US Catholic Colleges with Holy Mass “ad orientem”, TLM and Ordinary Form

The Cardinal Newman Society, which studies Catholic Higher Education, has an interesting piece about ad orientem worship at Catholic schools. The CNS has a great news widget on my sidebar. Check it out now and watch it every day!

Students Show Growing Appreciation for Traditional Masses, Say College Chaplains

Among Catholic colleges and dioceses across the country there has been an apparent rise in the celebration of the Mass ad orientem, where the priest and congregation face the same direction, traditionally to the east. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with chaplains from three colleges recommended in The Newman Guide about the Masses celebrated ad orientem on campus and what that type of worship brings to students.
At Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., the priest celebrates ad orientem during several weekly Masses—two in the Extraordinary form, as well as two in the Ordinary Form in English and one in Latin—College chaplain Father Stephen McGraw told the Newman Society.

Fr. McGraw explained:

The gradual introduction and occasional celebration of Mass “ad orientem” on campus, along with the celebration “versus populum,” allows students to experience the traditional and historic way of celebrating the Eucharist without jarring them and helps show and reinforce for them the “hermeneutic of continuity” (as spoken of by Benedict XVI) between the Masses of the preconciliar and postconciliar periods. [Good approach.  Some of these young people may have only experienced the Ritus Suburbanus.]

Masses celebrated ad orientem give students “an opportunity to participate in liturgical prayer that leads them to contemplation,” [A lot harder with the priest gawking at you with a grin as if he were Conan O’Brien.] said Father Hildebrand Garceau, chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif. “All are facing liturgical east in one movement of prayer and offering. It seems to aid greatly in reducing distractions and helping students to focus on the liturgical action of the most powerful prayer in the universe—the Holy Mass.”

At TAC, Masses are said each morning in the Extraordinary Form which gives the undergraduates a “reverent, quiet, contemplative Mass,” said Fr. Garceau. Most Saturdays, a Mass is also said in the Ordinary Form.

Father John Healy at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (TMC) in Merrimack, N.H., told the Society that TMC began to celebrate the Latin Mass ad orientem once a week on Fridays because of student demand. Students continue to tell him that the silence in the Mass “impresses them in a particular way” and is very helpful for them, he said.

Additionally, said Christendom’s Fr. McGraw, ad orientem worship “shows our communion with the Eastern Church, which for the most part cele?brates the liturgy of the Eucharist ‘ad orientem.’” He also noted that the priests at Christendom have “expressed their appreciation” for the chance to celebrate these Masses for the students.

According to Fr. Healy, bishops in the dioceses that celebrate the Extraordinary Form say that a lot of the participation is from the younger generation. This gives hope for liturgy and Church tradition both in the present and in the future, he said. It is encouraging to see students appreciate the traditional forms of the Mass.

Ave Maria University, the College of Saint Mary Magdalen, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, the University of St. Thomas-Houston and Wyoming Catholic College [hurray!] also offer Masses ad orientem.

All the aforementioned colleges are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity. The Cardinal Newman Society recently released the 2015 edition of the Guide along with an innovative new “Recruit Me” program that allows students to sign up so that the recommended colleges can compete for them.

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

For more on why ad orientem worship is important – more important than ever especially as a tool of the New Evangelization – check out two books which would be great gifts for your parish priests this Christmas.

First, Joseph Ratzinger’s Spirit of the Liturgy.  He explains ad orientem and his transitional arrangement called the “Benedictine Arrangement”.  (UK HERE)

Also, my friend Fr. Lang’s Turning Toward the Lord.  Historical and theological analysis. (UK HERE)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    One of the pastors at a church in town has decided to follow Bishop Conley’s idea of offering holy Mass ‘ad orientem’ during Advent. I asked Father yesterday about this and if it was an aid to him in praying his own Mass. He told me that while he senses Our Lady and the angels at Mass normally and does not really ‘see’ the congregation, this time he told me he ‘sees’ the Holy Spirit and he was surprised by this.

  2. williamjm says:

    Notre Dame also offers an ‘ad orientem’ Tridentine Latin Mass every Sunday.

  3. liberameDomine says:

    I am a student at Fordham University in Manhattan (pre-law). The Bronx campus offers the TLM, but only during the week, not for Sundays, and not for Feast Days. The Manhattan campus offers a daily mass in a chapel (OF) where the congregants are always asked to gather around the altar with the priest for the consecration (smh, Jesuits). I go to Holy Innocents for Mass.

  4. HighMass says:

    So sad that the bugnini’s of the world cannot see by Saying Mass N.O. Ad Orientem would add so much holiness, reverence, sacredness to the Mass in the O.F. Why have we for 50 years had the Priest face the people??? As the article says our Eastern Brothers face the East….

    It is time to turn those altars around and face the east!

  5. NomenDeiAdmirabileEst says:

    I am a student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the TLM has yet to make a comeback. YET. Thanks to the work of five students (myself included) and some wonderful priests and professors, the EF will be coming to St. Thomas next week on the Feast of St. Lucy and again next Lent! Our hope is to have a monthly TLM on campus next year and beyond. Deo gratias!

  6. RAve says:

    Ave Maria University:

    Regular Mass Schedule

    Saturday Vigil Mass: 5 p.m.
    8 a.m. (Extraordinary Form Latin);
    10 a.m. (English);
    12:30 p.m. (English);
    7 p.m. (English)

    7:30 a.m.: Mon, Wed, Fri – English; Tues and Thurs Extraordinary Form Latin
    12:00 Noon: Mon-Thurs (English)
    5 p.m.: Mon-Thu, English; Fri, Novus Ordo Latin
    Saturday: 9 a.m. (English)

    Sacrament of Reconciliation
    Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
    Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

  7. CatherineTherese says:

    Too funny, Father, “the Ritus Suburbanus”… fantastic (unfortunately)! It kills me that this is what is presented of the faith in the wealthier, “healthier” suburban parishes… places that are actually set up, as it were, around a geographic community, maybe even a parochial school, with numbers and committees and welcoming tables and meeting rooms. So much energy and potential… argh. Yet more and more energy gets poured into new upholstery for the coffee corner, or small-group peace pole planning committees.

    Kudos to you and your band of classmates in putting in the work at St. Thomas! I will remember you in my prayers on the Feast of St. Lucy, for your success in implementing a regular EF Mass!

  8. Matt Robare says:

    A couple weeks ago I went to a TLM at St. Ignatius Loyola, the church for Boston College (!), organized by the Boston College Latin Mass Society (!!!). If it can happen at not only a Jesuit school, but the Jesuit school where Robert Drinan taught, it can happen anywhere.

    Although St Ignatius’s pastor refused to let them move the table altar out of the way, unfortunately.

  9. StnyPtGuy says:

    On the one hand, some guy named William Bornhoft says that “the Latin Mass is not the key to the New Evangelization.” Says he, “Summorum Pontificum has also created—unfortunately and unintentionally—a subculture of young Catholics skeptical of contemporary Catholicism and the reforms of Vatican II. … A noticeable number of Millennial Catholics even believe the Ordinary Form (or the Novus Ordo) is actually inferior to the Traditional Latin Mass. But their views on the liturgy, and reform in general, are misguided and threaten to intensify divisions within the Church. Whether they realize it or not, TLM Millennials are not on the side of orthodox Catholicism. They are at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”


    On the other hand, Susanna Spencer lays the smackdown on this Bornhoft guy at Crisis magazine. It’s worth a read. (Hat tip: Big Pulpit)

  10. JonPatrick says:

    What is particularly misleading about the article that StuyPtGiy links to is that it equates dissatisfaction with the Novus Ordo with a rejection of Vatican II. But the V2 documents (Sacrosanctum Concilium) does not specify many of the reforms that the NO promulgated; it actually specifies for example that the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant should be retained. So in many ways Summorum Pontificum is implementing what V2 actually wanted, rather than what we actually got.

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