Brick By Brick: Extraordinary Form training in seminaries – FOLLOW UP

From a seminarian:

I responded before to your inquiry about what training was or was not being offered in seminaries in the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. At the time you inquired there was no training offered for the EF. Therefore, several of the students approached the administration requesting such training to be added. It seems as of now that we should have a EF practicum offered as early as next semester. I would therefore ask for your prayers that this will come to completion, but also offer this as an encouragement to other seminarians to do the same. If your seminary does not offer the training ask them to start.

Of course taking it upon yourself to find a willing and able priest to teach the course would be very helpful. If your seminary refuses, contact Ecclesia Dei.

I would suggest to seminarians that they let someone else contact the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.

And the New Evangelization takes another step forward.

All in all, this is encouraging.

We have a lot of rebuilding to do, one brick at a time.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I found this bit very interesting found in a pdf on a diocesan vocations page. [?] It was listed under the heading of liturgical prayer. Who cares if seminaries offer training if bishops make it darn near impossible for their men to receive permission to be trained.

    A seminarian must learn to lead others in liturgical prayer, especially the Mass, because he will one day do this as a priest. A seminarian should learn to understand and pray the ordinary form of the Mass. [We are, I take it, to assume that you are now telling us what that pdf said….]

    If a seminarian desires to learn the extraordinary form of the Mass, permission must be sought orally and in writing from the Director of Vocations.

    Before seeking permission, a seminarian should have judged that he is proficient in all area of formation as this permission is above and beyond the normal coursework required for formation.

    Before seeking permission, a seminarian should also consider that there is a greater pastoral need for Spanish speaking priests in the Diocese of [XYZ]. Thus, a seminarian should be able to demonstrate Spanish proficiency before seeking permission to learn the extraordinary form of the Mass.

  2. Ralph says:

    It’s a true shame that seminarians have to be so darn careful. Seminary should be a supportive place where a young man can be open without fear of reprisals. Makes me sad and angry at the same time.

  3. William says:

    @Sekman: “A seminarian should learn to understand and pray the ordinary form of the Mass.” This can be done in an afternoon; and it’s all too obvious that it can be done in an afternoon. A seminarian unable or unwilling to learn the ancient formula will certainly find other studies too onerous. I can recall, when I was a kid, assisting at Holy Mass (EF) where the sermon was delivered in English, French, and Polish. Are you suggesting, Sekman, that present-day seminarians are unable to cut the mustard?

    [I think he was quoting from the pdf document he found. Even though there are not quotation marks or a link in the previous post – and there probably should be – back up and look for what he intended to convey.]

  4. SonofMonica says:

    My own diocesan bishop, I have come to understand, has used the excuse of “we need more Spanish Masses” to refuse to fully implement Summorum Pontificum. In fact, his entire Episcopacy seems to be about speaking Spanish. It’s sort of embarassing, at best.

  5. Father Z,
    Do you think that we laypeople who are not seminarians should be asking our local seminaries, respectfully of course, if they offer TLM training? Or would that be presumptuous of us and better left to the actual students?
    It seems that it does pertain to us, if only indirectly. But perhaps the administration of the seminary would interpret us as meddling or trying to cause trouble.

    [It depends on the seminary, but I think that seminary administrators and bishops understand that lay people are their donors. Lay people pay for the seminary. Therefore, if a group … a good sized group of donors were to ask for a meeting, the administrators would probably take it and listen. Form a group of potential donors from around the whole diocese who would want the TLM, get pledges, put together an offer: teach the guys the TLM and we will do X.]

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Irenaeus, In America, the seminary systems are complicated. For example, one seminary may have young men from 22 different dioceses. All the bishops have input and one or two bishops are on the boards. Decisions are rarely made by a rector alone.

    I am delighted these young men above had success in their petition. However, there are some seminaries where such a decision would be a complicated issue. I think that the seminarians need support, but the real problem is complicated, and more so, if the seminary is in a monastery college. I think outsiders do not have the authority to say anything, unless they are large donors.

  7. My diocese (Calgary) doesn’t have a local seminary. We send all of them either three hours north to Edmonton, or some (I think) quite a ways east to Ontario. Thunder Bay or something.
    But I think that makes it all the more important that the few seminaries we have are teaching the TLM. Those priests are going to finish their studies and start their ministry all across Canada.
    I heard a rumour that our Edmonton seminary doesn’t even offer Latin classes. I do not know whether or not that is true.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    Every college and university worth their salt put the entire list of courses online. Try and find the four year courses for most seminaries online. Why the secrecy? All of us should be able to see at a glance whether Latin and the EF are being offered. There are six seminaries in Canada. There are 189 seminaries in the States. There are three seminaries in England plus two English ones on the continent. It would be nice to be able to see the curriculum for accurate discussions. I would like to know how many in the States teach the EF and Latin, or even have a regular EF. Short of ordering a college book from all, we should be able to look at the information including the content of classes. After all, whose money pays for seminary training? The laity who tithe and raise money graciously do…

  9. cathgrl says:

    Supertradmum, I agree about the Latin. About the EF, not so much. Seminars aren’t necessarily classes. And EFs type things aren’t necessarily posted.

  10. Jack Orlando says:

    several of the students approached the administration requesting such training to be added.

    This in itself is big news and a hopeful sign that the seminaries are turning around. In my day, in the 1980s, in a Midwestern seminary, students who would have dared to ask for the EF would have been immediately tossed out by the Liberal leadership. Ditto for reporting homosexual activity. In that seminary, the buzz words of the Liberals were “open, grow, share, community, and ministry”. Such students would have been judged to have violated all these conditions plus being “rigid”.

    We had a joke: “What does a Liberal frog say? Rigid…rigid…rigid.”

  11. Speravi says:

    You can always start teaching yourself and then go over the finishing touches with a priest who says the EF. In modern seminaries, seminarians are free to go to the movies and watch TV in their spare time. It is absolutely absurd to consider it an act of disobedience to use that same spare time to study the EF and attend extra EF Masses! If you need permission to use your formation time for the EF, just use your free time!

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