Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

TLM and STA together — next Sunday, November 30th

November 23rd, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Next Sunday, November 30, 2014, is the first Sunday of the new Church year, i.e. the First Sunday of Advent.  On that day, in a historic event for the Rochester Diocese, St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Irondequoit will reopen after being effectively closed for four years! And the re-opening will be marked by the very promising presence of two Masses in the Roman Rite:  the Novus Ordo which is easily recognized as the “regular” Sunday Mass in parish churches, also called Mass in the “ordinary form.” That particular Mass will be held at 9:00 AM next Sunday, and each Sunday thereafter.  At 11:15 AM next Sunday, and each Sunday thereafter, will be celebration of the Mass in the “extraordinary form,” which was our Catholic heritage for over a millennium.   The former will be celebrated in English; the latter will be celebrated in Latin.

Much preparation has gone into this momentous occasion, as volunteers arrived on site yesterday to clean and prepare St. Thomas the Apostle so that it glows.  Joy has abounded as both communities become one.  It was  heartwarming as well as humorous as Jean and Denise had us stop work at noon to pause and say the Angelus, with some saying “Holy Ghost” and others saying “Holy Spirit.”   Same Person. Oneness in all that matters.  Thank you, Lord, for such a wondrous gift!  And for such gentle sharing.


What follows below are excerpts from the last two Latin Mass bulletins which will be helpful to those not at the Latin Mass today (the last one at St. Stanislaus.) Hopefully, until we have a joint bulletin, this can help a bit.  But, first, here is a summary of some of the content of Father Bonsignore’s sermon today.  He reflected on how the 21-1/2 years at St. Stan’s had been like an incubator for the presence of the Latin Mass (extraordinary form) in the Rochester Diocese, and how this has led us to where we are today, and to Bishop Matano’s having faith in our ability to continue and to expand our growth at St. Thomas the Apostle.  He was joyful that Father Peter Helfrich will be hearing confessions before Mass (from 10:30 AM until about 11:10 AM) and also after the Latin Mass.  People were delighted to hear that he will be with us too!

Father Bonsignore reminded us that all is in God’s hands, to pray and to support financially these efforts.  There is still much that we don’t know, and which is in the process of being developed, like the envelope system, for example.  We are a “work in progress.” He assured us of Latin Masses continuing and being held on the same dates for which a stipend has already been given, but at the 11:15 time at St. Thomas. He exhorted all to charity, charity, charity as we build a new community.  We have been so blessed, we should be among the most charitable.  He called this a “Beautiful work for the glory of God.”  And rejoiced that we’ll be able to have “coffee hours” and “plenty of parking” in a safe environment.

Father also contrasted the difference in atmosphere, from the Traditional Devotional of St. Stan’s to the Modern Monastic of St. Thomas, which he said “captures the sacred” and mentioned the “feeling of the transcendent” and how just being in St. Thomas makes him want to pray.  He noted, for those still unfamiliar with St. Thomas, that the  altar “is central, prominent and majestic” and he emphasized the sense of the “Divine Presence in the Tabernacle.”  Fr. Bonsignore also remarked that we are not about “sheep stealing” from other parishes, but should be about bringing back those who have left the Church.

Father Bonsignore called our attention to mention of the Extraordinary Form in Bishop Matano’s new Sacramental Guidelines, and assured us that it is consistent with all that we have previously understood.  He assured us of his personal commitment: “If it were not a good idea, I’d be depressed” [but, instead, he is joyful.]  He thanked the altar servers who took training yesterday, the ushers who helped prepare, the cleaning crew, and everyone who has contributed to preparation for this move.  Then, wistfully, he bid adieu to any who are not making the move, but given the fullness of St. Stan’s today it seemed that most wouldn’t want to miss this experience!

Then we heard that Father Condon had promised Father Bonsignore the Diocese’s commitment to “Liturgical Excellence in both forms of the Roman Rite.”  If we were allowed to break into applause, we probably would have done so.  Father Bonsignore closed as he had begun, that we are called to be St. Thomas’s “apostles”, not St. Thomas “doubters.”

14-11-16 TLM bulletin p3 Mass Intentions excerpts






14-11-16 TLM bulletin p4 excerpts




 14-11-23 TLM bulletin p4 excerpts








14-11-23 TLM bulletin p3 excerpts











Coming soon (this week):

“A Walk-around Guide to St. Thomas the Apostle Church”

by Diocesan Historian, the late Father Robert F. McNamara.





30 Responses to “TLM and STA together — next Sunday, November 30th”

  1. Bernie says:

    Wife and I may end up at both Masses there this coming Sunday. Exciting time.

  2. Hopefull says:

    What a great idea, Bernie. I’ll try to do the same!

  3. Scott W. says:

    I’d be interested to know if they will do the chant in the TLM without organ which is recommended for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Sundays of Advent. I persuaded the organist at Our Lady Help of Christians to go a cappella and then realized it’s just going to be me soloing it, so I’m nervous. 🙂

    Anyway, my prayers go with you and I hope the laity show up, get the word out, take the lead, etc. because there is a contingent of usual suspects hoping it fails.

  4. Sid says:

    Reading Father Bonsignore’s bulletin message, it seems that the finances will be similar to life at St. Stan’s, that is to say funds that are not co-mingled and a purely rental agreement will be in place. STA will remain a part of St. Kateri and there is no transfer of equity involved.

    It has already been announced that the rent on STA will be $200K per year. How does this compare with what TLM Community paid to St. Stan’s? I understand that there is more implicit (if not actual) “ownership” in the new STA arrangement, but I’m still curious in the actual former rent to St. Stan’s. Also, how much typically has TLM pulled in via the collection plate at St. Stan’s?

    $200K is a lot of money. I hope that there are enough EF devotees and local “want an OF Mass but can’t stand the chatter” types to support it. The St. Kateri people must be (liturgically?) dancing in the aisles. Turning STA into a cash cow (rather than an ongoing expense) is a great blessing to them.

  5. JLo says:

    Sid, never think STA has been a drain on the St. Kateri cluster (as I’ve also read bemoaned elsewhere by some from Christ the King). On the contrary, St. Kateri pulled a great deal of money out of STA and continues to! I know that sounds strange, but STA had surplus funds and steady income; and even though the group which rented the school all these years recently pulled out, the cluster also has taken the funds which a former parishioner left to STA, and that’s a great deal of money… all co-opted by the “cluster”. STA has never has been an “ongoing expense”; quite the opposite in fact. +JMJ

  6. Sid says:

    JLo, you misunderstand me. I only meant that over the last few years WHILE THE BUILDING WAS CLOSED, there was zero money coming in and it was only a expense (maintenance/security/etc.). Now, St. Kateri is renting it out and pulling in $200K/yr. That is a great boon to their cash flow sheet and income statement.

  7. Diane Harris says:

    As a friend of the St. Alban fellowship of the Chair of St. Peter (Anglican Ordinariate) I received information previously that Fr. Cornelius has retired from his ministry (Masses were held in the old church at Good Shepherd in Henrietta) and that the congregation awaits appointment of an interim priest to celebrate the Anglican Use Mass until a new pastor is appointed by that ordinary, Msgr. Steenson.

    After relevant discussions, and at Bishop Matano’s personal invitation, the Fellowship of St. Alban(FSA) has designated the 9AM Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle to be their community Mass until they have clergy available to continue with the Anglican Use Mass in their own location.

    I encourage us all to remember that the Anglican Use Mass is just as “Roman Catholic” as is the Latin Mass, and as is the English Novus Ordo Mass. These folks are ROMAN CATHOLIC. Pope Benedict enabled these whole communities to be accepted into the Catholic Church and, of the approximately 35-40 such communities in the US, we are blessed to have one in Rochester.

    The joy and natural hospitality at the re-opened St. Thomas the Apostle I am sure will carry over into a warm welcome for these brothers and sisters in our faith. How blessed we are to share our celebration with them! To learn more about the St. Alban Fellowship, please go to:

    Andrew, in his concluding remarks for the FSA, said: “It may be some time until we have our own regular Anglican Use Mass once again…. We hope to see you there on Sunday! This will allow our group to stay together, and also help out Bishop Matano on his St. Thomas church revitalization project.”

  8. Bernie says:

    If you g0 this weekend bring your checkbook. Let’s get them off to a rousing start.

  9. JLo says:

    Sid, there wasn’t “zero money coming in.” There was rent from the school lease and a large sum from a bequest TO STA. Never zero income. +JMJ

  10. Sid says:

    JLo, Not sure if you are trying to be difficult here or perhaps I am speaking in tongues. This isn’t high level accounting. St. Kateri had a giant unused structure that they needed to heat, insure, and maintain (at least to some degree). When the church doors were locked, that asset (the church structure) brought in zero dollars and was only an expense. Now it hauls in $200K per year.
    Everything else about a school rental and a bequest is a red herring that has nothing to do with the church building itself.

    One more thing… Anyone who ever thinks they are going to bequeath money to a *certain parish* needs to have their head examined. Parishes only exist at the pleasure of the diocescan ordinary (i.e. the bishop) and can be merged, mothballed, or closed at his complete discretion. You are giving money to the diocese, not your favorite parish. If their is a certain parish you like support them now and underwrite capital improvement and restoration work NOW.

  11. JLo says:

    No need to attack and ridicule, Sid. I’m neither difficult (in this case) nor obtuse (ever, praise God). My point that you don’t seem to comprehend is that the STA property was NEVER without income, closed or not. I won’t be responding a third time… peace. +JMJ

  12. Sid says:

    JLo, nice straw man. I made it well clear I was talking about the padlocked church building alone, not every asset ever possessed by the former STA.

    Regardless, kudos to St. Kateri! They have been able to add an extra $200K yearly to their bottom line without giving up a single asset. JLo (and I am sympathetic to her here) says that they’ve been bleeding STA for years, and if that is so, it looks like more of the same, no? My point was that $200K seems pretty dear change to rent a building they haven’t used in years and haven’t been able to rent to anyone else either. They seem to be skilled negotiators!

  13. militia says:

    Who will get the rent from leasing out the school building? St. K or the STA group?

  14. Diane Harris says:

    At this morning’s Mass at the Carmelite Monastery, Fr. Bonsignore recounted the story of the re-opening of St. Thomas the Apostle Church this coming Sunday, November 30. He conveyed his excitement, and asked for prayers, remarking how this is the biggest thing in his life, other than his ordination. He noted that the music will be chant, and will be outstanding, with choir director, organist and music director, John Morabito, who has been at Sacred Heart Cathedral, coming to St. Thomas! Father again pointed out the need to reconnect with so many who have left the Church. Father Bonsignore recounted Bishop Matano’s initial proposal to him last June, and remarked how he has been working on this for months toward this coming Sunday, with great joy and maybe a little trepidation, it seemed. I was struck how he was recounting this at the very monastery which, not that long ago, had a reopening miracle of its own.

  15. Monk says:

    Your facts regarding the STA financial arrangement with St. Kateri is so far off, I am wondering where you are getting your information?

  16. Sid says:

    Um, just what was printed here… There is now a $200K/yr lease. That’s all that was publicly announced and I did not embellish that other than compliment St. Kateri for getting so much.

  17. Diane Harris says:

    St. Kateri’s bulletin this weekend finally acknowledges the presence of The Latin Community Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle! Near the end of Fr. English’s letter he writes:

    “This weekend something new begins at Saint Kateri. Catholic brothers and sisters who celebrate the Latin Extraordinary Form liturgy will be welcomed weekly to our St. Thomas location. An earlier English Mass will also be celebrated there, in both cases by Fr. Dennis Bonsignore. We have worked out a pretty detailed agreement that will allow these brothers and sisters to worship the Lord on Sunday mornings in our parish without placing extra burdens on Saint Kateri’s day-to-day activities or finances. The Saint Kateri Mass schedule has not changed. Bishop Matano has asked for this arrangement and has thanked the Saint Kateri parishioners for our sharing the worship space with this small community. There is no way of knowing what the future of this endeavor will bring, but I hope you will join me in confiding in our God who surely has the best in mind for you and me and all of us.”

    Well, that rather completely ignores that an English (the language not the pastor) Mass is not needed for a Latin Mass Community, which already had space enough, and completely ignores the many returning STA people, making it seem like our “small community” needs two Masses? Why? Implicit in the words above is the message — Because the Bishop made him do it! Fascinating spin. Not reopening a Church, but sharing their space. Look forward to seeing it evolve, and it will evolve. The triumph of the re-opening of STA belongs to God, and may He be acknowledged by all!

    The two Masses at STA are not listed on the masthead of the St. Kateri bulletin, but inside the bulletin on page 8 it says:

    Latin Mass Community Schedule
    SUN 9:00 AM English / 11:15 AM Latin St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4536 St. Paul Blvd.

  18. JLo says:

    That listing in the bulletin makes it appear that they don’t know over at St. Kateri that it’s not the language that’s different from the two Masses, it’s the form. Strange way to list the two Masses. But what do I know, right Sid? +JMJ

  19. militia says:

    I think it is pretty clear that Fr. English doesn’t want the parishioners who began going to St. Kateria after St. Thomas closed to find out that back at their first choice church there is still a Novus Ordo ordinary form Mass which they can go to…. hence naming the Masses by their languages. But it won’t take long for them to find out. Welcome home!

  20. Monk says:

    The $200,000 figure is just an ESTIMATED total operating budget for the new community. This would include salaries, normal expenses to operate the Church and parish center (e.g. heating, electric, snow removal, etc etc), and certain maintenance expenses. Also, it would also include the rental fees. Certainly, the $200,000 figure does not represent the rental fee only. Most of these budget expenditures would not go to St. Kateri but would be used by the new community for its operation.

  21. Sid says:

    I agree with you, JLo.

  22. Sid says:

    Monk, ahhh, that would be MUCH better, then! Thanks for clarifying. That (along with a lot of other things) were not clear in the FAQ. So how much are the rental fees ALONE and how do they compare with those at St. Stan’s?

  23. Soldato di Dio says:

    I have one historical point that needs to be made, and it is in sincere, true, fraternal correction. The Extraordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has not been with us for a millennium, as someone stated in the very loving tribute, both to the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When Vatican II instituted what we now call the Ordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — no longer called the “Novus Ordo,” said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI — what we then called the “Tridentine Mass” was only about four hundred years old, since it’s promulgation coincided with the 1965 Rite of Vatican II. Since we’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Rite, we are still several centuries away from the Extraordinary Form’s having been with us for a millennium. I thought that such an important point should be mentioned in fairness to your readers.
    Having said that, let me congratulate Fr. Bonsignore and all the faithful Catholics who have a permanent place for Mass. May God allow your numbers to prosper!

  24. Ben Anderson says:

    Your explanation is not entirely accurate, Soldato. I don’t have time to go into the specifics but briefly, the Tridentine Mass isn’t really a good name for the EF. Yes, it was codified and made nearly universal w/in the Church by SPV following the Council of Trent, but it existed for a long time prior to that (organically evolving). It wasn’t invented at that time.

  25. Sid says:

    There are about 10 names for the Mass we are all talking about and it’s silly to argue about *which* name is better and how the age of one name is compares against another. For sticklers, among the worst (most ambiguous) name is that which The Latin Mass Community itself uses: “The Latin Mass”. WHICH Latin Mass? Even Novus Ordo (oops, I meant OF) can be licitly said in Latin! Clearly, that’s not what the group is all about though. We all know their interest is the present EF Mass. So arguing whether the “Latin Mass” dates right after the switch from Greek to Latin in 370 or ?1000 or the 1570 version or the 1962 version is akin to debating the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

  26. Ben Anderson says:

    My point was that it is completely valid to refer to the EF mass as something that has been celebrated for “over a millennium”. We needn’t shy away from phrasing it like that.

  27. Diane Harris says:

    “The Classical/Traditional Latin Mass is not a product of the 16th-century Council of Trent.”

    “The history of the Traditional Latin Mass, whose latest version dates from 1962, traces back to the beginnings of Christianity. The Mass went through organic, gradual development throughout the centuries. The first written record of the Prayers of the Latin Mass is found in a 6th-century manuscript (Leonine Sacramentary). The Roman Latin Mass was codified and made universal in the 16th century by Pope St. Pius V because of the liturgical confusion then reigning. As this codification was part of the measures taken by the Council of Trent, the Traditional Latin Mass has often been called “Tridentine Mass.” After this, as before, small, incremental changes were made to the Missal (book containing texts and prayer for Mass) in the centuries following, the latest being made by Pope John XXIII in 1962. In 1969 Pope Paul VI promulgated a new form of Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) designed by an appointed committee, based on the Traditional Mass but with substantial changes to it, particularly in the Offertory prayers.”

  28. Sid says:

    I agree Ben with your central premise that the Latin Mass (regardless of its many titles) has been celebrated for a millennium+. Of course it evolved over that period, but it’s old. Really old.

  29. Soldato di Dio says:

    First let me thank all who commented in response to my correction, which I still politely defend. I agree with those who point out that Latin has been used in the Mass for a long period of time. However, that is not, in any way shape or form, the same as saying that what we now call the Extraordinary Form of the Mass has been around for more than a millennium.
    In the biography of Pope St. Pius V (published by TAN, lest you think I should quote from a biography that rewrites history), it states that at the time our saintly Pontiff promulgated the “Tridentine Missal,” any Rite that was not more than two hundred years old — and there were many — would be abrogated and those using the abrogated Rites had to adopt the new Missal. My point in mentioning this is to emphasize the numerous ways in which the Mass was being offered at the time St. Pius V promulgated the Tridentine Mass. The other Masses/Rites may have been in Latin, but contrary to the entry from the Institute of Christ the King, and other comments, it does not follow that they bore any resemblance to what we knew for 400 years as the Tridentine Mass, and know now as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Therefore, it is incorrect to imply that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being offered in Latin at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on Sundays, has been with us for over a thousand years.
    However, if the person who originally made the comment only meant to say that Latin in the Mass has been with us for over a millennium, then I agree, but that point should have been made more clear so that this discussion would never have occurred. God bless everyone who commented on my comment, and please be assured that you are not dealing with an enemy of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. On the contrary, I support it wholeheartedly and assist at this Glorious and Holy Sacrifice when I am able.

  30. Ben Anderson says:

    Thank you for your kind response, but again your understanding is a little off. The “other Masses/Rites” which were forbidden didn’t include the Roman Rite. St. Pius V took the existing Roman rite and codified it. The text of the book you’re reading doesn’t support your conclusion. Here is an excerpt from “Sacred Then And Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass” by Thomas E Woods Jr. I’d be happy to lend you this book. If you want, I can give it to you after mass – send me an email

    Chapter: Common Misconceptions (note the opening question is refuted). Page 86

    “The Tridentine Mass isn’t so ancient – it dates back to only the Council of Trent”

    The Council of Trent did not create the traditional Latin Mass (now known as the extraordinary form of the Roman rite) from scratch. The idea of doing such a thing would not have occurred to anyone. It merely codified an already-existing liturgy. In all essentials, the Roman Missal of 1570-the so-called Tridentine missal-is identical to the Roman Missal of 1474. That missal is likewise all but identical to what preceded it. As Dom David Knowles explained in 1971:

    The missal of 1570 was indeed the result of instructions given at Trent, but it was, in fact, as regads the Ordinary, Canon, Proper of the time and much else a replica of the Roman missal of 1474, which in its turn repeated in all essentials the practice of the Roman Church of the epoch of Innocent III, which itself derived from the usage of Gregory the Great and his successors in the seventh century. In short the missal of 1570 was in essentials the usage of the mainstream of medieval European Liturgy… The missal of 1570 was essentially traditional, far more so than the new missal of today.

    Therefore Diane’s original comment that the EF is “our Catholic heritage for over a millennium” is a fine assertion to make.

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