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Some thoughts on the Tridentine Mass in Chicago
Crux News ^ | June 4, 2004 | Fr. Burns K. Seeley, S.S.J.C.

Posted on 06/10/2004 10:17:30 AM PDT by NYer


St. John Cantius Church in Chicago

On April 19, Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit announced to his Presbyteral Council that beginning next fall the Tridentine (also known as the Traditional Latin Mass) will be celebrated in the Archdiocese. This will take place in perhaps two parishes. The frequency of these Masses has yet to be determined.

While a few Council members expressed some reservations, there was a general acceptance of the Cardinal’s decision.

One of the chief concerns voiced was that those who will the celebrate the Tridentine Mass and those who will participate in it must also accept as valid the Novus Ordo or the Missa Normativa as well as liturgical reforms mandated by the Second Vatican Council. Another was that very few priests in the Archdiocese knew Latin very well.

In light of this news from Detroit and the concerns expressed by the Presbyteral Council , I would like to share with you what has taken place under similar circumstances in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

A number of years ago, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin asked the pastor of John Cantius Church, Father C. Frank Phillips, C.R. to celebrate the Tridentine Mass at his discretion at St. John Cantius. Subsequently, there were--and still are--two Tridentine Masses celebrated on Sundays, as well three Novus Ordo Masses, including the Saturday evening anticipated Mass.

What has been the upshot of this "innovation" in the Archdiocese of Chicago? For one thing, about two hundred former families of the Society of St. Pius X and other independent chapels were brought into the parish and into full communnion with the Catholic Church. For another, many young families, including home-schooled families, come to the Tridentine Mass from all over the Chicagoland area, including parts of Indiana. But it should be noted that the Tridentine Mass has not decimated the attendance at the Novus Ordo Masses. In fact, the Mass on Sundays having the greatest attendance is the 11 a.m. Novus Ordo Mass said in Latin.

Why do so many attend the Tridentine Mass here? There are a number of reasons. Some simply like to follow along in their missals praying silently. They also love the beautiful sacred music played and sung at the 12:30 p.m. Mass. They also identify Latin with worship. It is in fact an aid to worship. Of course, they have as well the English translations in their missals. And it must be admitted that many had identified the Novus Ordo Mass, as it was in fact celebrated improperly elsewhere, as being far from edifying and conducive to the worship of Almighty God.

In my opinion, I think there is another key factor. The children here really like the Traditional Mass. When one looks down from the choir loft at the families, the children are praying, they are worshipping. Rarely is there seen a coloring book or other such thing in an attempt to keep them from being bored. Still another reason: many high school and college age students are attracted to the Tridentine Mass as it is celebrated here, because it is a beautiful experience, an experience which obviously the world cannot provide. A beauty which has been obviously lacking elsewhere in their lives.

Having said all of these things, it should be well noted that our Novus Ordo Masses are well-attended also. This is true, certainly, in part, because they too are celebrated reverently, as well as in full conformity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the directives of the GIRM ("The General Instruction of the Roman Missal.") As noted above, it the 11 a.m. Novus Ordo Latin Mass that is the best attended on Sundays. It also is accompanied by beautiful sacred music, including Gregorian chant, which the Church tells us: "All things being equal, Gregorian chant should hold a privileged place, as being more proper to the Roman liturgy. (GIRM, 41)

I believe that when the Tridentine Mass is celebrated in Detroit, many of the same things noted above in conjunction with St. John Cantius Church will occur there as well.

Fr. Seeley is a priest of the Society of St. John Cantius. He is Associate Pastor at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago.

Related: Cardinal Maida OK's Tridentine Mass for Detroit


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; latinmass; novusordo; sspx; traditional; tridentine

1 posted on 06/10/2004 10:17:34 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
See there? Nice coexistence of the two liturgies.

And, of all people, Bernardin was the instigator of the Tridentine Mass in Chicago!

2 posted on 06/10/2004 10:21:26 AM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: *Catholic_list; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp IV; narses; ...
For one thing, about two hundred former families of the Society of St. Pius X and other independent chapels were brought into the parish and into full communnion with the Catholic Church.

A peaceful coexistence can and should exist.

When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
Khalil Gibran on Prayer

3 posted on 06/10/2004 10:25:58 AM PDT by NYer (I would not believe the Gospel unless moved thereto by the Church. "- St. Augustine of Hippo)
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To: sinkspur

This is one more (of the few) issue that I'm in total agreement with you on. Make both masses available to everyone and and long as it's orthodox and reverent, let people worship as they please.


4 posted on 06/10/2004 10:29:20 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: sinkspur
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the foundation for all classes taught at St. John Cantius Parish.

What a revolutionary concept! /sarcasm

5 posted on 06/10/2004 10:30:17 AM PDT by NYer (I would not believe the Gospel unless moved thereto by the Church. "- St. Augustine of Hippo)
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To: sinkspur
Yes, this is a good story. It shows that the people who are so strongly against the celebration of the old Mass, have nothing to fear.

It also shows that, contrary to what some would claim, the Missa Normativa can be celebrated reverently and properly, and that generous application of the Traditional Latin Mass can also help in that regard.

I would love to see such co-existance become the norm, allowing those who are attached to each form of the liturgy their preference.

6 posted on 06/10/2004 10:30:37 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: AAABEST
Make both masses available to everyone and and long as it's orthodox and reverent, let people worship as they please.

You are absolutely right! Both liturgies are valid - let both be celebrated and let catholics choose which liturgy best meets their spiritual need.

7 posted on 06/10/2004 10:33:04 AM PDT by NYer (I would not believe the Gospel unless moved thereto by the Church. "- St. Augustine of Hippo)
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To: NYer
I can tell by the pic that this Chicago church is probably very old. It reminds me of the New York church that I was baptized in (St. Pancras), which is over 100 years old now.

They don't make em like that anymore.

8 posted on 06/10/2004 10:37:31 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: NYer


The Novus Ordo Latin mass at St. John Cantius hardly resembles the typical Novus Ordo. In this mass, the priest faces the altar and sings the mass in Latin, many would probably see little difference, at least externally, between this mass and the high Tridentine mass. Even the English Masses at this parish are not like the typical NO masses since they use altar rails here and only priests and deacons distribute communion.


9 posted on 06/10/2004 10:40:43 AM PDT by RFT1
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To: NYer

Almost like an oxymoron? No?


10 posted on 06/10/2004 10:50:22 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer; AAABEST; All

Would be interesting to see which would become the more popular.. I know where I would be....


11 posted on 06/10/2004 11:34:40 AM PDT by .45MAN ("Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..")
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To: NYer
Oh I forgot to tell you. I found a Byzantine Catholic church right down the road from my house! I just stumbled across it on my way to another event.

I was thinking about you when I saw it. I'm going to find out mass times today and will certainly be checking it out ASAP.

12 posted on 06/10/2004 11:40:56 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: AAABEST

"Make both masses available to everyone and and long as it's orthodox and reverent, let people worship as they please."


So, what are we to do with those that are irreverant - ie the other 99% of NO "Masses"? Are we allowed (outside of free will)to worship at those that are irreverent?


13 posted on 06/10/2004 12:19:14 PM PDT by corpus
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To: corpus
So, what are we to do with those that are irreverant - ie the other 99% of NO "Masses"? Are we allowed (outside of free will)to worship at those that are irreverent?

YOU worship at the Tridentine Mass. I thought that's what you wanted.

14 posted on 06/10/2004 12:24:38 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: sinkspur

YOU avoided the question. It's not what I want that matters.


15 posted on 06/10/2004 12:40:43 PM PDT by corpus
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To: corpus
Why not worship at a Mass that affords you what you want, and allow others to do the same?

Or do you, like some, insist that the Novus Ordo has to go?

16 posted on 06/10/2004 12:43:33 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: sinkspur

You are still avoiding the question. It was directed to AAABEST, but if you want to dialogue, sinkspur, it helps if we stay on topic. So please answer the question or pipe down, please.


17 posted on 06/10/2004 12:50:34 PM PDT by corpus
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To: corpus

The answer to your question is: go to a Tridentine Mass if you're not happy with the Novus Ordo Mass.


18 posted on 06/10/2004 12:52:00 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: corpus

According to the evening prayers in my Saint Andrew Daily Missal (Tridentine), irreverence at mass is a sin against the First Commandment. Therefore, I don't think you are allowed to worship at those masses.


19 posted on 06/10/2004 1:08:01 PM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: Bellarmine

"According to the evening prayers in my Saint Andrew Daily Missal (Tridentine), irreverence at mass is a sin against the First Commandment. Therefore, I don't think you are allowed to worship at those masses."

Yes, I understand MY irreverence at Mass would be sinful. My question is: is one allowed to attend a Mass that is irreverent? I ask this because I so often see people talking about the reverence of the Traditional Latin Mass as opposed to the NO. Where do we draw the line? Liturgical dancers in tights?


20 posted on 06/10/2004 1:39:21 PM PDT by corpus
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To: corpus
If you knew that the mass was likely to be irreverent, then I think the possibility of you being led to take part in the irreverence would qualify as a near occasion of sin. So you should probably avoid it.

In my diocese, there are three churches I know of that have reverent masses so they would be okay. However, these masses do not qualify because of the immodest dress of many women who attend there, so they get dropped because of that reason. That leaves me with the Traditional Latin Mass as the only acceptable choice.

21 posted on 06/10/2004 3:02:54 PM PDT by Bellarmine
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To: corpus

I thought your point on that matter has always been perfectly clear: the abuses of the NO Mass have got to stop, and such abuses are not going on at Latin Masses.

Too bad that so many prefer the irreverent abuses. Unfortunately, there will always be those folks.

But did you see how the article says that both the Latin and NO masses are celebrated with clean traditional reverence there? How lucky for the people of that parish.


22 posted on 06/10/2004 3:09:59 PM PDT by broadsword (Liberalism is the societal AIDS virus that thwarts our national defense.)
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To: NYer

I like that it's available, but it should be available in more parishes.


23 posted on 06/10/2004 3:55:59 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: NYer

"St. John Cantius"

Wow. Wow. WOW! That Statue of Christ receiving the Penitent Sinner brought tears to my eyes.

Where did these guys come from, and how have they avoided wreckovation by the sodomites?


24 posted on 06/11/2004 1:18:00 AM PDT by dsc (The Crusades were the first wars on terrorism.)
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To: AAABEST
Oh I forgot to tell you. I found a Byzantine Catholic church right down the road from my house! I just stumbled across it on my way to another event.

Check out this thread before you attend their liturgy. There is a link where you can step through the entire Byzantine service - beautifully presented.

What is an Eastern Catholic?

25 posted on 06/11/2004 1:22:57 AM PDT by NYer (I would not believe the Gospel unless moved thereto by the Church. "- St. Augustine of Hippo)
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To: corpus
So, what are we to do with those that are irreverant - ie the other 99% of NO "Masses"? Are we allowed (outside of free will)to worship at those that are irreverent?

I'm not a very good person to ask about what's "allowed". I will say that often what's allowed and what's right can be at odds with each other. Although I feel your pain, I no longer attend NO-masses so I no longer have this problem.

I do know that some of what I saw going on that is allowed (or seems to be allowed) scandalized me. Everything from soccer moms passing out species in a glass that looks like it was bought at Wal Mart to gay monks using the homily time for fund raising.

26 posted on 06/11/2004 4:50:17 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: NYer
I've actually been to that site.

I went to the church yesterday to find out mass times. It was closed, but I peeked in the window. Beautiful classic looking stained glass and mosaics. As you know they use icons as opposed to relics.

I have a few problems out of the box however; No kneelers and little or no veneration of Mary to name a few. Also I'm not Mid Eastern or Eastern European. Being that I'm part Italian, Roman Catholicism in my family most likely traces back to it's original foundation.

It is Catholic though, and I will check it out.

27 posted on 06/11/2004 5:04:00 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: corpus

In regard to irreverent masses, here is where I would draw the line: if you KNOW based on your Catholic training/spiritual formation, that the masses in a particular church are irreverent or invalid, you certainly hav no business attending them, as would be willingly participating in blasphemy, which is a mortal sin. since we can all read and write, no one can really be excused on account of "ignorance of the law". But, I will go ya one further: let's say your parish has such irreverent masses. Should you support the parish financially? MO! If you do, you are at best a fool, and at worst, complicitous in the blashphemy being purportrated. To dontribute (or still worse to raise funds) for such a parish, makes you as guilty as the apostate priest who is conducting the irreverence. And I will guarantee that the priest is not just and unwitting fool - such irreverence is connived at, and quite well planned!


28 posted on 06/12/2004 12:20:17 PM PDT by thor76
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