Sunday, August 31, 2014

Extraordinary Community News: The Good, the Sad, and the Beautiful

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

Tridentine Community News (August 31, 2014):
Windsor’s Assumption Church to Close

The Diocese of London announced on Friday, August 29 that Windsor’s Assumption Church will be closing. The last Masses will be celebrated on Sunday, November 2. The failure of the fundraising effort to raise the $10,000,000 needed to restore the church is the stated reason. Assumption Parish will relocate to Holy Name of Mary Church, which is currently largely unused.

This is obviously a very sad piece of news for the Windsor and Detroit Latin Mass community. Assumption is the oldest parish in southern Ontario and one of the oldest churches in the region. It is an ideal home for the Extraordinary Form. With its High Pulpit, Communion Rail, Side Altars, High Altar, deep sanctuary, statuary, artwork, and pipe organ, not to mention its expansive campus near the Detroit River, Assumption has been as perfect a site as one could imagine.

That being said, Assumption is not the only edifice suitable for our Mass. The St. Benedict Tridentine Community is actively examining options for relocation. Rest assured that we will find the best possible site where our Mass can continue to thrive.

St. Josaphat Church to Reopen on September 14

On a brighter note, the central steeple reconstruction project at Detroit’s St. Josaphat Church has been completed, and the church is now able to reopen. The Tridentine Mass will return to St. Josaphat on Sunday, September 14 at 9:30 AM. As of that date, regularly scheduled Masses in the Extraordinary Form at St. Joseph Church will cease.

Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin to Train All Seminarians in the Extraordinary Form

Bishop Robert Morlino has proven to be one of North America’s most ardent advocates of the Extraordinary Form. His diocese of Madison, Wisconsin produces a continual stream of encouraging developments. To wit:

St. Mary of Pine Bluff Church, led by Fr. Richard Heilman, now celebrates all of their Masses ad oriéntem, at the High Altar, including Latin Masses in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.

St. Mary in Fennimore recently completed an incredible restoration. This historic church, which had been whitewashed and modernized after Vatican II, has been re-traditionalized, with a brand new High Altar, Side Altars, Communion Rail, and mural work above the sanctuary. As amazing as the transformation is, equally impressive is the price: The whole project cost $700,000. The result is so striking that we will be featuring it in an upcoming episode of Extraordinary Faith.

In addition to the above two churches, Tridentine Masses are also held at St. Augustine University Parish and St. Mary Parish in Platteville, St. Mary Health of the Sick in Merrimac, St. Norbert in Roxbury, and St. Barnabas in Mazomanie, a surprising amount of Extraordinary Form activity for a diocese which is primarily rural.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, the liturgical blogger known as Fr. Z, [apparently] resides in the diocese and is a regular celebrant of Tridentine Masses there.

In 2012, Bishop Morlino celebrated a Pontifical Low Mass for his seminarians. Ground was broken when His Excellency announced that all seminarians will be required to learn the Extraordinary Form as part of their formation.

A Solemn High Mass was recently celebrated for the seminarians [photo by Ben Yanke/New Liturgical Movement]. Bishop Morlino also celebrates Pontifical Masses throughout the year at other locations. Reverent celebration of the Ordinary Form and use of Gregorian Chant is also promoted in the diocese.

How can we measure whether such efforts bear fruit? Consider that there were approximately three seminarians when His Excellency arrived in the diocese in 2003, whereas now there are 33: an eleven-fold increase. Experience continues to prove that attention to the Sacred Liturgy yields a vocations harvest.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 09/01 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. Giles, Confessor)
  • Tue. 09/02 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (St. Stephen of Hungary, King & Confessor)
  • Fri. 09/05 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday]
  • Sun. 09/07: No Mass at Academy of the Sacred Heart – Mass will resume at the Academy as usual at 9:45 AM on Sunday, September 14.
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 31, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]


Tradical said...

Heartening news about the incorporation of "Extraordinary Form" the formation of priests!!!


Pertinacious Papist said...

Yes, indeed. I agree. God be praised. Another step in the right direction.