Brick by brick in St. Louis

Pope Benedict’s vision, his "Marshall Plan", will not be implemented in a day or a year or even a few years. 

But it is happening.

This "Marshall Plan" revolves around a revitalization of Holy Church’s worship. 

To this end, Pope Benedict gave us Summorum Pontificum and other tools and gifts, such as his own example.

I am pleased that more and more people have the opportunity to participate at Masses celebrated with the older, traditional Missale Romanum.  These experiences will help also to correct the way the newer form of Mass is celebrated.

There are some institutes and fraternities of priests dedicated to this cause.

But what I think is really needed in dioceses, first and foremost, is not so much some specialized group to come in and do what other can’t do.  What is truly necessary is that diocesan priests and seminarians take charge of this vision.  Diocesan priests and seminarians, ideally with the full support of the local bishop, must make this project their own.  All these other groups play their good and necessary role, but when the diocesan clergy take up this challenge – and it will happen, folks – this "Marshall Plan" will really pick up speed. 

With that preamble, I share this from a reader in St. Louis:

As someone who enjoys your blog very much, I wanted to share with you some pictures of a Solemn Pontifical High Mass that took place in St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 19. It was celebrated by Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus.

What I think was most remarkable about this seven-month project was that it was completely organized and executed from scratch by diocesan priests and seminarians, in an oratory that was not designed for this sort of big liturgy. It was a wonderful experience to see how beautiful and prayerful a Liturgy a relatively small group enthusiastic and dedicated diocesan men can organize.

I think all of us that took part in the Mass were left with great hope for the future. I hope that, at the least, this Mass can serve to inspire others to save the liturgy. The resources are out there, it just takes zeal and love of the Church.

A couple photos:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Fr. Z: “What is truly necessary is that diocesan priests and seminarians take charge of this vision.”

    Spot on, Father. I thought for a long time that the restoration of the TLM and a reform of the reform would be largely for the benefit of the laity, largely because the public face of the Traditionalist cause in the US and UK for years was in its laymen, i.e., Michael Davies, the Matt family (in both The Wanderer and The Remnant), Una Voce, Latin Mass Society.

    I’ve changed my mind, though. The brilliance of Summorum Pontificum has been in the sanctification and spiritual benefits to priests who have learned and now celebrate the TLM. These are the men who will bring the laity along.

    There is a motivated group of the laity, of course, who have worked very hard and who have benefited spiritually from the restoration of the TLM in many places. But, by and large, I find that a lot of laymen and laywomen of goodwill, sympathetic to the TLM and to reverence in the liturgy at large, really need to be led by their priests into an understanding and appreciation of the TLM before they will commit to making a major part of their spiritual lives. The primary role of priests and seminarians in the implemetation of Summorum Pontificum is going to be, IMO, critical to how long the restoration will take to occur and to how full its application will be.

    BTW, look at the picture of the Carmelite nuns. What is it about the good cloistered orders that makes the sisters so happy?

    In Christ,

  2. Bruce says:

    What is it about the good cloistered orders that makes the sisters so happy?

    Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

  3. JoAnna says:

    Beautiful pictures. I’ll remember them this Sunday when the “music team” plays yet another Chris Tomlin song… *sigh*

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    “We are used to seeing established orders of sisters with older members in dwindling numbers, and not many new sisters to take their place. We are also becoming more familiar with newer, more traditional orders with lots of young nuns. These Carmelites are special in that they are an established order with older sisters, yet also with lots of young sisters, too. This is a great sign of the dynamism and orthodoxy of this order, and points out that such a constant renewal is possible across the spectrum of religious orders so long as they are true to the faith, and to their founding charism.”

    And speaking of brick-by-brick:

    “If someone had told me five years ago that an order of Catholic sisters–not a traditionalist order, mind you– would celebrate their 90th jubilee in the Archdiocese by having a traditional Pontifical Solemn High Mass, celebrated by a former Archbishop and assisted by priests and seminarians of the Archdiocese, along with members of a traditional institute all together, I would have thought you crazy or hopelessly optimistic.”

  5. irishgirl says:

    Bruce-these Carmelites are not cloistered. They do apostolic works such as caring for the sick, the elderly, and children.

    They may look like the Discalced Carmelite nuns, but they’re not.

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