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Extraordinary Form for Extraordinary Parish

With little fanfare or theatrics, the Pope's motu proprio is opening doors.

St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church in Dix Hills, NY was founded in 1965 with the Parish building completed in 1968. The church was built at the height of the architectural and liturgical innovation and frankly does not look like the poster child for the 'reform of the reform'. Looks can be deceiving.

Through a series providential pastoral appointments and a tenacious tradition minded membership, St. Matthew's has been preserved from some of the worst excesses of the last 40 years. Starting with the founding pastor Msgr. Goggin, continuing with Msgr. McDonald, and now with Fr. John McCartney, St. Matthew's has been blessed with a succession of orthodox pastors with a great deal of common sense. As a result, St. Matthew's is one of the only parishes around that has retained the tabernacle at the center of the church and a frequently used communion rail. It is the parish that I grew up in. I frequently tell my mother, who still lives in the parish, that she does not know how blessed she is. Now comes further proof in the weekly bulletin.

In July, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, issued a document called a motu proprio, instructing pastors to provide the Tridentine Mass (the pre-Vatican II Mass) for their parishioners who request it. For some four years now we have offered the Novus Ordo Mass (the Mass of Vatican II) celebrated in Latin each week with music provided by our Gregorian Schola. Because I have received so many letters from parishioners requesting the Tridentine Mass, I am happy to announce that the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass in the chapel will become a weekly Tridentine Mass. The first Mass of this “extraordinary form” of the liturgy will be celebrated by Msgr. Vincent Keane on Sunday, September 16, 2007. It will be a learning process for both priests and people, and there may be some bumps along the way. But I am very happy to be able to offer this Mass, so important in our Catholic tradition, to those who desire it. I have been studying the liturgy, and look forward to being able to celebrate the Mass myself soon.
So this is what happened at St. Matthew’s over the summer vacation. Let us pray that God will continue to bless us so that we may continue His work as we begin another new year.
-Fr. McCartney

They are converting their Latin Novus Ordo mass into the extraordinary form, you do not hear that every day. This is a real blessing to the parish and to the diocese. Before now, the TLM was only offered each Sunday in one location and once a month in another. Neither location was easy to get to for many Long Islanders who would need to travel upwards of 1-2 hours each way to attend. I am not sure if any other parishes will on Long Island currently plan to also have the TLM, but I will try to find out. In the meantime, you know where I will be this Sunday.

Once again, I need to remind my mother how blessed she is.

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3 comments:

Mike B. said...

As a native of Queens, NY (one who frequently drives up to NYC to visit my parents), I am happy to hear of this development out on the Island. By all means let us know if other churches on LI (and perhaps in Queens and Brooklyn?) will soon be offering TLM.

Mike

Dominic said...

I am happy that the parish is taking advantage of the provisions of the motu proprio, but it is disheartening to hear that this is at the expense of the Novus Ordo Latin Mass. I hope this won't become the norm for other parishes.

Fr Z and other commentators rightly note that it is hoped the extraordinary form of the Mass will have a gravitational pull on the ordinary form. It would totally undermine one of the key purposes of the motu proprio if it were thought that Latin was only for the extraodinary form, and the vernacular for the ordinary.

With the motu proprio we should hope for MORE Latin in the ordinary form - and this won't be achieved if we abandon those Masses already being celebrated well in Latin.

Patrick Archbold said...

Dominic,
I understand your point but I think it is a matter of logistics. There is a very full mass schedule and finding another time would be difficult. Further, I venture to say that most of those attending the latin novus ordo would likely attend the TLM anyway. Remember, this starts with baby steps. Give it a chance to exert its influence. This is the work of a generation.

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