Sunday, June 17, 2012

Extraordinary Community News

Tridentine Community News (June 17, 2012):
Upcoming Bus Tours with Tridentine Masses

A phenomenon we have reported on in previous columns is the growing popularity of bus tours of historic churches. Prior to 2010, few tours were held in our region that specifically focused on Catholic churches. The highest-profile operation over the past several decades has been the Detroit Historical Society, which runs an ongoing series of tours of churches of all denominations.

That started to change in 2010, when one bus was sold out for the Latin Liturgy Association church tour. In 2011, three buses were sold out for the Call To Holiness tour. It was during this period that St. Joseph Church Music Director Michael Semaan came up with a system of pervasive advertising for future bus tours. So successful was his method of publicity that three buses were sold out for last December’s Chicago church tour, while seven buses were sold out for the most recent tour of Detroit churches.

It became apparent to Mike that what he had was a model for a new sort of apostolate, one that showcases architectural and liturgical beauty. And so Prayer Pilgrimages was born.

The only other comparable operation known to this writer is Chicago Church Tours (, with its own longstanding series of tours of particular churches. Unlike that organization, however, Mike’s tours go beyond metro Detroit and almost always feature choral performances and at least one Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. What better way to showcase beautiful churches than with the form of Sacred Liturgy for which they were built?

Readers have occasionally mentioned that they would have gone on previous bus tours had they been aware of them. Let’s not keep a good thing secret. Here is the list of tours scheduled for the remainder of 2012:
July 16: Monroe & Wyandotte, Michigan Churches - St. Mary, St. Michael, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist Churches (Monroe), with concluding 6 PM Patronal Feast Solemn High Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (Wyandotte) - $40 (including full course meal)

August 1-3: Wisconsin Basilicas, National Shrines, & Historic Churches - Holy Hill Mary Help of Christians, Our Lady of Guadalupe (with Holy Mass celebrated by Cardinal Raymond Burke), St. Joseph the Workman, St. Francis Xavier, Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help (First Approved Marian Apparition Site in the history of the United States) - $260 (double); $310 (single)

August 15: St. Mary's Orchard Lake, Michigan (Guided walking tour with time for private prayer) & Assumption Grotto, Detroit (with 7 PM Patronal Feast Solemn High Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass followed by Lourdes Candlelight Procession) - $40 (including full course meal)

September 4: Our Lady of Consolation Basilica & National Shrine in Carey, Ohio [Photo below by Kevin Hammer] (with Noon Patronal Feast Solemn High Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass in Upper Church, Guided Tour, Devotions, Outdoor Statue Procession, Stations of the Cross) - $40 (including full course meal)

October 11 & 12 (2 days, 1 night): Upstate New York Basilicas, Historic Churches, & Niagara Falls – St. Joseph Cathedral, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Louis, St. Mary Cataract Churches, Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Our Lady of Fatima Basilica (with Sung Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass) & free time to view the Falls both day and night - $130 (double); $155 (single)

December 27 & 28 (2 days, 1 night): Christmas in Chicago Historic Churches & Marytown National Shrine (Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Hyacinth Basilicas, St. John Cantius, St. Hedwig, Holy Trinity, St. Mary of the Angels Churches) & Mundelein Seminary (mini retreat with overnight stay, Vespers, & Sung Latin Extraordinary Form Holy Mass in Chapel) - $125 (double); $150 (single)
To sign up for a tour or for more information, please visit or call (248) 250-6005.

The Shadow Corpus Christi Octave

As mentioned in our January 25, 2009 column, all of the Octaves in the Church Calendar except for those of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost were suppressed as part of the 1955 Calendar reforms. Yet certain remnants remain: During the former Octave following the Feast of Corpus Christi, it is still permissible to hold additional processions with the Blessed Sacrament. When that is done, a Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament, considered Second Class, may be celebrated. Readers have advised us that even in the Ordinary Form, an Octave of Corpus Christi is still observed in Poland.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 06/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Confessor, & Doctor) Tue. 06/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Juliana of Falconieri, Virgin)

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for June 17, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]