From a reader…
What, if anything, can I do to bring about the establishment of an FSSP led parish in my community? The parishes in my county are all post-Vatican II. Can one person do anything? Thank you!
Only a bishop can establish a parish. That’s part of his job description. Only he can invite in a religious community, like the FSSP, to staff a parish.
However, there’s much that we all can do.
First, Be the Maquis! Start participating fully in the life of your local parish. Get active in any way you can, especially with works of charity and service. Get to know the people at the parish. Get to know like-minded Catholics in the area. Is there a Juventutem chapter in your state? Join it. Sign up to it’s websites and keep apprised of all activity. There probably are others in your immediate area who also would like easier access to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the Sacraments.
Next, keep at it. Don’t necessarily make it the first question you ask when you join your local parish, especially if there’s a long history of heterodoxy or bland liturgy there. Join in, worship God, find like-minded folks, and when you’ve found about forty or fifty solidly committed friends, ask the pastor if he’d be willing to offer, or at least host, an Extraordinary Form Mass.
Network with others through the internet who have gone through this process in the past.
Always be upbeat and positive, always look for ways that you can make your pastor’s life easier. He needs to learn to think of you and your like-minded friends as an asset to the parish, rather than a headache.
If twenty of the fifty people who are asking for an Extraordinary Form Mass are the backbone of the parish’s food pantry, or if the men who are involved are the ones who just volunteered to repaint the parish hall (and pay for the paint!), even a pastor disinclined to offer the EF Mass himself might be more inclined to make some allowances.
On the other hand, if the fifty people asking for the EF Mass are the fifty people who are always calling and complaining about something, or who collectively contribute $20 a week in the offertory, Father is not going to be easily persuaded or accommodating.