Skip to comments.Some thoughts on the Tridentine Mass in Chicago
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 Cardinals 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
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.
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.
I like that it's available, but it should be available in more parishes.
"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?
Check out this thread before you attend their liturgy. There is a link where you can step through the entire Byzantine service - beautifully presented.
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.
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.
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!