Archbishop by Archbishop in Winnipeg!

From a Canadian Catholic newspaper The Prairie Messenger comes this great story for your Brick By Brick file.

My emphases and comments.

Latin mass celebrated in Winnipeg

By Brenda Suderman

WINNIPEG — The pews of Winnipeg’s St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church were filled to near capacity for mass on Sept. 4, with parishioners keen to worship in a language that most did not even understand.

The now weekly 10 a.m. mass is being said in Latin, with Rev. Jeffrey Burwell, SJ, presiding. [And a Jesuit to boot!]

“Following the liturgy, even with the help of the missal, can be a grace-filled challenge for those who either have no prior experience or have not attended the Latin mass since the 1960s,” says Burwell. “It is nevertheless clear that those attending have a real desire to actively participate. [And that, for the baptized, is the key to true active participation.] With such dedication, they will soon understand the liturgy in its fullness.”

The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the term used for the traditional Latin mass. After the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965, Roman Catholics were granted permission to celebrate the liturgy in their own languages, called the Ordinary Form.

“The church’s language is officially Latin. Other religions have sacred languages, Islam has Arabic, Judaism has Hebrew, and Hindu has Sanskrit,” says Burwell, 36, who teaches Catholic studies at the University of Manitoba and studied Latin during his undergraduate days at the University of Regina.

“There’s something about the sacred language. It roots us in our tradition.”

Parishioner Kateri Muys was eager to participate in the mass, having experienced it while studying at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ont.,

“There isn’t anything really like it,” explains the 21-year-old Oak Bluff resident. “Once you worship in Latin, you don’t want to go back.”

The first two Sundays of the Latin mass featured the 75-minute high mass, but from then on the hour-long low mass is being celebrated, with the high mass being reserved for feast days, says Burwell,

Winnipeg’s first official Latin mass in nearly five decades comes about with the support of the archdioceses of Winnipeg and St. Boniface after Pope Benedict XVI declared that those who want to worship using the traditional Latin liturgy should be given the opportunity, says Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber[Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

“We’ve been encouraged to expose them to that, to continue this tradition of the church,” explains Weisgerber. “Archbishop LeGatt (of St. Boniface) and I are co-operating on this because we want to make it accessible to the whole community.”  [WDTPRS Kudos to them.  BTW.. how many Archbishops are there in Winnipeg?  Quite a few, if memory serves.]

Ordained while Latin was still widely used, Weisgerber says he’ll consider dusting off his Latin and pinch-hitting for Burwell on Sunday mornings if necessary. [WDTPRS ultra-kudos.]

Attending Latin masses in London, England and St. Louis, Miss. convinced Winnipegger John Cortens to join the group at St. Ann’s on Sunday mornings.

“It is very, very moving and prayerful and reverent in those places,” recalls Cortens. “We’re just sort of a ragtag group trying to do the same in a small way.”

For Anselm Ragelti, worshiping in Latin also means an opportunity to learn the liturgy in a new way, since he is serving as an altar boy at St. Ann’s. Unlike the Ordinary Form in which the people respond to the priest in the liturgy, the six altar boys recite the responses in the Latin mass.

“I found it really beautiful,” says Ragelti, 14, of his previous experiences with the Extraordinary Form while attending a Catholic boys’ camp in South Dakota. “Latin is very beautiful and it translates into music easily.”

Burwell’s homily is delivered in English, as are the readings from Scripture. He is confident his new parishioners will become more comfortable with Latin and will soon know the difference between the Gradual and a genuflection.

“Those who attend the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy at St. Ann’s will find themselves nourished both by a beautiful celebration of the eucharist on the altar as well as a community of prayerful friendship that is developing in the pews,” Burwell says.

WDTPRS kudos all around!

See?  It doesn’t have to be agony.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Reading this reminded me of a priest I knew some years ago who, when he found out my cousin and I were studying Latin at school, rattled off either an Introit or Preface in Latin just like he was reading it out of a book. I was so shocked since I had never met a priest before then who acted like he was familiar with Latin. He also told us a story about when he was on sabbatical in Prague about 15-20 years ago. He was staying with a local family there who took him to Mass with them one night. Well, the priest celebrant was ill and could not say Mass. Since one of the other ministers knew of Fr. Ray’s presence, he was then asked to say Mass. Apparently they got it okay-ed by the bishop pretty quickly and Fr. Ray was asking the minister if anyone knew the Mass responses in English. None did… Fr. Ray could not read the Czech language… Finally, Fr. Ray asked if there was any chance that someone remembered the Latin responses…from what Fr. said, the minister’s face lit up with a grin and he said: OF COURSE! Needless to say, Fr. celebrated the Mass in Latin to everyone’s surprise, but he reported that no one was offended or thrown off by it. He acted like it was treated very welcome-ly.

    Sorry for the rant, but I always thought it was a nice story.

  2. RichR says:

    Latin Masses are becoming more and more popular because the younger generation is realizing the salvific value of traditional Catholic doctrine, and they are more apt to see the salvific value of traditional Catholic worship.

    If it was good enough for Padre Pio, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Therese of Lisieux, then why not try it out yourself?

  3. rahook says:

    There are two Archbishops in Winnipeg, Father. The Red River divides the city into two Archdioceses, Winnipeg to the west and St. Boniface to the east. [There are two Latin Catholic Archbishops there. Any others?]
    This is a major breakthrough. Weisgerber was our bishop in Saskatoon for a few years. He was a real hardliner when it came to the TLM, tolerating it but never encouraging it. I cannot imagine what could possibly have influenced him to make such an abrupt about face. Possibly Archbishop LeGatt may have been able to persuade him to soften his stance. He was our bishop after Weisgerber was transferred to Winnipeg and was much more sympathetic to the TLM, even going so far as doing traditional Confirmations for us. Do I dare speculate that we made a good impression on him, which he then passed on to Weisgerber? Regardless, all that matters is that after all these years, Winnipeg finally has a regular fully approved TLM.

  4. APX says:

    @Fr. Z

    [There are two Latin Catholic Archbishops there. Any others?]

    Not Latin, but there is an Archeparchy in Winnipeg too, which has two Eastern Catholic Archbishops.

    He was a real hardliner when it came to the TLM, tolerating it but never encouraging it. I cannot imagine what could possibly have influenced him to make such an abrupt about face.

    Grace perhaps? I was a real hardliner when it came to all things Catholic, despite being raised catholic (granted, my family isn’t all that Catholic), but somehow here I am attending the TLM regularly, even daily Mass whenever it fits my schedule, and bi-weekly, if not weekly confession. My abrupt conversion has those who knew about how much I hated being Catholic, and my love for Mormonism absolutely bewildered. Even I was confused about what was/is going on with me until I dawned on me that it is probably grace.

  5. Oleksander says:

    Archdiocese of St Boniface (original, and is historically Francophone), Archdiocese of Winnipeg (meant in mind for Anglophones “split” from St Boniface), and the Archeparchy of Winnipeg (Ukrainian)

    So there are 3 active, and at least 1 retired (Archeparch Michael Bzdel, CSsR) archbishops living in the city

  6. ejcmartin says:

    Our regular EF Mass celebrant is a Jesuit as well (and was ordained in the 60’s!)

  7. Mitchell NY says:

    It is just good that the Mass has been restored to Winnepeg. Numerous souls will benefit and for whatever the reasons it started let’s give thanks that it has. Continue to pray for more Diocease to follow. There are far too many souls who are not within reach of Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

  8. Mike says:

    First the Jets, now this!

  9. Geoffrey says:

    “The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the term used for the traditional Latin mass. After the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965, Roman Catholics were granted permission to celebrate the liturgy in their own languages, called the Ordinary Form.”

    But, Father! But, Father! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    What about Mass in the Ordinary Form in Latin?! Sadly, it seems like Extraordinary Form = Latin and Ordinary Form = vernacular. How can we get more Latin and chant in the Ordinary Form?

  10. Joe in Canada says:

    Congratulations to Fr Burwell! (I wonder why a Catholic publication like The Prairie Messenger calls him simply by his last name, or “Rev.” instead of “Fr” – but I too digress). Fr Jeffrey has worked hard and charitably for this to happen.

    Yes, the original Archdiocese was St Boniface, which was if I remember correctly the second diocese in French North America and went from Ontario to the Pacific Ocean. It has been reduced since then….

  11. marija says:

    @Geoffrey: Hire the right musician or director of music who will teach the choir and then the congregation the Latin responses. Brick by brick.

  12. A Jesuit willingly and entusiastically offering the extraordinary form? Someone check his bona fides!

  13. Glen M says:

    This is great news, especially in Winnipeg. If you google the “Winnipeg Statement” you will see why. Bonus: a Jesuit saying the E.F. Here’s hoping for some gravitational pull in their order.

  14. Adventist says:

    Thanks be to God!!! Revelation 5:13, anyone!?

    May this spread to Eastern Canada…

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Having lived in Canada for two years a while ago, and attending the FSSP in Calgary, this is fantastic news. For years, the Canadian Catholic has supported the status quo of really liberal Masses and heretical priests. This is, indeed, excellent news. May many vocations come out of Winnipeg. And may this openness and popularity spread to Saskatoon and Alberta. As to the Prairie Messenger, it is a mixed bag, and I gave up reading it, especially as the paper loves Father McBrien.

  16. leonugent2005 says:

    I predict that in 30 years the mass could very well be done entirely in latin everywhere. I’m 55 now and will have missed it!

  17. irishgirl says:

    Wonderful news from north of the border!
    A JESUIT (and a fairly ‘young’ one of 36) offering the TLM? Whoa!
    And TWO Archbishops giving their blessing? Double Whoa!
    Love it, love it, love it!

  18. mamosco says:

    I am truly happy for all our Canadian brethren. But why don’t we hear stories like this in New York or Brooklyn dioceses ? I know that there are many parishes that have the Mass in the extraordinary form — But why don’t we hear the bishops saying the masses or telling us that it will be offered in such and such a parish? It can’t be, as they are so fond of saying, that no one asked for it?

  19. John Cortens says:

    @ Joe in Canada.

    The odd styling of Fr. Burwell’s name is explained by the fact that the PMess story is a reprint of the original in the Winnipeg Free (secular) Press. Ms Suderman is not Catholic.


  20. winoblue1 says:

    This is good news for Catholics in Winnipeg, because both Manitoba and Saskatchewan used to be very Catholic areas and are now spiritual wastelands — seriously.
    I doubt this one mass will do much to effect any change, but at least the few souls that still remember, or care about, the faith can have a place to gather.
    There has also been a SSPX chapel in town for many years, it is small and quirky — but also a light in the darkness.

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