Thursday, December 27, 2007

Latin Mass Unites not Divides- A real Life Example

I was really struck by an article in the California Catholic Daily.That is “This proves that prayer does work”-Return of traditional Latin Mass brings harmony to once deeply divided parish.

I think many people including Pope Benedict realized this. In the end this is the expression of Latin Rite Liturgy under two forms. I can't help but note that there have been several articles like this recently from Priest of a more "liberal" bent that see this in the proper understanding. That is a pastoral need of a part of their congregation.

I shall quote the article in full.

A stormy and divisive two years at St. Mary’s by the Sea in Huntington Beach appears to be coming to an end now that Bishop Tod Brown has approved the return of the Tridentine Latin Mass to the Orange County parish. Today marks the fourth consecutive Sunday that a traditional noon Mass in Latin has been celebrated at St. Mary’s by Norbertine priests from nearby St. Michael’s Abbey.

Turnout has been near capacity. Since the 2004 retirement of Fr. Daniel Johnson as pastor of St. Mary’s by the Sea, the parish has been mired in a very public controversy that drew attention in the secular press. Traditionally-minded parishioners found themselves at loggerheads with their bishop after he withdrew his indult for the Tridentine Mass upon Fr. Johnson’s retirement. But after Pope Benedict XVI issued his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, in July allowing more widespread celebration of the Latin Mass used by the Church for centuries, an unexpected sense of harmony has returned to the once deeply divided parish. St. Mary’s parishioner Ann Erwin says the traditional Latin Mass had been scheduled to resume in September, but was delayed because parish administrator Fr. Martin Tran was sent to Vietnam to teach at a seminary for two months.

“The bishop decided that, rather than start without him, we would wait for the first Sunday of Advent,” she explained. A rumor that the parish might use readings from the Novus Ordo Mass in the celebration of the Latin Mass brought consternation from some traditionalists, but the rumor proved to be false, Erwin said. “We are using the readings from the 1962 Missal. Una Voce, they are loaning us our Mass booklets until we get our own, and translations of the Propers for each Sunday.” Parishioner Rachel Turicchi said the traditional Latin Mass was sorely missed. “We are extremely blessed that the Holy Father came out with the edict that all priests could celebrate this Mass,” she said. “It’s also great for the young people who haven’t grown up with it to know that there was another Mass in the history of the Church.”

Fr. Tran, who at one time appeared to be acting as Bishop Brown’s enforcer by denouncing kneeling at Mass, is now learning the older rite. Turicchi said she is not surprised: “I think that this proves that prayer does work.” Associate pastor, Fr. Eamon Mackin, is learning the traditional rite as well. Many parishioners left St. Mary’s when the indult was lifted in 2004, a lot of them going to the unauthorized chapel Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove. One of those who left was Charles Erpenbeck, but he’s now back at St. Mary’s. “Fr. Johnson always told me it was better to stay with Rome,” he said. “I thought for a while that maybe I knew better than he did, but Our Lady Help of Christians just wasn’t attached to Rome. As much as I may not like the bishop, that’s the hierarchy that the Church has. And from a financial point of view, it’s meant a lot to the parish in terms of revenue.” High Mass is sung every Sunday at St. Mary’s by the Sea, except on the last Sunday of each month, when a Low Mass is celebrated.

Reconciliation and meeting the pastoral needs of the Body of Christ. I think this is a article that stands in nice contracts to the National Catholic Reporter Editorial I posted earlier today. THe Body of Christ no longer divided on the local level. Is that something we should not celebrate?

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