NYC: A newly ordained priest’s First Mass – Extraordinary Form Solemn Mass

I wanted to share some great liturgical eye-candy of a happy event involving some of my friends in New York City.

Fr. Patrick D’Arcy, a brand new priest for the Archdiocese of New York celebrated his First Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Blessed Sacrament Church on the upper west side of Manhattan, where Msgr. Robert C. O’Connor is pastor.

There is a nice write up on the event and great photos from the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny.

The music was as follows:
Mass ordinary, Gregorian Mass VIII Missa de Angelis
Sanctus and Benedictus from the Missa Brevis of Palestrina
Communion Motet Miserere Mei by Gregorio Allegri
Recessional Motet Exsultate Justi by John Williams

A little mix of the old and new, there.

The church during the sermon, delivered by Msgr. Javier Garcia de Cardenas, of the personal prelature of Opus Dei.

I’ll just post a couple of the many photos.

Here’s a Dominus vobiscum:

And a great moment when the new priest is giving First Holy Communion to his little niece.

Just as we are going to see a lot more attacks on the Catholic Church and on faithful Catholics, we are also going to see a lot more of this sort of thing from young priests.

The hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture is passing faster and faster as the biological solution works its inexorable way with the aging hippies and their tie-dyed ways.

WDTPRS kudos to Fr. D’Arcy.  May he have many great years as a priest.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, New Evangelization, Non Nobis and Te Deum, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pewpew says:

    Awesome chasuble

  2. Archdiocese of New York:
    370 parishes
    2.6 million Catholics
    1 new priest ordained this year
    And him (from Canada) not a NY native

    What clearer evidence could there be, that the liturgy must be saved to save the Church (and world)? At the rate of ordinations per Catholic population of some more vibrant fly-over dioceses I’m familiar with–not to speak of even more productive TLM communities–New York would have 50 to 100 new priests per year. I wonder how many NY priests retire annually.

  3. acardnal says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Fr. Z.

  4. Charlotte Allen says:

    The photo of him giving Communion to his little niece is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

  5. jflare says:

    Over at the article, there’s as comment by Mr. Chessman, the author, regarding how it’s a tragedy that they have only new priest there this year. ..And sadly, he’s not their’s precisely, but appears to hail from Ontario. From Canada.
    I didn’t say it quite this way over there, but I’m amazed to see much of anything worthwhile to Catholics coming from New York at all. ..And not being Bill Donahue. (Did I spell that right?)
    In my lifetime, New York has tended toward..discomfort with best.

    God Bless Fr D’Arcy. May we see many more follow.

  6. Athelstan says:

    It is sad that Fr. D’Arcy is the only new priest ordained for the Archdiocese this year. But at least we can say that 100% of those who *were* ordained have an apparent love for the traditional mass…

    Best wishes to Fr. D’Arcy. And prayers for a long and fruitful priesthood.

  7. Mary Jane says:

    Beautiful Mass, gorgeous vestments! Congratulations to the new priest.

    I wanted to comment on the music….I just found it interesting that (it appears) they sang a Gregorian Chant Kyrie, Gloria, and Agnus Dei but a polyphonic Sanctus and Benedictus…interesting. I also found it interesting that they sang Allegri’s Miserere Mei…our choir sang this after the Good Friday liturgy…I didn’t realize it was appropriate to sing it at other times of the liturgical year.

  8. Charles E Flynn says:

    I suspect Fr. Patrick D’Arcy has a completely Kung-free library.

  9. APX says:

    That’s not the same John Williams who composed the music for Jurassic Park, ET, Star Wars, etc, is it?!

  10. AnAmericanMother says:


    Yes, it’s from “Empire of the Sun”.

    (whazzamatter, Viadana isn’t good enough?)

  11. heway says:

    I wonder who kept this church in such good repair for the past 50 years…..aging hippies and their tye-died ways??
    Is it an Opus Dei church?

  12. JLCG says:

    The church is being reorganized. Recently I saw the list of bishops of different rites in the USA that were in their visits ‘ad limina”. I was surprised. There were Melkites, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syrians, Maronites, Ukrainian of various definitions, numerous Byzantines. Perhaps this variety of rites already in existence will be enriched by new rites each with its own bishop and diocese. A variety of rites seems to be developing with EF and OF in various combinations of vernacular and Latin . Thus we will see the fruitfulness of Summorum Pontificum.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    sigh, wish every Mass was like this one

  14. APX says:

    John Williams is a musical genius. I am shocked to hear he has written music for Mass.

    I’m amazed a priest is actually allowed to offer his first Mass in the EF.

  15. Bea says:

    That’s Wonderful news.
    100% EF priest(s) ordained for NYC is even better, even if 100%=One.
    Changing the world one priest at a time.

    I was just a little disappointed, though, to see the First Communicant and her friend not wearing a veil or a dress with modest sleeves.

    His name I won’t forget. Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice (my favorite movie) will bring him to mind.

    May God Bless him and protect him in his battle for God and Truth.

  16. tealady24 says:

    I hope you’re right Father! With all the ailing priests and those we’ve lost in the last 6 months in the diocese of Scranton, we need priests who will take on the EF of the mass. I think it’s all about perservering, in everything.

  17. FXR2 says:

    Thanks be to God!
    We are truly blessed to have such a fine new priest!
    Let us all say a prayer for Fr. D’Arcy now!

    St. Michael…


  18. Michelle F says:

    Thank You, Lord, for giving us one more faithful shepherd!

    I looked at the photos on the Society of St. Hugh’s website, and they are lovely! I too was disappointed with the niece’s sleeveless dress [And you are… who… again?] and veilless head, [?!?] and I was equally disappointed with the unveiled women in the photo of what I assume was the choir. [?]

    I’m always surprised when I see women at Tridentine Masses who do not have their heads covered. [You are, are you? This was a FIRST MASS. Do you suppose that, perhaps, there were a lot of people there whose usual Sunday Mass is at parishes where the Ordinary Form is used? Could it be that people came from far and wide to be there? I sure hope you don’t make this sort of comments to visitors to the church where you attend the Extraordinary Form.] If the priests are required to wear traditional vestments for the Tridentine Mass, couldn’t they (and us laymen) preach that laymen should wear their own “traditional vestments,” which for women includes a veil or a simple hat?

    For the curious, I would say the “traditional vestments” for men are long pants. A coat and tie would be nice, but for the sake of men who live in hot climates I will exclude those two items – although the priest still has to wear multiple layers of clothing, so a coat and tie isn’t that much of a sacrifice for male laymen.

    Anyhow, it looked like a beautiful Mass, and I hope the Lord sends us many more men like Fr. D’Arcy!

  19. Mrs. Bear says:

    I attended the Quebec City Eucharistic Congress with a group 0f 25 from the Peterborough Diocese. (though I was from the Toronto Archdiocese)
    The seminarians from Peterborough were on the bus as well as one seminarian from the Hamilton diocese, Patric D’Arcy.
    He really impressed me and I was sorry to hear of him leaving the Hamilton area to go to NYC.
    We will be praying for him here in Ontario!

  20. jflare says:

    We’re starting to stray from the original subject here.
    Honestly folks,while I can certainly commend a woman or a young girl for wearing a long-sleeved dress and/or a veil, I cannot honestly chastise this young lady or her parents for the dress she DID wear. Thinking back to my Confirmation while a high school Junior in ’92, an event in which we “young’uns” definitely decided a LOT about what we wore, you’d see a few notable items: Few, if any, of the young men wore suit or tie; if the young ladies wore a dress, they definitely were NOT white dresses hinting at a Catholic identity.

    In the pictures, I see a young lady who’s wearing a sleeveless, but still quite tasteful dress, it IS white, and she does wear it nicely. She DOES look pretty distinctly Catholic, even with the lack of sleeve and veil.
    Let’s cut the kid a break, OK?

  21. andreat says:

    What beautiful pictures of a special moment. Especially the new Priest giving First Holy Communion to his niece. I am sure they will both remember that moment always. It brought tears to my eyes.

    The vestments are beautiful. I may be wrong, but they look like the work of The Saint Bede Studio.

  22. NoraLee9 says:

    I had cause to visit this church for the first time last week. I have many pictures. It is beautiful and has actual tapestries on the main altar. “Gustave E. Steinbach, a 37-years-old graduate of Columbia University School of Architecture, was chosen as the architect for the new church and school. In designing Blessed Sacrament, Steinback was inspired by Sainte Chapelle in Paris, a small gothic chapel built by Louis IX in the 1240s to house relics from the Holy Land. ” The place is so beautiful, it’s silly.

  23. FrG says:

    Ah, the “Ugly Traditionalist.” Comments like some of the ones above are precisely the reasons why many priests, myself included, who are otherwise very sympathetic to the Extraordinary Form, and indeed say it often, shy away from “traditionalist communities.” Quite simply: nothing’s ever good enough, and we just don’t have the time or patience for the endless criticism and fault-finding. Here’s a beautiful moment–a new priest giving first communion to his niece–and right away the old pattern starts up. Sometimes I wonder if these critics have ever been to a typical parish, since their sense of proportion seems so wildly askew. Thank God this little girl’s family was able to travel all the way from Canada, and stay some nights in New York City, and were willing to attend a form of Mass with which they may be totally unfamiliar. I don’t know why the critical spirit is so prevalent in these circles, but it turns an awful lot of people away. Some real soul-searching is in order here. Is it spiritual pride? I don’t know, but it’s a real and deep and unhappy phenomenon.

  24. JonPatrick says:

    @JLCG, what we are seeing now are really different forms (Ordinary, Extraordinary, Anglican Use) of the one Roman or Latin rite. I suspect that this is a short/medium term phenomenon and in the long term, these forms will merge into one Latin rite that I hope will take from the best of the various forms and will be in continuity with the pre-conciliar form rather than a break from it.

  25. AnnM says:

    Thank you for showing us this, Fr Z! This was a most glorious occasion and the photos are beautiful and intensely moving. I always think it’s nice for children – even if they don’t regularly go to an Extraordinary Form Mass – to make their First Communion at one. It sets the tone for the future, as it were.
    But how sad that some people are quibbling over this little girl’s pretty dress! Couldn’t the modesty brigades hold their tongues just for once? Unfortunately, attitudes like these have often put me off attending the EF.
    We are part of the universal Church. Millions of devout Catholic women worldwide go to Mass each week and don’t wear a head-covering, which is no longer mandated. Millions of little Catholic girls worldwide wear sleeveless dresses. Please get over it! Plus, it makes no sense to prescribe a different form of dress for the people at an EF Mass. If both forms of Mass are equally valid, where is the logic? Please just be happy for this young priest and his family who’ve striven so hard for this big, once-in-a-liftetime day and don’t spoil it for them!

  26. GrogSmash says:

    Thanks for the post Fr. Z! May our Good God bless Fr. D’Arcy abundantly!

  27. Christine111 says:

    “Could it be that one reason for the lack of vocations is our failure to stress sacrifice? The young have a sense of victimhood that we underestimate. They want a mission, a challenge!”
    –Abp. Fulton Sheen

  28. Froben says:

    One of Cincinnati’s four newly ordained priests, Fr. John Paul Bevak of the Oratory, did the same thing this Sunday–it was splendid. In addition, another of the newly-ordained priests for the diocese will be offering a Solemn Mass very soon.

    Last year (or the year before) there was a priest ordained for the Covington Diocese, just across the river, that offered a Solemn Mass as his first Mass.

  29. wolfeken says:

    FrG, I hope your love for the traditional Latin Mass and sacraments is strong enough to withstand a few “comments” on a blog.

    Although we could all use more charity in our lives (myself absolutely included), I don’t buy the argument that it’s better to stick with a banal novus ordo because they may argue less about mantillas. The fact is they don’t have mantillas. So that would be the default if one chooses not to read a little debate on the matter. A bliss life of skin and the novus ordo, but at least free from “ugly traditionalists.”

  30. lucy says:

    My family has attended the traditional Mass for over 7 years now. I think the above picture is beautiful!! Please don’t think all folks attached to the traditional form of Mass are quibbly. A few give us all a bad name. How come it doesn’t work the other way? (laugh a little!)

    A gorgeous church, gorgeous vestments, a gorgeous moment in time. May God bless this new priest!

  31. inara says:

    FrG ~ I found nothing at all “ugly” in Bea or MichelleF’s comments. They both were kind & offered words of thanks & encouragement for the new priest.

    It is people that rush to name calling as you did that make those of us who are simply trying to be humbly obedient to what the Church has declared, afraid to even mention it, even in charity. (See for the Papal Decree on Modesty & Fr. Z’s post here: , where Cardinal Burke is quoted as saying, “It is, however, the expectation that women who assist at the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form cover their heads.”)

    I’m certain that if there were felt banners instead of tapestries on the wall, someone would have brought that up as being a bit dissonant, or if the Communion hymn had been “Taste & See”, that someone would have expressed disappointment…and no one would have called them “Ugly Traditionalists.”

  32. Bea says:

    I have been to a “typical parish” I belong to one.
    We have no EF Masses here, though quite a few of us long for one that we may focus totally on Our Majestic God during the liturgy.
    In our “typical parish” we see young women in spaghetti straps (and some no straps at all) and mini skirts marching up to communion with an obvious no sense of the presence of Our Lord.
    I am so sorry that you so uncharitably call me an “ugly traditionalist” but I have seen how little girls from early age think nothing of how to present themselves before Our Lord, through no fault of their own and this outlook follows them into adulthood, until hopefully, they realize what it’s all about.
    I too, was guilty of that because I was not told when younger.

    And AnnM
    If I hold my tongue then what am I doing here? We have to speak “in season and out of season”
    The little girls dress is quite pretty, white and tasteful, yes but does it give honor to Our Lord?
    This is, indeed, a great and beautiful moment in the lives of this little girl and her uncle. I applaud the moment. I have lived through a similar joy, I was simply pointing out an otherwise “perfect, God=centered moment”

    Perhaps I don’t belong at this blog. I don’t belong in this world anymore and I long for the next. God knows I love him. I love the beautiful Holy Priesthood. No vocation on the face of this earth gives such Glory and Honor to God or requires of us so great a sacrifice. I honor all priests. Fr. Darcy, those whom I personally know, those whom I know through blogs, those with the greatest of courage (and suffer valiantly because of it), and those still seeking it.


  33. Charlotte Allen says:

    Oh dear, a seven-year-old girl wears a sleeveless (but perfectly modest and indeed elegant ) dress for her First Holy Communion, and is she ever in trouble with the keepers of the traditionalist flame! And some of the ladies in the choir are unveiled! Imagine such a thing! I hate to admit this, but I’m old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II, pre-Novus Ordo Church vividly, and I can assure you that women, at least in America, regularly wore sleeveless dresses to Mass, especially during the summer. My own First Communion dress, sewn by my mother, with little puff sleeves that revealed most of my arms, wouldn’t have passed muster under that 80-year-old “Papal decree,” or whatever it was. I am all in favor of women wearing veils–or better yet, fashionable hats–to Mass, but I’m also a realist about current customs. I have this to say to my fellow fans of the old Latin Mass: If you would like it to become universal, or at least more frequently celebrated in parish churches, cut out the censoriousness, especially where children are concerned who have come with reverence to participate in their uncle’s celebration of it.

  34. inara says:

    I don’t understand the mindset that says once a Magisterial teaching becomes “too old” or too culturally unusual, we can simply ignore it. On this subject in particular, Pope Pius XII said, “There always exists an absolute norm to be preserved”…how can I do other than obey?

    I have never been to an EF Mass, though I have had many women come up to me at different OF parishes & say charitable things like “So what’s with the tulle on your head??”

  35. AnnM says:

    Well perhaps I was a bit harsh, Bea, for which I apologise! Though I wasn’t getting at your personal beliefs – just at a generic mindset I’ve unfortunately found among certain devotees of the EF. I suppose we can argue this till the cows come home. At least we can agree to differ! I can’t speak for others but I don’t think anyone should feel they don’t have a place on this blog. So please don’t rush off!
    I have, however a point about “obedience” – and I’m not trying to get at anyone over this. To what are we, or should we be, obedient? It’s an interesting question and not one I’m particularly qualified to answer. Perhaps a priest or theologian can chime in here. I myself feel I should be obedient to the current teaching of the Church, which was instituted by Christ, among other things, for our guidance. Currently the Church does not require head-coverings for women. So by wearing a head-covering or not wearing one, we’re being neither obedient nor disobedient. And we shouldn’t accuse those who do otherwise of being disobedient. Nor, so far as I know, does the Church currently stipulate specific rules of dress. We have to use our common sense. What was considered immodest in the 1930s may not be considered immodest now. I personally don’t think a sleeveless dress on a seven-year-old is in any way immodest. Others may disagree but that’s their personal view. To some extent we all have to accept with humility what the Church does and doesn’t require and not try to enforce rules that WE think the Church should require. Goodness knows, the Church has enough hard battles to fight at the moment and we should try to present a united front. It helps if we’re clear on what the rules are and what they are not. And the best way to do this is to be guided by current Church teaching and Canon Law. Perhaps it’s time for priests and Catholic educators to clarify all this a bit more. btw I don’t like seeing spaghetti straps and microskirts in church either!

  36. pawelthegreat says:

    So I am in the unique position of being able to say that Mr D’Arcy taught me, when I was in Grade 6, world history and religion (separately) in a private Catholic school in Cambridge, ON about 10 years ago now. Needless, to say, he was just a great guy.

    I saw him once last year and I am thankful that he is doing well.
    I’m now 21 and at U of Toronto studying to finish a B.Sc. Honours and excited to join either the Carthusians or just be a diocesan priest after due discernment.

    I am happy to see Father D’Arcy on this website and also the large amount of comments.
    Please pray for me as well.

  37. Charlotte Allen says:

    I’d add this to what AnnM says: People who attend the old Latin Mass make an effort, sometimes a big effort involving time and distance, to be there. They are in awe of its beauty, its reverence, and its living connection to centuries of liturgical tradition in Western Christianity. Then, when they get there, they find themselves subject to the opprobrium of other attendees–not the priests, but the self-appointed lay keepers of tradition–who deem them improperly dressed (no veil!), not sufficiently silent (you said, “Et cum spiritu tuo”–sssh!), or whatever, all as judged not by the norms of the Church but by the standards that these lay tribunes have decided the norms of the Church once were or ought to be. They get stares, whispers, little gestures of disapproval. Why can’t these people simply be welcomed and rewarded for their effort to be part of an important and beautiful liturgical tradition? As AnnM says, these are perilous times for the Church, whose institutions are currently forbidden to uphold the moral teachings of their religion in a country that supposedly guarantees freedom of religion. We all need desperately to hang together, not arguing over whether a little girl’s Communion dress should have long sleeves.

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