The Institute of Christ the King had ordinations to the priesthood recently in St. Louis. This promoted an article in the local paper. The writer (thus, editor) seemed amazed that this sort of thing is going on. Young people… Mass… Latin….?!!? Does not computer.
A couple quotes in the article caught my eye.
[Now Father] Altiere is originally from Pennsylvania with a degree from Harvard University. He says his decision to become a priest is owed in part to his discovery of the traditional Latin Mass in a church in downtown Boston.
“At this Mass I really understood the priesthood for the first time,” Altiere said. “The primary reason for the beauty of our churches and liturgical ceremonies is to give glory to God, but it is also such a powerful means of evangelization.”
By learning this form of Holy Mass, new priests and vets learn something about priesthood and who they are at the altar which the Novus Ordo does not readily convey. Even if priests wind up not using the Extraordinary Form all that often, they won’t say the Novus Ordo in the same way after having learned it.
The older form of Mass clearly stresses that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Calvary renewed and the celebrating priest is both priest offering the Sacrifice and victim upon the altar. Priests are for sacrifice. If you don’t have to have sacrifice, you don’t need a priesthood. You can have ministers, instead.
His point about evangelization is tied to this. When the priest knows better who he is, his way of saying Mass, his are celebrandi as Pope Benedict put it, shifts. This will, over time, produce a knock on effect in the congregation.
Those who attend St. Francis de Sales Oratory also say their faith is strengthened by the liturgy and by the feeling of solidarity experienced by those who attend the Mass.
“Everybody here believes what they’re doing is true, real,” said Tom Leith, 55, an engineer in St. Louis. “You’re among people who believe what the church teaches.”
If we don’t know our Faith and believe, if we are not clear about what we believe and who we are, we cannot evangelize effectively. Why should anyone listen to us if we are uncertain about who we are? If we have nothing clear to say to the world, why should the world listen to us?
Benedict’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was probably the most useful tool he provided for an effective New Evangelization.