17 August 2007

The Restoration's New Phase-- Two Rural StL Parishes to Provide Weekly Traditional Mass

From the article in the St. Louis Review:

Two rural parishes planning to begin weekly Latin Mass in fall

by Jean M. Schildz, Review Staff Writer

St. Joseph Parish in Apple Creek and sister parish St. Maurus in Biehle plan to celebrate a regular weekly Tridentine Latin Mass beginning this fall.

An 11:15 a.m. Sunday Latin Mass will be celebrated on a rotating basis alternating months at the two Perry County parishes. The first Latin Mass is set to take place Nov. 4 at St. Maurus.

Father Anthony A. Dattilo, pastor of both parishes, will celebrate the Mass.

It is being added at the request of parishioners, he told the Review in an interview this week.
His decision to add the Mass has received "a very positive response," he said.

Father Dattilo noted there has been strong interest for some time at the two parishes to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. Some parishioners, he said, had asked that the Latin Mass be celebrated even before last month’s release of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter "Summorum Pontificum," which allows for greater use of the Tridentine Mass.

Priests who wish to say the Tridentine Mass no longer have to first receive permission from their bishop, according to the pope’s pronouncement.

Father Dattilo said he and his parishioners prayed for this. "I see it as important. It’s a liturgical tradition of the Church that’s beautiful and holy, and I think a lot of people prayed for it. It’s not something that just dropped out of the skies. I thought I’d be an old man before this would happen. People desired this."

The closest regular Latin Mass within the archdiocese for his parishioners has been at St. Francis de Sales Oratory in South St. Louis. A weekly Tridentine Mass has not been celebrated regularly in Perry County for years. Sts. Joseph and Maurus are part of the archdiocese’s Ste. Genevieve Deanery, which encompasses the southernmost point of the archdiocese.

The Latin Mass at the two churches will be offered in addition to the regular Sunday Masses. "The English Mass, or new order of the Mass, will stay the same. We’re adding a Mass, not deleting or changing one," Father Dattilo stressed.


What draws him to the Latin rite is "the reverence in it. Everything is so directed toward God. It could be in any language as far as I’m concerned." He also appreciates the silence during the Mass, adding that "the mystery of faith comes across."

The 45-year-old priest admits he needs "to brush up on the Mass," as he wrote in a recent parish bulletin. Father Dattilo said he learned part of the rite a long time ago and now has to relearn it. Ordained in 1990, he first attended a Tridentine Mass at St. Agatha in South St. Louis when he was a seminarian. The Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Bernard E. Granich. "He was the first one that I ever saw celebrate the Tridentine Mass. It was very beautiful," he recalled.

Father Dattilo plans to get some personal training in the rite and also has found helpful resources on the Internet.

Missals and servers’ books from Ecclesia Dei of Chicago have been purchased to train servers and others. Instruction on how to say the Latin prayers, for example, is given phonetically in the materials. A St. Maurus parishioner who served at Latin Mass as a youngster will assist in the training. Another St. Maurus parishioner has volunteered to be a cantor. Father Dattilo is hoping others join her from both parishes to form a choir.

Both parish churches, he added, are suited for a Latin Mass "because they’re old-fashioned churches." Very minimal changes were needed, he said.
Wonderful news, and wonderful story. God bless this priest and his parishioners. It is nice to see that first parish community go out and be the cutting edge for the success of the motu proprio and the restoration of the sacred in our liturgies. There were also two positive letters about the traditional Mass in the Review today. Kudos to the editor.

Note, that Father is young; he was furthermore exposed to the traditional Mass in his seminary days. This is how souls are won-- people of a good will who come to the traditional Mass are affected by it. The seeds we plant now will bear great fruit.

Note, too, that his parishioners requested it, and that he "willingly accede[d]" to their request, as Summorum Pontificum directs. Great, great news.

Anybody who wants to volunteer to serve, sing, or otherwise support this priest and parish should do so. The phone number, from the Archdiocesan website, is (573) 788-2330.


wolftracker said...

We hicks now how it should be done.

Seriously, this is excellent news. Quite often is the older, rural churches that are most suited for the TLM (since they were built for it and often left unwreckovated). The suburban mindset and architecture presents challenges altogether different.

Latinmassgirl said...

This is wonderful news! I'm not surprised that it is a rural parish.

There is a parish out by Wentzville that has a priest who occasionally celebrates the Novus Ordo in Latin. Many of his parishioners wear veils also. They may be next.

Zach said...

That's wonderful! But, then again, St. Louis is wonderful. Now you need to try to get the Institute to convince Archbishop Burke to have the traditional Mass at the shrine of St. Joseph!