Sunday, January 05, 2014

Extraordinary Community News & the 4-hour commute to the Windsor Tridentine Mass

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

Tridentine Community News (May 19, 2013):
The Lassus Scholars

Do you have a long commute to attend the Tridentine Mass? There are some who travel to Assumption Church from as far as Toronto (4 hours each way) and Paw Paw, Michigan (2.5 hours each way). Occasionally our choir takes a road trip, as when they sing for the annual Anniversary Mass of the Flint Tridentine Community. But that’s practically next door, only a 1.5 hour drive each way.

When it comes to commuting and singing for the Extraordinary Form, the award for most dedication must go to Ireland’s Lassus Scholars choir. If there’s a major occasion Tridentine Mass somewhere in Ireland, chances are the Lassus Scholars will be singing. For example, they sing for the annual Fota Liturgical Conference each summer; and they have sung for special Masses at the breathtaking St. Colman’s Cathedral in the southern coast town of Cobh, at St. Malachy Church in Belfast, and at the historic Knock Shrine parish church.

Primarily based at Dublin’s St. Kevin Church, during certain months of the year the Lassus Scholars sing on alternate Sundays for the Sunday Tridentine Masses at St. Kevin’s and at Ss. Peter & Paul Church in Cork. Cork and Dublin are separated by a distance of 160 miles, approximately a 2.5 hour commute each way. Every other week.

Just as Britain’s Tallis Scholars choir is so named because they specialize in singing the choral works of Thomas Tallis, so the Lassus Scholars derive their name from Renaissance composer Orlando di Lassus. Their repertoire far exceeds just di Lassus’ works; they are accomplished in chant as well as polyphony.

In addition to the adult choir, there is also a junior choir for children age 8-15 named Piccolo Lasso. Both Piccolo Lasso and the Lassus Scholars sing at concerts, operas, and on Ireland’s RTE Television network. A third group, the Orlando Chamber Orchestra, accompanies the choirs at certain performances. These ambitious enterprises are all under the direction of Mrs. Ite O’Donovan.

You don’t have to travel to Ireland to experience the Lassus Scholars. One of the most adept choral groups at self-promotion, the Lassus Scholars maintains an impressive promotional presence on the internet, with a Twitter feed (, a Facebook page (, and a web site ( On the web site you will find recordings, albums that can be purchased, and even music instruction books.

Latin Language Resources

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge of the Latin language? Incarnation Church in Tampa, Florida has debuted, a web site filled with resources to help you learn. Books, Latin courses, and relevant videos are listed in abundance.

This is but one of several web outreach projects of Incarnation. Among their other impressive efforts are, the web site for the Extraordinary Form Mass community at the parish, and the “What it Means to Be an Altar Server” video, which can be found via Google.

The New Orthodoxy

A new book makes the case that the future of the Church is one of a return to orthodoxy. Anne Hendershott and Christopher White’s Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church asserts that younger clergy are embracing Catholic tradition. Employing statistics and not just anecdotal evidence, the book demonstrates that there has been a turnaround in vocations numbers in recent years as the atmosphere in seminaries and many dioceses is gradually swinging back towards orthodoxy and orthopraxis. The authors analyze why some dioceses actually have a surplus of priests. Conversely, they argue that in parishes where there is not a strong identity of the priesthood – not just as the head of the parish, but in setting a standard of holiness – there tends not to be as many vocations.

This sociological study tends to mirror our observation that vocations to the priesthood and religious life are disproportionately represented by people from Tridentine Mass communities, where a clear Catholic and priestly identity is often fostered.

Final First Saturday Mass at St. Hyacinth

St. Hyacinth held its fifth and final First Saturday Tridentine Mass yesterday. Special thanks to Mike Smigielski for organizing this long-sought opportunity to make the five First Saturdays according to the Extraordinary Form.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Monday-Saturday 7:30AM: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto
  • Tue. 01/07 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (Feria After Epiphany)
  • Monday-Wednesday-Friday 7:00PM: High or Low Mass (varies) Assumption Grotto
  • Holy Days and Sundays 9:30AM: High Mass at Assumption Grotto
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for January 5, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]