Braving a storm that left a layer of ice on sidewalks, trees and vehicles, over 650 Catholics attended the first Solemn High Mass in the traditional, now called extraordinary, form of the Roman rite in Lafayette, Indiana in forty years. And extraordinary it was.
Thanks to the generosity of Fr. Timothy Alkire, pastor of St. Boniface in Lafayette, Fr. Cano, FSSP, was able to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, commonly referred to as the Latin Mass, in his home parish, just weeks after his ordination by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.
“I’m very thankful to Father Alkire for his many years of support and inviting me to return to the parish to offer this Solemn Mass.” said Father Cano.
The large crowd, some traveling upwards to 100 miles in inclement weather, followed the ancient rite, parts of which date back to the time of the Apostles, from hand missals provided specifically for the occasion. The demographics of the crowd were mixed, from young couples with numberless children in tow to gray-haired women donning mantillas, a type of lace head covering which was common before the 1960s, and immigrant families of various ethnic backgrounds.
“It’s rewarding to see such a diverse group of people attending Mass together,” commented Michael Hughes, a Catholic who made the drive to Lafayette with his wife and four children from Noblesville, Indiana. “The Mass schedule in most parish bulletins seem to segregate the community’s worship based on age, the type of music they like or their native language. With the Latin Mass, we put aside our differences and gather to worship as one family, the way Catholics have done for centuries.”
Fr. Cano was ably assisted by four seminarians from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right established by Pope John Paul II in 1988, to provide priests for those Catholics wishing to participate in the traditional liturgy of the Catholic church, as well as other forms of prayer and popular piety, that existed for centuries before the innovations of the 1960s and 70s.
Deacons Paul J. McCambridge and Dennis Gordon served as Deacon and Subdeacon, respectively, for the Mass, while Deacon Jonathan Romanoski sang Gregorian chant with the schola, which was led by seminarian Brian Austin. Deacons McCambridge, Gordon and Romanoski will be ordained to the priesthood next year in Lincoln, Nebraska. Also in attendance were a number of priests from the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
Over one hundred people attended the reception in the gymnasium of St. Boniface School afterwards, the majority of them availing themselves of the opportunity to receive a personal blessing, and a memento of his ordination, from Fr. Cano.
Also in attendance were the members of Una Voce Carmel, a lay organization dedicated to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and to restoring the use of Latin, Gregorian Chant, sacred polyphony and sacred architecture in Catholic liturgy.