Brick by Brick in El Paso

For your “Brick by Brick” file, in the El Paso Times:

El Paso Catholic Diocese to offer Mass in Latin [Will it be the Novus Ordo?]

“Oremus,” which means ‘let us pray’ in Latin will be heard regularly in Mass starting in late summer.

Catholic Diocese of El Paso leaders said they will welcome members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, [FSSP] a community of Roman Catholic priests who offer the Mass in the traditional Roman Rite. They will serve at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Downtown El Paso in August.

“(The Latin Mass) is both a challenge and a need and so the diocese is responding to that …. there is a segment of the population in the church that has an affinity for the Latin Mass,” said the Rev. Tony Celino, moderator of the Curia. [It isn’t all that big a challenge, as challenges go.  Also, let’s avoid using “Latin Mass” to describe this form of Holy Mass.  That could also mean Novus Ordo in Latin.  Perhaps Traditional Latin Mass or TLM would work better.  Nevertheless, Fr. Celino is right.  There is a segment.]

In a statement, Bishop Mark J. Seitz said, “The Holy See has told bishops around the world that where a stable community attached to the Tridentine form of the Liturgy exists, [and that stable community does NOT have to be large] we have a responsibility to assure that this group has the opportunity to celebrate the sacraments in this way.”

The Latin Mass was how Catholic Churches celebrated prior to the renewal that came with the Second Vatican Council.

Seitz added that the arrival of the group will be beneficial in another way.

“It was becoming more and more difficult to provide a priest to serve the parish of Immaculate Conception,” he said.  [Ah… they buried the lead.  So, the presence of the FSSP and the use of the older forms could save a parish.]

The fraternity will allow diocesan priests to continue to serve the business community by leading the noon Mass Monday through Friday in English, Seitz said. [Note how awkward that it.  This is written as if “the business community” wouldn’t be served otherwise. Piffle.  They could attend a TLM just as well.]

Celino said there is a community of Catholics who already attend Mass in Latin on Sundays at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Central El Paso. The fraternity’s Mass will replace the one at the seminary.  [BOOOO!  We need more TLMs, not status quo ante!]


Celino said Immaculate Conception will be the only church in communion with the Catholic Church in El Paso that offers a Mass in Latin. Jesus and Mary Roman Catholic Chapel, on West Yandell, offers the traditional Tridentine Mass but it is not under the diocese of El Paso.  [Yet another reason to have more TLMs.]

Fr Z kudos to the FSSP for getting that parish in El Paso and, probably, saving that parish.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    That is awesome. Thank you Bp. Seitz. Wasn’t Fr. Michael Rodriguez run out of there because of his unwillingness to acquiesce to the modernests?

  2. “there is a segment of the population in the church that has an affinity for the Latin Mass”

    It’s good that he didn’t drag out the dread pejorative term “traditionalists”. They’re simply Catholics. Faithful Catholics.

  3. rcg says:

    Woot! I sponsored a young man for confirmation/ conversion recently who is moving to El Paso and was hoping to find TLM. This is great news!

  4. tgarcia2 says:

    Dax, as somone who lives in El Paso I can tell you that is not the case. It was made to seem like that with his supporters, but the misuse of parish funds is the reason. Fr. Rodriguez is in proverbial exile in a small, small parish in the middle of nowhere in the Diocese (look were presidio texas is, and yea).

    I am happy this was done, with enough prudence since there are segments in this Diocese who absolutely DESPISE the TLM as being not part of Vatican II (including some priests) and that the attitude of those who do attend the TLM have a “holier than thou” attitude…which, I can attest to when I went to a few Masses at St. Anthony Seminary…..

    @Henry, if you know the area, you’ll know why Fr. Tony said that. He’s a Canon lawyer, and as with most Lawyers, there are ways to say things to not “rock the boat”

    @rcg-WELCOME! Hope you enjoy your time here and have some good Mexican food and enjoy the state parks! Visit some of the Missions we have here, the oldest in TX.

  5. CGPearson says:

    This sounds similar to what happened with the Church of All Saints here in Minneapolis. That parish was set to close, then the FSSP came in and took it over last summer. Now that parish is thriving. I would estimate ~250 regular parishioners at the Sunday 10:30 high Mass.

  6. majuscule says:

    tgarcia2 — would like a little clarification–

    since there are segments in this Diocese who absolutely DESPISE the TLM as being not part of Vatican II (including some priests) and that the attitude of those who do attend the TLM have a “holier than thou” attitude…which, I can attest to when I went to a few Masses at St. Anthony Seminary…..

    Do you mean that a segment despises the TLM and another segment (the TLM Mass goers) does have a “holier than thou” attitude?. (From your experience at St. Anthony…) Or that the first group simply believes that the second group has the holier than thou attitude?

    Sorry if I’m confused. A few years ago I traveled with a person from the TLM community in El Paso on a pilgrimage and she did not have that attitude at all. She wore a veil to the OF Masses we attended (no EF on this trip) but only mentioned in passing that she belonged to the TLM parish in El Paso.

    Of course, this is only one person that I happened to meet. But her reverent attitude inspired me to pursue the TLM in my own parish.

  7. MarkG says:

    Immaculate Conception was actually the Cathedral when the El Paso Diocese was originally formed. I haven’t seen the inside in years, but I believe the Bishop’s throne is still there, and it’s mostly untouched since Vatican II. Will make an excellent setting for the TLM.
    Somewhat ironic, but the El Paso Jesus and Mary Church and School (SSPX) mentioned in this article is an old pre-Vatican II Catholic Church and school that was closed by the Bishop in the 1970s and was bought by the SSPX in the early 1980s. Once re-opened it’s been a busy parish (3 Sunday morning TLMs) and only TLM based school.

  8. RJHighland says:

    As someone else that resides in the city of El Paso I would like to clearify tgarcias2 statements abit. Yes Fr. Michael got moved to the outskirts of the Dioceses but one could argue whether he was moved because of him speaking out against benefits for same sex couples that work for hte city as if they were married couples or because of misuse use of funds. Most people at the parish would state that there was no misuse of their donations, the dioceses disagrees. I am sorry you had a poor experience with the ‘holier than thou” crowd at St. Anthony’s but they are harmless just a bit over baring at times, I think you will find that just about in any parish though. I am disappointed to hear that the daily masses will be in the Novus Ordo form and venacular but hey it is a great start because the majority of priests in the dioceses are very progressive. The norms in most parishes are reception of communion in the hand standing and remain standing until everyone has recieved, typcial pop Catholic hymns with guitars and such. I thank Bishop Sietz for permitting the FSSP to have a parish in town and think that can only bring more people to the TLM and a deeper appreciation of the Catholic faith. The FSSP are taking over one of the older churches in the downtown area, shouldn’t take much to bring it back to form. Centrally located so people from all over the city can get to it rather easily. For those of a traditional mindset Bishop Sietz is light years better than our previous bishop but he has inherited a mess. This is a gracious first step to minister to a growing TLM community in El Paso. But the SSPX community and Fr. Michael Rodriguez are the ones that were the pioneers of the developement of the TLM community in El Paso during the time the dioceses was being lead by a disciple and friend of Cardinal Mahoney. I know the folks that have been assisting at mass over at the Seminary, many who were from Fr. Michael’s parsh before he was relocated, have been working very hard to get a diocesan TLM parish so they deserve praise for their hardwork.

  9. majuscule says:

    Thanks for the clarification RJHighland.

    I only know of Fr. Rodriquez from my friend in El Paso so I did not want to speak too his reassignment. It did look…oh well, I’ll shut up…

  10. Athelstan says:

    “… the attitude of those who do attend the TLM have a “holier than thou” attitude…which, I can attest to when I went to a few Masses at St. Anthony Seminary…..”

    Define “holier than thou.”

  11. Bea says:

    RJHighland says:
    24 May 2014 at 1:08 pm
    “I am disappointed to hear that the daily masses will be in the Novus Ordo form and vernacular …….”

    I jumped to the same conclusion, but upon reading it more carefully, it only mentioned that the noon Mass was to be offered daily (Mon-Fri) in the vernacular. If the FSSP has this church as their assignment and since every priest (FSSP and otherwise) are supposed to offer their Masses daily, my assumption is that they will have daily Masses there (although not the noon Mass) but probably at a later or earlier time on a daily basis.

  12. i am just grateful for the Sundays can attend Mass. it’s not in Latin but fortunate to make it there at all.i grew up with the Latin Mass as many people here did-as well as the Mass in the vernacular. point My wonderful neighbor lady who is 80 some years old is a devout Catholic. She’s probably never heard any of these debates.She simply attends Mass. Prays her rosary faithfully every day. Was married to her husband till the day he died and had all the children God would give her. I doubt she even knows that one Mass is referred to as the Novus Order and the other as the TLM.She just knows that you attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation and outside of time spent ill she has never missed. She has COPD and has to pack up all her equipment every time she goes.

  13. JonPatrick says:

    As Fr. Z notes, the use of the term “Latin Mass” is unfortunate. At my home parish where we have the Extraordinary Form on Sundays and Holy Days plus several Ordinary Form Masses, the EF is generally designated as the “Latin Mass”. Since we also have a French and a Spanish Mass on Sunday, it does give one the impression that the only significant difference between the EF and OF is the language. It would probably be more accurate to call the “Latin Mass” the “Silent Mass” because so many of the significant parts of it have no audible speaking at all by the celebrant. Another way to think about it is that if the EF was offered in English, it would still be considerably different from the OF. I have decided to try to avoid using the term “Latin Mass” myself when talking to other parishioners.

  14. RichR says:

    In Texas we look at the FSSP/TLM like we look at business entrepreneurs: They are both good for growth, so we shouldn’t put up any barriers to their continued influx.

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