Within me two people are constantly vying for control. First, there is the pessimist. He says, “Things can’t possible get any worse!”. Then, there is the optimist. He responds, “Oh, yes they can!”
Seriously, we do have good news.
From the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald comes this great news.
Bradford parish to become regular centre for Extraordinary Form Mass
A new centre for the celebration of Mass in the Extraordinary Form will open later this year in the north of England. Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds has announced that St Joseph’s Church in Bradford is to become a centre for the Traditional Latin Mass in the Diocese. [I love this news! That said, this doesn’t mean that other parishes cannot have the older, traditional form, too. My inner optimist and inner pessimist are at it again. Say there is a bishop, like ol’ Bp. Fatty McButterpants over in the Diocese of Libville who doe not like the traditional form, at all. He might choose, like Richard in the play, to be all smiles. Then he might set up a place – The Sourpuss Nostalgia Faith Community of Yesteryear – that was second to none in the diocese and support it and make sure that it was so great that the older Mass would never spread outside that place. Trads are complacent, after all. Once they get what they want, they tend not to squawk anymore. Right? On the other hand, when people experience how wonderful things there… they might want them elsewhere! WHAT TO DO?]
Bishop Stock said: “I am making St Joseph’s Church in Bradford a principal church for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form Rite of Mass within the Diocese of Leeds. This is a pastoral response to the request from a number of the faithful for a central church that is easily accessible with a celebration at a time on a Sunday that will facilitate a larger congregation of the faithful to attend.”
Neil Walker, regional representative for the Latin Mass Society, and Fr Timothy Wiley, the diocesan coordinator for the Extraordinary Form, first approached Bishop Stock after his appointment in 2014. They raised with the bishop the diocesan need for a regular Extraordinary Form Mass on a Sunday in a centrally located church.
“The bishop met us with great courtesy and warmth and made it clear he was particularly keen that those who wish to attend the Extraordinary Form of Mass should not have to do so in the middle of a Sunday afternoon which he sees as family time,” said Neil Walker.
‘”After looking at many possibilities, the Bishop agreed to allow us to become part of St Joseph’s Parish in Bradford, which we have used several times in the past and where we have been made most welcome by the parish priests. The parish also has another centrally located church, that of St. Patrick’s at the other side of the city, which is currently undergoing intensive restoration and renovation. “ [Ah hah!]
Bishop Stock has also agreed to continue to support the traditional rite by attending several diocesan annual Masses in the Extraordinary Form and to encourage conferences and retreats for priests interested in celebrating the Extrordinary Form.
Again, I am happy for this news and you should be too. I’m slightly cynical at the moment, but I am in Spain as I write. And… I am not sure why that would make my cynical, because I’m having a great time, but it’s a way to end this post.
Fr. Z kudos to the Bishop and people of Leeds. They hagan-ed the lío! They were the maquis! They got something done!