Sunday, September 09, 2018

Tridentine Community News - First Detroit Solemn High Mass for the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit; Music From the Tower: Weekly Radio Show on Sacred Music; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

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

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 9, 2018):
September 9, 2018 – Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

First Detroit Solemn High Mass for the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit

The December 17, 2017 edition of this column reported that Fr. Athanasius Fornwalt, FHS, had then celebrated his first (private) Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The Arizona-based Franciscans of the Holy Spirit send their seminarians to Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and Fr. Athanasius serves as their Post-Novitiate Director.

Our July 29, 2018 column reported that the same order’s transitional Deacon Peter Teresa McConnell, FHS, had served as Deacon for his first Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form this summer at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, alongside a celebrant also from his order.

On Friday, October 5 at 7:00 PM at Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit, the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit will offer their first local Solemn High Mass. Fr. Athanasius will be the celebrant, Deacon Peter Teresa will be deacon, and Detroit diocesan seminarian Deacon John McKenzie will serve as subdeacon.

Interestingly, both the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit and the Companions of the Cross, whose seminarians also study at Sacred Heart Seminary, were founded as Charismatic communities. Now Fr. Athanasius and his counterpart at the Companions, Fr. Pierre Ingram, who also recently learned to celebrate the EF, have both stated that they intend to invite their respective seminarians to learn the Traditional Mass. Only a few years ago such a crossover would have been unimaginable, but as Fr. Athanasius predicts, “Tradismatics” will become a more common sight in the future.

Also of note, the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit have begun to celebrate most if not all of the Ordinary Form Masses ad oriéntem, both at their local base, the Greyfriar’s House of Studies at Most Holy Trinity Church in Detroit [pictured above], and at their mission church, St. John the Baptist in Laveen, Arizona. Pictured below is yet another ad oriéntem Mass they celebrated in August with Diocese of Orange, California Bishop Kevin Vann at Our Lady of Solitude Monastery in Tonopah, Arizona.

Music From the Tower: Weekly Radio Show on Sacred Music

Skepticism abounded in 2011 when the Diocese of Orange, California announced that they were purchasing Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, a Protestant landmark, to become the diocese’s new Christ Cathedral. Slowly the cathedral has been transitioning to a more Catholic architectural layout.

One bright spot has been the establishment of a serious sacred music program in the cathedral parish, under the direction of John Romeri, the former Director of Music for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Traditional music is making its way into the repertoire of the choirs there, as can be seen on the parish’s extensive music web site,

Among other initiatives, Mr. Romeri has begun hosting “Music From the Tower”, a weekly program on sacred music, airing at 10:00 PM Sundays California time on KHJ 930 AM and KCEO 1000 AM. All past episodes are posted for listening at:

While many if not most of the past episodes cover traditional material including Gregorian Chant, of particular interest to readers of this column is Episode #44, which aired on August 18, 2018. The guest was the rarely-interviewed Charles Cole, the famed director of the London Oratory’s children’s choirs.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 09/11 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Ss. Protus & Hyacinth, Martyrs)
  • Sat. 09/15 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
[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 September 9, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

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