Sunday, May 25, 2014

Extraordinary Things Happening in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Around this time last year, there was legitimate concern for the Traditional Latin Mass in Philadelphia.  The pastor at St Paul's church was being transferred and replaced by a priest who does not offer the TLM.  The Archdiocese, if it did have a plan, was not immediately forthcoming about what was going to happen to our little congregation. Then the Archbishop sent an envoy to let us know we would be given the use of a beautiful but seldom-used worship site about a mile away from St Paul's.  The chaplain assigned to our church is a young, orthodox and pious priest who is well-versed in the Extraordinary Form. 

Our first Mass in our new parish fell on the hottest Sunday in July, which drove home the reality that the church lacked air conditioning.  Attendance was good but not great.  But we kept our heads down and kept the faith and plowed onward.  For the first time since Vatican II changes were implemented, the sacred liturgies of the Easter Triduum were celebrated in the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Attendance was wonderful and the liturgies beautiful. 

Not only does the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have its first Extraordinary Form parish but other churches are offering TLM's for First Friday and First Saturday and other feasts. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart a Solemn High Mass will be offered at a parish that hasn't seen a TLM since the 60's.  And there's even more promising news. 

On Holy Trinity Sunday, June 15 a newly-ordained priest of the FSSP will celebrate his first public Mass in the Extraordinary Form.   This will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia.  

God bless Archbishop Chaput for facilitating the TLM and thank God for those priests who, while they may not have an interest in offering the TLM, have been friendly toward this growing movement, particularly the pastors who have made some of these feast day Masses possible. And through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, may those priests who exhibit animus towards the TLM cease from their obstructionist ways and come to the realization that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is never to be held hostage to politics and personal bias. 

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