Stave by Stave: The great Fr. Perrone writes his first Mass!

Here is one for your “brick by brick” file.

My friend, the distinguished Church musician Fr. Eduard Perrone, pastor at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, has written a Mass, to be used during the Christmas season, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The blog Te Deum has details and Fr. Perrone’s explanation to his choir about what is going on in the movements/parts of Mass.

The Mass will be used for the first time for Midnight Mass of Christmas, which begins – thanks be to God – at Midnight.  Click HERE for more details.

With this Mass, Fr. Perrone, as a true Church musician, has made a real contribution to the identity of “pastoral musicians”.  He has nudged the bar upward a couple notches.

If any of you are anywhere near Detroit when Masses will be offered with this new Mass by Fr. Perrone, I warmly encourage you to go and participate with the active participation that is listening.

Assumption Grotto is a treasure of the Archdiocese of Detroit and its deserves great attention and support.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Dear Father Z.,
    Unfortunately, it was recently announced by the chancery in Detroit that Assumption Grotto is one of the churches that will be closed.

    [Well, that sure derailed this entry!]

  2. oldCatholigirl says:

    I, too, have heard about the possible closing of “Grotto”. I am hoping and praying that this is one of those negotiable bureaucratic suggestions rather than a done deal. We’re talking about a parish that has been a shining example of orthodoxy and orthopraxy for years–and a shrine to the Blessed Mother also.
    Some years back Fr. Perrone did a really useful booklet to accompany the Novus Ordo with a literal translation of the Latin, complete with arrows indicating the order of the words. And, of course, has featured excellent music suited to all the Liturgies done under his auspices. I wish I could get to Detroit to hear his new composition, but I’m on the other side of the state.

  3. Elizabeth D says:

    I think there was a recommendation that some parishes be clustered and when eventually Fr Perrone was no longer the pastor there, Assumption Grotto would be in danger of closure. I live in Wisconsin and never been to Assumption Grotto or Michigan, and it upset me. There needs to be more local recognition there that they have something precious and brilliant, valued and having a good influence far beyond their local community, that needs to be continued. It would be great if the Canons Regular of St John Cantius would consider it since they also celebrate both forms of the Latin Rite with great attention to sacred music and art.

  4. Thanks for getting the word out Father Z.

    Since it has been brought up here….

    I wouldn’t want there to be any misunderstandings about what was said about Assumption Grotto and closures. With regards to the Archdiocesan Planning Committee’s recommendation, here is precisely what it said:

    Regarding the cluster partners Assumption Grotto and St. Cyril and Methodius, there is concern that this is not canonically possible. The parish and planning group should instead begin in early 2012 to discuss the closing or merger of Assumption Grotto with a neighboring parish, to be implemented upon the retirement, reassignment or pastoral vacancy of the priest, if a replacement is not available to be assigned. Assumption Grotto must also develop in the first quarter of 2012 a realistic financial plan that addresses how the parish will pay outstanding debt and ongoing payables and submit for approval to the archdiocesan LDP Committee and Finance Council.

    I think many of us are perplexed as to how anyone would suggest that Assumption Grotto cluster with a parish 20 miles away, and one that is not a territorial parish, but an ethnic Slovak parish. Remarkably, the vast majority of parishioners there now, I believe, are non-Slovaks. The parish indeed is like a liturgical oasis in a land with folk music and other things you see in 99% of the parishes in the AoD.

    It’s amazing that the AoD could find only one other parish with similar “spirituality”.

    Anyway, that is a separate issue, but it looks like Assumption Grotto will be there until Fr. Perrone leaves for any reason, but there is indeed a threat. Perhaps someone has the mistaken impression that the parish will collapse after Fr. Perrone is no longer there. I myself have thought that the Cantians would be a good match musically and liturgically to eventually take over that parish. However, I know a number of priests right here in the diocese who would love to to have it, and that priest would need to ensure that it has a solid music program.

  5. Joseph-Mary says:

    When I heard that the magnificent Assumption Grotto could be closed I wrote to the Archbishop.
    Even though I live out of state, I have made it a point to go there when I visit the state.

    It is a treasure and must be preserved.

  6. momoften says:

    And…people who are interested in saving Grotto should help it financially so as to NOT give any fiscal reason to close it. . . and write to the Archbishop. Although Sts Cyril and Methodius is an EXCELLENT parish as Diane will attribute, and I know- Assumption Grotto offers more in different ways. Fr Perrone and his parish will be in my prayers and thoughts. God Bless him for all he does!

  7. tealady24 says:

    Write to the Archbishop, and pray to the Blessed Mother! Here in Pennsylvania, beautiful old churches are always being shuttered. The shame! A while back the bishop of Scranton was run out on a rail by people who believed he was closing schools for no good reason; now, our present bishop is talking school closures again. If only we could email Jesus . . . help!

  8. rakowskidp says:

    I belong to Ss. Cyril & Methodius, and Father addressed the various media reports on our proposed clustering arrangement in his announcements at the close of Mass this morning. First, he has already spoken with Frs. Perrone and Bustamante, and we won’t be clustering with Assumption Grotto. Second, our parish is growing in membership and our finances our sound (no debt), so we don’t need to cluster at this time. Third, the planning document for our vicariate included proposals for clustering with Our Lady of Czestochowa (ethnically Polish parish, almost directly across the street from Ss CM) and/or St. Lucy (ethnically Croatian parish in neighboring Troy, Michigan). So it doesn’t sound like we’re clustering with Assumption Grotto unless we’re forced to do so by the diocese (speaking for myself and not our pastor).

    Having said that, I certainly hope there’s a path for Grotto to avoid closure. I don’t understand why they can’t continue forward upon the departure of Fr. Perrone with a priest of similar spirituality.

  9. If there are any sacred music sources out there that would like to talk to Fr. Perrone about this Mass, feel free to contact me and I’ll work to arrange it TeDeumBlog(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Being the choir myself (alto), if I had to guess what might be Fr. Perrone’s favorite spot in this Mass, it could be the Benedictus. I myself love the Sanctus. The alto part almost reminds of bells.

    When singing choral pieces, you almost get a sense as to where a note sequence is going. Not always so with this. That is what I like about it. I think anyone singing will attest to the fact that this is one, very complex Mass.

    We had to chuckle two Wednesdays ago when Fr. Perrone said he had just finished the last of the instrumental parts. We, however, know that everything is subject to change until about 11:45 PM on Christmas Eve – LOL.

  10. Addressing some of the comments here about news of the AoD wanting to close Assumption Grotto after the Fr. Perrone era, I hope it is ok to put this out there since people are discussing it.

    1) The parishioners very much want to resolve the debt problem and get the parish on solid footing. The AoD has been in the process of putting parishes through a capital campaign, and ours just got underway. It has left people throughout the AoD perplexed that this news would come out at the beginning of such financial drives. Further, the large debt of a Catholic school, not belonging to Assumption Grotto, was placed solely on the backs of parishioners for decades, despite appeals from the previous pastor. This was just paid off recently, allowing us to focus on other debts.

    2) The AoD seems not to have done any comprehensive studies on the vocational fertility or vocational sterility of a parish. I have belonged to parishes with around 2000 parishioners which have not produced a vocation in decades. Assumption Grotto, with 600 households already has a number of ordained priests (diocesan and religious order) within the last 10 years, and currently has 4 seminarians (1 diocesan and 3 religious order), and one more currently discerning with a religious order. We also have young women with religious orders and among our parishioners is a professed, cloistered Carmelite. From the secular Carmelite community which meets monthly at Grotto there are at least two in recent years – one who joined a Carmelite cloister and a man who went out of state to become a priest in a more rural diocese. Pouring over the data provided by the AoD, with regards to sacramental life, there are no metrics for vocations. This is rather surprising.

    3) The parish is also one of only two parishes that uses the 1962 Missal every Sunday and on holy Days of Obligation (the other is St. Josaphat, also threatened since the cluster of 3 parishes they are in must reduce down to 2). I’ve wondered whether anyone has given thought to the fact that there are 5 SSPX chapels in the state of Michigan, with two of them being quite close (one is 30 minutes to the West and the other is 60 minutes to the North, with a school). We also have a schismatic parish just 7 miles from Assumption Grotto, not affiliated with the SSPX, which has all the trappings for people who are just looking for a traditional Mass. I personally know people who have wandered into that church. Dioceses looking at restructuring need to consider these things. While it was not on the radar of the Archdiocesan Planning Committee, I do hope Archbishop Vigneron is savvy enough to see the potential unintended consequences of not having at least one or two parishes which use the 1962 calendar regularly. Right now, Assumption Grotto is the only parish in the AoD which offers the usus antiquior 7 days a week!

    Points 2 and 3 have everything to do with the New Evangelization, as well. It’s a pity that “diversity” is seemingly limited to race and ethnicity.

    Watch my blog for more discussion about these things

  11. nykash says:

    Thanks for the comments, Diane. I’ve had the opportunity to attend masses at SS Cyril & Methodius, Assumption Grotto, and the other cluster in Detroit mentioned above. I, too, was a bit disconcerted at the statement concerning similar spirituality. I hope (and pray) that Abp. Vigneron can recognize and support the rich tapestry of faith in it’s traditional Detroit parishes. Fr Darrell Roman, pastor and administrator of St. Josaphat, Sweetest Heart of Mary, and St. Joseph (the “cluster”) – and a supporter of the EF – is also having midnight mass… at midnight:-)

  12. nykash,

    I guess you could say that those of us of a traditional bent in the Archdiocese of Detroit definitely make up a “stable group”.

    Pouring through the data at the AoD’s website, and the meeting minutes from the vicariate which were online, as well, the original suggested stated that Assumption Grotto and Ss C&M were of “similar theology”. LOL – Is there any other “theology” to be but Catholic?

    It was cleaned up in the report to say, “spirituality”.

  13. cathgrl says:

    I read this:

    Third, the planning document for our vicariate included proposals for clustering with Our Lady of Czestochowa (ethnically Polish parish, almost directly across the street from Ss CM) and/or St. Lucy (ethnically Croatian parish in neighboring Troy, Michigan).

    and found it puzzling. None of these are territorial parishes. I don’t know about St. Lucy, but Our Lady of Czestochowa and Ss CM both have Priests who are not from the Archdiocese of Detroit. As I understand it, the pastor is assigned by a bishop in Slovakia and OL of C is run by a Polish religious order, which has a house and a convent at the parish. It seems strange there would be a “lack of personnel” issue at either parish. It might be a committee wanting to be cluster happy.

    Now, for Ss CM, when Cdl. Szoka let Ss CM build its new church in 1989 at 18 and Ryan and move from the city, the deal was that eventually it would become a territorial parish. That’s part of the reason why Ss CM has been so open about having “liturgical refugees” in the area be members of the parish. Would Vigneron make that move now? My guess is no. If he did, he would have to find a pastor for it with a Priest he doesn’t have. But given that two religious orders have taken over parishes in AOD in the past few months, it appears he is open to that concept under the right circumstances. What I mean by that is it appears that he’s willing to let in Priests from outside the diocese move in when it’s prudent to do so (the priest / order isn’t sketchy and he can keep a financial solvent but smallish parish open).

  14. rakowskidp says:

    cathgrl wrote: As I understand it, the pastor is assigned by a bishop in Slovakia … It seems strange there would be a “lack of personnel” issue at either parish

    I agree, and presently we’re doing fine at Ss CM. Our pastor and associate are obviously in residence, and we have two retired priests who regularly celebrate Mass, and a handful who’ve offered Mass in the EF (in addition to our pastor, we’ve had Frs. Perrone, Bustamante, Acervo and another priest with whom I’m not very familiar).

    And Fr. Kosnac emphasized the fact that we’re not presently in need of clustering, and based on current growth and finances, it’s hard to imagine such a need arising any time in the near future.

    We’re truly blessed at Ss CM!

    nykash wrote:

    I, too, was a bit disconcerted at the statement concerning similar spirituality.

    Why should anyone associated with Grotto be “disconcerted” that their spirituality has been compared to that of Ss CM? If anything, folks at my parish should take issue with constant diminutive references from Grotto folks toward Ss CM – we have no need to be “little/mini Grotto,” or “Grotto north.” We’re just fine being Ss CM, and there’s nothing “disconcerting” about that at all!

  15. nykash says:

    @rakowskidp I think Diane recognized what I was getting at with her post: “Is there any other ‘theology’ to be but Catholic?” Sorry if there was any confusion or misunderstanding. I’m grateful to have both great parishes within a short drive!

  16. If anything, folks at my parish should take issue with constant diminutive references from Grotto folks toward Ss CM – we have no need to be “little/mini Grotto,” or “Grotto north.

    Actually, this has been more of an affectionate thing, than contentious. Fr. Ben Kosnac himself has used these very expressions about his own parish.

    No offense is intended.

    My point about “spirituality” was that our spirituality is Catholic – pure and simple. I didn’t quite understand why the APC’s recommendation wanted to team us up based on our “theology” or “spirituality”.

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