Archd. of Miami Director of Worship on Summorum Pontificum

A reader alerted me to a piece written by the director of Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Miami.  He writes on the website of the Archdiocese about Pope Benedict’s emancipation proclamation, the 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.  Let’s see what he has to say with my emphases and comments.

On July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI published the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum by which the Holy Father allows for and promotes [Get that?  Not just "allows" but "promotes"] a wider usage of the liturgical books that were in use by the Roman Catholic Church in 1962. Pope Benedict XVI seeks in this Apostolic Letter [inter alia] to reconcile “in the heart of the Church” those individuals who have demonstrated an attachment to the liturgical forms that were in place before the liturgical renewal of the Second Vatican Council. He begins by defining two forms of the rule of prayer of the Latin Church: an ordinary form contained in the Roman Missal of Pope Paul VI, and an extraordinary form, as contained [once upon a time] in the Roman Missal of Pope Saint Pius V. [But more recently in that of Bl. John XXIII.] Both make up the Liturgy of the Roman Rite.
Any priest of the Latin Church may, without permission from the Holy See or his bishop, celebrate the extraordinary form in a Mass without the people at any time except during the Easter Triduum. It is noted that he may be joined by the faithful, since the extraordinary rite is primarily a private Mass. [I think I will take gentle exception to this.  No Mass is primarily a private Mass.  All Masses, that is all rites of Mass, are not intended to be private.]  In parishes where a group of faithful are attached to the extraordinary form of the Mass, they may approach the pastor to request the celebration of the extraordinary rite, without permissions from the Holy See or the bishop. If a priest cannot demonstrate a minimum rubrical or linguistic ability in Latin, he is not to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass.  [However… that doesn’t mean that those people making the request are out of luck… or rather, out of their rights.  First, the priest really ought to know his own Rite, right?  So, he should learn the older form if he doesn’t know it.  Second, if he cannot see to these people himself, he ought to take steps to find someone who can help.  That is part of his role as pastor.  It is understood that if the group is very small, it might be hard to take a huge initiative.  Yet large initiatives are implemented for very small groups all the time.  Third, if the pastor can’t get anything going, then the diocesan bishop needs to help get things going… in that parish.  Not just anywhere.]
Pope Benedict XVI is very clear in his apostolic letter that the current Roman Missal (Missale Romanum) is the ordinary form of the Eucharistic Liturgy and the extraordinary form is found in the 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII. He points out that there is “no contradiction between the missals” […and, therefore, one form of Mass is not  "primarily" private….]  and that the history of liturgical books is characterized by “growth and progress, but not rupture.” In both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Missal, full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful is to be desired above all else. [Properly understood, of course.  And since this included the phrase "above all else" we can most suitably begin with the person’s baptized character and then his or her state of grace.  You see, true active participation is first of all an interior reality, not an outward expression.  It leads to outward expression, the most perfect of which – in the liturgy of Mass – is the reception of Communion by a baptized person in the state of habitual grace.  To that end…. watch what this smart writer does….]  This begins with interior participation [YAY!  See?  Interior!  This priest gets it.] in the sacrifice of Christ. The ordinary form customarily accomplishes this participation through listening and responding to the prayers of the Mass in the vernacular [well… vernacular…. okay…] and by taking part in forms of exterior communal action. The extraordinary form accomplishes this interior participation largely by listening to the prayers in Latin and following the words and actions of the priests and joining our hearts to “what is said by him in the Name of Christ and [what] Christ says [to] him.”   [hmmm…. those two forms of participation sound an awful lot alike.]
From all of the above we see that the Church continues to treasure the riches of its past, [which is now its present] especially with regard to the sacred liturgy. The spirit of earlier liturgical forms, which permeated the spirit and culture of many who still remember these forms, continues in the celebration of both rites. Thus, it was through pastoral concern that Pope Benedict XVI was motivated to more easily allow for the celebration of more ancient liturgical rites and prayers by issuing Summorum Pontificium.

Msgr. Terence Hogan
Director, Office of Worship and Spiritual Life

WDTPRS kudos to Msgr. Hogan.  Well done.

I think I might have added something stemming from that organic growth comment about another objective of Summorum Pontificum and the use of the older Rites.  The use of these older forms will exert an influence on the way the newer forms are celebrated.

Still and all, you folks in Miami can be pleased that this priest has a clear sense of some very important concepts for a sound liturgical praxis.  He has a far better understanding of active participation than we have seen coming from most liturgical offices for several decades.  He speaks with respect about the older form and has not merely conveyed a reluctant tolerance toward it.  He speaks of continuity and eschews clichés about the Second Vatican Council.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Fr. Z., thanks for posting this.

    My wife and I have visited South Florida many times (always making sure to attend Mass, daily if possible). The sense I got is that the Miami Archdiocese is not all that orthodox, and from what I read only Archbishop Falavora celebrated the TLM once weekly. Given that the Archdiocese stretches from Key West to the Palm Beach County border, that’s a lot of territory. There has to be many in the Miami Archdiocese, regardless of where they came from (be it the cold North or Latin America) who want a wider application of the Extradordinary Form.

    Deo gratias!

  2. Hidden One says:

    May God bless Monsignor Hogan.

  3. Schmendrick says:

    Joe from Pittsburgh,
    The traditional Latin mass has been celebrated every Sunday in Miami for the past 14 years. It is currently celebrated at Saint Robert Bellarmine parish. The parish is being merged, however, with a neighbouring parish, and the future of the church is uncertain. Nevertheless, the priest, Father Joseph Fishwick, will continue to say the traditional mass, whether at Saint Robert or elsewhere.

  4. Veritas says:

    Well, as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Miami, I am orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium, and while there is still work to be done, the majority of us seminarians are orthodox and find the people hungering for the same.

  5. I took the time to lean the EF and it has enriched my Priesthood. Celebration of the OF will never be the same. I strongly recommend my brother Priest make the effort to lean the EF. I went to the seminar offered by St. John Cantius. Check it out

  6. Andreas says:

    “If a priest cannot demonstrate a minimum rubrical or linguistic ability in Latin, he is not to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass.”

    Interesting, coming from a place where I’ve been to numerous masses celebrated by Spanish speaking priests butchering English to a point of being utterly incomprehensible. There is one who cannot say as much as “the Lord be with you”. He says something that reminds me of the Swedish chef on the muppet show. (Finally he started to say Mass in Spanish even when it is scheduled to be in English – a preferable option in his case). For a while we used to joke that a priest from Africa who spoke English with a very strong French accent was the “english scholar” of our parish because all the others are nearly incomprehensible. Whenever I would ask my children after Mass about what they’ve understood they would just reply: “I haven’t understood anything”.

    So where is the linguistic ability when it comes to the vernacular Mass?

  7. Marcy says:

    As a member of the faithful in the Archdiocese of Miami you give me great hope for the future. I agree with the writer who said the Arch of Miami is not especially orthodox, but I suppose it could be worse. There are many of us who are yearning for orthodox priests and greater formation across the archdiocese. I look forward to the day when all you good seminarians are ordained. May God Bless You.

  8. My family has attended the EFM in Miami since 2003 at Saint Robert Bellarmine with the wonderful, Father Joseph Fishwick! After moving away last summer, we got a chance to visit this past May and were saddened by the news that Archbishop Favalora was “merging” Saint Roberto Bellarmine with Corpus Christi and re-assigning the pastor, Father Omar Huesca (yet another man who has fought to preserve the EFM and also to apply as much traditional customs to the Novus Ordo as possible) to another parish. It is still uncertain if the EFM will continue at Corpus Christi or at the new assigned parish of Father Huesca. As far as we know, Father Fishwick does celebrate daily EFM at the South Miami Hospital Chapel, not sure if with the closing of Saint Robert’s he will be celebrating Sunday Mass there as well? We need to pray for the future of the EFM in the Archdiocese of Miami. As the seminarian commented in a post before, it is very joyful to see and hear that the newer generation of priests are accepting and learning to love the beauty of the EFM! Since the Archdiocese is so large and mostly, very un-traditional…there is hope for it’s future! Join me in prayer for them? Pax Christi, LittleFlower1220

  9. Gus says:

    I live in Miami and so am glad that Msgr. Hogan, who is both Rector of the Cathedral and Archdiocesan Director of Liturgy, has posted these comments; hopefully, this will lead to greater dissemination of the EF in South Florida.
    I also like to note that while the Archdiocese of Miami does not enjoy either an abundance of traditional liturgical expression or traditional ecclesiastical architecture, it is most definitely an orthodox place.
    As mentioned before, St. Robert Bellarmine in Miami hosts an EF Mass every Sunday and St. Paul in Ft. Lauderdale (Lighthouse Point) does the same on the first and third Sundays.
    Many, many other parishes, however, celebrate the OF in a very reverent manner, among them I can recommend: Gesu, St. Patrick, St. Augustine, the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Jerome, etc.
    In fact, I was at St. Jerome for the Easter Vigil and the Kyrie was sung in Greek while the Sanctus and Agnus Dei were sung in Latin as was O Sacrum Convivium and the whole Roman Canon was prayed in Latin.
    Also, most priests are pretty orthodox and most younger priests are positively traditional as well.
    IMO, Miami may not be as traditional as say St. Louis but liturgical abuses are really an exceptional thing and for the most part it is an orthodox place.
    Hopefully, it will become more traditional as priests begin to learn how to celebrate the EF and this informs even their celebration of the OF.

    Pax et Bonum

  10. TC Tampa says:

    I was an altar boy at St Theresa in Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami, in the 70s. We always had reverent masses and none of the noisy guitar masses that seem to be the standard in the Diocese of Palm Beach, where I lived, and the Diocese of St Petersburg where I now live.

    St Theresa was mentioned in this WDTPRS post in January.

  11. Tom says:

    There’s always the Shrine of St. Philomena in Miami.

  12. Luis says:

    Thank you Father Z for posting this. I think it would be great if people went to the Father Hogan’s Blog and posted something nice about the EF and in support of Father Hogan. Especially, but not necessarily, if you live in Miami : )
    Thank you again Father Z

  13. Luis says:

    Actually that is “Monsignor Hogan”, oops. It really is a shame that Miami, as metropolitan and populated as it is, has only one EF Mass. There is one in Lighthouse point as well but that is quite a hike, away! I think it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have a “movable EF Mass” rotated around the parishes to increase awareness and interest.

  14. Chironomo says:

    Perhaps this will spread to the other Dioceses of Florida…There are some in the North part of the state that could definitely use this kind of encouragement.

  15. Steve says:

    Fr. Finelli

    Thank you for your comments. I think it is common for both priests and laymen to be changed by their exposure to the EF of the Mass. It\’s been my experience that many laymen begin to understand and live their their Faith far better after assisting at the traditional Mass. I know I did.

    God Bless you in your priesthood.

  16. Ana says:

    Just to clarify: The Shrine of St. Philomena is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Miami nor is it in communion with the Vatican.

  17. Phil Steinacker says:

    Just to clarify: The Shrine of St. Philomena is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Miami nor is it in communion with the Vatican.

    ~Comment by Ana


    I don’t know enough to say, but the pictures and the captions beneath them at the link offered by Tom would seem to indicate a healthy relationship with Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger.

    Would you please elaborate and offer support for your statement that this church is not in communion with Rome?

    Thanks so much.


  18. Henry Edwards says:

    Any priest of the Latin Church may ….. celebrate the extraordinary form in a Mass without the people at any time except during the Easter Triduum.

    This common statement apparently still requires clarification. The only mention of the Triduum in Summorum Pontificum is in Article 2, which makes no distinction between the ordinary and extraordinary forms. It says simply that no “private” Mass without the people — either OF or EF — may be celebrated during the Triduum. (This is nothing new, as it was previously true.)

    Whereas a parish could well decide to celebrate a public parish Mass in the extraordinary form during the Triduum — the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, or the Easter Vigil Mass. One might hope that the EF might especially be used for such festive parish celebrations.

    The curious statement about the EF being “primarily a private Mass” may betoken a general unfamiliarity with the distinction between private and public Masses in an era when many priests apparently feel no need to celebrate personally a private Mass on days when they do not have an assigned public Mass to celebrate.

  19. Ann says:

    Our deanery had a Mass in the extraordinary form. It was beautiful. There was even a chant choir!

    HOWEVER, it was poorly attended because it was at an unusual time when there is simply never a mass AND it was left out of the bulletins of EVERY parish in our deanery so hardly anyone knew it was going to happen.

    I only got there because I belong to a Catholic home school list and ONE person heard about it and posted it to the list.

    Neither the monthly nor the weekly bulletins said ANYTHING about it and it apparently had been planned for some time.

    Part of me wonders if this was deliberate. After all, if it was poorly attended then there must not be any call for it in the community.

  20. Luis says:

    Hey Father,
    In reviewing his bio it appears that Father Hogan attended the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, Rome, in 1996. Perhaps you have met?

  21. Joe says:

    —to Ann — if items like this are left out of the bulliten, and it happens mopre than once, it isnt an oversite or accident.

  22. Mr. WAC says:


    1. The photos prove nothing other than that someone applied for and received the papal blessing certificates and had his picture taken with Cardinal Ratzinger.
    2. P.J. Kennedy and Sons Official Catholic Directory does not list the “National Shrine of St. Philomena” under the Archdiocese of Miami’s official listing. It does however list an official National Shrine of St. Philomena in Briggsville, WI (founded 1949).
    3. The homepage for the Miami shrine advertises their affiliation with the SSPX.

  23. Luis says:

    St Philomena is certainly not operating with the permission of the local ordinary and therefore, I think, wouldn’t be in communion with Rome who has appointed the local ordinary. The photos are nice, but they don’t are not relevant to the issue at hand. You can check the Archdiocesan website for a list of chuches and shrines that operate under the authority of Archbishop John Clement Favalora.

  24. Tom says:

    Isn’t Fr. Rueda on the letterhead of Ecclesia Dei?
    What’s he doing in those pictures?

  25. Tom says:

    Correction: “Coalition Ecclesia Dei” along with some others in these pictures.

    Oh my!

  26. Luis says:

    “Isn’t Fr. Rueda on the letterhead of Ecclesia Dei? What’s he doing in those pictures?”
    I am sure they are very nice people, to boot. But, as you probably know very well, to some people it is important that a priest has faculties to operate in a given jurisdiction is important. Can you tell me whether or not the priests associated with St. Philomen have faculties from the Archbishop? Or are you suggesting that they don’t need them?

    BTW they and all priests should be in our prayers in this Year of the Priest.

  27. Crazy Man says:

    The Shrine as I understand is a friend of the SSPX. Most of the SSPX bishops have been there to offer Mass and Confrimations. I think the pastor at one time under the old indults did have some type of permission to offer the TLM from Rome. Archbishop Favalora, as I understand, really doesn’t care much for the Shrine, though they do pray for him and the Holy Father.

    As for the archdiocese being orthodox, I think the jury is still on this. After all, the Archbishop was once a rector of the shameful “Notre Flame” seminary in New Orleans. Who could also forget those homosexual advertisements in an archdiocese publication not too long ago? One former priest of the archdiocese, a Pole, Fr. Andrew, also laimed that the archdiocese is ruled by homosexuals (70-90% of priests being homosexual) and with few exception, only homosexuals are admitted into the seminary.

  28. EJ says:

    Very uplifting to see this coming from a chancery official of a major East Coast diocese.

  29. Tom says:

    Crazy Man:

    Don’t forget the vocations ads in gay mags! That was an outrage

  30. Krista says:

    I sincerely hope this is a start. My husband’s family lives in the Weston area and the Masses there are usually atrocious.(FYI-as a family, we don’t just approve of the TLM; we also appreciate a devout and respectful OF). My mother-in-law gets so annoyed with the laity’s disrespectful behavior (walking around during Mass, inappropriate attire, etc) that she ends up leaving angry and frustrated. The overall feeling in a lot of the Masses we’ve attended is chaotic and almost quasi-evangelical. We’ve also attended Masses at the archbishop’s church in Miami and have found those to be more dignified.

  31. j says:

    “Any priest of the Latin Church may, without permission from the Holy See or his bishop, celebrate the extraordinary form in a Mass without the people at any time except during the Easter Triduum. It is noted that he may be joined by the faithful, since the extraordinary rite is primarily a private Mass.”

    I think this bizarre statement comes from the legitimate confusion that exists, and is unfortunately repeated by those who should know better as to the meaning of “Missa Privata”. Some people use the term as if it meant “Low Mass”. It doesn’t. True “Missa Privata” are Masses without the people, and have been restricted and discouraged, at least as regular occurrences, both as to what can be done and where. Missa Privata are Low Masses, but not all Low Masses are Missa Privata. The rubrics for “Missa Privata” are the MINIMUM used for Low Mass. For instance, while singing, partcularly by the congregation, is encouraged for Low Masses it is DIS-couraged for Missa Privata.

    I think the Ad. has taken the fact that most EF Masses these days are done without 3 Sacred Ministers or 9 Acolytes or a Chant Schola, namely a LOW Mass, that they are also “Private” in the colloquial sense.

  32. fatheranthonyho says:

    Very good article indeed.

    Excellent point: active participation begins with interior participation.

    God bless!

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