Una Voce Report
August 29, 2009
San Bernardino Diocese, CA, USA.
The present officers of Una Voce San Bernardino (UVSB) came together to take on this apostolate for the promotion of the Latin Mass in January of 2009. One of the first things we did was to write our Bishop to introduce ourselves to him and what we were planning to do with this apostolate; after three (3) letters, we have received no response. Much discussion and action has taken place since then, from meetings and contact with numerous priests within the diocese as well as outside the diocese to discuss practical issues concerning the implementation of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum (SP), to the development of a locally popular website (www.unavocesb.org), as well as other resources made available through the website such as studies and booklets. Shortly before SP, there was only one parish offering the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) in the diocese, and that was at San Secondo D’Asti in Guasti, CA. It continues to average about 350-375 persons assisting at the TLM.
Shortly after SP, the TLM began in Palm Desert at Sacred Heart Parish. But, we were told that after a few months, the numbers dropped from close to 200 down to 30-50; later I think we found out why. In February of 2009, 3 officers of UVSB assisted at what we had expected to be the “TLM” in Palm Desert, but to our amazement, we found not the TLM, but a sort of hybrid Mass, which I could only describe as a “Novum Tridentum” Mass. Needless to say, it followed neither rubrics of the TLM or the Novus Ordo Mass. The abuses were too many to enumerate here. UVSB drafted a letter addressed to the pastor about our concerns and our willingness to help rectify the issues, but we received no response.
About a year after SP, the TLM began in Adelanto. Here too the numbers are reportedly dropping. But, I do not think it is due to the way it is celebrated. In fact, I have heard good things about the priest who celebrates this Mass. It must be something else then. It is at a parish that is hard to find and “out of the way” so I have been told. They were also told by higher authorities that they had to have at least 50 persons assisting, not including children, to continue in the future. Though this is not a requirement of SP, obviously, I have received confirmation that it is standard diocesan policy that a pastor has the right to abolish any Sunday Mass celebration which has less than 50 persons assisting.
We have also been advised by a person doing this apostolate for many years, that any parish who wants the TLM needs to form a “Latin Mass Committee” at the parish level, to do all the leg work to help the pastor implement the TLM. He advised no more than 4-5 persons. One person is the MC, the other handles the music, then one for altar server training, the other is concerned with contacting priests, and perhaps one for ushering. We have done just that, and contacted persons interested in having the TLM at their parish to form these groups for at least 2 additional parishes, which are about 20 miles apart from each other, and from the other established parishes already in existence. We have compiled a list of priests willing to substitute for any of these regularly scheduled TLM’s, but could not themselves offer it regularly. I was told by one of them, the responsibility for celebrating this Mass for the people who request it, is primarily the pastor. If he cannot learn it, he must provide a priest who can.
This past week, on August 26, Richard Friend and Mike Parish from Temecula organized the celebration of a Missa Cantata at St. James the Less Parish in Perris, CA, inviting Father Carl Gismondi, FSSP from San Diego to celebrate this Missa Cantata. I was contacted by Richard three months prior to this Mass. Many hurdles needed to be jumped over before we were able to make it happen. We scrambled for liturgical items, and even on the evening of, a few hang ups took place, but by the grace of God, the most important thing was a success, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, with every bit as much dignity and reverence that is “right and just” due to God. There were close to 200 people asissting at this Mass; we even ran out of consecrated hosts.
The entire Mass may be viewed at the following link: http://unavocesb.org/2009/08/video-missa-cantata-st-james-perris-ca-aug-26-2009/
Also, there is talk of the formation of a young adult group which would have chapters in the Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Bernardino Dioceses.
By the grace of God, this work continues, here and elsewhere.
Instaurare omnia in Christo
Una Voce San Bernardino
Apologies for the delays in posting other news, especially those entailing translations, commentary, and extensive editing. I am tired and under the weather right now. CAP.