Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bishop Ronald Fabbro Elevates Windsor Tridentine Association to Community Status

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

Tridentine Community News (July 14, 2013):
Twenty one and a half years after its founding, the first Tridentine Mass community in metro Detroit and Windsor has become the first one in the region elevated to independent Community status, with the right to maintain its own sacramental records.

“In order to provide in a stable manner for those members of the faithful who adhere to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, that is, the Tridentine liturgy, in the city of Windsor and the surrounding region”, and citing Canon 516 §2, Diocese of London Bishop Ronald Fabbro has established the St. Benedict Tridentine Catholic Community, effective July 11, 2013. The full decree may be read on the Diocese of London web site, in the Decrees area of the Parishes section. The name St. Benedict was chosen in consultation with members of the community, both because of the monastic example he set as well as for the Benedictine motto of Ora et Labóra, prayer and works. Fr. Peter Hrytsyk has been appointed Priest-Chaplain.

A transition such as this prompts an FAQ:
What exactly is changing?

The canonical form of the Windsor Tridentine Community is changing from a Private Association of the Faithful (the Windsor Tridentine Mass Association) to a Community (St. Benedict Tridentine Community).

What is a Community?

A Community, much like the Quasi-Parish established in Lansing, Michigan by Bishop Boyea for the Tridentine community there, is an entity which has much the same structure, rights, and obligations as a full parish, albeit to serve a smaller congregation.

Why not make it a “real” parish?

Relative to most parishes, the Windsor Tridentine Mass group is relatively small. A Community is the appropriate canonical structure given our size, age, and financial situation.

Are there other Communities?

Yes. There are several Communities in the Diocese of London serving ethnic congregations, for example the St. Philippe and St. Anne Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Community, which serves a congregation of approximately 300 and recently acquired Windsor’s St. Patrick Church.

What are the advantages of being a Community? Sacramental preparation becomes our own responsibility. We will maintain our own sacramental records: Baptisms, weddings, and Confirmations, for example, will be recorded in our own registers. Formerly these sacraments were recorded in the register of our host parishes, Assumption and St. Michael/Immaculate Heart prior to 2007.

Why is the Bishop doing this?

Twenty-one years of solid, reliable existence has proven to the diocese that we are a stable community. A more formal canonical structure recognizes that we are more than a glorified club that meets for Mass. It grants us security and assures us of a more permanent role in the life of the diocese. Our community is growing up.

What will happen to the Windsor Tridentine Mass Association?

The Diocese of London will no longer recognize the WTMA as the entity responsible for the Windsor Tridentine Mass, as it is being succeeded by the St. Benedict entity. It is possible that the WTMA may be maintained for specialized fundraising purposes.

Is the governance of the community changing?

Yes. Instead of being led by a board of directors, the Community will be led by a Chaplain, Fr. Peter Hrytsyk. As with a full parish, there will be a Pastoral Council and a Finance Council who will advise the Chaplain. The Church is a hierarchy, and we are changing from an ad-hoc organization to one formally led by a member of the clergy.

Will there be anything new?

We hope to start some form of social action or charitable activities. The community has grown to where it cannot only be a place where we have Mass. We must live out our Christian social service responsibilities, too. We also hope to hold occasional fundraising events, such as dinners.

Will we be getting our own church?

This is a matter of finances and common sense. Current revenue levels do not permit such an acquisition. Even if the diocese were to give us an unused church at no charge, the cost of restoring and maintaining the building would exceed our current abilities.

Those of us in metro Detroit and Windsor owe a debt of gratitude to Bishop Fabbro for supporting us through various “upgrades” since 2003. With this latest move, His Excellency once again sets a model which may be useful at other Tridentine Communities in the area.
WWJ Radio Reports on Chant Workshop at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

For the first time in memory, Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral hosted a Gregorian Chant Workshop this past Tuesday-Thursday, July 9-11, under the direction of Archdiocese of Detroit Music Director Joe Balistreri. Approximately 40 people across a broad spectrum of musical backgrounds attended. WWJ found the event newsworthy enough to merit a story on Thursday morning.

As Portland, Oregon Archbishop Alexander Sample has stated in at least two speeches delivered in recent weeks, “We are on the brink of a profound renewal of divine worship.">
[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 July 14, 2013. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]


Fr. John


Has anyone approached Archbishop Vigneron about formally recognizing such an Association or Community within the Archdiocese of Detroit? It should be done.