Winnipeg, the Extraordinary Form, and the New Evangelization

For your Brick by Brick file.

On the blog Ibo et Non Redibo I found a report the expanding use of the Extraordinary Form in Winnipeg/St. Boniface, Manitoba and the good work being done by Fr. Jeff Burwell, S.J.

Here is a snip with my emphases:


[Benedict XVI’s] moto proprio document, entitled Summorum Pontificum, and its subsequent clarifications provided priests an opportunity—for the first time in almost 50 years—to celebrate all the sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form. Additionally, he stated that they can do so without the need for ecclesial permission from bishops or religious superiors.

Recognizing that the Extraordinary Form had become a legitimate option for faithful Roman Catholics, the Archbishops of St. Boniface and Winnipeg worked together in 2011 to establish a joint-Diocese parish that would celebrate exclusively the sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form. Calling upon the Society of Jesus for help in this endeavour, the two Archbishops asked Fr. Jim Webb, S.J.—the late Provincial of the Canadian Jesuits—if the Jesuits in Winnipeg could take responsibility for the parish and administer the sacraments of the Extraordinary Form. Much to my delight, my name was selected for this endeavour.

Over the last year, our small congregation has grown exponentially. What began with a few families now includes individuals of every age and social demographic. Occasionally, someone asks me what people find appealing about the Latin language. The natural and legitimate response is that the celebration of the sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form is not just question of language—it is question of theology and attitude. With the mass, as just one example, I celebrate ad orientem—facing the cross and not the congregation. Because of this, my attention is directed more toward the Eucharistic sacrifice and less toward what goes on in the pews.

Along with the sacraments, our Extraordinary Form parish offers many opportunities to rediscover the venerable traditions of the Church. For the first time in almost 50 years, we had a Corpus Christi celebration involving a movement of more than two hundred people through the streets. Led by 16 altar boys, our procession with the Blessed Sacrament meandered throughout the city in a manifestation of faith that nobody had seen in decades. It was—to be certain—a sublime experience. It was an experience that all will remember for many years.


WDTPRS kudos to all involved!

This is part of the New Evangelization.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Brick by Brick, Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Glen M says:

    I’ve spoken with Fr. Burwell. He is a courageous, diplomatic, and holy priest. Winnipeg is a clear example of what can happen when the Usus Antiquior is given a regular Sunday morning side-by-side with the Novus Ordo in a community.

  2. Mike says:

    Very cool – and encouraging that the future Jesuit priests who are running that blog are open to positive discussion of the Extraordinary Form.

  3. Y2Y says:

    It’s sad to think that what was once one of the most Catholic cities in the new world hadn’t seen a Corpus Christi procession in over 50 years.
    I recall reading somewhere that Winnipeg is home to more metropolitan Archbishops than any other city (not sure about the provenance or accuracy of that information).

  4. Joe in Canada says:

    I encourage readers to visit the blog – the young Jesuits have written a very edifying series on Humanae vitae.

    Winnipeg has 3 Metropolitan Archbishops: two Latin and one Ukrainian. The two Latin Metropolitan Archbishops would be in 2 different cities if the cities hadn’t merged.

    Winnipeg has had Corpus Christi processions, according to the “move it to Sunday” calendar, from ‘national’ parishes in the North End, as far as I know Holy Ghost (Polish) and Immaculate Conception (Portuguese). This is the first one in Latin in a long time.

  5. Gregorius says:

    A most inspiring tale. I wish the EF would come to my area too. I guess I should pray more.

  6. Catholic Minnesotan says:

    I wonder what would happen if the EF started showing up at college campuses?

  7. Clinton R. says:

    Someday the Church will look back with tremendous gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI for Summorum Pontificum and see it as the beginning of the return to tradition and holiness. The growth of Mass Immemorial is indeed most vital to the New Evangelization.

  8. Gregorius says:

    Indeed Catholic Minnesotan, that’s what I want to happen at my own (catholic) college campus.

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