D. Manchester: New FSSP Parish

Here is some interesting news. But watch how it is reported by AP.

There is a new FSSP parish in New Hampshire.  It looks like they are having their first Mass there today, Sunday 7 August.

From AP (with my emphases and comments):

New Hampshire parish set to offer traditional Latin Mass
A Roman Catholic parish in New Hampshire will be the first in the state dedicated solely to the traditional Latin Mass

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — When he arrived in Manchester nearly four years ago, Bishop Peter Libasci started getting letters from parishioners looking for a church that offered a traditional Latin Mass. [Everyone… TAKE NOTE! Be The Maquis!]
Few New Hampshire churches at the time offered the services, which date to the 15th century [ummm… it’s older than that] and had largely had been replaced since the 1960s by services in English, Spanish and French.  [Good grief.]
First, Libasci had a dozen priests trained to conduct Masses in Latin. [Two points.  First, the bishop did this?  And the Novus Ordo ought to be in Latin.] Then, he went in search of a parish. He settled on St. Stanislaus in Nashua, which opened in 1908 to serve the Polish community but stopped holding mass after it was combined with St. Aloysius of Gonzaga parish in 2002. [Again, this seems to be something the bishop.  If so, kudos to him.]  He recruited Rev. John Brancich, a member of the conservative Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, and the church will reopen Sunday — making it the first parish in New Hampshire dedicated to traditional Latin Mass. [Hmmm… he a “dozen” priests who could do this and then he brought in the FSSP?  I would have thought that diocesan priests might be able to staff that parish.  Frankly, while I admite the FSSP and I think they do great work, the real growth of the TLM will come with the involvement of more diocesan priests.]
Libasci said the Latin Mass appeals to “not only those looking for it but those who can be touched by it,” even if they’ve never seen it before.
“To withhold it would not be honest, it would not be true,” he said. “So this is a full expression of our whole treasury of prayer.”  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
Across New England, churches offer Latin services along with services in English and other languages. Some do Latin services occasionally, while a handful conduct them every Sunday. In a Latin Mass, [NB the constant ignorant reference to Latin, Latin Mass.] everything except the homily and readings are in Latin and most of the hymns are sung in the language. As for the service, the priest faces in the same direction as the parishioners and also wears a ceremonial garment 7/8— known as a maniple— on his left forearm.
While still a tiny fraction of overall masses, Latin services have grown in recent years following the decree, Summorum Pontificum, from Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 that made it easier for bishops to offer Latin Masses.
That came on top of earlier guidance in 1980s from Pope John Paul II, who said priests could get permission from their bishop under limited circumstances to celebrate the rite. The guidance marked a shift from the early 1960s when Vatican II largely phased out Latin Masses under Pope John XXIII, with the goal of making Catholic traditions more relevant. Although it was opposed by more conservative forces in the church, it ushered in among other things English Mass.  [English Mass… Latin Mass… good grief.]
“There is a conservative/traditionalist trend which is strong among younger clergy, but disliked among some older liberal clergy, which gained a lot of ground under Pope Benedict XVI to promote traditional liturgical practices,” said Father Anthony Ruff, an associate professor of theology at St. John’s University and School of Theology-Seminary in Minnesota who also has a liturgy blog called PrayTellBlog.com. “In general, it’s a very small group of people who want Latin Mass, but its adherents are very zealous about it, and it is growing.
The desire often overlaps with other conservative trends such as homeschooling, Ruff said, but some parishioners like it “for aesthetic reasons, or find it spiritually calming and beautiful and don’t necessarily have other attendant agendas.”
Monsignor Kevin Irwin, research professor at The Catholic University of America, said the Latin Mass — or Tridentine Mass — is one tool the Catholic Church is using to “bring back the groups that went away from the church after Vatican II.”  [Perhaps he should learn it and then start saying it regularly for a congregation.  He’ll find out who is actually participating at these Masses.]
“It’s an act of trying to reconcile,” Irwin said. “It’s not liturgy in terms of style or pomp and circumstances. It’s wanting to make sure the church doesn’t break down.” [Good grief.]
Over time, however, Latin Masses have become a personal preference for some, and people do in fact like the pomp and circumstance, Irwin said. [Ummm… Low Mass has “pomp and circumstance”?  He needs to learn a few more things about this.]
Sister Maureen Sullivan, professor emerita of theology at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, described Latin Masses as having a sense of grandeur, like a “medieval opera,” where the priest wears opulent vestments and altar boys carry the cape he is wearing while walking down the aisle. [Sometimes when newsies interview you, they use very little of what you said.  I hope she told the writer something smarter than this.]
“I would go to one if one was here, as a remembrance,” said Sullivan, who now lives in Maybrook, New York. “I would go because it would bring back memories.”
Libasci sees the desire for Latin Masses as a response to concerns of globalization, and a return to a time when Latin served as a unifying force for the church.
“Latin was the one language that everybody knew. When you go to church, you pray this way,” he said. “That has been lost.”

So, this article was a mixed bag.  It reported something positive, but it was poorly written.

Bp. Libasci clearly has game and I compliment him for his initiative and openness.  Also, I compliment those people who originally asked the bishop for his pastoral solicitude.

Take note, everyone.  ¡Hagan lío!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I don’t wish to be snarky, but I really am struck by the gathering of experts the AP reporter went to for its background quotes on the story.

    It’s not even that I object to Sr Sullivan, Msgr Irwin, or even Fr Ruff – though it would have helped to note his long track record of polemic on this question, at least – making an appearance for a quote, but that they failed to include anyone with any involvement or writings, scholarly or otherwise, from a position of attachment or even familiarity with the traditional liturgy. You could pick anyone from the roll call of speakers at the last few Sacra Liturgia conferences. Instead, it’s a collection of sources from a fairly narrow ecclesiastical bandwidth – even if they each managed (at least based on what makes it into the story) to abstain from the more critical sorts of comments they have been known to make in the past.

  2. Athelstan says:

    P.S. But let me add very hearty thanks to Bishop Libasci for his generosity in making this happen. This is fantastic news, and I am very happy for the Catholics who have been waiting for this opportunity.

  3. AnthonyJ says:

    Bishop Libasci is one of the good ones. He is also bi-ritual and celebrated Divine Liturgy at the local Byzantine Catholic parish near me when he was auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre.

  4. Benedict Joseph says:

    Kind indeed you are Father Z to say this was “poorly written.” It really is rather a fine example of the depths of ignorance contemporary journalism will plummet to research their assignment. Simply frightening. Even more frightening is the inadvertent critique it offers of our Church, here in the United States, and the reveal it brings to the low grade contempt those interviewed have for our Church. Did the correspondent really have to disturb a denizen of “Collegevile” to get their scholarly insights? Have they not perpetrated the spectrum of aberrance upon us? Aren’t we over them yet?
    On a more positive note, God reward Bishop Libasci for his effort to restore our liturgical life.

  5. iPadre says:

    I agree with you, it has to be local priests.

    On 6 September 2009, I began a monthly celebration of the TLM in my parish. On 4 September this year, it goes weekly. Brick by brick evangelization. One soul at a time.

  6. JMGriffing says:

    We’re one state over in Vermont. The local paper carried this and supplemented it with information about the local diocesan priest who offers a weekly+ extraordinary form Mass at the co-cathedral, including some words from the local bishop, Bp. Coyne, who has been featured here in the past.

  7. Athelstan says:

    One other thing that occurs to me on reflection (last comment, I promise): I would have thought that diocesan priests might be able to staff that parish.

    I fully agree. The Ecclesia Dei societies can’t be the solution by themselves. But I think Bishop Libasci brought the FSSP in for one reason in particular: Manchester has a rather pronounced shortage of priestly manpower. They’re down to 90 parishes, but have under 80 active priests, at last check. They appear to have more retired priests than active, in fact. An FSSP priest or priests is one less parish Libasci has to staff when he’s already short-handed.

    Still, one hopes that more of his diocesan priests will take advantage of this growing interest and episcopal approval to start offering the Extraordinary Form regularly in their parishes, too.

  8. Knight from 13904 says:

    I attended the Mass at St. Stanislaus in Nashua this morning. Standing room only. Lots of young families. Saw many fellow Knights of Columbus. Excellent choir from Northeast Catholic College from Warner NH. Fr. John Brancich (FSSP), pastor, spoke of the tremendous outpouring of support from Bishop Libasci, the diocese of Manchester staff and many of the local parish priest from the Nashua deanery.
    We here in New Hampshire are part of the “Brick by Brick” movement of the EF. Praise be to God our prayers have been answered. Thank you to our beloved Shepard ( and 4th Degree Knight of Columbus) Bishop Peter A. Libasci

  9. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    I am grateful for the usus antiquior whenever and wherever, but I cannot escape the impression that even friendly bishops, not to mention the not-so-friendly, are happy to put us in a corral where we won’t cause problems in the Novus Ordo parishes. That is not the vision of Pope Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum. That is not the way to foster mutual enrichment. Every Latin Rite Catholic is supposed to be familiar with all the riches of his rite, including those in the Latin language, liturgy proper and music. What we are seeing is the segregation of the Latin and the non-Latin, replete with all the misconceptions evidenced in this article, which our host could have graced with even more red ink.

    Maybe this is a necessary step on the way and we are so starved that we must celebrate every gain, but, please, let’s not lose sight of the real goal.

  10. Boniface says:

    The bright spot in this article, for me, was they said the priest faces the same direction as the people, instead of “his back to the people.” That’s progress!!

  11. marthawrites says:

    Our son, studying at the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha this summer, was privileged to have attended Fr. Brancich’s last Mass there as well as some of his private Masses . Father actually adjusted his schedule so that some seminarians at IPF could attend his daily Masses. Best wishes to him in NH.

  12. Jack in NH says:

    Wacky journalists aside, the Mrs. & I, and a couple friends (who haven’t been to a TLM since the ’60s) attended this morning’s Mass. As previously noted, it was literally standing room only, and was a beautiful event.
    It was kinda cool to run into people I’ve met at TLMs in other places; is sounds like many will be attending St. Stan’s as their primary parish, regardless of some steep travel time.
    I made a point to thank Fr. Georges deLaire, Bishop Libasci’s emissary to today’s Mass, for making this happen.

  13. chantgirl says:

    While I agree that some bishops are happy to keep all the crazies in one trad parish, there is something to be said for all of the other things a traditional parish can offer- sacraments in the extraordinary form, the Triduum, and many times, homeschool co-ops. These tend to be missing even in Novus Ordo parishes which offer the EF.

    Also, I have seen numerous occasions when an EF Mass is offered at a Novus Ordo parish and when the priest is moved, the parishioners lose the EF Mass. There is not as much stability.

  14. St. Rafael says:

    This is great work done by a bishop! Now if only more bishops would establish a personal parish devoted exclusively to the TLM and 1962 sacraments in their dioceses. This can be done by diocene priests. I’m sure some diocene priests would jump at the opportunity to serve TLM parishes and not have to celebrate the Novus Ordo rite and sacraments.

  15. Matt R says:

    Of course they asked experts who are rather lacking in expertise. Anyone who has read PrayTell knows about Dom Ruff, but that sister astounds me. She ought to know who had the cappa magna or a cassock train, and she really ought to know that there was no medieval opera. Sheesh. I’ve never been to a liturgy which felt like an opera, even if there was operatic music. Also, I don’t know if the monsignor is aware of this or supports this, but at Theological College at CUA, the TLM is banned by order of the rector; he put a sign on the door the morning after a priest said it.

  16. APX says:

    The other benefit to having a parish designated to the EF is there is no need for the other altar that needs to walked around, or gets in the way for Solemn Masses. There’s also the issue of scheduling special Masses and having to rely on the co-operation of the pastor to be accommodating, or even just regular Mass times, the clashing of Passion Week differences and when to veil the statues, and let’s not forget the “Veil Wars” post.

    Furthermore, the FSSP’s aim seems to be to establish their own parishes. Apostolates that have their own parish get more priests, which allows them to do more than sharing a parish and only having one priest.

  17. FrAnt says:

    Bp. Libasci is a wonderful and holy man. I was lucky to have him as my episcopal vicar in my part of our diocese (Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY). On Monday of Holy Week every parish hears confession from 3 to 9 pm. My rectory door bell rang just as I was going to church, it was Bishop Libasci offering to help. I know many priests here were sorry to see him go to NH, but things like this happen.

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Sheesh I hate to be prickly but it is aggravating as all get out when the media go-to people either clearly don’t know much about the TLM or have an obvious bias against. I attended a Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form this morning, and with one priest and one adult server, it was pretty low on the “pomp and circumstance” rating scale, but it was high on the “faithful and reverent” rating scale, so I guess it all balances out. It is kind of maddening to read such a statement, and from those who should be on our team! And to read the comments. Why do so many cradle Catholics have such antipathy toward the TLM, it is shocking really. They are always the ones, and usually, of a certain age. It is as if they desperately wish to be thought modern, and that necessitates the image of leaving behind the “old-fashioned” church. It’s weird because, Novus Ordo only churches are emptying, just today we found out another set of local churches are being yoked together in our area. To the people who were interviewed for this article I would sincerely like to ask them to reflect on how well NewChurch is working out for anybody. People are hungry for continuity and reverence, real meaning in life beyond social justice and mercy. They are looking for GOD. “Community” and jokes, silly songs and watered-down doctrine is causing the church to hemorrhage Catholics. I listened to a Protestant preacher on TV today and HIS sermon sounded more Catholic than many homilies I have heard in the last ten years. What are we doing!

  19. Mike says:

    I had Fr Irwin as a prof in the 80s and he is a very fine, good man but he seems entirely tone deaf to liturgical Tradition.

  20. Sword40 says:

    “While I agree that some bishops are happy to keep all the crazies in one trad parish, there is something to be said for all of the other things a traditional parish can offer- sacraments in the extraordinary form, the Triduum, and many times, homeschool co-ops. These tend to be missing even in Novus Ordo parishes which offer the EF.

    Also, I have seen numerous occasions when an EF Mass is offered at a Novus Ordo parish and when the priest is moved, the parishioners lose the EF Mass. There is not as much stability.”

    I 100% agree with you. We fought for 4 1/2 years to get the EF Mass. Each time we got a priest willing and able to say the Mass (3 priests over that time) the archbishop would transfer him and send us a priest that wouldn’t/ couldn’t say the Mass. We refused to be quiet and kept up a constant but polite pressure for a priest. Finally he gave us a parish he was about to close anyway.
    That’s when the FSSP sent us a priest. This October 1st we will celebrate one year as a regular FSSP parish. We’re even getting a second priest.

    Celebrating a Solemn High Mass this August 15th at 7:00pm. St. Joseph Catholic church, Tacoma, WA.

  21. anna 6 says:

    I am very fond of Bishop Libasci. He is a wise and holy man. Many are praying that he is returned to his home town of Long Island as the new ordinary when the current bishops retires. Rockville Centre is the 6th largest diocese in the country, with the 1.5 million Catholics making up about 54% of the islands population.
    He could have a very positive impact on a large and influential region of the country.
    Hopefully someone is listening…
    (Sorry Manchester!)

  22. S.Armaticus says:

    While I agree with Fr. Z and iPadre w/r/t the observation:

    “I would have thought that diocesan priests might be able to staff that parish. Frankly, while I admite the FSSP and I think they do great work, the real growth of the TLM will come with the involvement of more diocesan priests.”,

    … I do think that FSSP parishes which exclusively offer the TLM are very much needed. Actually, I see them as the next step being taken in the Restoration. At the end of the day, the N.O. is “fabricated, a banal product of the moment”. (Guess who said that? – Hint, he goes by the name of “the Greatest” in my parts!) It appeals to the sentiments of people who are stuck in a point in time, i.e. circa 1968. It’s ideological basis is what John Lamont termed a “negative thesis”. And he observed that: (https://sarmaticusblog.wordpress.com/why-thomism/)

    “The key to the neomodernist capture of power is however also the reason for their failure to sustain a religious culture. Neomodernism is not like Protestantism, which contains ideas with a positive content as well as being a rejection of Catholicism. These ideas – justification by faith, and the like – are not correct, but they say something substantial, and have an appeal that can give rise to an important movement. Neomodernism ( and its visible form, the N.O.), however, on a religious level is a purely negative thesis. (It’s the “anti-mass by design”, so to speak) As a result it has no attractive force of its own, and ecclesiastical structures that fall into its grip eventually die away – a process now visible all over the world. ”

    Given the above, the Indult Masses, then the SP on a parish level were like the life boats that picked up those who did not want to drown (like yours truly) after the ITS VII hit the iceberg, while the SSPX and its break away communities: FSSP, ICKSP, IBP, Campos, etc are the naval frigates (destroyers in some cases – where the LTM is offered in cathedrals) that are supporting those saved in the life boats. And eventually, the navy will have to replace those life boats since they will become overcrowded, with frigates commanded by the diocesan clergy. Think St. John Cantius pre Canons.

    And finally, please remember, those presently in the life boats need to get ashore. And ashore is not 1968!

    PS The ITS refers to an old joke. It goes something like this: the US designates it’s ship with USS (United States Ship), the English with HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) while the Italians with ITS (ITS a my boat).

    [What the FSSP are doing, along with the other groups, is wonderful. But the real restoration will take off when more diocesan priests learn the TLM and start using it often.]

  23. JonPatrick says:

    This is great news for the people of southern New Hampshire and nearby areas. For a while we lived in north central Massachusetts and attended a chapel in Richmond NH (south of Keene) run by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (MICM) , a group of religious that had broken away from the MICM group founded by Fr. Leonard Feeney in Still River MA. At that time they had a daily TLM and 2 Masses on Sundays. There were (and still are) a number of traditional Catholics living nearby that attend that chapel and support it. Bp. Libasci has even gone to Richmond to perform confirmations in the Extraordinary Form, although using the nearby parish church as the Diocese does not officially recognize the MICM chapel. I’m not sure what the situation is there now as they lost their regular priest some time ago and have had to depend on priests traveling into the area for Sunday Mass.

    The TLM now being offered in Nashua now offers people another option and one free of some of the doctrinal issues that the MICM group has with the Church.

  24. Mike says:

    . . . the real restoration will take off when more diocesan priests learn the TLM and start using it often.

    If, as some here report, diocesan priests who learn and use the TLM get shuffled off to the hinterlands, that would seem to point to the hinterlands as a source of restoration. That’s not bad news.

    The other not-bad news is that the “hinterlands” are not always far away, as urban and suburban Catholics who follow the inspiration to move out of their comfort zones can attest. Struggling parishes and neighborhoods can be beacons of discouragement or rich opportunities for evangelization, depending on how we choose to respond to grace. If Father doesn’t choose to let himself be defeated by the chancery shuffle, why should we?

  25. Kerry says:

    S.Armaticus, thank you for the link, where I am now reading Lamont’s essay, plus the “Thomism for the New Evangelization”. Terrific stuff! (Momentarily I wondered if, by “the Greatest” you meant one Cassius Clay. Heh.)

  26. Athelstan says:

    What the FSSP are doing, along with the other groups, is wonderful. But the real restoration will take off when more diocesan priests learn the TLM and start using it often.

    One other advantage to more diocesan priests learning and regularly celebrating the TLM: Diocesan priests are the ones who go to become bishops. Ecclesia Dei society priests, alas, do not. And we do need good bishops. Badly.

    Not that I would wish the episcopate on any priest I admire and love, but….

  27. jaykay says:

    Yeah, a real mixed bag of an article. However, it did get this essential right: “As for the service, the priest faces in the same direction as the parishioners…” No references about him “having his back turned to the people”, which one might have expected given the generally sloppy tone of the rest.

  28. albinus1 says:

    I’m not suprised. I think most reporters have a section in their Rolodex labeled “Catholic” containing the two or three “Catholic experts” whom they always call for comment about any and all “Catholic issues” whethet or not those particular individuals might be particularly knowledgeable about the specific issue under discussion. For example, I remember noticing a few years ago that whenever the news networks covered a “Catholic issue” they invariably seemed to ask Fr Thomas Reese to comment on it. Presumably he was just the go-to “Catholic commentator” in the Rolodex.

  29. TomG says:

    Mike: I remember reading an article in the Catholic periodical “Origins” by Msgr. Irwin (early 2000s) in which he juxtaposed transubstantiation with transignification. He was clearly for the latter. A short step, that, to “the Eucharist is just a symbol.” If so, I’m with Flannery O’Connor.

  30. robtbrown says:

    While I agree that it would be better that parishes have a TLM every Sunday, the priest shortage (1) makes it very difficult. It would probably mean adding a mass. Economic pressure, however, could cause parishes to adopt a TLM. Enough people abandoning a parish to frequent a TLM somewhere else, taking their contributions with them, could cause pastors to change their minds.

    Parishes or oratories reserved for Latin do provide a place to go. Unfortunately, they also often require at least a 45 minute round trip.

    (1) A shortage that is a consequence of the liturgy of the past 45+ years.

  31. Thorfinn says:

    I think the strategic question on diocesan vs. order TLM is still wide open — could a dedicated parish be an anchor or wellspring for wider diocesan adoption? In our diocese the FSSP & SSPX generously assisted with training, materials, etc., particularly in the early goings.

    I’m surprised at some of the reaction to the article — I thought for a secular source they went out of their way to bring in a couple different perspectives (strange quotes but none of the sources actually hostile), present the matter in a sympathetic light, and portray the bishop positively and let his quotes anchor the article. I don’t ever expect an AP write-up to explain what vernacular is & if traddies themselves can’t agree what to call a TLM vs. Tridentine vs. Latin vs. usus antiquior vs. vetus ordo vs. extraordinary form or MEF, it’s not fair to expect the media to resolve it.

    The only real gripe I would have is the 15th century bit — that’s critical, and I wonder the proximate source of that bit of data?

  32. Mike says:


    Ouch. Not good!

  33. un-ionized says:

    I don’t think the priest shortage can be attributed to the liturgy. Also, in my city, the TLM crowd does very little for their parish financially. The parish is supported by the people who attend the other Masses. If the TLM people moved to another parish it would be a relief, also in terms of their taking their meanness with them. Deliberately provoking the bishop was a bad idea.

  34. Joseph-Mary says:

    My college friend lives near Manchester and when visiting, I have attended holy Mass at the Cathedral. This new wonderful bishop has been in the process of restoring the Cathedral to a great beauty! It was not finished the last time I was there over a year ago. But the restoration speaks well just in itself. Also the rector there is a wonderful priest and I very much enjoyed his Masses and homilies; everything done well. Daily confessions too.

    Now, if memory serves, in the past Manchester had its scandals. This embracing of orthodoxy is a great step to begin to restore, not just a Cathedral church building, but the faith of the people in the diocese.

  35. S.Armaticus says:

    You are welcome.

    Brick by brick, and not just the parish TLM, but conversion of the intellect. It is that intellectual treasure we have inherited that will actually turn the Barque of St. Peter around. If we can only get that pendulum to swing away from the mystics and back to the rationalists, we would be half way home.

    As to Cassius Clay, … a liturgy guy?
    Somehow I can’t wrap my head around that one.
    But it’s probably just me ;-)

  36. Sword40 says:

    As I watched the several diocesan priests that supported the TLM, EF, etc., get transferred , I also witnessed their reluctance to start a TLM at their new parish. This has been almost universal here in the Seattle Archdiocese. I have also, seen some very feeble attempts at reforming the N.O. Mass (to make it more reverent). Always with the comment that “folks are not ready for the old Mass”. And the years roll by.
    “the TLM crowd does very little for their parish financially. The parish is supported by the people who attend the other Masses. If the TLM people moved to another parish it would be a relief, also in terms of their taking their meanness with them.”
    You know, Un-ionized, I have found that statement to be completely wrong. If we are “mean” I would say that if you had been treated like many of us have been treated you might be a little cantankerous too.
    Most of us have “bit the bullet” for decades. I will agree that things have been much more smooth since we got our own parish and no longer have to share our church or worry about resetting the Altar arrangement for the modern Mass after the TLM.

    I really see no future in working with the local N.O. people. Most of them resent our presence in “their” parish. Sorry if this offends anyone but it had to be said.

  37. un-ionized says:

    Obviously you are not in my city! I still think being unspeakably rude to the bishop was a bad move, in fact the pastor almost resigned. And I am completely fed up with the attitude that there is something wrong with people who prefer to attend whatever Mass they choose.

  38. un-ionized says:

    And what I said about the TLM people at my parish not being financially supportive is absolutely true.

  39. St. Rafael says:

    What the FSSP are doing, along with the other groups, is wonderful. But the real restoration will take off when more diocesan priests learn the TLM and start using it often.

    The FSSP just simply doesn’t have the priests to meet the demand. Formation takes a long time, something like 7-10 years. Bishops keep asking the FSSP to come their diocese, and the FSSP has told many of them that they don’t have the priests yet for their diocese. There is a backlog. Bishops are waiting their turn. Yet these bishops can solve their problems by turning to their own priests. Instead of waiting for the FSSP, they should have their diocene secular priests run a personal TLM parish.

  40. Thomas Sweeney says:

    Attending the TLM for me, is a personal encounter with God. The Mass is centered on that experience with no distractions, everything is in harmony. The NO is much to horizontal, with the Priest sitting there as a presider, and many people moving about, like actors in a cameo part. The many sins that I have been guilty of requires a one on one relationship, with a reverent priest facilitating the encounter. The FSSP understands my problem, whereas my Bishop doesn’t. Our local Priests are poorly trained and try to do their best, but the years of training received by the FSSP is telling.

  41. egallaher says:

    There is no way this could have happened without the FSSP providing the priest, as we really are suffering a shortage of priests in NH. We barely have enough to stretch, and almost a third of our priests are up for retirement in the next five years. We have just a handful of seminarians in the pipeline. I suspect we’re really suffering the results of “prior management” that will take a long time to turn around.

    I am so very grateful for the FSSP and for Bp. Libasci. (I love him, and I know his friends in Long Island must miss him.)

  42. un-ionized says:

    thomas sweeney, could you please explain to me what you mean by “many people moving about?” I have not seen this at any Mass I have ever attended. Though I have only attended Mass frequently at 4 different parishes in my diocese. I also don’t understand what you mean by the “priest sitting there.” The priests don’t sit very much where I have been.

  43. Maineman1 says:

    I made it to only a few of the masses in Tiverton when I was stationed in Newport last year. Wonderful news about the weekly change!

  44. Aegidius says:

    “The guidance marked a shift from the early 1960s when Vatican II largely phased out Latin Masses under Pope John XXIII, with the goal of making Catholic traditions more relevant.”

    Isn’t this the greatest statement in the article of all? So why don’t we just shift back (from mean Benedict) and reinstall what Saint John XXIII, the Good Pope, promulgated “in the early 1960s”, i.e. 1962, considering in particular what he decreed about the phasing out of Latin in Veterum Sapientia?

    Make Catholicism relevant again. Isn’t that Vatican II?

  45. ncstevem says:

    Hear! Hear! Sword, agree with what you say here.

    We’re supposedly ‘mean’ yet could you imagine the reaction of those who assist at the N.O. Mass if it was ended overnight and they were treated the way traditional Catholics have been treated for the last 50 years?

    I will answer unionized for myself but I would imagine many traditional Catholics would answer similarly:

    1. I’m reluctant to contribute $ to the diocese because I don’t want my money going to organizations I believe are contrary to the Faith ( i.e. CCHD), push agendas I not only disagree with but are harmful to me, my family and my country (USCCB), financially benefit those who I believe undermined the Faith ( diocesan fund for retired priests) or is used in any way to perpetuate the new Mass. I chose to send my $ directly to traditional Catholic religious communities (FSSP, ICKSP, SSPX etc.) or directly to the diocesan priest who celebrates a weekly TLM in my diocese under the understanding my $ is for his personal benefit and not to go to the diocese.

    Would you be willing to contribute your $ so that it directly benefited the celebration of the TLM in your diocese? If not, why should you expect traditional Catholics fund your end of the spectrum?

    As far as laymen ‘moving about’ during the celebration of the new Mass, I would imagine Mr. Sweeney is referring to the non-extraordinary busybodies who go to the altar prior to Holy Communion to get their ‘bread’ or ‘cup’ for distribution while the ‘presider’ sits on his butt and observes it all. Happened at the Mass I went to 2 weeks ago.

  46. KateD says:

    I pray that the Tridentine Mass be learned by every Latin Rite priest and seminarian, and that it be offered as a normal part of parish life. It just seems like a no brainier that Latin Rite priests learn the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form.

  47. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized saysa:

    I don’t think the priest shortage can be attributed to the liturgy. Also, in my city, the TLM crowd does very little for their parish financially. The parish is supported by the people who attend the other Masses. If the TLM people moved to another parish it would be a relief, also in terms of their taking their meanness with them. Deliberately provoking the bishop was a bad idea.

    Of course, the shortage can be attributed to the liturgy. The SSPX is building a new, larger seminary, and houses of formation of the FSSP and other Ecclesia Dei groups are full. Clear Creek monastery has so many monks that some are living in temporary buildings. Meanwhile, Novus Ordo seminaries have either closed or have survived by taking regional candidates.

    The liturgical changes were accompanied and justified by promises that vernaculariztion would cause the Church to flourish–conversions, vocations, etc. In fact, the opposite has happened. When I point to the liturgy as the cause of the exodus, therefore, I’m just using the liberals’ own argument.

    In somma, proponents of vernacularization gave assurances that there would be great pastoral benefits. When the opposite happened, they blamed everyone but the clerks at Quik Trip.

    I know of one parish in which FSSP priests came in to say mass, which of course attracted people from miles away. Some of the laity said the parish didn’t treat them well, e.g., in the warm months the air conditioning was turned off before the Latin mass. The parish, however, still received money from the collection.

    Such situations were stopgap. IMHO, Fr Z’s opinion that it would be best not to have the Latin mass segregated is on target. On the other hand, the situation described above, in which the Latin mass is in the parish church but not of the parish, is the worst. Better to have a church that is exclusively Latin, which has been done to address the above situation.

    I have no experience of “meanness” by Latin mass proponents, which seems like just another version of the one-size-fits-all “hateful” accusation trotted out by the liberals against anyone who disagrees with them. If it is true, I ask you what else would you expect from people who have been treated as second class citizens since VatII? And keep in mind that proponents of Latin liturgy have usually not been dissenters on Catholic doctrine and are just wanting their Catholic liturgical patrimony.

  48. un-ionized says:

    I’m merely saying what I have observed personally. Until we all deal with the elephant in the living room this is the way it will be.

  49. Athelstan says:

    Hello un-ionized,

    1. Also, in my city, the TLM crowd does very little for their parish financially. The parish is supported by the people who attend the other Masses.

    In part, I will second what ncstevem says above: Many traditionalists are unwilling to have any of their money go to the chancery when the cathedraticum check is cut, and not always without cause. It isn’t just about funding dubious charities or diocesan programs, but active mismanagement and corruption or coverup of same (and yes, that sort of thing still goes on, right now). Distrust levels are high. This will be exacerbated if the bishop and/or chancery officials have made it a point to be hostile to traditionalists.

    The problem is, as Fr Z likes to say, you have to pay for it if you want it. The utility and insurance bills do not pay themselves. Surplices and candles have to be purchased. Organs have to be tuned. Things break and have to be fixed or replaced. There are ways to fulfill your tithing obligation that can get around the cathedraticum payments. But some trads don’t appreciate this, alas, even in some full-on TLM parishes I know of.

    Then again, in one “guest” Sunday TLM I know of near me, the TLM Mass actually tithes more on average than any of the actual parish Masses do.

    On top of that, Catholics generally have become horrible tithers.

    2. If the TLM people moved to another parish it would be a relief, also in terms of their taking their meanness with them. Deliberately provoking the bishop was a bad idea.

    It’s not always a stereotype: There are some abrasive traditionalists out there. In my own diocese, the initial campaign to get a regular TLM under the indult a couple decades back prominently featured a letter telling the ordinary that he would go to hell if he didn’t set up a regular TLM.

    Now, it is also true that traditionalists (and other Catholics who simply resisted various insanities) had been treated pretty horribly by the diocesan establishment for years, and there are real horror stories I can tell you. Terrible stuff. But if that pushes you into acting nasty yourself, you’re not helping your cause. I don’t know your parish or your people, so I can’t speak to what they are really doing or saying, or what drove them to that point. I will say it’s not true in the majority of traditional communities, especially now as Summorum opens up more ground for a new generation of Catholics without all the baggage of the Bad Old Days.

  50. un-ionized says:

    Athelstan, our TLM parish people don’t write checks to the parish, this isn’t about the Bishop’s annual appeal, though the parish goes over their BAA amount anyway. I recently gave up on a very faithful NO parish where I was told by the supposedly faithful people that I am not pro-life and know nothing about having a family simply because I have never married and had children. As if I never had a family at all, I guess they thought I was found in the woods (raised by wolves?) or dropped from the sky.

    It has been my experience that the more concerned a person is about other people’s supposed orthodoxy the less likely they are to be concerned about whether they themselves are living the Gospel, which is the whole point of being Christian in the first place. We should never allow our feelings of being slighted or hurt divert us from the Gospel. That is what the cross is all about and we all have one (or more).

    I am looking for a parish now but will be very careful to just go to Mass and not get involved.

  51. un-ionized says:

    I chuckled when I read about the letter telling the bishop he would go to hell. I know of a couple of people who sent a copy of Latin Mass for Dummies to a bishop. I hope he just laughed and didn’t get mad.

  52. robtbrown says:


    There is much to be said for affability, but people nosing into others peoples’ business is a common parish experience.

    If you’re disturbed the way Latin mass proponents act, I suggest you keep in mind that the conflict was started by Paul VI, Bugnini, and bishops. They were the ones who imposed the vernacular and engineered the persecution of anyone wanting Latin. Anyone who wanted Latin was treated like dirt, often with recommendations for psychotherapy.

    That extended to seminaries and religious houses of formation, where paths to ordination were opened for homosexuals but closed for anyone who said they liked Latin liturgy.
    Paul VI, btw, started a yearly audience for the Gypsies of Rome, not a bad idea unless you consider that there were pilgrimages to Rome by Catholics wanting Latin Mass–and he refused to see them.

    Dominicae Cenae was promulgated in 1980 and encouraged bishops to accommodate those who wanted Latin mass. Some months later I wrote the Archbishop, asking for a Latin mass. No response. Again I wrote. Again no response. Then I wrote the Apostolic Delegate and received a letter from an underling who said that no reponse from the Archbishop was probably because there had been problems with the mail lately. His response was little other than a one finger salute.

    In the early 80’s I decided to attend a Sunday SSPX mass in Kansas City, both of whose bishops had made it clear that it wouldn’t satisfy the Sunday obligation. In the vestibule was displayed a letter from Cardinal Oddi (then Prefect of Clergy) saying that it would in fact satisfy Sunday obligation.

    So if Latin Mass advocates sometimes can be jerks, don’t exclude those who caused the mess, many of whom had mitres.

  53. un-ionized says:

    “He started it,” is no excuse.

  54. Henry Edwards says:

    Athelstan: “Then again, in one ‘guest’ Sunday TLM I know of near me, the TLM Mass actually tithes more on average than any of the actual parish Masses do.”

    I believe this may also be true of the Sunday TLM I attend. And our TLM, originally an afternoon add-on Mass, has just been “promoted” to a 12 noon Sunday Mass fully integrated in the parish Mass schedule, with its own column of Latin Mass news in the parish bulletin, etc. Perhaps one fact has something to do with the other. Why should TLM folks expect 1st class parish support if they act like 2nd class citizens in their parish giving and participation? It seems to me that the “Benedictine model” envisions the TLM as an integral part of the regular parish life and liturgy. For Summorum Pontificum surely was intended for the benefit of all Catholics–for “an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church” (as he said in his accompanying letter to the bishops of the world)–rather than merely for a minority consisting of separated (or segregated) traditionalists.

  55. chantgirl says:

    un-ionized- There a crazies and meanies in every parish I’ve ever been involved with. You may find a few mean or conspiracy theorist trads. You may find a few reiki-practicing, Obama/Hilary bumper sticker Catholcis in your average novus ordo parish. The vast majority of people are just trying to get to heaven and are decent people. Can we drop the generalizations?

    Clearly, the move away from Latin in the Liturgy after VII was a Tower of Babel moment. Catholics have never been more divided. We need a common liturgical language more than ever.

  56. un-ionized says:

    I made it clear several times that I was not generalizing I was being specific.

  57. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized says:

    “He started it,” is no excuse.

    I’m not excusing them, just as I’m not excusing bad priests by saying that they are a product of their formation.

    I do think that anyone who looks to parish life for friendship is making a mistake.

  58. un-ionized says:

    robtbrown, that is right. recently i saw a post at an article somewhere by someone who said that making friends at her parish was well-nigh impossible and it was upsetting because “the sacraments aren’t enough.” Gaack! I wanted to post there but couldn’t figure out how. The sacraments are surely more than enough. I am reading Cardinal Sarah’s book now, mentioning the villages in Guinea who went without priests for years yet the people kept up with rosaries, catechesis, etc. so they were ready when the priests returned.

    One would think one could base friendship on faith but not in today’s world anyway. It’s easier to make friends at work, for me at least. When my mom died, more people from work came to the funeral home than people from my parish. No priests, we were too low on the totem pole for that (ow, my neck is sore).

  59. doozer125 says:

    I am an Eastern Rite Ukrainian Catholic that lives within the diocese of Manchester’s borders. Bishop Libasci seems to be one of the “good ones”. He has co-celebrated at our local Ukrainian Rite church in Manchester 2 or 3 times. He is also giving a presentation in Sloatsburg, NY at the annual Pilgrimage for the Dormition there this Saturday. He seems to keep both feet firmly planted in the East and West.

    Kudos to Bishop Libasci and may God Bless him! ?????? ????!

  60. robtbrown says:


    IMHO, the problem with parish friendship is the dissent in the Church. Once people in a Catholic parish had a common vision, but that is no longer the case. There are people in my life with whom I agree on Catholicism whom I don’t particularly like. And there have been people whom I like who are not only not Catholic but also atheists. (Personally, I like Jews better than Protestants.)

  61. un-ionized says:

    I don’t think having a common vision helps, as my former parish supposedly had one of those big time and was truly a rotten place with no community at all. It was badly infected with a favoritism problem that got so far out of control it was impossible to do anything if you were not in the inner circle. People there are even ignored if they are not in the in crowd. So when the common vision is favoritism and having a snooty little country club then that doesn’t work either. Oh well, it’s called “life.” I like Mormons the best, at least in the workplace. Jews are fine too. The Protestants I like the best are the ones who have done some thinking about what they believe and why.

  62. robtbrown says:

    Your response indicates that you didn’t read my comments.

  63. un-ionized says:

    I read it, there are common visions and there are common visions.

  64. Giuseppe says:

    I wonder if it was through the Divine Liturgy that Bishop Libasci’s mind was opened to the TLM. Ironically, could it have been through the Orthodox liturgy that the Latin Mass was brought to NH?

  65. un-ionized says:

    I forgot, I’m s’posed to say ACTON INSTITUTE. Sorry.

  66. The Masked Chicken says:

    “When my mom died, more people from work came to the funeral home than people from my parish. No priests, we were too low on the totem pole for that (ow, my neck is sore).”

    You might contact the bishop about that, especially, if you requested a priest (it does not have to be a parish priest).

    As for forming friendships, St. Francis de Sales wrote a whole treatise on that, which, I can’t seem to find on the Internet. Here is a link to portions from The Introduction to the Devout Life:


    I would discuss the situation in many modern parishes, but it would only make me angry. What is needed is a reformation of character that starts with the willingness to be taught sound doctrine. This starts with the bishop and should be applied uniformly to everyone, priests and laity. The real problem comes from the trickle-down of bad theology and social experimentation in the Church during the last half of the Twentieth century. Count yourself lucky if you find one or two good friends in a church, but pray very hard if you don’t see a striving for virtue among the parishioners (or, flee).

    The Chicken

  67. The Masked Chicken says:

    Also, maybe, we are straying from the topic of the post?

    The Chicken

  68. un-ionized says:

    we’re back to doctrine. my former parish prides itself on firm catechesis, only priests teach RCIA, kneeling at the rail, all male sanctuary, daily confession, etc. etc. but they don’t have the true essentials of the Christian walk.

  69. The Masked Chicken says:

    I didn’t say just doctrine (even the devils believe), but a reformation of character based on that doctrine. Even if a church has a Ph.D level program of education, it is useless if it doesn’t lead one to sanctity.

    I had a lot more to say about how education actually takes place these days in many Christian lives (look up, Constructivism, in education – a horrid theory), but I will simply say, instead – bring back the manuals.

    The Chicken

  70. un-ionized says:

    They are already using the manuals. 8-( Satan can use manuals too! But that’s life, God sees everything and knows that I tried to do what I am supposed to do. I even consulted with a very good canon lawyer with lots of experience to make sure. We ended up laughing, it was great and I got a lot of closure.

  71. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized says,

    I read it, there are common visions and there are common visions.

    In so far as we are speaking about a Catholic parish, the Common Vision must be one of Faith, Hope, and Charity. And there must be causes of that CV and F, H, and C.

    When I wrote that once there was a common vision, I was referring to before the Church was Protestantized and the liturgy vernacularized (which by definition, undermines any common vision), before the mass exodus of priests and religious, before laity began fighting over positions in the parish, before bumper stickers saying Catholic and Pro Choice could be seen at mass, before any Catholic man would brag about his vasectomy and be a lector at mass, and before advocates of Latin liturgy had an attitude.

    I don’t think Common Vision is possible in a Novus Ordo parish–even though some parishes might come closer to it than others, due to the person of the pastor.

  72. The Masked Chicken says:

    “They are already using the manuals.”

    I’m not sure you are seeing what I am saying. Manuals give clarity. Whether or not one puts what they say into practice (real practice) is another thing. The Bible is part manual, after all. If reformation of character is not what you mean by living the Catholic life, then I do not understand what you are saying. Please, explain, with examples, if it is not too painful and if this is not what you mean by living the Christian life.

    The Chicken

  73. un-ionized says:

    We are in agreement that pretending (for that is what it is) to go by the manuals does not cause personal reform. God knows what our intentions are even if we are not very bright (like me) so I am leaning on that. There was a cool old song called Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. It’s like that.

    I can read the Bible until the cows come home but it doesn’t help unless I try to do it. Corrie ten Boom said, “don’t worry about what is in the Bible that you don’t understand, worry about what you do understand and do not do.” I wish she had been Catholic.

  74. un-ionized says:

    Sorry I can’t be specific. The situation is so outlandish that if I were some people would know what diocese this is and what parish. I want to avoid that because threats were made against me and I have had to “disappear.” I will be okay, this was just all very shocking because everybody says how wonderful everything is but they were not targeted by the favoritism system, which did so because they could get away with it because I am alone.

    Meanwhile, I get to visit other parishes and see even more stained glass windows and statuary.

  75. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear un-ionized,

    Sorry, to hear about your situation. That people in a parish would behave like this is all the proof one need of the existence of Original Sin.

    The Chicken

  76. un-ionized says:

    I try to laugh so I don’t cry. We have a little sick joke that after the parish is destroyed by God, turning into a smoking crater, tour buses will come from miles around to see it and we can have a concession stand and sell hot dogs and t-shirts, “I saw the parish of iniquity.”

  77. un-ionized says:

    And that it was the priests who were doing this was all the more outlandish. They act like 5th grade girls.

  78. Alice says:

    Un-Ionized, I have no idea where you are, but I did see that dynamic when I was looking for church jobs with my then new degree in organ. Being a homeschool alum who preferred the TLM, I looked for conspicuously orthodox parishes and was very disappointed. At one, I was clearly judged less Catholic because my parents (who married late) only gave me one sibling! Meanwhile the priests were sniping about another parish priest who wasn’t there. I’ve avoided “orthodox” churches since. Fortunately, the vast majority of the parishes I’ve attended have not been heretical nor have they persecuted those of a more traditional mindset, so I’ve had it pretty good.

  79. un-ionized says:

    Oh, Alice, I am sorry. I’ve had friends who only had one or two children who were accused of contracepting. What rubbish. For some women getting pregnant is like falling off a log, for others not so much! It also showed the mindset that they felt free to openly insult somebody over what they perceived as an issue of righteousness.

    I think I may have found 3 or 4 parishes where I can fit in without being bulldozed into the refuse pile. I am still being careful. The one I went to this week, the priest greeted people outside the door, which was great. The priests at my former parish always went back to the sacristy with the altar boys. It was like a town hall clock in Europe, on the hour the doors open and they say Mass and then they disappear and the doors close again.

  80. un-ionized says:

    “I don’t think Common Vision is possible in a Novus Ordo parish–even though some parishes might come closer to it than others, due to the person of the pastor,” is just plain silly.

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