Skip to comments.Latin Mass excites Catholic traditionalists in North Jersey
Posted on 07/16/2007 5:46:00 PM PDT by Coleus
Women wore traditional lace head coverings during the Latin Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock.
The strict Catholic couple travel 30 miles each Sunday to attend church. Paul and Margaret Papendick tried worshiping at several parishes closer to their home in Waldwick, but didn't like the changes made in the Roman Catholic Mass during the 1960s and 1970s. "They took the Latin Mass away from us," Margaret said. "And spirituality was the first thing that left." So the couple, now in their 70s, attend a West Orange chapel that provides a Mass in Latin and disdains modern changes -- such as altar girls. "It was returning to the church we knew -- without all that nonsense," Margaret said.
Now, with Pope Benedict XVI easing restrictions on the Latin Mass that have been in place since 1965, Catholic traditionalists throughout North Jersey are hoping for a revival. The Papendicks were among about 100 worshipers who showed up for the second of three Sunday Masses last week at St. Anthony of Padua Chapel -- one of three congregations in the Newark Archdiocese that offer the Latin rite. With the women wearing lace head coverings and the faithful worshiping in silence, an Austrian-born priest stood with his back to the congregation uttering words in Latin.
"Eternity does not know fashion, but is eternally fashionable," the Rev. Andreas Hellmann later declared in English. On the same day, more than 100 people attended the 11 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock -- the only location in the Paterson Diocese that celebrates the Latin rite. Longtime member William Budesheim said he sees more young families attending the chapel -- a change from decades ago, when he and other founding members worshiped at a Route 17 hotel. "You would think by now that the Latin rite would be dead," said Budesheim, the mayor of Riverdale. "But it's not dead, and in fact we have people who never even grew up with it and are clamoring for it." Nevertheless, church officials in North Jersey said they don't expect the pope's action to spark a greater demand for the traditional Mass. "We're not anticipating a groundswell," said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers. "I think the majority of the people are looking for Mass in their language."
The Latin Mass, also known as the Tridentine Mass, was sidelined in the 1960s after the Second Vatican Council began stressing the local-language Mass as a way of getting the laity involved in church life. The Rev. Robert Stagg, pastor of Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, one of the largest in New Jersey, said the switch to English from Latin was a breakthrough moment for many American Catholics. "It was a real exciting time, because we heard the Mass in our language and we really understood it" Stagg said. "There was the sense of mystery with the Latin, but people wanted to know the hows and whys of their faith." Traditionalists, however, continued celebrating the Latin Mass where they could, seeing in it a more authentic and mysterious expression of faith. The chapels in Pequannock and West Orange are staffed by priests from out-of-state Catholic organizations devoted to celebrating the Latin Mass.
The pope's July 7 letter boosts those communities by allowing priests to celebrate in Latin without getting the permission of the bishop. In an accompanying note to bishops, the pontiff said one of his goals was to help build bridges between the church and traditionalists who believed Catholicism lost its way after Vatican II. "It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church," the pope wrote. "Looking back over the past ... one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity."
North Jersey has seen its share of such conflicts.
Budesheim and other members of the Pequannock chapel irked the Paterson Diocese several years ago by renting a billboard and displaying a sign that said: "Outside this true Catholic faith, no one can be saved." The West Orange chapel was started by the Rev. Paul Wickens, a traditionalist who was suspended in the 1980s for disobedience. Wickens died in 2004, and the chapel is now part of the archdiocese. Besides opposing the local-language Mass, traditionalists typically disdain other Vatican II reforms such as reaching out to other denominations and faiths.
"The Catholic church should not look at itself as one among equals," Budesheim said. "Any attempt to reach out should not be to have a warm, fuzzy experience but to bring [non-Catholics] into the church and get them salvation." Budesheim said he appreciated the pope's action but said the job is incomplete."It will be completed when the English Mass is banned," he quipped. Can't just wing it Newark Archdiocese officials say that may be a long time coming. Most local priests, including the archbishop, have never publicly celebrated Mass in Latin. The archdiocese plans to assess the demand and determine how much training is required before the pope's letter takes effect in September. "You cannot wing the Latin Mass," Goodness said. "It's a very stylized ritual with prescribed movements. You really have to go through a period of study so that you understand what you are saying and make all the right moves. We don't have a lot of people who can do it, because it has been 42 years since it was regularly celebrated." Video of the Latin Mass at Our Lady of Fatima
More than words
Differences between the Latin Mass and local-language Masses:
Language: The Latin Mass is celebrated completely in Latin, except the homily (sermon) and some readings. The modern Mass is celebrated in the local language.
Priests: In the Latin Mass, the priest turns his back to the faithful, facing the altar. Priests celebrating the modern Mass face the congregation.
Laity: In the Latin Mass, only clerics or altar boys can participate in the Mass. Lay people in the modern Mass are involved in many ways, such as serving Communion and giving readings.
Opening prayer: The contemporary Mass begins with a greeting between the celebrant and the faithful. The Latin Mass begins with prayers at the foot of the altar recited privately by priest and server.
Biblical content: The readings available for the new Mass include 71 percent of the New Testament and 14 percent of the Old Testament. The Latin Mass readings include just 17 percent of the New Testament and 1 percent of the Old Testament.
Prayers: The Latin Mass preserves the prayer and rites of 1570, with some changes, while the new Mass simplifies prayers and rites in the light of contemporary research and understanding.
Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Sad...who in the RC congregation under the age of 60 (perhaps you fit this) is going to understand the Latin liturgy. On second thought, God forbid, the young in the laity to understand and have relationship with their Creator...after all, that is reserved exclusively for the priesthood. < /sarc > Pax vobiscum!
How about, facing God?
If Mr. Budesheim’s forcing you to attend the Tridentine Mass at gunpoint you should probably call for help. Otherwise, stop worrying about other peoples’ religious practices and go enjoy your local Sunday sing-a-long.
Not to mention facing in the same direction as the congregation. I guess it’s all in the interpretation, huh? And here I thought the “progressives” wanted the priest to be closer to the people and not some act on a stage.
There is fear in the Cafeteria!
I am in my late 30s my children range from 18 months to 15 years and we are studying Latin as a family to understand the trad mass better.
This change is not just about the old, in fact I would say the young in the Church are more excited than the old.
I wish the article had included some of the interested young people. Maybe it’s an overall reaction to the influence of the 60s radicals and boomers, but I think I’ve read that Orthodox Judaism is on the rise among adult children of reform or non-observant parents, too.
How about stands WITH the congregation, facing the Lord?
Our Latin Mass community is well under the age of 60.
My parish of 850 families, as 8 children as the average. Family buses are the mode of choice. Crunch the numbers.
Right now, as we speak, we have Latin in our liturgy. Many of us are asking for the TLM.
Even my seven year old has been singing Latin since she was four. She sings Latin and English versions of many songs. She is better at translating than I am.
We study Latin and Greek using “English from the Roots Up”. So, some Catholics may not understand it, but the young more than the boomers will get it.
Of course they are, because it makes church feel like church, and not like an interminable amateur school assembly that they have to sit through on Sunday morning.
I think it would be good if we had some kind of a rite of passage like the Jews do where the kids have to show an ability to read and speak Hebrew before they can be full members of the church.
I’m no way near sixty and I admit, I’m excited about a Latin Mass. There’s something that rings and echoes in Latin in prayer.
Can’t explain it but there’s a power in it. So I’m looking forward to it.
I’m not sure that we need it as long as the NO is the ordinary rite.
However, any parent with an ounce of brain realizes that learning Latin is a huge boost to many future studies.
I think that we should request Latin classes along with our TLM.
I hope you're in a diocese with a bishop amenable to it. I'm not unfortunately, and I'm afraid for Boston it's going to be a long wait!
Well I don’t know yet about the local Bishop but my sense is there is a strong traditional following that should and will be heard in Newark region of NJ.
your local bishop alread approved tridentine rite masses in the Newark Archdiocese and I wouldn’t be surprised if St. John’s in Orange starts in the near future.
JERSEY CITY: Holy Rosary Church, 344 Sixth St.: 10 a.m. Sunday
NEWARK: Saint Antoninus, 337 S. Orange Ave.: Sundays at varying times (call)
WEST ORANGE: St. Anthony of Padua
I don’t have a car, and I checked the T route on its website — the trip would be an hour and a half each way (assuming everything runs on time), with a couple of changes and a 23-minute walk. (T’s estimate - probably takes longer if you don’t know where you’re going!) Also, there’s no guarantee the T would run at a good time to get there and to get back — say, likely two hours each way in practice. And I’m too old and tired for that!
The current TLM's in the Arch. of Newark are:
Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City (Sundays and Holy Days)In addition to the possibility of St. John's in Orange offering the TLM, I know of two other parishes that are very likely to offer the TLM very soon.
St. Anthony of Padua Chapel in West Orange (Daily)
Our Lady of Victories in Harrington Park (third Sunday of the month)
romanesq, if you would like more information, please contact me via FReepmail.
I should have said I checked the T schedule for Newton. I never even heard of Still River, never mind that there was a TLM there. I actually taught in Ayer my first year out of college and shared an apartment in Lowell. As I recall, the drive back to Boston from Lowell was over an hour. No idea what it would have been by public transportation.
Hopefully your wait for a TLM closer to your home will prove to be shorter than you anticipate.
Newton is in the archdiocese of Boston, but not in the City of Boston. It’s a western suburb, and I’m on practically the eastern tip of the city. Our one indult used to be in the South End of Boston — about a half hour bus ride for me. Of course, the way the buses ran, I could be 20 minutes early or 10 minutes late, and then up to a half hour wait for the bus coming home. But I could go occasionally.
Go to the altar (turn, turn, turn)
look to the East now, (turn, turn, turn)
theres a time for every Mass now, if its valid.
The time for banjos and dancing is gone,
dust off the censer, and toss out the bong.
No need for hugging, we all get along
lets keep our focus together, on Jesus.
Page through the Missal (turn, turn, turn)
remember the rubrics (turn, turn, turn)
theres a time and a purpose for those words there
Pure, humble revrence is what we now lack,
just do the red words and say those in black.
When we say High Mass, theres no need for crack,
just let your deacon and subdeacon guide you.
Now weed your library, (turn, turn, turn)
use some discernment (turn, turn, turn)
it is time now to brush up on your Latin.
Farewell to Vosko, McBrien, Hans Keung,
deep down you knew that they just peddled deung,
the 60s are old and the Church is still young
what still subsists is a thing of great beauty.
I had looked before but didn’t confirm one near me but that one in Jersey City isn’t far. Thank you for that.
Thank you, it looks good in Jersey City and even shows on the Church website.
and even shows on the Church website.
Yes, but there are a few inaccuracies (not in the Mass time) that the Latin Mass community is trying to have corrected.
This one would make a great parody and it wouldn’t take much rewriting.
The Times They Are A Changin’
by Bob Dylan
Come gather ‘round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.
Someone is being paged. =)
It would be good on a YouTube video too.
“I hope you’re in a diocese with a bishop amenable to it. I’m not unfortunately, and I’m afraid for Boston it’s going to be a long wait!”
One of the major points of what the Pope said was that you don’t need the approval of the Bishop to request the TLM. Go to your local parish priest, to the church you go to, and request that a Latin Mass be said at your church. Get a petition going of like-minded people in your Parish. Advocate for it. That’s how you’ll get it right where you go to church. The Bishop’s approval is not necessary; the needs and wants of the parishioners is what counts here, at their request to their local churches and priests. Go for it!
O'Malley's also bringint RENEW International into the diocese for the next three years -- I understand that though they've been reined in to orthodoxy, they are truly hostile to latinizing in any form.
“I’ll try — but O’Malley is truly opposed to it, and I’m sure he can (and will) make things difficult for any priest who wants to do the TLM.”
If the Bishop tries to obstruct a Parish that wants the TLM in their Church, the local priest and/or parishioners can appeal it higher up to the Vatican. The instructions for this is in the motu proprio. In other words, you can go around any Bishop who attempts to thwart the will of the people and priest of any Parish that wants the TLM. When you feel more cheery, read up on this, and check with your local priest.
Thanks for the encouragement — I’ll try to hope and work for the best! :)
I fit. I started to attend mass with my girlfriend in 1980 when I was 17. We were married in the Church in 1983. I did RICA and joined the Church in 1993. I've never heard a Latin mass. I'm interested in it, but I know nothing of it.
I do know that my wife and I have shopped different parishes to find one with an "upbeat" atmosphere. Our current parish has a Life Teen Mass that keeps the kids involved. We enjoy it, but some of the older members are sure it is inspired by the devil!