and from general critics,so I hope he knows that there are others who thank God and pray for more priests just like him!

  4. prof. basto says:

    Kudos to Fr. Markley.

    We need more priests like him.

  5. Giovanni says:

    Praise be to God.

    Thank God for his Preisthood.

  6. PMcGrath says:


    The Sacred Congregation for Bishops
    c/o The Apostolic Palace
    Vatican City

    FROM: Me

    RE: The Reverend Father Gregory Markey, Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA

    For the love of heaven, would you please put this holy priest on a terna sometime soon? Really soon? We have so many dioceses in this country that need a priest like him as their bishop, it’s not even funny.

    If you want holy bishops in this country who get out and EXECUTE Pope Benedict’s playbook … please select him!

  7. schoolman says:

    The Holy Father can’t reform the Church all by himself. We need priests like Fr. Markey who can actually implement the Holy Father’s vision of true reform at the parish level.

  8. my kidz mom says:

    Thank you Lord for this priest who gets it!

    Move to Norwalk? very tempting…

  9. newtrad says:

    oh my, too bad by the time I moved there he would probably be sent to Siberia or St Luke’s or wherever they send “insane” priests these days….

  10. Bobby Bambino says:

    That was one of the greatest things I have ever read! Amazing! God love you Father Markey, and thank you Father Z for posting this.

  11. West central Ohio, PLEASE, we need him, our priest just replaced our antique processional cross with a ghastly orange and red stylized cross with a risen Jesus on it, you know the ones with an enamel look, and the cross is slender at the intersect and gets wider at the ends.

    Another local Priest is saying the novus ordo in Latin but recently emailed me that he is waiting for the new Bishop (Schnerr) to “loosen the restrictions on the TLM”, what restrictions?, what does Archbishop Pilarczyk got on these Priests to stop them

    I think I am going to puke

  12. Jim says:

    First, I am sorry, I am just learning the liturgy. So forgive my ignorance. Our priest came to our parish recently ( 12 or 18 months ago). He brought the TLM to his previous parish. For the first time on Sunday he sung the prayers of Consecration. It was quite a thing. I had never had that experience before. Why would he do that? Since I read the Fr Z blog, I thought I would ask. I wonder if he trying to move the parish slowly to a more traditional liturgy.

  13. R says:

    I gladly drive from almost an hour away to be a part of this parish, and I am not alone in this. I often think that I may never have the privilege of meeting another pastor like Fr. Markey for the rest of my life — he is truly “one in ten million”. Pastors like this need our support, our prayers, our friendship, our time, our money. With all that, it is certain that they will do great things for the Church. Fr. Markey’s parish is growing due to the TLM, attracting people of all ages and backgrounds, among them many young families with children. The latter demographic has prompted the latest addition to the parish activities: a children’s schola, which performed most recently at the Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family (1962 MR, Jan. 11th). Imagine 35 children singing the Asperges, the Missa Orbis factor Kyrie, plainchant hymns, etc., and doing a beautiful job at that! They were so good that they upstaged the professional schola singing Lotti and Binchois :) My wife observed: these children will teach their parents and grandparents the traditional Mass and the traditions of the Church, and perhaps she’s right. What a wonderful inversion of the natural order of things! Though I don’t presume to speak for Fr. Markey, I imagine he would be delighted if you are considering moving to the Norwalk area and joining the parish. Why not?

  14. LCB says:

    Dear Fr. Markey,

    The Peoople of God DEMAND liturgical eye candy from your parish. That will be all.


  15. irishgirl says:

    Yay for Father Markey!

    I’m with PMcGrath-this padre needs to be put into consideration for Bishop…how about Syracuse, NY?

  16. Maureen says:


    As I understand it, the default, normal way a priest is supposed to pray the Mass is to sing/chant all the prayers. (Yes, even when the Mass is in English.) The nest option is to sing some of the prayers, the most important ones. Only as a less preferred thing is he to speak normally.

    You used to always hear priests sing, at least the Consecration or the Eucharistic Prayers. And yes, I do mean after Vatican II and all the changes. I’m sorry you haven’t heard this done before, but I’m glad the practice is making a comeback in your area!

  17. Maureen says:

    I meant “next”, not “nest”. Sorry!

  18. Paul S. Quist says:

    I suppose it would be too far to go from Alberta to Norwalk CT for Mass. Too Bad!

    But thank you for Fr. Markey for your fidelity and courage! You, too, Fr. Z!

    Edmonton, AB

  19. jarhead462 says:


    That’s wonderful!
    * ATTENTION SPIRIT OF VATICAN II: I think you hear me knockin’ and I think I’m comming in, and I’m bringin’ Fr. Z, and Fr. Markey, and all the rest,and We are taking back what is rightfully ours- our Catholic identity and heritage. So be afraid, be very afraid. ;)

    Semper Fi!

  20. Ave Maria says:

    I think folks in this part of the country have several excellent options. There is the parish in Baltic, CT and there is the Franciscan friary in Griswold.

    Lucky ducks.

  21. Thomas says:

    I recall attending St. Mary’s back in the mid-sixties with my parents when we were in town to visit my grandmother. St. Mary’s was the first church in which I saw a versus populum Mass. The interior had been painted white and blue, and even though a young teenager, I figured out that something was covered up. The free-standing altar was, I think, at pew-level. It all seemed so advanced to me at the time: I recall thinking back then that St. Mary’s was the harbinger of the future. Back home in upsate New York, my own parish eventually, but reluctantly, followed along.

    That future came and now we see where it led. My old parish in New York will be closed later this year. I hope that St. Mary’s, Norwalk, is once again a harbinger of the future, but a future that this time will lead to a renewal of faith, liturgy and Catholic culture that is true to itself.

  22. Nicholas says:

    This pastor is astonishing in the best senses of the word. My family and I drive forty minutes every Sunday to attend the 9:30 am Solemn High Mass. This is an authentic parish, with holy priests striving to make their people holy.

  23. TJM says:

    “Armed with ignorance and arrogance.” A great line which describes my pastor when it comes to matters liturgical. Father Markey sounds like a remarkable
    young priest. His parish is very fortunate to have him. This is one time I would support human cloning (just kidding). Tom

  24. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Perhaps since Fr Z is so well connected perhaps he could try to send comments in boxes like these to the priests concerned so that, as RichR says, they can get some encouraging feedback. That\’s if, for some bizarre reason, they aren\’t already readers.

    Or perhaps we could start a fund with donations from which a WDTPRS mug can be sent as kudos to such priests (and bishops!).

    Just an idea.

  25. Martin says:

    One excellent priest makes all the difference. St Mary’s parishioners are blessed to have a priest like Fr Markey.

  26. canon1753 says:

    Fr. Markey is a good man and a great priest. I went to seminary with him, and he whas always impressed me as a what a great priest is on so many different levels.

    DJ Kool Jazz

  27. Steven says:

    This reminds me of the priest we used to have here in Kansas, then Msgr. Conley, now Aux. Bishop Conley of Denver. It is good to know that there are good priests out there, we have an obligation to let these men know how much we appreciate their leadership. It is not enough to speak up only when something goes poorly, we should commend and encourage the good that we have.

  28. What a great great great text. :) Btw Father, I think you would like to know that AT LAST there is a regular Summorum Pontificum Mass in Fatima, Portugal. Its celebrated on a private chapel though, as the Bishops continue to do everything to block the TLM.

    Deo Gratias anyway!

  29. Nancy says:

    “Yet how many Catholics truly understand what the Mass is: the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ’s crucifixion to God the Father?”

    Evidently nobody who attends Mass at Holy Trinity in Washington, D.C., where Joe Biden got a standing O in the middle of the Mass!

    “Toward the end of the 11:30 a.m. Mass, as one of the lectors urged those in attendance to welcome new members and visitors, some in the congregation laughed and then applauded, looking toward Biden. He eventually stood and acknowledged the response that included a standing ovation.”

  30. CMW says:

    This parish has not one, but several great priests who say the TLM.
    They even extend their services to the neighboring Hartford Archdiocese
    at the Mass in New Haven.

  31. Sandy says:

    God bless this wonderful priest! Please Lord, make this happen everywhere. I pray that the complaints he gets do not discourage him. Oh Lord, hear our cry!

  32. Deo Gratias! I love this guy, I’m down for moving from Liturgical Purgatory to Norwalk, CT, the snow might be something to deal with, but i’ll get used to it.

  33. Anthony says:

    I second irishgirl’s suggestion; Syracuse could use a Bishop with ideas about the liturgy along the lines of Fr. Markey. We’ve toiled too long under “Spirit of Vatican II” liturgies and have had a great time of it, what with a measly 14 ordinations in the last 10 years and countless church closings. Please, pray for our diocese. Just a single priest like Fr. Markey, Bishop or not, could create great change here.

  34. Kudos to Fr. Markey!

    We need to continue our prayers for good priests, who understand Tradition.
    That is for sure.

  35. RichR says:

    If it hasn’t been pointed out yet…….. this is a young priest.

    Signs of hope for the future.

  36. Victoria says:

    Don’t think seriously about moving just to be in the parish of a great priest. Our parish used to have two very holy priests and a number of families moved into the parish because of this. Not too many years later both were transferred. Of what happened next, the less said the better.

  37. Central Valley Catholic says:

    Thanks be to God! The faithful in Norwalk are in good hands. We can only pray that more priests and Bishops follow. Here in the diocese of Fresno, Ca., with the exception for maybe four or five priests, the diocese is stuck in 1972 with hand holding, women all over the altar, banner ministries, general absolution etc. Pray, pray hard.

  38. toomey says:

    Archdiocese of Denver. Archbishop Conley, and Auxiliary Bishop Markey. Nice ring to it!

  39. Central Valley Catholic says:

    Denver cannot have these men, Fresno, Ca diocese needs men like these very very very badly……..

  40. Rancher says:

    I know Priests do not need the Bishop’s permission to do what this Priest is doing. However, in many places such a Priest would find himself under fire from the Bishop because I’m sure the Bishop has received complaints. So bless the Priest for doing what he’s doing and the Bishop for staying out of the fray. Would that this happened in more places.

  41. Let’s hope Fr. Markey’s diocese has submitted his name for consideration for bishop.

    But to be safe, we COULD send lots of mail to the Papal Nuncio to get the name, Fr. Markey, in his head.

  42. tired student says:

    Fr. Markey is an awesome priest who has done great things by introducing the TLM and reverent NO Masses. I live close to the church and often go to the TLM there (even if I find a steady diet of Solemn Masses a bit too sumptuous.) Don’t forget Fr. Richard Cipolla, a long-time proponent of the TLM whose preaching and liturgical abilities have also greatly benefited St. Mary’s as well. Good stuff all around!

  43. MVH says:

    Why not give an award similiar to the icon Jeff Miller has on his website, The Curt Jester?

    Although Father Markey is in no need of the “medical breakthrough” described on the link, a recognition like that spine with a bishops crook would be nice. Besides, he is a Shepherd at St. Mary’s. Most appropriate, I’d say.

  44. Karinann says:

    The number of comments this post has received is proof that faithful Catholics are starved for type of liturgy this wonderful priest is implementing. The fact that he is educating his parishoners along the way is all the more commendable. Yes, would love to move to Norwalk, but better yet- how do we get more pastors like him. As the pastor goes so goes the parish!
    As to singing the prayers of Consecration and Eucharistic Prayers, one of our priests did this this past Sunday- it was beautiful (the fact that he sings like an angel didn’t hurt!)
    God bless Fr. Markey. Oh- and altar boys only! Bravo!

  45. anonymous coward says:

    To borrow from Oscar Wilde:
    “The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners. For respectable people, the Episcopalian Church will do.

  46. Nick says:

    Noticed in my area that most of the more traditionally minded priests are young.

  47. JPG says:

    Fr Markey’s transformation of the Parish is remarkable. In addition Fr Cipolla now lives at the Parish as does Fr Boyd. All are on the rota of the St Gregory Society in New Haven. We inthe Bridgeort Diocese are most fortunate. A Solemn High Mass at a reasonable hour (9:30 am). Fr Ringley who is at St Lawrence in Shelton. Alas Fr Fitzpatrick passed away suddenly this past summer. Yet two observations are in order. Such initiatives would not be allowed except with the consent and I would imagine the approbation of Bishop Lori. Yet I can tell you that liberal Catholicism and Liturgical innovation are alive and well here. Two weeks ago I attended Mass at a local hospital to be treated to glass vessels, a paraphrased anaphora and the usual ugly 1970’s vestments. The consecration was doubtful in its validity. I am no expert but one must say what was said at the Last Supper to be valid I would think.
    In this sense Frs Markey, Cipolla and Boyd may be in the minority here but at least allowed to operate a Parish. I have only attended two Masses there. 9/14 Exaltation of Holy Cross and Gaudete Sunday.
    Both were transcendent. It is also one of the first times I have seen birettas and proper cassocks. This sounds like sniping but said gear translates to me a proper understanding of what it is to be a priest. In all seriousness pray earnestly that God will add to their number, preserve them in goodhealth and bless abundently their plans.

  48. Lee says:

    Maybe in this instance we could attempt something akin to the ancient practice of electing bishops by acclamation, as happened to St. Ambrose. Just copy this post and its comments and send it along to:

    Apostolic Pro Nuncio
    Most. Rev. Pietro Sambi
    3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20008-3687

    A little note saying something like, “We want bishops like this,” might give them something to think about.

    Personally, I am convinced that among other official qualifications for bishop the nuncios have the idea that the ideal American candidate must speak baseball. If true, that explains a great deal about our episcopate today IMHO. Could St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine speak the sports lingo of their day? They would probably despise any such expectation.

    Anyway, Fr Markey knows how to speak about the Mass as a sacrifice, and how to bring his flock along with him. Give him greater responsibilities and a wider influence. Make him a bishop, your excellency!

    We need him and anyone like him in leadership over us.

  49. Marilee says:

    WOW!! AWESOME PRIEST!! I hope that the Scouts of the Holy Father are keeping their eyes on Priests like Fr Markey to PROMOTE to Bishops or Archbishops to replace the retiring existing Bishops. The Holy Father should replace all those retiring Bishops and Archbishop who are not attuned to the Guidance of the Holy Father,like the present Pope Benedict XVI. ENOUGH OF BISHOPS and ARCHBISHOPS who are so controlled by the secular agenda of social services and government grants. WE NEED HOLY PRIEST WHO ARE OUR BISHOPS and ARCHBISHOPS!!!!! AND SHOULD BE NOT ONLY A BISHOP BUT AN EXORCIST !!!!! [Please don’t SHOUT on my blog! This is the third time.]
    Lord have mercy on us all.

  50. JPG :

    Don’t forget the weekly TLM at SS. Cyril & Methodius Church in Bridgeport Sunday @ 10:15 AM.

  51. Robert says:

    You know, I’ve been reading this sort of thing on trad-Catholic blogs for some time now, but rarely if ever do I see someone willing to talk openly about a major portion of the problem, which indubitably appears to be: extreme feminism (eFem).

    I’ve seen eFem at work in almost every parish I’ve ever been to. I’ve seen how scared many priests are about it; and how it affects them. There have even been books written on the subject; but trad-blogs (for all their erstwhile show of indignant bluster and posturing at every other sort of problem that affects the Church) almost never wish to talk about eFem. I think I know why no one wants to discuss it — because everybody has wives and daughters and grandmothers and sisters and mothers — but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be discussed and have something done about it. I’ve seen some extreme examples — I’ve watched women literally shout at priests to get their way. And I’ve read Michael Rose’s book, and so I know what is happening in many of our country’s seminaries.

    Everyone knows what happened in this country in the ’60’s. Feminism got its claws back then, and things like abortion and attacks on the Church have been a bigger and bigger part of America ever since. So please — let’s discuss this, and start looking at ways to end it. Personally, the only way I can see to end it is to determine who the eFems are in your parish, and let them know that the games are over. Shout them down if necessary. But the destruction of our priests and our Churches has to end. So let’s be honest about the problem, and deal with it. Trust me — your priest will appreciate the help.

    Thanks for letting me have my say.

  52. Clare says:

    I think it is sad that in the urban Northeast, where most people live no more than ten miles from a major shopping mall, there is not an EFM in every parish or at least every town or city.

    The people of Norwalk have much to be grateful for in Father Markey, Father Cipolla and Father Boyd. I note that these priests generously travel to New Haven, an hour away, to celebrate Mass there.

  53. Clare: I think it is sad that in the urban Northeast … there is not an EFM in every parish or at least every town or city.

    Of course, Fr. Markey is not talking about the EF Mass, but rather about how the Ordinary Form Mass should be celebrated. And how it will be celebrated if and when the actual recommendations of Vatican II are finally implemented as Pope Benedict desires. In short, not that different from how the EF Mass is usually celebrated.

  54. Clare says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I don’t believe your comment is accurate, but I will leave a response, if appropriate, to the experts here.

  55. ssoldie says:

    I believe Fr. Markey has a Gregorian Rite Mass (E.F.M.)at 9:30 sounds like on Sunday’s and encourages the laity to attend at least once a year. I myself have been blessed to be able to pray the Gregorian Rite(Traditional Latin Mass) for 5 years. Although I drive approx 45 minutes to do so,and could easlly drive less then 5 minutes to attend the N.O.M. The priest is 88 and he ask’s us to pray for a younger priest to help him, please pray with us in Flensburg, Mn. Thank you.

  56. Kathy says:

    What an inspiring account. With our new archbishop, I have hope that I didn’t have two weeks ago. It is to the point that a normative (a term Russell Shaw used in an OSV article some years back) Mass sounds unusual. I am so weary of “The Greeting,” the jokes, the rounds of applause, the “liturgy” that is unrecognizable as Roman Catholic. God bless this priest, and all priests who promote worship in this way.

  57. N.W. Clerk says:

    We take the one hour drive to Norwalk whenever we can and Father Markey occasionally comes to our parish. He is a wonderful human being
    as well as priest.

    PS – in response to the comment regarding capital letters, “please don’t shout on my blog,” I have been on the internet since
    1989 (yes, that date is correct – 1989, before the World Wide Web, when the net was entirely text) and while it is true that
    for a time, especially during that text-only age, capital letters were considering “shouting,” it is now pretty much accepted
    to mean emphasis,not shouting.

    Not everyone knows html and not all comboxes accept html for boldface.

    That said, it is your blog and you make the rules!

  58. Mitch says:

    This parish is Blessed as would be any to have him residing as their Priest..I am curious if they have a “liturgical committee” and if he has to go up against them…Also any Bishop that does not allow a Priest to do just what he is doing or disciplines him for doing so should be removed. How can there be penalties for doing strictly what Vat II called for? What does happen when a Bishop penalizes a Priest for doing this in their Parish? Once the whole situation gets to Rome (a Priest making a complaint) is there ever any discipline for the Bishop or against him? I am curious how this would turn out. If Fr. Markey’s Bishop demanded an immediate halt to these changes what would happen to him if he appealed to Rome? Does anyone know of any such outcomes?

  59. Athanasius says:

    I served Mass for Fr. Markey when he said the Solemn High Masses in New Haven. A great priest!

  60. I don’t believe your comment is accurate, but I will leave a response, if appropriate, to the experts here.

    You need not be an expert, Clare, to decide this matter for yourself. Just an ability to read carefully will suffice. For instance, Fr. Markey says

    These past two Sundays I have dedicated my Pastor’s Column to New Year Resolutions. First I recommended that following Pope Benedict XVI’s lead, people no longer receive Holy Communion in the hand, and start receiving on the tongue.

    So plainly he’s talking to people attending his OF Masses; otherwise, the possibility of receiving in the hand would be irrelevant. Later on, he says

    The first thing I did as pastor was to simply bring St. Mary Church into conformity with the norms of the Church. In the following years, I introduced singing the Latin Mass parts into all of the Masses

    Obviously, if he were talking about the EF, it would already be in Latin, and it would be irrelevant for Fr. Markey to go ahead and cite the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium recommendation on inclusion of Latin parts in the Mass.

    Now, Clare, if you will re-read Father Z’s original post, you may find yet another quote or two showing that Fr. Markey is talking mainly about sacralizing the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite — not about the Extraordinary Form, in which all these matters can be taken as given.

    Perhaps, finally, a relevant point is that — as Pope Benedict as remarked — if the Ordinary Form were celebrated in Latin (its official language) observing all the norms and recommendations of the Council … then it might take an expert to tell the difference from the Extraordinary Form.

  61. Clare says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I realize that Father Markey was talking both about bringing the Ordinary Form into conformity and about the Extraordinary Form at St. Mary’s of Norwalk.

    What I was questioning was your assertion that when the needed changes are made in the celebration of the Ordinary Form, the Mass would be “not that different from how the EF Mass is usually celebrated.” Based on my knowledge of the two forms, I don’t think that is true, but I do think it requires a greater degree of familiarity with both forms to evaluate the accuracy of that statement.

  62. Cathguy says:

    I know and love Fr. Markey, and the excellent priests at his parish. We are blessed to have Fr. Markey!!!

    Please God, send more like him.

  63. Clare: What I was questioning was your assertion that when the needed changes are made in the celebration of the Ordinary Form, the Mass would be “not that different from how the EF Mass is usually celebrated.” Based on my knowledge of the two forms, I don’t think that is true, but I do think it requires a greater degree of familiarity with both forms to evaluate the accuracy of that statement.

    In his October 24, 1998 address on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Ecclesia Dei ( ) Cardinal Ratzinger said:

    “The difference between the liturgy according to the new books, how it is actually practiced and celebrated in different places, is often greater than the difference between an old Mass and a new Mass, when both these are celebrated according to the prescribed liturgical books.”

    An average Christian without specialist liturgical formation would find it difficult to distinguish between a Mass sung in Latin according to the old Missal and a sung Latin Mass according to the new Missal.

    Now, being familiar with both forms of Mass celebrated ad orientem in Latin, I personally see a good deal of difference between them. But in formulating my original comment — which you questioned — in referencing our currently reigning pontiff, I was thinking of his statement of the matter.

  64. Clare says:

    The Holy Father didn’t say what you say he said.

    He said there was great variation in the way the new liturgy is celebrated in various places. There are a few websites that will attest to that.

    So in contrast, those differences are “often greater than the difference between an old Mass and a new Mass, when both these are celebrated according to the prescribed liturgical books.”

    That is different from saying that one cannot tell the difference between the celebration of an old Mass and a new Mass, celebrated according to the norms.

    Can someone who knows more about this please help me? Perhaps I am wrong.

  65. And, more recently, about the possibility that some non-expert folks might find it hard to tell the difference between the old Mass and the new Mass celebrated properly, here is a quote from a review (by Jeffrey Tucker) of a new CD recording of the ordinary-form Mass of the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time:

    “It is the ordinary form in Latin. For most people who listen, it will be the first time they have ever heard the Roman Rite in the modern form sung in its normative form. The new Missal has been around nearly 40 years and yet because of vernacular permissions, culture upheavals, and other factors, it is hardly ever heard in the way that accords with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. …..”

    “You can try this at home. Put it on with Catholics around. Someone will say, oh yes, that’s the Mass from the old days. You can just respond, no, this is the reformed Mass from 1970 sung in its universal form. You might see a look of shock. …..”

    “This is the Novus Ordo Missae. No matter what else you hear in your parish, no matter what else OCP is selling, no matter what else your director of music says, this is the music of the Novus Ordo Missae.”

  66. irishgirl says:

    Anthony-where are you located in the Syracuse Diocese? I’m in Utica.

    Yes, we are ‘spirtually starved’ here, with no shepherd to guide us!

    Today is St. Agnes’ Day-and the church dedicated to her in Utica just closed this past weekend.

    We need a shepherd who will bring some new, orthodox clerical blood-priests like Fr. Markey!

  67. Anthony says:

    Irishgirl, I’m in Syracuse. My wife and I attend to the Sunday 4 pm Latin Mass at Sacred Heart. You should come. We were at St Stephen’s Church on Geddes St before that was closed in Aug of 2007. That was very heart wrenching to go through. Isn’t the liturgical renewal just peachy?

  68. irishgirl says:

    Anthony-yeah, I’m with you-‘liturgical renewal is just peachy’. : )

    I went to Easter Sunday Mass at St. Stephen’s Church in 2005. (or was it 2006?) What a bummer that it was closed! I know about the Mass at the Sacred Heart Basilica-but it’s too late in the day for me to get to. And at this time of the year, I don’t want to take a chance driving in the unpredictable winter weather we have in Upstate NY.

    I’ve gone to the SSPX church of Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God, which is across from St. Stephen’s. In Utica, we used to have the FSSP come twice a month-sometimes more-to say Mass (they also went to Oswego for the Mass up there). But last summer, someone in the Utica group put a bug in the ear of the Chancellery in Syracuse-and now no more FSSP! And whoever did it, had no business interfering! And the FSSP is opening new apostolates all over the world-except Upstate NY! Double bummer!

    I go now to another Latin Mass chapel in Utica-yeah, I know SSPV (Society of St. Pius V) is considered ‘sedevacantist’-but I don’t care about the ecclesiastical politics! I just go to the Latin Mass! They are not heretics!

  69. irishgirl says:

    I hope I don’t get into any ‘trouble’ with Father Z about my going to the SSPV chapel….[shudder and dread, then ‘hopeful grin’ (?) ]

  70. Anthony says:

    Some of the folks who attend our Mass are well connected to FSSP in PA and gave me the scoop on the FSSP’s withdrawl from Utica and Oswego right after it happened. Also, I’m sure you’re aware that there was a certain priest in the Utica area, who will remain nameless, who requested (as if that’s necessary anymore with Summorum Pontificum) a TLM and was told “Nope” and also, now we’re going to send you to be a old folks home chaplain, or you can leave the diocese on your own. He chose the latter and went down to PA to teach at St Gregory’s and now is, ironically enough, going up to Oswego to celebrate their weekly TLM in place of the spot vacated by the forced withdrawl of the FSSP. If someone thinks there is not a prejudice against Traditional Catholics in Catholic chanceries then they need to come live a while in Syracuse where Traditional Catholics are routinely told to get in the back of the bus and shut-up.

    I can’t really say that I agree with going to a SSPV chapel, but then again, I’m less than 10 miles away from a TLM at a semi-convenient time so I’m not nearly as desperate for good liturgy as I’m sure you are.

    When your schedule allows you, you should try and come down to Sacred Heart and introduce yourself and you can meet the rest of the gang, some of whom you may already know (we’ve got some people who used to go to Utica). There are some truly wonderful families in our parish.

  71. Reverend Father

    I am Catholic practitioner of a city Argentina Mar del Plata, newly one year ago, our Bishop has allowed, always take place in Latin like extraordinary form The Santa Mass. I agree with their opinion with regard to the great spirituality that has the Latin Rite. To other of their universality, let us think that in all the Catholic Churches, one prays in the same way, that is to say, I that don’t speak English, would feel at home llendo to hear the Santa Mass in their Church, because accompanied by my Missal one, there would not be problems, alone I would get lost their sermon, but not the high sentence to the Mr.. Well God wants that in all the parishes and Churches it was imposed a Mass at least the Domingo according to the Latin Rite. But here the same as in many places many priests faithful ymuchos they oppose you to the restoration of the Latin Rite, they not even want to speak of the since topic they consider it a scandal and they associate it to the Fraternity San Pious X, far from Rome. Well he/she greets him in Jesus and María Professor: José Luis Ventrice. My English forgive but it is the translation of the Power Translator. I don’t speak their language and I read their articles commented in a blogs of Spain

  72. irishgirl says:

    Anthony-I might decide to do that when the weather gets better. It would be cool to meet you and your family! In fact, I can see Sacred Heart when I go to the SSPX church!

    I think I know what priest you were referring to! He said the Latin Mass in Utica usually once a month-at 12:30 pm. He was very outspoken in his sermons!

    “Get in back of the bus and shut up”-ooo, I like that! And that’s exactly how the Syracuse Diocese treats Traditional Catholics!

    The Chancellery closes parishes and schools (the Utica area just got the news that two more elementary schools are closing and merging), and they won’t allow a regular Latin Mass! Go figure….

  73. irishgirl says:

    There’s another expression I read in “Latin Mass” Magazine. It was at the end of an article interviewing three priests who were ‘going over’ to Tradition:

    “There are many rooms in the household of the Church-why are Traditionalists in the garage?”

    And that’s what Traditionalists in Syracuse are…in the garage!

  74. Daniel says:

    is important tha people read a bout the liturgical crisis , i think that most of catholics dont know about tradition, we have to work hard in the new education of catolics

  75. Anthony says:

    Irsihgirl – I can’t completely claim the “back of the bus” quote for my own. A certain priest who wishes to remain anonymous said it at the end of an unbelievable Lenten parish mission last year. Listen to parts 1 & 2 of the following.

    It’s long (3 hours total) but it is really good. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this website ( It’s a treasure of FSSP parish homilies in Kansas. Myself and a few other families use these talks as our family’s doctrinal instruction.

  76. Carlos Palad says:

    Greg Cardinal Markey, Archbishop of Manila.

    Hey, it’s possible! Manila had American Archbishops from 1903 to 1949! Them
    were the greatest years for Catholicism in the Philippines.

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