Feast of the Holy Family

Laudetur Iesus Christus! Sunday is the traditional feast of the Holy Family, which occurs on the first Sunday after Epiphany. As custom, we share an informative article and reflection on why the placement of this feast day after Epiphany is the most fitting time to meditate on the Holy Family:

Both in content and in placement, the Feast of the Holy Family in the 1962 calendar captures all of the aforementioned meanings and purposes of the devotion.

In content, the Mass gives us various glimpses into the life of the Holy Family, including their hidden life of “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles” (Epistle), the Finding in the Temple (Gospel), and the Presentation (Offertory). The Mass’s proper prayers, on the other hand, join with the Office hymns and readings to depict the Holy Family as an exemplum of domestic life and a powerful intercessor for all families.

In placement, by falling on the Sunday after Epiphany the Feast has just the right distance from Christmas. It is far enough away to allow the faithful to take in the early life of the Holy Family: Christ’s birth (December 25), the Flight into Egypt (December 28), the Presentation in the Temple (Sunday after Christmas), the Circumcision (January 1), the Holy Nam[ing] (January 2), and the visit of the Magi (January 6). These foundational events of the Holy Family set the stage for, and enable us to enter into imaginatively, their quiet years together in Nazareth.

On the other hand, the feast is not too far away from Christmas. It takes place before the Commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord (January 13) and the liturgical proclamation of the wedding of Cana (Second Sunday after Epiphany), biblical events that take place after the death of Saint Joseph.

St. Ann Epiphany Blessing To Be Rescheduled: The St. Ann Epiphany blessing originally planned for last Thursday will be rescheduled for Wednesday January 11 after the 6pm Mass, the blessing will take 30-40 minutes.

One is welcome to bring empty water bottles and fill them at the containers in the narthex. If one would like to bring filled water bottles to be blessed, they must be one gallon or larger in size (smaller ones won’t be blessed). One is welcome to bring salt and chalk to be blessed as well. St. Thomas Aquinas will be making Epiphany kits available in the narthex, and Epiphany water is also available (bring your bottle). St. Mark also blessed Epiphany water and is available in the narthex.

Requiem Mass for Pope Benedict XVI: We thank those, and especially Fr. Buettner, for offering a last minute Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict last week. We hope a few more of these Requiems could be offered in the future. Please offer a few prayers for Fr. Buettner, and of course continue to pray for the repose of the soul of Benedict XVI.

Latin Masses This Week

  • Wednesday January 11, 6pm, St. Ann– Feria (no feast day)
  • Thursday January 12, 7pm, St. Thomas Aquinas – Feria (no feast day) – Mass intentions for the unborn
  • Friday January 13, 7am (St. Ann parish) & 12:30pm (St. Mark) – feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

March for Life Charlotte – Latin Mass

The annual March for Life Charlotte will be on Friday, January 13, 2023. Attendees can gather at the parking lot across from the diocese’s pastoral center (1123 South Church Street) beginning at 11am. The march begins at 12 noon, and a rally will occur at the corner of Trade and Tryon Streets. The evening prior, on Thursday January 12, the normal 7pm Latin Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas part will be offered for the unborn, as part of the event. For questions visit: https://www.marchforlifecharlotte.com/

Importance of Epiphany Water

As noted in prior years, the blessing of Epiphany water is available only in the traditional rite (in the Latin Church) and is a more powerful form of holy water as it contains a prayer of exorcism, and the litany of the saints as part of the blessing. This holy water is blessed only during this time of year, so please take advantage of the blessing – especially as we do not know what 2023 holds, spiritually speaking.  Additionally, Fisheaters has a link to the customs surrounding today’s feast day: https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas8.html

Don’t Stop Celebrating Christmas: After Christmas Day, Christmas

As we enter into Epiphanytide, the Christmas season continues until February 2nd – and we continue to encourage our readers to learn how to keep the embers of the Christmas season burning for the next few weeks by reading this excellent 2019 article by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/dont-stop-celebrating-after-christmas-day-christmas-continues-2

Holy Face Devotions

  • St Mark – Mondays 5-5:45pm (NEW TIME for JANUARY)
  • 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)
  • St Michael the Archangel, Gastonia – Tuesdays, 9am, Main Church (**NEW TIME & LOCATION**)
  • Holy Spirit, Denver – Tuesdays 10-11am after the Novus Ordo Mass
  • Don’t see your parish? Why not organize one?

Latin Mass & Traditional News

  • Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – FSSP Statement: The FSSP released a statement on Pope Benedict XVI’s passing, and they also shared that after Traditionis Custodes, Benedict wrote a letter of encouragement to the FSSP Superior General. https://fssp.com/death-of-pope-emeritus-benedict-xvi/
  • Gänswein: “I believe it broke Pope Benedict’s heart to read [Traditionis custodes]”: This past week, Pope Benedict XVI’s his longtime private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, stated in an interview that Pope Benedict was heartbroken when he read about the Latin Mass restrictions in Traditionis Custodes. Gänswein mentioned this ahead of his soon to be released book on Pope Benedict. https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2023/01/ganswein-i-believe-it-broke-pope.html
  • Abandoning the Church Has No Appeal for Traditionalists: Its unclear what the future holds, though there continues to be rumors about more restrictions on the Latin Mass. What is a traditionalist to do? Well Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (who visited the CLMC back in September) has some sane advice – stay in the Church (don’t abandon it): https://onepeterfive.com/abandoning-church/
  • Problems in the Church – Fr. Chad Ripperger: Speaking of potential restrictions and persecutions in the Church, traditional exorcist and theologian Fr. Chad Ripperger was interviewed last week by Wisconsin priest Fr. Richard Heilman on what the future holds for the Church and what the laity should be doing: https://youtu.be/knzLO1pWq60
  • Church Proposes Urban Village Congregation: While Catholics are rightfully worried about future restrictions, St. Joseph’s Shrine in Detroit, a fully Latin Mass parish, is not letting the crisis in the Church prevent it from evangelizing the community. In fact it has recently released an ambitious plan to restore the urban neighborhood surrounding the parish by proposing to build many affordable homes, apartments, and duplexes, so its parishioners (many of which travel from the suburbs) can actually live near the parish and fully participate in parish life. The parish is staffed by priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, another traditional order of priests that offer the Latin Mass exclusively. Please read this wonderful article here: https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2023/01/04/church-proposes-urban-village-congregation

CLMC comment: Although this is only a proposal, this plan should give Catholics, particularly Latin Mass faithful, great hope in what true traditional parish life can and should offer once a Latin Mass chapel is granted someday. In living the Catholic life, it is not enough just to drive from a distant neighborhood and attend the parish once a week – or even daily.  Many parishes – including Latin Mass parishes – are forced into this situation, yet the fullness of parish life is truly reached only when one can live within walking distance of the church and fully partake in both the parish and communal life, including in the parish’s neighborhood.

Sadly, since World War II, the Church, especially in North America, has forgotten the sacred art of building new parishes in residential neighborhoods, and has been constrained to follow the modernist ideology of “suburbia”, which often forces non-residential buildings (such as churches) to be built outside neighborhoods, often on a vacant plot of land, typically on the outskirts of town. Often these places are distant from neighborhoods and forces people – including the poor and elderly – to have access to automobiles to obtain the sacraments – thus denying residents, including non-Catholics, the opportunity to encounter Christ and His Church where they live. This is far from the Church’s 2000 years of tradition, where parishes were generally built within walking distance of the faithful or even in the center of the neighborhood – a tradition continued in the New World by the Spanish which built cities such as San Augustine, Florida and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  

This break from tradition is not the Church’s fault per se, as American urban planners built freeways to destroy urban Catholic neighborhoods, and likewise suburban planners created sterilized zoning and parking ordinances that forced the physical separation of land uses (residential, commercial, etc.) and relegated a new parish church to be built outside of neighborhoods. One can easily see the difference in the Charlotte Diocese by examining parishes built before 1960, which were often within walking distance of residents, such as the Cathedral, St. Ann, St. Peter, Our Lady of Grace (Greensboro), St. John the Baptist (Tryon), as well as discontinued parishes such as the old Sacred Heart in Salisbury (Fulton Street), or Our Lady of Assumption in Charlotte (2101 Shenandoah Drive). We welcome St. Joseph’s Shrine for seizing the opportunity to restore the Church’s traditional approach to parish neighborhood life. For a deeper dive on this topic, readers may consider Dr. Philip Bess’ 2007 book, Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Sacred

Remembering Pope Benedict XVI: Ten Years of the Motu Proprio “Ecclesia Dei”

As we close this update, and continue to pray for the repose of the soul of Pope Benedict XVI, we wanted to share an important, but often overlooked address he gave in 1998, before he became Pope and while serving as head of the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith.  Often times when discussing the Latin Mass and papal acts, we may recall his 2007 Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, but it was the 1988 encyclical, Ecclesia Dei, by Pope St. John Paul II, which first helped to secure the Latin Mass by giving papal authorization to establish priestly orders and societies that offer the Latin Mass exclusively, now often called “Ecclesia Dei” societies (Fraternity of St. Peter, and Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest), which today operate hundreds Latin Mass parishes or chapels across the earth.

Howeer, it was at this ten-year anniversary address, in October 1998, in which Cardinal Ratzinger gave one of his most spirited remarks in defense of the Traditional Latin Mass, and the traditional orders which came from the ten-year old encyclical and related legislation. His comments are a beautiful reminder that the Latin Mass is the future, and his perhaps prophetic words to have hope, even now in the era of Traditionis Custodes (emphasis ours):

The divers communities that were born thanks to [Ecclesia Dei] have given the Church a great number of priestly and religious vocations who, zealously, joyfully and deeply united with the Pope, have given their service to the Gospel in our present era of history. Through them, many of the faithful have been confirmed in the joy of being able to live the liturgy, and confirmed in their love for the Church, or perhaps they have rediscovered both. In many dioceses – and their number is not so small! – they serve the Church in collaboration with the Bishops and in fraternal union with those faithful who do feel at home with the renewed form of the new liturgy. All this cannot but move us to gratitude today!

It is good to recall here what Cardinal Newman observed, that the Church, throughout her history, has never abolished nor forbidden orthodox liturgical forms, which would be quite alien to the Spirit of the Church. An orthodox liturgy, that is to say, one which express the true faith, is never a compilation made according to the pragmatic criteria of different ceremonies, handled in a positivist and arbitrary way, one way today and another way tomorrow. The orthodox forms of a rite are living realities, born out of the dialogue of love between the Church and her Lord.

Such anxieties and fears really must end! If the unity of faith and the oneness  of the mystery appear clearly within the two forms of celebration, that can only be a reason for everybody to rejoice and to thank the good Lord. Inasmuch as we all believe, live and act with these intentions, we shall also be able to persuade the Bishops that the presence of the old liturgy does not disturb or break the unity of their diocese, but is rather a gift destined to build-up the Body of Christ, of which we are all the servants.

So, my dear friends, I would like to encourage you not to lose patience, to maintain your confidence, and to draw from the liturgy the strength needed to bear witness to the Lord in our own day.

What Mass are you attending to draw strength from this Sunday?