“In the Eucharistic celebration we do not invent something”

The Holy Mass, celebrated in the respect of the liturgical norms and with a fitting appreciation of the richness of the signs and gestures, fosters and promotes the growth of Eucharistic faith. In the Eucharistic celebration we do not invent something, but we enter into a reality that precedes us, more than that, which embraces heaven and earth and, hence, also the past, the future and the present. This universal openness, this encounter with all the sons and daughters of God is the grandeur of the Eucharist: we go to meet the reality of God present in the body and blood of the Risen One among us. Hence, the liturgical prescriptions dictated by the Church are not external things, but express concretely this reality of the revelation of the body and blood of Christ and thus the prayer reveals the faith according to the ancient principle “lex orandi – lex credendi.” And because of this we can say “the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself well celebrated” (Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis,” No. 64). It is necessary that in the liturgy the transcendent dimension emerge with clarity, that of the mystery, of the encounter with the Divine, which also illumines and elevates the “horizontal,” that is the bond of communion and of solidarity that exists between all those who belong to the Church. In fact, when the latter prevails, the beauty, profundity and importance of the mystery celebrated is fully understood. Dear brothers in the priesthood, to you the bishop has entrusted, on the day of your priestly Ordination, the task to preside over the Eucharist. Always have at heart the exercise of this mission: celebrate the divine mysteries with intense interior participation, so that the men and women of our City can be sanctified, put into contact with God, absolute truth and eternal love.

Mary the Mother of God

On May 8th, 2010 a.D. the Saint John Bosco Latin Mass Community was proud to host Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP who conducted a practicum on “Mary the Mother of God” at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Cicero, Indiana.  For more information on our upcoming Speaker Series please contact Una Voce Carmel’s President Scott Arbuckle at 317-581-0315.

Thanks once again to the Pastor of Sacred Heart Fr. Ketron for all his help and support, Fr. Gregory Pendergraft FSSP, benefactors and volunteers without your help the speaker series would of never become reality.   May God Reward You.

Promoting Worship With the Traditional Mass

 Interview With St. Peter’s Fraternity Priest Calvin Goodwin

By Traci Osuna

DENTON, Nebraska, JUNE 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Since the Second Vatican Council, Catholics have been attending Mass said in their native tongue. Today, Latin references are completely foreign to some, and lingering memories to others.

But then there are those who are dedicated to keeping the Latin liturgy alive, and included in this group is the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a growing community of priests that are devoted to celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass.

As many religious orders are desperately praying for vocations, this community has young men waiting to get into their seminary program at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton.

This relatively new society of priests — founded in 1988 — has garnered the attention of, not only those who seek to go back to the Latin Mass, but also those who want to share in the beauty, the reverence and the piety of the traditional Latin Mass for the first time.

ZENIT: The priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a relatively new entity — established in 1988 — that has as one of its characteristics the sole use of the liturgy of 1962. Could you explain what drew you to this traditional priestly fraternity?

Father Goodwin: We are a community completely gathered around the Church’s traditional liturgy. It really is at the heart of our vocation. As to what drew me to the fraternity, it wasn’t my idea; it was God.

I was a member of a large religious community for a number of years when I stumbled upon a church where [the Traditional] Mass was being celebrated. I don’t think I could really say that I knew in a conscious way, but something in me knew that, after this, my life was going to be different.

 One day, an elderly gentleman who had been asking for permission for a [Latin Mass] in the Diocese of Portland, Maine, received a letter from the bishop, explaining why they did not offer the traditional Mass. The gentleman said to me, “I guess I have to resign myself to dying without having access to the old Mass.”

I stuck a little note on the letter that said “I’m sure your Excellency will do whatever you can for this gentleman,” and I mailed it.

About 6 months later, I received a letter from the chancellor of the diocese, explaining why they didn’t have the Latin Mass. At the end of the letter was written, “The bishop is wondering if you would be willing to do something on an ad hoc basis for some of these people.” So I called and told him I’m willing to do whatever the bishop wants me to do.

 Of course, I had to learn how to say the Traditional Mass. My own spiritual director taught me how to do it over one weekend. On Sept. 16, 1991, the Diocese of Portland celebrated its first Traditional Mass in about 20 years. It just went on from there.

I was saying the Traditional Mass more and the newer form of the mass, less. After a while, I began to realize that my whole spiritual life as a priest was centered on this Mass. One of the priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter came to do a lecture on the traditional Mass and he [invited me to their] district house in Pennsylvania.

I thought, “If God has led me in this direction, then I should take responsibility for this grace.” Rather than wishing that everything around me would change, I’m the one who has to change. That’s what brought me to the Fraternity of St. Peter and I’ve been here since [1999].

ZENIT: Why do you feel that following the traditional Roman rite is vital to “re-Christianizing” our world?

Father Goodwin: The Traditional Mass is a very important element in the re-Christianization of the world because it so clearly and fully embodies the faith of the Church. The whole notion of Christ’s sacrifice is the central point of the Mass.

Of course, the primary objection that’s most often offered to it is “Why would you want to celebrate the Mass in a language that people don’t understand?” But that makes the assumption that the relationship of people to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is primarily one of comprehension; that the Mass is a piece of information to be learned and understood.

Today, Mass is most often celebrated in the world where people can see everything that is going on and understand everything that’s said. Can we honestly say that the result of this has deepened their appreciation for what’s going on? When pollsters tell us that 80% of Catholics under the age of 59 have a non-Catholic idea of what the Blessed Sacrament is, the whole communication thing may not be so successful. That should not be the primary goal. The primary goal is the worship of God.

The Mass is not a bunch of jumbled elements that we put together or we construct in order to make something that is meaningful to us. The Mass is something that exists in itself, to which we conform ourselves, so that we can more perfectly unite with God.

I think that’s what young people find in the Traditional Mass. They’re not looking for an explanation; they’re looking for the presence of Christ. This is, in a very primary way, about reverence, piety and devotion.

 ZENIT: While priestly vocations are waning in many other orders in the United States and around the world, ordinations within the Fraternity of St. Peter are increasing. What do you think draws these men to the Fraternity?

Father Goodwin: We have seminarians who have grown up with the Traditional Mass. We also have seminarians who have come to us after seeing the Traditional Mass two or three times before they entered. One found it on the Internet and said, “As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was for me.”

The vocations come from God. He is sending them to us. He picks [these men] and he points them toward that perennial treasury of the Church. Prayer and faith, having spoken to human hearts for 2,000 years, is hardly likely to become a dried-up, unusable source just over a couple of decades. The human heart does not change and God’s appeal to it does not change.

We started the seminary here about 10 years ago. We’ve had, more or less, 12 or 15 candidates a year. This year we have more than 25 coming in. We could take more if we had the room and the staff to take care of them.

ZENIT: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Benedict XVI, has been supportive of the society since the very beginning, has he not? What has this meant to the Fraternity?

Father Goodwin: There wouldn’t be any fraternity if it weren’t for the Holy Father. Our founders, and particularly Father Bisig, went to Rome without any expectations or any guarantees of help whatsoever. But when they got there, Cardinal Augustine Meyer, a Benedictine cardinal, led them to Cardinal Ratzinger.

Cardinal Ratzinger really was the lynch pin, not only in the founding of our priestly fraternity, but also in obtaining for it a papal status, which means we’re directly under the authority of the Papal See. This gave us a lot of freedom to act within certain restrictions and really established us on a good canonical foundation right at the beginning. It usually takes years to get that status of being a society of papal rite, and we got it in a matter of weeks.

The Holy Father has been incalculably helpful and supportive to us, as was his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, under whom our society was founded. Without his support, it would not have been possible.

ZENIT: In July, it will be three years since the publication of Benedict XVI’s letter “Summorum Pontificum” on the traditional form of the Mass. What effect has that letter had on the fraternity?

Father Goodwin: It has made possible a relationship between our community and other entities in the Church, such as dioceses and other religious communities. We’ve been able to conduct our training program, in which we train priests in saying the Traditional Mass.

We can pass this grace, this resource that we have, on to other priests and that’s very important in two ways. These priests will be able to offer the Traditional Mass to members of the faithful for whom it is helpful. It also reflects the fact that the Traditional Mass movement is almost principally a movement of priests rather than a movement of the faithful.

It’s true that many of the faithful have asked for the restoration of the Traditional Mass for a long time. But it’s also a very strong movement among a number of priests who have been looking for a way of entering into liturgical prayer that is more nourishing to their relationship with God and their desire for God. We’ve probably trained several hundred priests, at least, in the last three years since “Summorum Pontificum,” just in our North American district. A large number of those priests have said to us, “This mass has saved my priesthood.” When you hear something like that, you know you’re on to something good. God is making use of you.

But it also means that the Holy Father’s instinct is very soundly grounded and he has the needs of priests so profoundly at the center of his work and his service in the church. He knows that there are priests who need this Mass to nourish, and even preserve, their priesthood.

 — — —

On the Net:

Fraternity of St. Peter: http://fssp.com/press

 [This article is part of the column God’s Men — a series of reflections on the priesthood that ZENIT is offering its readers during this Year for Priests, which ends Friday.]

On Being Charitable

 by Dennis McInerny

 

 Charity, as St. Thomas Aquinas loves to remind us, is the most basic of all the virtues their “mother,” as he puts it. And charity “is the mover of all the other virtues,” the seminal cause of whatever level of genuine goodness we might manage to gain for ourselves in this vale of tears. As believers, we all know that charity should be the governing factor in our lives, guiding and shaping everything we do. Without charity, as St. Paul effectively tells us, we are, in spiritual terms, nonentities.

But while we would all acknowledge the centrality of charity, and readily agree to the imperative of always being charitable in our dealings with others, we are not always as clear as we could be as to the precise nature of charity and the obligations it lays upon us. The confusion that attends this matter frequently comes down to this: a failure to make the critical distinction between being charitable and being nice. Specifically, we too often make the mistake of thinking that being charitable really involves nothing else than being nice, and by that we do a great disservice to charity, and to ourselves. While being charitable and being nice may on the surface seem to be similar, they are in fact essentially quite different.

The world in which we live puts great store in being nice. Now, being nice, taken in itself, is not necessarily bad, so long as we don’t overdo it, but neither is it, as some would have us believe, the most admirable and valuable of human achievements. Well, what is at issue here? What does being nice essentially amount to, at least in the minds of its most ardent advocates, those who are prepared to hold it up as the chief of the social virtues? Being nice means, at bottom, being consistently and impeccably inoffensive in everything that one says and does. The number one rule for someone who is dedicated to the ideal of being nice at all times and in all places is this: Never offend. Offensiveness is the number one moral sin against niceness.

A nice person is universally and indiscriminately tolerant, meaning that he is comprehensively non-judgmental, meaning that he is a de facto subscriber to moral relativism. None of his words, none of his actions, are such that would ever give offense. He is a veritable virtuoso of inoffensiveness, because, among other things, he has trained himself to be super-sensitive to all the reigning super-sensitivities of our day. He is positively fluent in the sanitized language of Political Correctness. And because the nice person never offends anyone by anything he says or does, he is, not surprisingly, warmly liked and approved by all. Everybody likes the nice person, and he is welcome wherever he goes.

But here is the problem: the nice person is ineffectual. And his ineffectualness is the direct result of his inoffensiveness. What the nice person has seemingly never learned is that sometimes it is necessary to be offensive, not for the sake of being offensive, mind you, but for the sake of truth, goodness, and beauty. Charitable people, in contrast to nice people, have no compunction about being offensive when they see a pressing need for it. They understand that sometimes it is necessary to offend others, for their own good.

A nice person could never be confused with a true friend. The truest friend you would ever want to have is a charitable person, for he would always act toward you out of charity, which means that it is your good, your genuine good, which he always has first in mind. He thinks of you before he thinks of himself. As St. Thomas puts it, “we love our friends, even if nothing might come of it for us.”

What then is this charity which motivates the true friend? It is of course one of the theological virtues, which means that it is an infused virtue, a totally gratuitous gift of God. Charity, in its essence, is simply sanctifying grace, which is a sharing in, a co-living of, the very life of God. And this is what leads St. Thomas to say that charity is simply the life of the soul, just as the soul is the life of the body. What is more, charity is a habit, which means that it actually enables the person who possesses it to act according to its sublime dictates.

To be charitable is to have authentic love for others, which means to will what is really good for them. And what is really good for any human being? It is that good for which each of us was created, the Supreme Good, who is God Himself. If I truly love another person, I want for him what I want for myself true human fulfillment, the achievement of his final end, the realization of his very reason for being. And this is nothing less than beatitude, eternal union with God.

If a charitable person sometimes acts towards others in ways they would find offensive, it is because he has their genuine welfare at heart. Like the conscientious physician, he knows that it is sometimes necessary to hurt in order to heal. Totally committed as he is to the truth, it is no concern to him whether or not he is liked. Could not each of us recount, with gratitude, at least one critical turning point experience in our lives, when we were saved from going over the precipice by someone who cared enough for us to offend us? The offense came as a singular blessing, for it was just the kind of shock we needed to awaken us from our moral stupor, make us aware of the disastrous path we were following, and then take the necessary steps to straighten out our crooked ways.

As in everything else, in this matter too Our Lord is our great model and guide. Let us study Him and His ways. In all that He said and did, He acted with exquisite, supreme charity. Little wonder, for He is Charity Itself, as St. John reminds us. (Deus caritas est: “God is charity.”) But Our Lord was often anything but nice, at least not according to the understanding of niceness described above. Indeed, He was often quite the opposite of being nice, and He offended a great many people by His teaching. For example, some found the doctrine of the Eucharist very offensive, and left His company for that reason. The scribes and Pharisees and doctors of the law made it a veritable point of honor to be offended by just about everything He said and did. But He never made the least effort to modify His message to mollify His enemies. His auditors were offended because they had hardened themselves against the truth. They had eyes but saw not, and ears but heard not. Our Lord was trying to break through their callousness for the sake of their immortal souls. They found Him offensive, but offensiveness was the very means the occasion called for. Niceness would not do. Charity alone was sufficient for so important a task, because and no one knew this better than Our Lord for those to whom He was addressing His words, literally everything was at stake.

This article originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of the North American District Fraternity Newsletter. To receive their newsletter by mail, simply sign up on their newsletter subscription page.

“Take Thou The Yoke Of The Lord”: John Shannon Ordained A Priest

By Monica Eichman

LINCOLN, Neb.— May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, descend upon you; that you may be blessed in the Priestly Order, and may offer propitiatory sacrifices for the sins and offenses of the people to Almighty God, to Whom belongs glory and honor, world without end. Amen.

These words, taken from the priestly ordination ceremony as prescribed by the Church, highlight the duty of the priest as an “Alter Christus.” Deacon John Shannon of Fort Wayne was raised to the dignity of the priesthood on May 22 at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Neb.

In the presence of 700 of the faithful, Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz ordained Deacon Shannon along with five other deacons of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Nearly 50 of the Fort Wayne native’s family and friends traveled from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for the joyous occasion.

Also ordained were Father John Rickert of Ellinwood, Kan.; Father Simon Harkins of Edinburgh, Scotland; Father Peter Bauknecht of Antigo, Wis.; Father Garrick Huang of Vancouver, British Columbia; and Father Rhone Lillard of San Diego, Calif.

In the ordination ceremony, the bishop anointed the hands of each ordinand and asked Almighty God to consecrate the hands. It is because the fingers of the priest will come into daily contact with the Sacred Body of Christ that the Church separates them from use in the profane through this prayer and dedicates them to God’s service.

On Pentecost Sunday, the day after ordinations, the newly ordained Father Shannon offered his First Mass at the recently consecrated Chapel of Ss. Peter and Paul at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Neb.

Father Shannon also offered a Solemn High Mass on Sunday, May 30, at St. Peter Church in Fort Wayne. Father Daniel Leeuw was the homilist. Father George Gabet, chaplain of the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, served as deacon, while fraternity seminarian Greg Eichman served as subdeacon. The St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community celebrates the extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at Masses held at Sacred Heart Church in Fort Wayne and St. Patrick Church in South Bend.

 Two of Father Shannon’s younger brothers, Stephen and Vahn, served at the altar, and his brother Gregory played the pipe organ for the Mass. The Mass included traditional Latin chant and sacred polyphonic music sung by the Regina Coeli Latin Choir, directed by Father Shannon’s sister, Rosemary Imrick, and included his younger sisters Regina and Ellen.

Father Shannon, 31, is the son of Ronald and Marilyn Shannon of Fort Wayne and the oldest of nine children. After graduating from Seton Home Study School in 1997, he attended Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne as a Chancellor’s Scholar, graduating with honor in 2002 and completing a master’s degree in biology in 2003. His ordination comes after seven years of preparation at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary.

Special Thanks to Today’s Catholic News