How a priest was changed by learning the Traditional Latin Mass

My friend Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, whom I just saw in Rome during the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, with some of the wonderful Sisters in Santa Rosa, has this at his place.  HERE

He talks about learning the Traditional Form of Holy Mass, the Usus Antiquior.

I, personally, had no desire to learn how to do the Extraordinary Form.  My intention was to celebrate the Ordinary Form in the manner that Sacrosanctum Concilium imagined it: In Latin, with English readings and orations.  If it stayed the same Mass after Mass it would be in Latin.  If it was for this mass only it would be in English.  Of course, Mass would be celebrated “ad orientem.”

I learned the Extraordinary Form because a Bishop asked me to, telling me that there were 100 families in the region asking for it.  So in 2012 I celebrate my first Extraordinary Form Mass.  On a two week vacation I celebrated in the Extraordinary Form every day so that I could really learn it and be comfortable with it.

Three things happenedFirst, it completely transformed my priesthood and it affected the way I celebrated the Ordinary Form.  Every Mass became completely Christocentric.  Many people recognized this and it caused a greater spirit of prayer in believers. [THERE IT IS!  That’s the “knock on effect” I keep talking about!]Secondly, boys who served the mass began to think of vocations to the priesthood[Of course!] Ordinary boys who would play and roughhouse with great abandon became little soldiers of Christ with great seriousness in the celebration of the Mass.

Thirdly, it caused a reaction of visceral anger and anguish on the part of liberals who were now convinced that I was completely nuts. [I’ve written about this reaction before. Lately, HERE (scroll down).] Their angry letters caused my provincial superior to judge me in a manner that had little relation to reality. So from 3000 miles away he made decisions which changed the nature of the parish and disrupted my life.  And I am grateful.  Because I landed in a place that appreciates the Extraordinary form, that loves reverent prayer and even has 24/7 adoration.  And I am no longer subject to that provincial.

Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Keyes.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. PTK_70 says:

    O Lord, Master and Commander, hasten the day that every diocese in the U.S. have a parish wherein the Traditional Roman Mass (or other rite Latin Mass) is celebrated alongside the usus recentior in the mid to late Sunday morning hours. Then let peace and harmony reign in accordance with the wise counsel of the beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.” Amen.

  2. WmHesch says:

    Bravo to this good priest!! Although I still don’t understand the perennial argument that learning the Extraordinary Form translates into some sublime celebration of the Novus Ordo.

    The Novus Ordo was invented by (and the most colorful liturgical abuses of the post-Conciliar period perpetrated by) men very well-versed in the older rubrics. Are we to argue the older form influenced their ars celebrandi?

  3. kurtmasur says:

    “I learned the Extraordinary Form because a Bishop asked me to, telling me that there were 100 families in the region asking for it. ”

    Wow, I can only express “white envy” by the above statement. I wish I could say the same about by hometown and surrounding region. I would be curious to know if those 100 families had already some form of exposure to the extraordinary form?

    Although I don’t currently live there, when I go visit on holiday I always make sure to bug the local clergy into celebrating in the extraordinary form. I use the verb “to bug”, because the priests find it annoying, and it is my way of fulfilling Francis’ “hagan lío” mandate. The last time I tried reminding one priest in particular, he literally raised his voice telling me that although he might be willing to “fulfill my wish”, that it would never be in Latin, and that it would not be ad orientem. (Btw, he had never heard the words “ad orientem” before, and I had to explain to him what it was.). Then he went on a tirade telling me that after Vatican II “ad orientem” was abolished. He was shocked and didn’t say anything when I explained to him that none of the Vatican II documents explicitly forbade celebrating holy mass ad orientem. I tried explaining that if he celebrated the Mass according to the 1962 missal, that he would also have to follow the rubrics for that same missal, but I think it was futile, and I’m not even sure if he realizes that the 1962 Mass is a different mass than the NO.

    I tried keeping things friendly, but at least it’s a start that he’s willing to “fulfill my wish”, per his words. Now if I only had 100 local families who would be willing to stand with me in my journey to get the extraordinary form up and running. On the contrary, it doesn’t help that it is the typical Vatican II environment in which there is a general lack of catechesis amongst the laity, even if they might be otherwise very pious and devout…. And if there is already a general lack of catechesis, I certainly don’t expect them to even be aware of the existence of the traditional form of the Roman Rite.

  4. MrsAnchor says:

    We are blessed to have him here in the region! I only pray more priests can get the call!! It’s sorely needed….In our own county we just got in a new priest that’s frankly been harassed by the “liberals” Kim bay yah folk and so have missed Fr Keyes because we are making our families presence known where it’s needed most now. The new Priest is bringing the Spirit of Ad Orientem among other changes to this little parish that desperately needs it! I think our wonderful Bishop Vasa has been bringing an infusion of good Priests with ever more a love of Christ with every new Priest that’s come in to that little parish as to not completely rock the boat.

    I’ve at least noticed the Flavor of Priest has gotten noticeably stronger over the years. Something my Husband and I had been praying for a very long time for… we’ve had to make commutes from 1 & half hours to 3 hours to get a dose of normalcy for our Souls. Not to mention a good Confessor!!! So we are grateful to this new change as we don’t have to expend so much time, energy and money to Vote! Its become a grave matter for us with children that are now being able to listen to a Homily , not hear Hippie Priest of 5 minutes away disparaging the TLM among other deplorable teachings he inspires (our children should not have This decisiveness) …nor listen to Chicano Priest of 30 minutes away speak about how we need to vote for Obama, he’s the answer to our Immigration problems “Hermana” …

    I thank God very much for what he has given us, if this continues we won’t be forced to move so fast. Although for my Husband and I we’re coming to the conclusion we’d rather be “flipping pizzas” for our job while having a Church community that fulfills our Families entire needs right down to a Rosa Mystica club than have a wonderful house/job and still have to drive 30 mins each way for a wonderful mass but not anything else…

  5. AMDeiG says:

    Fr. Keyes was my pastor 20 years ago and was excellent then. I cross paths with him occasionally and have witnessed his transition over the years especially the past few. Amazing what fruit Usus Antiquior continues to unleash on the relativist, modernist culture we are surrounded with these days.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    “Life is Extraordinary.” Thank you for your priestly service Fr. Keyes.

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