Monday, March 04, 2019

Photos from the Second Annual Lepanto Conference in New York City

On Saturday, February 16th, the second annual Lepanto Conference was held at St Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City.

This year’s conference began with a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool, a Votive Mass of Pope St Pius V, celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop James Massa of the Brooklyn Diocese, who preached at the Mass (video here), which was well attended by both young people and adults, numbering over seven hundred. The Mass setting was Palestrina’s Missa Tu Es Petrus à 6. From the records that have been searched, this seems to be the first Pontifical Mass celebrated in St Vincent Ferrer Church in recorded history. [Update: a reader has indicated in the comments that a Pontifical Mass was celebrated in 1918 for the dedication of the Church.]

The Mass was completely set up and carried out by local clergy and seminarians — a glowing example of bringing forth the treasure of the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite within a diocesan setting. The subdeacon was Fr Seán Connolly of the Archdiocese of New York, the deacon was Rev. Mr Roger Kwan, a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of New York who will be ordained a priest this spring. The Assistant Priest was Fr Richard Cipolla of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

A catered conference followed, featuring Fr Gerald Murray, Fr Cipolla, and myself as speakers (links are to videos of the lectures).

The Lepanto Conference is a magnificent testimony to the beauty and power of Catholic Tradition for the renewal of the Church today. I was proud to be part of it and especially impressed with the young people who organized and ran it. If Vatican officials would like to find out someday how to get youth interested and involved again in the life of the Church, they should visit a conference like this, sit in choir, take notes, and go home with a new pastoral plan.

It was almost extremely gratifying to see members of the New York Police Department serving as an honor guard at Mass. They entered in procession, stood to the sides, remained in the front pews for the entire service, and recessed with the dignitaries. It was one of those rare moments when you see a little chink in the wall between Church and State.

A number of photos of the pontifical Mass were sent to me, which I now gladly share.

Vesting of bishop in side chapel
The procession forms
Chanting of the Epistle, in Latin, facing eastwards
Chanting of the Gospel, in Latin, facing northwards
The Schola that sang the chant Propers and the Palestrina Mass
Incense was plentiful 
The passing of the paten during the Lord’s Prayer
The rood screen at St Vincent Ferrer

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