Boston Latin Mass community under threat by archdiocese

As implementation of the new Pastoral Plan in the Boston Archdiocese progresses, complaints continue to come in about problems with the plan.  The latest comes from the Latin Mass Community at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes–the only church where the Latin Mass is celebrated daily and weekly–which is currently under a threat of being disbanded by the Boston Archdiocese.

As background, in March 2007, the Boston Archdiocese announced that the Traditional Mass held at Holy Trinity in Boston was being moved to Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton Upper Falls, effective April 22, 2007.  Holy Trinity was subsequently closed and relegated to profane use.  Someone familiar with the situation shared the following background with us:

“The ability to formally join the parish was especially important for those who had come to Mary Immaculate from the Latin Mass Community at Holy Trinity in Boston.  The Archdiocese had considered these people a movable apostolate which could be moved from Holy Trinity to facilitate its closure.  To lure them to Mary Immaculate, they promised a pastor favorable to the Extraordinary Form (Fr Charles J. Higgins ’88 ) and parishioner status so they could not be easily moved.

Apparently, Mary Immaculate was hoping their special one-of-a-kind situation–being a canonically open parish in which persons may freely register–would exempt them from the pastoral plan and allow the Latin Mass to continue uninterrupted. (Attendees of ordinary form Masses, as well as the Extraordinary Form Mass, have been able to formally enroll in the parsh even though they do not live in the Newton-Needham area originally attached to Mary Immaculate).   Not so any more.  Here is a notice in the Mary Immaculate bulletin this past weekend:

Any discussion of our parish stewardship though cannot be separated from the way in which the Archdiocesan parish re-organization plan Disciples in Mission may be applied to Mary Immaculate of Lourdes. In last year’s Report, I explained that the Planning Commission had informed me that Mary Immaculate’s place had not been decided. I had interpreted this as a positive sign that my own letters, the joint letters signed by two groups of parishioners, and various individual letters sent by some others of our parishioners had impressed upon the members of the Commission the total unsuitability of their plan for this parish. In this I was much mistaken.

In August I received another letter from the director of the Pastoral Planning Commission, informing me that Mary Immaculate of Lourdes was to be joined in a Pastoral Collaborative with St. Bernard’s Church in West Newton, whose official name is now Corpus-Christi/St. Bernard Parish. When I asked for further clarification on how such a plan could be reconciled with the special apostolate of the traditional Latin Mass in place here, I was informed by another letter in October that, since the Latin Mass can now be said anywhere, the canonically open status of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes will be revoked and that it will be up to the future pastor of the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes—Corpus-Christi/St. Bernard collaborative to decide whether or not to continue offering it. I then wrote another letter as a response-to-their-response. This letter went unacknowledged. After a month, I followed up with an e-mail inquiry. The reply I received was that the final decision had been made, the matter was closed, and there would be no further discussion with me.

On Wednesday, November 13th, I convoked a meeting with a new Parish Pastoral Council and presented them with all of the correspondence related to this matter. We had a very thoughtful discussion and the consensus was that the Parish Pastoral Council should continue to make representation to the powers-that-be in this Archdiocese on the things that are most important to us as a parish community.

In the meantime, we should continue work at the building up the kind of parish that reflects the descriptive words of Pope Paul VI which we have adopted as our Parish Mission Statement:
“What then is a parish? It is the smallest section of the one universal flock which has been entrusted to Peter by the Lord. Under the authority of a responsible priest who has received the care of souls from his bishop, the parish is, within the Church of Jesus Christ, the first community of Christian life; it is a community cut to human dimensions, in which the shepherd can know his flock and the flock can know their shepherd …”

A reader also commented, “Thus, it seems that, just as the lack of parishioner status was exploited to move Extraordinary Form Mass parishioners out of Holy Trinity, these people may be stripped of their canonical rights – they are enrolled parishioners – if it suits the convenience of the Archdiocese.  The same goes for people who, attracted by the reverent manner in which the Ordinary Form is celebrated at Mary Immaculate, have enrolled there instead of their territorial parishes.”

BCI readers complaining about this situation find a number of aspects of this troubling.  First, the claimed justification by the Archdiocese that the “Latin Mass can now be said anywhere,” is a spurious claim, and the archdiocese knows they are trying to fool people with it. Yes, the Latin Mass can, in principle, be said “anywhere”–but the reality is that few priests know how to say the Latin Mass, and no other diocesan parishes offer it on a weekly and daily basis. (It is offered weekly on Sundays at St Adelaide in Peabody and in the basement at the Cathedral).  People want to belong to a parish and should be members of a parish, so even if the Latin Mass can, in theory, be said “anywhere,” it needs to actually be offered on a regular schedule somewhere. That it is offered on a weekly and daily basis in a centrally located parish, such as Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, allows the greatest number of faithful to attend, and indeed, many come from a great distance to attend the Latin Mass. What is the Boston Archdiocese proposing as the parish where the Latin Mass will be offered on a weekly and/or daily basis?

Furthermore, there appears to be a bit of a double-standard in play with respect to language-specific Masses and communities. The Boston Archdiocese has a designated parish with regular weekly Masses for the Korean Catholic Community at Corpus Christi in Newton. There is a weekly Haitian Mass at St. Charles Borromeo in Waltham. The Vietnamese Community is at St. Rose in Chelsea. There is a Cape Verdean Community at St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton and St. Patrick & St. Peter Parish in Boston. If we can have a designated parish and priest for regular weekly Masses for Korean, Haitian, Vietnamese and Cape Verdean, why not the same for the Latin Mass in a regular parish?

Lastly, the Boston Archdiocese says a”final decision” was made, the matter was closed, and “there would be no further discussion.”  Sounds like a far stretch from the supposed “transparent” operating approach the folks at the Pastoral Center claim to be operating under.

Readers, what do you think?

112 Responses to Boston Latin Mass community under threat by archdiocese

  1. Chris Whittle says:

    Terrible. Fr. Higgins made every effort to restore the church to it’s original condition and now he is being thrown under the bus by the people who have made this mess at the “Pastoral Center” for being too orthodox. (There is no such thing as “too orthodox.”)

    Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is the only parish in the Archdiocese where the TLM is said DAILY. Other places offer it sparingly. The Latin Mass is a dogma of the Church according to the Council of Trent, and Quo Primum says that priests can only say this Mass in perpetuity under the penalty of the wrath of the Ss. Peter & Paul if they refuse to do so. Vatican II never banned this Mass, as restated in Summorum Pontificum.

    So it is fair to say that one cannot function as a traditional priest in the Archdiocese of Boston without being bullied by the chancery. Unless we go on a Rosary Crusade and fast and pray for a new archbishop who will actually say the Traditional Latin Mass and make his priests do so, then Mary Immaculate will be one of half the remaining parishes that will be closed within the next few years.

  2. Chris says:

    So good to see you back, BCI. I am not part of the Latin Mass community, but I would indeed urge all readers to join in with a rosary novena for the intention of keeping the daily Latin Mass. And why not a personal letter to Pope Francis? He might just call — no sarcasm intended. Also a letter to Cardinal Burke and everyone and anyone in Rome. Boston’s reputation has suffered over there as a result of BCI’s investigative reporting. Let it continue to suffer…

    • j says:

      Wouldn’t it make more sense to find out who the new Pastor of the Collaborative is and make it known that daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form was important???

  3. D Paul says:

    Let’s look again at what happened to the aforementioned former archbishop of St. Louis, now Cardinal Burke. In August of 2008, he was removed as archbishop by a Vatican cabal, not my words but the words used in two emails in my possession from the Chancery. As noted, he was “given a job in the Vatican basement” as a “reward” for his anti abortion crusade against Catholic politicians. In addition, Cardinal Burke was the espouser of the Latin Mass in the archdiocese of St. Louis. He brought in the St. Francis De Sales institute for that purpose with him from Wisconsin. Once Burke was gone, the director of the institute in St. Louis was removed and sent back to Germany with the impetus of the auxiliary bishop administrator. I was present when their great preacher stated that the candidate Obama pre 2008 election was a modern day King Herod for his killing of the innocents. The fledgling growth of several other Latin rite Mass sites were stifled and shut down. The new pope has made it very plain that he is “pastoral”. Cardinal O is one of his 8 special advisors. I can even do the math.

    • John Hixson says:

      Some of this comment is not accurate. First off it is called the Institute of Christ the King..We had the Latin mass for years at St. Agatha’s where we gave extra money all the time to fix the church up. When Burke became Archbishop he brought in the institute and they decided to move us to St. Frances DeSales. Most if not all were upset by this move. Desales, although huge and beautiful is literally falling apart. It will take 800,000 dollars to just stop the tower from falling down. If you gave me 2 million dollars I could spend it all on renovation costs and still need more money. The AC is horrid, the heat is constantly breaking down, the roof is leaking , the brick and mortar elements are crumbling on the outside Also the “director” left when Burke left and followed him to Rome. Burke was a friend and was going to be their cash cow. With Burke gone the easy money dried up.
      The point of this post though is that you’re never safe with the Romans. You can be in a church for years you love and even move across the street from it and one day they will just move you because they feel like it. This can happen to anyone who loves the true Mass and will much more in the future with this pope because he thinks we are heretics (“Pelegianism”)

  4. Joyful Noise says:

    Though I have not attended the Latin Rite Mass in many years, I certainly support those who prefer this and do view them as a kind of personal parish, if that is indeed their form of worship.

    I am amazed that this Archdiocese would be infinitely supportive of those who speak in tongues in a circle on an altar, barefoot and guitar strumming, with more video cameras than a movie set, even during the consecration, and would then turn around and relegate the Latin Mass to a sporadic basement Mass.

    And, if you draw attention to this disparity of treatment you are told YOU are out of touch and YOU are intolerant and insensitive. One is deemed “cultural” and one is deemed “fanatical.”

    Just a gentle reminder, Card. SOM speaks Portuguese and Spanish and has lived in Latin world. Pope Francis speaks virtually no English. It is what it is and I suspect the choice for the inner circle was greatly influenced by this.

  5. Newton faithful Catholic says:

    BCI, thanks for this post, and glad to see you’re still alive and well.

    This is terrible news for the Catholic Church in Boston and in Newton. Whether it’s deliberate or not, this is practically the final dagger in the heart for faithful Catholics in Newton who take their faith seriously and want to be pushed to grow deeper in their faith. St. Bernards/Corpus Christi lost pastor Fr. Frank Silva to Burlington, and with the arrival of TV Mass priests Fr. Dan O’Connell and Fr. Reed, the Saturday morning Mass with Marian devotion and Eucharistic Adoration went away (now just Adoration at 9am one weekday morning when working folks can’t make it), and instead, parishioners are treated to watered-down-Catholicism in homilies that entertain but do little to teach the faith. With the retirement of Fr. John Connelly as pastor of Sacred Heart in Newton Centre, Newton lost a former prof of theology at St. Johns Seminary and in his place, Sacred Heart gets watered-down-Catholicism in homilies from Msgr. Dennis Sheehan.

    I agree, a Rosary campaign is needed to keep the Latin Mass at Mary Immaculate.

    • j says:

      At the present, there is no threat to the Latin Mass at Mary Immaculate; just a new, as yet un-named Pastor to provide it. I agree that it may be unlikely that the new Pastor would make a daily Mass a priority, given the sparse attendance, but the appropriate person to petition IS that new Pastor. If daily Mass is of such importance, the community that attends should make it clear to the new Collaborative Pastor that it is important, when that Pastor is announced.

  6. Disco says:

    In the Archdiocese of Boston there are now Latin Masses said on Sundays at Mary Immaculate, the Cathedral basement, and St Adelaide in Peobody. The Cathedral also has first friday masses in the evenings and there are sporadically scheduled masses at St. Paul in Cambridge sponsored by Juventutem Boston. Fr. Worthley also offers the traditional mass at St Catherine’s in Somerville from time to time as well.

    Mary Immaculate is the only church which has the Latin Mass daily. and it’s one of only a handful nationwide that do so with diocesan clergy. It is the only parish which celebrates the entire triduum according to the older form. To say it’s the flagship of the Boston Latin Mass community is an understatement.

    Mary Immaculate has three men in formation for the priesthood in Boston and has sent numerous others to seminaries elsewhere as well. What Fr. Higgins does there works. It’s the future of the Church. I pray that he be allowed to continue the good work as our pastor, but I fear that he will suffer retribution for his public comments and be exiled to hospital chaplaincy or some other punitive assignment.

  7. 509jrb2301 says:

    Good to have you blogging again. Missed you.
    According to the wishes of the Church, the extraordinary Rite should be available at each parish in the Archdiocese. Seems to me like a good specification for the new agglomerations. Why not insist that the new configurations implement a plan for the celebration of the ancient Rite for each new reconfiguration.

  8. David S. says:

    For folks on the North Shore, a Latin Mass is available on Sundays and Holy Days at St. Adelaide’s Church in Peabody:–Traditional-Latin-mass-

    Other Sacraments are available at St. Adelaide’s in the Extraordinary Form as well.

    • j says:

      Sean, Cardinal O’Malley will Celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, again, for all Catholics that attend the Extraordinary Form, next year at St Adelaide, Peabody, on May 11, 2014.

  9. patrick says:

    What underhanded deception on the part of the

    There is a genuine shepard and bishop in Rhode Island.

  10. DBP says:

    There is a part of the story that is not being told, and it’s all about money. When the Latin Mass community, prior to the motu proprio that established the TLM as the “extraordinary form” of the Mass, was forced out of Holy Trinity in the South End, there was a big fuss about the administrator commingling the funds from Holy Trinity and those of his own parish (St. James). Many in the TLM community believed that it was a rather trumped-up charge to get rid of that pastor, who served that community pretty well. The first move the Archdiocese made after closing that church was to attempt to sell the building and the property in what they hoped would be the pricey South End.
    Now the Archdiocese is shooing the TLM community from another parish, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, and what do you suppose are the real reasons? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Mary Immaculate has millions in the bank due to the sale of property over a decade ago? Once the parish is closed, that money goes to the Archdiocese (I believe – correct me if I’m wrong).
    The love of money truly is the root of all evil.

    • Mary Immaculate parishioner says:

      I don’t know everything about the finances at Mary Immaculate or how much cash we have in the bank, but I think the situation may be a little bit different than it was at Holy Trinity. Mary Immaculate runs an annual deficit–expenses are much greater than collections and revenue. A big part of the problem is that the parish-run cemetery is losing a lot of money–like several hundred thousand dollars a year. I’m not sure why they don’t just spin off the cemetery to the archdiocese and leave them to figure out how to make it break-even, instead of draining parish funds to keep the cemetery financially solvent. Though parish collections were up 10% this past year vs the previous year, they pay for only about 55% of the expenses, and Mary Immaculate is still drawing off parish reserves to pay the bills. Still, the Archdiocese might want to go after the parish assets. I don’t think the folks in Braintree are trustworthy to be focused just on helping people grow in their Catholic faith.That’s too much to ask or assume.

      • DBP says:

        MI Parishioner – you are correct about the deficit and about the cemetery being a costly draw on parish resources; however, to the best of my knowledge there was about 5-8 million in resources when Fr. Higgins was made pastor, and even with all the tremendous renovations to the church there is probably still a substantial sum in the bank. I agree that the people on Brooks Drive are perfectly capable of shutting the parish to get their hands on the parish’s assets.

      • Joyful Noise says:

        The parish also gets as yearly income the the interest on their account. That usually is enough to bring most parishes out of the red. Whether or not the parish is in the red should not be based solely on offertory collections, Christmas Bazaar, but also on the interest from their substantial funds (many parishes have this from the sale of parish schools) along with, rental income if any. Each parish is supposed to provide their annual financial report to the Archdiocese and most are posted on the website.

    • If big $ and land development are in play here then cafeteria Catholic money-man Peter Meade must be doing his pro-bono best to advise the Cardinal, just as he did with Holy Trinity in the South End.

  11. Michael Walsh says:

    Cardinal Sean is more interested in the “open borders” immigration crusade and importing a new population and has no time to serve the pastoral needs of the faithful (and growing) Latin Mass community. There are however plenty of resources to import seminarians to serve the charismatics in the “Neocatechumenal Way” sub-culture.

  12. JUSTYN TYME says:

    Wake Up People! You are dealing with people who as Jesus said are “wolves in sheeps clothing!” You are dealing with Ecclesiastical Careerists who are also Atheists at heart and soul who masquerade as Bishops/Priests, who use the Church, People and Money for their own personal ends. For them ministry is a job not a vocation and their example speaks volumes to those who have eyes to see. As Jesus said ” by their fruits you will know them” God don’t like Ugly!

    As I always say, the greatest need in the Church today is the CONVERSION OF THE CLERGY!” Evangelii Gaudium says as much. Pray for Francis, Our Bishops and Priests!

  13. Concerned Parent says:

    According to Fr. Paul Soper, Director of Pastoral Planning and apparently the main force behind this shoddy treatment being meted out to the Latin Mass parishioners of MIL, “The people, the “lost”, are coming to Mass, they’re just not staying,” and “Their experience there is not drawing them to stay.” Observing someone uttering catch phrases such as “Parish-based evangelization works…but we need strong parishes in order to do so” and ” Engage in radical hospitality” while at the same time willfully taking a sledgehammer to a strong, faith-filled and hospitable parish which is bursting at the seams with devoted parishioners who return week after week reveals quite an amazing disconnect. Whether the actual goal is to eradicate the Latin Mass or to redistribute the assets of the parish, or perhaps a combination of both, the outcome remains the same. This is spiritual assault at its worst. Since money is apparently the only language the AoB understands, perhaps it’s time to begin directing our donations elsewhere. Personally, I would consider myself an absolute fool if I were to continue to financially support the AoB given these circumstances.

  14. Stephen says:

    According to Fr. Soper in last weeks homily: The faithful can do three things to bring about The New Evangelizaion.
    1. You should tweet your friends DURING Mass and tell them where you are.
    2. You should move into the pew and welcome people coming down the aisle
    3. You should sing really loud even if you can’t sing.
    This is not calumny, I was in attendance.

    I honestly question the validity of his ordination.

    Fr. Higgins should seek out the Muslim community in Newton and offer his church for their services. The worms in Braintree would pee their pants. I am serious.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      These must be examples of “radical hospitality”. Unfortunately, after sending out Tweets, the temptation to surf the web, check the news, read email, and catch some scores may be too difficult to resist. Seriously though, if Tweeting and loud singing and aggressive “friendliness” are considered an improvement over reverence and holiness and beauty, then it’s no wonder church attendance is so low. Sounds as though the planned approach is to cultivate a sophomoric atmosphere at Mass (“like a foolish man who built his house on sand”). Such an approach would appeal to a limited market while repelling others.

      • Stephen says:

        Wake up. The planned approach is to completely destroy the Church Christ founded and replace it with a man centered church.

  15. tryingtofigureitout says:

    This is just outrageous….Please Please Please pray everyday for Father HIggins and for the Cardinal….This is going to come down to the Cardinal making a decision to either abandon this community or to do the ” pastoral ” and right thing and allow one of ( if not the most ) holiest and honest priests in the archdiocese to continue doing the incredible work of the lord… This is not only about the extraordinary form…. as bci noted, the ordinary form , as it is celebrated at Mary Immaculate is, simply put, , the way it should be. Please Cardinal Sean, if it would matter, come to Mary Immaculate and see what goes on there with the families at the 10:30 ef sunday mass. It is without a doubt simply amazing to see. Please Cardinal Sean, don’t take this away from us.

  16. Chris says:

    The people, the “lost,” are coming to Mass at St. Cecilia’s, Holy Family in Concord, St. Susanna’s in Dedham… and they are staying “LOST” because they don’t hear the Good News but the anti-life agenda. Why won’t the archdiocese take a sledge hammer to these parish communities?

    • MIchael says:

      Chris, [moderated by BCI]. Yes, people come to St. Cecilia–the pews are full every Sunday. Why? Because they are hearing the Gospel. Why don’t you come to the 9:30 or 11:15 Mass some Sunday instead of sitting there and pontificating like you know what you’re talking about. The Cardinal was at St. Cecilia recently and I think he was very taken with the worship and the fervor of the people.

      • Chris says:


        Oddly, Cardinal Sean’s blog recounted a recent visit to St. C’s, but made absolutely no mention of its pastor. Usually he goes on to congratulate the pastor on his great work, etc. But, for St. C’s, it’s radio silence… Perhaps you should Google “Gay Pride Mass” to understand some of the issues there. Or look into the amount spent on renovations.

    • Anni says:

      Cardinal O’Malley will celebrate the 11:30 Mass at Holy Family on Sun. Dec. 8 and then attend a reception with parishioners.

  17. Lazarus' Table says:

    Card. Sean is personally chosen by Pope Francis to be a special advisor, and obviously Card Sean judges there is nothing contrary to faith and morals happening at these parishes.

  18. 4questions says:

    everything BCI has posted from the archdiocese to rev. higgins illustrates a coldness in the archdiocese’s approach that is offputting. hmmm….

    four questions…

    i) is it more likely that the cardinal and other individuals in the archdiocese have done a complete reversal in their thinking since the latin mass was moved to newton or is it more likely that a new decision maker is in the picture that might feel different about all of this and is inserting his will?

    ii) if you do a google search of the new leaders at the archdiocese over the past few years that are heavily involved in this pastoral planning process, which one has a history at Mary Immaculate parish, is there one important figure that comes up? [answer is yes]

    iii) would priests and those in the pastoral center describe this leader as cold or warm, uncaring or caring? [moderated by BCI]

    iv) would this new leader, with a history at the parish [moderated by BCI] happily allow the cardinal, paul soper and everyone else to take the bullet and blame for this mess?

    first person to connect the dots gets an extra turkey leg …

    • “4 questions” and “Brian,”
      In case you are not aware of this, BCI asks readers to avoid making personal attacks in comments. As such, we have moderated your comments. Based on the way your questions were posed and then answered, we have reason to suspect you are in cahoots posing the questions and then answering them yourself a few hours later. Please do not try to manipulate comments or the blog.

    • Mary Immaculate parishioner says:

      4 questions,
      Sounds like Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General Bishop Robert Deeley.

      He…was ordained to the priesthood on July 14, 1973 at Sacred Heart Church in Watertown, his home parish.

      His first local assignment was as Associate Pastor at St. Bartholomew parish in Needham for five years. In 1978, with his appointment as Secretary to the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston, he began a ministry which would last for over twenty years in that office. The last ten years of that time he served as Judicial Vicar (1989-1999). Throughout that period, apart from his years of graduate study in Rome in Canon Law, he lived in parishes where he served as Assistant Priest in residence; including at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton Upper Falls (1978-1981), and after being awarded his Doctorate in Canon Law, at St. Brigid’s Parish in Lexington (1985-1999).

      Rather than getting the turkey leg, I’d like to know what his feelings are about the Latin Mass and about Fr. Higgins. Bishop Deeley spent years in Rome working closely with Cardinal Ratzinger, so one would think he is like-minded, but maybe not. Do you have reason to believe Bishop Deeley dislikes the Traditional Latin Mass, or that he or others are retaliating against Fr. Higgins or Mary Immaculate? What exactly are you implying, and what do you think the consequences are for us?

      • j says:

        Bishop Deeley has Celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, and since arriving in Boston, has Presided as Bishop at Solemn Requiem.

  19. Is every parish remaining in the RCAB going to end up being “reconfigured” or whatever they call it? This sounds terrible. Individual parishes will loose their identity and just be merged into mindless, communistic collectives.

  20. tryingtofigurethisout says:

    BCI, for the love of God, Please please please moderate the comments on this… This is a very dangerous and important issue that is going to have a very sad outcome if not handled properly. The bottom line on this is the issue is only going to be decided with a personal appeal to the Cardinal…the people the Cardinal has entrusted to him have looked at it and made their recommendations. Only Cardinal Sean is going to be able to prevent this awful situation from coming to fruition…what is not going to be helpful to Father Higgins in any way is public personal attacks on specific individuals who are linked to this merger recommendation…. Father Higgins knows what he has to do with this and needs our prayers . for anyone to come on this public forum and do anything other than pray for Father and for the Cardinal to have the wisdom to override the recommendation is doing nothing but hurting the effort… if anyone feels the need to tear apart any of the people on the committee who made this recommendation you had better reevaluate just what the hell you are doing because you are doing it for ego and not for saving what Father Higgins has built… if you really care about saving MIL and the latin mass community STOP the insults and personally ask Father Higgins what it is you can do to help?… Please BCI don’t contribute to the dismantling of the best parish and best priest this diocese has…The goal is to keep it alive… don;t lose sight of that

    • We have just moderated the offending comments with a personal attack–or at least what we believe to be the offending comments. People are trying to figure out what is going on in this situation, and what to do about it, so for that reason we have open comments. We would ask all readers to avoid personal attacks.

      • tryingtofigurethisout says:

        thank you BCI for doing so… if people want to figure out what is going on they need to talk to father higgins directly… if they don’t feel the need to do that or don’t have that much skin in the game, they need to realize that speculating on an open forum and rumor spreading is NOT going to help the situation and will only harm it,….anyone doing so is not a true friend of MIL and the vetus ordo apostulate or Father Higgins….there is a lot at risk here and we have to do everything we can not to blow this one…..

      • Concerned Parent says:

        Thank you for allowing open comments. Clearly, now that this news has been made public, the time for backdoor diplomacy is over. Bottom line: We’ve been informed that the decision is made and that all discussion is finished. This is unacceptable; we have the right to proper pastoral care and Cardinal O’Malley has the obligation to honor the promise made to us by him and by Pope Benedict. He’ll either choose to honor that promise or to disregard it.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      Sorry to disagree, but I don’t believe it’s appropriate to imply on this public forum that Fr. Higgins is engaged in some sort of organized resistance movement to preserve the parish. It’s not his role (which I thought he made perfectly clear). Being a priest of holiness and integrity, he will, of course, honor his vow of obedience. We have the right to be heard, but we haven’t got the right to put him in the middle of this unfortunate situation.

      • To Concerned Parent and tryingtofigurethisout,

        BCI agrees with Concerned Parent–backdoor diplomacy has taken place and we’ve been informed that the archdiocese feels the decision is made and they wants no more discussion. For this blog–which has no connection to Fr. Higgins or Mary Immaculate–to provide a forum for an open discussion about the matter is merely a forum. BCI should not be seen as threat to backdoor diplomacy which is now clearly done and over with. There should also be no false spreading of rumors.

        Fr. Higgins has no involvement in this forum and there is a good chance he has no idea about this discussion on BCI. Furthermore, nothing should be implied that Fr. Higgins is engaged in any sort of organized resistance effort to preserve the parish.

        Yes, parishioners have a right to be heard and should take their feedback directly to Cardinal O’Malley and Vicar General Bishop Deeley. We would suggest each person ask for a meeting do discuss this face-to-face.

        It is our experience on this blog that often the airing of issues in this open forum is helpful for both sides–for faithful Catholics to provide a venue for their opinions to be heard, and for officials in the archdiocese to hear those opinions and have an opportunity to take action without having to acknowledge where they heard those opinions.

  21. Safelygrazing says:

    The obvious solution is to continue Fr. Higgin’s ministry and TLM at MIL within the collaborative. What’s the problem?

    • Compass Rose says:

      I agree – if only the AoB would go along with it. But that doesn’t seem to be part of their plan. I hope they can be persuaded to change their minds

      • tryingtofigurethisout says:

        it is not the answer… 1- inevitably one of the churches would suffer and be neglected….Do you realize the schedule that Father Higgins has at MIL?….This priest offers a daily novus ordo and a daily vetus ordo m-sat , a 4 pm novus ordo vigil on sat, 3 novus ordo and 1 vetus ordo masses on sunday…he offers a vetus ordo and a novus ordo on each and every holy day of obligation….how could anyone suggest that the man do any more than he does… 2- One of the great things at MIL is that the sunday vetus ordo is not relegated to the scrap heap with some obscure time like a 200pm sun afternoon mass… it is where just about every biggest mass of the sunday schedule is at most parishes— between 10 and 11am start time… the main ” family mass ” start time….one of the churches in the collaborative would not have the main sunday mass at that time…that’s unfair ….3- this is important because the main ” family mass ” at MIL is the vetus ordo….family being the key… the amount of young people and young families at the vetus ordo and the community and fellowship they have built is astounding….this is not replaceable by simply ” going to another latin mass at say the basement of the cathedral….4- there is no assurance that Father Higgins would remain the priest at the new collaborative and in fact the ” plan ” seems to discourage it… the phase one has a 50 % retention rate… 50% of the new collaboratives have kept one of the former priests… 50 % have not….Pray Pray Pray for Father Higgins and for the Cardinal so that he may have the wisdom to make the right decision with this….

    • Stephen says:

      The problem is this. Your solution is to a non-problem. The real problem is that there are strong forces within RCAB that are hostile to TLM. The cluster, collaborative, conundrum is a make-work manufactured problem brought by church professionals set on the destruction of The Church as it has been known for 2,000 years. Lets just keep our heads down until this Vatican 2 craze blows over.

  22. Lazarus' Table says:

    I DON’T know if this is true but a friend who visited the South said he drove past a (non-Catholic) Church with the note on its outdoor message board: “Free Wi-Fi”. I sure hope our Pastoral Plan people don’t hear of this…

    • tryingtofigurethisout says:

      This is not helpful Sir.. Please stop … for the love of God please stop with the fresh remarks

  23. Catherine says:

    Truly this is sad news. I don’t understand all this tension around the Extraordinary Form — the bottom line is: it’s Mass, it’s valid, and people go. People go by choice, and love it!

    Why is there always a free and open view on all the other Masses in all the other languages, but Latin can’t catch a break. It’s working at MIL, why not let it continue — what’s the harm? It’s MASS.

    Thankfully there are a lot of young, dedicated Mass go-ers who are on fire for the EF. And they embrace their full Catholic faith — their social circles expand out of the EF community, they just like to attend Mass in the EF (and attend the Ordinary Form, too). They give me hope. Their flames are burning bright. 🙂

    p.s. prayers for Fr. Higgins; he’s so kind and humble, and also dedicated and strong. God bless!

  24. Father Higgins *is* wonderful. I will miss MIL (which I just started attending about a month ago). Luckily, the Saint Benedict Center, in Still River, is not in the Archdiocese of Boston. And the SSPX is looking to build in Boston.

  25. Objective Observer says:

    Someone needs to look up the word “collaborate” in the dictionary. You will not find, “act independently and demand to be granted an exception.” Father Higgins is terrific, and the Latin Mass meets a need. But this is a universal Church, and it needs to be somewhat less congregational in Newton from what I could learn…

    The example of the Korean Catholic Community resonates the most of any point made in these comments. The KCC had always been part of a parish, but in the summer of 2012 they demanded, and were granted, completely independent status in a “rent-to-own” arrangement at the church of Corpus Christi. They have no relationship to the parish of CC-SB; the pastor of CC-SB specified as much when he took the job last summer. So they are not registered parishioners, and they are completely autonomous. They are theoretically supervised by an office in Braintree, but that’s more a case of the KCC priest keeping Braintree at arm’s length and on a need-to-know basis. Although not possible under the Canons, they have “renamed” Corpus Christi church for a Korean martyr. So, no, “collaborate” doesn’t live there.

    Being a town pockmarked by exceptions, Newton has attained the following:

    According to the RCAB website, seven priests and three permanent deacons are assigned in Newton (not counting St Ignatius). Newton represents the truth that the collaborative system has more exceptions than rules.

    1. The only collaborative formed so far is the one with Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians. After being told that no pastor would hold over in any collaborative, the OLHC pastor was named to the collaborative. There are three priests and one permanent deacon assigned to the collaborative.
    2. Saint Ignatius was told they could ignore the program (as they always do) even though they are a diocesan parish whose real estate is in Newton, owned by RCAB, and whose Mass attendance is not growing.
    3. CCSB has two resident priests and two permanent deacons, but only about 350 people at Mass on a weekend. Even if they were to combine with MIL, there wouldn’t be the Mass attendance and income the RCAB says is required to form the substance of a collaborative.
    4. The Korean Catholic Community is exempt from all collaborative requirements, even though their Mass attendance is well under 500 per weekend.

    Five priests and three permanent deacons could serve the Latin Mass community (250), the Korean Mass community (300) and the 1800-2000 garden variety Newton weekend Mass goers. (The Deaf Community resides at Sacred Heart and is served by a priest who has been trained to that special ministry, but is not assigned to the parish.) Add in the three permanent deacons who are very active and seem well-liked, and you have about double the clergy personnel of a “model” collaborative or parish (two priests for 1500 Mass goers).

    Are we a universal Church? Can we work together? Or are we all too special to possibly kneel down together? If Newton spells “collaborate” e-x-c-e-p-t-i-o-n, Heaven help Dorchester.

    • Compass Rose says:

      I don’t understand your comments. MIL is not looking for an exception. We are merely trying to worship with the Latin Mass that many of us find more reverent and dignified and was authorized by Popes JP II and Benedict. We are not forcing this on anyone else if they find the Novus Ordo more conducive to their faith. Also we are at MIL because Cardinal Sean gave it to the Latin Mass community after Holy Trinity was closed and said we could have a home parish that we would belong to. Now that it has been built up and become stable the AoB is revoking its status. There would be no Latin Mass on a regular basis and we could only belong to our local geographic parish. The LM community would cease to exist. Does that represent trust and honesty and keeping your word? No – and the sense of resentment and betrayal is a natural consequence. There is great things happening at MIL including vocations that would lost for the so called New Evangilization.

    • tryingtofigurethisout says:

      perhaps you could explain how this quote from the committee jive with ” working together ” as you put it..

      ” the canonically open status of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes will be revoked and that it will be up to the future pastor of the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes—Corpus-Christi/St. Bernard collaborative to decide whether or not to continue offering it.”

    • Objective Observer says:

      Dear Rose and Trying,

      The language cited, as quoted, makes no sense. “Open” status as a parish cannot be revoked; it must be altered by a decree of merger or a decree of suppression. Does “open” refer to something else? Or have you been provided a redacted version of the letter? The collaborative literature states specifically that no parish will be suppressed in this process. So what does the letter say? Is it on the MIL website somewhere I can’t find it?

      Please re-read my comment. It advocates for the Latin Mass in Newton, and clearly MIL has the most suitable liturgical setting for it. The Balkanization of Newton is the problem. One year ago, there were three Masses in Newton between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. One was in American Sign Language, one was in Korean and one was in Latin. There was no Mass from 10:00 – 11:00 in spoken English. At some point we are a universal Church or we are a congregational church.

      Think about it… can the Latin Mass thrive in a town where all the parishes support one another?

  26. Chris says:

    Another “very special” open parish is St. Anselm’s in the very wealthy suburb of Sudbury. Here is a statement from its history page:

    “Rectorate Years (June 3, 2006 – Present)

    “The Rectorate conducted its first Mass on June 3, 2006. As a result of our 21 month vigil and through spirited negotiations with the Archdiocese of Boston, St. Anselm was re-opened as the 1st Rectorate in the United States. We have all the rights and privileges of a parish and we are not encumbered by territorial boundaries. Our membership consists of all of the faithful who pass through our doors. Our faith-filled, committed, caring, Catholic community has been rewarded with a renewed spirit of hope in a long and prosperous future! ”

    The rector, Fr. Tom Kopp, is a good priest. But there are two Catholic parishes in Sudbury, St. Anselm and Our Lady of Fatima — which has Fr. Richard Erikson, former vicar general, as pastor. No word on its rectorate status being revoked as a collaborative is being formed. As you might imagine the parishioners there have lots of time and enthusiasm to make trouble…

  27. Can you explain to the newbies here the significance of being designated as the (1st) Rectorate?? I have a feeling this is an important point but I am lost. One usually hears the designation of rectorate in Protestant circles. Is it that you are more akin to a personal parish without geographic borders?? Do geographic borders even really determine where you attend Mass? Does the Archdiocese think they can direct people to a particular church and only that church? If so, why would they even want to do that?

  28. Chris says:

    Well, you can go to the St. Anselm’s website and read up on the history section. I have no idea how they pulled this off… only some speculation…

    I think you can be an internet parishioner, BTW.

    • tryingtofigurethisout says:

      interesting…a nice warm welcome mat for the voice of the faithful crew….plus a heavy mass schedule of one vigil and one sunday mass….plus the current bulletin cliams the are in the red pretty good….interesting

  29. Alice Slattery says:

    The fact that St. Anselm’s has Voice of the Faithful meetings “six times a year”,as reported in their Evangelization news, will be a big plus in the mind of Fr. Paul Soper who is now in charge of the parish reconfigurations. As pastor of St. Albert,the Great, parish in Weymouth, before he was chosen to be in his new position, he made sure that Voice of the Faithful met monthly at St. Albert’s. When Voice of the Faithful had their 10th anniversary conference in Boston in 2012, he had a notice in the bulletin inviting parishioners to attend. One of the 3 major speakers at that VOTF conference was Jamie L. Manson, a self-identified lesbian as noted in one of her many articles for The National Catholic Reporter,”Sexual diversity,the Catholic Church, and all that remains unsaid”(Sept.14,2011):”Both my own story as a lesbian Catholic and the dozens of stories that I have encountered during my years of ministry show me how much of the gay,lesbian and transgendered Catholic experience remains unexamined”. The conference program described her as “A frequent speaker and retreat leader, she is a homilist for the New York City chapter of Dignity USA and has served on the board of the Women’s Ordination Conference.” Her subject at the VOTF Conference was :”Intersecting Activism: Social Justice,solidarity,and the future of church communities”. Voice of the Faithful apparently feels her voice is important for Catholic to hear. Since Fr. Soper invited his parishioners at St. Albert’s to attend the conference, he appears to agree that her voice should be heard. He is now a major influence in the Boston archdiocese. What influence will this desire to promote VOTF have in the future?

  30. Anthony Vincent says:

    Perhaps, you people should pray to the Holy Spirit that he opens your eyes. Rules are broken; the rule-breakers are rewarded, and, then, all good Catholics, lay and faithful, must be obedient. Look at the issue of altar girls. Guess who went to Rome and secured this new “ministry?” None other than your own Cardinal Law. As for Sean O’Malley, anyone who pleads a valid case to him must be reminded that this prelate canonized St. Teddy of Chappaquiddick for the news feeds. Do you honestly think that John Paul II allowed for the Traditional Latin Mass out of the goodness of his heart? JPII was getting beat at this own game by the SSPX, and the Vatican didn’t like it. Who knows? Maybe, Benedict XVI only offered an olive leaf to the SSPX to take it over and dilute it. Thankfully, the SSPX did not take the bait! If there is a silver-lining to that cloud in the minds of Vatican leaders, perhaps, it is that they knocked Bishop Williamson out of the organization and made a pariah out of him.

    • tryingtofigureitout says:

      anthony , i don’t understand how you think a post like this is helpful …..citing the splinter group and a bishop that the splinter group agreed was off the rails and associating that with the campaign to save MIL can only be viewed as treacherous or incredibly ignorant… your attacks on the cardinal are hurting the cause?… is this what you want? to not have MIL continue on as it is….that is what you are contributing to with your ego driven post

  31. Frank Doyle says:

    Since all parishes in the archdiocese will eventually be incorporated
    into the pastoral plan, any parish that offers the Traditional Latin
    Mass will face the same situation as MIL. If the FSSP or the IKCSP
    were invited by Cardinal O’Malley to establish a parish that would
    be one solution. Canon Law also has some possible solutions namely an ordinariate or an apostolic administration for the
    Traditional Roman Rite in the United States. Perhaps if all the
    faithful in the U.S. who love the Traditional Roman Rite petitioned
    the Holy See an ordinariate or an apostolic administration might
    be established. Such an effort would not be easy but it would be
    better than maintaining the status quo.

  32. tryingtofigureitout says:

    you are missing a very important point frank…. MIL is Bi Rite… the Beauty of the BI Rite parish is that it does exactly what summorum pontificum calls for …the view that both forms of the roman rite ( ordinary and extraordinary ) be allowed AND PRESERVED AND AVAILABLE….the future of the church as we know it is directly linked to the ability of families ( parents ) to impart the faith to their children… providing a bi rite church where families can slowly introduce the extraordinary form is the IDEAL situation for preserving both forms….the novus ordo is a legitimate form of the mass…traditionalists generally, not all but a large amount, are frustrated with the license taken with the novus ordo post vat 2…their rejection of it to whatever degree they have is understandable… but teaming up with the splinter SSPX is not the answer as some have indicated

    FSSP: Not that i wouldn’t want to see the FSSP come here some day but that is shortsighted…..The amazing word being done by Father Higgins at MIL needs to be preserved and protected because It IS producing so many fruits for the church with seminarians and families who are getting help raising their children to know and love the faith….one of the key points in this is that there are many things that are a part of the vetus ordo that are not currently done by 99% of the celebrants of the novus ordo that could and should and in fact were called for to be done in the novus ordo by VAT 2. ….i strongly urge anyone who doesn’t understand what i am talking about to go to a novus ordo mass at MIL offered by Father Higgins and see what i mean….

    Father Higgins is a shining example of what a good,holy, faithful priest is and what all priests should aspire to be. He is a hero for what he has done there and needs copious amounts of prayers so that the Cardinal will have the insight and wisdom to allow him to continue doing what he is doing.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “but teaming up with the splinter SSPX is not the answer as some have indicated”

      Perhaps not, but it is a natural consequence that when people are thrown out of their parish and made to feel unwanted, they will end up taking their families and contributions outside the AoB. Has it crossed your mind that the AoB would be happy to see us go?

  33. tryingtofigureitout says:

    the answer is that MIL be allowed to continue the apostulate of a bi rite parish…it is a unique situation that has a stronger argument thatn any argument that can be presented by any other regular novus ordo only parish….it is not possible to be a bi rite parish without a bi rite priest….if more priests come onboard who can offer the vetus ordo then this would be less of an issue…summorum call for offering the extraordinary form if there is a demand… there is clearly a demand for it at MIL….Please God let it continue

    • Concerned Parent says:

      Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted in Waltham was granted ” stand alone” status after an appeal.

    • Robert Quinn says:


      I agree with you. Frankly, I think moving forward [over the long haul] all Roman Rite parishes should offer both forms as part of the Liturgical Renewal. The ancient Mass should not be relegated to some obscure part of the Sunday liturgical schedule, as remains the case in many parishes since the motu proprio. This would require formal training of clergy and laity alike, along with ready available of Latin/vernacular hand missals for the laity.

      Apostolic Administrations, Personal Prelatures and Personal Parishes while providing canonical safe haven for the continued use of the older forms of Liturgy and Sacraments, would have a tendency to put them in a eccesiastical ghetto.

      The more widespread use of both forms on the parochial level have the potential of contributing significantly to the New Evangelization. I believe coexistence of the Vetus and Novus Ordos in parish life, will eventually benefit both forms, grounding the ‘Reform of the Reform’ in a very practical way. Yes, it will be a lot of work for both Clergy and Laity alike, but would result in a rich evangelization that better conveys continuity in [Roman] Catholic identity. Eventual reforms could result in the synchronizing both liturgical calendars, with the ancient form adopting the feast days of the newly canonized and the restoration of Octave and Ember days for the normative Novus Ordo.

  34. Frank Doyle says:


    Actually MIL also has Iraqi Catholics so you could say it is tri-ritual.
    The problem with relying on one priest is that you will not have him
    indefinitely. A structure needs to be in place that will allow for
    the continuation of the Traditional Rite without depending on a
    particular circumstance. Hence my reference to Canon Law.

    An ordinariate already exists for former Anglicans and there is
    an apostolic administration for the Traditional Rite in Brazil so
    there is precedent for it.


  35. Robert Quinn says:

    FYI, the Iraqi Catholics, rely on their own priest for celebration ofthe Syriac Divine Liturgy which is in Arabic and Aramaic.

  36. Frank Doyle says:

    Robert Quinn:

    Thank you. I was aware of the fact that Fr. Higgins does not
    offer the Syriac Divine Liturgy. I hope to attend it at some point.


  37. Frank Doyle says:

    Robert Quinn:

    Although Benedict XVI wanted both rites to coexist at the
    parochial level, I believe many pastors are either opposed to
    or not interested in the Old Rite. Many of the faithful who assisted
    at the Old Rite in their youth (and they constitute a majority of Mass
    goers) prefer the New Rite. Since the former group would not allow it in their parishes and the latter would not go to it, I think it unlikely that the Old Rite will be more widespread anytime soon. Therefore, I believe the best short term solution would be either an ordinarite or an apostolic administration. Whether or not Pope Francis would agree to such a solution remains to be seen, however, it certainly is


    • Lynne says:

      “Many of the faithful who assisted at the Old Rite in their youth (and they constitute a majority of Massgoers) prefer the New Rite”

      Yes and many of that age/era also support VOTF. They’re dying off (which is why we’re closing/merging parishes). Young people find the Old Rite very attractive.

  38. Robert Quinn says:

    Unfortunately, you accurately describe the current reality and any hope of adopting both forms universally on a parochial level is a practical stretch, given our present ecclesiatical landscape. The only way this could be accomplished by mandatum. Given the current state of catechesis and sensus catholicus, I would not be surprised there would be no demand for the older form after 45 years by those who came of age with it. Generally speaking this includes Clergy and Laity alike of a certain generation. The real hope for the long haul is with young people, a generation that is vastly unchurched. I sense the Holy Spirit is very active in the spiritual vacuum these young folks find themselves. It may explain why so many of MIL’s parishioners are under 35, hungry for orthodox formation.

    Pastorally, I do understand a mandatum at this point would be far worse than the implementation of the Novus Ordo on the First Sunday of Advent [30 November ], 1969. IMHO, the Faithful are far less docile and trusting of the Clergy today, for many reasons. Admittedly, a similar implementation today, would present a pastoral nightmare if implemented too quickly, despite its good intention. This is why it is so important to maintain MIL in its current configuration, As an example of how a bi-ritual parish can effectively contribute to evangelization.

  39. SOS Catholic says:

    BTW…. Does anyone know the status of Holy Trinity in South End. It’s just sitting there.

    • Save Holy Trinity says:

      Unfortunately, five days after the change in status of Mary Immaculate was announced, those appealing the relegation to profane use of Holy Trinity to profane use were notified that the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome had upheld Cardinal O’Malley’s relegation decree with no further appeal allowed in the court system. The appellants will appeal to Pope Francis.
      All sides lost in this process. The Archdiocese lost over $300,000 – real estate taxes ($217,000 since the City of Boston started charging real estate tax in February, 2011) plus property management fees (to a firm the Archdiocese hired to maintain all closed churches until they were sold) and repairs (such as erecting a chain link fence around the property to prevent vandalism by the homeless). Costs of the latter two probably exceed $100,000. (Holy Trinity’s tax bills can be viewed at ) The Cathedral Parish has been forced to take a loan to pay this debt.
      Bigger losers are the future residents of the now-trendy South End. Within two blocks of Holy Trinity, more than 1200 units of housing (apartments and condos) are planned, plus a Whole Foods. On several occasions, apparently unchurched young adults – the type we would like to reach in the New Evangelization – who came to see the church were stunned by its beauty and appalled that the Archdiocese was going to close it. A clutch of them sat in the choir loft at the closing Mass because “they always wanted to see the church.”
      It is with these people in mind that Holy Trinity parishioners have recently formed the Holy Trinity Restoration Society ( We propose assuming the maintenance costs and in return request one Mass be allowed at Holy Trinity per year. This plan is patterned after groups that have saved over two dozen churches in other parts of the United States.
      BCI, you mentioned that sometimes people at Brooks Drive read this and approach people with concerns about the governance of the Archdiocese to sometimes solve problems in a mutually agreeable manner. (I know I’m paraphrasing.) We really want to reach the heart of the Cardinal with the message that reopening Holy Trinity would really advance the New Evangelizatiion in the Archdiocese.

  40. Capt Crunch says:

  41. Stephen says:

    Enemies of the Latin Mass are enemies of Christ.

    • John Hixson says:

      Amen Stephan. Those who changed the liturgy did so to enact a change in the peoples sensus catholicas. After over four decades they have accomplished almost all. The only people that stand in the are the traditionist or restorationist palagians as Bergoglio calls them. They hate them for it.

    • Mike says:

      And on what authority do you make that claim? Read the Gospels and ask yourself if Jesus would care about the ritual of the Latin Mass.

      • Stephen says:

        I think that is a fair question.
        I think it is a question of spiritual discernment.
        I didn’t say people who don’t prefer the Latin Mass, I said
        people who are enemies of the Latin Mass. As for authority
        I am a layman and I claim none on these matters.
        Would Jesus care? WWJD perhaps?
        These are protestant presumptive thoughts I do not engage in.
        Your ‘ritual’ is The Holy Sacrifice of the Alter: where Christ comes to us in the form of bread and wine – truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The fullness of that reality is perhaps not found explicitly enough for you in scripture, thank God it has been preserved through the majesterium and Tradition.

  42. Sue A says:

    I find it ironic that a papal political decision in the 16th century to unify the various forms and rites of the Mass into the Roman Missal seems to be the sole basis of the personal spirituality of some people. Those that want to hold onto the past becuase they are uncomfortable with the present and the future. I have fond memories of the Latin Mass from when I was growing up. But I never felt like I participated in the Mass until I could understand it in english.

    • DBP says:

      So, Sue, the efficacy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass depended upon your ability to “feel” your participation therein? Hmmmm, sounds vaguely heretical. Are you a recent graduate of the MAM program? Fact is, you didn’t “feel” like you were participating because you weren’t catechized appropriately. I was brought up in the new rite, but when I decided to understand it better I bought a booklet on the so-called Tridentine Rite Mass which was originally printed in the early sixties and explained it for children. If I could understand it I could participate, but even if I couldn’t IT WAS STILL THE MASS! That’s the major issue with the “can’t stand people’s attachment to the old Mass” folks like you – you just don’t understand.

  43. Stephen says:

    Is that spit I see coming out of your mouth? Stop dying your hair and being concerned about what other people are allegedly uncomfortable with. Key words here – “I never felt like”. I’m glad the Novos Ordo makes you feel all comfy and participative in your ‘personal spirituality’ (gag). Maybe you and Mike can hang out and beat a drum.

    Watch the video. If the issue at hand is not self-evident, It makes me wonder if you people are still high from Woodstock.

    When Canon Law is violated, there is no Canon jail. A shame really.

    The only irony I see is that – your feelings trumped your fond memories.

    • Capt Crunch says:

      The problem Sue and Mike is the Mass is not the sole basis of personal spirituality. Why don’t you ask why people are so attached to the traditions (plural) that have been changed.

      – The Mass has changed
      – The Liturgical Calendar has changed
      – The Rosary has changed
      – The Divine Office has changed
      – The rites for Baptism, Extreme Unction, etc have changed
      – The emphasis on sinfulness has changed
      – The emphasis on Christ’s suffering has changed

      I can continue here but my point is EVERYTHING has changed. The Catholic persona has been completely changed. People who are attached the 16th century Roman Missal’s are attached to the spirituality of traditional Catholicism, not the fluffy PC thing that has so diluted the traditions people don’t know what to believe anymore.

      What authority Mike? The popes. Read their encyclicals and you’ll understand. And if you choose not to read their encyclicals that’s your choice but it would be a mistake to disagree with folks based on an uninformed opinion. Just sayin’

      • Stephen says:

        Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever.
        D.R. Hebrews 13:8.

        Catholics are attached to the traditions because they are truths revealed and passed down through history. People who protest such things are called protest-ants.

        I didn’t know Cardinal Law brought us the solution-looking-for-a -problem known as ‘the alter girl’. Is this accurate?

    • S Anderson says:

      Your comments lack a Christian zeal that I would expect from someone who is focused on the true nature of the modern Church.

      • Capt Crunch says:

        Right. Is that a back handed ad hominem? I’m not playing, stick to the facts. Didn’t you read what BCI said about personal attack?

  44. Capt Crunch says:

    What EXACTLY did Vatican II say about the Mass?

  45. Robert Quinn says:

    Debating the polemics of Vatican II, the SSPX, sede vacantism, the Novus Ordo vs. TLM is starting to get way off topic guys. This is not a helpful to discussion about the continued constructive role Mary Immaculate [or the closed Holy Trinity fChurch or that matter] in this Archdiocese.

    The ‘bomb throwing’ is beginning to derail any chance for intelligent discourse. Please pull back and re-assess the discussion points. How about looking at a “Tradtional” Parish’s role as a leaven to the incredibly secular culture that surrounds it. How effectively do we imitate Christ’s love for the Church and its impact on the world, through the language of Beauty and Tradition? Instead we seem to be fighting amongst ourselves, which is preventing us from moving forward with a clear sense of Mission.

  46. Robert Quinn says:


    Debating the polemics of Vatican II, the SSPX, sede vacantism, the Novus Ordo vs. TLM is starting to get way off topic guys. This is not a helpful to discussion about the continued constructive role of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes [or the closed Holy Trinity Church for that matter] in this Archdiocese.

    The ‘bomb throwing’ is beginning to derail any chance for intelligent discourse. Please pull back and re-assess the discussion points. How about looking at a “Tradtional” Parish’s role as a leaven to the incredibly secular culture that surrounds it. How effectively do we imitate Christ’s love for the Church and its impact on the world, through the language of Beauty and Tradition? Instead we seem to be fighting amongst ourselves, which is preventing us from moving forward with a clear sense of Mission.

  47. Readers,
    We ask that readers keep their comments relevant to the main topic of the BCI blog post. As Robert observed, the tangential comments about other topics are starting to derail the discourse about the main topic of the BCI post which is about the continued role of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes and both the Latin Mass community and exceptionally reverential novus ordo Mass there.

  48. Stephen says:

    “Those that want to hold onto the past because they are uncomfortable with the present and the future.”
    As stated by Sue A. Is what MIL is up against.
    This is about power, lets not kid ourselves about intelligent discourse.
    They stopped discussion because they want the execution to begin and know there is no rational reason to close MIL.

  49. Capt Crunch says:

    I completely disagree that we’re bomb throwing.

    The Archdiocese does not fully support tradition. The ceasing of the Extraordinary form from MIL is a small piece in the larger scheme to silence tradition.

    If the Archdiocese is solely concerned about its pastoral plan and needs to shuffle pastors and can no longer support the EF fine. But there are also viable alternatives that could be explored as a solution such as allowing the FSSP or ICKRS to setup in Boston. I’m sure all Cardinal Sean has to do is pick up the phone and get the ball rolling. Why can’t that be discussed?

    That discussion has come up before, even here on BCI, as then this conversation always get derailed as off topic…

    • Robert Quinn says:

      Capt Crunch,

      I appreciate your response, particularly entertaining viable alternatives. I agree we need to look at alternatives, if the diocesan structure is unable to continue support of our apostolate. I think we should “roll up our sleeves” to put viable contingencies in place, if the status quo fails us. We owe this to the Catholic community whether they think so [at the moment] or not.

      Personally, I’ve have been involved with the TLM since 1994 when I first attended Holy Trinity, and on to MIL in 2007. It’s been quite a ride for the last few years, for better of worse. I am under no illusions regarding the impact of Archdiocesan policies and decrees. They have and continue to directly affect my family, my Parish and regular practice of the Faith.

      To keep our peace, live the Faith abundantly and not develop a “seige mentality” can be a mortification and truly our share of the Cross. Nevertheless, we still need to be prepared for constant challenge from within and without with a focus on Christ.

      We need to be both charitable and bold [unapologetic, not prideful] in our apostolate. A “take no prisoners”, loving approach to those we engage.

    • Stephen says:

      “If the Archdiocese is solely concerned about its pastoral plan and needs to shuffle pastors and can no longer support the EF fine.”

      No actually it is not fine. The faithful have a RIGHT to the Latin Mass as Pope Benedict put so eloquently in 2007. Obedience to error is vice not virtue. MIL literally defines what a stable group within a parish desiring TLM looks like, their simple existence unnerves the progressives.

      The Pastor of MIL should keep in mind – When found in a position of leadership, lead. Pastoral plans are not dogmatic declarations.

  50. Anonimo says:

    Please Correct me if I am wrong – is this The Same Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of BostonOne of The “G8”, the Council of Cardinals appointed by Pope Francis to assist him with Curia reform and the government of the universal Church

    • Capt Crunch says:

      Yes it is what’s your point? How does your comment apply to the issues related to the MIL, or the points raised?

  51. Stephen says:

    Anybody out there remember this guy?

    Entertaining viable alternatives?
    Pastoral cluster planning?
    Cleveland was his reward for closing TLM at Holy Trinity.

    Of note: the Churches closed all still have high alters.

    MIL is a target due to its orthodoxy.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      Lots of wallets permanently closed along with the churches.

      The fifth precept of the Church is “You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.” The Catechism notes that this “means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.

      Providing for the needs of the Church does not require providing for the needs of the AoB.

      Does the AoB really need to alienate yet another group of faithful Catholics?

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