Brick by brick in Rhode Island

From Rhode Island Catholic there is an article about the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, a fruit of Summorum Pontificum.

My emphases and comments.

Ways we worship: Celebrating the Latin Mass
Part one of a three-part series on special liturgical celebrations offered in the diocese of Providence.
BY LAURA KILGUS, Staff Reporter

PROVIDENCE — On July 7, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on the use of the Tridentine Mass, the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council. The pope’s instruction came in a four-page apostolic letter entitled Summorum Pontificum.

After hearing of this letter, Father Michael J. Woolley, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Woonsocket decided to learn to say the Mass and offer it monthly in his parish. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] Over the past three years, the pastor explained that the Traditional Latin Mass continues to be cherished by Catholics throughout the state. 

In his letter, the pope said Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal, sometimes referred to as the Tridentine Mass and now officially known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, should be made available in every parish where faithful desire it. The Tridentine Mass has been allowed as a liturgical exception since 1984, but Catholics had to request permission from local bishops, who did not always consent. [But they don’t even have to request it now.  Pastors can themselves determine to implement it so that the people can experience it.]

“A lot of lay people and clergy had an affection for the traditional Mass,” said Father Woolley. “What Pope Benedict said in Summorum Pontificum was that what was holy then is holy now. He wanted it to be revived.”

John Boni of Bellingham, Massachusetts attended his first Latin Mass in April 2008 when it was first offered at St. Joseph’s Church.

There are many aspects of the Latin Mass that Boni was drawn to, he said. The decoration of the altar, the priest facing east or “ad orientem,” the music, communion kneeling and received on the tongue, and the powerful silence were all spiritual elements that added to the sacredness of his experience.

Some may think that too much silence means you are not really participating in the Mass, but I disagree,” said Boni. “I think the silence helps me focus more on God during the Mass and that to me is a truer participation.[That is because true active participation begins with active interior participation, which usually stems from intent listening.]

Boni’s family attends the Latin Mass when it is offered monthly at St. Joseph’s parish. On other weeks, they attend the new Mass.

“While I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, I certainly still appreciate the regular Mass also,” he said. “Perhaps the future will be a merging of the two forms of Mass, taking the best of both.” [Perhaps.]

The Latin Mass draws Catholics into beautiful prayer, said the Father Woolley.

“People appreciate this kind of liturgy,” he said. “Latin is a liturgical language that makes everyone equal.”

Since 1978, Holy Name of Jesus parish in Providence has celebrated a Mass in Latin, and since 1984 that Mass has been in the Traditional Form every Sunday.

Father Joseph Santos, pastor of Holy Name, finds that the quality of the prayers is the most beautiful component of the Traditional Latin Mass.

“I find it not only theologically correct, but also on a deeper level than some of what was incorporated into the new rite,” he said. “The reverence is inherent in the rite itself and the fact the priest faces the same way as the people conveys the simple truth that he is there to lead the faithful and not to be the one that the people are focusing on as an individual.”

It is the reverence that draws Catholics to this Mass, said Father Santos, specifically many parishioners traveling from bordering states.

“They find a source of stability in a very confusing and changing world,” he explained. “This is something that is there as it has been and as it will be.”

With a passion for the Latin Mass, Allen Maynard of North Carver, Mass travels 42 miles to attend Holy Name with his wife and five children each week.

Feeling disenchanted with the Church, Maynard said he couldn’t find a parish where he felt like he was Catholic. After a long search, eventually he began to attend the Traditional Latin Mass.

“It is beautiful,” he said. “I think it is unmistakably oriented toward God.”

Maynard, who is on the national board of Una Voce America, a global organization that promotes the Tridentine Mass, said that the Mass is efficacious regardless of what rite one attends.

“I would like to see more people aware of it and be curious of it. Catholics do need to understand their liturgical heritage,” said Maynard. [And not just as a curiosity.] “It’s what their parents and grandparents went to. I think Summorum Pontificum was not just a gift to us who love the traditional Mass, but it was a gift from the pope to the whole church. A lot of fruits will come from this.”

Many people have fond memories of the Traditional Latin Mass and are attracted to its reverent atmosphere. [But young people are the ones who really drive its growth.] Father Woolley said that this Mass has a significant history and is irreplaceable in the life of the church.

“The more exposure it gets the more people like it,” he said. “It’s over 1000 years old. It’s a witness to the undying faith; it connects us not only with Catholics throughout the world, but with Catholics throughout the centuries.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. “While I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, I certainly still appreciate the regular Mass also,” he said. “Perhaps the future will be a merging of the two forms of Mass, taking the best of both.”

    I don’t know about that, but one thing I find myself hoping for is the return of one liturgical calendar. It feels schizophrenic to switch between the new calendar and the old one. I’d like to see the old calendar return and supersede the new one: too much slash and burn of worthy feasts and holy days in the new one.

    I suppose to the extent the new rite exercises an influence over the old one, perhaps it could be in the area of the Epistles and Gospels. A greater variety of these in the Extraordinary Rite might not be a bad thing.

  2. lmgilbert says:

    John Boni of Bellingham, Massachusetts said,

    “While I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, I certainly still appreciate the regular Mass also,” he said. “Perhaps the future will be a merging of the two forms of Mass, taking the best of both.” [Perhaps.]

    In fact, isn’t it the expressed hope of the Holy Father that there be a dialogue between these Masses, that they influence one another?
    I know you, Fr. Z, have often commented on the fact that when priests say the EF, they find it affects their understanding of their priesthood and the way they celebrate the Novus Ordo.

    Is there any reciprocal influence at all? is there to be, from the standpoint of traditionalists, a hermeneutic of discontinuity with the whole liturgical renewal that was taking place decades before the council? Is it ALL to ignored, chucked out and written off and the hope promulgated that we return to the status quo ante, liturgical life as it was after the reforms of Trent?

    That is my impression of what is happening, what is desired and what is being pursued. Is it not also based on a theology of rupture?

    Am I wrong?

  3. frere wilfrid says:

    The Diocese of Providence is also blessed to have a young priest by the name of Albert Marcello, at present curate at St Paul’s Cranston. Father Marcello says the Traditional Mass beautifully, and lacks the distressing effeminacy which marks most recent traditional products of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. I took part in a High Mass with a bunch of them a couple of weeks ago – lovely vestments, but I would not want the guys inside them working in my parish!

  4. Childermass says:


    I was blessed to be at Holy Name in Providence for Palm Sunday 2009. The Solemn Mass that day was in the Rite of Braga—Fr. Santos has faculties to celebrate this interesting and beautiful Latin rite!

  5. ipadre says:

    There are a number of us in the DOP who now celebrate the EF. Fr. Michael Wooley, Fr. Joseph Santos, Fr. Jude Onuchukwu (also at Holy Name), Fr. Barry Meehan, Fr. Albert Marcello, myself and I hear there are seminarians who want to learn. I believe there are also a few Dominicans at Providence College who celebrate in the EF.

  6. maynardus says:

    Holy Name is a most unusual parish and Fr. Santos is a most unusual priest who’s been responsible for laying a great many bricks in the edifice of traditional Catholicism in Southern New England in the past six years. Holy Name is practically impovershed, but even while feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, instructing the ignorant, etc., he’s managed to launch an ambitious restoration project and also found time to train many of his brother priests, host conferences, salvage and re-distribute altars, vestments, statues, candlesticks, etc., and all kinds of other things. This week he’s in Norway on a pilgrimage organized by an expat from Holy Name. Heaven knows what he’ll be up to next. And as long as I’m disgorging quantities of parochial pride, Fr. Marcello used to serve the T.L.M. at Holy Name and said his first Mass there.

  7. Revixit says:

    Responding to this sentence in the article, “Many people have fond memories of the Traditional Latin Mass and are attracted to its reverent atmosphere,”

    Fr. Z wrote: [But young people are the ones who really drive its growth.]

    Speaking of driving growth, please remember, Father, that we older Catholics cannot drive our cars as far as we once could, due to health problems and/or the expense of gas on incomes that no longer experience growth.

    More of us would probably be attending the Mass we knew before Vatican II if we could get to one without driving two hours or more one way.

    Expense is a great problem for young single-income families, too.

  8. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    The dissidents in the church are still fighting against the renewal. The current post in the Concord Pastor blog gives a taste of what those who have steadfastly opposed the restoration of the traditional Mass are saying:

  9. techno_aesthete says:

    Una Voce America, a global organization

    The International Federation Una Voce is a global organization. Una Voce America is the American part of IFUV.

  10. Gabriel Austin says:

    It fails not to amaze me that we do all know something of the history of our Church and of its bishops; yet fail to realize that many of the bishops were not saintly men. They quickly were Arianized and gallicanized, becoming close to the politicians. They act so as not to offend the politicians.
    This condition is not exceptional but typical of the episcopal state. Instead of going out into the vineyard they cower behind chancery walls. I’d guess that in any year a good three quarters of our bishops are Arians. As Dorothy L. Sayers wrote to C.S. Lewis “The trouble with you religious people is that you have so little trust in God”.

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