Laudetur Iesus Christus! Sunday September 20 is the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, and below is Dr. Mike Foley’s reflection on this Sunday’s Collect: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2020/09/the-overstepping-collect-of-sixteenth.html#.X2a8_tR7nwc
Ember Week: This week is the autumn Ember Days, a 3 day penitential period in the traditional calendar (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) during the change of seasons that is a period of prayer, partial abstinence and fasting (now voluntary) to thank God for His creation and to pray for holiness in the upcoming season. You can learn more about the Ember Days and its customs at Sensus Fidelium: https://sensusfidelium.us/the-liturgical-year-dom-prosper-gueranger/september/ember-days-of-september/ or more at Fisheaters.com: https://www.fisheaters.com/customstimeafterpentecost8.html
Sunday Latin Masses
11:30am – St. Thomas Aquinas parish – The parish requires signups to attend Sunday Masses however they have just expanded their capacity from 50 families to 60 families to 70 families – so there are plenty of seats now available. There are also slots outside. All attendees will have the opportunity to receive Holy Communion. Please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0445a4af29a6f94-thefeast
12:30pm – St. Ann parish – usual constraints for Mass since May (per diocese – not governor). Seating outside in plaza.
New Latin Masses in Western NC (3 hours west of Charlotte)
Fr. Barone is offering a Low Masses at each of his two mountain parishes: 9am Low Mass on Tuesday (St. Jude in Sapphire, NC) and 9am Wednesday (Our Lady of the Mountains, Highland, NC). Please check the schedule or the parish website/office in case there are last minute cancellations.
Spiritual concerns continue over live stream Sunday Masses (and a solution)
We wanted to re-share two articles about the growing concerns over the harmful spiritual effects of live streaming Sunday Masses:
Can the Divine Office be a solution?: While a sick or shut-in parishioner cannot participate or receive actual graces from Masses live streamed, there is a liturgy that they can actually participate in at home – it’s called the Divine Office. Otherwise called the breviary, it is a series of set prayers, collects, and psalms, prayed at different times to sanctify the day and it’s not just for priests or religious – the laity can pray them too. The 1962 breviary follows the Traditional Latin Mass, liturgical calendar, and most importantly, is part of the official public prayer of the Church (perhaps the most powerful prayers next to the Mass) – which means the laity can unite themselves to the Church at home. There’s a lot more that can be said, but if you know someone who legitimately cannot attend Mass, the breviary IS a more spiritually efficacious way to participate in the spiritual life of the Church. There are both traditional and Novus Ordo breviaries.
The Traditional Latin Mass (1962) breviary can be expensive and complex for beginners (maybe a future class on this someday), but as an alternative, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a very simple, short and traditional breviary for beginners to pray. There are both traditional and modern (Novus Ordo) editions of the Little Office, so please look for one issued in 1962 or prior. Baronius Press offers a traditional Little Office here: https://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=47#tab=tab-1
Exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger unveils new YouTube Channel
Renowned exorcist and theologian, Fr. Chad Ripperger (who heads an order of traditional exorcists), has just started up a YouTube page to help reintroduce traditional Catholic thought into the Church. Please see his page and welcome message: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnw-H0jHcrp7XbQ2abPaS4w His introductory message mentions something very critical for us that we will explore in the below topic:
One of the tragedies of modern Catholic thought is that it lacks the depth given by previous generations of the same issues. The heresy of modernism has begun affecting the members of the Church, by making them content with a superficial approach to and an explanation of their religion. One of the ways to combat this problem in the Church is to promote studies that draw the students into the depth and richness which Catholic thought can provide. However none of that is possible without a deep sense our indebtedness to tradition, as well as a strong developed sense of the value of those traditions.
Traditional vs. Modern (or “conservative”) Seminary Formation
The above quote by Fr. Ripperger highlights a major problem that is often overlooked in today’s Church crisis – the absence or near absence of traditional seminary formation. Traditional formation is exclusively centered around the Traditional Latin Mass, it’s theology, philosophy, doctrine, traditions, and spirituality as it was handed down by our forefathers in the Church (Popes, Saints, etc.). Liturgy is imminently linked to these other disciplines. Sadly, many wonderful pious and holy diocesan (and religious) priests – even those diocesan priests who offer the Latin Mass – are deprived of this exclusively traditional formation and are placed at a disadvantage in their priesthood. The problem is further compounded by receiving a watered down, often naturalistic formation (lacking full supernatural perspective) of the Catholic faith and priesthood. This is ultimately passed on to us, the laity. This does not mean a traditionally formed priest is personally holier than a priest who was formed in a modern or conservative seminary per se, but simply means traditional formation gives a priest a much deeper formation that better assists him to live out his priesthood in the way the Christ and His Church intended (and consequently deal with the challenges he encounters).
This helps us understand why in the Church today – even among “conservative” priests and bishops – we see a failure to fully grasp and confront the culture of death or even be able to resume normal parish operations over a human fear of a rarely fatal virus. What we are seeing tragically, is the full scale meltdown of the post-conciliar Church – which affects the diocese of Charlotte – a Church that is spiritually paralyzed because the post-conciliar formation is filled with fear of confronting society; trust of science over God; unnecessary self-imposed rules and legalisms; all combined with some orthodoxy.
Priests and seminarians deserve better and there is hope. Some priests and seminarians have taken it upon themselves to supplement their formation by studying tradition on their own time. However, as we watch the modernist Church bleed away parishioners (who won’t be returning to Mass after COVID), we, must pray, and encourage all priests (and seminarians) to fully embrace tradition and the supernatural outlook it contains into all aspects of their priesthood – it’s the only way out of this crisis and to save souls.
As Fr. Armand De Malleray, FSSP noted in a recent interview, many diocesan priests who have not received full traditional formation, are grateful when they learn of it:
I give retreats to priests every year, most of them diocesan. They are fond of discovering the riches of the traditional philosophy, theology and spirituality. Of course most priests would know some of this teaching, but because of our traditional formation, we FSSP priests are in a good position to explain the beautiful connection between liturgy, philosophy, theology and spirituality. It’s a priestly package. It makes sense to priests who come across it. Even though it’s a bit daunting at first, seen from without, it rings very true and gives hope to priests who struggle in their ministry and in their priestly identity.
X-Ray of the Priest: Interview with Fr. Armand de Malleray: https://fssp.com/x-ray-of-the-priest-interview-with-fr-armand-de-malleray/
(N.B. – there are other traditional seminaries besides the Fraternity of St. Peter/FSSP)
This is why we Latin Mass attendees should never be complacent with Traditional Latin Masses mixed into Novus Ordo parishes. That’s the starting point – not the end game. Only when we have priests and parishes fully embracing tradition (i.e. only offering Latin Masses and teaching the full traditional faith) will a local diocese be able to start the pushback against the secular culture. To paraphrase, the late Dr. John Senior, “we can’t restore the culture until we restore the liturgy”. Let us continue to pray for this intention – our priests deserve it.
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