Brick by brick in San Bernardino

This comes from a reader for the brick by brick file.

Dear Father Z,

After yesterday’s, February 21, 2010, TLM at San Secondo d’Asti Parish, Guasti, Ca, Una Voce San Bernardion handed out a pamphlet including their accomplishments in 2009. Among the many articles they reported that the Midnight Christmas Sung TLM at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Rialto, Ca, had 1,000 faithful in attendance. The count was reported by the Pastor, Fr. Stephen Porter.

My wife and I were in attendance and I knew that the church was packed. So many presented themselves for communion that toward the end Father was down to about 1/8 of a regular sized host per person. Father even hat to return to the altar and take a good portion of the large host that he used in Consecrating the body of Christ. It was obvious that the overwhelming attending had never been to a TLM.

I have been to many TLM’s in Ca. none have been anywhere close to a 1,000. I do not know if this normal in the rest of the USA.

So… how is your Mass attendance?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Just yesterday Fr. Fryar at Christ the King in Sarasota FL announced that they are considering adding another Mass time in addition to the two Sunday morning Masses as the 11:00 Mass is “out the doors”. The 8:30AM low Mass each Sunday seems to increase in number each week. About 3/4 full now…

  2. lucy says:

    At St. Anthony’s in Fresno, CA, we get on average 120-130 every Sunday at 3:30pm.

  3. Athelstan says:

    8am at Old St. John’s/Our Lady Queen of Poland in Silver Spring, MD averages about a hundred on Sunday. There are, however, other TLM options in the DC area (albeit not enough).

    And in truth, the church is so small it could not accommodate too many more.

  4. Francisco Cojuanco says:

    San Juan Capistrano at the 8am Sunday Mass: About 100-150 on a regular Sunday, slightly larger maybe during Christmas and Easter.

  5. TJerome says:

    chironomo, are you at Christ the King? I was there for Mass on Spring Break last year before the move to the new Church. Sounds like the parish is doing great. All the best, Tom

  6. jo seno says:

    Here is the website of Una Voce San Bernardino –

    Mr. Laurence Gonzaga, the president of UVSB, is pretty good at updating the site so if you live in So Cal you might want to check it out often because he posts TLM events on there. Also, he has done a great job with the group.

  7. Jacob says:

    It was obvious that the overwhelming attending had never been to a TLM.

    How was it obvious? Will they be returning?

  8. Central Valley says:

    Bakersfield, Ca. has 300 plus weekly. On Ash Wednesday, Mass was offered at a neighboring parish, the regulars made the trek and the small church was packed. If you offer it , they will come.

  9. DetJohn says:

    Over at Liturgical Purgatory There is as blog and a couple of photos of the Christmas TLM at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish. Presently it the 5th blog down.

  10. Jack007 says:

    Sadly the TLM at the incredibly beautiful Shrine of St. Joseph in St. Louis has been discontinued.
    Seems that they could only average less than 10 people.

    Jack in KC

  11. jfk03 says:

    Speaking of liturgical purgatory, it is alive and well at St. Mary’s Church in Ukiah, California. The annual fundraiser for St. Mary’s School (“St. Mary’s Mardi Gras”) is being held in the middle of Lent. Here is a link to an article in the local fishwrapper:

    Brick by brick, eh? In many parts of the Latin church, Lent has become a vestigial remnant of what it once was.

  12. Hans says:

    I can’t give numbers, but the “Tridentine Rite” Mass at the neighboring parish has been moved to 9:30 from an afternoon spot. I assume that means the number of people warrants it.

  13. TomW says:

    I live in Pittsburgh, which has a Latin Mass Community that’s been in existence for many years and offered the EF prior to the moto proprio under an indult from the local bishop. I’m unable to attend weekly, but when I do go, it seems to be well attended with well over 100 weekly. Interestingly, since the moto proprio was issued in 2007, I’m unaware of any other parishes in the diocese that offer the EF. I wonder if this apparent lack of growth is due to the indult? Has anyone in other parishes that offered the Latin Mass under indult experienced similar lack of expansion of the EF?

  14. kiwitrad says:

    Our bishop reluctantly allowed an elderly priest to say a Latin Mass on alternate Sundays in a small church several miles from town. He only allowed a notice about it to be put in the parish newsletters once, the week after Christmas, which is the NZ holiday period and many parishioners were away. A reminder put up on the Parish notice board was promptly removed. So people really only hear about it by ‘word of mouth’. The Bishop also preached against the “people clinging to the 1962 Mass” at Sunday Mass.

    It only started in January but we get between 15 and 30 people a week, which is quite good considering.

  15. I was at the St Catherine Mass at midnight and can attest to the number that was there. (As well as wrote the Liturgical Purgatory blog)

    At my parish St Therese we get a few hundered, I think we get around 400 or so each week at the Mass the parish is close to full.

  16. MikeM says:


    I don’t know if I’m reading too much into your comment, but I don’t think think the observation that many hadn’t previously attended an EF Mass was meant to denigrate them at all. Since I necessarily am the sacristan/usher/whatever-else-needs-to-be-done at our on campus mass (naturally in the OF) I’ve only been to the TLM on a few occasions. I am not under any illusions that anyone watching me can’t tell as I fumble around for the right page in my missal, give slightly delayed responses, etc. And, I do know a sufficient amount of Latin to understand at least the general gist of what’s being said, to understand the meaning of the responses, etc., so it might be even more noticeable for people who don’t know any latin.

    That doesn’t mean that the TLM newbies aren’t getting anything out of it or that they’re disruptive or anything (at least, I hope people don’t consider me disruptive… :o)

    I suspect more than a few of them will come back. And, even if they don’t, I think that people only go in the first place because they know they’re seeking reverent liturgy, and I think attending the TLM reinforces that. While I don’t foresee switching whole sale to EF masses in the near future, I know my experiences with them have given me a greater appreciation for the mass which I bring with me to the OF.

  17. Ygnacia says:

    At Mission San Juan Bautista in California, we average about 150+. We have packed the church occasionally. Pretty good numbers considering we have virtually no ‘advertisement’, and we are a rural community.

  18. Bernie says:

    Rochester, NY: 100-120 attendance each week; St. Stanislaus Latin Mass Community, 1:30 pm Sundays

  19. smallone says:

    The EF Mass at Holy Redeemer, Delmar, Maryland, which is celebrated on the 1st Sunday of the month, usually draws about 80-90 folks. I haven’t counted, I’m basing my estimate on how big the church is. It’s a small church — a mission of the larger St. Francis de Sales in Salisbury.

    It was canceled last month due to severe weather (priest has to travel from another parish in nearby Delaware, which had a travel ban except for emergency vehicles). I wanted to cry.

  20. Jon says:

    Harrisburg FSSP apostolate:

    Between two Sunday Masses, an 8 o’clock Low Mass and a 10 o’clock High Mass, we have approximately 300, give or take.

    As for daily Mass, sometimes there are 15, sometimes 60.

    There’s also a weekly High Mass in Lancaster. It’s a diocesan apostolate. Their number oscillates between 75 and 100.

  21. Denis Crnkovic says:

    v. Jon’s comment: The Mass in Lancaster (Penna.) is celebrated at St Anthony of Padua at 1 p.m., I believe. It is a High Mass, sung either by a mixed choral group or by a small, and very nice, Gregorian scola. There is a consistent cadre of attendess – enough to satisfy anyone’s onery definition of “stable group”. The usual celebrant is young, newly ordained and very much interested in preserving liturgical continuity. Appropriately, St Anthony’s is a red “brick” church.

  22. Jacob says:

    Comment by MikeM — 23 February 2010 @ 2:18 am

    You’re reading too much into it. :) I was just looking for the specific data points behind the reporter’s statements that would lead to the conclusions given.

  23. chironomo says:


    I am not “at” Christ The King (I actually work as the Music Director at a neighboring parish) but I attend the 8:30AM Mass there on Sunday. It is very exciting to have such a thriving TLM parish just a few blocks away. Bishop Dewane has been very supportive of the TLM throughout the Diocese (5 locations now on Sunday) as well as at Ave Maria University.

    Let me know if you’re in the area again…

  24. chironomo says:

    As for the ongoing discussion about attendees not having been to a TLM before… is that really unusual? Given the scarcity of the TLM these past 45 years, it would seem to be expected that most attending a very large Mass would not have attended a TLM , at least not recently. I didn’t get the impression that the writer meant it in a bad way, but rather that the Mass attracted those who were not necessarily “already attached to the Rite”.

  25. TJerome says:

    chironomo, thanks for the info and the invite. Sarasota is a great vacation spot so I’ll likely be back. I’ll let you know. Best of luck at your parish. I assume you’re making some progress there “brick by brick” particularly with Bishop Dewane. I imagine he’s not altogether that sympathetic when liturgical “progressives” rant about “rolling back Vatican II.” Best, Tom

  26. mdinan says:

    Here in Rochester, NY, we get somewhere between 100-200 each week, with the higher numbers coming during the once-monthly high Mass

  27. Phil says:

    We have the EF at our parish on Wednesday night (6:00 pm) during Lent and Easter. A Jesuit priest comes out to sing Missa Cantata for us (I usually chant the propers, with two others helping for the Mass parts). Our pastor is not supportive at all, and does not speak highly, or even mediately, about it. So we usually have about 15-20 people there.

  28. MAJ Tony says:

    We have a thriving FSSP-supported TLM community here in Indy at Holy Rosary; that includes many familys with young children, BTW, and a very good schola and choir that can do very good to excellent sacred polyphony.

    The TLM moved to HR from nearby St. Patrick’s sometime before I got here in 2002, and I know it’s been here in Indy since the mid-late 90s. That move saved Holy Rosary, which was a dying Italian National Parish on the SE side of Indy, right next to Eli Lilly’s Corp. HQs. We finished a major restoration of the Church a year back. Sunday Masses are generally packed, and the one TLM collection usually is about 40% of the collection count compared to the combined Sat evening and Sun noon OF. My experience is the three masses draw very well across the board. According to the archiocesan website, HR has 401 families, and can seat about 400.

    When I first started attending here in 2002, TLM collection count was closer to 50%, but that was pre-SP, and pre-establishment of a TLM on the north side (Carmel, which is in Lafayette dio), one in Lafayette (an hour northwest) and one about an hour southeast near Oldenburg, at Ss. Philomena & Cecilia, Oak Forrest (another church saved by the TLM and the FSSP, this one way out in the hills). I also think we’ve gained OF parishioners, based on observation and collection count. Msgr. Schaedel has plenty of Latin in his OF Mass, as well as the Benedictine altar arrangement. He’s known to go “Ad Orientem” on occassion.

    Our very supportive Abp +Buechlein* is a St. Meinrad Benedictine and grew up near Jasper, IN (as in Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Kimball furniture (pianos until 1996)). His VG, Msgr. Schaedel, is our Parish Pastor, and our TLM apostolate priest is Fr. Michael Magiera, FSSP. We’re also fortunate to have Sr. Dianne Carollo, SGL Founder, Archdiocese Director for Pro-Life Ministry, as the Parish DRE. She’s been on EWTN’s “The Good Life” with Barbara McGuigan talking about Right to Life, and has a book entitled The Final Choice.

    *pronounced Beek-line, not Buke-line; I cringed when the lady on the Son-rise Morning show, which is from the most German city of Cincinnati, OH, mispronounced it.

  29. Agellius says:

    At San Secondo d’Asti there are about 250 at the regular Sunday TLM at 10:30 a.m. It’s a small church so this is about all it can hold, and there are usually some people in chairs outside the door, where they have loudspeakers so they can hear.

    I occasionally attend a sung mass at St. Therese in Alhambra, which has probably no more than 100, although it is always spectacularly beautiful (professional organist and music director). But it’s at 1:00 in the afternoon, so it’s to be expected that it would get smaller crowds. I’d love to see what would happen if they moved it to, say, 11:00.

  30. ChristopherM says:

    Its been almost a year since I was at San Secondo d’Asti – I thought myself lucky as it was about a mile from my hotel and the hotel van took me every morning I went. The driver asked me to pray for him.

    All the Masses are prayed ad orientem and the N.O. Mass has latin mixed in.

    If you are interested there are some pictures I took here:

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