Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tridentine Community News - Are Traditional Catholics Better Informed Now Than They Were Twenty Years Ago?

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 10, 2015):
Are Traditional Catholics Better Informed Now Than They Were Twenty Years Ago?

Those of us who have been around the Latin Mass scene for more than twenty years might remember the bad old days: The only regular news came from the occasional Latin Liturgy Association newsletter. Hard-to-find liturgical books, such as a Latin Ordinary Form Altar Missal, had to be ordered from the Vatican, which meant writing a letter to Rome requesting a quote, waiting several weeks for a reply, only to be told once in a while that the book one was seeking was out of print and to write back again “later.”

One could argue that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s 2007 Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum was the key reason that the environment for traditional liturgy has improved, but in actuality the single best development over the past two decades for the growth of the Traditional Latin Mass has been the Internet.

Catholics are also now able to educate themselves about liturgy, doctrine, devotions, sacred music, and other subjects typically not taught at the parish, vicariate, or diocesan level. Web sites, books, and YouTube videos are easily discovered which can answer many questions a curious individual might have about the Faith. Practical questions, such as where to obtain vestments and supplies necessary to support a Latin Mass, are also easily answered with a simple Google search.

The Web has given a platform for special interest products to be made available to a widely scattered worldwide audience. Publishers such as Baronius Press (Hand Missals, Breviaries, and assorted religious books), Loreto Publications (Hand Missals and prayer books), PCP Books (Altar Missals and used books of all sorts), FSSP Publications and Angelus Press (Books of all sorts), Roman Catholic Books (Altar Missals and devotional books), and Birettta Books (priest training materials) can now alert a worldwide market to the availability of their merchandise without having to mail out catalogs.

Blogs have become a way to share detailed academic and practical information. The New Liturgical Movement, Fr. Z, Roráte Cæli, The Chant Cafe, and locally, Pertinacious Papist are leaders in communicating news and inviting discussion on traditional liturgical subjects. These blogs were arguably the principal means by which Catholics and existing indult Tridentine Mass sites learned about the provisions of Summórum Pontíficum; few dioceses did much to alert the faithful about the benefits this document imparted.

Conferences can now be publicized far more easily: Sacra Liturgia, the Church Music Association of America’s Sacred Music Colloquium, C.I.E.L., and numerous smaller gatherings now attract audiences that formerly only traveled to the biennial Latin Liturgy Association National Convention.

Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter, have become forums where Latin Mass communities, parishes, and groups such as Juventútem can conveniently announce and promote forthcoming events. Two minutes of typing can notify hundreds or thousands.

All of the above aspects of the Internet create an environment of mutual support and education. They are of direct practical benefit to the faithful interested in attending local, regional, national, and global events of interest. Equally important, they serve as inspirational examples of success to people endeavoring to start Tridentine Masses in currently underserved areas.

This writer recalls being afraid to bring up the subject of the Tridentine Mass with priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit as recently as 1997. Now we have two quasi-parishes in our region: The St. Benedict Tridentine Community in Windsor and the St. John XXIII Community in Lansing, plus the similar Oakland County Latin Mass Association. There are also established Extraordinary Form communities at St. Josaphat, Assumption Grotto, St. Edward on the Lake, and Ss. Cyril & Methodius, plus periodic Masses held at St. Albertus, Our Lady of the Scapular, St. Hyacinth, and elsewhere. As recently as 2003, such a thriving scene would have been unimaginable to the 10-odd faithful gathered at the late-but-not-lamented Villa Maria Nursing Home Chapel in Windsor, the only site in the region hosting an approved Traditional Latin Mass. We owe this progress as much to Summórum and the Internet as to our local clergy and volunteers.

Perhaps the ultimate irony of the Internet era is that the once sole source for many liturgical books, the Vatican publishing house, last year shut down its web site, In recent years it had been just as easy to order books from the Vatican as from any other vendor, but now we’re back to the future: Unless you’re lucky enough to find one on, you’ll once again have to write Rome (albeit via e-mail) if you want to inquire about the availability of that Vatican Altar Missal.

No St. Albertus Mass on May 17

Unfortunately, the Tridentine Mass originally scheduled at St. Albertus for Sunday, May 17 has been cancelled, due to the inability to secure a celebrant. It is getting increasingly difficult to find priests available on Sundays, despite the ever-growing number of priests interested in the Extraordinary Form. Rest assured that Masses at St. Albertus will continue; rather than pick dates, then find priests, henceforth we will secure celebrants first, then pick dates.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 05/11 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Ss. Philip & James, Apostles)
  • Tue. 05/12 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Ss. Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla, Virgin & Pancras, Martyrs)
** Ascension Thursday is a Holy Day of Obligation in the U.S. **
  • Thu. 05/14 7:30 AM: Mass at Assumption Grotto (Ascension Thursday) [Unknown if High or Low]
  • Thu. 05/14 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Ascension Thursday)
  • Thu. 05/14 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Ascension Thursday)
  • Thu. 05/14 7:00 PM: Mass at Assumption Grotto (Ascension Thursday) [Unknown if High or Low]
  • Thu. 05/14 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Anthony, Temperance (Ascension of the Lord - 1st class)
[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 St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for May 10, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

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