Sunday, May 22, 2016

Tridentine Community News - Oratory of St. Philip Neri Planned in Detroit; the rise of the Oratorians; the Curiosity of Ferias after Trinity Sunday; TLM schedule this week

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 22, 2016):
May 22, 2016 – Trinity Sunday

Oratory of St. Philip Neri Planned in Detroit

We are delighted to report one of the most ambitious clerical undertakings to take place in decades in the Archdiocese of Detroit: A group of priests is in the early stages of organizing a local Oratory of St. Philip Neri [the religious order of which Cardinal Newman was a member]. Regular readers of this column know that the Oratorians are known globally for excellence in liturgy, preaching, and music, with a dual focus on the Extraordinary Form and reverent celebrations of the Ordinary Form, often ad oriéntem.

Fr. Ryan Adams is one of the priests behind this initiative. Currently an Associate Pastor at the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Fr. Adams is a young priest – ordained in 2014 – who has already made his mark as a Tridentine Mass celebrant in our region.

The priests are endeavoring to achieve the first stage – that of an “Oratory in Formation” – over the next year. A home base of operations at an appropriate church will have to be negotiated, which will require the approval of both the host parish and the Archdiocese. A trial period of several years will then ensue, as the fledgling enterprise strives to become spiritually fruitful and financially self-sustaining. Not all Oratories in Formation are successful in making it to a more permanent arrangement.

Fr. Ryan asks for our prayers as this exciting venture gets off the ground.

The Rise of the Oratorians

Quite timely in light of the above development, England’s Catholic Herald newspaper issued a podcast on May 12 entitled, “What is Behind the Unstoppable Rise of the Oratorians?”. Recently England saw the establishment of its sixth house of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, in Bournemouth. It joins existing Oratories in Birmingham, London, Oxford, Manchester, and York, the first three of which have stellar reputations for liturgical life. While each Oratory is related to the other outposts of the Congregation of the Oratory, there is no hierarchical relationship to a regional base as there is at, for example, Dominican parishes. Each Oratory operates fairly autonomously. Many, but not all, Oratories put emphasis on the Sacred Liturgy, offering beautifully executed Holy Masses in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.

Why are priests attracted to become Oratorians? One reason is because that particular clerical arrangement offers some of the best aspects of both diocesan priesthood and community life as is often found in a religious order. Priests do not take vows of poverty as they would in an order. Rather, they are diocesan priests living in community. They do, however, make a promise of stability, which means they typically remain at a given Oratory for their entire priestly lives. Occasionally priests will transfer from one Oratory to another, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

In the podcast, the interviewer asked Latin Mass Society of England and Wales Chairman Dr. Joseph Shaw why the Oratorians are enjoying such growth in the U.K. and other countries. He responded with a keen observation: Priests are attracted by a sense of permanence to their work. Sadly, it is all too common that a pastor who works diligently to bring beautiful liturgy, supplies, and vestments to a parish, and establishes a sacred music program, sees his work either partially or completely eliminated within a short period of time by a subsequent pastor. Priests at an Oratory of St. Philip Neri, however, are usually stationed at a particular church for their entire priesthood. As a result, once a particular philosophy of operation for a given Oratory is established, it is most likely to continue for the long term. The same priests will be there for the long haul to ensure the philosophy is maintained. We certainly have seen that with the London and Birmingham Oratories, in existence for many decades, and also with the Toronto Oratory, founded in the 1970s.

The full podcast is available at:

The Curiosity of Ferias After Trinity Sunday

This week we experience an interesting oddity of the liturgical year. The Church assigned the Feast of Trinity Sunday one week after Pentecost Sunday. Prior to the establishment of this Feast, that particular Sunday was known as the First Sunday After Pentecost, a Sunday with its own Mass Propers like any other Sunday. When [weekday] Fourth Class Ferias appear in the calendar, the celebrant is free to choose almost any Mass he desires, for example a Votive Mass, a Requiem Mass, or the Mass of any Saint. The default Mass for a Feria, however, is the Mass of the preceding Sunday.

What is unique about this week is that the Church specifies that weekday Ferias are not to repeat the Mass of Trinity Sunday, but rather to default to the now-superseded Mass of the First Sunday After Pentecost. Yes, that’s right, a Mass which is never actually celebrated on a Sunday. The Mass Propers remain in the Missal, strictly to be used on weekday Ferias.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 05/23 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria) [Mass of the First Sunday After Pentecost]
  • Tue. 05/24 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Feria) [Mass of the First Sunday After Pentecost]
  • Thu. 05/26 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Corpus Christi)
  • Thu. 05/26 8:30 PM: High Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Detroit (Corpus Christi) – Holy Door opens at 8:00 PM. Procession with the Blessed Sacrament follows Mass. Celebrant: Fr. David Bechill. Juventútem Michigan gathering after Mass.
  • Sat. 05/25 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop & Confessor)
[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 22, 2016. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]


Anonymous said...

Great news about the Oratory. Have you heard any of the possible churches it might be established at? There are so many beautiful historic churches in Detroit with an uncertain future, I hope they get a good one, like St. Florian's, Sweetest Heart, St. Joseph's, etc. Speaking of the MDM parish, will the Oratory have any connection or collaboration with the fledgling Traditional Canons of St. Thomas Aquinas, or is this a completely separate venture? They are two groups who seem like they could have much in common to cooperate.

Robert Allen said...

'Not all Oratories in Formation are successful in making it to a more permanent arrangement.'

Trust me, this one is a done deal. We love Fr. Adams; on August 6th he will be saying a Solemn High Nuptial Mass for the wedding of our beloved daughter Alison to her wonderful fiance Hector Ortega. With the help of the good Lord, he can do ANYTHING he sets his mind to. I always pray for him, but will add the fledgling Oratory to my list of intentions, one more sign that Traditionalism is a winner that is taking hold in our Archdiocese. (The 1st sign that Hector was right for our daughter was when she told me that he preferred the TLM to the NO.) Thank you Blessed Mother for my future son-in-law, Father Adams, and the aforementioned Traditional Canons of St. Thomas Aquinas. What a lovely Month of Mary we have been having, per usual. RFGA, Ph.D.