Monday, July 06, 2015

Pontifical High Mass for the Nativity of John the Baptist in Lake Charles, LA

This article and the accompanying pictures were submitted by reader Barbara Wyman a few days ago, but I saved them for today, the eve of the eighth anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Many years ago, in a place that shall remain nameless, friends and colleagues of mine were involved in organizing a Pontifical Mass, which was preceded by much wringing of hands over whether a full Pontifical Mass was opportune, or whether a Prelatitial Mass (i.e. the bishop’s form of Low Mass) would be less “controversial”. Happily, these controversies have (in many places, by no means all) become a thing of the past, and there is no longer any surprise or novelty to hear of an American bishop saying a Pontifical Mass from the throne in his own cathedral - another reason to thank Pope Benedict!

“If you build it, they will come” has once again been proven true, this time in the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana, under the spiritual guidance of His Excellency Bishop Glen John Provost. Since his installation as 3rd Bishop of Lake Charles on April 23, 2007, Bishop Provost has celebrated several Pontifical High Masses in the Extraordinary Form throughout the diocese, three at the throne in his own cathedral, the latest being in celebration of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on June 24th, 2015. The crowds have been growing with each subsequent Pontifical High Mass, but on this occasion especially a record numbers of diocesan priests, visiting priests, deacons, and seminarians were present, as the following pictures show. The beautiful vestments worn by the clergy were purchased for the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Aug. 22, 2013, at which time, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States from the Holy See, officiated at the crowning rite of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statue that was crowned, in the name of the Holy Father and by his authority, is located in the niche of the Cathedral’s high altar, and visible in the photos. The crown was custom designed and fashioned by Fratelli Savi, one of the most distinguished workshops in Rome for church items.

This Pontifical High Mass follows a historic event in the life of our diocese, the Bishop leading a Eucharistic procession from the Cathedral, which was proceeded by a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form celebrated by Fr. Rommel Tolentino, rector of the Cathedral parish. The procession drew large numbers of the faithful, who braved the heat and humidity of a Louisiana June evening and processed nearly a mile in the streets of downtown Lake Charles. Pictures of this procession follow those of the Pontifical High Mass. And finally, these lead up to a most joyous occasion on Monday June 29, the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Bishop Provost’s ordination. Is there any wonder that the Diocese of Lake Charles has a record number of seminarians? (more pictures of the Corpus Christi procession can be found at the following link to the diocesan website.


 Photos of the recent Corpus Christi Procession mentioned above.

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