Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Laudetur Iesus Christus! Sunday is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost and as custom we provide commentary on the prayers for Sunday’s Mass:

Ember Week Latin Masses

This week in the traditional calendar is the autumn Embertide, the 3-day penitential period during the change of seasons where the faithful offer thanks to God for his creation and gifts, and to pray for sanctification in the upcoming season. Traditionally, the Ember Days, which fall on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the feast of the Holy Cross, are days of fasting and partial abstinence (meat at only one meal, except Friday which is full abstinence) – though the fasting is now voluntary. The autumn Ember Days fall on Wednesday September 21, Friday September 23, and Saturday September 24.

  • Wednesday September 21: St. Ann, 6pm – Ember Wednesday and feast of St. Matthew
  • Thursday September 22: St. Thomas Aquinas, 7pm – St. Thomas of Villanova
  • Friday September 23: St. Ann (7am) and St. Mark (12:30pm) – Ember Friday
  • Saturday September 24: St. Ann 8am – Ember Saturday/Our Lady of Ransom & Respect Life Latin Mass (followed by prayers at Planned Parenthood and/or a Holy Hour in the Church)

Symbolism and Meaning of Ember Days

We include some helpful articles to learn more about this important period. We especially recommend the superb article by Fr. William Rock FSSP, as he draws the connection between honoring the temporal seasons, the Old Testament Jewish feast days, and the Ember Days which alludes to Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yon Kippur (Day of Atonement) in the Ember week readings.

Community News

Holy Face Devotions

  • St. Mark – Mondays 2-2:45pm
  • St. Thomas Aquinas – Tuesdays 6am in the main church
  • St. Ann – Tuesdays 7:30am in the chapel after the Novus Ordo Mass (uses the booklet/chaplet which takes 15-20 minutes)
  • Don’t see your parish? Why not organize one? (e-mail us at

Special Dr. Kwasniewski Book Sale at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish

Due to the high interest in Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s work, St. Thomas Aquinas retained some of his books from his talk earlier this month and is holding a sale on two of his books.

If you are interested, please see the books on the Latin Mass table in the narthex.

Latin Mass & Traditional News

  • The Stigmata of St. Francis: September 17 was also the commemoration of the stigmata of St. Francis, which celebrates the miraculous markings of the crucifixion that St. Francis bore on his body. As Greg DiPippo notes in this article, September 17 does not commemorate the saint (his feast day October 4), but the miracle, which St. Francis is said to have received around the feast of the Holy Cross (September 14):
  • Why British and Commonwealth Catholics Venerate their Protestant Monarch: In the days following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, Dr. Joseph Shaw, President of the Latin Mass Society of the UK, has written an article explaining why Catholics defend the institution of the monarchy. We should also note that at the end of the 1962 (or pre-55) daily missal, prayers for the Queen (or King) of one’s country are included. Dr. Shaw explains why:
  • How to Save the Latin Mass Domestic Church: What are families to do if they find themselves in a situation where the Latin Mass is canceled or its too far to travel to one under the new restrictions? A helpful article from OnePeterFive offers ways families can preserve tradition in the absence of a Latin Mass:
  • Virginia Parishioners Convert Gym into Latin Mass Chapel: Wise as serpents and simple as doves (Matthew 10:16), the parishioners of Holy Trinity parish in Gainesville, Virginia did not let their bishop’s restrictions on the Latin Mass affect their worship in a sacred space. When forced to have their Latin Mass offered in the parish gym (instead of the main church), they quickly converted the gym into a simple but reverent chapel. See pictures here: (it’s a Twitter link but should be publicly accessible)

Inculturation: A Wrong Turn

Recently, a parish in the diocese of Charlotte hosted an Igbo language Mass for Nigerians, which according to the Catholic News Herald, “enables Igbo-speaking Catholics to hear Mass in their native language and honor their cultural identity.” It is this latter phrase, cultural identity, which provides a good segue into the topic of inculturation, which according to Vatican II (Sacrosanctum Concilium) allows the Mass to be adapted to different cultures or regions to achieve full and active participation of the local laity (e.g. incorporate parts of local secular customs and culture into the Mass so the local people can better spiritually participate).

However, is inculturation based on tradition, or even local customs or culture? Moreover has it helped save souls? Those are the questions which are answered in an excellent five-part series of articles posted on New Liturgical Movement written by a Nigerian Catholic, who understands both tradition, and the local culture in Nigeria. We share the links below. Additionally, due to its length, we provide a few excerpts to summarize the series, which helps clear up the myths that the Vatican II version of inculturation is somehow helpful to saving souls, when in fact, it may be causing the loss of faith in Africa.

  • Although today Catholicism continues to grow in sub-Saharan African countries like Nigeria, the increase is due largely to population growth, but accompanied by substantial attrition in favour of the Pentecostal branch of Protestantism. In contrast, in the years prior to inculturation when the liturgy was almost entirely in Latin, Catholics in Nigeria were witnessing a phenomenal increase “in the region of 10 per cent per year”! [37] The picture that emerges from reviewing the available data is that in every part of the Catholic World, inculturation has been associated with abysmal decline in Catholic vigur.
  • The English language may indeed threaten the identity of the Igbo people, but post-Christian Western values, torn as it were from God and from the natural law, pose a more mortal and infernal danger. A largely sentimental revitalization of traditional Igbo customs and its incorporation into the liturgy stand little chance in stemming the surging and sophisticated onslaught of the decadent West. Western culture became dysfunctional and corrosive by rejecting the traditional Catholicism that nurtured it; it can be tamed and harnessed for the well-being of any society only if it is reconnected to holy Mother Church, its wellspring.
  • The Psalmist invites all nations to clap their hands and “shout unto God with the voice of joy;” [70] elsewhere, “let them praise his name in choir [dance].” [71] Practising what he preached, King David famously danced ahead of the procession of the Ark of the Covenant. His actions were emulated down the ages by Ethiopian priests and European nuns. However, such excited displays are out of place in the Jewish temple worship at Jerusalem, in the Jewish synagogue worship across the world (from which much of Christian Liturgy developed [72]), or during traditional Eucharistic worship in Ethiopia, Europe, and the rest of the Christian world. Just as Elijah recognized the Lord not in the commotions of a strong wind, earthquake, or fire, but in the “whistling of a gentle air” and then covered his face in reverence [73]; so Christ often went away from the crowd to a quiet place, alone or with his disciples, to pray.
  • It should be noted that the popularization introduced into the Mass under the guise of inculturation is often behind the latest trends in Pentecostalism, whose raison d’être is religious secularization or rapprochement with the zeitgeist. One result of this state of things is that Catholics unsatisfied with half-measure popularization in their parishes stream into one of the up-to-date Protestant congregation. Hence, inculturation is arguably the main reason why Catholics in Nigeria defect to Pentecostal or Evangelical groups.
  • If inculturation or liturgical adaptation seeks to help the local population pray in a way which, while being natural to them, has been purified and elevated by the light of the Gospel and the Christian civilization, then inculturation, as has been practiced in Africa with the Zaire Usage its apex, has been an unqualified failure. This same conclusion applies to inculturation implemented in other parts of the Catholic world. The relevant data cited earlier showed that no modern effort at liturgical inculturation has invigorated the local Catholic population or accelerated the conversion of non-Catholics. On the contrary, in every part of the world, various sects and false religions are snatching souls at alarming rates from the fold of Christ.

Inculturation: A Wrong Turn – Part 1: Introduction and Background:

Inculturation: A Wrong Turn – Part 2: Common Claims of the Proponents of Inculturation:

Inculturation: A Wrong Turn – Part 3: Common Assumptions about Inculturation:

Inculturation: A Wrong Turn – Part 4: The Zaire Usage and False Africanism in the Liturgy:

Inculturation: A Wrong Turn – Part 5: More on the Africanism of the Zaire Usage, and the Failure of Inculturation: https://www.newliturgicalmovementorg/2022/09/inculturation-wrong-turn-part-5-more-on.html#.YxFUvLTMKHs

Lastly, as a beautiful response to the topic of inculturation, we share Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s 2020 article on how it is the Traditional Latin Mass that can best bring different races and ethnicities into full participation in the Church:

What Mass are you attending Sunday?