Here is some news to cheer you in these otherwise chaotic and troubling times.
Seven Years after “Summorum Pontificum”: Nearly 500 North American Churches Offer the Traditional Latin Mass
For those Catholics who are seeking even more regular access to the Traditional Latin Mass, sacraments, and accompanying parish and liturgical life, there are 75 parish locations that offer this access daily [Such as that perfectly located, spiritual oasis Holy Innocents in Manhattan] … the ideal and ultimate goal for Catholics who desire to truly live out the liturgical life of the Church in its fullness.
The upcoming seventh anniversary of the implementation date of Summorum Pontificum has been noted with nary a whisper from likely traditional-minded media outlets and blogs. [Maybe we aren’t talking about it much – yet – because it will be, after all, in September?] I suppose with both the mainstream and Catholic media’s feeding frenzy on covering Pope Francis’ every waking moment, movement, and spoken word, this shouldn’t be a surprise.
Has it really been seven years since that momentous date that provided juridical recourse to Catholic laymen directly with their parish priest to provide access to the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments? What kind of results have we seen in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada in dioceses and parishes offering the Traditional Latin Mass?
The Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, keeps a comprehensive list of these locations, and their data are used for this story. At last count, in 191 dioceses in North America, there are about 485 parishes that offer the Traditional Latin Mass with some frequency (monthly, twice-per-month, or weekly). There are 335 parish locations that offer a weekly Traditional Latin Mass to Catholics albeit, more often than not, in afternoon or evening time slots. But still, 335 weekly offerings in 191 total North American dioceses seem to be a positive commentary on the fruits of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio.
For those Catholics who are seeking even more regular access to the Traditional Latin Mass, sacraments, and accompanying parish and liturgical life, there are 75 parish locations that offer this access daily (or close to daily, sometimes with the summer being an exception, for instance). This is, of course, the ideal and ultimate goal for Catholics who desire to truly live out the liturgical life of the Church in its fullness. And of those 75 parish locations, a total of 38 are provided for by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), and another 13 by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICR).
This brings us to the heart of this article. That leaves a mere 24 diocesan, or other, venues (such as St. John Cantius Canons in Chicago) where the Traditional Mass is regularly offered daily (again, noting some occasional exceptions).
This article will focus on a diocesan parish offering the Traditional Latin Mass in one of the most unlikely of places—what is often referred to as “the buckle of the Bible Belt”—Greenville, South Carolina (more broadly, the Greenville-Spartanburg-Easley-Anderson “Upstate” area). While Prince of Peace is a parish without the benefits of a personal parish served by a group of priests such as the FSSP or ICR, the parish’s evangelical liturgical approach is beginning to attract national and international attention.
Following is an interview with Rev. Christopher Smith, the pastoral administrator at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, which serves nearly 2,000 families in Taylors (Greenville), South Carolina. Not only is this parish attracting families seeking access to doctrinal and liturgical sanity in the wasteland of the postconciliar debacle, it is beginning to be recognized by even the non-Traditional Catholic audience as perhaps a beacon of the “New Evangelization” due to the number of converts and reverts it attracts, but with methods and techniques borrowed from the “Old Evangelization.” Of course, the apparent irony here will not be lost on longtime readers of The Remnant. Average daily Mass attendance (Monday through Saturday) hovers around 40 with weekly Sunday Mass attendance edging as high as 200-plus, but with regular attendance around 170.
Note that Prince of Peace also has a burgeoning school, a round-the-clock adoration chapel, and numerous other flourishing apostolates one would expect from a parish with parishioners on fire for the faith. Prince of Peace is also home to numerous processions on special feast days and adoration and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Read the rest there.
I have been saying for decades, not years, that the real impact of the older form of the Roman Rite will be felt across the whole breadth of the Church when diocesan priests take it up and implement it in parishes.
As much as I like and appreciate the good work of groups such as the FSSP and the ICK, they are specialists, in a sense. Diocesan priests – let’s call them “garden variety” priests although so many of them are also exceptional – make the greatest impact simply because they are far greater in number, they have parishes, and they are more stable within a region. Would that they were also more stable in assignments. This 6 year thing… well… don’t get me started.
The good news is this: everywhere I go, the large majority of young priests and seminarians I meet tell me that there is great interest in the traditional forms amongst their ranks. Seminarians, especially, have related that almost all their classmates are now at least open to the learning how to use the Missal of St. John XXIII.
As a matter of fact, the men who are well along in their formation, or actually preparing to be ordained would, if they could, say their 1st Mass in the traditional Roman Rite.
This will spook liberals something fierce. I know of a bishop who actually quizzes deacons about what form of Mass they will use for their 1st Mass: the implication being that it had better not be a TLM and that their ordination may depend on it. Nice, huh?
You know, while I would rather have a somewhat smoother path in the growth and implementation of Summorum Pontificum, maybe it is – in the large scheme of things – good that we can from time to time report that some bishop or even curial official actively oppresses people who want the traditional forms. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it is unjust. Yes, we wish it weren’t so. BUT… in doing that they only serve to toughen up those who will, in the end, undo their liberal catholic agenda.
Go ahead and tell seminarians that they can’t attend the old Mass anywhere. Go ahead and threaten them. All you are doing is making them want it even more. Deny them the chance to learn the older Mass in classes in the seminary, will you? Fine, they will learn it in their rooms, with the help of young priests who are already using it. Bully them all you want. It won’t work. They are the maquis and you can’t stop them.
It is possible to get mired in all the bad news or in the news about strange and controversial things that this or that highly ranked churchman might spout on a bad day.
What I have seen, and what encourages me, is that a lot of the younger guys, young priests and seminarians, are really not paying a whole lot of attention to goofy prelates and mixed messages. These men do not lug around a lot of baggage. They do not have the scars of the wars that some of us who are older have gained. They really took notice of what Pope Benedict did and they took it on board. In turn, this has a knock on effect among their peers. As the newer seminarians come in, they will see that the older guys, whom they admire, are learning, and saying, the older Mass and they will want to do so too.
Do everything you can to encourage seminarians and young priests to learn and say the Extraordinary Form. A good first step could be to make sure that they all have the Missale Romanum of St. John XXIII. Be ready to send them off to a workshop.
¡Hagan lío! This cannot be stopped.