Want a TLM in your parish? Here is how it was done in one place!

I have written a few times (since the election of Francis – for example HERE) that it is time to push forward in the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.  People who have been wringing their hands or resting on the laurels or sitting on their hands waiting for someone else to do something for them have to get to work.  Use the provisions and work the system and supply the elbow grease and the money and the time.

For example, a very small group of men got the now daily TLM going at Holy Innocents in Manhattan! It has greatly helped that parish and provided spiritual well-being for many.  It’ll will continue if people want it to.  They have to use well and protect what they have been given on a silver platter pounded out by the work of a few.

In the pages of the recent number of The Remnant I read of another instance, which if memory serves I posted about here at one time… I think.

Do you know what happened in the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina?

In the past, the former bishop had been petitioned many times, “to no avail”.  More recently, a group of people, about 50 families,  approached their parish priest (Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann’s) asking for the older form of Mass.  The number of people then grew.

At first, Fr. Reid and Bp. Jugis said no.  There was a reasonable practical problem: priest shortage and too many Masses.   Fr. Reid was already stretched too thin.

At the urging of the priest and bishop, the group wrote to the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“.

The VP of the PCED, Archbp. DiNoia, wrote back asking Bp. Jugis to provide for the desires of the people.  [THIS IS THE TURNING POINT.]

So, the over-worked Fr. Reid – friendly to the project – then had a firmer basis to change the parish schedule.  As everyone knows, Mass schedules are among the most volatile issues in a parish.   Even though some resisted, Father was able to say “Roma locuta est!”.  He changed the Spanish Mass to a TLM (!!!) and encouraged everyone to come all the same, that there would be booklets and aids provided, etc.

Hmmm… instead of keeping two groups in a parish divided, they are now worshiping together!  Hmmmm….

If only the Church had some … I dunno… common language we could all participate in equally.  If only there were some… whaddya call it… rite?  … some rite which was so consistent that it never favored …. PFFFT!   What am I thinking?

Anyway, it seems that Mass attendance is up for that TLM at St. Ann’s.

Also, the coetus fidelium who wanted the older Mass raised funds for sets of Roman vestments for the priest, deacon, subdeacon, for Solemn Masses.

Let’s review.

The people persevered.  They wrote the PCED.  The PCED responded.  At that point it was possible to move forward more boldly and do something as dramatic as replace a Mass in highly favored Voz del Pueblo with one that includes everyone.

There is another dimension of the story which I found amusing, given the strange comments Pope Francis might have made the other day about a spiritual bouquet that had been given to him, about how the people actually counted the Rosaries offered.

I read in The Remnant that the lay group, while using the formal recourse to the PCED also gathered a spiritual bouquet of 4700 Rosaries for their pastor and the bishop!  And, “following the news of a positive result of their petition from the PCED, the lay faithful provided 12,000 Rosaries in thanksgiving….”

When I’m Pope, I’ll happily accept all the spiritual bouquets I can get!  And I’ll like that people counted the prayers, too. I promise.

Use the provisions of Summorum Pontificum!  Use the tools of prayer and good will!

I have often suggested to groups that they offer spiritual bouquets to their bishops, especially the bishops who seem the most unfriendly to their causes.  Who doesn’t like spiritual bouquets?

Get a group of people together and make formal petitions.  Be willing to be cordial in your dealings with the priest and bishop.  Get it done, keep pushing forward, and don’t whine about it.

As I wrote before, Pope Benedict gave you over the course of his 8 years, a beautiful new bicycle!  He gave you a direction, he gave you encouragement, he promised you a snow cone, and gave you a running push.  Now, take off the training wheels and RIDE THE DAMN BIKE!

Now is the time to push forward.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Benedict XVI, Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. andersonbd1 says:

    Thanks for mentioning spiritual bouquets. A group of us in Rochester offered one to our former Bishop (Matthew Clark) a couple of years ago. As I read the alleged comments of Pope Francis I began questioning whether that was a good thing to do or not. I mean I, personally, didn’t rush through my prayers just to add another notch to the bouquet – I tried my best to concentrate on my prayers and the specific intentions and I don’t think myself any better than anyone else for saying them… I just thought the bishop might like to know that people were praying for him and it might help people who feel angst toward him for their own spiritual good to offer prayers specifically for him. He was grateful for it and sent us a nice reply saying so. So, anyways, thanks for mentioning that spiritual bouquets are a good thing as I was starting to wonder about it.

  2. vetusta ecclesia says:

    It is nice that there was fundraising for vestments but one of the thing that bugs me about many traddies (and I am one) is this non sequitur that you have to have Roman style vestments for TLM.

  3. msokeefe says:

    This is a great subject. I had taken notice of people filing out of a Church from the English Mass, while people waited to get into Spanish Mass. I often thought that if we had the TLM, the Priest could print out his sermon in the immigrants language. With separate masses, unintentionally it is almost like the old “Jim Crow” laws, separate but equal. It is so much better to get to know everyone in the parish. I also agree if you want a TLM, provide the Priest with vestments. If you want a Catholic Church, in these desperate times, you have to support it. Keep in mind how expensive it is run your household, it costs a lot more to keep our Church doors open. In today’s society fewer people attend Mass, this means that fewer people have to give more.

  4. HDgurl says:

    Thank you for this bl0g post, Father Z. You’re the best!

    Vetusta – I am someone who goes to the TLM every Wednesday and Sunday, because that is the only time it is offered in my area. I have traveled over an hour to get a TLM on holy days… I can tell you, I would not care one bit if the priest wore only his cassock, rather than vestments, if it made the Mass available to me every day. Yes, the vestments are beautiful, treasured and traditional… but, its the Mass that is most important!
    – Debi

  5. HobokenZephyr says:

    Here’s an interesting additional note. Next Saturday is priestly ordination in the Diocese of Charlotte and Holy Mother Church’s newest priest will be celebrating his first Mass in the EF at St. Ann’s on Sunday.

    I also wanted to add some color so people don’t get the impression that either Fr. Reid (a convert, BTW) or Bp. Jugis were ever opposed to the concept of Mass in the EF in general, which is not the case. It was a case of Father juggling at least 5 things at one time, including a complete rebuilding of his parish church. Also, the coetus includes families from a 20+mile radius of the parish and the EF Masses started as Wednesday night once/month, to weekly, to one Sunday to all Sundays and Holidays.

    The parish also has a monastery of Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in a former convent on the campus while their permanent home is established in the Diocese. Maybe that had something to do with it, too ;)

  6. Gus Barbarigo says:

    Can anyone tell us which booklets/aids were used to explain the TLM? If so, thank you!

  7. MichaeltDoyle says:

    It would be nice to have attendance numbers to support the proposition that a unified language (Latin) would serve to increase attendance in multilingual parishes. I worry that the absence of the Spanish mass would drive Spanish Catholics to non-Catholic ecclesial communities.

    I have never attended a TLM so I’m not weighing in on the need for it. I’m just concerned that the doors remain open for all and the Good News gets accurately aired as broadly as possible.

    [And priests should say 5 Masses a day, I suppose.]

  8. VexillaRegis says:

    What a great solution to merge two “congregations” into one! That will also make it easier for young people to find a good catholic spouse in their home parish… :-)

  9. Jim says:

    Though I do not “belong” to St Ann’s, the 12:30 High Mass at St Ann’s is where we now assist at every Sunday. Thank you to coetus fidelium! And to add, we are Eastern Catholics!

    The booklets/aids used at St Ann’s are(English and Spanish versions):
    or from the FSSP store (English):

    In addition, the pews also have the Vatican II Hymnal, which has the order of the mass for both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary forms. The booklet is more usable, because it also has the sit/stand/kneel instructions which are not there in the Vatican II Hymnal. Also every week there are printed propers from Una Voce of Orange County:

    Another aid (a single page printed sheet) available is:
    When to Sit, Stand & Kneel at the Traditional Latin Mass

    Before the 12:30 Sunday mass at St Ann’s we used to assist at weekday Extraordinary form masses now and then, when we had a chance. But assisting at the Sunday mass, ever week has changed our lives so much, that given a choice, even if our Eastern Rite Mass was available at Charlotte, we’d head to St Ann’s.
    Deo gratias!

  10. Mike Morrow says:

    “…this non sequitur that you have to have Roman style vestments for TLM.”

    True. But in the USA, every Mass in every parish that I ever attended before Vatican II used Roman-style. Of course, doubtless there were a very few places where Gothic was accepted. The 1959 St. Andrews Missal that we used in school even shows on a page at the front a picture of a Mass in which Gothic vestments are used. But it was very rare, as far as I could tell at the time, or since.

    The principal objection to those “gothic” polyester rain ponchos of today is that they are a symbol, like the uniform of a vicious enemy, of the forced gratuitous change-for-change-sake that came after Vatican II. Symbols mean something.

    It’s gratifying to read of communities that have been successful turning from the banal to the sacred.

    [Let’s not get bogged down in the shape of the vestments when it is getting the MASS in the parish that is foremost.]

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    it is a hilarious story. Even the bishop was telling them to write to Rome. “Roma locquta” and then they simply have no choice.

    When you are Pope Fr Z, you will still have your blog, dedicated primarily to correcting press misrepresentations of things you said, and it will still be at this domain name and called What Did the Pope Really Say?

    [I might have to continue the blog. However, I hope I can figure out incrementally what I will do. I need some time as a Monsignor first.]

  12. Mum26 says:

    Some TLM loving faithful in the diocese of Raleigh are a bit bummed right now. Two young priests, one ordained last year and the other one the year before, with clear love and preference for the TLM were sent far away in the course of the new priest assignments. One 2 hours away, and the other one to Mexico. This was disheartening especially in light of the recent feasibility study conducted by the diocese to determine the interest and support for the TLM. We have not heard anything since it was conducted. Now what?
    There is one TLM celebrated every Sunday in one very small town in the diocese, pretty much in the boondocks. Every first Sunday same priest celebrates his fourth Mass (2nd in the TLM) in the Cathedral in downtown Raleigh. He is clearly stretched thin….. and could have used some additional priestly support.

    Not too long ago I attended the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the NO. While it could have been much worse, it was bad enough. Sloppily done, and incredibly flat with emotional music in English/Spanish. I did not come away with the sense that a Sacrament had been celebrated. Like in St. Ann’s, why on God’ good earth did they not just decide to have the Mass in the liturgical language of the Church? I just don’t get it. It certainly did NOT unite the faithful in teh common language and worship of the Church. In this diocese the effort to reach Hispanic workers is so strong …… heck, Spanish is probably the second closest language to Latin, after Italian, it can’t be so dang hard, now, can it?

    Quite a few TLM leaning peeps in this diocese are a bit confused and frustrated.

  13. Robbie says:

    I’m fighting the good fight at my parish. It doesn’t offer the TLM, but I asked our priest if he would be interested in offering it. First, I wrote him, but never received a reply. A few weeks ago, I asked him after Mass about the idea. He wasn’t dismissive of me, but I got the sense he was a tad perplexed why I would ask.

    Fortunately, the TLM is offered in the archdiocese, but just once a week in a less than savory area. I’ve written our Archbishop to see if he knows of other priests who might be interested in offering the TLM. Hopefully, that will bring a good response.

  14. Mike_in_Kenner says:

    The question of priests with a full Mass schedule and the problem of changng parish Mass schedules interests me. I’ve commented about this with regard to the EF Mass before on Fr. Z’s blog, and I think it is relevant to this article, so I’ll paste in one of my previous comments here:

    I think the question about bination/trination is an interesting one. It seems to me that an easy part of the answer is found in Canon 905 of the Code, which states in Section 1 that “It is not licit for a priest to celebrate the Eucharist more than once a day except for certain instances when the law permits such celebration or concelebration more than once.” Then Section 2 states: “If priests are lacking, the local ordinary may permit priests, for a just cause, to celebrate twice a day and even, if pastoral need requires it, three times on Sundays and holy days of obligation.” So it seems clear to me that a priest may never celebrate four Masses on any day, not even a Sunday or day of obligation.

    However, I do think there is an interesting point in Summorum Pontificum about the just causes and pastoral needs that would justify celebrating twice, or even thrice on a day of obligation, and how Extraordinary Form Masses fit into a priest’s schedule. Summorum Pontificum Article 5, Section 2, states (in somewhat awkward language in the English translations floating around) that Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may have a place on ferial days and also may have one place on Sundays and feasts. (“Celebratio secundum Missale B. Ioannis XXIII locum habere potest diebus ferialibus; dominicis autem et festis una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest.”) I read this to be a statement in reference to Canon 905 explaining that pastoral care of people who desire the EF is, by definition, a sufficient just cause that a priest could offer a second Mass in a day to care for the EF community, and that for Sundays and days of obligation, out of the possible maximum of three Masses, pastoral care of faithful attached to the EF automatically justifies “one place” on the schedule (reading a connection between the expression “locum habere potest” and “una etiam celebratio huiusmodi fieri potest”). Thus, if a priest is assigned to offer three Masses on a Sunday due to lack of priests and pastoral necessities, I think an EF Mass can rightfully claim one of those “places.”

    I am not a canonist, but I cannot figure out any other sensible meaning to the phrasing about having “una etiam celebratio” in SP Article 5, Section 2. I would be interested to know what qualified experts have to say on this point.

  15. Random Friar says:

    Fr. Z’s observance bears repeating: the Mass schedule is the 3rd rail of parish life. Even a 15-minute variance can generate griping among the faithful, since it can throw their usual schedule into a bit of a disorder.

    Taking a whole Mass, en masse, and “converting” it is sure to generate much heat. People feel resentment, both toward the pastor, and the new community that the Mass is being offered for, whether rightly or wrongly. Masses, “their” Masses, are very personal things for most people. That’s not a bad thing, in se, but it is little wonder that the priest and bishop would prefer it come from Rome.

  16. Stumbler but trying says:

    “At that point it was possible to move forward more boldly and do something as dramatic as replace a Mass in highly favored Voz del Pueblo with one that includes everyone.”

    Not gonna happen in Los Angeles, CA (at least for a long time, imo) many of you know why if you are familiar with the L.A. Archdiocese. I grew up in a Spanish speaking only parish and have yet to hear the Pastor even mention the TLM. They are busy though with each Mass pretty much full in the mornings. A total of eight Masses are celebrated every Sunday and two daily Masses are celebrated each day of the week. I can also tell you that the busy Padres hear confessions during Mass.

    There are some parishes that celebrate the TLM in the L.A. Archdiocese but they are not close to home and not convenient due to my work hours.

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  18. Gratias says:

    Dear Stumbler, keep trying. Our dear Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the pits of the EF mass. There are only two TLM for 4,000,000 Catholics. One is in Alhambra at St. Therese at 1:00 pm Sundays and the other at the Ventura Mission was expelled by the newly appointed pastor, Father Tom Elewaut. We suffered a great deal, but finally archbishop José Gomez allowed the ugly ducklings to relocate to st. Mary Magdalene Chapel in Camarillo, California at 10:00 am on Sundays. Camarillo worked well and we have doubled our attendance so our expulsion from the Mission was a blessing in disguise. But the big picture is that Alhambra and Camarillo are in the northern periphery of where these 4,000,000 Catholics live. Wife and I travel 55 miles from Pacific Palisades to Camarillo for the EF mass. It is truly a scandal. There were thousands of signed petitions to Archbishop Gomez to allow the FSSP into Los Angeles but the Mahonyian influence seems indestructible here in the garden of Vatican II. Archbishop Gomez never even responded to the Una Voce groups that sent those letters. Many of our attendees at Camarillo are of Hispanic origin and we like the traditional EF mass as much as the next Catholic.

  19. In Cape Town we are making progress. Our archbishop is supportive, and we try to send a priest to the English LMS training course each year. 2010 and 2013 so far. One priest in the furthest corner of the archdiocese implemented Summorum Pontificum as soon as it was officially in place, in spite of the archbishop at the time, but that’s 250km from Cape Town. The other two are not quite ready yet but will hopefully manage to say their first EF Masses this year. Problems like Latin are holding it back, but the newly trained priest is good with Latin and will support the other priest. We will possibly have 2 priests going next year – although one will have left the archdiocese, so then we’ll have 3. There are plans to redistribute altar missals etc from the chancery storeroom. We also have a new Syro-Malabar Mass in the archdiocese (in the old days we imported priests from Ireland; now we import priests from Kerala, India) and it’s one of these biritual Syro-Malabar priests who wishes to be trained for the EF. So the fuller beauty of the East AND West is growing here. Eventually we’ll have the critical mass for the EF to grow locally on its own.

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  21. ckdexterhaven says:

    Mom26, even though they are in the boondocks, the faithful will be thrilled to get a good and holy priest! Too many times, rural Catholics are forgotten. There are so many folks in the Back 40 who long for a young priest, on fire for the faith.

  22. Mum26 says:

    @ckdesterhaven, there is no question that good priests are needed in the boondocks. But they are also needed here.
    This diocese does not give the appearance of actively promoting and spreading the TLM. Long before I joined in with my old love for the Latin Mass, the TLM faithful have been very patient and working very hard to spread the TLM. Yes there are more TLM now than ever before, but that has to be seen in the proper context: they are either far away, or at really bad times, and NEVER on Sundays ….. to appease the desire it seems. To what degree there is active sabotage, I can only speculate…..

  23. Random Friar says:

    Recall the parable of the Unjust Judge. Continue to ask, and keep your ears up for any opportunities. One never knows…

  24. ckdexterhaven says:

    I know a good, young priest, (who has been a priest for a year AND celebrates the TLM)who advised to not assume the worst motives about another. He advised to assume that the person had good intentions/motives. (I admit that I don’t personally attend a TLM Mass, even though there is one that is convenient for me to attend.) But the bishop of Raleigh is in the same bind as so many others…not enough priests to go around. Bishop Burbidge has the happy blessing of presiding over a rapidly growing diocese, but I’m sure it’s also a burden to have to make decisions that best serve the faithful. As you know, The Diocese of Raleigh covers a large geographical area, with many rural parishes, and parishes that mainly serve the immigrant population. I would kindly ask you to take these things into consideration before assuming the worst about the choices he has made. Kind regards,ckdexterhaven

  25. “True. But in the USA, every Mass in every parish that I ever attended before Vatican II used Roman-style. Of course, doubtless there were a very few places where Gothic was accepted … But it was very rare, as far as I could tell at the time, or since.”

    A lot depended on the part of the country, in particular, from which part of Europe the faithful had come to settle during the period of immigration. Growing up around Cincinnati, within that part of the Midwest known as the “German triangle,” I always saw Gothic vestments, and never saw Roman (“fiddleback,” if you will) vestments. Yes, the choice has become a form of ideological litmus test, and that is unfortunate, because neither one is more “Catholic” than the other.

    So I guess my experience was the opposite.

    In the Diocese of Arlington, we have been very fortunate. Out of sixty-eight parishes and missions, seven (down from eight for the time being) offer a TLM every Sunday. Others have not been so fortunate, but over time, the sentiment from Rome, through the Pontifical Commission, has been more sympathetic to the desires of the faithful, and less reticent to see it carried out.

    And as the good Father has said, that is what matters here. All in good time …

  26. Mum26 says:

    Dear ckdexterhaven, I know exactly who you are talking about, and this priest is correct, of course! Only I am not assuming anything. I am very careful in forming my opinion on what is happening , and what I observe, taking into account that I am certainly not privy to all the facts.
    However, I am allowed to wonder. And I am also allowed to wonder out loud. Said priest told us to our ears directly after last Christmas morning’s TLM that his intention was to establish a TLM every morning at 7am at the parish he was assigned to at the time. Guess what, nothing happened. And it wasn’t because of this dear young priest, nor was it because of a lack of support from the faithful. So why was it then? And I also know for a fact that having the Christmas morning TLM at that parish was a hell of an accomplishment due to all the resistance that had been put up.
    I don’t know about the “boondocks”, but I do know that there is a growing desire for regular Sunday (and if possible) daily TLM around where I live. And we are not getting it. It is partly due to a lack of priests, to be sure, and the bishop’s job is a very difficult one, but it is also in large part due to an active resistance by existing clergy to the linguistic and liturgical traditions of Holy Mother Church. We would not have a lack of Latin or liturgical traditions if every priest was required to at least study the language of the Church, and implement it in their NO – that would be wonderful start. Instead, we still hear the likes of “Eagles Wings” and “One Bread, One Body”, and the Cat Stevens “Morning Has Broken” – why? Don’t we have enough musical riches from 2000 years of tradition?

    I guess it boils down to Catholic Identity expressed in profound Catholic worship – BXVI gave us the road map to it. Who are we as Catholics? Are we set apart from the rest, entering into the Divine at each Sacrifice of the Mass, or are we like the Protestants, having fellowship and a meal. What would be worth dying for?

  27. ckdexterhaven says:

    Mum26, please do not presume to know who I am speaking of. I am so sorry I engaged you on this issue, I merely wanted to give an alternative explanation. I will now take Father Z’s wonderful advice and offer spiritual bouquets for bishops. And I humbly apologize to others reading, whom I may have made uncomfortable with my remarks.

  28. Athelstan says:

    For example, a very small group of men got the now daily TLM going at Holy Innocents in Manhattan! It has greatly helped that parish and provided spiritual well-being for many.

    All very true – which is why it’s a shame that Holy Innocents now seems to be targeted by the chancery in NY for potential closure. Prayers are in order for Fr. Rutler (the new administrator) and the congregation there.

  29. Mum26 says:

    @ckdexterhaven, you say the priest has only been a priest for one year? Since 2012? Well, there was only one priest ordination in 2012. I am not presuming….

    You certainly have not made me uncomfortable with your remarks. Can people not have a civil discourse? I think it was civil. You have not been uncivil. I don’t know where I have been uncivil….. and may we not be frustrated? I think we may…. not you nor I have lashed out at each other or bad-mouthed anyone…. so?

    And yes, why don’t we gather a spiritual bouquet for the local bishop. Anyone up to start counting?

  30. inara says:

    YES!! We are in the Charlotte Diocese also & in the past year our parish has gone from no EF to 2 per week! We replaced our 4pm Sunday OF & added a Wed. 6pm. We also have a budding schola, recently installed a rescued pipe organ & our new altar rail is being installed this month!!

    We will be attending the EF at St. Ann’s in Charlotte next Sunday, as that will be the First Mass of Thanksgiving of Fr. Jason Christian, whom we dearly love & is going to be a great gift to our Diocese. Our son is hoping to be amongst the servers. Can’t wait to see the Poor Clares who are in residence there as well (until their new convent can be completed) ~ they always have such a “joy cloud” surrounding them! :o)

  31. inara says:

    HobokenZephyr, just noticed your comment ~ see you next Sunday! Our pastor is serving as Deacon at Fr. Christians’s First Mass ~ I think this is only his 3rd or 4th time, he’s been studying hard to learn the EF. We’ll be the “oreo cookie family” (5 of our children are adopted from Haiti) sitting at the left near the front! :o)

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