Sunday, May 18, 2014

Correction: First Mass for Soon-to-be Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz to be held at St. Josaphat Church

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

Tridentine Community News (May 18, 2014):
Last week we reported that Deacon Joe Tuskiewicz will celebrate his first Holy Mass after ordination to the sacred priesthood in the Extraordinary Form on Sunday, June 8 at 9:30 AM. The restoration of St. Josaphat Church is proceeding quicker than originally anticipated, so barring any unforeseen problems, soon-to-be Fr. Joe’s first Mass will be held at St. Josaphat rather than St. Joseph Church.

May Crowning on May 25

Next Sunday, May 25, a May Crowning will be held after the 2:00 PM Tridentine Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor. The Knights of Columbus are once again bringing their lovely statue of our Blessed Mother and are supplying men to carry the statue in procession.

Music Program News

Wassim Sarweh has new duties in his day job that take him out of Windsor on many Tuesdays, but fear not, our music team has depth: Veteran Windsor Tridentine choir member Jackie Robitaille will be playing the organ for Tuesday evening Low Masses at Assumption Church. Colleague choir member Laura Hurajt will continue to sing on Tuesdays, as well. Wassim will continue to play for High Masses that take place on Tuesdays, for Feasts on which a Gloria and Credo are specified.

Across the river, the Oakland County Latin Mass Association choir at the Academy of the Sacred Heart is taking shape quickly: Jill McDonnell, Andrea Savickis, and Patricia Seibold have joined this new ensemble. Tenor Hani Sarweh and ubiquitous and ever-helpful alto Laura Hurajt round out the choir.

Tridentine Myth Busting

Apologetics is the art of defending the Catholic Faith. It is often said that when people express dislike for the Catholic Church, what they really dislike is a misconception of what the Church is and stands for. It is useful for those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass to develop their own specific apologetic skills, to rebut the erroneous statements occasionally made by Catholics and non-Catholics about our historic style of worship.

Only old people attend the Tridentine Mass: This statement is usually made by people who have not attended a Latin Mass in recent years, for if they had in fact gone, they would realize that there is a spectrum of age groups in attendance, including many young families. Of special note, the international Juventútem and Sursum Corda Extraordinary Form special interest groups, with numerous local chapters, are among the fastest-growing young adults organizations in the Catholic world.

The priest turns his back on the people: The age-old posture is of the priest leading the faithful in prayer. He is not ignoring them; in the Mass, the priest addresses his prayers to God the Father. When he does address the congregation, he does indeed turn to them.

The Communion Rail is a barrier between the people and the priest: The traditional architectural norms for a church specify a distinction between the sacred and the profane or secular. The Altar Rail helps to demarcate that portion of the church where the sacred actions of Holy Mass take place. It is no more a “barrier” than the steps to a stage in a theater are.

There’s little to no “active participation” of the faithful: As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI often wrote, physical and vocal participation are not the only forms of involvement in the Holy Mass. Focused prayer and silent attentiveness to the sacred proceedings can often involve a person more “actively” than rote but potentially distracted external action.

There’s less Sacred Scripture in the Traditional Mass: The Extraordinary Form makes extensive use of Scripture in the mandatory use of Propers: The Introit, Gradual, Offertory and Communion Antiphons, for example, bring Scripture into the Mass in places and capacities where it is often omitted in the Ordinary Form. Psalm 42 in the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar at the beginning of Mass brings a chunk of Scripture into the Ordinary of the Mass, as well. And then there’s the Last Gospel.

Laypeople are less involved, especially women: It’s an ironic turn of events that the Latin Mass scene is one of the most intensively lay-led segments in the Church post-Vatican II. Women have active leadership roles; locally, consider long-time Windsor Secretary/Treasurer Sharon Moody and Oakland Count Latin Mass Association Chair Cecilia Lakin.

You have to understand Latin to appreciate the Mass: The vast majority of laypeople – and clergy – involved with the Extraordinary Form have relatively little if any understanding of Latin. With abundant Latin/English worship aids, missals, and tutorial guides, this is no obstacle to understanding.

Latin Mass-goers are elitist/arrogant/too smart/too uninformed/too controversial: Those who attend the Tridentine Mass are a typical cross-section of our culture. You’ll find all types there. If you’re looking for bad things, you’ll find them anywhere. Why waste energy on that? Look for good instead, and you might just be delighted...or inspired.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 05/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. Peter Celestine, Pope & Confessor)
  • Tue. 05/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (St. Bernardine of Siena, Confessor)
  • Sun. 05/25 12:00 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (Fifth Sunday After Easter)
  • Sun. 05/25 12:30 PM: High Mass at Immaculate Conception, Lapeer (Fifth Sunday After Easter)
[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 May 18, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]