Rorate Caeli

You Report: Traditional Masses around the World - XII
Long Island, a Cradle of Tradition

Our readers Ed Casey and Joe Cullen send us a most detailed report from a Traditional Mass community in the Diocese of Rockville Centre (Long Island, New York):

The importance of Tradition in the Long Island, N.Y. Diocese of Rockville Centre was recognized at a Tridentine Mass on Sunday, March 9, when Bishop William F. Murphy was on hand for his first pastoral visit to the Diocese's original Latin Mass indult community - a visit that, he promised, "won't be my last."

While he was officially on hand to confer the title of monsignor upon Father James F. Pereda, Judicial Vicar for the Diocese and a local champion of the Latin Mass, Bishop Murphy also seemed to signal his embrace of the Latin Mass's new status in the Church.

The extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is now celebrated at four locations in the diocese and Bishop Murphy has permitted and helped facilitate the training of diocesan priests for celebration of the old Mass.

Sunday's ceremony took place at the former St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary, where Msgr. Pereda has been the regular celebrant of the Latin Mass for more than a decade, and where he began his studies for the priesthood.

Long Island has always demonstrated a definite interest in the Latin Mass that probably cannot be matched by any other diocese in the U.S. - a statement that can be illustrated by recalling Long Island's role in the history of the the traditional resurgence, including the unapproved variety. The late Father Gommer De Pauw set up his "Catholic Traditionalist Movement" and Ave Maria Chapel here immediately after Vatican II without local episcopal approval.

The irregular Society of St. Pius X was quick to establish a chapel here, and SSPX founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was a frequent visitor, celebrating mass confirmations in large rented venues. It was also on Long Island that the Society of St. Pius V was founded in a break with the SSPX. Other independent chapels dot the area, making Bishop Murphy's solicitude for Traditionalists of his diocese - the seventh largest in the U.S, -- especially valuable for the future.

At Sunday's Mass, the bishop participated, in choir, along with several distinguished senior clergy from the diocese, some younger priests, and representatives of at least four religious communities, including the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, a teaching order, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The homilist, Msgr Charles L. Sangermano of Holy Saviour Church in Norristown, PA , a friend of Msgr. Pereda's, earlier this year taught a six-week program for priests on the Extraordinary Form offered by the Theological Institute at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, PA.
Music for the Mass was provided by a large group of teenagers, Our Lady of the Angels Girls' Choir together with Saint Anthony's High School Gregorian Schola, under the direction of Br. Joshua DiMauro, OSF, assisted by Dominican Sr. Marilyn Pfriender, organist.

The chapel was filled to capacity with young men standing along the sides as the pews were filled to capacity. Many families with young children greeted Bishop Murphy during the reception.

It was enormously gratifying to many at this Tridentine Liturgy to see their shepherd process into the chapel, led by 11 young men serving as master of ceremonies, thurifer, crucifer, acolytes, torchbearers, and assistants; more than a dozen priests, Msgr. Pereda, and then the bishop.

Msgr. Pereda spoke at the reception about this day not being merely honoring a single priest but rather honoring the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and celebrating the communion in charity that Traditionalists enjoy with the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle. He thanked Bishop Murphy for requesting the papal honors for him, but was most grateful for his being a true father to him and to the Latin Mass community, and for never failing in his example of priestly zeal and holiness.
Mass in the Extraordinary form is currently offered within the diocese on a weekly basis at Saint Pius X Chapel, Uniondale; St. Matthew's, Dix Hills; Sacred Heart, Cutchogue; and at Our Lady of Lourdes, Malverne. This is a change in the post-Summorum Pontificum landscape as, in less than six months, we moved from one weekly and one monthly Traditional Latin Mass to the four weekly Masses we now have.

In light of the half-dozen or so young diocesan priests newly trained to offer the 1962 Missale Romanum, the outlook is positive for the growth of Latin Mass communities. History tells us that there is a fervent desire on the part of the Long Island faithful for Tradition - a desire that has now been met with active parochial and episcopal support and approval.


  1. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Thank the good Lord that His Holiness Pope Benedict released Summorum Pontificum acknowledging the fact that the Tridentine Mass was never abrogated and any Catholic priest may offer it anywhere at anytime.

    I lived in the Diocese of Rockville Centre for over 25 years and I can attest to the fact that before the Motu Proprio, Bishop Murphy was absolutely no friend of the Tridentine Mass.

    I wrote him repeatedly for years requesting the Tridentine Mass on the North Fork of Eastern Long Island, sending him a petition signed by several hundred people requesting the Tridentine Mass.

    Nothing for years, only nasty return letters from the bishop or the Vicar General or the Office of Worship giving us the runaround and always derogatory in tone.

    Maybe Bishop Murphy has had a conversion and I pray this is so but only when the Holy Father took the power out of bishops hands and gave it to priests did Bishop Murphy change his tune.

    He is also going to meet the Holy Father this month in New York.

    If anyone can get there, go to the Tridentine Mass at Sacred Heart Church in the town of Cutchogue Long Island New York.
    It is every Sunday at 3pm.
    It is a very pretty 120 year old church.

    My wife and I were married in Sacred Heart 4 years ago.
    Before we came to tradition.

    Please pray for Bishop Murphy and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

    Kyrie Eleison.
    Dan Hunter

  2. Anonymous8:24 PM

    I am so (happily) surprised to see that there is a place in the US that sort of stands out for traditionalism. I never knew. And in the state of NY! I have been looking at the US for years, wondering if I should relocate the family, but I am never convinced that there are places with large traditional Catholic communities. I guess this is one of them. I would love to hear more about this place Dan!

  3. Anonymous8:58 PM


    There are far far far better Diocese's to move your family to than Rockville Centre.

    While there are four locations that have the Tridentine Mass every Sunday at present, and this is something to be thankful for, Bishop Murphy is not an orthodox Ordinary and is only tolerating these four locations because he is playing the party line to Pope Benedict.
    He would never have done this under Pope John Paul II.

    You must keep in mind that Long Island is 120 miles in length and about 40 miles wide.

    There are almost 2 million Catholics in the Diocese.
    Each one of these churches are about 40 miles from each other, and the only one that resembles a Catholic Church is Sacred Heart in Cutchogue, which is over 90 miles from Manhattan.
    The other three churches look like hideous 1960's basketball gymnasiums, and it is embarrassing to offer the Mass of All Ages within their cinderblock walls.

    The South Fork of Long Island or the "Hamptons" as they are called is unbelievably liberal and does not even offer a somewhat Catholic looking Mass.

    This lead article is somewhat misleading in that the vast majority of the Catholics in Rockville Centre are left leaning and have no sympathy for the Tridentine Mass.

    I should know. I was born in Oyster Bay and lived in Southold almost all of my life.

    You would be better relocating to a Diocese run by an orthodox bishop like Lincoln Nebraska or St Louis Missouri, headed respectively by Their Excellencys, Bishop Bruskewicz and Archbishop Burke.

    Or move near Clear Creek monastary Oklahoma Diocese of Tulsa, where the Benedictine monks offer all of the traditional sacraments and Holy Mass twice a day, every day.
    Just a friendly word of warning.
    Stay away from Long Island.

    God bless you,
    Dan Hunter

  4. Anonymous8:59 PM

    Any word on if (or when) an exclusively "Extraordinary Rite" parish (like the ones in Pequannock, Berlin, and West Orange, NJ) might be established on Long Island? I am seriously considering a move to LI, but will not come until such a parish is erected.

  5. Anonymous9:16 PM


    Knowing how liberal Bishop Murphy is, I highly doubt that he would permit a personal parish of the Tridentine Rite but you can contact His Excellency at: - e-mail
    or phone 516-678-5800 extension 400

    By the way, the priest that is offering Holy Mass and who is addressing the reception is the very holy Monsignor Pereda who is the long suffering head of the Tribunal and a top notch canon lawyer for Rockville Centre.

    He has been persecuted for years by Bishop Murphy but he takes it like a lamb and says nothing.
    Please pray for this Priest of God.

    All six of the priests that offer the Tridentine Mass in this Diocese of almost 2 million are good and holy men.

    Sacred Heart church in Cutchogue might be your best bet for an personal parish of the Tridentine Mass, but the pastor there hates anything that is traditional.

    They have to send a priest 50 miles plus to offer Mass here once per week.
    The pastor has never even been to it.

  6. Anonymous11:23 PM

    New Catholic,

    I really wish you could have been prevented from making this story a lead post. Dan is absolutely right about Bishop Murphy. My wife is from Long Island. I'm a frequent visitor there. I've seen incredible abominations at Novus Ordo Masses there, and when priests are confronted over them, they simply shrug their shoulders. Catechesis is non-existent, and where it exists is heretical.

    I have a close priest friend in DRVC who's been driven to despair over his treatment by Bishop Murphy precisely because of his attachment to Tradition. My best two friends live there. One wrote Bishop Murphy for over a year asking for permission for a Low Mass to celebrate his and his wife's 20th anniversary. Up until one week before Summorum was released, he got a three sentence "No" from the chancery. The Mass was finally offered by his pastor emeritus after September 14th, when the bishop could no longer prevent it. The other friend I wrote of asked for a Mass for his father's 70th birthday. He was granted permission only when he threatened to ask the Society, and then he was told a guard must be posted at the door of the church to prevent any one from stumbling in by accident. I personally once wrote the chancery over a Eucharistic abuse I witnessed while taking my mother-in-law to Mass, and mistakenly received an inter-chancery memo written by a nun mocking my concern.

    Last summer my wife and I attended a family wedding at DRVC's St. Agnes Cathedral. The tabernacle was difficult to find and a jumble of instruments and electronic equipment sat in front of it.

    Although good in and of itself, this seeming proliferation of Traditional Masses, I fear, has a lot more to do with a certain vacancy on Fifth and Madison between 50th and 51st than it does the conversion of Bishop Murphy.

    I don't recall if you've ever taken down a lead post, but I would urge you to do so at this time. Your blog, as you know, is read in high places, and I'd hate to see such well-intentioned but misplaced praise affect the wider world, if you know what I mean.

    ~ Belloc

  7. Anonymous11:38 PM

    PS - The friend above I mentioned above who requested the anniversary Mass actually called me earlier this week and described the bishop's visit to Uniondale. He told me although Bishop Murphy was there for Monsignor Pereda, the bishop came no where near the Mass that day.

  8. Anonymous11:57 PM

    I don't know about that. While the Bishop did not officiate, he very nicely read the promulgation by the Holy Father making Father Pereda a monsignor in both latin and english. He was also present throughout the mass and seemed genuinely pleasant and happy to be there. Give the man some credit. Could he do more? Yes, much more. Are many of the parishes and the liturgies in Rockville Center a veritable mess? Yes. However, remember what Msgr. Pereda and others have said, that is, to be thankful for what his Excellency has and is doing. So what if his receptiveness only came after the motu proprio. The same can be said for practically every other Bishop. These are encouraging signs and we should all pray for the growth of the latin mass and a restoration of reverence in the novus ordo parishes. As for what someone said about the alleged difficulties Msgr. Pereda experienced, I can only hope that is erroneous. One need only attend his Mass to see that he is a good and true priest and very deserving of this honor.

  9. Anonymous11:58 PM

    I am sorry, Belloc, but I believe that's His Exellency Bishop Murphy in the third picture during the processional. I was there, and he did take part, as you can see plainly.
    Some of what is being said is plain hateful. I am surprised. Is there no room is your collective ecclesial world view for positive change in this diocese? Progress is being made, despite the extreme left and extreme right's cries.
    One step at a time. Small moves.

  10. Anonymous12:04 AM

    Additional pictures from the March 9th Mass and reception can be seen here:

    I wish you all peace.

  11. Thank you for your concern, Belloc.

    Yet, this is part of our "You report" series, in which our dear readers themselves report. I do not feel I should censor a post regarding a local matter and which was kindly written and sent by readers who wish to make other readers around the world know what changes Summorum Pontificum has brought to them and to their families.

    I will not censor your understandable comment on troubling events in the same diocese, either.

  12. Anonymous12:22 AM

    Anonymous 23:58,

    Is there room for redemption? Indeed there is. And the existence of Traditional Masses where there were none is a manifestly good thing. As for my friend's report, if inaccurate, I'll take him to task. Nonetheless, if you live in DRVC, I have no doubt you question the sincerity of this "conversion." Personally, I have every reason to suspect that it's due to the that empty seat I mentioned. It's simply my opinion that's it's safest and best that widespread praise of Bishop Murphy for these moves be reserved for after that seat is filled.

    ~ Belloc

  13. Anonymous12:24 AM

    New Catholic,

    I just saw you posted while I was writing. Please know I understand and deeply respect your decision.

    ~ Belloc

  14. Anonymous2:14 AM

    Here are some links to previous coverage (with more photos)


  15. Anonymous9:59 AM

    The story here is not really Bishop Murphy, but Mgr. Pereda. There is no priest more deserving of this honor than him in my opinion. He has suffered through a great deal in that Diocese for the Traditional Mass and has often been judged wrongly by all sides. None of this has ever deterred him from working for the interests of the Traditional Latin Mass in the Diocese or in teaching for years for the FSSP.

    He deserves credit. When there are many who pass their time on blogs (I include myself) and complain about things in this or that Diocese, he has worked constructively with the reality of the situation in a very bad Diocese to achieve all of this. If only more would follow his example.

    Ad multos annos!

  16. Anonymous10:12 AM

    I know of a group of traditional Catholics who go to a private mass of a very old and devout priest (non-SSPX) not accepted by his local ordinary. A priest who never ever preaches anything except good Catholic teaching without rancor or bitterness. They want to set up a little school and proper chapel to worship for their community. The community is Catholic in every sense that a faithful Catholic would recognize. The local Bishop is hateful of tradition and refuses to help them out in any way. Does anyone know if this can be done within the Church rules bypassing this very strange local ordinary. Is there any apostolates under proper authority they can attach themselves to? They are happy to finance the initiative themselves but would be very insistent on being set up under proper jurisdiction. Any help or info would be graciously received.


  17. Anonymous7:20 PM

    For what it's worth, I contacted the Bishop's office to ask about the establishment of a personal Latin-Mass parish. I was told that "at the present moment that is not in the Bishop's plans."

  18. Anonymous8:56 PM

    I am one of Belloc's friends, and I can tell you that the Diocese of Rockville Center is a post-concilliar wasteland. Summorum Pontificum landed with a soft thud last July, and you can rest assured the our diocese will do the absolute minimum to comply with the Holy Fathers wishes.

    In my parish of over 2,600 families, mine was the only letter writen last July requesting an "occasional" Latin Mass. THE ONLY ONE OUT OF 2,600. So much for the "Cradle of Tradition". DRVC is a fetid cesspool of dissent, and that doesn't change overnight.

    There are signs of hope of course, particularly among the young Catholics, in spite of the catechesis they are exposed to. But it is going to be a very long time before DRVC lives up to the name "Cradle of Tradition".

  19. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Just to give you an idea how unCatholic the Diocese of Rockville Centre is.
    Recently a whole RCIA class was taught by the diocesan aproved office of worship, in a human sexuality class that "masturbation is never a mortal sin it is only sometimes a venial sin"
    This is under the present Ordinary.

    When my future wife and I went to Pre-Cana in 2004, the Almighty God was not mentioned once until I raised my hand and asked the "lay moderator" if we should discuss the role that our Creator, God, takes in our marriages.

    The embarrassed response was, "We do not bring God into marriage preparation"
    All under the present Ordinary.
    Who was fully aware of all this.

    I could tell you first hand personal horror story after apostacy that me and my family experienced at the hand of the present chancery.
    Let me end by stating the fact that Bishop Murphy cannot stand the Tridentine Mass or most of what the Catholic Church teaches.

    This is just a fact.

    God bless,
    Dan Hunter

  20. Anonymous12:42 AM

    The issue of finding a traditional priest raises a good question I'd like an opinion on. My understanding is that permission of the local ordinary is not canonically required for religious orders attached to the Pope himself (some say it isn't required at all under conditions of a state of emergency such as we have, but that's not what I'm addressing). That is to say, if your order is "attached to the Pope", prior notice to the local ordinary amounts to a courtesy call and is not even required in itself, much less prior approval. There are a few such orders even today - O.B.V.M. being one - and most of those priests won't come over to the traditional side (and some that will you don't even want, so buyer beware) but some have a few good, mostly retired, men left in them. Is this correct?

  21. Hey, Dan, you forgot to tell the 2nd anonymous about the sky-high property taxes and cost of living in LI! Just in case he also needs a temporal reason to live elsewhere :-).

    Seriously, reading this post is deeply moving for me. I went to the traditional Mass many times in Uniondale and a few in Cutchogue before moving to North Carolina in 1999. I loved Fr. Pereda and never imagined he would ever be raised to Monsignor. It sounds like Bishop Murphy is a very clever, calculating strategist, but Deo gratias for Msgr. Pereda!

    Yes, DRVC is a spiritual wasteland, and so is Raleigh. Thank God for the SSPX.

    Chris Brennan

  22. Anonymous6:57 AM

    Chris Brennean wrote:

    "Yes, DRVC is a spiritual wasteland, and so is Raleigh. Thank God for the SSPX."


    Wrong about Raleigh. Bishop Michael Burbidge took the Motu Proprio and ran with it. He has fully implemented it in his diocese and is ardently fostering the training of priests to be proficient in the Tridentine Mass.

    What silly nonsense there is attached to the Novus Ordo, I can't say.

  23. Anonymous7:57 AM

    The USA is, far and away, the place where the Usus Antiquor is flourishing the most, and what may seem like a "wasteland" to most of you is already a verdant forest compared to the situation elsewhere.

    Let's see: the US has about 300+ locations where the TLM is regulary offered, not counting SSPX, sedevacantist and independent groups. England and Wales have 36, Germany has nearly 80, France has a couple of hundred.... and the Philippines has 10!

    Long Island is far more blessed with regards to the TLM than most other places outside the West. I'm not saying that the situation there is ideal, but it is so much better than what 90%+ of Catholics have. Count your blessings, guys... and realize that the battle has only just begun.

  24. Anonymous12:08 PM

    The Diocese of Raleigh is a lot more orthodox than DRVC.
    Because of the influence of Bishop Burbidge.
    Charlotte is also more in union with the Holy See because of His Excellency Bishop Jugis.

    Things are looking up towards God Almighty in North Carolina.
    There is still a lot of work to be done,though,Raleigh is light years ahead of DRVC.

    God Bless our awesome Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI!
    Dan Hunter

  25. There is still plenty of "silly nonsense attached to the Novus Ordo" (and worse). I'm familiar with several parishes in the Raleigh diocese. One need only read the diocesan magazine to see that.

    My comments about the spiritual wasteland are not a reflection on Bishop Burbidge. I'm encouraged by what he is doing since the Motu Proprio, but he is a very recent arrival, and it will take him a long time to clean up the mess that his predecessor spent decades overseeing. Even the best bishop, in his situation, would need a lot of time. As I'm sure you know, there's a reason why Fr. Parkerson has not exactly been the most popular priest among his confreres, in spite of his friendship with the previous bishop. That's why my family prays frequently for him and for Bishop Burbidge.

  26. Anonymous3:41 PM

    "Hateful" Yes, anonymous, you have labeled it for what it is. And people who spew this sort of bile wonder why bishops are not simpathetic to their demands for the TLM. Smell the coffee.

  27. Anonymous4:21 PM

    All of the comments here are deeply disturbing. Bishop Murphy is a good and HOLY Bishop. He loves the Church, his priests and his seminarians. Bishop Murphy is being faithful to the Holy Fathers wishes and intentions by implementing the Motu Proprio. he has personally sent priests to study the old mass, for which the Diocese Paid. He himself recommended to the Holy See that Fr. Pereda be made a Monsignor.

    As to His own sense of tradition, Bishop Murphy used to say the TLM when he was a priest in Boston. His Excellency will also be conferring confirmation in the extra ordinary form on jun 15 in the cathedral in RVC to more than 30 young people. He himself wants to do this.

    Please pray for him and for the diocese. Under his leadership the number of seminarians has risen. this year alone we will have 9 ordinations to the priesthood at the hands of Bp. Murphy.

  28. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Anonymous 15:41
    Are you referring to my post signed Searcher. If so I would reiterate some Bishops are hateful of tradition especially the TLM. Not only Bishops I've have been verbally attacked simply for mentioning the TLM in passing by a number of older people I know very well. People are rarely indifferent on this matter. I pray for my own Bishop who is frequently in rebellion from many things Catholic(except his authority) even to the point of discouraging souls who seek entry to the Catholic Church i.e telling them not to bother because they are fine as they are.

    Maybe hateful is too harsh a word but I'm not sure what else to call it in all honesty.


  29. Anonymous6:46 PM

    Let's hope the SSPX continues to stay strong, as they have continued to do so. Many good things would not have come about without them, and their backbone and true fight for all things Catholic deserves much praise.

    Every day at my "Catholic" college (also one of the more Catholic in the US, at that!) occur silent, deadly, sophistic attacks on the Faith, and there are absolutely no truly Catholic intellectuals (in the positive sense) such as "level-headed and of active disposition, holders of Doctors' degrees in philosophy and theology, thoroughly acquainted with the history of ancient and modern civilizations" as Pope Pius X would say, those that would be able to counter this spread of error. The faculty, if not purely anti-Catholic (one is truly an antichrist: the University does nothing, though not many know: because not many observe all classes, and even fewer would pick up the poison spread), the rest sit quiet on their salaries. No one fights, and if at all, it is insufficient.

    The modernism in my Theology class today would fill up the Grand Canyon. Moreover, some of these Theology classes actually deters the students in the class, with few having any background, most only vaguely familiar with Catholicism, without any distinction from the other pseudo-religions (this is the fruit of the false ecumenism, by the way).

    Hence, the SSPX, and the other Traditional orders, must stay strong and be able to fight this with strength, authority, and resistance to the incessant attacks, even, rather especially, inside the Ship.

    As in the Lord of the Rings, "we find courage in unlikely places." Let us pray for it to St. Joseph, protector of the Church.

  30. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Just an FYI: Our Lady Of Lourdes is in Massapequa Park on Long Island. I think the original post may have the town wrong there.

    Also, that same parish has a low mass every Wednesday morning in the school chapel at 8:00AM.

  31. Anonymous9:57 PM

    There is also an FSSPX chapel, St Michael the Archangel in Farmingville Long Island that offers the Holy Sacrifice of Mass every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
    Father Jack Murphy is the in residence priest and a more fervent Catholic priest is hard to find.
    Maybe Bishop Murphy will offer a Pontifical Solemn High Mass at St Michaels chapel soon.

    Ut Prosim,

    Dan Hunter

  32. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Let me comment as one who has participated in the fight for almost forty years-- beginning at the earlier mentioned Fr. De Pauw's Ave Maria chapel.

    Trads need to learn to be positive, not about the rot, but in doing something to fix it. Pray for priests, for vocations, and liturgical restoration, and support good priests. Rubrical quibbling and backbiting turn people off.

  33. Anonymous12:38 AM

    Having a lot of "anonymous" comments also turns off a good number of people.

    If you guys really want to fight for Tradition, get your masks off, stand up, be identified and be counted!

  34. Anonymous12:43 AM

    the chapel in farmingville, St. Michaels. Isn't that schismatic? we must remain faithful to the bishop and the church. sspx????? come on

  35. Anonymous2:19 AM


    The Pontifical Comission Ecclesia Dei has stated on several occasions that the SSPX is NOT in schism.
    The faithful are permitted to fulfill their Sunday obligations at chapels of the SSPX and make a monetary contribution in good faith.

    The problem with the SSPX is they do not have faculties from the local Ordinary to hear confessions or perform confirmations and weddings, no matter what malarkey one might hear about, "the Church supplying the jurisdiction.

    As things stand now,under Canon Law they can confect the Eucharist, Baptise, and give Extreme Unction, and in case of death they may give absolution and thats it.

    This though is more than a number of NO priests can do.

    Dan Hunter