Monday, August 17, 2015

Tridentine Community News - Resurgence of the Dominican Order; Recipe for Dominican Vocations Success; Bishop Hanchon's Mass location; more

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 16, 2015):
he Resurgence of the Dominican Order

When one considers the situation of vocations to the priesthood in North America, a few trends are evident: 1) Most dioceses are severely challenged with relatively few candidates for the diocesan priesthood, insufficient to replace priests who are retiring and dying. 2) Many old-line religious orders such as the Redemptorists and the Basilians are struggling to attract new candidates to their communities.

There are some bright spots, however. Many if not most religious orders and communities of priests devoted to the Latin Mass have more vocations than they can handle. The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Institute of Christ the King, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, and the London, England and Toronto Oratories of St. Philip Neri are examples of such institutions.

With regards to the diocesan priesthood, the dioceses where faithfulness to Sacred Tradition is embraced and encouraged have the least problem attracting vocations. Lincoln, Nebraska and Madison, Wisconsin come to mind.

In addition to these groups, one longstanding religious order has regained significant traction over the past decade: The Order of Preachers, more commonly known as the Dominicans. In recent years the Dominicans have developed a newfound enthusiasm for their own traditional liturgy, the Dominican Rite Mass. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum granted permission for religious orders to revive and celebrate their own historic rites, alongside the universal Roman Rite Extraordinary Form. Like the Norbertine usage of the Roman Rite and the Ambrosian Rite of Milan, the Dominican Rite is a Latin Mass celebrated ad oriéntem, with its own calendar, readings, and modified rubrics. Photos often depict the celebrant standing at the altar with fully outstretched hands, a distinctive posture not employed in the Roman Rite Extraordinary Form.

The Dominicans have taken Summórum’s freedoms to heart: Holy Rosary Church in Portland, Oregon; Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska; St. Dominic Church in San Francisco; the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California; Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle; St. Patrick Church in Columbus, Ohio; St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City; and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC are among the many sites that now hold occasional if not regular Dominican Rite Masses.

Perhaps the most outspoken advocate of the Dominican Rite is Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., who runs a blog on the subject: Fr. Augustine is behind Dominican Liturgy Publications, an effort to publish and republish a broad spectrum of liturgical books useful for churches offering the Dominican Rite: (The faithful might benefit from obtaining a Dominican Hand Missal to follow the Mass.) Tutorial videos on the Dominican Rite are available at:

The Recipe for Dominican Vocations Success

Enthusiasm for religious traditions is not the sole reason the Dominicans have experienced vocations success. Going hand in hand with that is a contemporary approach to publicity: The Dominicans have an extensive promotional program utilizing the web and social media. For examples of how to “do vocations right”, take a look at,, and The Dominicans could give lessons on how to convey the appeal of traditional practices while still being contemporary in outreach and relevant to mainstream Catholic society. No one would consider them antiquarians or look askance at their unique habits after investigating them a little further.

Consider this one-line vocations solicitation from the OPEast vocations site: “Young men, 18-35 years old, considering a vocation to the Order of Preachers are invited to a 3PM Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite for the Solemnity of our Holy Father, St. Dominic (old calendar) organized by St. Patrick’s Catholic church in Columbus, Ohio.” What other religious order not primarily or exclusively devoted to the Extraordinary Form would make such a pitch? Others may wish to take heed: their approach is working. The Dominicans have enjoyed a 15% increase in vocations over the past decade as they have embraced this new philosophy.

It’s worth noting that one of the St. Benedict Tridentine Community’s altar servers joined the Dominicans in 2014: Br. Augustine Marogi.

New Location for Bishop Hanchon’s Mass

The Tridentine Mass that will be offered by Bishop Donald Hanchon on Friday, August 28 at 7:00 PM will now be held at Detroit’s St. Augustine – St. Monica Church, the first time that Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form will have been offered there in 45 years. The original location for the Mass, St. Paul on the Lake Church in Grosse Pointe Farms, had to close unexpectedly for ceiling repairs.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 08/17 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Hyacinth, Confessor)
  • Tue. 08/18 7:00 PM: High Requiem Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Daily Mass for the Dead)
[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 August 16, 2015. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]