Chaplain’s Corner | Special Letter

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The Traditional Latin Mass in the Richmond District of San Francisco

 Dear Traditional Latin Mass Faithful and Friends,

Since Trinity Sunday, May 26, 2013, we have been able to have the Traditional Latin Mass at Star of the Sea Church, 4420 Geary Boulevard at 8th Avenue, San Francisco, every Sunday at 11:00 A.M. and on many special occasions.  We have recently received more good news.  With the full approval of the Archbishop on Monday, September 9th our daily 7:30 A.M. Mass will become a Traditional Latin Mass. In addition, I have also received the good news that Father William Young will begin on the same date a daily Traditional Latin Mass at noon at St. Monica Church, 470 24th Avenue at Geary Boulevard, our neighboring parish to the West.  We consider this development a privilege for our people and the Archdiocese.  Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has designated our parish as one of the Traditional Latin Mass sites for the archdiocese; we are the beneficiaries of his apostolic zeal for souls in what many in the Church call the New Evangelization.  I have been more than happy to obey his request of us.  I am asking your continued and full cooperation in hosting those from around the Bay Area who are coming to the Traditional Latin Mass.  Your continued kindness will go a long way in making the Mass succeed and building up a community of faith.  I want to remind you again of my full support of the Traditional Latin Mass; we are all privileged to have this beautiful, solemn, reverent way of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in our parishes.

Many are well aware that the first document of the Second Vatican Council Sacrosanctum Concilium, of December 4, 1963, almost fifty years ago, called for the restoration of the Sacred Liturgy.  In the United States the first changes in the way Mass was celebrated began on the First Sunday of Advent in 1964.  At first, changes were made in the rite of the Mass as it was then known.  In late 1969, a new Order of Mass (Novus Ordo), for a new and revised Roman Missal (Missale Romanum), was introduced by order of Pope Paul VI.  This new missal was in Latin and then was translated into English, and on Palm Sunday 1970 it was introduced in American churches.  At first the impression was given that this reform would completely replace the form of the Mass as it had been known before 1969, and which was well known by Catholics throughout the world for hundreds of years.

In the early 1980’s Blessed John Paul II began a restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass.  Then definitively in 2007, just six years ago, Pope Benedict XVI made it clear in an official decree that the old style Mass was actually never abrogated.  The official position of the Church is that both the older form and the newer form are equally and genuinely approved and Catholic and are good as long as no abuses are permitted.  Consequently, we now have two forms of the Roman Rite:  the Extraordinary Form, using the traditional Roman Missal last published by Blessed John XXIII in 1962; and what is called the Ordinary Form, using the Roman Missal first issued by Pope Paul VI in 1969, now in its third edition published by Blessed John Paul II in 2000 and very slightly amended by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

Therefore, it is not acceptable Catholic thinking to say that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it was commonly celebrated before and actually during the Second Vatican Council is suppressed, inferior to the new, or that it should be disdained, mocked, and rejected as out of date or out of step with the Church in the Modern world. The Catholic Church embraces many different rites, or ways, to celebrate the same Eucharistic Sacrifice.

The celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is guided by two Roman documents:  the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.   Copies of these are still available in the rectory of Star of the Sea Church, or from the Traditional Latin Mass Society, for those who wish to read them for a modest donation of $5.00 each.  Other materials are now available for those who wish to study and better participate in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. For example, we have an ample supply of beautiful, leatherette bound, gilt edged, newly re-printed Daily Latin-English hand missals at the deeply discounted price of only $35.00.  All are encouraged to read the informative and well-written pamphlet The Extraordinary Form of the Mass Explained  by Fr. Richard Whinder, and the brand new Saints of the Roman Canon by Julien Chilcott-Monk from the Catholic Truth Society.  These are also available from us.  For children we recommend the comic book style publication Know Your Mass by Father Demetrius Manousos in full colour.   Many adults have also enjoyed this lovely reprint.

I wish to offer special thanks to all those who have assisted in promoting the Traditional Latin Mass, especially the members of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco.  I hope that you can come to our first High Mass followed by an Italian lunch (for just $15.00, see details elsewhere) at Star of the Sea on Saturday, September 14th at 10:00 A.M. on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. The Stella Maris Schola under the direction of Peter Ujj will provide the music.  Here is a great time for us to get together to enjoy fellowship, great food, and above all pray together.  I also encourage you to come to our first Solemn High Mass on Wednesday, October 2nd at 6:00 P.M. on the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, followed by refreshments.  The music will be provided by the Golden Gate Catholic Boys Choir.  They will sing Hans Leo Hassler’s Missa Secunda.  There is plenty of parking for these events behind the church.  Enter through the gates on 8th Avenue.  The Laurel School parking lot may also be used.

We have so much more to do in promoting authentic Sacred Liturgy and authentic renewal as requested by the Second Vatican Council.  We have just begun.  In this Year of Faith let us recommit ourselves to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His bride, Our Holy Mother the Church.

In Domino Dominaque,

Father Mark G. Mazza, Chaplain

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