Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tradition is for the Young (Part 10) : Pontifical Mass in Louisiana

On the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, His Excellency Glen Provost, bishop of Lake Charles, Louisiana, celebrated a Pontifical Mass in the traditional rite in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Even though this was two months ago, I am very happy to share these photos, because they show once again that it is especially the young who are working so diligently to preserve and promote our Catholic liturgical tradition. (The complete set can be seen at this link:  The 2nd MC is the same Fr Jacob Conner whose parish was featured in the first article in the “Tradition is for the Young” series last November.)
Thy sons round about thy table.

Dr Barbara Wyman, who sent in the photos, writes “If a passerby, anxious to escape the Louisiana heat for a moment, had slipped into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, he would have immediately known that something extraordinary was occurring. What he would have seen is truly the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven. On this particular day, the occasion was the Solemn Pontifical Mass for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, (the 13th since his consecration as Bishop, and the 6th at his own cathedra).
One of the hallmarks of the usus antiquior, or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the continuity it gives us to the Saints who have gone before. It is quite moving to think of St Thomas Aquinas, St Francis De Sales, Blessed John Henry Newman, St Josemaria Escrivá, St Catherine of Siena, St Padre Pio, alongside St Therese of Liseux … all these Saints, from throughout time, if they were to suddenly slip in the side door, they would feel right at home, and their voices would blend with the schola, chanting the Mass, for these Saints would know the Latin words. And there was much cause for rejoicing this particular night! Not only is this the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, but also the 10th anniversary of His Excellency’s consecration and installation as third Bishop of Lake Charles, and the 42nd anniversary of his ordination to the sacred priesthood.

It is altogether fitting that at this particular Mass, newly ordained Samuel Orsot served as the deacon, since he had grown up in the Tridentine Mass celebrated for many years in this diocese under the Ecclesia Dei indult of St John Paul II. We must be ever thankful to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for the motu proprio. Cardinal Sarah, writing on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, recalls the words of the great German liturgist Msgr. Klaus Gamber (1919-1989) who ‘used the word Heimat to designate this common home or ‘little homeland’ of Catholics gathered around the altar of the Holy Sacrifice. The sense of the sacred that imbues and irrigates the rites of the Church is the inseparable correlative of the liturgy.’ And so, our imaginary passerby, who stumbled out of the heat and out of time, along with all present on that night, were given a glimpse of the heavenly city. ”

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