Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

An Expanded Comment on “TLM and STA – together?”

August 13th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I had promised in the post on TLM and STA   to add my comments to the others.  Then I realized that I had more that I wanted to say (and some pictures to share) so here is a post instead.  Do look at the Bernie’s beautiful pictures of STA, shown below, and please read the original post which follows further below if you have not already done so.  And add your thoughts and comments to the collection basket at St. Stan’s this weekend, as Fr. Bonsignore requested.



I’ve been pondering for several days how to comment on this risk, opportunity, and challenge.  And, indeed, it is all three!  But first I want to share something that happened on Tuesday, July 29th.  I was driving from Rochester to Boston on a business trip, and stopped off in Fonda, N.Y., the location of the National Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.  I have a heart for the people of STA, even though I have only been to Mass there a few times.  But my own experience under pastoral planning, the suffering of my own community (Our Lady of the Lakes, OLOL) under less than honest leadership, erroneous financial analysis, and soul-rending manipulations which deeply wounded many relationships during diocesan-driven pastoral planning, perhaps give me a better understanding for what the STA community has endured, and a realization of what they would face in re-entering the larger parish at whose hands they’ve suffered.  I’ll say more about my own experience when appropriate, but now only share that unless one has walked in these moccasins, one just can’t know the pain.

Chapel at the National Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Sanctuary at the National Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Arriving in Fonda, I had at first no particular agenda, except to visit where I’d never been and to pray for the people of STA.  Somehow, during prayer, I found myself asking St. Kateri to “let go” of STA, that it might be freed and once again become a strong, vibrant and faithful witness to God.  It wasn’t that I thought St. Kateri had done anything to “take over” STA, only that the forced, new parish structure is under her patronage.  Therefore, there was some legitimacy in asking her for this deliverance.  I hadn’t gone to Fonda intending to pray this particular way, it happened during prayer and it felt right and appropriate to me then and now.  In learning more of Kateri’s own story, I now know she was treated poorly by her contemporaries due to her conversion to Christianity and her deepening love of Jesus.  The faithful of STA have much in common with Kateri, and perhaps she has a heart for them too.


St. Kateri Prayer Alcove

St. Kateri Prayer Alcove

While there, I knew of the TLM meeting, less than two weeks away, but it was far from my consciousness as I prayed for STA.  I want to make it very clear that in no way do I think my prayer, simple and short as it was, had any impact except for me.  Obviously, the wheels were already in motion by the Lord.  But I do think it is a gift when He invites us into the stream of His work, even when we don’t know what we are doing!  After Fonda, I got to spend a few hours in Auriesville at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs, another beautiful experience.  And I have been carrying the relic card of St. Kateri ever since this trip.  Imagine how surprised I was last Sunday when Fr. Bonsignore related Bishop Matano’s proposal to reopen STA in conjunction with the TLM community.  Now for some thoughts on risk, opportunity and challenges.


  1. RISK:  TLM community began by taking a major risk 21 years ago.  At any moment the prior bishop could have withdrawn permission, which was needed before Pope Benedict gave all priests the right to celebrate Mass in the EF.  At any moment, the hospitality of St. Stanislaus community to TLM could have been withdrawn.  Without the ability to strongly build community, everything could have eroded and lost vitality.  That TLM has survived to this point is, I believe, a testimony to the Holy Spirit’s care and tending.  We have never been orphans.  Risk?  The greatest risk is NOT to flow where the Holy Spirit wants to carry us.  But, of course, we must pray mightily to discern if and where He is carrying us.  With so much that has been so right in just over 7 months of Bishop Matano’s shepherding, we already have a very strong indication that we can trust where the Holy Spirit is leading this local church.


  1. OPPORTUNITY:  We have the opportunity to be a blessing to others, not only for ourselves.  Who would have ever thought that adding TLM would be an answer to the prayers of a Novus Ordo Community?  Doesn’t it simply show that we are all one in the Body of Christ? We are Catholics!  It is perfectly reasonable that not all plans are in place at this time, cost of roof repairs, moving the high altar back into place,* financing and so much more.  Open and generous hearts should be able to show their gratitude by working out these details. Let us not think too small, too meagerly.  Let us not be like Peter who doubted and began to sink, but rather to know that the Lord’s arm is there for us, to bear us up.   Sometimes parish communities take on aspects of their patron saints.  As Saint Thomas himself showed, it is easy to doubt, but how much greater is the lesson he brought to us about trust.  That is what the STA people have done for 4 years, what we have done for 21 years.  My Lord and my God!  This character of both communities bodes well for working together.  We have suffered; we have been blessed.  It is impossible to imagine all that could be at this point, but it is an opportunity to show what people rooted in the Faith can do together in Jesus Name when the machinations of the prior farce of diocesan “pastoral planning” is not present in the situation.   And that leads me to the challenges, and the practical implications.  *deletion is made with apologies for the confusion, and thanks to Monk for calling my attention to it.  Apparently there have been no changes to the Sanctuary, and I misunderstood that the “table” altar (my words, just to be descriptive) has been used for both the EF and for the Novus Ordo.  On the prior post, further comments on the altar, and other questions, have been added in replying to Monk’s post.  dh


  1. CHALLENGES:  And first, another preface.  We all have our opinions on these matters, and of course I will express mine as well (never having been good at NOT expressing my opinion!)  Opinion is just that, opinion.  But I will also venture to offer advice, based on experience and not merely opinion.  As background, I’ve spent over 30 years in strategic planning, mergers, financial analysis etc.  I can’t ignore what I have learned from that and it would be unjust for me to do so.  And having had the personal experience of the wounding of communities and souls in the unfair and manipulative way in which the Rochester Diocese carried out its “pastoral planning” in the past, it is natural to reach some conclusions.  I’m going to state these in the way I would if I were consulting with a client, trying to successfully merge organizations or cultures, but applied to TLM and STA.


    1. Act with timeliness.  Time works against successful merging of cultures; i.e. the longer it takes, the less likely it will be successful.  GE used to have a formula that required start-to-completion in 100 days or less, credited for much success.  On the other hand, the OLOL parish took 36 months of discussion before even having the first set of recommendations!  It was a disaster.  No plan will be perfect, but most things can be corrected.  Loss of time can never be corrected.  It has no shelf life.  And much else is neglected as time passes.
    2. Participants need to have a stake.  If this merging of TLM into STA is to happen, knowledgeable and focused individuals who have a STAKE IN ITS SUCCESS need to evaluate the information, make decisions and recommendations to Fr. Bonsignore and to Bishop Matano.  Many (though not all) of the problems I witnessed in OLOL were related to diocesan staff who seemed poorly equipped and without a strategic bone in their bodies, and who burdened the process with their own personal problems, using trite high-school facilitation methods to build lukewarm consensus that did not reflect the needs or cares of the community.  If one of those diocesan facilitators is involved in the TLM/STA process I would predict a very poor outcome.  I have seen that those who have only their own meager raises and employee evaluations as a stake in the process have already destroyed much that was good with false financial statements, repeated lies and sham consulting.  It is bad enough when church communities and liturgical space are destroyed for the sake of someone’s bragging rights, but injury to souls is beyond calculation.
    3. Transparency should be the rule of the process.  That means transparency in and completeness of financial statements, openly giving input (as we are right now), and fair and honorable communications.  What I had witnessed previously failed on all counts.  A key question related to STA is to honestly and openly determine to which church the funds taken from STA really belong.  If there were any fraud in the transfers, it should be undone.  It should be righteously re-distributed.


In my OPINION, the above REALITIES lead to the conclusion that the failed process in so-called pastoral planning (which I experienced elsewhere and which many STA parishioners say they experienced previously in their own community) is a warning sign that St. Thomas the Apostle should be stand-alone from St. Kateri Tekakwitha.  The challenges of working with all the St. Kateri parishes (without TLM) would be overwhelmingly difficult.  With TLM, perhaps it is impossible.  To expect people to come back together again who have participated in an opaque and warped process which ignored them and destroyed their church community is asking too much and an unnecessary burden on TLM.  If this were a business situation, I would strongly advise against it.  And although we are all called to forgiveness, we are not called to stupidity.  We are not called to wasting time and effort and losing the opportunity the Holy Spirit seems to be offering us.  (On a more mundane level, as the saying goes, lied to once shame on you; lied to twice, shame on me.)


For example, with multiple churches involved and having similar votes in parish council, parish councils then can veto just about anything.  This would be a great danger to TLM as well as to STA .  The process and structure has already shown itself untrustworthy.  Moreover, and I am being very frank, the fingers from outside STA point to both Basilians, Father Tanck and Father English, as having been obstructive and non-cooperative with the people of STA, ignoring needs and/or taking punishing actions.  The story is told, for example, of STA finally getting long-awaited approval to hold a funeral Mass in the (closed) church.  So, accordingly, the church was opened, but the bathroom was locked.  There are many stories and many injuries.  It is not my purpose to reopen old wounds, but four years without healing or restoration, and without any visible CARING about healing, have very likely put achieving reconciliation beyond human reach.  Moreover, even if it were achievable, such efforts would dilute the attention needed on the serious merging of STA and TLM, putting that entire endeavor at risk.  It seems most logical to leave the current active St. Kateri churches under Fr. English, and provide new pastoring (without the baggage) to someone who can be consistently committed to realizing the opportunity being offered, fair to both communities, and who can build trust.

In conclusion, I hope that all our attention, recommendations and comments won’t just be on the survival and thriving of TLM.  The people and parish of St. Stanislaus offered us shelter for these many years and, costs/expenses notwithstanding, we should be grateful for the opportunity we had, and recognize that removing our financial support is bound to create a financial challenge for St. Stan’s.  Let’s not leave them out of our prayers.


Chapel at The National Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Fonda, NY

Chapel at The National Shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Fonda, NY



37 Responses to “An Expanded Comment on “TLM and STA – together?””

  1. Sid says:

    Do I get to comment first? Diane put a lot of time into her thoughtful posting, so I’m sure she would appreciate some feedback, folks.

    Diane has a lot of nice points. Here’s my perspective as a former LMC member who only left (hopefully temporarily) when the 1:30 Mass time stopped working with a young family (try as one might, post-lunch nap times cannot move or you will regret it).

    We are blessed with a bishop who sincerely cares about his flock. He is to be applauded for seeing that former STA members are energetic, enthusiastic, orthodox Catholics who have been rather disaffected by the parish-shufflings/shutterings in Irondequoit. He would like to do these loyal members of the Church militant right and (re)establish a more conservative parish for them. The kernel of former STA people are still there and the church itself has not been shuttered that long. Here’s the problem: It’s an *enormous* megachurch with additional structures to support, and lament it as we may, there are not THAT many conservative Catholics in this long liberally-shepherded diocese. I think the Bishop probably realizes for the culture reasons Diane and others mention, the “new STA” needs to stand on its own, not be a part of St. Kateri. So, where to find an additional conservative parishioner base? Hmmmm…. OK, the LMC at St. Stanislaus might be a good fit, right? So they have been asked to be a part of the STA reboot, to help round out the finances.

    The Bishop’s heart is truly in the right place, but this plan goes off the rails a bit in a few areas:
    1. I suspect the LMC people are still going to play second fiddle to the STA core, many of whom are locals with longstanding history in the parish, THEIR parish. Despite best intents from everyone, the two groups will be “equals”, like England and Scotland are “equals” in Great Britain. The LMC is dreaming if it thinks otherwise. I’m not saying this is anyone’s plan, but that will happen, unless LMC has much bigger membership base and wants to take an active role in the parish itself (something they did not do at St. Stan’s, see #3 below).

    2. No matter how it is analyzed, this arrangement totally sticks it to St. Stanislaus. Diane mentions this and she is right. St. Stan’s has been very gracious in the past arrangement and it has benefited both parties tremendously. This will be a significant financial hit to St. Stanislaus that cannot be made up by purchasing a couple extra pierogis at their annual festival. It saddens me to see St. Stan’s parish hung out to dry after all the hard work and finances that have poured into preserving and restoring that magnificent building and their gracious hosting of the LMC over the years.

    3. I know people talk about “two cultures” between St. Stan’s and the LMC, but I think a lot of that may come from the LMC folks who have never made an honest effort to be part of St. Stan’s. When I look at St. Stan’s bulletins, I see the Latin Masses listed on their regular Mass schedules (it doesn’t just say “rented out” or whatever) . It’s also posted on the sign outside the parish, and there are even Latin Mass pictures on their web site. I can see no evidence “two parishes here” expressed by them, at least not openly. Perchance it’s the LMC that needed to try harder to be part of St. Stan’s?

    4. Geographically, STA is even further removed from the center of population. OK, it’s only 10 minutes north of St. Stan’s, but if you are hoping to draw parishioners from all over, it’s still the wrong direction.

    5. Sorry, but the STA church itself is ugly, at least in the minds of people interested in preserving tradition. I read Bernie’s superb posting on the stained glass and architecture and despite his fine writing, I find it the last place I would want ever want to be for a EF Mass. Well, maybe second from the bottom, after St. Pius X. Bernie coyly remarks STA “explores modern materials and expression”. Precisely. If you want your Traditional Latin Mass celebrated in such a place, you are probably also prefer the artists Kandinsky and Klee over Titian and Caravaggio. Can you do a licit EF Mass there? Well, sure you can, but it’s really suboptimal. Compare it to St. Stan’s and I think you will find that the grass is NOT greener in northern Irondequoit.

    SUMMARY on the proposal:
    • great for the former STA (congrats to them!)
    • a bad direction (in multiple senses) for the Latin Mass Community. Please think it over more carefully.
    • terrible news for St. Stanislaus (despite their graciousness, this will hurt them a lot)

  2. snowshoes says:


    Thank you for an awesome presentation, excellent analysis and wise, humble advice in this wonderful development proposed by Bishop Matano. As this proposal by the Bishop is no doubt made with his deep prayer and discernment, no doubt he is taking into consideration the effect this will have on STA parish, St. Kateri parish, St. Stan’s parish, and the diocese as a whole. Can’t you just see him on his knees fervently praying for this situation and the whole diocese?

    It is so good that you stopped to pray at the Shrines in Fonda and Auriesville! St. Kateri and the North American Martyrs will definitely answer our fervent prayers for their intercession with Our Lord in these matters. So let us continue to pray for the good Bishop. I’ve never had the chance yet to attend the TLM at St. Stan’s, but I love the EF, so I’m praying for all involved. I’m sure there is more in the way of reflection from Bishop Matano, and Father Bonsignore. Is there a way of accessing any more info from either of them on this proposal? Thank you, and with prayers. Snowshoes

  3. Jim R says:

    I’d like to make a few observations and suggestions:
    1. Everyone will not be happy no matter what is decided…and no decision is a decision.
    2. The Bishop and the Diocese have limited resources…
    3. It looks to me like the Bishop is trying to solve two problems in one stroke..STA and LMC
    4. Maybe that’ll work and maybe it won’t
    5. The Bishop is TRYING to get it as right as possible juggling different interests and needs with limited resources
    6. The Bishop wants input…and I think he that includes ALTERNATIVES…not just a list of issues or problems
    7. If you identify an issue or problem…it would be most helpful to have a related solution/mitigation or alternative
    8. I agree speed is better than a drawn out death by a thousand little cuts which will just tick off everybody

    So, look at the proposal.
    Evaluate it.
    Make a recommendation, include alternatives/solution to issues you identity
    Put yourself in the position as if you had to decide – what’s the best overall decision you believe should be made given the limitations and realities
    Know you might be wrong – in whole or in part
    Be prepared for a decision that is not perfect – and almost certainly will not be the same one you’d make
    Try to make the decision work once it is made – don’t fight it – pray for it

    If things crater, you at least were asked for input, you gave input, and you tried to make the thing work.

  4. Sid says:

    Jim R,
    OK, you want recommendations? I thought I was being pretty plain, but maybe not enough. Here are my succinct recommendations to each party:

    1) Former STA parishioners should continue to push like heck in favor of this. It is their best hope. They have been doing that, and I can’t blame them as it is a super deal strongly biased in their favor.

    2) The LMC ought to push back against the proposal and endeavor to stay right where they are, as St. Stanislaus is a phenomenal place to hold an EF Mass. A traditional church all to their own would be wonderful, but they are going to need to far larger to make that happen. Moving to STA, just makes them second fiddle in an ugly megachurch that is further removed from region’s population center. They are better served by staying at St. Stanislaus and taking a more active role in that parish. Further, wherever they end up, they really need to advertise their product better. You have no idea how many Catholics I have told about Latin Mass at St. Stan’s who never knew it existed. You have to actively go looking to know it exists; that’s not a great way to get people interested in the beauty of the Extraordinary Form.

    3) St. Stanislaus has little say in the matter. They are unfortunately in the passenger seat of a fast moving car. Keep your eyes closed and pray for the best, but it doesn’t look good for you.

  5. Bernie says:

    The Traditional Latin Mass has been celebrated over the centuries in many different styles of architecture: Romanesque, Gothic, Classical, Baroque, Romantic, Revivalist… I don’t see any reason why it can’t be celebrated in a modernist structure, one that –in the case of STA– builds on our architectural heritage and yet employs some contemporary expression. Saint Thomas the Apostle’s architecture is strongly Byzantine or Eastern in style. The Greek cross, centrally oriented, ground plan goes right back to the Early Christian Period. It was a feature of the original 4th c. basilica in Milan, the Church of the Holy Apostles built by Constantine in Constantinople, the 5th c. Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, as well nearly every church built in the East following Constantine. Even the 16t c. Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City was originally laid out in a Greek Cross plan (the nave was extended by Michelangelo). The high altar of Saint Peter’s, like STA is in the crossing. The Latin Mass, as we all know, has been celebrated at that high altar for centuries.

    Saint Thomas the Apostle also echoes the vaulting and domes of Eastern Rite Catholic and Orthodox churches. The arms of the Greek Cross plan are covered by concrete vaults visible from the inside and outside as in the Eastern style. Now, STA’s vaulting is shallow to be sure but it’s not hard to see the stylistic heritage. The predominant use of brick is also a characteristic of the Byzantine style. The interior walls of Eastern churches are usually covered in imagery, mosaic or paintings. In STA the parallels are the huge stained glass windows worked in a style strongly reminiscent of mosaic.

    Normally, in Eastern style churches, the altar is placed in the Eastern arm of the cross. In STA the altar is at the crossing in imitation of Saint Peter’s but also reflective of liturgical thinking following Vatican II. Also a result of interpretations of the Council the Tabernacle has been positioned in the Eastern arm at STA, away from the altar. The iron grilling separating the Sacrament Chapel from the altar is reminiscent of the iconostasis screen that separates the chancel from the nave in the Byzantine Catholic church style.

    In terms of the development of style, Saint Thomas the Apostle represents something new but fairly traditional. It’s a pretty good example of organic growth in style. Later modernist church architecture would radically break with tradition.

    I admit, however, that I wold miss the Romanesque style of Saint Stanislaus with its elaborate altar and Gothic reredos, and its beautiful frescoes, windows, etc. I am arguing, however (and respectfully), that STA’s architecture preserves tradition through an organic growth from the Byzantine style. It most certainly does not represent a radical break with tradition. People’s preferences are another matter. Beauty and ugliness are not in the eye of the beholder. That is the opinion of the relativist. But, I’ve addressed that issue before so I won’t get into it here.

  6. Pietro says:


    I don’t know you by your screen name but I cannot believe that you are/were a long time member of the LMC. Most of the points you make, in my opinion, are not valid in the context of the entire 21 year history of the LMC. Especially with regards to the dynamic between St. Stan’s and the LMC. Your missing roughly the first ten years. It’s not productive to get into all the details in this space so I’ll leave it at that.

    I love St. Stan’s as a church. But the LMC will never become much more than it is at St. Stan’s. You make a good point about the notion that the LMC will only become to STA what it is now to St. Stans. Quite frankly, if it does, this experiment will fail. STA will close and be sold, and who knows what will become of the LMC. This is the first real opportunity for the LMC to experience a real parish life. To pass this up is not the right direction. It’s either going to be a win/win or a lose/lose. Nothing in between.

    As for the building, it’s not St. Stans. However, it was built in 1965 four years before the new missal was introduced in 1969. Many EF (or transitional EF) masses were done before that time. I don’t have as much a problem with the architecture as I do with the artwork. The huge pseudo-crucifix/trinity statue hanging in front is a bit much. Always scared me as a kid. And the cubism style of art that was so prevalent in 60’s and 70’s is just gross. But STA is far from the bottom of least desirable places for the EF. Trust me, I’ve been to EF masses is some pretty low end places. Yes, STA is big and will need to be maintained, but the old style churches like St. Michaels, St. Stans are extremely expensive to maintain. It’s going to cost money where ever you go. That’s why the LMC never made a real play for one of the closed churches.

    BTW, if you left the LMC because of young kids at 1:30 pm don’t expect it to get better as they get older. They will begin to participate in extra curricular activities which also do not work well for 1:30 pm mass. Sustained growth will not happen without a better mass time.

    Response to SUMMARY on the proposal:
    • great for the former STA (congrats to them!)
    – Agreed

    • a bad direction (in multiple senses) for the Latin Mass Community. Please think it over more carefully.
    – Totally disagree

    • terrible news for St. Stanislaus (despite their graciousness, this will hurt them a lot)
    – Partially agree – St. Stans has benefited greatly in 21 years but should have been planning long term for the LMC to sprout it’s wings.

  7. Jim R says:

    Sid, I’m glad you feel so strongly…what would you decide if you were Bishop? Keep the status quo? What issues are there with that?

    What about everyone else? – what would you actually do knowing there are pluses and minuses all around?

    Clearly not everyone will like any decision…even keeping the status quo.

  8. Bernie says:

    OOPS! San Vitale is not a Greek Cross plan. (Did anyone catch that?)
    However, there are many other examples.

  9. Sid says:

    Thanks for the nice feedback. I was not a “longtime” member of LMC, only for ?5 years or so until I got married and had kids. I still continued (and continue) to occasionally attend when the planets align. I am exceptionally fond of the EF Mass, however, and will seek it out to show my support whenever possible, such as when Our Lady of Victory had a wonderful All Soul’s Requiem Mass a couple years ago. Now, if someone could convince Fr. Antinarelli to make the EF form a bit less “extraordinary” there, my heart would be content, as OLV is certainly a proper setting.

  10. Jim R says:

    It might be worth Fr. Bonsignore (and a small group?) check to to see if Fr. Higgins at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes outside Boston would be willing to talk with them about the pluses and minuses of a mixed parish – EF/OF.

    I would think daily Masses, the Triduum and major feasts should be explored with the Bishop. If it is really to be a LMC parish, it needs daily Mass…and the Triduum and feasts offered in the EF

    It seems to me this offers the LMC a real opportunity that it doesn’t really have at St. Stan’s. Will it be a blow to St. Stan’s – probably. But is there any real chance of the LMC becoming permanently located at St. Stan’s? I doubt it.

    It seems to me this plan accommodates STA – and would allow for a very reverent OF Mass, and offers real opportunties for the LMC.

    Is it ideal? Nope. But 10 years ago I would have thought even a serious discussion like this would never happen….

  11. Ben Anderson says:

    It might be worth Fr. Bonsignore (and a small group?) check to to see if Fr. Higgins at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes outside Boston would be willing to talk with them about the pluses and minuses of a mixed parish – EF/OF.

    and here’s another one: St. John the Beloved in McLean, VA

  12. Sid says:

    I’m not sure Ben’s example is the best example at managing the difficult balance between OF and EF. This Virgina “church in the round” (they even call it that!) has five (including the anticipatory 5pm Sat one) OF Sunday Masses but zero Latin, not one. If you want the EF, you can have it Monday nights at 7:30 pm and (bonus–this week only!) as one of the Feast of Assumption masses. Um no, you don’t want to follow their model…

    Jim R’s example in Massachusetts is a beautiful church, but definitely weights things in the opposite (Latin) direction. It’s certainly my cup of tea, but evident the TLM people are at the helm, not equal equity by any means. I do need to put them on my “visit list”, though. 🙂

    No doubt a balancing act IS a tricky proposition… A cagematch may eventually be needed to settle it.

  13. y2kscotty says:

    1. Danger: is LMC a kind of separatist cult? Before you have a heart attack, bear with me here. It has been said that LMC has never integrated into St Stan’s parish life. It’s like a graft on an OF tree. The fact that we speak of LMCommunity suggests that the other parishioners are not in that community. Is there a way to integrate parishioners who love EF with those parishioners who prefer OF? Now, let me be clear – I don’t think of LMC as some separatist cult since many who subscribe to LM/EF also participate in OF because of the inconvenient EF Mass time, for example. Be very careful.
    2. STA strikes me as a suitable space for EF. But if it becomes a place only for the LMC, then doesn’t that feed into a separatist mentality, which can weaken the strength that it currently has, as time rolls on.
    3. I would prefer one of two options: EF at a better time at St Stan’s and better integration into parish life – or – LMC/EF at STA along with OF at STA and an integration into common parish life in the hope that OF at STA would be properly improved and made more dignified and beautiful as an example for the rest of the diocese.
    4. The Anglican Ordinariate is not well-known to the wider Catholic Church in this diocese or anywhere else that I know of. An the AO be better integrated into Catholic parish life and be an example that could improve the way OF is celebrated?
    5. I may be just babbling incoherently – but I am concerned that EF isn’t getting a fair shake if it becomes just a service to the LMC group. What will LMC look like in 10 or 20 years? We have to plan very carefully with a goal of growth and sustainability and enthusiasm and joy.
    6. “Gloriamur in Tribulationibus” may be off-putting. Does anyone on the outside of the TMC want to glory in tribulation.
    7. In a combined OF/EF parish setting, truly integrated, we might get more OF people try out the EF, at least once in a while and maybe see it is a very valuable and beautiful form.
    8. I pray for very careful consideration of Bishop Matano’s and Father Bonsignore’s proposal.

  14. Ben Anderson says:

    I’m not sure Ben’s example is the best example at managing the difficult balance between OF and EF.

    not saying it’s the best example (not saying it isn’t a good one either – it may be)… but any input is probably worth getting.

    has five (including the anticipatory 5pm Sat one) OF Sunday Masses but zero Latin, not one.

    From their website:
    5:00 p.m.

    7:30 a.m.
    9:00 a.m.
    10:30 a.m.
    Noon (High Latin Mass)

  15. Sid says:

    Hmmm. That doesn’t jive with their bulletins from the past month+, which show the Latin Mass only on Monday nights (and one tommorow for the Holy Day). I presume the website might be a bit stale and would trust the latest bulletins more.

  16. Interstate Catholic says:

    Don’t worry about St Stanislaus, it will be just fine thank you.

  17. Ben Anderson says:

    I presume the website might be a bit stale and would trust the latest bulletins more.

    I agree. I’d trust the bulletin over the website.

  18. I would like to reply to y2kscotty on this point:

    “4. The Anglican Ordinariate is not well-known to the wider Catholic Church in this diocese or anywhere else that I know of. An the AO be better integrated into Catholic parish life and be an example that could improve the way OF is celebrated?”

    Rochester is singular in NY in having an Ordinariate/Anglican Use community. Both Diane and Bernie have written nice posts about our group, but I agree with what you say regarding the widespread ignorance concerning who we are and what we do in the diocese and wider US Catholic Church. That was illustrated just on the previous comment thread.

    First, can the AO be better integrated into Catholic parish life? To answer this question, we have to be clear about what the Ordinariate is. It is effectively a parallel diocese within the Latin rite of the church. This allows new groups to be established anywhere in the country. So, it is not part of the parish system or the diocese. In that sense, it cannot be integrated into it. With that said, essentially every new Ordinariate group in the country is located at a Catholic church which is part of the parish system. We are hosted by Good Shepherd church in Henrietta. That means we interact with that parish (St. Marianne Cope) to some extent, but I find most people still don’t know about us. Certainly, everyone is welcome to attend mass with us, and every Catholic in good standing can receive the sacraments. That also goes the other way, and our members regularly attend (and help organize!) diocesan services and events around the city.

    Can it be an example to improve the way the OF is celebrated? I hope so! Indeed, the religious culture of most Ordinariate groups is more like the TLM groups in my experience. The service is in Tudor English, but the rubrics and prayers are mostly from the older form of the Roman rite, with variations reflecting the English Catholic patrimony. However, for there to be understanding, much less “mutual enrichment”, people should come and visit! Certainly the “wish list” items one usually hears for a more traditional mass are all in place.
    Lots more detail here:

    As a P.S. we wish to congratulate our friends at the TLM group on this news.

  19. Richard Thomas says:


    I have a question for your group. I am reading: “Stripping of the Alters” and ” The Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland”. In both books, especially the former, they describe how most statues and icons were destroyed by Henry VIII, Edward, and ELizabeth. The protestant bible was introduced and the old Catholic bibie was forbidden to read. Most of the he altar vestments were also removed.

    How did things survive so that now, you have a vibrant church in communion with Rome?

    God bless.

  20. Monk says:

    Let’s look at the big picture here. We have been blessed with the arrival of a very holy Bishop….a successor to the apostles….a true
    gift from Christ. Bishop Matano has been with us for seven months. We don’t know how long he will be with us but he is here to re-evangulize this diocese. When Jesus began his public ministry he went to the Sea of Galilee seeking apostles that would help him bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. They didn’t understand everything at first but they followed him. Bishop Matano is similarly reaching out to the LM community and the remnant STA parish community seeking help in his efforts to light a new fire of faith in this diocese. He must see that these communities, together, have the fortitude to make this happen. We can’t get tangled in doubts and fears but accept his offer. We must embrace it and work with him to light a fire of faith that will transform this diocese from North to South and East to West.
    This our moment to respond. Bishop Matano is here for us now. We must act without hesitation and with solidarity, like the apostles, to his call.

  21. JLo says:

    Thank you, Monk! Just so! A prayerful bishop and the graces earned by a long-suffering DOR just may be heading us to where the Holy Spirit is leading, and we need to be grateful, not grudging and picky.

    All this stuff about “ugly” sanctuary, such an unkind, even unjust thing to say about STA, Sid, your personal preferences aside. What do you think of all those huge old churches in Rome? They’re not soft candlelit cozy spaces either with romantic art all over. Some don’t “feel” good to some, while the same spaces completely inspire others, but I would describe none of them as ugly. Personally, I reserve ugly to conference centers that masquerade as worship sites.

    And location? My goodness, what is worse location-wise than Our Lady of Victory downtown??! Who among the throngs at Mass there live in that neighborhood? And the parking, OMG! It’s just a real challenge and a sacrifice to go to Our Lady of Victory, but the Masses are packed! So, PLEASE, do not charge that a drive down St. Paul Boulevard and a huge, free parking lot is a burden!

    Some common sense, please. No comparison to what OLV people endure to get to a Mass that is completely faithful to Tradition and upholds all the rubrics. STA may not be everyone’s DREAM church building, but it is NOT modern; rather, it is majestic and reminiscent of some of the cavernous stone churches people tour in Rome. And further to the discussion on location, St. Stan’s is in a horrible location as well, and there is no parking there, even for a price!

    Please, everyone, you may have your personal preferences, but let’s throw away rose-colored glasses and not only deal with a solution obviously prayed on by our dear Bishop Matano, but also not fear-monger about imperfect personal location and imperfect personal ambiance preferences. This is a whole new concept, a saving of a sacred space where Tradition and orthodoxy was loved and upheld and a home to the TLM, where they may feel they ARE a parish, not that they are USING a parish site. OLV proves that people WILL drive to where they find the Faith as they know it should be lived and the Mass celebrated, and this STA idea has so much to recommend it in that regard. Good grief, lets be positive and go forward. As Diane has warned, planning a thing to death can become death, and this is a wonderful opportunity for the entire DOR: we should not squander it, but work to see it succeed.

    I know this: the people of the former STA WANT to be a parish again; I believe people who are looking for a parish that is in line with Holy Mother Church in all respects will find it at STA (and many are so ready to make a drive to find such once again if lacking in their current parish); and I believe the people of the LMC will prosper at STA if they are ready to BE a parish and not just attend Holy Mass at a certain site where EF is offered.

    Let’s praise and thank God for a site like CF where these things may be hashed out and all of us learn of and from each other’s concerns, a site that I feel certain is an information source to such as Fr. B. and Bishop M. in their consideration of this idea, so lastly… thank you Bishop Matano and Father Bonsignore for this new life in the DOR, for this amazing opportunity.


  22. Sid says:

    De gustibus non est disputandum.

  23. JLo says:

    Unfortunately my Latin studies ended after second year HS class. I guess you don’t care if some of us can’t read what you’ve written. No matter. I’m done. +JMJ

  24. militia says:

    Wikipedia says it means “In matters of taste (opinion) there can be no disputes.”

  25. Sid says:

    Easy, JLo, easy…
    Diane asked us for opinions that could factor into a decision.I mentioned the aesthetics, because that matters a great deal to me.Just as some folks will not go to an OF Mass, I will not go to a modern concrete megachurch that explores new materials and construction techniques. I like tradition. The Diocese closes (permanently) a lot of old historic churches, throwing out our heritage in the process. Long ago, I decided I’d only join (and financial support) a parish that takes the effort to preserve an architectural gem. So, yes, aesthetics matter to me… A lot. Diane asked for opinions, and I gave mine. I had assumed that ALL opinions were welcome, not only those you hoped to see.

    With that said, the Latin phrase is a fairly well-known maxim that means “There is no disputing matters of taste”. Given the audience, I wrongly thought a translation unnecessary. Mea culpa, mea culpa. 🙂

  26. Ben Anderson says:

    what I will be dropping into the collection basket tomorrow:

    I want to thank Bishop Matano and Father Bonsignore for the proposal to move the LMC to STA. The hope of having a fuller parish life for my family and I in a Catholic community that truly embraces the Catholic faith in its entirety is something I’ve been praying for. The benefits of having another reverent OF mass, an EF mass in the morning, the opportunity for communal gatherings in a safe environment, and a place where I can trust that my children will be taught all the truths of the Catholic faith is very exciting. My only concern would be how closely connected the new community will be with the St. Kateri Tekakwitha parish and other diocesan authorities that have been in charge prior to Jan 3rd, 2014. Sadly, many of the people who have run the diocese have proved themselves untrustworthy. This new community will require a big investment of time, money, heart, and soul from all involved. If there is any possibility that the new arrangement will be influenced by any other leaders than the ones who have stood strong in the Catholic faith under the previous progressive leadership such as Father Bonsignore, I think many people will hold back their talents and hide their light under a bushel. I doubt this will be an issue, though, since I trust the men who have made the proposal. Therefore, I fully stand behind this proposal and will do what I can to make it work. In short, my response to the proposal is:


    Sincerely Your in Christ,
    Ben Anderson

  27. Diane Harris says:

    All 26 of the comments up to this time have been included in the package to Fr. Bonsignore. There is no plan to send him the comments after this point.

  28. A reply to Richard Thomas:

    Dear Richard, Thanks very much for your question. Let me give you the executive summary.

    The books you mention are good accounts of the history of the English reformation, especially because for a long time there was something of an airbrushing of the history to remove many of the elements described there. I like Duffy’s “Stripping of the Altars” especially.

    Within the Church of England, there was always something of a tug of war from that point on about the reformed versus catholic nature of the C of E. Mary Tudor brought England back to the Catholic faith, only to be reversed by her sister. The Elizabethan settlement brokered something of a compromise making the C of E something different from both continental protestantism and Catholicism. There were recusant English Catholics living all through this period, the history is complicated, but generally nasty to Catholics, with some bright spots (Charles I and II come to mind).

    In 1833 Keble gives the Assize sermon, considered by Newman to be the start of the Oxford movement. This movement led to a rediscovery of the patristic era, and eventually to a more Catholic view of the Church of England, together with a new set of emphases on doctrine, as well as liturgical practices. It was always a minority movement within the English church.

    The “Anglo-Catholics” (as they began to be called) had a “hermeneutic of continuity” before that term was coined – viewing themselves as simply the Catholic Church in England who had been cut off from the larger church by an act of state. The Marian shrine of Walsingham – the most famous medieval English Marian shrine – was restored in 1921, ritual worship and vestments were reintroduced earlier (resulting in imprisonment for some clerics), and a general rediscovery of ancient Christianity brought a more Catholic theological outlook.

    Skipping lots of history, there was real hope of unity between the Catholic Church and the various Anglican churches in the modern era. Theological modernism within the Anglican churches together with issues such as the ordination of women destroyed all of that, and things continued to get worse.

    Pope Benedict XVI was well aware of all of this. John Paul II created the pastoral provision and the Anglican Use liturgy; Pope Benedict went further with the creation of the Ordinariate. The purpose was to have a space created to allow those devoted to this particular English expression of the Catholic faith to be able to continue within the Catholic Church – where it should always have been. Why did he do it? There has been lots of ink spilt over this. I think there are many reasons that went into it. The theory I like was put forward by Catholic canon lawyer Duane Galles. His view of Anglicanorum Coetibus (the apostolic constitution creating the Ordinariates) is that it should be read together with Summorum Pontificum, the document liberating the traditional Latin mass. Both documents concern a relatively small number of people, the first even smaller than the second with very different details. But both are steps forward in a larger goal: the rejuvenation of the Western church. We suffer from a crisis of beauty, and both groups offer a solution in offering stunning liturgical beauty that has the potential to leaven the whole.

    So, that is a very terse answer to your question “How did things survive so that now, you have a vibrant church in communion with Rome?” – it is complicated! I was born into that tradition, and value it very much – the hymnody and music, the liturgy, the traditional English language, choral Evensong and Benediction, etc. All of it together is very rich and layered expression of the Catholic faith within the English tradition.

  29. Pianist9591 says:

    Sadly, 11:15 does not work for my current schedule. 1:30 was so perfect. And I was just getting used to TLM. Oh well…

  30. raymondfrice says:

    We have all heard the story of St Francis being called to “rebuild my church ” by the Lord. Francis of course thought He meant to rebuild the little abandoned chapel near his town. God meant to rebuild the whole Church and soon Francis’s order was accepted by the pope. The pope had had a vision of the “little man” supporting the Church and stabilizing it. That Francis did.

    The Franciscans of the Renewal, based in New york City, have returned to the early primitive rule of Francis. Among their duties in one of their friaries is that they serve a parish in the neighboring New Jersey by saying a Latin Mass for them every Sunday! They also do dynamic retreats in the New york area and somehow get everyone,including teenagers going to Mass!! (LOL).

    I also strongly suspect that the 3rd Order Franciscans here in our diocese would love to have Bishop Matano invite the Friars to come here and staff a church/Parish. Perhaps like their founder they could come here and ‘rebuild My church”.

    This idea is worthy of prayerful reflection.

  31. JLo says:

    Raymondfrice, if you are speaking of the CFRs (Fr. Groeschel’s group), they do missions and youth group conferences, etc., but unless their charter has changed, they do not do parish staffing. Wonderful order or priests and religious, but if they were invited by Bishop Matano to come to Rochester, they’d be looking for a house living among the poor, not “parish” work. But I sure agree… It would be wonderful to have them here!

  32. Richard Thomas says:

    Hi Andrew,

    IU am also learning that like today, there was a lot of “spin” by the monarchy and parliment to justify Henry’s, Edward’s and Elizabeth’s actions. Cromwell and comapny stated the Church was corrupt and thus justified Henry’s actions. Just like today’s secular news. But scholars are reviewing history from the ground up stating the Church was not evil. It in fact was responsible for the spiritual and economic welfare of so many.

    One of the first things Henry did was to destroy the tomb and scatter the bones of St. Thomas A-Becket because Becket had stood against the power of the king and this was very influential in the creation of Magna Carta which limited the king’s power. Henry’s actions violated Maagna Carta but he intimidated everyone or mostly everyone into silence.

    The thing that devestated Ehgland wes the confisction of CHurch lands. The CHurch owned about 1/6 of the English lands. They had rented the land to impoverished peasants for next to nothing. As a result, economic times were good and the avarage diet of the poor consisted of daily meat while that in Europe was bread and potatoes.

    When the land was confiscated, it was given to nobles who immediately raised the rents throwing thousands of poor peasants off the land into the streets.

    This created a begging class that persisted into the industrial revolution 200 years later.

  33. annonymouse says:

    As much as it is preached that a parish is a community of believers, canonically a parish is a geographical entity with boundaries. So there really cannot be a EF “parish.” Or is Bishop Matano really going to carve out a section of St. Keteri Parish and re-create a St. Thomas the Apostle Parish? If so, there will need to be a pastor assigned, and his responsibility will be to all of the people (Catholic, non-Catholic, traditional and “progressive”) who live within the boundaries of his parish. A pastor will not have the luxury of focusing solely on those who prefer to worship under the extraordinary form.

    I reiterate how, welcome that might be to many here, that would disrespect the people and Basilian pastoral leadership of the new parish who (unlike many, though not all, of the former STA parishioners) have been trying to make their new parish work and succeed. As much as I would love to see the magnificent STA building re-utilized for sacred liturgy, I don’t think that’s the way to go about it.

    Thinking outside the box, what if Bishop Matano were to request that STA be re-opened for regular St Keteri liturgies and St. Margaret Mary (a more traditional venue) were to be utilized for EF liturgies?

  34. Sid says:

    The Bishop is probably pretty sharp on things administrative, but I would guess it might fall under the boundary of a “personal parish.”

    I’ll refer to Canon 518:
    “Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason.”

    This overtly specifies “rite” and even beyond that “some other reason” gives Bishops plenty of discretion, I think.

    There certainly is already precedence in the D.O.R. for this as OLV is a non-geographic parish as well. Check out the following from the Diocese’s web site. The last sentence in the description makes me chuckle.

  35. militia says:

    Theology? Love it!!!

  36. christian says:

    Richard Thomas – There have been many acts by those in church authority of different denominations, even faiths, that their followers do not condone. For instance, Inquisitions done by those in church authority, many of them in religious orders, who devised all sorts of hideous, slow tortures and deaths of innocents. I don’t consider any of these people who were a part of the Roman Catholic Church, my church, Christian. Those that did these acts, certainly did not follow the directives of the Gospel and show the Love of Christ to their fellow man. The persons/groups with church authority involved with these horrific acts of the Inquisitions appeared to be twisted, sick, sadistic individuals.

    If someone brings up these groups/persons and the horrific acts of the Inquisitions, I tell them that that these people were not Christians. I do not regard them a part of my Church.

  37. annonymouse says:

    Sid – thank you for clarifying the concept of a “personal parish” – I hadn’t heard of that before. I think that must be exactly what our shepherd is thinking.

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