It could happen here.

I first stumbled upon this article in the place where I stumble on so many things,  Fr. Z's Blog. The piece interested me because I grew up in – or, more accurately, outside of – Baltimore. So, I went to the article in The Baltimore Sun. It’s actually a very good and positive article (always a pleasant surprise to find something positive, or at least not negative, in the mainstream media), and gives some straightforward descriptions of the Mass. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I was, however, particularly struck by these two observations:

“St. Alphonsus is the only church in Baltimore that offers the traditional Latin Mass, the celebration of the Eucharist that all Catholics observed (my emphasis; how many Catholics under the age of 40 in the Diocese of Portland even know that little fact? – TC) prior to the sweeping reforms instituted by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s…

At St. Alphonsus, weekly attendance at Latin rite masses has nearly doubled (my emphasis), from 125 to 247, in the four months since Kiefer took over…”

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“Kiefer”, of course, would be Fr. Joel Kiefer, FSSP, who took over after the previous priest retired: a brief word on the previous priest is in order. MSGR Arthur Bastress had served the church for 19 years before retiring (at age 90) in the summer of 2017. He had been a lone voice (albeit a happy one) for the need to return to tradition in the deeply ultra-liberal Baltimore archdiocese. In that he reminds me of Fr. Damien Abbatichio, OSB, who “held the fort” at St. Benedict’s in Virginia (the deeply ultra-liberal Diocese of Richmond) for so many years. I talked a bit about him in my very first Una Voce post here. Anyway, the very positive statement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore is here:

“Bishop Denis J. Madden, urban vicar, said he and the archbishop are excited for the future of the shrine. The fraternity sees St. Alphonsus as a “flagship church,” Bishop Madden said, and it is eager to raise the shrine’s profile nationally.”

May God richly bless the National Shrine of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri in Baltimore, Maryland!                   

Closer to home, we find Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church in Nashua, New Hampshire, which is also entrusted by the Ordinary (Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, D.D., Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire) to the FSSP, Frs. John Brancich (pastor) and James Smith (assistant pastor). This parish was established in July of 2016, the first Sunday Mass was August 7, 2016.

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The Bishop has been very supportive, and offered the first Pontifical Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite about two months ago:

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Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, WI has been tremendously involved in the spreat of the EF in his Diocese. His most recent Pontifical Mass (I think he’s done several) is here. And, Fr. Zulhsdorf tells a bit about what a “Pontifical” Mass is, here.

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Finally, Bishop Serratelli of the Diocese of Patterson, NJ offered a Pontifical Mass last fall:                                  

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The points of all this are two: (1) if “it” (meaning, the EF) can happen in these other Dioceses, “it” can happen here, and (2) the churches, and the Dioceses, where “it” happens, are better off.

 

Valete.