Rorate Caeli
You Report: Traditional Latin Mass at Harvard

The Harvard Knights of Columbus and the Harvard Latin Mass Society invite you to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Bow and Arrow Streets, Cambridge, MA -- Harvard Square. All are welcome. This is, we are told, the first Traditional Latin Mass at Harvard since the Council.
5:15pm Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
Reception to Follow
For more information, email


  1. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Wow. So between the end of the Council and 1970, no Mass was offered at Harvard? No wonder the place has been in trouble so long. Perhaps you meant the first Traditional Mass since the introduction of the Novus Ordo, or perhaps from the "era" of the Council, or something like that? Nevertheless, it is wonderful news.

  2. Harvard worshiping Veritas! That gives me so much hope!

  3. Anonymous4:16 PM


    I think you mean, "Harvard worshiping Veritatem!"

    And I agree, it is truly a cause for hope!


    PS I hope you don't take that as a serious correction.

  4. Anonymous5:05 PM

    I attended one in a common room of a dorm in 1984. Certainly not public though, and not sanctioned by the diocese -- though it was an old diocesan priest.

  5. Can anyone tell us who the celebrant is for this miraculous event? This is the church of my baptism and of my dad's baptism. The corner of Bow and Arrow is the location of the original St Benedict Center. Helen

  6. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Alan, I caught it anyway! "Veritas" is Harvard's Latin motto.


  7. Anonymous8:02 PM


    Right across the street from the old St. Benedict Center!


  8. Montenegro8:23 PM

    Wonderful news!

  9. Anonymous8:23 PM

    So between the end of the Council and 1970, no Mass was offered at Harvard?

    In the United States, the Mass had been substantially reformed by 1965. Vernacular, versus populum posture, suppression of the Judica me and Leonine prayers. Probably other changes as well, though I don't have the 1965 missal at hand.


  10. St. Paul Church is the home of the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School. The boys' choir sings the Sunday 11:00 AM Mass in conjunction with a Mens' Schola, as well as a weekday 8:00 AM Mass. While Ordinary Form, the music program employs ample Latin. Dual organs in the church and splendid acoustics make for one of North America's preeminent liturgical music experience. Well worth a visit.

    The first TLM will be a Low Mass, but let us pray and hope that the Choir School will accompany future Masses.

  11. Anonymous12:09 AM

    Good for the students and school. This Mass beloongs with the young, not just an older crowd. More exposure to young people is what I think the Holy Father has in mind. It will help balance the Church. I hope it becomes regular.

  12. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Romulus, thanks for the unhappy memories, but what's your point? Unless, you have specific information that no Traditional Mass was celebrated at Harvard during the expertimental period before the Novus Ordo was imposed.

  13. Alex B said it will be a low Mass. Bummer! How beautiful it would be for the choir boys to chant the Mass! The work of Dr.Theodore Marier is what preserved some musical dignity at St Paul's though he wanted to preserve the TLM. it's been way too long in coming back!
    Yes, Delfina; HA! It is the original home of St Benedict Center and St Paul's is where Fr. Feeney baptized so many converts including my dad; also where so many of the conflicts took place with the pastor and Cardinal Cushing. Helen

  14. Today I passed a Catholic parish advertising itself as Extraordinary (Tridentine) Rite, and as using Latin.

    So I can well understand the bit about wanting the old mass back, seeing what a travesty the new mass can be.

    What puzzles me, though, is why people want to retain the Latin?? What's wrong with English, assuming a decent translation? Why not have the Tridentine rite, but in the vernacular????

    Thanks in advance for enlightening me on this point.

  15. Anonymous2:39 AM

    There has been a traditionalist underground of sorts at Harvard for years, which spawned at least one vocation to the Institute of Christ the King. The numbers have been growing even more so since Summorum Pontificum. Quite a few students went to Holy Trinity German Church when the traditional Mass was there, and a few years ago students submitted fifty or sixty signatures to the parish council requesting a regular celebration of the traditional Mass. The parish council shot that proposal down. All that was unwelcome at Saint Paul's for a long time, but the situation there seems to be improving, bit by bit. Hopefully this bodes well for things to come, and traditionalists at Harvard will not have to live a life of liturgical exile.

  16. Rudi Zacest3:24 AM

    I was a Harvard Research Fellow 1969-1971 ( from Australia). It gladdens my heart to hear that the TLM will be celebrated there. Here in Adelaide we have daily Latin Mass in two suburban churches, one with a resident FSSP priest.

    Rudi Zacest

  17. Anonymous4:26 AM

    We Harvard Knights had been trying to get this at St. Paul's almost since we were established in 2007.

    Yes, the parish council shot our proposal down a couple of years ago.

    Fortunately St. Paul's now has a new, younger pastor who has made this possible. So thanks should be given to him, since I'm sure he gets a lot of heat from certain influential corners of that parish.

    Three cheers to Fr. Drea!

    Harvard Knight

  18. Anonymous4:28 AM


    Harvard Knight

  19. Anonymous 00:24: You asked Romulus what his point was. I think it's pretty evident that he was responding to your or another anonymous commenter's challenge to the accuracy of Mr. Paulitz's crystal-clear posting statement—viz., that this Mass is probably the first Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated at Harvard since the council.

    Perhaps you simply do not understand what things were like here in the States during the years of the council and those immediately following. The groundwork of revolution had been carefully laid for several generations at least. Well before the council's final session adjourned, well-prepared, long-anticipated changes were ready to be rolled out. Having been exhaustively but discreetly developed, they simply had to be unboxed.

    Have you ever heard of a liturgical modernist called Reynold Hillenbrand, who was pushing to say Mass versus populum (or ad populum, as the phrasing was fifty years ago) in the forties or perhaps earlier? He quickly amassed a large, prominently situated, but prudently low-profile following within the American church. With Cardinal Mundelein of Chicago as a supporter and patron, Father Hillenbrand was publicly saying Mass on a Cranmer table certainly by the mid-fifties, and he had his own parish church wreckovated into the prototype of the thousands that darkened the landscape in the decades that followed.

    What is the point? Simply that on the first Sunday of Advent 1964, when the first radical changes to the Mass went into effect here in the States, there was to be found on these shores virtually no opponent of the tide of doctrinal and liturgical novelty. (Had there not been, first, Father Gommar de Pauw and then, soon after, Walter Matt, you could delete that "virtually," too.) On a very deep level—deeper here even than in Europe, I believe—the fix was in. To use an expression familiar to television watchers, resistance was futile, and only a handful even considered resisting. Besides, Americans—whom Tocqueville had a century earlier characterized as the most conformist people he had ever encountered—had been thoroughly broken to the harness. Opting for Authority over Truth, they (I along with the rest, I regret to say) went where they were told to go—to the new and improved conciliar mass! It was a decade or more before the number of Traditional masses in this vast country reached thirty on a given Sunday, and it is quite possible that even those numbers may be the exaggerations of an overly rosy memory.

    Thus, if Mr. Paulitz is inaccurate, it is merely in underestimating the rapidity of the onset of the rot and in very generously limiting it for present purposes to Cambridge's silvas academi. These are hardly grounds on which to berate him.

  20. As a member of the Harvard class of 1968, I am currently a member of only one Harvard group: the Harvard Veterans Alumni Organization. I would certainly join the Harvard KCs if I could, though.

  21. Anonymous1:10 AM

    Anastasia Theodoridis,
    Perhaps this is off-topic but to answer your question:
    It would not be licit for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form in English, because no missal was ever promulgated permitting it.

    That said, I think there would be many traditionalists who would be content with a vernacular translation of the extraordinary form, at least in preference to the new mass - many, but not all, because the uniformity of language that formerly characterized the Roman Rite constitutes a pretty important aspect of the Church's tradition.

    A further problem though is that Western Catholics' experience with vernacular translations of the liturgy have been on the whole, quite bad, and having struggled for decades to have adequate provision of the EF, I think most traditionalists would be suspicious of any attempts at innovation or reform that didn't go further in the direction of tradition.

    Interestingly, however, there is a strain of High Church Anglicanism that uses the rubrics of the traditional form in English.

    Hope that helps

  22. Gratias8:04 AM

    I was recently at St. Peter and attended a Novus Ordo in Latin. It was pretty good. Communion was standing up. If you opted for the tongue, an usher would say amen for you.

    The Novus Ordo mass in Italy is much more dignified than in the USA. At least they do not play tambourines as in my local parish.


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