A Bishop discovers the impact of the Traditional PONTIFICAL Mass

This story was able to warm the cockles of even my beady black heart. I encourage you to read the whole thing. There are lovely insights.

From the National Catholic Register:

A US Bishop Discovers the Traditional Latin Mass
Bishop Joseph Strickland discusses what inspired him to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass on June 11.
Bree A. Dail
TYLER, Texas — Before January, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, had only attended a traditional Latin Mass once before and never had even said the words of consecration in Latin in the 35 years of his priesthood.

He changed all that in a dramatic way, celebrating his first Mass in the extraordinary form on June 11, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on the Church calendar followed by traditional Catholics.

[…]

It pains me to say this, but part of my hesitancy I believe in learning how to say the extraordinary form came from my experience of the community who attend. If I experienced this, I know others have, as well. I would encourage those in these communities to pray and ponder on St. Paul’s words to the Galatians, Chapter 5:22-23. Meditate, especially as they have so much of a treasure of grace to share, on what Jesus warned, in Luke 12:48. Ask yourselves, “Are my actions and words and attitude truly reflective of the fruits of the Mass of Ages, or could I be hindering others from desiring to know more?”

After what I have experienced, as bishop, I cannot help but encourage everyone towards meeting Jesus in wonder, within the beauty of the extraordinary form of the Mass.

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23 Responses to A Bishop discovers the impact of the Traditional PONTIFICAL Mass

  1. B says:

    “It pains me to say this, but part of my hesitancy I believe in learning how to say the extraordinary form came from my experience of the community who attend.”

    Sadly, so very true.

  2. CaliCatholicGuy says:

    The people of Tyler are very blessed to have Bishop Strickland – it seems like he really gets it. I had just read the article at the good (I mean Catholic) NCR and saw the shout-out to our illustrious host, rushed over here but saw Father Z already posted it.

    Father Z led me to the TLM via these online pages (and back to confession after 10 years away) and it was refreshing to see him get acknowledgement for his hard work running this online apostolate.

  3. robtbrown says:

    It pains me to say this, but part of my hesitancy I believe in learning how to say the extraordinary form came from my experience of the community who attend.

    In the garden variety Novus Ordo parish most people live in the general area and many have known each other for some time.

    On the other hand, those who habitually attend TLM churches seldom live in the area and know each other only from church. For many it’s a round trip of at least 35 miles. I know one man, an old football and baseball buddy whom I have known for 60 years, who drives 330 miles every weekend. People who are willing to do that are bound to be different from the usual attendees@ at a neighborhood Novus Ordo parish.

    @ 31% believing in Transubstantiation, 50% voting for pro abortion candidates, probably 90% of child bearing age practicing contraception.

  4. tho says:

    For many years after VII I tried to adapt to the Novus Ordo, but the hugging, handshaking, the banners, and becoming buddies with the clergy was a real turn off. My children were attending Catholic schools, and when they told me that attending Sunday Mass could be replaced by doing a good deed, I thought the church was mixing us up with the Boy Scouts. In essence they had replaced the sublime with the banal.
    Trying to set a good example, and in reality there was no other place to go, I struggled on. A good friend of mine left the church, telling me that he didn’t leave the church, the church left him.
    I don’t want to become disrespectful so I will stop. I think Bishop Strickland is telling us what many Bishops probably think.

  5. jhogan says:

    While I have belonged to a TLM parish for many years now, sadly I must echo the bishop’s experience. I was fortunate in that I attended a High Mass that sold Me on the TLM before I experienced the community. If I had met certain members of the community before experiencing the Mass, I might have been hesitant about staying with it myself.

  6. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    That there are grumpy, acidic-tongued, selfish people among those who worship God in the TLM shouldn’t be completely surprising, because such people are — after all — fallen sinners. I won’t excuse their behavior, and I wish they would stop behaving in that way, but it is a mistake to ascribe to the TLM the behavior which is so reprehensible. I’m glad that Bishop Strickland has begun to see the TLM as beautiful in itself, and I hope he can turn the hearts and tongues of those who lash out.

  7. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    That there are grumpy, acidic-tongued, selfish people among those who worship God in the TLM shouldn’t be completely surprising, because such people are — after all — fallen sinners. I won’t excuse their behavior, and I wish they would stop behaving in that way, but it is a mistake to ascribe to the TLM the behavior which is so reprehensible. I’m glad that Bishop Strickland has begun to see the TLM as beautiful in itself, and I hope he can turn the hearts and tongues of those who lash out.

  8. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Chris Garton-Zavesky:

    Very good point–the Extraordinary Form Mass carries on an ancient worship with reverence and beauty, even if some of those attending do not act with reverence and beauty in the way they treat each other.

    Conversely, I would add a similar point that comes from the experience of my 29 years of priestly ministry, offering Mass according to both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Form. Namely, I firmly believe that it is just as wrong, just as much of a mistake to ascribe to the Ordinary Form Mass, the condemnations that are based on the behavior and adherents of that Mass.

    If the Catholic faithful attend Mass according to the EF or the OF, they will undergo Christian conversion and change if they are attentive and obedient to Sacred Scripture and the prayers offered during the liturgy. I think that the preaching of the priest is also of utmost importance to explain what practical changes must be made in response to God’s Word.

    My experience is that the faithful who desire to hear, and are obediently attentive, to the prayers of the sacred Liturgy and the Sacred Scripture, will be moved by the Holy Ghost to grow in virtue and holiness. Those who are not of that disposition of heart, show it after Mass, by their conduct that is not nourished by a sincerely liturgical piety.

  9. Veronica scriptor velum says:

    I have an hour long drive once a month to the city to attend the one and only sublimely beautiful TLM offered within reasonable distance to where I live. (There is no TLM anywhere nearer to home so not even wild horses could keep me away.) Therefore I don’t know the people who attend the TLM although many recognise me and smile and nod if we meet when going in. They are mostly young men or families with children; such a joy to see instead of the mainly plump elderly ladies who attend our local NOM, who never stop nattering together inside the church whilst they await the start of Mass, grrr! There is such reverence and respect at the TLM, just as there should be. I do not mind at all that there is less palliness and socialising: I don’t go to Holy Mass to socialise, but to attend the memorial of my Saviour’s most Holy Sacrifice.

  10. Mother Seton says:

    @Fr Sotelo, how can the faithful navigate both EF and OF? We started attending a beautiful little fraternity parish last year. As a military spouse, I am ever thankful we landed in such a strong community. But for a variety of reasons, we are currently unable to attend on Sundays in this new Covid normal. How do I help our children, who wish to return to the beautiful of the EF, recognize that the OF is still the sacrifice of the Mass? Especially when it’s a suffering to make it through the music, the lack of reverence, etc? I’ve tried–our priest helped–to explain that Jesus is fully present and suffering through it as well, but they so strongly prefer the EF. I do, too. My quandary: their defense of the EF makes them sound less than charitable, to their father no less, and horribly judgemental. How do I raise them not to be unkind about their preference and that devoted and faithful Catholics are present at the OF? Pray for us.

  11. SanSan says:

    This was so beautiful to behold! Thank you Jesus!

  12. Cecelia1 says:

    Please keep in mind how few EF Masses are available and the effort it may take for many people to get there. In my case, Sunday Mass is a 5 hour round trip. I no longer drive so it is a 2.5 mile walk and a 50 minute light rail train ride in each direction. The train riders these days are mostly the homeless (and the stories I could tell you…). It is summer in Phoenix. I just celebrated my 70th birthday. I’m guessing that it takes as much or more effort than this for many parishioners to get to the EF Mass but they do get there and the place is packed. I thank God the EF Mass is available and I am able to be there, hot and sweaty though I may be.

  13. Cecelia1 says:

    I should add that in order to accommodate as many parishioners as possible as we “socially distance,” our priests have added Sunday Masses and Confession times and have done everything possible to keep the Sacraments available in spite of everything. Many thanks to them and to our Bishop as well.

  14. tahearn says:

    I am certainly encouraged by Bishop Strickland’s progress to the offering the TLM. But I resent the shot at the Trads. It sounds like an excuse for his own failing. [Now THAT is a cheap shot. Really low.] I have been a part of a new TLM Apostolate where us “Trads” have been attacked by “Novus Ordo” catholics who do not want us there despite the Bishop’s wishes. I could tell you stories. It has been a very difficult situation to thrive in. But what I have witnessed from Trads and the wonderful priests who minister to us: Patience and open arms to all who come to discover what the TLM is.

    [You think YOU have stories? The bishop has his experiences. It’s legitimate for him to to voice them. Let’s ALL do what we can to make sure he never has that sort of encounter again.]

  15. mpa says:

    “It pains me to say this, but part of my hesitancy I believe in learning how to say the extraordinary form came from my experience of the community who attend.”

    I wish I were surprised at this, but I think the good bishop is being very charitable. TLM parishes do sadly attract their share of weirdos and unpleasant people.

    This is not difficult to explain. Many TLMers are people who live their entire lives swimming against the current. Many have been dumped by their friends and cut off from their families. Many live with the constant fear of losing their jobs because of the things they practice and believe.

    Within the Church, it is, if anything, even worse. In many dioceses, they are Dalits. At any moment, their parishes could be closed or their beloved priests taken away, if they don’t keep their heads down and their mouths shut. It only takes one or two crazies to snap and draw the attention of the bishop — and it’s all over. They know that Rome won’t help, even if they had the means to fight. They know that every mass could be the last.

    As another commenter pointed out, almost every TLM parish draws people from hundreds of miles away. There is a community, but not one concentrated together in a neighborhood. It is like a ghetto, but without the togetherness. Attending a TLM parish can sometimes feel like checking in with a revolutionary cell.

    Some people who live intensely lonely lives against a constant background of siege and fear are, every now and again, irritable; occasionally neither light nor sweet. What is really astonishing is that so many are so joyful and peaceful, and that they voluntarily choose to live this way.

    Nevertheless, I hope it is not uncharitable of me to mention that some of the very nastiest people I have ever encountered in my life, anywhere in the world, have been certain people at a certain Roman Catholic church. Nothing I have encountered at any TLM parish comes close.

    Even short of that, for all the constant talk of “community” at many churches, the only places I have personally felt and experienced it have been TLM parishes — indeed, every one — where the word “community” is rarely used except ironically.

    Anyway, God bless Bishop Strickland, and I pray that our Lord continues to draw him ever closer to His Sacred Heart.

  16. tahearn says:

    If expressing my perception of the good Bishop’s comment was really low and a cheap shot, then may he please forgive me. Bishop Strickland is in my prayers.

  17. BrionyB says:

    I’ve also had the experience of a warm, welcoming TLM parish, and of a cliquey, unfriendly “Novus Ordo” one. Each parish seems to have its own culture, for better or worse, and I’m not sure the form of Mass used is the main determining factor by a long way.

    Yes, the “toxic trads” on Twitter etc. are seriously off-putting, but I wonder to what extent that’s the nature of social media, which seems to foster uncharitable interpretations and angry, impulsive comments on all kinds of subjects. And those attitudes and habits can spill over into real life…

    If I can offer a reading suggestion, Fr Faber’s “Spiritual Conferences”, particularly the ones “On Kindness” and “On Taking Scandal”, have been very helpful to me. The book is on Amazon, and the text can be read online here: https://archive.org/details/spiritualconfer00fabe/page/n13/mode/2up.

  18. jokkmk says:

    I’ve never ever experienced anything but gracious welcome at any traditional chapels I’ve attended. But they have all been ICK, FSSP, diocesan or (mainly) SSPX.

  19. jokkmk says:

    Because, yeah, there’s no grumpy, acid tongued people in the NO world.

    [Of course there are. But this isn’t about people who attend the Novus Ordo. This is about people who attend the TLM. We must do our very best, collectively, to make sure that WE are not the reason why someone decides not to attend the TLM.]

  20. jokkmk says:

    Father, I wholeheartedly agree with you, as do most I’ve come into contact with in the realm of Catholicism of the eternal Church. (It’s so hard to know how to put it since it used to be called “Catholic.” )

  21. jokkmk says:

    I must not be finding the same people on the internet. Maybe my circle is small but I don’t hear “toxic trads.” I wonder who they are. Regardless, I’m more interested in the Truth and beauty of Our Lord Jesus Christ which is exceedingly evident in the practice of the Faith and Mass of all time. And as I am of the same generation as Bishop Strickland, I had the same reaction when I found it 2 years ago.

  22. teachermom24 says:

    I have assisted at TLM Masses since 2012 (ICKSP, FSSP, diocesan). I have never encountered nasty (grumpy, acidic-tongued, selfish) people at any. NEVER. Quite the opposite! Our family has been embraced and welcomed by so many (though it also is not our aim to socialize). Truth, Beauty and Goodness are what we find at the TLM. I wish we lived closer to a Latin Mass community so that we could become regular members, but distance and current circumstances prevent that at this time.

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    God bless Bp. Strickland.