As a companion piece to my article here at NLM on Summorum Pontificum, I published over at One Peter Five a more "pastoral" consideration of where we stand, where we need to be going, and some of the inequality and inequity that lovers of the traditional Latin Mass are still facing throughout the world. (This article features a nice introduction by Steve Skojec that serves as a crash-course on the motu proprio, for those who may not yet be familiar with it -- think of young Catholics who are only now becoming aware of the landscape.)
As we commemorate the seventh anniversary of the implementation of this momentous motu proprio, every member of the Latin Rite should do an examination of conscience, taking an inventory of attitudes, policies, and practices.
Bishops: Have you seen to it that the Extraordinary Form—which “must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage”—is widely available in your diocese, since “it behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place”? Have you seen to it that training sessions are made available for priests and seminarians, so that they may benefit from this profound school of prayer, the nourishment of countless saints, stretching back to the first millennium of the Church?
Priests: Have you taken advantage of the opportunities for learning the usus antiquior? Have you responded generously when the faithful ask for the sacraments in the traditional rites? Have you proactively taken steps to offer it to the faithful even when they do not request it, confident that the Holy Spirit can and will use this magnificent treasure of the Church to enrich the lives of many believers?
Laity: Have you supported your diocese, your bishop, your pastor, your clergy, in a friendly and generous manner, so that they may more readily accede to legitimate desires for the usus antiquior? Do you pray for them when they are resistant, dismissive, irritated, or even spiteful? Have you repeatedly asked for the traditional Mass and sacraments, humbly but confidently? Have you been ready and willing to help defray the expenses associated with instruction in this rite and the celebration of it? Do you try to find ways to spread knowledge and love of the Extraordinary Form among the youth?
The other article is an interview Trent Beattie did with me that just appeared in the online edition of the National Catholic Register, touching mainly on Wyoming Catholic College, but also going into sacred music and the publication of the works of Aquinas. If you are interested in what I do for my "day job," as it were, please take a look at the interview.
TB: With all of your academic experience, what do you think are the top challenges for Catholic institutions of higher learning today?
PK: There are many challenges, but I will name two. The first is curricular integrity and depth. It is very tempting for institutions to follow the conventions and assumptions of our day — for example, by conceiving of higher education as glorified job training, rather than seeing it as a profound formation of the mind and heart, as the Catholic Tradition views it.
Catholic schools have an irreplaceable vocation to bring an intellectual and spiritual patrimony of two millennia into the lives of their students, and this is not something that will happen by chance or luck. It needs to be carefully built into the mission, the curriculum, the campus life, the chaplaincy and then pursued with great clarity and zeal.
The second challenge is related to the first: convincing parents, and even clergy, that there is nothing more important for young men and women than attending a college or university that will actually strengthen their faith, feed their minds with natural and supernatural truths and help them lead a moral life in conformity with the Gospel.