Sunday, January 12, 2020

Tridentine Community News - First Tridentine Mass Held at St. Joseph Chapel, Pontiac; Pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul Westside Commences TLMs; The Untapped Masses; 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 (January 12, 2020):
January 12, 2020 – The Holy Family

First Tridentine Mass Held at St. Joseph Chapel, Pontiac

Founded in 1923 as a mission church of Orchard Lake Seminary to serve the Polish community in Pontiac, St. Joseph Chapel closed in 2013. Following in the footsteps of St. Albertus Church in Detroit and the former St. Claude Church, now the Divine Mercy Center, in Clinton Township, St. Joseph Chapel was sold by the Archdiocese of Detroit to an independent non-profit institution, in this case Terra Sancta Ministries, a pilgrimage organization headed by Fr. Alex Kratz, OFM. It reopened after refurbishment in 2017 and now offers Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 12:00 Noon.

On Monday, January 6 St. Joseph Chapel returned to its roots as former Orchard Lake Seminary faculty member and current Thomas Aquinas College (California) chaplain Fr. Robert Marczewski returned to town to celebrate a Tridentine Low Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany. The faithful were delighted and look forward to additional Traditional Masses offered at this historic church.

Pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul Westside Commences TLMs

Many of our readers will recall the numerous Tridentine High Masses offered over the past decade at Ss. Peter & Paul Westside (Detroit). All of those Masses were offered by Fr. Mark Borkowski, who for a while served as Associate Pastor there. The pastor, Fr. Jerry Pilus, was supportive but not yet ready to start offering the Traditional Mass himself. However, he was inspired to take a significant step in that direction by removing the freestanding altar and celebrating all of his Ordinary Form Masses ad oriéntem.

On December 8, Fr. Jerry took that final step and offered his first Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form. His intention is to offer the Tridentine Mass at least once per week in the not-too-distant future, and to have his organist, the unforgettably-named Johnny Kash, be prepared to supply the music for High Masses.

You know progress is being made when a new TLM debuts quietly like this, without the usual channels knowing.

The Untapped Masses

As more and more churches add the Traditional Latin Mass to their schedules, whether on a special occasion basis like St. Joseph Chapel, above, or on a more regular basis like Ss. Peter & Paul Westside and St. Mary of Redford, experience is teaching us an important lesson: Many of the faithful will choose the Tridentine Mass if it is available to them at a convenient place and time.

The first example of this phenomenon was at Immaculate Conception in Lapeer, where shrinking attendance at the 12:00 Noon Novus Ordo Mass was completely turned around when that Mass was changed to an Extraordinary Form High Mass. Around 200 people started showing up for this Mass, some from the nearby Flint Tridentine Community, but many others just regular parishioners who preferred a more reverent liturgy. A similar experience is about to take place at the gigantic, 9,500 family Prince of Peace Parish in Houston, Texas, where a Sunday morning Tridentine Mass is about to be added to the parish schedule. With over 16,000 views and numerous enthusiastic comments on the Extraordinary Faith Facebook post announcing this impending Mass, in spite of the parish’s nondescript, modern architecture and despite its proximity to an FSSP parish, it seems that the effort is destined to be a success. Dare we quote the cliché, if you build it [and promote it], they will come.

When opponents of the Traditional Mass maintain that few people want the Old Rite, how do they know this? Is this simply justification to banish the TLM to a relatively inconvenient Sunday afternoon time? What if a large parish simply tried the experiment of adding a prime-time Sunday morning Latin Mass to the schedule for, say, three months as an experiment? Support it with appropriate advertising. If it is successful, great! If few people attend, then cancel it, and no one will die. It’s a low-risk way to learn if there is latent demand for the classic liturgy.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 01/14 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Hilary, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
  • Sat. 01/18 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Saturday of Our Lady)
  • [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 January 12, 2020. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

    No comments: