Brick by brick in Trenton

A friend sent photos of what may have been the first Solemn Mass in Trenton for… well.. since… you know.


I’m told that some 650 people attended the Solemn Mass at the Church of St. Anthony in Hamilton, NJ. The music was Franz Schubert’s Mass in G Major provided by students of Westminster Choir College in Princeton.

The celebrant was Fr. Brian Patrick Woodrow, who is the the Trenton Diocesan “Liason” for the Extraordinary Form. The Deacon was Fr. Kevin J. Kimtis and Subdeacon was Fr. H. Todd Carter, all ordained within the last few years.

Brick by brick.

This is another way to fight the Obama Administration’s attacks on Holy Church.

See my “manifesto” on the matter.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Also, Father Daniel Hesko at the Parish of ST. Catherine Laboure in Middletown, NJ , Diocese of Trenton, has offered the EF at this parish since July 2001

  2. Bryan Boyle says:

    And for a while, down the road in Yardville, Fr. Stan Kryzton was most supportive, having a regular EF at 3PM on Sundays that usually packed the church.

    Since when, Fr. Z? Probably since, under duress, +Bp Ahr (who was reputed to be the most traditional bishop in the US post-VII) introduced, at the last possible moment, the NO at the Easter Vigil in 1973. Through the reign of Bps Reiss (who confirmed me) and Smith, Trenton went from being a bastion of Catholicism to something rather less than in the forefront of maintaining the faith to something more akin to the more ‘progressive’ dioceses.

    It would seem Bp. O’Connell is a bit more concerned about building up the diocese by being Catholic than by accommodating the world. It’s a good sign…

  3. Darren says:

    There is no surprise at at the participation of Fr. Kimtis. A few years ago the pastor at my parish celebrated the EF for the parish’s 125th anniversary (I think it was 125), and Fr. Kimtis, still in seminary, was present as he was spending some time with us. His true reverence was noted and I expect to see him as one of the Trenton leaders in celebrating and promoting the EF.

  4. Darren says:

    GeoffsWife1962: It seems, up to now, that the only place in the Trenton Diocese for the Extraordinary Form is that northeastern part of Monmouth County. I look forward to its spread throughout the diocese, and into my area in northern Ocean.

  5. Miriam says:

    We had a Latin Mass at my parish until about a year ago. The new pastor put an end to it (but first he moved it to 5 pm which seemed to cut down on participation) and I guess the bishop supported that. I was told by a retired priest that the parish has appealed to Rome and that they will hear the case.

    Whatever all of that means. The retired priest who told me this is the one who said the Latin Mass and is the only one in this area who seems to know it. If you want Latin now, you will be traveling an hour or two.

  6. Charivari Rob says:

    That’s nice news about Hamilton, Father Z.

    I don’t know when the last Solemn EF Mass was prior to that. I grew up in that diocese, probably around the same time as Bryan, and have some vague childhood memories about Christmas Midnight Mass at our parish (or some neighboring one) being Mass in Latin every year, but those memories aren’t very clear – it might have been EF (but not Solemn) or it might have been the Novus Ordo in Latin or it just might have been OF in English with much more of the people’s parts/responses in Latin than a “usual” Sunday (when Latin responses were regularly and frequently part of the Mass).

    A quick search shows several current EF Mass listings in the diocese – 3 weekly Sunday Masses and another more irregularly scheduled ( Other hits suggest other locations, but not verified as current information.

  7. kat says:

    There is something I am finding interesting in all the EF Masses being said, or renewed, since Rome returned the right of priests who desire, to say it. That is: the use of the polyphonic Masses for (at least what gets posted here) many or most of them.

    When Pope St. Pius X wrote his encyclical on Sacred Music, he specifically was asking for the return of the Gregorian Chant to the people, to help them participate more in the Masses with all in attendance joining along. He explained the errors of the previous era, where only choir members sang, and it was almost like attending a concert with some of the Masses, as all in attendance would sit for the very long elaborate hymns and Kyriale. There is no doubt the music is beautiful, and can lead to God’s honor and glory. Yet, I hope that as the EF becomes more and more popular (hopefully), and used in all churches again eventually, that the Kyriales of the Liber become used frequently, and congregations are encouraged, and taught, to sing them all. (And hopefully not just stick with Mass VIII–of the Angels–at every single Mass, too…as my parents were pretty much brought up with pre Vatican II, and were surprised to learn from my participation in a choir that there are 18 in the Liber that can and should be used, and more Credos than just Credo III!)

    Children can and should be taught the Gregorian Chant Masses, especially in Catholic schools. A schola can be formed (even with children, or high school students) for the Propers.

    Polyphonic Masses (especially those by Palestrina) are certainly beautiful and able to be used; but it will be wonderful if the full Kyriale Masses from the Liber come back into use too.

  8. haribo says:

    In my experience, this only happens on major feast days. This is an exception. One of the problems with chant is that except for a few of the Masses, they’re actually very hard for congregations of parish choirs to sing. It’s not as simple as memorizing a melody and singing it, since the neumes indicate much more than that. The chants were, after all, composed to be sung by choirs of monks, canons and nuns who sang chant seven hours a day, not for congregations with no training. A parish choir can probably be taught how to do it, but a congregation would find this difficult, even though they try. It’s also worth noting that many congregations find polyphonic Mass settings a better aid to active participation thank chant since they’re very beautiful and elevate people’s minds to God.

    What most parishes do to avoid that problem is pick one of the simpler Masses, which sometimes aren’t appropriate for the liturgical season. I was once in a parish that sang Mass XVIII every Sunday because it was the simplest. That’s the Mass for weekdays during Lent and requiems! I couldn’t help but think of penance and death every time I heard it.

  9. MyBrokenFiat says:

    Can someone please explain to me the function of a Subdeacon? Especially one that is actually a priest? Thanks!

  10. kat says:


    Although the chants can be more difficult, they certainly will give more active participation by the congregation than sitting and listening to the choir do the polyphonic Masses, which hopefully can be reserved for big feasts.

    I admit it takes a while; but it is possible. Many years ago we had a pastor who would ask the congregation to stay after Mass for 10-15 minutes to practice the Masses. Now we are able to sing on a regular basis Mass 1 for Paschaltide; Masses 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 for special occasions; Mass 8 and 11 for ordinary time Sunday Masses; Mass 9 for feasts of Our Lady; 17 for Advent and Lent; and 18 for penitential Masses; plus the full Requiem for All Souls and funerals. We also know Credos 1, 3, 4, and 6. The choir alternates with the congregation, singing every other Kyrie/Christe, and every other line of the Gloria and Credo; all sing the full Sanctus after it is intoned, and the choir does the Agnus Dei, after which the congregation joins in for the rest of the line. It does help that we have a school in which every child K-12 has music 3x per week, so the children are able to learn well and the parents and congregation can hear it all and sing along.

    I’m not saying it was easy to get here (I have been the choir director for over 25 years); but hopefully “brick by brick” the full use of Gregorian can come back into play throughout the Catholic world, as Pope St. Pius X envisioned. To hear a whole congregation singing the Mass is so beautiful. And the simpler chants of Our Lady’s antiphons, and Benediction hymns, Ave Verum and the like for Holy Communion, etc. are easy enough for all to learn.

  11. Simon_GNR says:

    ” The Deacon was Fr. Kevin J. Kimtis and Subdeacon was Fr. H. Todd Carter … ”

    I thought there was a rule against priests acting as deacons/subdeacons in this way? Or is it in the Ordinary Form of Mass that priests are not allowed to vest and act as deacons? I remember seeing something about it on this blog quite recently.

  12. pm125 says:

    Good to hear something not horrible. (like the ND spaceship launch looking picture)
    The reference to seeing the manifesto about defending the Church … problem … I click on the word, go to Technorati with a list of articles which lead back here or to another site. Wondering if that is what is supposed to happen?

  13. Andrew Mason says:

    That’s good news for my home diocese. I just wish that we had the Extraordinary Form in Burlington County, I end up going to Camden diocese for it and sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the county who wants to have it.

  14. John Nolan says:

    I love the picture. A ciborium magnum gives great dignity to an altar as well as reconnecting us to the traditions of the early Church. Regarding music, a Mass only in chant is a wonderful thing (and I have sung at not a few of them) and marvellous as polyphony is (hence the expression ‘ceteris paribus’ in both SC and the GIRM) I always think it sounds better alternated with plainchant, as in the achingly beautiful Improperia of Tomas Luis de Victoria. That said, I also love the Viennese settings, particularly those of the Haydn brothers, and if I could once hear Beethoven’s Mass in D (Missa Solemnis) in the liturgical context for which it was written (a Pontifical High Mass) I think I would die happy.

  15. jmgazzoli says:

    @Bryan Boyle
    Did Bishop Ahr really hold out that long? How could he have done that? surely some of the priests in the diocese started saying the new Mass.

  16. I sang in the men’s schola for this Mass. It was a wonderful liturgy and the reception afterwards was packed with very happy people!

  17. samgr says:

    Congrats, TMulligan. I was there, the schola and choir sounded great and the altar party was reverent and seemed at ease for newbies. I just hope and pray that
    they get more opportunity to celebrate with a congregation.

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