Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

TLM and STA — together?

August 10th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

For the last several weeks, The Latin Mass (TLM) Community bulletin has announced the following; “At the request of Bishop Salvatore Matano…all attending, participating and contributing members of the St. Stanislaus Latin Mass Community are urged to attend an informational meeting with Father Bonsignore regarding our continued and secure future as a worshiping Family in the Diocese of Rochester… Sunday, August 10, 2014 immediately after the Latin Mass, in the Church….”

ScreenShot192Today was the day!  The meeting was 1 hour and 40 minutes. After briefly reviewing basic TLM Community finance for the past year, Fr. Bonsignore introduced the very important news, what he called a “providential sequel” to the 21 years since the founding of TLM Community.  He said that on June 24th, Bishop Matano had called him into his office and “completely surprised” him.  Fr. Bonsignore made sure everyone understood that our Bishop fully supports TLM, and “what we do here.”  Then, he said,  Bishop Matano made the following “proposal”  and asked for TLM Community’s input.  Fr. Bonsignore requested all comments in next weekend’s collection basket (1 page, in writing.)  He mentioned that Bishop Matano had proposed growing TLM by having a more convenient Mass time (11:15 AM) and in a “suburban” location (St. Thomas the Apostle (STA) !) in order to achieve our “full potential.”  At those words, the approximately 100 people in attendance broke into spontaneous and prolonged applause.

Fr. Bonsignore went on to state that the Bishop is concerned “not only for us” but for those STA parishioners who have drifted away from their former parish.  STA is described as a “semi-closed” worship site which now belongs to St. Kateri Tekakwitha parish.  Fr. Bonsignore noted how the STA parishioners have been praying for a long time and petitioning for the reopening of STA.  What Bishop Matano is said to be proposing is two Sunday (only) Masses — the Novus Ordo at 9:00 AM and the Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) at 11:15 AM.  In the current proposal  is no provision for any weekday Masses.  Fr. Bonsignore described the STA community as orthodox, having a reverent sense of the sacred.  The implication is a compatibility between the two communities.  These are not separate rites; these are two forms of the Roman rite.  The possibility for Holydays of Obligations, Feast Days and even the Triduum are not yet discussed.  Catechetical plans need to be established too.  We were told that baptisms, weddings and funerals would be done under either (both) of the forms. There are obviously many details to be worked out, including reported repairs needed to STA, which has been effectively closed for several years.  There will be a role for volunteers (and some even volunteered before they left today.)  Fr. Bonsignore noted the importance of “Charity in Everything” as we approach these matters.

Perhaps not everything hoped for can be achieved at once but it is “a start” he said, what Fr. Bonsignore called “a generous invitation” from Bishop Matano.  It would be a step, he said, in moving toward “full parish life” which TLM has not been able to have at St. Stanislaus.  Although, this proposal would seem to be the “best opportunity to succeed,” Fr. Condon was quoted as calling it a “3-year experiment” and if it didn’t work out, TLM could move back to St. Stan’s, lowering the risk. Fr. Bonsignore also explained that several accommodations would need to be made for his own chaplaincies, and for priests to serve a newly formed community.  There would be an effort to re-rent the empty school building (a source of income), and the Church and Adoration Chapel/Community Center would be accessible.

Before the dismissal, Fr. Bonsignore asked for a preliminary show of hands and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Obviously plans need to be developed, Fr. English  may be invited to supply more details on STA to the TLM Community, and a timeline needs to be developed.  Fr. Bonsignore expressed the hope that this could happen in the autumn, completed “this year.”  Nevertheless, input and reactions and ideas were again solicited, to be added as one page in next week’s collection basket. We were reminded to pray over this matter, and to remember that the final decision belongs in God’s Hands.

Finally, I would mention that there were extreme opinions in both directions and emotional concerns which understandably are a product of individual experience, surprise reactions, even fears.  That is not to say they are without merit.  But it does the larger community of TLM and STA no benefit to document those on either side at this point, as each person is invited to think, pray, and submit concerns in writing.  It is too early in any bonafide process to polarize any part of the community. We were assured of Bishop Matano’s sincerity and concern for both communities.  May we receive his gift with grateful hearts.

I invite the Cleansing Fire Community to add thoughts, ideas and information as comments, in the spirit of Charity requested of us.  Please correct any errors I may have made in my notes.  I will save my own personal thoughts for the comment section.  God bless!



64 Responses to “TLM and STA — together?”

  1. Bernie says:

    This is a wonderful idea! Wonderful news!

  2. JLo says:

    My first, out-of-the-box thought, is that I hope St. Thomas will return to being a stand-alone parish, separated from St. Kateri cluster. +JMJ

  3. Bernie says:

    It would be nice to see the Fellowship of Saint Alban (Roman Catholics -who were former Anglicans– celebrating the traditional Anglican form of Mass) located at STA as well although I suppose that would become a crowded Sunday morning. That would be an interesting Catholic parish with 3 legitimate forms of Mass: Traditional Latin Mass, Novus Ordo, and Anglican Use Mass in one parish. That would be quite unique. That would be a great use of STA, a beautiful and large church.

  4. Sid says:

    I think it’s a mixed bag. I am thrilled that the new Bishop appreciates the history, culture, and reverence exhibited by TLM, so that’s all very good stuff. It’s also great that the Mass will now be offered at a more “normal” time. In years past, I frequently attended TLM at St. Stanislaus and grew very fond of it. Only after getting married and having a family, did I find the 1:30 Mass time increasingly difficult.

    My main problems with the announcement come down to location and architecture. While St. Stanislaus is not in the greatest neighborhood, it is fairly centrally located to the Rochester region and easy to get to. St. Thomas is in northern Irondequoit, very near the Lake. Last time I checked, few people live in the middle of Lake Ontario, so almost everybody needs to come from the south. If you were *already* in the south, or like me southwest, you have a long long drive ahead of you.

    And, call me a snob, but St. Stanislaus (and many other old parishes) is a gem that is most conducive to the reverent form of worship expressed via the Extraordinary Form. St. Thomas is a 1960s banal church-in-the-round that doesn’t to my knowledge even have a high altar. It’s the sort of “worship space” well suited for guitar-masses and singing Kumbaya no doubt, but would be near the bottom of my list for the Extraordinary Form. I hate to see *any* parish close, but frankly I’d rather see some place like this over all the other *beautiful* churches which have been closed/sold/demolished or barely used as forgotten sisters in large clusters.

    Ending on a positive note: Kudos to the loyal St. Thomas parishioners who have stuck on; this does show that their efforts were not in vain. So, I am happy for them, just sad that TLM is headed someplace geographically inconvenient to so many people and not very architecturally suited for its coming mission. Electric guitar High Masses, maybe?

    OK, flame me mercilessly 🙂

  5. Ken says:

    What an opportunity! As a former STA parishioner, I welcome it whole heartedly! And I agree with JLo, but only after St. Kateri uses the funds they appropriated from STA (including the bequests initially designated for STA) for any repairs needed and a contribution of seed money to get things up and running. I will also volunteer when specific needs are identified. Given 3 years to get up and running is generous, but not a done deal, however many of us can help make it happen! Exciting news!

  6. Bernie says:

    I suppose that the Ordinariate (Fellowship of Saint Alban) by law has to be its own parish. There are perhaps rules as to who may actually register in an Ordinariate parish. I don’t know.

  7. Ken says:

    Sid, not intending to flame you, but STA is 3.78 miles (9 minutes) straight north of St. Stan’s and is accessible from the east through Durand Eastman Park from 590 or from the west via the Lake Ontario State Parkway from 390 as options to driving through the city for ‘southerners’. And it seems that perhaps you haven’t visited STA in the past. I NEVER ONCE remember guitar masses (not what we’re known for!) but we MAY have sung Kumbaya once or twice, although I cannot remember it! 😉 A (very) few times, flute or trumpet were used (generally when ‘outside’ influences had Mass at STA), but 99.99%+ of the time music is provided by our organists.

    Our high altar is in the rear section of the nave, behind a wrought iron ‘wall’, but we have (and always used!) the Communion railing, knelt during the Consecration, etc. Nothing ‘wacky’ at STA! Unfortunately the acoustics aren’t the best, but we have roughly 1,000 seats and plenty of parking in a great neighborhood (my own!) to welcome all who wish to come. I also love St. Stan’s beauty and have been to Latin Masses there before and agree with that train of thought. But I still welcome the opportunity to ‘re-open’ STA!

  8. Jim R says:

    Bishop Matano:
    He’s orthodox…
    He’s pastoral…
    AND, he’s interested in what people have to say BEFORE he decides:
    “Then, he said, Bishop Matano made the following “proposal” and asked for TLM Community’s input.”

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You guys have got the real deal in him. I guess it’s true that good things come to those who wait. Whatever is finally decided, he clearly is trying to do the best for you. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam y’all

  9. JLo says:

    I hope the St. Alban thing does not happen… I don’t relish seeing St. Thomas a dumping ground, so to speak. Absolutely no disrespect intended, but that’s what it would become if St. Alban also moved there.

    STA needs to be a parish once again, a stand-alone parish where Catholics KNOW they may attend the Latin or the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated reverently and according to the GIRM and the RS. People who care about orthodoxy will be drawn back to (and drive to) STA, because it was always known for its attention to the rubrics.

    If this all happens, I hope that orthodoxy will be the parish’s hallmark, that parishioners will be taught that hand-holding during the Our Father is not Catholic, that the Sign of Peace is a decorous greeting to the left and to the right in your own pew and not a kiss fest running about the church event of its own that disrupts the Mass. I pray the Novus Ordo Mass will have much Latin prayer, as Pope St. John Paul II requested. I pray there are few EMHCs at the Novus Ordo and that they only mount the altar AFTER the celebrant has received. I pray that even “details” like not using the ambo for announcements are observed.

    I hope and pray for STA to reopen once again and be that oasis of silence before Mass where people are there to hear the voice of God, not their neighbor discussing the best grass growing technique. And male servers, and more than one lector/reader, and on and on and on into the realm of what was once Catholic, people who became community for the one overriding reason… to worship God. All else good, in service to each other and others, comes out of that abiding reason for BEING a parish!

    America has become a cesspool, bankrupt of morals and even good taste and cannot long endure in the “new” shape it has taken. We who care and fight against that tide of filth are people of prayer, people who embrace Tradition. Reopening STA because of Tradition and all it entails would be a blessed event for our country as well our diocese and all the people in it.

    Diane invited thoughts and ideas from the Cleansingfire community; and as a former member of STA, these are some of mine. Thank you for listening.


  10. Jim says:

    To me, celebrating Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle, which has been shuttered for almost four years, is truly a gift from God, and an answer to so many, many prayers!!

  11. order says:

    Thanks be to God for this good news.

    The Disenfranchised of Rochester can not only offer continued prayers of thanksgiving for our new Bishop, but now for this great message of hope as well.

    A thought that came to mind: Msgr. Emmett Murphy used to remind us that “Order is the first rule of heaven” – and we are blessed to see now some assemblance of order coming back to our Diocese with good news such as this…

  12. y2kscotty says:

    JLo, “orthodoxy” is not equivalent to “attention to rubrics”.

    Also, Jim R emphasizes that Bishop Matano is “orthodox”. Of course he is; all of the Bishops of Rochester have been “orthodox”. They all submit to the Nicene Creed and all believed in all the infallible teachings of the Church. I think we would all do well not to imply that some of our bishops have not been orthodox.

    And, order quotes Msgr Emmett Murphy that “Order is the first rule of Heaven.” I humbly (or not so humbly) submit that the good Monsignor is incorrect. Jesus, who knows a lot about Heaven, never indicated such a rule. I would suggest that “Love is the first rule of Heaven.”

  13. Richard Thomas says:


    I am Adrain this might “hijack” this spread

    We can safely say the definition of orthodox used by you is different than the one used by others on this sute.

    For most Orthodox refers to upholding Majesterial teachings and adhering to the formula used at Holy Mass . Now we all know certain bishops and priests formulated heresy and made the mass something it was never meant to represent . Playing with the rubrics is just a symptom of the deep set heresy inculcated after Vatican II. Thank God bishops like ours are undoing the terrible damage these heretics did to the Church .

  14. gaudium says:

    Actually, orthodoxy literally means “right worshiping.” Notice the root “dox…” as in doxology. The Church historically has recognized that, as Prosper of Aquitane put it, “Lex supplicandi legem credendi statuat.” That is, the law of worshiping establishes the law of believing. The Eastern Orthodox churches maintain this understanding of orthodoxy and, therefore, are very conserving of their ancient liturgies because, if right worship declines, right belief is pulled down behind it. We do have to be very careful about labeling any bishop — or anyone else for that matter — as not being orthodox, precisely because it implies that the person is a heretic. This is unfortunate because it is actually a corruption of what orthodoxy technically is, right worship. Words tend to take on the meaning that usage gives them. Look at the word “cult.” It is a perfectly good word meaning a form of worship. But, we have to be careful in using it because most people think it refers to a group of religious weirdos. So, y2kscotty has a point about being careful to not accuse someone of heretical belief and Richard Thomas has a point about orthodoxy referring to liturgy, for it certainly does. But, y2kscotty, I think your standard might be a bit low — Nicene Creed and infallible teaching. There’s a lot more involved in being a faithful Catholic.

  15. Interstate Catholic says:

    St. Kateri parish is down to six weekend masses, so adding a Novus Ordo mass at STA would be welcomed. The Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass attendance would have to reach pre clustering numbers for this to work.

    I expect more reconfigurations around the diocese in the next year, due to priest availability. For better or worse, pastoral planning is back!

  16. JLo says:

    Once again I say… STA if reopened should not be part of the St. Kateri cluster. I don’t know how else to put it but straight out: St. Kateri parishioners would not welcome, for instance, the complete silence STA enjoyed before Mass and might disrupt it. I’ve been to St. Kateri: they chat in the pews, in the aisles, wave and roam, visiting before Mass begins. The cultures are not a match, so to “sell” an additional Novus Ordo Mass at STA as part of the St. Kateri cluster would make no one happy, neither the ones who will run to STA for remembered reverent silence nor the St. Kateri people who don’t employ such in preparing for Mass. Please don’t mistake my words for argument or criticism; it is what it is and should be recognized, because if STA remains part of such a cluster, one or the other “culture” will fall, and we don’t need another chatty space. Give STA the platform it needs, because it was always a fit for TLM but not for the cluster. +JMJ

  17. Scott W. says:

    Over here in the DoB at Our Lady Help of Christians, there are two OF Masses at regular morning hours in the more recent building and the EF at a rather annoying 1:30pm time in the old chapel. The pastor runs the OF Masses and the EF is done by one of four priests who do it, as far as I can tell, kind of like a rotational circuit rider style for all the nearby EFs. Now and again one of the priests can’t make it, so the pastor offers the OF. 1-2 people get up and leave when they hear the announcement, the rest of us get over it.

    Granted, there is in a sense two communities; not many OF goers attend the EF and vice versa, but I think the wonky time of the EF might contribute to that. The point I want to make is that the pastor is very supportive, and in the STA/cluster thingy case, I would say with the right pastor anything is possible. I’d also add that chatty/wavey/roamy is not a culture: it’s a bad habit born out of loss of sense of sacredness and propriety, and even if one could make a case for culture, propriety trumps it. Again with the right pastor and a few reliable lay henchmen, these could be corrected. 🙂

    But enough rambling. I thank God for a bishop like Matano who with this episode, has demonstrated a strong will for restorative justice.

  18. Sid says:

    Ken gave me a nice reply and I appreciate his thoughtful words. Please don’t misunderstand me–I know from long reading CF that St. Thomas the Apostle parishioners are among the more conservative, reverent, and dare I say orthodox around. No argument there. I am thrilled for them that their parish appears like it might be reopening. JLo is entirely prudent in her assessment of the differing “culture” between STA and St. Kateri. Let’s hope they divorce.

    My only qualms (and apparently I’m the only one who feels this way) are with the idea of STA being the home for the only regularly scheduled EF mass in the diocese. I’ve never been inside but I’ve driven up St. Paul before (my impression is that it looks like a synagogue–there are a couple others on St. Paul) and I’ve seen gobs of interior pictures both on CF and elsewhere. Perhaps I am “too” conservative, but it just isn’t the right atmosphere for the ONLY regularly scheduled Extraordinary Form mass in the diocese. If there is to be just one regular EF mass, it really should be some place fitting with the liturgy. STA is certainly a groovy looking place no doubt about it, but I’d feel far better if a hundreds year old liturgy were in a more classic church, rather than a post-Vatican II thousand-seat worship space. Maybe my concerns will become moot if more parishes ever start celebrating their own EF masses. But, I suspect that either 1) The pastors just don’t like the EF or 2) The ones the *are* sympathetic (and I know there are some) don’t want to muscle in on The Latin Mass Community’s “product”. And so, the only EF Mass will be in a very very modern church. Sorry, but that is just weird to me; past experience tells me it would grate upon me through the whole liturgy if I were to attend.

    Will somebody please advise when the final Latin Masses will be at St. Stan’s? I’d like to take the kids one last time.

  19. annonymouse says:

    JLo, it is my understanding that St. Kateri now employs a time of silence before beginning the liturgy, so your fear is probably misplaced. You almost speak as if there are two different Faiths.

    As for STA, that was an enormous parish prior to Father Callan’s tenure, and in its last years its numbers had dwindled significantly. As beautiful as the July 3 liturgy was, we would all be mistaken to think that STA would be nearly that full for even one Sunday liturgy each week.

    As wonderful as it would be for our diocese to be establishing new parishes (as I believe STA has been merged out of existence, although I could be wrong), I wonder if the former parishioners of St. Salome and other closed or idled parishes around the diocese will not demand equal treatment. And unless the bishop has found that the process employed by the parishioners in what is now St. Kateri was underhanded or devious, to create a new, separate, St. Thomas parish would both undermine the relatively new St. Keteri parish, the Basilians’ leadership, and create a divisive (us vs them) atmosphere. I would caution against that. We are all Catholic and we’re supposed to be about unity.

    As for its suitability as a worship site, either for the extraordinary form or Novus Ordo, St. Thomas is one of the most conducive worship spaces in the diocese to the sort of worship called for by the fathers of the Council – “full, conscious and active participation.” Nobody is all that far from the altar, everyone is able to see and actively participate, and the space is conducive to a corporate celebration of the liturgy.

  20. Richard Thomas says:

    You know what really gets my goat?

    I go to mass at several parishes and invariably I experience the tremendous disrespect by many if most of the parishoners, who like JLo says, not only chat, but walk around chatting with whomever they see.

    Then, at the beginning of mass, some lay person or deacon at eha altar announces that everyone should greet his or her neighbor before beginning mass. And they do almost arrogantly, like this is like the discovery of penicillin and they are so cool in suggesting this action.

    Why in hades name should you greet your neighbor when you have been talking out loud for 10 or 15 minutes before mass. Such “events” only reinforce the notion that Holy Mass is more for human celebration and less about giving praise, glory and worshop toe God.

  21. lucia says:

    Fr. Bonsignore made sure to assure everyone that the new community at St. Thomas would have its own liturgical style, not that of St. Kateri. The bishop agreed. I don’t think we should be concerned about issues related to excessive noise before and after Mass, or jazz and guitar Masses there. Anyone familiar with Fr. Bonsignore will know that he wouldn’t put up with that kind of crap. He is firm, but he also has a pastor’s heart, and the people of St. Thomas will come to appreciate how blessed they are to have this exciting opportunity. If all goes well, Fr. Bonsignore stated that this new worshiping community St. Thomas may soon become its own parish. Everything asked for here will come to be if the people give this their full support and patience. God bless Bp. Matano for this kind gesture!

  22. y2kscotty says:

    Please note: “ortho-dox” means “right-belief”. Of course, we also have lex orandi, lex credendi, or vice-versa.

    And, Richard, verily, my definition of “orthodoxy” is different from yours and “rubrics” are not a part of my definition. So, we disagree.

    Regarding the suitability of STA for Latin Mass (hopefully with congregational singing of the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei), the space looks okay to me. If the pews were removed an iconostasis were installed, it would make a fine Eastern Rite (or Orthodox) church. The fact that it might look like a synagogue on the outside is not a bad thing. The main thing to focus on is how well Novus Ordo and EF will be conducted.

    One of the best OF Masses I have attended was in Barcelona Cathedral where the LATIN Gloria and Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei were sung by choir and congregation in alternation, in Gregorian chant, and the Kyrie in Greek, of course. The language was Catalan. At the Paternoster (I think it was sung, too, in Latin) many people extended (raised) their hands in prayer. If STA’s OF could be as stately and holy as what I experienced in Barcelona, I would say that maybe STA could be an example for the rest of the diocese on how OF can and should be celebrated.

  23. Richard Thomas says:


    We go to daily mass where an elderly priest says presides. His sight is failing and although he ws offered a prayer book with larger typ, he refused. So he makes up prayers for every mass. When we are fortunate to attend an “orthodox” mass, we realize the richness and beauty we are missing.

    Now, you may think it’s OK for a priest to ad lib parts of the mass but Cannon law forbids that. But we are missing the point that the mass, as it is constructed is of great beauty. It does not need anyone adlibbing. There have been so many examples in the last 33 years where such defamation has existed.

    All we need is a holy, reverent priest reciting the prayers during mass. We don’t need anything else.

  24. Jim R says:

    I just love raising hands! That’s the ticket! Maybe we could hope for a little liturgical dance, too? Nothing like either of them to bring everyone together.

    Why, exactly, is it that Mass according to the rubrics and texts just doesn’t fly with some?

    Let’s not backtrack into agendas of hand raising and all manner of ill-conceived divisive claptrap, paraded out as holy and stately. Why? Because, as we have seen for decades, it ain’t.

  25. Sid says:

    IF y2kscotty wants to hear the Gloria, Sanctus, and Angus Dei in Latin and the Kyrie in Greek, he just needs to come to Our Lady of Victory. No hand-raising though–they are very “orthodox”. 🙂

  26. JLo says:

    Annonymouse, you were utterly dismissive of me, but consider that perhaps your “understanding” doesn’t measure up to my experience at St. Kateri’s 4:30 eve Mass almost three weeks ago (not my parish; I was visiting). From the ambo it was suggested that there be silence… that suggestion occurred one minute before Mass began; for the 20 before, there was chatting and visiting going on everywhere, and I do not exaggerate.

    To your ears it sounded like I spoke of “two difference faiths”. Perhaps you have not experienced and do not consider that a breakdown in reverence has occurred over the years. I have and do, and I am all in for striving to retrieve reverence. Can’t do that if you don’t recognize its opposite.

    We were invited in this space to share “thoughts, ideas and information as comments in the spirit of charity”, not to challenge each other. In the spirit of humility we all recognize, I am sure, that no one should assume the role of final word on anything in the realm of opinion. Another matter of opinion: some see St. Thomas as not an appropriate space for the TLM, while I find it a majestic space that inspires silence and reverence and makes my spirit soar. Not to your liking? Fine: you don’t need to attend the liturgy there should STA once again open its doors.

    Lastly, if we’re supposed to be about unity as referred to by Annonymouse, count me out in those spaces where the rubrics are ignored and one cannot even find the silence to seek the voice of God in one’s own heart. I’ll do as Fr. Groeschel advised me years ago… “Can’t fix it? Then get in your car and drive to one that is still faithful to the Faith.” And that’s what a whole bunch of us have been doing for years.


  27. Sid says:

    JLo, I’ve got to agree with everything you said although I know some was aimed in my direction. I’d like to be able to attend (preferably as the norm) the Extraordinary Form @ STA, but I know I’d be unfavorably judging the (in my view) STA’s hippie aesthetics and architecture the whole time and such distractions would rather defeat the point of me being there.

    My biased view? Traditional Mass should be in a traditional church, not a post-Vatican II worship space. The pictures of the STA interior scream “Austin Powers motif” to me. It’s a shame that TLM couldn’t just get a normal traditional church, the sort that celebrated the Extraordinary Form back before it was extraordinary. How many beautiful historic churches have been shuttered in this diocese? Why move the TLM to a homely 1960s structure that looks like a pillbox from the Maginot Line?

    Like you said, I certainly am not forced to attend STA, but I truly *would* prefer the EF. So you can have a traditional Latin Mass OR a traditional Church, but not both in this diocese. I’d like to rejoin TLM community, but it doesn’t seem like it is going to work for me at least not for the time being. Oh well, my problem I suppose, as you duly note. We just need more parishes to offer Latin Masses…

  28. gaudium says:


    Not to start — or continue — an argument but orthodoxy refers primarily to worship. Please see the parenthetical quotation from the lexicon below which defines doxa. Right belief would be orthopistis or, perhaps, orthopistia. Pistis is the Greek word for belief. The word orthodoxy arose because right worship is synonymous with right belief but it primarily refers to worship. Your sentence “Of course, we also have lex orandi, lex credendi, or vice-versa.” is dismissive of what that concept really is. Also it is a tag form of Prosper’s statement which makes the lex supplicandi the subject and the lex credendi the object of the lex supplicandi’s action. We cannot just vice-versa the quote or the concept. A doxology is not primarily a word of belief but of praise. Inasmuch as it is so, it is also a statement of belief. For example, the “Glory be to the Father” is, first of all, a word of praise but it also and subsequently is an affirmation of Trinitarian belief. This is also true of the doxology in the Ordinary Form of the Mass that is a response to the Our Father, “For the kingdom, the power…” Worship that forms and supports belief. For a fuller explanation of this concept, an excellent reference would be the book by Fr. Aidan Kavanagh, On Liturgical Theology.

    [????: glory, splendor, brilliance; honor, praise Definition: This word has a wide range of meanings in … presence and is associated with his acts of power; honor, praise, speaking of words of excellence and assigning highest status to God. …]

  29. gaudium says:

    A thought for those who do prefer the architecture of STA. I would agree that there are better architectural choices for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. However, it seems to be the first step towards establishing a TLM parish. I don’t know the mind of the bishop but I would suppose that the best way to encourage him to establish a stable EF parish would be for the Latin Mass community to greet his proposal with unfeigned enthusiasm and loyalty.

  30. annonymouse says:

    JLo – I did not mean to be dismissive of you.

    I wholeheartedly agree that, in general, there has been a breakdown of reverence in our parishes over the years. I assume that one minute of silence you refer to is meant to gather everyone in a spirit of reverent worship.

    But it should not be overlooked that a parish is supposed to be a community of believers, not just a collection of faithful individuals who happen to share the same worship space and time, but on that point (rubrics and magisterial documents notwithstanding) perhaps we disagree. Communities of believers like to see each other, talk to each other, catch up with each other, and support each other. There is a balance to be had between reverence and fellowship. Liturgy is supposed to be about more than what makes an individual’s “spirit soar” – it is supposed to be the corporate act of worship by a community of faith. Sadly, at the most “orthodox” and “reverent” parishes I’ve been to, in our diocese and elsewhere, I find there is usually little evidence of a “community” of believers.

    You should note that I was giving STA credit for being an appropriate, very-Vatican-II-compliant worship space.

    Now, while I have limited experience with St. Kateri liturgies, I am interested to know if, in your opinion, there are violations of rubrics there. I have not noticed any, not at Sunday Mass anyways. It may be that I’m not completely familiar with all the rubrics.

    Finally, if I were to have a vote (I certainly don’t) or if Bishop Matano were to consult me (he doesn’t know me from Adam), I would counsel him not to reconstitute STA as a separate parish unless it is intended to be primarily a TLM community with its own priest(s). To do otherwise sends a terrible message to the scores of parishes and their parishioners in our diocese that have suffered the same fate but have humbly accepted such decisions.

  31. Sid says:

    annonymouse said:
    “You should note that I was giving STA credit for being an appropriate, very-Vatican-II-compliant worship space.”

    BINGO! Exactly my point. Some of us want reverent churches packed full of traditional art and statuary, not banal “worship spaces”. Thanks for backing me up, here.

  32. Interstate Catholic says:

    I’m sure St. Kateri parish wouldn’t mind STA going back to being a separate parish. They are now paying for an empty church and school! A new, independent STA would have to generate enough income to pay their own bills.

    Providence Housing should buy St. Salome Church. The way that property is situated, who would buy the church, having to share the parking lot?

  33. militia says:

    There is nothing meritorious about accepting the wrongful closure of one’s church “humbly.” Those parishioners who didn’t even care enough to exercise their Canon Law rights to preserve their Church don’t deserve to have it protected, at least not at the expense of other churches whose members worked and prayed to be spared and/or to be reopened. If STA is re-opened as a stand-alone parish (my hope), others should not resent the people who exerted an enormous effort to save their Church and Community. Canon Law is there for any of the Faithful to exercise their rights; not to do so may beg the question of caving in to ill-formed conscience, fear of social criticism, cowardly succumbing to clericalism, poorly understood Church Teaching, or financial cheapness. Don’t blame the parishioners of STA for doing what Canon Law gives them the right to do and what parishioners of every other closed church had the right to do!

  34. Richard Thomas says:

    I surely want community. Coffee hours etched are welcome but don’t over socialize in church

  35. Ken says:

    A school to ‘grow’ our children and grandchildren in respect and love of our Faith is often the very heart of a parish. In addition to the obvious educational benefits, it often becomes the social ‘outlet’ that brings the parish community together, both for school functions and fund raising activities. Until STA’s school was shuttered many years ago by our former bishop, our tuition was among the lowest in the diocese and for families participating once a month at Bingo, $300 annual subsidies were provided. While I am not promoting a return to Bingo itself (the nasty gambling and smoking associated with Bingo is another discussion), the activities themselves associated with a school … and other events hosted by the K of C, the Parish Council, etc. … led to building a sense of community. And it STILL allowed the quiet and reverential atmosphere in the church itself before and during Mass!

    We all have preferences on architecture, and while important, it is not the MOST important issue at hand. The possibilities of building something ‘different’ within the DoR from what’s currently available is exciting! A ‘traditional’ parish including the opportunity of the Latin Mass? I’m in!

    And I still feel St. Kateri parish needs to pay to return STA in the condition it was when it was closed! My opinion, right or wrong. “hippie esthetics”? “post Vatican II worship space”? Feh! Sorry Sid! And ‘A-mouse’! Couldn’t help myself! 😉

  36. Ben Anderson says:

    There is a balance to be had between reverence and fellowship.

    no – this is a false dichotomy. We should have it both. Churches are meant to be quiet – not a place to socialize. Before, during, after and always, really.

    Sadly, at the most “orthodox” and “reverent” parishes I’ve been to, in our diocese and elsewhere, I find there is usually little evidence of a “community” of believers.

    I think that’s mostly because of a lack of opportunity. The orthodox communities have been chased to terrible locations that aren’t safe to go at night. Let’s see what can happen at STA!

  37. Pietro says:

    Let me first say that I am very excited for the opportunity this presents the LMC and dedicated members of STA who have not found a home in the Irondequoit Cluster. I was baptized at STA but our family left for the underground soon after. However, just before it’s closure I did attend masses at STA on occasion. I have also been a member of the LMC since it’s inception, so this proposal is one that is near and dear to me.

    With this excitement comes a great deal of angst, thinking about the about the potential pitfalls that await such an arrangement. You can rest assured that there are more than a few persons in this diocese that would be quite pleased should this “experiment” fail. Failure is not an option for those in the LMC community. It would set the community back decades. For those lifelong members of STA, failure would be the final nail for this church. So there’s a lot to be anxious about. In my experiences when two different, yet very similar, groups come together it’s the people and their willingness to cooperate that will ultimately determine its fate. In the past we could all blame the bishop but now it’s squarely on the people. As I read these comments there are three major items that I see as potentially big obstacles; the building, the liturgical identity and the past.

    The building is more likely to be an issue for the LMC community members who adore (who wouldn’t) the worship space that St. Stan’s has provided for over 20 years. To no one’s surprise it’s perfectly suited for the EF and harkens back to simpler days where all the churches and liturgies (okay mostly all) were beautiful. Leaving that space is going to be very difficult for many. I was married there and my children have received all of the sacraments at St. Stans. That being said, as much as St. Stans appreciates the LMC, the LCM will always be a separate entity. In order to blossom to parish status the LMC needs to move on. The community is more important than the building. As buildings go, STA is no slouch. It has all the essentials. A high altar (yes it’s only used to hold sacrament), a beautiful communion rail. Heck, if anyone has ever read the rubrics for a traditional baptism STA is laid out perfectly for it. The artwork, and modern light fixtures leave much to the imagination but those can be changed in time. Overall, it’s a far cry from the converted garages and hotel conference rooms where I’ve attended mass. It’s not bad. And what other church has three entrances with their own back row seats, perfect for the late comers with young families :).

    The liturgical identify could cause some tension for this arrangement. The liturgy plan in place should not be an issue on Sunday’s as the proposed schedule provides decent times for each form. What may be an item of contention is what form to use on holy days, especially Christmas, and possibly weekday masses. The LMC has not had the pleasure of having a Christmas midnight mass ever, just saying. There are also the sacramental rites for communions, confirmations, baptisms, penance etc. One thing about the EF of the mass is that it doesn’t allow for most of what is common practice in the OF. Permanent deacons, altar girls, communion in hand, communion in both forms etc are issues that EF worshippers worry about creeping into the EF. It’s called the ‘mixing of rites’ and something that Benedict XVI made clear is not allowed. It’s probably not a major concern considering the nature of these groups but it may come up. It’s very important that whatever decisions are made are done so by the priests with support of the bishop and supported by the people. People need to trust their priests and not tear them in two. (Okay that’s assuming that priests aren’t calling for clown masses and stuff.)

    The past can also pose perils for this arrangement. People need to be forward thinking and not dwell on what was. We all know that STA was not given a fair shake over the years. But, this opportunity is not about one group reclaiming something that was taken. STA was in decline for several years leading up to its closure. I’ve read on one of these posts about how STA numbers were great before Father Callan. That is quite interesting because Father Callan was one of the founding fathers of the LMC community. The people who left STA because of Father Callan will probably not be too keen on the idea of this new arrangement. Whatever the reasons, STA was in a vulnerable state that allowed the old guard to shut it down. The old STA is gone, this is a new opportunity. The people of the LMC have been through their own perilous journey. All members of the new community need to being with a clean slate with everyone on equal ground. It may even take the courage to look past certain injustices like the STA money situation. It’s never easy but it’s the future that matters more, not the past.

    I am very hopeful that people will make the best of this opportunity. There are many other issues to deal with especially money, but those things are much easier to deal with when everyone is pointed in the same direction looking east. We have all the essentials to make this work. With the support from the bishop, faithful and dedicated priests, and faithful catholic parishioners there are no excuses. Let’s pray the egos don’t get in the way.

  38. christian says:

    I agree with all of gaudium’s comments on this post/topic.

    One question – Is the main altar going to be restored in St. Thomas the Apostle Church?

  39. christian says:

    I really like the atmosphere of St. Stanislaus Church for the Latin Mass, but I think we should be overjoyed and embrace Bishop Salvatore Matano’s offer of having the Latin Mass Community move to St. Thomas the Apostle Church. I think it is great news to those with ties to St. Thomas the Apostle Church, that the church will be used on a regular basis again.

    I agree with JLo that St. Thomas the Apostle Church should be a stand alone church and not part of St. Kateri’s Parish Cluster in Irondequoit. I think there is opposing charism and style between the other churches in that cluster and St. Thomas the Apostle. I wholeheartedly agree with JLo and other posters’ observances of chatting -conversations going on before, during, and after mass at varying parishes throughout the Diocese of Rochester. I am more open and tolerant than most people, but I have had real issues particularly during Holy Week when 1. People do not seem to be able to leave in silence after Tenebrae. 2. People do not seem to be able to observe silence at the conclusion of Holy Thursday Mass and during Adoration of the Holy Eucharist (Communion) 3. People do not seem to be able to leave in silence after Good Friday Service. [Not only are people talking and carrying on conversations, but they are talking loudly]. -Of all times of the liturgical year, I would appreciate reverence and silence to reflect and pray, to honor my Lord Jesus Christ and what he did for me, and others, including those chatting away loudly with each other.

    I have no quarrel with parents of babies and young children; I think most of them do their best with trying to contain their children during mass. As a parent myself, I remember those days when my children were young, when my spouse and I tried to balance going to church while trying to emerge our children to the Holy Mass according to their tolerance and the tolerance of others. My issue is with people who are old enough and educated enough to know better.

    I am not out to impress others as being Super Catholic. Whether I agree or not with proposals handed down from the Vatican or from our local bishop, including my role or others’ role in the church, it does not, and should not, influence my personal worship of God. I am all for fellowship, but it should take place in a separate area from the church proper. People should be saving their conversations for the fellowship area after mass. I don’t think it is too much to expect that people refrain from talking in church at least during Holy Week, and especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

    I have not been a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Church. From an objective view, I think St. Thomas the Apostle Church has a lot to offer. The church design and artistry are conducive to solemn and meaningful worship and the Latin Mass. (It would be nice if the high altar could be visible). I would welcome a reverent church setting to celebrate Holy Week, including the Triduum. At one former church of the Diocese of Rochester, we had morning prayer during the Triduum. It would be nice to incorporate that offering if the Triduum is held at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.

    Another possible feature of the Latin Mass Community having a church of their own, is an incentive for parishioners of Pius V Latin Mass communities, Holy Name of Mary Church on N. Winton Road being one of them, to come back to the Roman Catholic Church. There has already been action on the part of the Vatican to bring these ex-communicated Catholics back into the Roman Catholic Church. “Vatican City, Jan 24, 2009 / 09:20 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunication of the four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) ordained by Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 in a decision he hopes will lead to “real and final unity.” “-Catholic News Agency.

  40. lucia says:

    It would be nice if the high altar could be visible

    I’d imagine that the principal altar would be used for both EF and OF Masses. It’s not required that the altar be hugging the wall. Just take a look at some TLM videos on Youtube and you’ll see that it can be done on a floating altar without issue.

    See here for an example:

    I’m curious to know if the tabernacle will be relocated from the high altar to the back of the sanctuary where the presider currently sits, and if both Masses will be offered ad orientem.

  41. Monk says:

    I don’t understand the comments regarding “restoring the high altar” and “moving the high altar back in place” at STA. The main altar and the Blessed Mother’s altar are exactly the same now as when I was an altar boy at the first Mass in the “new” STA church many years ago. I remember serving
    Msgr. Burns during the first year of the Church. These were Latin Masses at the main central high altar. When the Novus Ordo Mass
    began, Msgr. simply moved around to the other side of the altar to face the congregation. The altar required no modification to
    switch from one rite to the other. How interesting that this design will be perfect for this new community. In reality, there has been no major
    changes or renovations to STA church since that first Mass of long ago. As a long time member of STA, I am very excited about this new opportunity.
    I know Fr. B. will find former parishioners that will support him and do whatever they can to help him and the LM community. I was present when Bishop Kearney placed the corner stone of STA church. The inscription on the stone (in Latin) refers to the “stone that the builders rejected has become the corner stone). How interesting…….God Bless Bishop Matano!

  42. Ken says:

    And it hasn’t been previously mentioned that under Fr. Callan, Latin Mass and/or High Mass was held once a month or so at STA back in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

    And in my opinion, for situations such as midnight Mass at Christmas or holy days, when only one service can be held, please lean to having the Latin Mass. The options for those not wishing to attend that service then abound, so having the ‘special’ option should take precedence.

    This is still so exciting!!!

  43. Monk says:

    Ken, Just to be clear….Fr. Callan’s Masses were not Latin rite Masses in the extraordinary form. They were novus ordo Masses with the use of Latin prayers and hymns, much like Fr. Antinarelli’s Masses at Our Lady of Victory Church. Fr. Callan was a wonderful pastor at STA and can be credited for maintaining and fostering the orthodoxy that he found at the parish and that is still present today.

  44. Ken says:

    Thanks for the clarification Monk. I tossed it out there because some unfamiliar with STA think because the church wasn’t built until the 1960’s that we were less ‘orthodox’ than we were. Obviously I’m not ‘hard core’ but miss what we once had and am willing to work to reopen STA and welcome the inclusion of the TLM group to a ‘new’, blended parish.

  45. Sid says:

    You seem to offer up some hope that an STA+LMC might somehow lure schismatic Catholics back from the Society of St. Pius V church on Winton Rd. There’s not a sliver of an iota of a chance of this, as the Pius V folks are a MORE-traditional splinter group from SSPX, who are still not in full communion with Rome. While SSPX at least nominally acknowledges the primacy of the Pope (with some weasel words attached as an escape clause), The Pius V people are outright sedevacantalists, i.e. in their eyes there is no legitmate Pope currently, nor has there been for decades. Further, if the traditional environment provided by St. Stan’s was not good enough for them, I’m pretty sure a concrete megachurch in Irondequoit won’t be any better.

  46. Pietro says:


    You would be surprised how many people who attend Winton Road also attend St. Stans. Don’t confuse the institution with the people in the seats. Places like Winton Road will always exist as long as there is mistrust towards the bishop, as well as limited access to the EF. People will tolerate a lot from the pulpit in order to have access to the mass they feel they need. Judge them if you will, but not me.

    Once again, you do not know the full history of the SSPX, SSPV and the inception of the LMC which goes back 40 years. When the SSPV split from the SSPX it was an act of betrayal to the people in that community. Most of those individuals appealed to the former bishop after JPII issued the first Moto Proprio in ’84 for an EF mass and were left out to dry. That kind of mistrust runs deep. It’s real “Braveheart” kind of stuff.

    We have just begun to see what a supportive Bishop looks and feels like so it’s way premature to tell what will happen over time.

  47. Sid says:

    Hi Pietro,
    OK, I fully submit I don’t understand what things were like between St. Stan’s and the LMC when it was founded decades ago. I concede that… you got me! But, are you holding a grudge? Who really cares at this point? The *current* situation / relationship is the only one that matters. If most people at LMC don’t care about a traditional church, by all means move. You’ll probably lose some folks and gain others, most of whom I think will be locals sick of the goofiness at St. Kateri. In the end you might be happy or might regret it. Diane asked for opinions, so I gave my personal view as an admirer of TLM in a traditional setting, someone who hates to lose that. I’d probably care less if St. Stan’s were not the ONLY place in the Diocese to have a regular Sunday EF Mass. Ultimately, the decision comes from the Bishop, who is prudently considering the input of the interested parties. If everybody at LMC is game, go for it. I’ll continue to think you nuts, but that is my prerogative as well.

    I am a bit surprised (taken aback, really) in that you indicate that there is cross-attendance between the St. Pius V Winton Rd. community and St. Stan’s LMC. Does anyone find that disconcerting? It seems like if that is going on, Fr. Bonsignore ought to do a bit of religious education from the pulpit. The St. Pius community is *openly schismatic* (well beyond even SSPX). I’m no Canon lawyer, but I suspect the folks attending have (ahem) “voluntarily separated themselves from the Church.” In any event, if they presently attend the LMC, I’d be extremely surprised to see them back as loyal Catholics windexing STA’s clunky Dalle de Verre windows. Maybe I’m wrong, though. If my DeLorean were not in the shop, I’d zoom forward ten years or so and let you know how it all works out.

  48. Pietro says:


    I don’t intend to sound bitter. I’m not out for redemption, I’m just trying to provide some context. Traditionalists are typically labeled as staunchly conservative, non-worldly, judgmental, stubborn introverts. While those stereotypes do exist most are just faithful Catholics who are trying find a way to heaven for themselves and families. That pathway is centered around the mass and sacraments. If they can’t make a LMC mass they will go to another one they can find.

    There are a few that truly buy into the sedavecantist mentality but not many. Most don’t engage in all the licit, illicit, valid, invalid conversations coming from both sides of the aisle. They just want to go to mass at a place they feel safe and safe is not at an OF mass. Like I said, we can judge but in the words of our pope “who am I to judge?”.

    I say all this only because with this opportunity, IMO (in my opinion), what is going to make this work is whether or not we can build a community where people can feel safe. Where people can experience a normal parish community life not just a place to go to mass. That’s complete with ccd, social activities, community service opportunities and all that stuff. And most importantly a place where people can trust that it will not all be taken away at a moments notice. Numbers need to grow and they will not without these things.

    As for the people at SSPV on Winton, it will take time to get there. You won’t get all of them but in time you can get most if things are right.

    I hope this thing is a go. I pray that we take advantage. I pray that we have Bishop Matano for a long time. I’m always praying for Father B. I hope you’re part of it.

  49. y2kscotty says:

    Sid, you’re funny!! I may check out OLV sometime. Thanks for the clue.

    Raising hands in solemn prayer is, of course, very traditional. Our Chaldean Catholics (now horribly persecuted) pray with hands raised slightly. I find it beautiful. And I appreciate your notion that orthodoxy and that outward form of prayer are separate – with the latter being a joyful affirmation of the former.

  50. Diane Harris says:

    Monk– you wrote “I don’t understand the comments regarding “restoring the high altar” and “moving the high altar back in place” at STA. The main altar and the Blessed Mother’s altar are exactly the same now as when I was an altar boy at the first Mass in the “new” STA church many years ago.”

    Thank you for calling my attention to a serious misunderstanding I had about the altar situation at STA, and for giving me a chance to make a correction. I will post this correction also to the Expanded Comment post. Somewhere I had formed the impression that the beautiful altar/tabernacle behind the wrought iron wall had been a high altar on which the Eucharist had been celebrated, and that after the liturgy changes what some call the table altar had been added to accommodate the Novus Ordo. I can’t say today where that impression came from, but obviously it was wrong, and you’ve corrected me on it. Thank you very much. Just in case there is anyone else out there who also misunderstood, this is an opportunity for correction. I would add, however, that it would be interesting to understand if the EF celebrants consider use of a “table” altar to be equivalent to using the high altar like at St. Stan’s. Are there any other issues to consider in such a situation, beyond just which way the priest is facing?

    On another subject, would you please verify whether “Fr. Callan” is the same person as Jim Callan who led the flock astray at Spiritus Christi, or a relative of that Fr. Callan? Some of us don’t fully appreciate the background. Thanks!

  51. Pietro says:


    Fr. Callan, former pastor for STA, was the uncle of Jim Callan. Totally opposite end of the spectrum. I can’t speak for most of his tenure at STA but I do know he said several masses in latin. I believe though they were OF masses in latin, not EF masses.

    During his retirement he was one for the “founding fathers”, pun intended, of the LMC. It is said that his mastery of latin was such that the book he used to re-read the epistle and gospel was written totally in latin. He would translate the readings in real-time into english. I’m not sure if that’s actual truth or legend but he knew latin extremely well. He served the LMC community until his death.

    And if my memory serves me correctly, a requiem (possibly a funeral) mass for him was done a STA in the EF. It was the only EF mass outside of St. Stan’s that Bishop Clark allowed. Someone else would have to back me up on that one but I’m pretty sure of it.

    There several links to STA and the LMC over the years. Another of the LMC priests, Monsgr. Meng, used to hear Saturday confessions at STA. That was until he was asked not to by the Pastor for some reason that I can’t remember.

  52. Choir says:

    Pietro – The EF Mass that was said at STA for Father Callan was a memorial Requiem Mass. I was in the schola. It was not his burial Mass. His burial Mass was OF. Hope this helps.

  53. Sid says:

    Hi Pietro, I was trying (like the dickens) to shut up for a while, but a couple of things you wrote got my fur up.

    Pietro said: “If they can’t make a LMC mass they will go to another one [SSPV Latin mass] they can find.”
    I find this rather quite informative and enlightening. You are implying (more than implying…) equivalent validity between the Roman Catholic™ and SSPV services; i.e. as long as it’s TLM, nothing else matters. Wow, I am frankly stymied. I was totally oblivious to this mentality. See, if only there had been more chattering in the St. Stan’s pews prior to the LMC Masses, I might have known this was going on! Well, maybe those lines of communication will be enhanced once folks from St. Kateri start drifting in. Sorry… just kidding… Don’t allow my levity to mask my concern, though.

    Pietro said: “They just want to go to mass at a place they feel safe and safe is not at an OF mass.”
    This line troubles me. You actually mention “feeling safe” several times in your post. I’m hoping it is for dramatic hyperbole and not paranoia. It does give the impression that they (you?) feel at OF Masses as if they are wearing black pointy hats and there’s big pile of kindling out back. I prefer an EF Mass myself, partly because I know there won’t be a lot of chatter, clapping, gum-chewing, or music from Marty Haugen. At times I have felt *annoyed* at an OF liturgy that turned out like that, but I’ve never feared for my safety.

    Pietro said: “Most don’t engage in all the licit, illicit, valid, invalid conversations coming from both sides of the aisle”
    Well of course not, if they don’t even recognize the Pope! It’s more than cafeteria Catholicism. Going to a *traditionalist* schismatic sect’s [SSPV] mass is really not any different from singing the Olly-Olly-Ollyleulia and partaking of the home-bake sacrament over at Spiritus Christi with Rev. Mary.

    OK, all kidding aside, Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum was explicitly intended as an olive branch to bring wayward Catholics from these schismatic sects back to the Mother Church. As much as I personally am not crazy about STA as a physical setting for an EF Mass, the Bishop is likewise trying to be extremely accommodating and generous. My guess is that he would not be wild to hear about the continual cross-pollinating you describe, and even less so if it continues after the establishment of “Novus-STA”. Presently, the STA proposal contains no plans for weekday masses. Does that mean on those days STA “parishioners” will continue to head over to the Winton Rd. SSPV? That is really troubling. People have talked about a potential culture clash between OF and EF. That’s worth considering, but how about between those loyal to Rome and those who are “free agents” and will go to the nearest mass said in Latin no matter Roman Catholic™ or not ? ? ?

    I am not “judging” anyone, but folks need to pick sides and stay there. By that I think they should commit to severing ties with SSPV entirely. You indicate earlier that the behavior you describe is actually common within the LMC. I’m hoping that isn’t really the case (it’s not among the LMC members I know/knew, all very loyal to Rome), but if it is, it really should be openly addressed at the onset. “Practices” like that are not healthy ways to reincarnate STA.

  54. Pietro says:


    Let me clarify a couple of things for you.

    There are some people who attend SSPV and LMC masses. It was not my intention to give you the impression that a great percentage of the LMC also go to SSPV masses. But I see in my wording why you might think that. I don’t know what percentage to put on it because it’s difficult to put a number on the actual size of the LMC, but it’s probably more individuals than you think. You may not be sympathetic to the mentality but, then again, you have a much different life experience from most of those people.

    Feeling “safe” is a term I learned in teacher school. Where do you generally feel most safe? At home. People also generally do not feel safe in surroundings that are foreign to them. I remember the first time in my life that I attended a OF mass (the first time since I was 4 yrs old which I didn’t remember). It was at St. Margaret Mary’s. I was 16 years old. I was raised completely in the EF of the mass. All I can say to you is that I was terrified. I didn’t fear any physical harm but I was physically shaken and I felt sick to my stomach. I knew what to expect but it didn’t prepare me. If you were to take a catholic from the 1950’s and put them into a time machine and take them to a typical mass today I would think there would be a similar response. So when I talk about feeling safe that’s what I’m talking about, a feeling of comfort, of home.

    BTW, please don’t assume to know what these people are thinking. Focusing energy worrying about people going to SSPV masses is not very productive.

    If it makes any difference to you. I decided as a young adult to stick with diocesan masses as soon as the LMC was created. Big step for me at the time. It takes time for people to evolve. What this proposed community has to focus on is creating a welcoming environment.

    You are over thinking the Rome vs. Anti-Rome thing. Bottom line is a huge majority of people do not get involved in that stuff. They want to go to mass and receive sacraments. I’ve been down this road. If you focus on that stuff it will not help build a community. It which lead to infighting and destruction from within.

    Father B has been the greatest example of leading by example and focusing on the positive. It works.

  55. y2kscotty says:

    It bothers me that anyone would attend an SSPV Mass and think of it as equivalent to an EF Mass. The SSPV group is in schism (and probably heresy). It’s not a Catholic church. They are not in communion with a bishop who is in communion with the Holy See. This isn’t much different from the situation where some Catholics mistakenly or naively see no difference between our Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church – or even the Jim-Callanites. A truly faithful Catholic should not participate in SSPV (or SSPX, Lefebvrist) Masses. Both SSPV and SSPX disobey the authority of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. The SSPX bishops refused to accept the authority of Benedict XVI, even after he reached out to them in an effort to accommodate them. Such activities undermine unity.
    I agree with Pietro that it takes time for people to evolve. But sometimes they have to be nudged. I know of one who was nudged away from the Callanites. She eventually became convinced that communion with the Catholic Church was more important than just happy feelings at Spiritus Christi. The SSPV people need to be nudged. Their priests need to be nudged. All of these sad, little groups that think they know more than our universal Catholic Church need to be nudged.
    Yes, I also agree with Pietro that the proposed community must create a welcoming environment.

  56. Pietro says:


    It’s good to know we share some common ground.

    I do not want to get into outlining the entire history of the EF movement in this diocese, so I’m not. It would, however, be a nice piece (or series) to put together for this blog. (Diane are you listening?)

    But I think it’s appropriate to say that in the interests promoting a spirit of charity and unity and optimism for the creation of a new community including the LMC, that we not be overly critical of institutions such as the SSPX, SSPV (my least favorite) and others. The history of the LMC in this diocese, is tied very tightly to these groups. Not all current members of the LMC have followed paths through these institutions, but many have.

    These groups exist for a reason. Some better than others. But none of them exist because people wished to no longer follow catholic doctrine like the Episcopals and the Callanites you referenced. While groups, like the SSPX and SSPV, are separated to various degrees from Rome, not all are in schism. Rome itself has stated the the SSPX is not in schism. It is current in an “irregular status” since the excommunications were lifted. The sacraments of the SSPX are valid. Like it or not the SSPV’s are valid too, but illicit. Big difference between illicit and invalid. The women over at Spiritus Christi are just handing out bread. There’s much more to the story but it would take a multi-edition post.

    Once again, I bring this up because if we are to create a welcoming atmosphere at STA we should be careful what we say and how we say it. We should not dwell on the past but it’s important to know the history. That’s a two way street of course, people attached to the EF should not be dumping on the OF. (Except for the liturgical dances and clown masses and stuff which should never be a bone of contention between these groups.)

    One of the things that makes me feel optimistic about this proposal is the character of the two groups involved. The struggles and perseverance of the members of STA are well documented on this site. I’m not sure how much people know or appreciate what members of the LMC have been through. It’s been a 40+ year struggle. Either way, these groups are battle tested and there’s so much common ground to unify them.

  57. Sid says:

    Hello Pietro,
    I appreciate all your posts and find them really interesting, especially the personal history. I quite sincerely thank you for sharing that.

    If the Novus-STA proposal is a go, I wouldn’t have too many concerns about people not being “welcoming”. I’m pretty sure most would subscribe to a “Let the past be the past” attitude and welcoming back wayward traditionalist Catholics is a big part of that. Where there may be trouble is if those people intend to STAY wayward. I think it’s frankly dangerous for unity at STA if there are a number of parishioners who attend Sunday EF Mass at STA and then head over to SSPV on Monday through Saturday because a TLM Mass isn’t available elsewhere. Reading your posts, I get the impression you consider that likely yet not a problem.

    Also, you mention the SSPX being only on “irregular” status, almost implying it’s merely some sort of clerical mix-up issue to address. We all know it’s a bit more than that, but in any case the SSPX status is a red herring. Once again, we are *not* talking about SSPX, but rather SSPV, the folks who say there hasn’t been a single valid Pope since Pius XII (whom Fr. Antinarelli nicely referred to in Homily today as “perhaps the greatest pope of the 20th century” … but that’s another story).

    So my advice to STA-rebooters is this: by all means welcome people back, but I would suggest there should be a strong understanding that dual citizenship is not possible for continual traffic back and between STA & Winton Road SSPV depending on TLM Mass times/avilability. Behavior like that is sure to cause friction with the OF-oriented people at STA. SSPV is not another Rite within the Church; it is openly, defiantly, and quite unrepentantly schismatic. Am I being unfair, unwise, unjust, or misrepresenting anything? Straight talk from Sid.

  58. Pietro says:


    Thanks for your kind words.

    IMO, the SSPV was founded upon an acts of disobedience and dishonesty. They broke away because they did not support the SSPX’s stance on the validity of the OF mass other sacraments (the SSPX’s position is they are valid if you didn’t know), as well as the valid succession of Popes. They don’t even support the ’62 missal. Some say they were also upset that no american priests were targeted for consecration. IMO the sedavecantist position is so dangerous because I have yet to hear from one that can describe the pathway back to Rome. I’m not sure any want it to happen. I’m also not sure that Bishop Clark was much of a pathway to Rome either, but that’s another story. Anyway, there’s a huge difference between the SSPX and SSPV.

    Do I have a problem with people double dipping? As far as people who may occasionally pay a visit to Winton Road, I’ll let the priests like Father B. figure out how to shepard those situations. The people in the pews need to pray, not point fingers.

    I don’t see it as being an issue that creates friction. People who go to both places are not the type to cause problems. They just quietly go about their business. It’s the hardliners that always stir the pot and you won’t see them.

    It’s not going to happen overnight. But hopefully this new community will give people an experience they have hoping and praying for for decades.

  59. y2kscotty says:

    Pietro, I have two bones to pick:
    1. Bishop Clark was a “Pathway to Rome”, because he was and is a bishop “in good standing”.
    2. Those who go to Winton Road are causing harm because (a) SSPV is not in union with the Holy See, and (b) they are giving SSPV a legitimacy and support they do not deserve.

    This isn’t a bone to pick, but I do believe that SSPX is openly defiant and disobedient and also does not deserve support from anyone in the LMC.
    Otherwise, Pietro, I thank you for bringing in this bit of history regarding SSPV in this area. And I agree that their sedevacantist position is dangerous and, taken to its logical conclusion, means that the whole Catholic Church is bogus.

  60. Pietro says:


    Great points. To that all I can say is that we live in unprecedented times. I don’t know if there’s ever been a period of time in church history were so many bishops have suppressed so many things Catholic. Benedict XVI finally tried to undo a generation of wrong done to Catholics attached the EF. He also tried to contain and turn back the abuses in the OF as well. But still the suppression and the abuse continues. (There’s been an uptick since the election of Pope Francis) We can say the people give legitimacy to groups like the SSPV but IMO its the princes of the church (not all of them but a lot) who give them legitimacy by either encouraging these actions or failing to act against them.

    Trust me, I’ve lived through it. If someone warns you that if you go outside a rock is going to fall on your head and then it does, who are you going to trust. The guy telling you to stay inside or the guy telling you to come out and play. Bishops like Matthew Clark gave groups like the SSPV and others all of the legitimacy they needed to survive in this area and all over the world. The rocks have been falling on the heads of many faithful priests and laymen for decades.

    Now we have Bishop Matano and I thank God for that. I believe the tide is beginning to turn and it’s finally safe to come outside around here. Let’s keep praying for his strength and longevity.

    It’s been a great discussion, Sid and y2kscotty. Thanks for a good honest and respectful dialog.

  61. Monk says:

    One point of clarification, Rev L. James Callan was not the uncle of Jim Callan. Jim Callan was Rev L. James Callan’s cousin’s son.
    Fr. L. James Callan was a great pastor at STA. He was a loyal servant of Christ. You could always trust his judgement. He was humble, smart and had a great sense of humor. Unfortunately, he was considered at the time as one of the few loyal priests in the diocese that “wouldn’t go along with the agenda.” He suffered in good spirit for being obedient to his priesthood. We are all better for his holy priesthood. May he rest in peace!

  62. Pietro says:


    Thank you for the clarification. You are so right about him.

  63. Diane Harris says:

    All 62 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.

  64. Richard Thomas says:

    Sorry Y2,

    The past bishop, although in “good standing” was a pathway to hell because he misled so many people, promoted heresy and, by advocating groups like Dignity, promoted sodomy.

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