Wednesday, December 01, 2010

USCCB Meets Sancta Missa

From the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in Chicago comes the following report:

November 30, 2010
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meets Sancta Missa

In thankful response to Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, based in the Archdiocese of Chicago, initiated a comprehensive educational program in July 2007, entitled Sancta Missa, for the purpose of instructing priests, seminarians, consecrated religious, as well as the laity, about the Extraordinary Form. This has included the creation of workshops and retreats for priests and laity, the establishment of a publishing company called Biretta Books, Ltd., and the setting up of a multi-media website http://www.SanctaMissa.org. In the past three years, over 750 priests have received personal training in the use of the 1962 Missale Romanum at the Sancta Missa Workshops. In the same period, the Canons have held workshops, seminars and retreats for over 6,000 lay persons and consecrated religious sisters in order to help them mine the spiritual riches of the ancient Latin Mass. A Report on the Implementation of Summorum Pontificum has been presented to the Holy Father recently detailing the progress made thus far.

The Canons Regular attended the Fall 2009 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to introduce the Bishops to Sancta Missa initiative, distributing to them the Sancta Missa training DVDs of Low Mass and High Mass, the Explanation of the Prayers and Ceremonies of Holy Mass by Guéranger, etc. Thanks to a generous gift from the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, the Canons also distributed to English/Latin and Spanish/Latin Booklet Missals, a copy of Summorum Pontificum, Veturm Sapientiae, among other important resources. This introduction to Sancta Missa was effective with the Bishops and several Bishops sent priests to the Canons Regular for training.

The Canons Regular returned to the U.S.C.C.B. meeting in November 2010, but now with the intent of providing materials directed at training the Bishops themselves in the Pontifical ceremonies of the Extraordinary Form. With a generous donation from the Paulus Institute, the Canons Regular were able to donate DVDs to each Bishop of the Pontifical Mass from the Throne as recorded by EWTN at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last April. The Canons Regular also provided the Bishops a mini-documentary on DVD explaining the rubrics for the Rite of Confirmation according to the 1962 Pontificale Romanum. The Confirmation DVD is now available to all on the Cantius Webstore. Thanks to EWTN the Canons Regular also were able to replicate DVDs for the Bishops of the Pontifical Mass from the Faldstool, as celebrated in 2008, by the Most Rev. Joseph Perry and the Canons Regular at Mother Angelica’s Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. To these audio-visual materials we added printed materials on the rubrics and ceremonies of the Pontifical Liturgies according to the Extraordinary Form.

With the use of a jumbo-screen T.V. and an up-to-date sound system, the Canons Regular played the DVDs of the Pontifical Liturgies repeatedly throughout the U.S.C.C.B.’s weeklong meeting. Using modern media to instruct the Bishops on the ancient rite of Mass met with great success, inspiring Bishops to approach the Canons Regular information desk. Entering into discussion with Bishops, whether one on one, or in small groups, the item of greatest interest to the Bishops seemed to be the documentary instructing them on the Rite of Confirmation (1962 Pontificale Romanum). Remarkably, a number of the Bishops indicated to us their desire to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for the people of their respective dioceses, but not knowing where to begin, this could not be actualized. With this introduction to Sancta Missa, hopefully this can begin to change. The Summorum Pontificum Report, given first to the Pope, and now to members of the U.S.C.C.B., reveals the steady progress of reintroducing the usus antiquior.

As Bishops and priests begin to master the external ceremonies of the Mass with accuracy, the Canons Regular wish to help them further discover the rich treasury of grace, which lies within those ceremonies like blood coursing through our veins. Once the clergy have embraced “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven” with both their intellects and spirits, then they will be able to pass on this knowledge and love to the laity who await to be transformed by its inestimable beauty, so that they might pray the Mass with greater attention, devotion and fervor.

The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius thank almighty God for blessing this initiative, dedicated to the restoration of the sacred, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We thank also His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, whose love for the Church’s liturgical treasury is restoring a genuine sense of the sacred before the Altar of God. The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius recognize the public support our Founding Bishop, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., has given for this apostolic work. Grateful for the innumerable volunteers and benefactors who have contributed to Santa Missa, let us now pray for our Bishops as they begin to bravely restore the sacred through the Sacred Liturgy.