Morrell and family work to revive Latin Mass

January 24, 2011

Morrell and family work to revive Latin Mass

Darragh Doiron The Port Arthur News The Port Arthur News Mon Jan 24, 2011, 08:12 AM CST


Community Connection: Active with Latin Mass Society of Beaumont

Fast Fact: The group will meet at  5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 20, at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, Vidor

Quick Quote: “I actually am in awe of the Mass and what it has done for my children,” Marilyn Morrell

PORT NECHES – Through her children’s zeal, Marilyn Morrell is learning a Catholic Mass tradition she, as a convert, never experienced.

The Port Neches woman and her husband, Rocco, are working with the Latin Mass Society of Beaumont, a lay society, to make the traditional Latin Mass more widely available within the Diocese of Beaumont.

“ We are working on getting more support from the local diocese and getting the word out to Catholics in general,” Morrell said.

Though the changes of Vatican II, Mass became celebrated in English for most Americans. Morrell’s family has celebrated the traditional Mass in Lake Charles, and is part of organizational meetings in Vidor to bring the tradition to the Golden Triangle area.

“There is drama in what is at stake in restoring the traditional Latin Mass,” she said. “It is a treasure that is our Catholic liturgical heritage that had almost disappeared, one that we had celebrated worldwide for hundreds and hundreds of years — over a millennium —t hat connected us to the roots of Christianity.”

The group meets out Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall, 1600 N. Main Ave., in Vidor. A meeting is set for 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20.

John Morrell, her 29-year-old son, described deep emotions he’s experienced at the traditional Mass. Similar feelings are evident in his parents’ voices as they share. Morrell said she believes the old version focuses on solemnity and individual prayer.

“That’s very moving,” she said.

“My children, all grown now, grew up with the modern Mass, and since living in other areas have become enthusiastic about its older form, the TLM, with its ability to increase their faithfulness and to understand church doctrine.  It touches a mother’s heart to have her sons and daughters-in-law want this so much and it not be available here in the Diocese of Beaumont.  I see it as another example that leads young adults to choose other places to live after they have experienced that and compare it to Beaumont. “

Mr. Morrell said there is community interest.

“I think things are progressing along nicely. We have about 50 to 100 people,” he said.

The group has purchased candles and a crucifix in preparation of celebration.

He said he remembers growing up in the Assumption parish in Beaumont and how the older members missed the Latin Mass. The family considers the renewed interest a “circle of life’ that what was once removed could now be restored.

“So, yes, of course, my husband and I want to support Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum to give this classical form of worship its ‘due honor,’ to make its beauty, its reverence, its richness available for all Catholics to grow in their faith and increase their understanding of the doctrines of the Mother Church. As it has done for my sons and daughters, it can do for countless others,” she said.

“God has blessed our family in abundance and for that we are grateful, she said. “May we use our blessings to the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.”

For more information, call Morrell at 724-1456, e-mail or visit

New PCED Members

The Cano Boys with the PCED's Newest Member. Father Almiro de Andrade, FSSP (center), Father Roberto Cano, FSSP (right) and Una Voce Carmel's very own Augusto "Tito" Cano (left)

As per RORATE CAELIMessa in Latino has announced that the newest members of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be Fr. Vincenzo Nuara OP and Fr. Almiro de Andrade FSSP.

Fr. Almiro de Andrade is the first member of any of the “Ecclesia Dei Communities” to be officially appointed to the Commission. He also serves as MC at SS. Trinita dei Pellegrini, and is already considered as the de facto “secretary to the Secretary” of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Msgr. Guido Pozzo.

Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, on the other hand, is the founder of the “Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum” and of “Giovane e Tradizione“. Fr. Nuara, who had been removed from his position as vicar for religious in the Diocese of Acireale for his role in assisting the organizers of the celebration of the Traditional Mass in that diocese (in Sicily, which currently has only two locations with a regular TLM) — a Mass that was saved only upon the intervention of the PCED — has been very much at the forefront of promoting Summorum Pontificum,being one of the leaders in organizing study days and conferences on the Traditional Roman Rite, in Rome most notably the October 2009 conference that concluded with Archbishop Burke’s Pontifical Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Understanding “ad orientem”

What does it mean to celebrate the Mass “ad orientem?”

Literally it means to celebrate the Mass with the priest celebrant facing “to the East,” from whence Christ will come in all His glory for the final judgment at the end of time. At one time, most churches were built so that the priest faced “to the east,” which on first glance meant he celebrated Mass with his back to the people; however, that’s a misstatement of both what is actually happening as well as essential symbolism and reality.

In fact the priest celebrating the Mass “ad orientem,” in a beautiful and timeless manner that speaks powerfully of the necessary humility of the priest before the triune God, celebrates the Mass as alter Christus both on behalf of and with the faithful of the congregation.

There is something both beautiful and even reassuring to be gained from a right understanding the “ad orientem” orientation. What sometimes we glean intuitively from what takes place in all liturgy is inevitably colored by our “gut” feelings and a perception that is colored from our culture and even from wrong explanations from some who should know better. Our intuitive feelings can mislead us into misunderstanding.

Consider this excerpt from recent reflections of Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa:

“In the past 40 years, however, this shared orientation [ad orientem -Ed.] was lost; now the priest and the people have become accustomed to facing in opposite directions. The priest faces the people while the people face the priest, even though the Eucharistic Prayer is directed to the Father and not to the people.

“This innovation was introduced after the Vatican Council, partly to help the people understand the liturgical action of the Mass by allowing them to see what was going on, and partly as an accommodation to contemporary culture where people who exercise authority are expected to face directly the people they serve, like a teacher sitting behind her desk.

“Unfortunately this change had a number of unforeseen and largely negative effects. First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage.”

It should be clear that it is far from accurate to see the priest with his “back to the people.” In fact of the 25-or-so liturgies approved for use by the Church, Eastern Catholic liturgies (accounting for about 22 of the 25 aforementioned liturgies) never abandoned the practice of celebrating liturgy “ad orientem.”

A proper understanding of “ad orientem,” in fact, reveals considerable forethought and beauty which in my particular case, inspires a sense of deep reverence for priest-as-symbol of humility that bespeaks of Christ whose humility was an aspect of His infinite love for us; similarly the priest acting in the role of alter Christus, which knows no obsolescence in any age.

Link to the article from the Diocese of Tulsa

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789

by President George Washington

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone know to be best.

Rowan Returns

H.H. Pope Benedict XVI and H.G. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury on Saturday, November 21, 2009 (Reuters)

WHISPER IN THE LOGGIA:  A month after the Holy See announced its historic initiative to accommodate groups of Anglicans seeking inclusion into the Roman fold, and a fortnight since the Apostolic Constitution paving the way to “personal ordinariates” was released, this morning the Pope received the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for the duo’s third private meeting.

Here below, the joint release on the session:

This morning His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in private audience His Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the course of the cordial discussions attention turned to the challenges facing all Christian communities at the beginning of this millennium, and to the need to promote forms of collaboration and shared witness in facing these challenges.

The discussions also focused on recent events affecting relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, reiterating the shared will to continue and to consolidate the ecumenical relationship between Catholics and Anglicans, and recalling how, over coming days, the commission entrusted with preparing the third phase of international theological dialogue between the parties (ARCIC [the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission]) is due to meet.

In an Audience Eve conference at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, Williams raised some eyebrows by terming the state of ecumenism a “glass half full,” recent developments included.



The minor orders are the lower degrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, in contrast to the “major” or “sacred” orders.  In the Latin Church, there are four minor orders:  porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte.  They are all mentioned in a letter of Pope Cornelius to Bishop Fabius of Antioch in A. D. 252.  More recently, the Council of Trent of July 15, 1563 said of the minor orders and subdiaconate:

 … From the very beginning of the Church the names of the following orders and the duties proper to each one are known to have been in use, namely those of the subdeacon, acolyte, exorcist, lector, and porter, though not of equal rank; for the subdiaconate is classed among the major orders by the Fathers and the sacred Councils, in which we also read very frequently of the other inferior orders (D.958).

 Minor orders are conferred by the presentation to the candidate of the appropriate instruments of his office, in accordance with the ritual given in the Satuta Ecclesiæ antiqua, a document which originated in Gaul about the year A.D. 500.  This ritual was later introduced in Rome.  By the ordination to any of the 4 minor orders, the recipient receives official authority to perform the liturgical functions of this office. 

 Porter or doorkeeper (ostiarius in Latin; from the word ostium, a door), denoted among the Romans the slave whose duty was to guard the entrance of the house.  From the end of the second century, the Christian communities began to own houses for holding church services.  Church doorkeepers were found at least in larger cities.  The texts of the ritual clearly express the duties of the porter as well as the virtues he must practice, especially zeal for the house of God.

 Lector is someone who is sufficiently educated to be able to read publicly the Sacred books in the Church.  The text of the ritual requires from the lector clear and precise diction as well as the understanding of the words of Sacred Scripture.  The first mention of a Christian liturgical reader is by St. Justin, who died a Martyr, in A.D. 165.

The word Exorcist finds its origin in the Greek language.  In general, it refers to anyone who casts out or professes to cast out demons.  IN particular, It refers to him who is ordained or appointed to this office by the bishop.  IN the early ages of the Church, this function was not confined to clerics.  But with the development of the rites of baptism (since catechumens had to be exorcized every day by an imposition of hands), some clerics were specially appointed o this office.  Currently only priest are authorized to use the exorcizing power conferred by this ordination.  In each diocese, the local bishop appoints a priest to the special task of casting out demons from the possessed. 

 Acolyte, in Greek, means someone who follows, who attends.  The chief duties of an acolyte are to light the candles on the altar, to carry them in procession and during the solemn singing of the Gospel.  He is also in charge of preparing the wine and water for Mass.  Unlike the other minor orders, the ritual of the ordination of acolytes ends with three prayers of blessing instead of one.  This underscores the importance of the minor order of Acolyte, the last step before the “sacred” or “major” orders.

 Since 1972, minor orders are no longer conferred in the Latin Rite, except in those communities where the 1962 liturgical books are in use.

MONASTERIES & ORDERS who observe Minor Orders

Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem
Institute of St. Philipp Neri
Fraternity of St. Peter
Apostolic Administration of St Jean-Marie Vianney, Brazil
Le Barroux
Servants Minor of St Francis
Clearcreek Monastery
Religious Institute of the Holy Cross of Riaumont
Canons Regular of the Mother of God      [ French ]
 Canons Regular of the Mother of God        [English]
Abbaye Fontgombault
Institute of Christ the King
Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer
Opus Mariae Mediatricis
Oblates of Mary

George Washington and Roman Catholics

America has been blessed by God in many ways but perhaps no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

George Washington

This stand against anti-Catholicism was not unusual for Washington.  Throughout his life Washington had Catholic friends, including John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the US.  He would sometimes attend Mass, as he did during the Constitutional Convention when he led a delegation of the Convention to attend Mass in Philadelphia as he had attended Protestant churches in that town during the Covention.  This sent a powerful signal that under the Constitution Catholics would be just as good Americans as Protestant Americans.

Washington underlined this point in response to a letter from prominent Catholics, including Charles and John Carroll, congratulating him on being elected President:

“[March 15], 1790


While I now receive with much satisfaction your congratulations on my being called, by an unanimous vote, to the first station in my country; I cannot but duly notice your politeness in offering an apology for the unavoidable delay. As that delay has given you an opportunity of realizing, instead of anticipating, the benefits of the general government, you will do me the justice to believe, that your testimony of the increase of the public prosperity, enhances the pleasure which I should otherwise have experienced from your affectionate address.

I feel that my conduct, in war and in peace, has met with more general approbation than could reasonably have been expected and I find myself disposed to consider that fortunate circumstance, in a great degree, resulting from the able support and extraordinary candor of my fellow-citizens of all denominations.

The prospect of national prosperity now before us is truly animating, and ought to excite the exertions of all good men to establish and secure the happiness of their country, in the permanent duration of its freedom and independence. America, under the smiles of a Divine Providence, the protection of a good government, and the cultivation of manners, morals, and piety, cannot fail of attaining an uncommon degree of eminence, in literature, commerce, agriculture, improvements at home and respectability abroad.

As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.

I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind concern for me. While my life and my health shall continue, in whatever situation I may be, it shall be my constant endeavor to justify the favorable sentiments which you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.

G. Washington

His Holiness Pope Leo XIII of blessed memory recalled the attitude


Pope Leo XIII with Papal guard in the background - Circa 1890

of Washington towards Catholics in his encyclical (well worth the read)Longinqua:

“Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.”

On November 5, the anniversary of Washington dealing a death blow to an anti-Catholic celebration in this country, Catholics have good reason to echo the words of Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the father of (the great American General) Robert E. Lee, in his funeral eulogy of Washington in Congress on December 26, 1799: 

“First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”