22 January 2015

St. Barnabas Parish in O'Fallon Now Offers the Traditional Mass on Sundays

Jennifer Brinker of The St. Louis Review has the good news: the Traditional Latin Mass is again on the grow in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. This is a very welcome development, consistent with the stated expectations of Summorum Pontificum, in the Northwest portion of the Archdiocese, and with the exemplary cooperation of many. The parish wanted it, the pastor sought to serve his parishioners, the Archbishop blessed it, the Institute of Christ the King gave its practical support, and the Church as a whole benefits.

Very welcome indeed. This kind of development is possible at the parish level. Though (in my opinion) nothing can beat the majesty and beauty of the Oratory and the Institute's loving and meticulous care of the liturgy, it is a simple fact that the Mass of the Ages is the right and patrimony of every single Catholic wherever they live. It could and should, in time, be celebrated everywhere.

I will excerpt portions of the in-depth article below. If you are pleased with this development, I am sure that letters of thanks to the priest and the Archbishop would be well received and encouraging:


With a single intoning of the bell, Mass had begun at St. Barnabas.

But this was no Ordinary Form of the Mass.

"In Nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti ..."

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass -- better known as the Traditional or Tridentine Latin Mass -- is being celebrated at the northern O'Fallon parish. In January, Father Raymond Hager began offering the Mass at 10 a.m. on Sundays, after a group of parishioners wrote a letter last January requesting it.

At one of the first Masses, the pews in the modest church were about three quarters full with at least 300 people -- the church seats about 450; the parking lot was nearly filled to capacity. There was a mixture of young and old, middle-aged -- some who had lived in the boundaries of St. Barnabas but attended the Latin Mass at other churches, and some who were new or had not participated in this form of the Mass since before the Second Vatican Council. Some had come from nearby communities including Warrenton, Millwood and Wright City.

"At the first Mass, people had tears in their eyes," said Father Hager. He said that all of this is "directed toward God and what's called the 'mysterium tremendum,' or the tremendous mystery. The sense of the sacred, and the mystery of God becoming present in His most sacred Body and Blood is proclaimed profoundly in and through the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.


Ordained in 1997, Father Hager taught himself how to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Born in 1960, he has no memories of going to the Traditional Latin Mass as a child. As a seminarian, he would occasionally visit St. Agatha, where the Latin Mass was offered in St. Louis at the time. "I was blown away by the beauty and sacredness of the liturgy," he said.

The process of learning the language and rubrics took several months. Father Hager approached Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, who connected him with Canon Michael Wiener, rector of St. Francis de Sales Oratory, one of two churches designated specifically for the Latin Mass in St. Louis. Canon Wiener, the episcopal delegate for the implementation of the Traditional Latin Mass in the archdiocese, offered his guidance.


In December, before several members of the parish and finance councils, Canon Wiener and others, Father Hager celebrated the Mass for the first time. There were very few corrections to make, according to Canon Wiener.

"I think it speaks to the spiritual solidity of the spiritual life of the archdiocese," said Canon Wiener. "It's a sign of the normality that these Masses are offered in both forms of the one Roman rite. As the archbishop emphasizes, it should be done well; if it's done well, it's extremely edifying and beneficial for the faithful and a great source of consolation and edification. The rite is full of beautiful and rich symbolisms of the truth of our faith. Every Mass recapitulates the life of Christ, His suffering and resurrection."

Father Hager said he had once been approached by Catholics to offer the Latin Mass when he was pastor at Sacred Heart in Elsberry. "But what I found is it was really coming from outside of the parish, and not the parishioners. Here it's the opposite. I am called to serve my parishioners, and if they're wanting this, if I could possibly do it, I'm going to do it for them."


Read the whole article. Congratulations to St. Barnabas!


Barto the Second Footman said...

I'm afraid that this event will be scrutinized carefully when it comes time to make decisions about who will and will not be getting a red hat in the future. Therefore, one can only view this as a self-sacrificial act on the part of our shepherd.

Matt OCDS said...

Praise God, and thanks for Archbishop! The more, the merrier! (Or should that be the more, the more orthodox?).


thetimman said...

Barto, I don't think the Archbishop of Saint Louis is a position that will earn anyone a Cardinal's hat for the foreseeable future. I think His Grace was just ably doing his job, which is good enough.

Jeanne Holler said...

I plan to go out there and take part and support this Latin Mass...I have friends and relatives who live within walking distance ...so I will ask them if they would like to attend ! Thanks be to God this is GREAT NEWS!