Sunday, February 24, 2013

Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral to Hold Special Tridentine Mass on August 30

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (February 24, 2013):
Sometimes a development occurs that causes one to sit up and take notice. That happened this week when Juventútem Michigan announced that it is organizing a Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form to be held on the evening of Friday, August 30 at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, with the approval of Archbishop Allen Vigneron. Thanks are due to His Excellency, to Cathedral Rector Msgr. Michael LeFevre, and to Juventútem Michigan leader Paul Schultz for making this possible.

As the September 2, 2012 edition of this column noted, an increasing number of cathedrals worldwide are hosting Tridentine Masses. In this region, London, Ontario’s St. Peter Cathedral hosted ordinations to the sacred priesthood for the Fraternity of St. Peter in March, 2000. Lansing’s St. Mary Cathedral is home to a fledgling Tridentine quasi-parish, the Blessed John XXIII Community. Kalamazoo’s St. Augustine Cathedral for many years hosted a regular Mass.

Now Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral joins these ranks. Built in 1930 as Blessed Sacrament Church, this Norman Gothic edifice was designated as the cathedral in 1937 when the Diocese of Detroit was raised to the level of an Archdiocese. As the below historic photograph shows, Blessed Sacrament was built as a splendid home for the Tridentine Mass, with a soaring ceiling to elevate the mind to God.

After the Second Vatican Council, some relatively minor modifications were made to the sanctuary, most notably the removal of the central part of the Communion Rail and the installation of a freestanding altar. In 2003 the entire church was redesigned. The High Altar, High Pulpit, and remaining Communion Rail sections were removed, replaced by a sanctuary in the modern idiom clearly designed solely with an eye to the Ordinary Form.

Nevertheless, even with this configuration, with some creative thinking, the cathedral can accommodate the Extraordinary Form. Over the coming weeks measurements will be taken for an altar frontal [cloth], and supplies will be gathered so that the Mass may be appropriately celebrated in this sacred space. More information will be reported as the date of the Mass draws nearer.

Two Special Tridentine Masses on March 10

We have a pleasant quandary to present: On Sunday, March 10, there will be two special High Masses in the Extraordinary Form offered in our region on the same afternoon:

At 12:15 PM, Ss. Peter & Paul (west side) will have a High Mass offered by Fr. Mark Borkowski.

At 2:00 PM, Holy Redeemer Church will have a High Mass offered by Fr. Clement Suhy, OSB.

Let’s take the positive view and consider this an embarrassment of riches.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/25 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria of Lent)
  • Tue. 02/26 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Feria of Lent)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for February 24, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

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