I’m on a road trip to the southwest…that began on May 8th.
I was in Phoenix and Tucson Arizona for a week. I made my rounds with the traditional groups and priests there. First stop was at St Catherine of Sienna in Phoenix. St Catherine of Sienna is a growing Hispanic parish with two priests that celebrate the Latin Mass and preach in Spanish. Fr Peter Carota of the Stockton Diocese is assisting with the Tridentine Masses for close to a year now. It was great seeing him again. The last time we met was on Thanksgiving Day 2013 when the TLMS brought liturgical items he needed to celebrate the EF Mass at San Juan Bautista Mission.
I attended the EF Mass on May 10th then I went out with Fr Carota for breakfast. We reminisced on how we met in Rome! Then he was telling me that he is trying to start an “Order”, St Pius V. His order would help introduce the Traditional Latin Mass to priests and
laity alike. Please pray for the success of his order. Back at the parish, he introduced me to people involved in the youth group. I took away from the meeting many ideas that hopefully we could start in San Francisco since there is no youth group for traditionalists. On the day the black mass was to happen, Fr Carota, after the EF Mass had a Holy Hour of Reparation.
On Mother’s Day…Sunday May 11th, I drove 2 hours to Tucson to attend the EF High Mass at Holy Family Church, St Gianna Oratory run by the Institute of Christ the King. Canon Richard von Menshengen is the Rector of St. Gianna Oratory and Parish Administrator of Holy Family Catholic Church. I asked permission to video record the Mass, and permission was granted by Canon. It will be posted on YouTube when I return to San Francisco. Photos are online already.
It was a beautiful Mass as always. There’s something about the ICKSP when they celebrate the Holy Mass. There are two Sunday Masses that are well attended. The Low Mass was standing room only. The High Mass also had a good turnout. There are daily Masses also with about 15 people in attendance. I passed out our bulletin and our TLMS prayer cards to the parishioners, letting them know about the Society, website and the good work being done in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Many were shocked that the Latin Mass was even in San Francisco! They were also glad to know that there are so many EF Masses available.
After the Latin Mass, I got a picture of Canon and myself with our bulletin. I took a chance and invited Canon to lunch…he accepted!! Before heading to the restaurant, I was given a royal tour of the “rectory” though he doesn’t live there. It’s mainly the office now since it was condemned. Canon is quite a bargain shopper, purchasing beautiful items at a cut rate to decorate the “office rectory”. At the restaurant, I showed him our website and I was telling Canon what the mission of the Society is about, what we do, and our goals. He was impressed and very happy that the Society is out there evangelizing the Latin Mass. He even wanted extra prayer cards and bulletins! Before the day was over, Canon blessed my truck! How cool was that! Never expected that at all….and of course I got a blessing too!
Canon von Menshengen is a very good and holy priest. He and Canon Olivier Meney (Oakland, CA) were ordained together. Canon von Menshengen may be visiting San Francisco Bay Area next year. Please pray for many good and holy priests for the Institute of Christ the King.
Next day, May 12th, was a visit to the FSSP in Phoenix. Fr Joseph Terra is pastor at Mater Misericordiae Mission. I met Fr Terra a few months ago at a funeral in Oakland. I didn’t recognize him at first because he was sporting the beard. Now Fr Terra is clean shaven. He was a trucker before he had his calling to the priesthood. What was a real shock to me was when I was given a tour of the church and rectory, is that he is running a sweat shop!!! Yup…vestments, cassocks and surplices were being made in one the rooms in the rectory. And who is the person making them….it’s Fr Terra! His work is very impressive. I took many photos of his work. Wow…I’m still shocked that he made all of his own vestments right down to his fascia. I asked if he would make a complete set of vestments for us….but alas we cannot afford it….perhaps we could get some donations???
Next stop…San Antonio, Texas
May 16th, I attended an Anglican Use Mass. Thanks to Fr Patrick Fenton from Tyler, Tx, a Facebook friend, who told me about it because there are no daily EF Masses in San Antonio. Fr. Christopher Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church and Academy in San Antonio, Texas. The parish has roughly 600 families and still growing. Speaking with Fr Christopher Phillips after Mass, he tells me he was a former episcopal priest. Came into the church with his family in the early 80’s. He is married with five children and he’s a grandfather. His parish and school are still growing…in fact he is in the process of expanding the school.
The Mass today was a school Mass in Latin and ad orientem. The school choir chanting sacred music along with the school children in elementary and high school. The children were all responding in Latin. It was great to see the children in uniform, girls with skirts below the knee and boys dressed in a tie and blazer. About 90% are catholic. If they are not catholic they still must attend Mass and study the catholic curriculum. Some eventually do convert to Catholicism, after all they are living the faith in school.
The Mass itself was beautiful. A deacon was assisting along with several altar BOYS. The altar boys genuflect not bowing, they are paying attention to the Mass, Mass is chanted, the priest is wearing a maniple, the fingers of the priest after consecrating are together. Did I mention the Mass was in Latin! When it came to Holy Communion, there was NO EOMHC present (thank God). Another priest came to assist with Holy Communion. Everyone knelt for Communion at the rail and received on the tongue. It was awesome!
This is how the Novus Ordo should be celebrated. Just think if every Catholic parish celebrates Mass as it was intended to be celebrated…we would have parishes over flowing like Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church.
May 18th, I’m in Dallas now!
My son graduated from the University of Dallas! This is a great university to send your children to if you want a solid catholic education. The commencement speaker for the class of 2014 was George Weigel, a well known apologist. Also present at the commencement were two bishops, Bishop Michael Olson, Diocese of Fort Worth and Bishop Kevin Farrell, Diocese of Dallas.
That same day since it was Sunday, we still had to attend Mass after the commencement. The only EF Mass offered early in the evening was in Fort Worth Texas. St Mary of the Assumption Church is a beautiful church. It was great seeing long lines for confession. Even children were going to confession. Fr. Philip Wolfe, FSSP, was in the confessional (for approximately 2 hours!) until the last person went to confession. Fr. Thomas Longua, FSSP Chaplain, celebrated the evening Low Mass. His sermon was about apostolic succession. I wished I had recorded it.
Please see our website for more photos from each of the places I have visited -http://wwww.sanctatrinitasunusdeus.com. SmugMug account
Your sister in Christ,
Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco