Springfield, IL: regular TLM returns

Brick by heavy brick:

 I am happy to report that regular celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass will be returning to Springfield, Illinois. It will be the weekly Saturday (7 a.m.) Mass at Blessed Sacrament Parish (www.bsps.org) beginning this Saturday, January 31. This is all that our dear (and much overworked) pastor, Fr. David Hoefler, could do to begin with. And he can’t even say it himself. Despite his best efforts to learn to say it (he had two days of training last September by Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest priests) he still is not ready, so he has arranged for an FSSP priest, former FSSP head Fr. Arnaud Devillers, to come over every week to say it.
As Fr. Devillers is assigned to Quincy, Illinois, more than two hours away, for him to come and say a 7 a.m. Mass is very generous of him.

Not much to start with, but as you say, brick by brick!! Please ask your blog readers to keep this in your prayers — and Fr. Hoefler. He is our sole priest and when I say he is overworked, he IS overworked.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    How wonderful it is to hear this news. I am from Springfield, though I am away at college. Even though I am not a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament, I know Fr. Hoefler well. He is truly one of the kindest, liturgically correct, and all around wonderful priest one might hope to meet. I only hope that one day he will follow in the steps of his predecessor Bishop Kevin Vann.

  2. RJS says:

    You say “brick by brick” as if the Church is being restored by the Old Mass. But would we still have the old Mass if Archbishop Lefebvre would have obeyed Paul VI and closed his Seminary? The answer is clearly no.

  3. RJS: This entry isn’t going to be hijacked into an apologia for Lefebvre’s actions.

    I’ll toss anyone who tries. There are other threads going about the SSPX right now.

    And we have NO IDEA whether or not the older form of Mass would have continued or not.

  4. JoyfulMom7 says:

    God bless Fr. Arnaud Devillers!

  5. TJM says:

    What wonderful news for the good people of Springfield! Tom

  6. Rita says:

    I think it’s wonderful that the TLM is becoming easier to find. I recieved the sacraments a little over a year ago by a FFSP priest in Sacramento, up until then I had never been to a TLM. As soon as I returned to Southern Cal I looked up the nearest parish that offered a TLM and have been going ever since.

  7. Clinton says:

    This parish is certainly blessed. It seems to me that it would have been easy for Fr. Hoefler to have pled
    a busy schedule as an excuse not to bother with the extra work of bringing on a TLM. Instead, the man
    takes time off to attend a training session and commits to offering a weekly Mass. I can only guess how
    much effort, schedule-juggling and personal expense was involved at this point. Then, the course com-
    pleted, the good Father, in all humility, decides that he’s not ready. At this point the project could have
    been scuttled or the priest could have settled for offering his parish and his God a Mass that would be
    less than his best. However, this pastor searches out a fellow priest willing to add a commitment to this
    parish to his own schedule AND take on a four-hour commute to do it ! What fine, fine priests! What
    devotion to the care of the souls in their trust! News like this makes me so proud of our priests.

  8. Deo Gratias!!

    I’ve been saving a bottle of the Widow for when we finally accomplished this. Gonna pop the cork this Saturday. :)

  9. Ed says:

    “Not much to start with”:

    is still so very much. Much cause for prayerful thanks to God, smiling all the way…

  10. Sean: I’ve been saving a bottle of the Widow for when we finally accomplished this.

    What a laudable and now traditional way to celebrate!

  11. Anne-France says:

    Would Fr. Devillers stick with the 1962 missal or will he use the 1965 missal?

  12. Brian says:

    Fr. Hoefler and Fr. Devillers are an inspiration. Thank you, Lord, for faithful priests.

  13. Lcb says:

    After the shame and persecution of the previous decades… After the horrible headlines that ravaged the local Church…

    Fr Z, I know men and women who died while waiting for this day, for the return of Tradition, the Mass of the Ages, to Springfield.

    A decade ago even the most faithful could never suspect such a thing would come to pass in their lifetime, the grip of the anti-traditionalists was so complete.

    There are not words to describe this. Praise God for Bp Lucas. Glory to God in the highest!

  14. Timothy says:

    Since these will be Saturday morning Masses, we should commend Fr. Devillers to Our Lady in a special way. Ask her to bless his sacrifice (as I imagine he will be rising by 4:15 a.m. at the latest to arrive in time the 7 a.m. Mass) with great graces, for Fr. Devillers, for the FSSP, for all priests celebrating or training to celebrate the Extraordinary Form, and for those attending this Holy Mass. Most of all, pray for humility and charity. Deo gratias!

  15. Magdalene says:

    Wow! In Springfield! Times, they are a changin’.

    I visited a convent there some years back and the poor order was so corrupted. I understand some of the beautiful grounds are gone now. There were some saints still there who had suffered much at the hands of modernism and some of the ‘younger’ sisters were scary women. I will never forget my stay there; it was in Springfield.

  16. Martin says:

    Last time I attended a Mass said by Fr. Devillers (that was in France last summer), he read
    as the Epistle (and maybe the Gospel as well, I am unsure) in French. Is this an indication of
    the 1965 Missal, or only some mild form of Gallicanism?

  17. Scholastic says:

    Bravo to Fr. Hoefler. I admire his dedication to bringing the TLM to his parish. I have no doubt he will be celebrating it himself very soon. And thanks to Fr. Devillers, as well.

  18. John Lacroix says:

    I do not know what the variations are in France, but I have assisted at many Masses offered by Fr. Devillers. As celebrant in the USA, he has read both the Epistle & Gospel in Latin.

    At Sunday Masses, he has read them a second time in English, preceding his homily. At times, particularly Sundays where he was to give a discourse on FSSP matters, one of the other priests has sometimes done a followup English reading.

    God bless.

    John Lacroix

  19. wsxyz says:

    Fr. Devillers is an FSSP Priest, and the FSSP uses the 1962 Missal. In France, it is common to read the epistle and gospel in French, also at SSPX Masses.

  20. Martin says:

    Thank you for the answers. So, the bottom line is: “reading of the Epistle in French” does not imply “1965 Missal”, is this correct?

  21. Truman says:

    Hard to imagine how the point could have been made more clearly by those who answered your question, Martin.

  22. Martin says:


    Not quite. The implication (sufficient condition) was not explicit. I still wonder why the
    readings would be done in French, then. This is also surprising to me, as I have seen this only
    at one location in France–with the exception of a convent chapel where the Missal was 1965.
    Whence my amazement at this odd situation.

  23. As someone who was raised in this diocese and who has lived here in Springfield for many years, I find many of these comments very moving. Readers of The Wanderer and others who follow these issues know how we suffered under our former bishop, who left a very tight inner circle of priests behind for his replacement to deal with. Given the difficulties the replacement faced, he has done heroic work in his struggle to restore order. Many did indeed die waiting for this day, and I have no doubt that the intercessions of many, including Michael Davies and William Marra, who both spoke here, have helped bring this about.

    Fr. Hoefler has been wonderful throughout all this. Overworked as he is, he has been enthusiastic and supportive from the beginning. Following Fr. Z’s advice from early on, we have done all we can to help him out. And thanks be to God for Fr. Devillers. This would not be possible without his example of loving assistance to a brother priest.

    “What a laudable and now traditional way to celebrate!”

    The bottle has been in my fridge for the past 18 months, since the party we held to celebrate Summorum Pontificum. :)

  24. AJP says:


    If you don’t mind telling, what order ran the convent you stayed at in
    Springfield? I ask because although I’m not from the Springfield area, I
    attended a school that was run by an order with a mother-house in Springfield.
    What you say is quite disturbing, and I’m wondering if it was the order that
    ran my school. At the time, the order was not in great shape, but also not
    quite as bad as others – perhaps things have gotten worse :(

  25. Danielle says:

    Does anyone know just how many masses have been added in the U.S. over the past year? I would really be interested in knowing the statistics, especially when the liberals of the Church want to pretend it is just a few of us who care about the Latin Mass.

  26. wsxyz says:

    Martin –
    Here is a video of a Mass at the SSPX chapel St. Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris. The epistle starts at 7:10 and is read aloud only in French. The Gospel (in part #4) is chanted in Latin.


  27. Ann says:

    I think it is very wonderful that the beautiful older mass is being said, and that this priest took training and then asked an experienced priest to come. Soon he will have the hang of it and then be able to offer this beautiful mass form himself.

    This is worthy of rejoicing. :-)

  28. Brian says:

    Hooray! I’m from Bloomington! Will be there this Sat! Trying to get a TLM going here!

  29. Aaron says:

    Fr. D. mentioned that he was going to be doing Saturday morning Mass in Springfield for a while. (He asked us to call him Fr. D. because we can’t really pronounce his name.) It’s about an hour and a half drive each way, so I hope he gets a good turnout.

  30. Peggy says:

    At least there will be something holy in SPFLD! I attended there at times when I lived in SPFLD. Not quite back in the fold at that time.

  31. Kudos to you Father for not allowing this entry to be hijacked by RJS or anyone else. I wish other bloggers would do the same. I have sometimes seen two or three entierly different threads with no relevance to the original or each other going on in the comments to the original entry.

  32. Lucy says:

    A big heartfelt thanks to all priests, diocesan or FSSP, etc who travel several hours each direction to say Mass for the faithful who desire it. It’s a great sacrifice of their time and takes away from their congregations and we appreciate them !!!

  33. Seneca says:

    I went to Fr. Devillers’ Latin Mass this morning at Blessed Sacrament, and was blown away. I can feel the Presence of Our Lord at mass, but in today’s Latin Mass (my first time at one) it was like getting Him in concentrated form – I am at a loss for words, other than I can’t wait until next Saturday!

    God Bless Fr. Devillers for bringing this gift to Blessed Sacrament, and God Bless Fr. Hoefler for making it possible!

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