TRADS ON FIRE! Young men getting the job done and implementing a TLM in a parish.

Here is a good Brick By Brick story.

A while back I posted a note to traditional Catholics.  This is our time to push forward and use the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and advance the vision of Benedict XVI.  I urge you to go read that post.

On that note, I received this from a reader:

Dear Father Z,
Thanks for all you do. I read your blog all the time, but never post in comments. I was reading your “Dear Trads” post – it got me all fired up…
Recently we were able to start up an EF Mass at our parish, Our Lady of Victory in State College, PA (Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown). This is a pretty liberal diocese, and we don’t have much support for this from the pastor OR bishop. However, our pastor agreed to it as long as we (a group of young men, I am the oldest at 34) did all the work. [Excellent.]
After months of planning, we have been able to start a Missa Cantata on the first Saturday of each month at 7pm (first Mass was in January 2013). We have had a pretty good turnout at around 150 (our parish has thousands…) for the first 3 Masses. As our church was built in late 1969 and features an altar pushed so far forward that it cannot be accessed from the front, one of our altar boys, for his Eagle Scout project, built a 3 step platform so we could access the altar ad orientem – with the exception of the past 3 months, the Old Mass has NEVER been celebrated in that church. Also, we are importing a priest from 2 hours away for the Mass, and have a 6-8 member (give or take) all male schola cantorum. Just wanted to let people know that it is possible to introduce the EF in their parishes as long as they are willing to put in the hard work. We were wondering if you might possibly do a blog post for the “brick by brick” file? [Sure!]

The info for the Mass: 7pm on the 1st Saturday of every month, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 820 Westerly Parkway, State College, PA If you would like any other info, please email me – I know you are very busy, and again, thanks for all you do with this blog – it has helped me learn so much about the Faith.
Sincerely yours in Christ,

PS – we do have some pics from the second Mass (Candlemas – complete with Procession!) if you are interested…

No whiny defeatism.  Get to work.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. oldcanon2257 says:

    Fruits of Summorum Pontificum! Thank you, Papa Benedicto!!!

  2. BalmerCatholic says:

    As an alumnus of OLV Catholic School, I applaud you gentlemen! Always knew it was Lent at OLV when Msgr. Fleming would revert to the Greek and Latin responses for the Kyrie and EPs, respectively, and I remember having to do Stations, the Rosary, and Benediction every Wednesday. Of course, that all went by the wayside when Bishop Adamec split half of the community off to form the Church of the Good Shepherd (amazed I didn’t totally fall away as a Catholic because of the Spirit of V2 vibe there, and I’ve heard it has gotten progressively worse). Ironically, many of the families that were zoned out of OLV still went there after the split.

    Will definitely check this out if/when I can get back up to State College. I will make sure to add this courageous group to my prayers.

  3. PA mom says:

    Forgive me, but, the steps for implementing an EF Mass are 1) find a small group of people willing to attend. 2) a priest anywhere nearby who is capable. 3) requesting permission at our parish. 4) borrowing/ buying vestments/other stuff?. 5) choir preferred, but optional? 6) possible changes to the altar area?

  4. PA mom says:

    And, great job, young men!!!

  5. BalmerCatholic says:

    @ PA mom: As a server who got his start at this parish, there was literally no room at the top of the stairs at the altar to celebrate Mass ad orientum. The fact that a Scout from (presumably) Troop 83 there took the time to construct an extension in order to do so is extremely encouraging. A good number of the parishioners at OLV are rather fairly well rooted in Tradition, so I’m more pleased than I would say surprised that this is happening. There is also a great choral tradition at the parish (NB: the current proprietor of CanticaNOVA Publications was the former music director there, along with being the music teacher for the parochial school). It may be once a month, but given the right support, this could definitely take off, and in a hurry.

  6. danivdp says:

    Choir is certainly optional (although very appreciated!!) We have had the EF in the Diocese of Orlando for almost 8 years now, and had a choir one time. We have a low dialogue mass every Sunday, and very few people are needed to facilitate it.

    PA mom, I would add to your list that when you obtain vestments and the particular items necessary for the altar is that someone needs to be trained as a sacristan so you know what to do with all the stuff :) Also you need altar servers trained in the EF, as the manner of serving is very different than the OF.

  7. Allan S. says:

    Perhaps some group or highly organized person with a track record of successful implementation could post some actual project plans and related materials (milestones, Gannt Chart(s), etc.) that could be used and adopted as a new, open source tool kit for TLM implementation projects.

    Fr. Z. then could, perhaps, post a permanent link to it or even create a static page as a one-stop portal for all the project planning and implementation tools that are required for an organized approach. Such an initiative would be consistent with the military “call to arms” issued recently.

    It’s now or ever folks. And you should definitely fear the “never” as you can bet dollars to donuts the usual suspects will try to dust off and push THEIR agenda to stuff us all back in the closet Benedict XVI opened for us.

    Be out, loud and proud – as it were.

  8. jlmorrell says:

    Find priests willing to learn and say the usus antiquior. Even if it is only in private. This has to be the top priority. Even in a very small Diocese it only takes one priest to be generous and a community can form around the weekly celebration of the TLM. Below is a recent news release from our small TLM community in the Diocese of Beaumont.

    “News Release by Latin Mass Society of Beaumont, Texas – March 16, 2013

    Catholic Tradition in Southeast Texas

    Beaumont, Texas – It is our pleasure to report on the successful 2nd Annual Lenten Pilgrimage on March 2nd in the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, ninety miles east of Houston.

    With only 75,000 Catholics, our Diocese must surely be among the smallest in the country. We have no apostolates of the Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, or other such groups. No indult Mass courtesy of a sympathetic Bishop or the intervention of the Holy See was every offered here. The Society of St. Pius X has never ventured our way. Indeed, Catholic tradition has been a rare thing in these parts over the past few decades.

    And yet, with so much against us, so many failures, so many obstacles to overcome, this July, 2013, will mark the two year anniversary of the weekly Traditional Latin Mass within the Diocese of Beaumont. It is offered by Fr. Paul Sumler, a faithful diocesan priest who, hearing the pleas of a small but faithful remnant, chose to respond with generosity. After receiving training at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, he began offering a weekly Low Mass in July, 2011. He now offers a weekly Sung Mass at which a burgeoning Gregorian Chant Schola sings.

    An Una Voce Chapter has been formed, monthly meetings are held, altar boys are trained, the Gregorian Schola practices, the Mass of Ages is offered, families and children attend. It is difficult to be sure, for the path of restoration is not easy. Our community is small, about 50 attend each week. Though the future is uncertain, we know that our small community of Catholics, worthless and utterly inconsequential in the eyes of the world, is pleasing to our Lord and His Mother.

    It is important to note that none of this would have happened without Summorum Pontificum. Much will be written about Pope Benedict’s papacy in the years to come. We are convinced that his most lasting legacy, his most fruitful act, will be his Apostolic Letter of July 7, 2007. We experience the benefits and graces every day of this courageous act of justice.

    And, so, we leave you with a few pictures from our 2nd Annual Lenten Pilgrimage. It began with a Traditional Latin Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Port Arthur and was followed by a walk from Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine to Queen of Vietnam Shrine. We stopped for spiritual talks and Stations of the Cross along the way. Please pray for us as we continue to work for the restoration of all things in Christ within the Diocese of Beaumont.

    P.S. A special thanks is due to Father Paul Sumler for his offering the TLM and leading the Way of the Cross. We’d also like to acknowledge the two other pilgrimage sponsors: Tradition, Family & Property of Louisiana and 40 Days for Life of Beaumont.”

  9. Scott W. says:

    Get the Psallite Sapienter pdf here:

    Even if you are not doing the music yet, the above would have saved me a lot of questions and bafflement about the EF in general.

  10. acardnal says:

    Thanks for that link, Scott W.

  11. acardnal says:

    My parish priest – in his early 40’s – has agreed to attend TLM/EF training this May at the FSSP Seminary in Nebraska; I agreed to pay for it.

    Brick by Brick.

  12. Gregorius says:

    At my catholic school, I have found priests able to offer it, and we have all the resources, but I have yet to find a coetus fidelium. I would either have to go around and find people myself, or go through the chaplain who doesn’t care for such things and ask him to ask around. Either way I’m probably the only one here that really wants it.

  13. The Sicilian Woman says:

    This is fabulous news! Well done to that young man and his friends! I expect that the one Mass per month will grow.

    I’ve checked out the web site of OLV, and, on screen, it seems like a great place for the TLM to root and spread. (Signs of a faithful parish, for me, include a parish having a pro-life group and a chapter of the K of C, both which OLV has, among other good signs.) The TLM is badly needed in urban areas and the northeast to counter the liberalism there.

    I like Allan S.’ idea above. It would be a great resource for those of us who would encourage and contribute to “start-up” funds for TLMs in our parishes. I imagine it would be more difficult for a pastor to say “no” to a TLM if you have parishioners willing to fund it. Money talks.

  14. Clinton R. says:

    Kudos to all involved in the restoration of the TLM! It is amazing to read stories like this one, it is awesome how a tiny seed can produce a mighty vine that bears much fruit. Thank you Benedict XVI for Summorum Pontificum. May God Bless the efforts to restore the Mass of all time. +JMJ+

  15. tradical says:

    I am very new to Tradition and to Father Z’s blog. I too was motivated into a bit of action by his article Dear Traditionalists. Right now, I am about to move out of state. I have attended SSPX for the past month or so. I am thankful that there is also an SSPX chapel near my new home. There is an NO parish nearby as well.
    My plan is to take some time to get involved in both, and if it seems appropriate, to help or lead an effort at the new NO parish to establish a traditional Mass.
    I may not be the ideal person to take up Allan S.’s idea, but I think it is a great one and I will get started, and happy to give it out and pass it along to someone more qualified.

    Thanks to Father Z and to all of you – you (collectively) may not realize it (or hear it enough), but your words and deeds are working. I’m (relatively) young, and I hope it’s encouraging that my young family is one of many that packs the SSPX chapel where we are now.

  16. Urget_nos says:

    Be bold in what you do, the Holy Sprit will help you with what you need. While residing in the midwest I learned to do basic EF serving. Returning to the West coast I offered to serve for the new priest anytime. I asked patiently, and eventually we started regular monthly Masses. What ended up happening was that the pastor leaned on me to learn and prepare ALL of the various details of everything surrounding the Mass, servers, sacristy, special actions of the priest for Ash Wed, etc. The resources are all out there in books, MP3’s, DVDs, and online videos. Everyting you need! Also call your your local FSSP priest (or distant if you know him) and get their assistance for issues that come up that you want to ensure is right (ex: what propers do we use for the … commemoration?). Finally, a note to a person in ‘Gregorius’ position, if you think you are alone, you are not! You can post a note on a bulletin board of an add in a school newspaper asking like minded folks to be in contact and get together for a Rosary to pray for a group to form.

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  18. BalmerCatholic says:

    @TSW: My dad’s still a member of that KofC council, and there is a fairly reverent portion of the parish. Sadly, as the messenger has pointed out, much of the parish, along with Good Shepherd, the Penn State Catholic Community, and a good majority of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, are still very Modernist in their ways. It saddens me to hear that, since a lot of my formation took place in my younger age in this very See.

    Oddly enough, it was my paternal grandmother who sort of turned me on to Tradition almost ten years ago, and clearly by accident. I had just received my copy of the 2nd Edition of the Daily Roman Missal for my birthday, and she noticed it when I brought it with me to Mass on a visit.

    I won’t go into any more details, but I can’t help but feel a sense of joy and hope when something like this hits so close to home, and in a very positive way. What would be more amusing is if I actually knew who the leader of this group was.

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  20. PA mom says:

    Thank you to all! Yes, I think a blueprint of sorts would be enormously helpful. Ours is a large parish, with a prolife group, K of C, weekly adoration and several ladies with mantillas( little ones).
    Our altar area is sizable, but without rail, there is a TLM offered about 1/2 hour away regularly, so I could ask that priest if our own are unable….
    Just trying not to blunder about blindly, but test possibilities for forward steps.

  21. Allan S. says:

    Thank you to those taking up the idea of assembling, and sharing, project planning tools and aids. It is important to share learning and – above all – avoid the cardinal project management “sin” of re-inventing the wheel!

    Once we have some materials, who should “host” them? It should be someone easily accessable and high in online rankings – Fr. Z? A Latin Mass Society or Una Voce Chapter?

  22. MAJ Tony says:

    danivdp says:
    Choir is certainly optional (although very appreciated!!) We have had the EF in the Diocese of Orlando for almost 8 years now, and had a choir one time. We have a low dialogue mass every Sunday, and very few people are needed to facilitate it.

    And I would submit to you that you will never really get a strong EF going until you start CHANTING the Mass the way the Roman Rite (and all other Rites of Apostolic Christianity) is supposed to be. The predominance of Low Masses in the U.S. are an artifact of the Irish “Troubles” where Irish Catholics had to hide their Mass and say it quietly. Go to a parish with a strong German, Italian, or Polish heritage (just a few notable examples I could think of), pre-Vatican II, and you probably wouldn’t find the predominance of Low Masses.

    Gregorian chant isn’t tremendously difficult, and if you have 2-3 strong male voices, and at least one who is a good master cantor, you have a schola. If you have a good master cantor or one person strong in vocal music, you may even be able to tackle some polyphony under their tutelage. I’ve never sung harmony or polyphony in my life seriously before this year. I had a strong instrumental background from the 80s-90s, and used to sing in the choir as a teen. This weekend, I sung Tallis (If Ye Love Me), Orlando Gibbons (Hosanna to the Son of David) , and a few others I don’t recall. Much of this can be learned simply by getting the music scores (or Liber Usualis in the case of the chant) and find the piece on YouTube. Some of the music is out there free of charge as well. Use the tools you have. They’re second to none in the history of the world. is a good source for both the music and the recordings for some excellent polyphony, at $5/mo for an individual, though some stuff is charged individually.

  23. Michael says:

    Wow. As a former member of OLV, it was quite the shock to see it mentioned here. Though the priests are for the most part orthodox, I never saw any suggestion of interest in the TLM. This is indeed the Lord’s work.

  24. AnnAsher says:

    In response to your earlier post on getting to work, I : sent in my monetary pledge card for the year and checked off 3 boxes of activities/ministries I am willing and able to become involved in. I have not been active in parish activities due to the 1 1/2 drive. I am going to make an effort to support a ministry that it not just a support if the TLM community within the parish.

  25. Absit invidia says:

    We have a story nearly identical to this one. We just started the EFM in Oregon where the closest priest is likewise 2 hours drive away. The first mass began in February. Thanks be to God.

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