Sunday, November 02, 2014

Extraordinary Community News: New Homes for the St. Benedict Tridentine Community

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

Tridentine Community News (November 2, 2014):
There is sadness and joy to report today. The sadness, of course, is the closure after today’s Masses of Windsor’s magnificent Our Lady of the Assumption Church, which has been the home of the St. Benedict Tridentine Mass Community since 2007. Assumption is being closed while an effort is made to raise funds to restore the church. Your prayers are requested that this historic edifice might be saved.

The good news is that new sites have been lined up for the continuation of Tridentine Masses in Windsor without interruption:

St. Alphonsus Church [top photo], 85 Park St., will be the home of Masses on the Second through Last Sundays of the month at 2:00 PM. St. Alphonsus is Windsor’s “other” stunning historic Catholic church. It has all of the essential traditional architectural features: a High Altar, Communion Rail, Side Altars, pipe organ, and beautiful murals. Located immediately north of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel exit, St. Alphonsus allows its Sunday Mass-goers to park in the city lot on the east side of the church at no charge. St. Alphonsus has a sizable social hall, which will undoubtedly come in handy for receptions. It also has that rare amenity for historic churches: air conditioning. The first Mass at St. Alphonsus will be next Sunday, November 9.

Holy Name of Mary Church [bottom photo] at 681 McEwan Avenue, one block south of Wyandotte Street, will host our Masses on First Sundays at 2:00 PM. A longstanding Sudanese community holds a monthly Mass at St. Alphonsus on First Sundays at 2:00 PM, making that church unavailable. Holy Name of Mary, a.k.a. the “McEwan Site” of Assumption Parish, was merged into Assumption Parish a few years ago. A grand, historic church, Holy Name of Mary was partially modernized after the Second Vatican Council and has only a freestanding altar and no Communion Rail. After much deliberation and reflection, we thought that its scale, pipe organ, and good acoustics offset its architectural shortcomings to make it a more fitting home for our liturgies and music program than the alternatives. Readers who attended our 20th Anniversary Mass Dinner in 2011 may recall that Holy Name of Mary has an enormous lower level social hall, suitable for the largest of receptions. Using Holy Name of Mary keeps us allied with Assumption Parish, which is a prudent connection to maintain, given that we hope to return to Assumption Church should it reopen.

Our weekday Mass will be held on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM at Holy Name of Mary. St. Alphonsus is not currently available on weekday evenings. While other churches are available on weeknights, the logistics of having to transport our substantial collection of essential Latin Mass supplies around to yet a third site presented too much of an inconvenience to our volunteers. Further, we have High Masses on weeknights frequently enough that Holy Name of Mary’s organ and acoustics will prove beneficial. The first Mass at Holy Name of Mary will be a High Requiem Mass this Tuesday, November 4.

Holy Days and major special Feast Day Masses will be held at one of the above two churches, depending on availability. Both are busy facilities, so we will need to be flexible. Weddings, funerals, and Baptisms may be held at either church.

Your prayers are requested for St. Alphonsus pastor Fr. Nicholas Mauro Iko and Assumption/Holy Name of Mary pastor Fr. Donald McLeod, who have welcomed us into their churches. Please also pray for Diocese of London Episcopal Vicar Fr. James Roche, who once again worked behind the scenes to ensure that fitting homes would be secured for the St. Benedict Tridentine Community.

There are many details yet to be thought through and supplies that will need to be acquired as we settle into our new homes, but these are minor challenges compared with finding suitable churches. Thanks be to God, we are all set on this most important regard. The Windsor Latin Mass will continue to thrive in these beautiful houses of God.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 11/03 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte, Michigan (All Souls)
  • Mon. 11/03 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Joseph (All Souls)
  • Tue. 11/04 7:00 PM: High Requiem Mass at St. Benedict/Holy Name of Mary (Daily Mass for the Dead)
  • Fri. 11/07 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday]
  • Sat. 11/08 12:00 Noon: High Requiem Mass at St. Hyacinth, Detroit (Daily Mass for the Dead) – In memory of late pastor, Fr. Frank Skalski
[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 November 2, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

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