Disturbance in the Force
The priest at the little church I go to on Saturday and Sunday had an "invitation" to speak with the Bishop and Chancellor of our area this past week. Apparently now we can have no Latin in our masses except for our Saturday Novus Ordo mass in Latin. And apparently he hasn't been as successful with his fundraising as he should.
None of this is a secret - he mentioned them during Mass today after his Homily sermon, as kind of a Post Script. He was very honest with the congregation of what is going on with him and the parish.
I'm very sad, because his ministry has been one of the main reasons for my conversion. And his use of Latin in the Mass and his orthodox ways of doing the Mass is one of the main reasons that he has such high attendance during his Sunday masses. People travel from all over the area, including over an hour away, to attend his conservative, traditional masses.
I am not sure why the fundraising efforts are not meeting the diocese goal except that maybe the weekday masses (for the workers downtown) are not being supported financially as well as they should by the parishioners because the people attending the mass do not consider themselves part of the actual congregation since they go to "their" Parish on Sundays, and aren't contributing much.
I am sure that if/when we get another priest, the priest will be good, and that I will continue to have a safe and spiritual church home. But I am so worried for my sweet little priest. He means well, he really does. He loves the liturgy, and being a Dominican priest, loves the use of Latin in mass as much as possible. He in no way seemed upset with the diocese or the Bishop, only sad that he would have to leave his home and his ministry that he's grown to love.
Today they did the mass all in English (even the Kyrie), and it was kind of "off" - just a little. I will miss the Latin in the mass, and I would definitely miss the Latin mass if they cancelled it on Saturday.
Anyway, I just wanted to vent a bit. I've been praying for him in my heart all day today.
Letter to the Bishop
Dear Bishop G.:
I wanted to take the time to express to you how incredibly blessed I feel to have the opportunity of attending the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin every week at St. Jude’s Chapel in downtown Dallas. I am an RCIA catechumenate who attends classes every Wednesday evening with Deacon Larry at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Being a downtown resident, I reside in the Parish of the Cathedral, but St. Jude’s is less than one block from my downtown loft so I attend Mass there often as well. Having St. Jude’s so convenient to my home has definitely been one of the strongest reasons for my new desire to attend Mass as often as possible. However, I cannot deny the strong influence that attending the Mass in Latin each Saturday afternoon at St. Jude’s has had on my desire to actually be baptized and confirmed into the Catholic church. I have attended the Mass in Latin on a weekly basis since I first became interested in learning about the Catholic church.
Being new to the church, one of the things that I truly love about the catechumenate process is learning about the traditions of the church. The use of Latin in Mass is one of the oldest traditions of the church. Hearing and reading the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin on Saturdays each week helps me feel connected to the long and rich history of the church. I feel a special connection to the Mass when I hear the words in the sacred language that has been used by the Catholic church for thousands of years.
I have to be honest with you as well – one of the reasons that I love going to St. Jude’s church is because of the deep sense of tradition and knowledge of the mass that Father C. has. He understands the symbolism and meaning of every aspect of the mass, and his homilies are clear and passionate. Listening to Father C. every week and experiencing the elements of the Liturgy of the Word have helped to me closer to God and Christ than at any point in my life before now.
I pray that through your guidance and love, and through the love of Christ, St. Jude’s will continue to be an oasis of traditional teachings for all who seek the word of God in downtown Dallas. Thank you for your time.