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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason

 


 

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes
 

The Tridentine Latin Mass

and a 2000 year tradition alive and well in Boston

 Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Newton MA

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, Newton, MA
Father Charles J. Higgins, Pastor


The Catholic Latin Mass of 2000 years is alive and well in Boston — and flourishing! (see the photo gallery!)

Just 15 minutes from down town Boston and just a couple of miles from route 95 (route 128) lies a spiritual treasure for Catholics of greater Boston — Mary Immaculate of Lourdes where the Mass is celebrated in the ancient language of the Catholic Church, Latin, according to the Roman Missal of 1962 — in other words, as the Mass had been celebrated for the better part of 2000 years before the devastating liturgical changes following the Second Vatican Council.

After Vatican II, the Church had, “flung open the doors”, allowing the world to rush in — as the Faithful rushed out. The “ever ancient, ever new” had completely discarded the former and left the latter as the only iteration of an identity bereft of its history. Since the notion of identity implies history (my own identity necessarily incorporates a history of who and what I have been in any attempt to understand who I presently am, and this is what I understand as a sense of my own “identity”), the vast and sweeping changes in the liturgy and life of the Church  following the Second Vatican Council left Catholics reeling and uncertain about the one remaining and most vital certainty they once possessed: the Church ... as “ever ancient and ever new" — and which had become, with breathtaking celerity, “ever new and ever newer.”
 

Holy Ground

The Church was always the one copula to every generation past, regardless of any other changes around them. It was the rite, the ritual, the language that had baptized their living and buried their dead for 2000 years. It was a single, unbroken continuity with a past by which they understood the present; indeed, for many, by which they deeply understood themselves. More than any given building, it was a soil, a single and sacred soil that subtended every Church in every city of every nation, binding each through an absolutely common and holy ground.

And suddenly ... it was swept from under their feet. Practices, devotions, and rituals, even beliefs, that in many ways had defined the Church as a singular and unique institution apart from all others, became ... irrelevant, “incorrect” or simply “wrong”. In so many ways, “The Faith of Our Fathers” was no longer our own. We practiced, prayed, lived, worshipped, and in some significant ways, believed, what was vastly different from our forbears. Many had lost a “sense of identity” largely through the absence of something cogent to “identify with”. Indeed, what had historically been cherished as uniquely Catholic had been the very things first jettisoned by the flurry of changes following Vatican II. We need not catalog them, although we could (language, liturgy, devotions, theology, architecture, statuary, art, catechesis, etc.)
 

Summorum Pontificum (Before Francis abolished it in August of 2021)

Then came Summorum Pontificum. Finally, a vinculum to all that had been lost, discarded, jettisoned, and disdained or ridiculed by the more “progressive” and “enlightened” Catholics who cherished a pseudo-clerical power invested in them through endless “Ministries” of this and that, and quarrelsome “Parish Councils”. The progressive laity hijacked the Sanctuary even as the priests ventured farther and farther out into the pews. Summorum Pontificum did not put the brakes on this ... but it offered a more than viable alternative to much of the liturgical experimentation, innovation and nonsense that has plagued and divided the Church for over 50 years. It brought back to us, incorrupt, “The Faith of Our Fathers” — as our fathers had known and practiced it. The patrimony that had been lost had been reacquired. The Catholic longing for the beauty and solemnity of the Tridentine Mass had the stigma removed of being a Latin-Rite Leper — a pariah among his own people — even to the episcopacy which grudgingly acceded to what it could no longer forbid. Pope Benedict XVI, well aware of the controversy and reluctance that his encyclical would engender, wisely circumvented the College of Cardinals by issuing it as a Motu Proprio (of his own personal accord). A Catholic could pray — even worship — in Latin with impunity. What is more, he could worship and pray free of distraction by so many personalities competing for his attention during the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He could focus on Christ; be totally present to the Sacrifice being enacted before him. Free of drums, cymbals, trap sets, and banging pianos by a troupe of performers eager to solicit his applause at the end of Mass, he could enter the Church with one sole purpose: to worship, rather than to be entertained.

This is what you will find at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton, Massachusetts: worship of God, rather than adulation of man. This is heady stuff; the stuff of dreams. The dreams of so many Catholics for so long. Solemnity, dignity, ecclesiastical beauty, the organ ... Gregorian chant! The Angelus!
 

In English, as Well

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes also celebrates the Mass in the vernacular English found at most parishes, but with this significant difference: whether in the vernacular or in Latin, the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always celebrated with great reverence, solemnity, and dignity. In this sense, it is the Mass in the vernacular as the Second Vatican Council had envisioned and intended ... which is to say, not what has been widely implemented in America and elsewhere. Here we find that the Mass can be experienced as profoundly sacred even in the vernacular. Christ — not the anecdotal priest as entertainer, not the pianist, the drummer, the lector, or the “Music Ministers” — is the center of the Mass, the Mass understood and enacted as a Sacrifice — the very Sacrifice on Calvary before which we stand, in which we ourselves participate, not as spectators before some distant and remote drama, but as participants actually standing at the foot of the Cross. Drums, cymbals, trap sets, pianos, divas ... where were they on Calvary? And were they there, could they really do aught but stand and tremble?

Now that you know the waking reality, what drive could be so long, what journey so arduous, that you would conscionably excuse yourself and demur from this tremendous, this inestimable gift? “The Faith of Our Fathers” ... yes. It is here. Bring, then, the children, that they may know the beauty of the worship due the true and living God — and to bequeath it to their own children from generation to generation.

Faith of Our Fathers! Ita est!
 

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Editor
Boston Catholic Journal


 

   Printable PDF Version
 

SEE PHOTO GALLERY
 


DIRECTIONS and INFORMATION:

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes
270 Elliot Street,
Newton, MA 02464
Phone: (617) 244-0558
Email:
info@maryimmaculateoflourdes.org
New Website: https://www.maryimmaculateoflourdesnewtonma.org/

 


 

Boston Catholic Journal

Totally Faithful to the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
 

Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)

 

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