Solemn Pontifical Mass in Rome

This morning in honor of the Feast day of  the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Franc Cardinal Rode, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, offered a Solemn Pontifcal Mass at Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini the church of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in Rome. 

More pictures at:

Cardinal Hoyos confers Sacrament of Confirmation at FSSP Parish in Rome

On December 5 in the Year of Our Lord 2009 His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission  Ecclesia Dei conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation for the FSSP at their Parish Church Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini in Rome.

For additional pictures visit their Parish website:

Cardinal Rode to offer Pontifical High Mass

On December 8 in the Year of our Lord 2009 His Eminence Franc Cardinal Rode, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, will offer a Pontifical High Mass at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini in honor of the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 10:30 am.  Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini is the parish church of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in Rome. 

Home page of Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini:


NY TIMES on Latin Mass

The New York Times


November 29, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor

Latin Mass Appeal


(Washington, DC) WALKING into church 40 years ago on this first Sunday of Advent, many Roman Catholics might have wondered where they were. The priest not only spoke English rather than Latin, but he faced the congregation instead of the tabernacle; laymen took on duties previously reserved for priests; folk music filled the air. The great changes of Vatican II had hit home.

All this was a radical break from the traditional Latin Mass, codified in the 16th century at the Council of Trent. For centuries, that Mass served as a structured sacrifice with directives, called “rubrics,” that were not optional. This is how it is done, said the book. As recently as 1947, Pope Pius XII had issued an encyclical on liturgy that scoffed at modernization; he said that the idea of changes to the traditional Latin Mass “pained” him “grievously.”

Paradoxically, however, it was Pius himself who was largely responsible for the momentous changes of 1969. It was he who appointed the chief architect of the new Mass, Annibale Bugnini, to the Vatican’s liturgical commission in 1948.

Bugnini was born in 1912 and ordained a Vincentian priest in 1936. Though Bugnini had barely a decade of parish work, Pius XII made him secretary to the Commission for Liturgical Reform. In the 1950s, Bugnini led a major revision of the liturgies of Holy Week. As a result, on Good Friday of 1955, congregations for the first time joined the priest in reciting the Pater Noster, and the priest faced the congregation for some of the liturgy.

The next pope, John XXIII, named Bugnini secretary to the Preparatory Commission for the Liturgy of Vatican II, in which position he worked with Catholic clergymen and, surprisingly, some Protestant ministers on liturgical reforms. In 1962 he wrote what would eventually become the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the document that gave the form of the new Mass.

Many of Bugnini’s reforms were aimed at appeasing non-Catholics, and changes emulating Protestant services were made, including placing altars to face the people instead of a sacrifice toward the liturgical east. As he put it, “We must strip from our … Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.” (Paradoxically, the Anglicans who will join the Catholic Church as a result of the current pope’s outreach will use a liturgy that often features the priest facing in the same direction as the congregation. )

How was Bugnini able to make such sweeping changes? In part because none of the popes he served were liturgists. Bugnini changed so many things that John’s successor, Paul VI, sometimes did not know the latest directives. The pope once questioned the vestments set out for him by his staff, saying they were the wrong color, only to be told he had eliminated the week-long celebration of Pentecost and could not wear the corresponding red garments for Mass. The pope’s master of ceremonies then witnessed Paul VI break down in tears.

Bugnini fell from grace in the 1970s. Rumors spread in the Italian press that he was a Freemason, which if true would have merited excommunication. The Vatican never denied the claims, and in 1976 Bugnini, by then an archbishop, was exiled to a ceremonial post in Iran. He died, largely forgotten, in 1982.

But his legacy lived on. Pope John Paul II continued the liberalizations of Mass, allowing females to serve in place of altar boys and to permit unordained men and women to distribute communion in the hands of standing recipients. Even conservative organizations like Opus Dei adopted the liberal liturgical reforms.

But Bugnini may have finally met his match in Benedict XVI, a noted liturgist himself who is no fan of the past 40 years of change. Chanting Latin, wearing antique vestments and distributing communion only on the tongues (rather than into the hands) of kneeling Catholics, Benedict has slowly reversed the innovations of his predecessors. And the Latin Mass is back, at least on a limited basis, in places like Arlington, Va., where one in five parishes offer the old liturgy.

Benedict understands that his younger priests and seminarians — most born after Vatican II — are helping lead a counterrevolution. They value the beauty of the solemn high Mass and its accompanying chant, incense and ceremony. Priests in cassocks and sisters in habits are again common; traditionalist societies like the Institute of Christ the King are expanding.

At the beginning of this decade, Benedict (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) wrote: “The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself.” He was right: 40 years of the new Mass have brought chaos and banality into the most visible and outward sign of the church. Benedict XVI wants a return to order and meaning. So, it seems, does the next generation of Catholics.

Kenneth J. Wolfe writes frequently for traditionalist Roman Catholic publications.

“Official” PCED guide to the Latin Mass

Cover dvd PCED2

 Our friends at Rinascimento Sacro inform us that the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” has made public its own guide for the celebration of the Mass in the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite, according to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
The guide is a 2-DVD production, with subtitles in English, French, Italian, and Spanish. The first DVD includes a full Missa Recitata, and some video excerpts of Missae Cantatae. The second DVD includes a proper teaching video, with explanations for the gestures and rubrics of the Mass, from the preparatio ad Missam to the post-Mass sacristy prayers.
At this moment, copies may be acquired directly from the PCED:

Other means of distribution will be available shortly.
Pontificia Commissione Ecclesia Dei – Palazzo della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede
Piazza del Sant’Uffizio, 11 – 00193 ROMA –
Tel. (Italy:39) 06/69885213 – 69885494 – Fax 69883412

Update on the TLM in Springfield, Illinois

 Mass trend: Latin making a comeback locally

Preface:  One can appreciate Mr. Steven Spearie’s efforts with writing about the Traditional Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrement in Springfield, Illinois.  However, his knowledge and understanding of the Traditional Latin Mass falls short.  He sure didn’t get his research from Father Arnaud Devillers, FSSP!  Yet, just enjoy the fact that the TLM is getting attention in a diocese that was once one of the greatest!  This church structure like many in the Springfield Diocese was altered to accomodate a completely different liturgy other than the one that it was built to serve.  If you’re from the Springfield Diocese, the like days of two of  Springfield’s finest, Monsignors Amos Giusti and James Suddes are returning! 

 By STEVEN SPEARIE, Correspondent


Posted Apr 26, 2009 @ 12:00 AM

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS – Early on a Saturday morning under the watchful gaze of archangels and the Gospel writers in a darkened church, a voice intones Hail Marys and Our Fathers with measured responses from a smattering across the church.

The Rev. Arnaud Devillers consecrates the host during a Latin Rite Mass at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The altar servers are John Bultmann, foreground, and Michael Lawless. Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register

The Rev. Arnaud Devillers consecrates the host during a Latin Rite Mass at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. The altar servers are John Bultmann, foreground, and Michael Lawless. Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register

Worshipers cross themselves with holy water and gather missals while some women pluck mantillas – lace head scarves – from a box sitting on a radiator. Altar servers, dressed in black cassocks and white surplices, ready the altar, pausing to genuflect ramrod-straight each time they pass in front of the tabernacle.

At precisely 7 a.m., the lights burst on at Blessed Sacrament, the bells chime and the Rev. Arnaud Devillers, flanked by the servers, comes out and heads immediately to the back altar near the tabernacle. Kneeling, with his back toward the congregation, he begins: “In nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.”

When Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic decree in July 2007 calling for wider implementation of the Traditional Latin Mass – also known as the Tridentine Mass or the Extraordinary Rite – he noted that it isn’t “a museum piece, but a living expression of Catholic worship.”

Largely hidden from Roman Catholics since the late 1960s as a result of Vatican II – a period of sweeping reforms in the Catholic church – the Latin Mass has slowly crept back onto the scene.

Not your everyday Mass

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Springfield has been the setting for weekly Latin Mass since Jan. 31; the Church of St. Rose of Lima Chapel in Quincy, where Devillers is chaplain, has offered Latin Masses since November.

Latin Masses in Springfield and Quincy have attracted moderately sized but fervent followings, ranging from those who preferred the pre-Vatican II rituals to those simply curious about the Mass. A 7 a.m. Saturday Mass recently drew about 50 people, where attendance has leveled off.

Since communion rails were removed from most Catholic churches, members of the congregation kneel in the front pew to receive the Eucharist. Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register

Since communion rails were removed from most Catholic churches, members of the congregation kneel in the front pew to receive the Eucharist. Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register

Like Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox rites, the priest mostly has his back to the congregation during the Latin Mass. Masses are punctuated with long silences and – unlike the Masses in English familiar to most area Catholics – an absence of congregational participation. Springfield’s Latin Mass has no music, while a full choir performs at Quincy’s weekly Mass.

Rosanne Wiatroliak, 48, of Springfield says she went to the Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrament “to see what I remembered (from my childhood.)

“I don’t remember being as separated from the Eucharistic celebration (as I did before),” she says. “I felt like a spectator this time around. It was harder to follow. I’ve gotten closer to understanding (the Latin) and following along. You really have to stay on your toes unless you’re fluent in it.”

“It’s a lot more contemplative,” says Jim Dodge, like Wiatroliak a Blessed Sacrament parishioner who lives in Springfield. The 41-year-old took some Latin in high school, but says he leans on a Latin-English missal to follow along.

An eye on the past

Under Pope Benedict’s personal decree, Summorum Pontificum, groups requesting the Latin Mass may approach a pastor who knows how to say one directly, bypassing the bishop.

While the rite has the enthusiastic support of Springfield Bishop George Lucas, it has created some controversy nationally, with some experts citing Pope Benedict’s aversion to modernism. There is speculation that it may pave the way for other conservative advances.

Devillers is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society founded with the endorsement of then-Pope John Paul II with the purpose of celebrating Mass “according to the traditional Roman Rite.”

Before that, Devillers was allied with excommunicated French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in the Society of St. Pius X. Lefebvre founded the society that opposes some of the modernizing reforms of Vatican II. But Devillers left that society in 1989, citing Lefebvre’s increasingly extremist views.

Lefebrve, who ordained Devillers, broke with the Vatican in 1988 when he illicitly consecrated four bishops, including Bishop Richard Williamson. Williamson has said the numbers of Jewish casualties in World War II were inflated. (Earlier this year, the Vatican lifted the ex-communications on all four bishops, though they are not in full communion with Rome.)

There is also the matter of practicality.

Few Springfield priests feel comfortable with the rite’s arcane rituals, or rubrics, with few having been trained in them.

The demand of other pastoral services, including Spanish-speaking Masses, may prevent already overworked priests from widely implementing the Latin Mass.

Bishop Lucas has periodically granted permission for Latin Masses. But they have been celebrated infrequently over the past decade in the Springfield diocese, which stretches from the Mississippi River towns of Quincy and Alton east to the Indiana border.

Devillers says Pope Benedict’s motivation in part was to reach out to conservative elements, such as the late Archbishop Lefebvre’s group, which still does not have normalized relations with Rome.

The misperception is that there is only “one rite,” or Mass in the local language, when there are in fact 22 “main rites,” Devillers says. More importantly, he adds, Vatican II never abolished the Latin Rite.

“What Pope Benedict is saying is if people are still interested in the Extraordinary Form, why not keep it?” Devillers says.

Liturgy expert Dennis Martin of Loyola University Chicago says the familiar Ordinary Rite, or Novus Ordo, was crafted by a liturgical commission after Vatican II. The idea, Martin says, was “a limited call for (liturgical) reform,” and Vatican II made no mention about totally eliminating the Latin Mass and replacing it with the locally spoken language.

A rare skill

Wearing his preferred long black cassock, Devillers says he has a two-pronged mission during his one-year trial run at Quincy: build the community at St. Rose of Lima Chapel and serve as a resource for priests from around the diocese who also might be interested in learning the Extraordinary Rite.

Devillers says a handful of priests – mostly younger ones – have approached him for instruction.

“The main difficulty is not the rubrics, it’s the Latin,” says Devillers, the former superior general of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

But adding Latin Masses – against the backdrop of overextended priests and other initiatives – is “always a concern,” Lucas admits, adding that it has to be judged “in terms of personnel and time.”

Even the Rev. David Hoefler, parochial administrator at Blessed Sacrament, says time hasn’t allowed him to follow through on Latin Mass instructions.

Blessed Sacrament did not add any Masses to accommodate the Latin Mass. The parish was already offering the Saturday morning service in English, so Devillers says Mass at a time when Catholics already were gathering to worship. Hoefler says for now the parish can’t add any more Masses, in Latin or English.

Diocesan personnel and others deny that the Latin Mass is dividing congregations or that groups are using their muscle to advance further causes.

“I hope that’s not the case (here),” says Rosanne Wiatroliak. “I don’t know and I can’t judge. It would be sad if someone used it that way.”

Devillers further denies that a sort of “ghetto Catholicism” is being built at St. Rose of Lima, which offers a wider range of Latin Masses and pre-Vatican II church. He points out that many people who come to the refurbished chapel – it is a former diocesan church but doesn’t have standing as a parish – belong to other parishes around Quincy, a largely Catholic town 115 miles west of Springfield.

“It’s the same faith, the same sacraments and the same sacrifice of the Mass,” Devillers says.

Jim Dodge says he doesn’t see any problem with the two forms of the Masses co-existing.

“To me, it’s the genius of the Catholic Church,” Dodge says. “It’s a ‘both and.’ It’s like the church’s view of celibacy and marriage. Both are positive goods.”

Steven Spearie can be reached at or 622-1788.

1570 – A new missal harmonizes prayers and rites at the Council of Trent
1962-65 – Second Vatican Council
1962 – Pope John XXIII promulgates a version of the Latin Mass
1969 – Pope Paul VI promulgates the Ordinary Rite, the English Mass, taking effect the next year.
1984 – The letter Quattuor Abhinc Annos empowers bishops to allow Latin Masses when requested.
2007 – Summorum Pontificum, or personal decree, issued by Pope Benedict XVI. Requests for the Latin Mass by “stable groups” should be honored locally.

* 7 a.m. Saturdays
* Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1725 S. Walnut St.

A special thanks to Father Arnaud Devillers for driving 114 miles from Quincy, IL to Springfield, IL on a regular basis.  Although your time and effort is much appreciated, your reward awaits you in the Kingdom to come! 

Appeal for Novena for the Pope Feb. 14 – 22


papa-roman-chasuble2Many of the faithful are aware of the opposition which the Holy Father has faced in his efforts to reconcile the Society of Pius X. The current pressure from the media and others seems to not only threaten Pope Benedict’s work with SSPX. It also seems as though some would like to see it work as a means to undermine his very teaching and governing authority for his pontificate.

Given these oppositions which the Holy Father faces; given the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s particular role in working as a bridge for those who have grown apart from the Church in the last forty years; finally, given that we hold St. Peter as our patron and have a particular attachment to his successor, the Fraterniy of St. Peter has asked all of its the members to offer increased prayers at this time for strength for Pope Benedict XVI.

A good number of priests and seminarians have contacted the General House to ask if the Fraternity could have particular prayers offered for this intention. All the members of the Fraternity are being asked to offer the following novena beginning on February 14 and concluding on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. All the faithful in the Apostolates are encouraged to join in these prayers and that the Masses on that Sunday (Quinquagesima) would be offered for this intention as well.


Pater Noster, 3 Ave Maria, Gloria Patri


Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory be.

V. Orémus pro Pontífice nostro Benedícto.R. Dóminus consérvet eum, et vivíficet eum, et beátum fáciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in ánimam inimicórum eius..V. Tu es Petrus.R. Et super hanc petram ædificábo Ecclésiam meam.


V: Let us pray for our Pope Benedict.R: May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.V. Thou art Peter,R. And upon this Rock, I will build My Church.



Orémus.Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, miserére fámulo tuo Pontífici nostro Benedícto : et dírige eum secúndum tuam cleméntiam in viam salútis ætérnæ : ut, te donánte, tibi plácita cúpiat, et tota virtúte perfíciat. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. R. Amen. 

Mater Ecclésiæ, ora pro nobis.

Sancte Petre, ora pro nobis.


Let us Pray,Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon your servant, Benedict, our Sovereign Pontiff, and guide him in your goodness on the way of eternal salvation; so that, with the prompting of your grace,  he may desire what pleases you and accomplish it with all his strength. Through
Christ Our Lord.

V. Mother of the Church. R. Pray for us

V. St. Peter. R. Pray for us