Brick by continuity brick in Macon, Georgia

From a reader about St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Macon, GA where Fr. Allan McDonald is building brick by brick.  You will remember Fr. McDonald from his rodent wars and his efforts at true continuity in liturgical worship.  Fr. McDonald has a blog called Southern Orders where you can see photos of the Mass described below.

This is to alert you to the solemn high TLM celebrated for the solemnity of St. Joseph by occasional WDTPRS commenter “southernorders” (Fr. Allan McDonald) who is the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, GA.

Story dispersed in 3 posts here, here and here.

Two points:

  • Full deal with choir singing Schubert’s Mass in G Major, not in some fancy cultural center like London or NY or Chicago or Washington, but just an ordinary parish church in Georgia. No fancy professional musicians, just an ordinary parish choir.
  • Not some special one-shot occasion, rather the parish’s principal celebration of its patronal feast of St. Joseph.

Maybe an example of the use of the extraordinary form for the most special and solemn liturgical occasions in ordinary parish life.

Fr. McDonald is perhaps doing the most thorough job of parish liturgical reform that I personally know about, anywhere in the country. Monthly TLM, with all the principal parish Masses (OF and EF) sung and chanted throughout (including the Canon in the OF). His people take the roof off, both OF and EF. True Vatican II participation?

WDTPRS KUDOS to Fr. McDonald.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Wow wish something like this could happen at the Cathedral in Atlanta 90 minutes north.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    Or at our parish — arguably it would happen sooner there than at the Cathedral.

    Three big cheers and a tiger for Fr. McDonald.

    And I hope his rats have gone where all good rats go — elsewhere!

  3. Centristian says:

    This is why I loathe it when a permanent free-standing altar has been erected in front of a church’s original high altar; a free-standing altar on casters that can be moved as necessary is always a better solution than this. To celebrate Mass ad orientem, while facing an that was altar erected for ad orientem worship, at an altar built for versus populum celebrations seems like the height of liturgical absurdity.

    It would seem to me that the more sensible thing would be to celebrate Mass ad orientem at the altar that was actually designed for ad orientem Masses, rather than at the altar designed for versus populum Masses. Any adjustments that might have to be made to the liturgical movements of the ministers at the altar would seem to me to be more justifiable than doing this.

    That observation having been made, I’ll take whatever they’re doing over the typical parish Mass that one encounters at most churches, and not let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

  4. Centristian says:

    “…while facing an that was altar erected for ad orientem worship…”

    Wow. Sorry. That ought to have read, “…while facing an altar that was erected for ad orientem worship…”

  5. mibethda says:

    It is perhaps interesting to note that one of the main streets in Macon is named Pio Nono (Pius IX).

  6. devthakur says:

    A cousin of mine and his family live near Macon … I think this news may lead me to visit them and to consequently visit St. Joseph’s!

    Thank you, Fr. McDonald.

  7. Jayna says:

    There is an FSSP parish in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, which is why, I fear, the vast majority of parishes in the archdiocese won’t be clamoring to celebrate an EF Mass any time soon. Any time it’s brought up, the inevitable response is, “but there’s one in Mableton, why do we need to do it?”

  8. AnAmericanMother says:


    “Because it’s beautiful, and holy, and we need it too!”

    Seriously, I understand what you mean. That’s why we have continued to work for more Latin in our home parish instead of migrating to Mableton. We don’t want a little Latin Ghetto over off Floyd Road . . . .

    The previous Archbishop did make a serious effort to spread the word, by having the “EF Mass Victory Tour” at various locations around the archdiocese. Haven’t seen that repeated tho, sadly :-(

  9. Scott W. says:

    What an interesting thing! Our family may have a career opportunity in Macon. I wonder if ya’ll would include some prayers for this. Thanks!

  10. Mitchell NY says:

    Truly inspirational and gives many hope. The parish is probably vibrant and alive breathing with “both lungs” so to speak of the Latin Rite. I often wonder how it goes when Father from Macon is together with fellow Priests and they start to speak of things liturgical and he brings up what he does in his parish. What are the reactions? Are his ways embraced, shunned, ignored, or is the subject taboo? I think this would make an interesting post over at Southern Orders. Either way the parish lay should be just as pround and commended.

  11. gmaskell says:

    We love our pastor, Fr. McDonald! The mass was breathe-taking! Thanks for posting!

  12. becket1 says:

    Will rejoice when I see a Brick by Brick in Upper Bucks county Pennsylvania.

  13. southern orders says:

    I’m humbled to see our little old parish highlighted in such a pleasant way in WDTPRS! There is a bit of hyperbole in terms of our ongoing liturgical renewal, but that in and of itself is a very nice compliment too! St. Joseph Church in Macon is a great parish, very diverse and very devout. They love to sing too, both in English and in Latin.
    We do use the EF Mass for special occasions, such as All Souls Day when our little old choir sings Faure’s Requiem. I hope that Schubert’s Mass in G Major will be sung yearly for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    We do celebrate the EF Mass each Tuesday at 5:00 PM as a low Mass–this has ingrained the rubrics and style of the Mass into me and those who attend. Then once a month at 2:00 PM we sing it as a High Mass with a very nice men’s schola to lead us. I’ve tried to catechize those who attend to actively participate in the verbal sense by saying and singing all the parts that once was the domain of the altar boys and choir. However, I have learned anew that active participation can also occur when one simply listens and prayers. Contemplation is a form of active participation too, a form of active participation that is at the heart of any other type of participation.
    Fr. Allan J. McDonald

  14. irishgirl says:

    Wow-wish we had something like this in Upstate New York!
    Thank you, Fr. McDonald [a/k/a ‘southern orders’]! Way to go!

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