Skip to comments.End Nears for Latin Mass at Boston (Catholic) Church
Posted on 05/30/2005 10:53:00 AM PDT by nonsumdignus
Monday, May 30, 2005; 5:00 AM
BOSTON -- Dan Linnell drives from his home on Cape Cod to Boston's South End most Sundays so he can worship at Holy Trinity Church, the only Roman Catholic congregation in the area that celebrates Mass in Latin.
Linnell's wife introduced him to Holy Trinity in 1996, when they started dating, and he immediately "fell in love" with the Latin Mass, which features Roman Catholic rituals, including Gregorian chants, that date back more than 1,500 years.
"I started crying I was so moved," the 41-year-old recalled as he entered the church with his three young children after an hourlong drive from Sandwich. "For me, it's what Catholic worship is. It's just beautiful, and it edifies the soul."
Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of Holy Trinity's Latin Mass, which is the only service of its kind sanctioned by the Boston Archdiocese. Barring a change of heart by the archdiocese, there won't be a 16th.
Holy Trinity is one of 20 parishes that the archdiocese intends to close in the coming weeks and months as part of a broader cost-cutting plan to close 80 of its 357 parishes.
Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley's decision to shutter or consolidate the churches came in response to declining attendance, a shortage of priests and financial pressure caused in part by the clergy sex abuse crisis.
With Holy Trinity scheduled to close June 30, the archdiocese plans to move its Latin Mass to St. James the Greater in nearby Chinatown. Parishioners are upset they have to leave the historic church, which was founded in 1844 to serve German immigrants. It's the only German-Catholic congregation in New England.
John Fahey, 49, of Boston, said Holy Trinity is an oasis for several hundred Catholics who prefer to worship in a more conservative, traditional manner.
The church is "totally financially self-sustaining," he added. "There is no reason why it should be closed by the archdiocese."
Archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon said that although the church closings have been hard for parishioners to accept, the process has "strengthened the Catholic community" in other ways.
"The vast majority of parishioners have moved on and done so in a very spiritual and prayerful manner," he said.
Mass was celebrated in Latin across the world until the mid-1960s, when the Second Vatican Council ruled it could be celebrated in native languages. Twenty years later, however, Pope John Paul II granted permission for it to be celebrated in Latin again.
Once a month since the Latin Mass returned to Holy Trinity in 1990, Michael Ferry drives 75 miles from his home in Ogunquit, Maine, to sing in the church's choir, which recites Gregorian chants.
"People come here because this is the Mass as it was in 1962," he said. "It's more traditional."
Susan Long said she left the Catholic church as a teenager because she disagreed with the changes made by the Second Vatican Council.
"When I came back, I came back because of this Mass," she said. "I'd like it to stay here, but my faith is in my heart. Wherever they move it, it's not going to change my faith."
It has been a tumultuous month for parishioners at Holy Trinity. Earlier this month, worshippers at the church protested its imminent closing by placing fake bills in the collection baskets.
Holy Trinity also is coping with a brewing financial scandal. Parishioners have asked state and archdiocesan officials to investigate allegations that their pastor, the Rev. Hugh O'Regan, mismanaged the church's finances. O'Regan did not immediately return a call to comment.
ON THE NET
Boston Archdiocese: http://www.rcab.org/
And it's a pity that Father Higgins isn't the full time administrator at Holy Trinity - I definitely sense Fr. O'Regan doesn't have Holy Trinity's best interests at heart.
I miss the 'smells and bells' although they were around for fewer years than the spartan look has been around - at least in my lifetime (born 1959) - I will never stop missing our Catholic traditions.
The Mass has been the same since the Last Supper. Different Rites, different Liturgical settings, Different Divine Liturgies etc; same Mass
Except for Holy Trinity, there are no other options
OK - I don't know Boston, but, despite the costs of the sex abuse problems, there is surely moe than one church left in the archdiocese. Or is it that all the others been so wreckovated they cannot provide for a completely Catholic Mass?
I am genuinely confused.
The same thing smaller, but in color:
Parking would be a problem, but it's a problem at Holy Trinity (and everywhere else in Boston).
This is a lousy picture of the outside (they must have used some weird lense), but the only one I could find:
Thanks. This situation is really a shame.
Of course , there is no such thing as a permanent altar, as we have learned all too well from the Novus Ordo
So, the solution seems to be to make the "permanent" NO altar a movable one.
Pretty church. They just don't build 'em like that anymore.