ASK FATHER: How do we get the TLM where we are?

From a reader…


I hope you can help. How do I approach my Bishop in ___ to have us have a TLM. I run from one church to another just before Consecration. Thank you.

I am puzzled as to why you would run from one church to another like that.  Back in the day, people would hurry from church to church in Rome for the moment of the elevation.  There were even special pieces of music written for the elevation.  Then off they’d go to another church for the elevation.

But, to the real point.

Please take this to heart: Don’t approach the bishop for the TLM except as a last resort.

Always… always… always… work with a friendly priest who is willing and able to celebrate the TLM for you, especially pastors of parishes.

According to the present legislation, pastors of parishes are the one’s who decide now.

Another point: One person asking for the TLM isn’t very compelling.  A lot of people asking for it is much more convincing.   Get organized.

An important point: Be willing to sacrifice your time and money to be there, open doors, set things up, tidy up after, buy vestments and books and other useful objects, provide Father with necessary items, etc.  You can’t just expect – as so many do – everything to be done for you for free.

A really important point: Be diplomatic while being persistent.

A seriously important point: Be involved in the other things that the parish does.  Make yourselves indispensable to the pastor and his efforts for the whole parish.  Always be ready to volunteer.  Be the first one’s up and the last one’s there.

And here’s an Elevation Sonata by the great Domenico Zipoli, SJ. Yes… SJ. He was a musician missionary of the Baroque era in the reductions of Paraguay.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. mepoindexter says:

    “Sing a new faith community into being” as it were by starting a Gregorian Chant Schola.

    There’s TONS of great resources online.

  2. Spinmamma says:

    Such beautiful, rich music and on such a tiny old keyboard. Amazing.

  3. Liturgy Lover says:

    I have to agree with your “seriously important point.” Those who attend the TLM at my parish have largely dropped out of communal parish activities in favor of hanging out almost exclusively with each other, and organizing their own activities and get togethers. It has caused a lot of hurt in our parish with many people feeling as though they have lost friends.

    Now, before I go any further, let me assure you that I am very traditional and sympathetic to the TLM. I attend as often as I can, which alas isn’t often due to the time of day it’s at and other family issues. All that being said, I can really see how other people are feeling hurt and judged by the way the majority of TLM’ers tend to keep aloof from the rest of the parish. It feels sometimes as though they think they are better, or at least more enlightened, than the rest of us. Not to mention I once accidentally overheard a conversation between some of them that contained some very condescending remarks about people who attend the NO, which was discouraging for me, to say the least. We hardly ever see them at parish events, such as our annual parish picnic, Knights of Columbus breakfasts, soup suppers and Stations of the Cross during Lent, or the yearly “Thanksgiving” dinner we host in November.

    As much as I love the TLM and try to get others to understand and love it as well, it makes it very difficult when the people who attend have alienated the rest of the parish so badly. Sometimes it truly seems as if TLM’ers are their own worst enemy. Please keep preaching the need for TLM’ers to STAY INVOLVED in their parishes and with their NO friends, Father Z. It so very important if the cause of the TLM is to gain ground at all.

Comments are closed.