Bp. Morlino (D. Madison) will say Sunday Masses ‘ad orientem’


“We become a mighty army marching toward the place of the rising sun to meet the Lord led by the priest. That’s who we really are. As we offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, we march together toward the East to go run and meet the Lord who comes from the East at the end of history.

Now, no general ever led his troops by facing them and walking backwards. He would trip pretty soon. And if he’s built like me, it would be particularly not pretty.”

His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, the Bishop of Madison, has announced that he is going to say Holy Mass ad orientem at the church of the Cathedral parish.

NB: The Cathedral of Madison burned down some years ago and so the Bishop has been using a downtown church that was clustered with the Cathedral for his regular Sunday Mass.

Here is the Bishop’s sermon.  Note how he weaves in reflection also on the Four Last Things.

Just after 8:00 in the sermon he starts to speak about the change to Masses ad orientem.




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  1. kiwiinamerica says:

    Take that, Rembert Weakland!!

  2. jameeka says:

    What an Extraordinary Ordinary! You Catholics in the Diocese of Madison are SO fortunate.

  3. Curley says:

    Great news! Hope it catches on in other diocese. Any plans on building a new cathedral? I know that would be a long term project.

  4. PTK_70 says:

    Some years ago I took a memorable trip to the headwaters of the Mississippi, in Minnesota. There one witnesses the birth of a mighty river in a stream quietly but purposefully flowing from Lake Itasca. May the God of surprises grant that we be witnessing just such a birth of purposeful worship directed towards Him.

    Should the ‘versus CUM populo’ (aka ‘ad orientem’) posture come even to the late Sunday Mass at my cathedral parish, I would be grateful. If it becomes the norm at even just one Mass on the Sunday schedule at St. Mary’s at Texas A&M, watch out…..

  5. S.Armaticus says:

    Deo gratias!

  6. SanSan says:

    I listened to his homily 3 times and shared it with many…….especially my Bishop. I also wrote him a note of thanks for what he has done and what he is trying to do.

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Bp. Morlino’s sermon, unlike so many, is well worth the time to listen to it. Ad orientem starts at the 8:00 minute mark. See if you can hear his portrayal of a priest walking backwards while leading his people marching forward (toward the East), without a vivid mental image of the absurdity of such a thing springing to mind.

    But I wonder why he thinks most parishes would disapprove of ad orientem celebration. Some would, but decades of experience with numerous parishes in several states and regions convinces me that more Catholics than not are now ready to welcome reverent and proper worship.

  8. Clemens Romanus says:

    You’re definitely right about St. Mary’s.

  9. Ben Yanke says:

    You must not be familiar with the liberal mess that is Madison, WI, henry…

  10. Henry Edwards says:

    Actually, Ben, as a one-time resident of Madison back when it came to be known as “the peoples republic of”—where, upon returning for a visit in the early 1990s, I spotted my first altar girl chewing gum and doing up her pony tail during Holy Mass—I can readily believe that it may be an exception to my general feeling that “more Catholics than not are now ready to welcome reverent and proper worship”. But surely the extraordinary Ordinary is making some notable progress in cleaning up the mess that once was?

  11. michael de cupertino says:

    The cathedral church in Santa Rosa, California, has had ad orientem worship exclusively for several months now. They are renovating the sanctuary with a beautiful high altar and baldacchino from a shuttered church out east.


  12. Erik Bootsma says:

    Waiting for Fr. Ruff to throw a pedantic hissy over at Pray Tell over this one.

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