Rorate Caeli

Newest U.S. basilica offers the TLM

His Excellency Michael Burbidge, bishop of Arlington, Virginia, in the U.S. announced this morning minor basilica status has been approved for the parish of Saint Mary in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

The parish offers the traditional Latin Mass once a month, in a diocese where 15 of the 70 diocesan parishes offer a TLM, the highest percentage in the world (up from zero parishes as recently as 2006).

Rorate attended the announcement today, the culmination of an effort aided by supporters of the TLM at the first Catholic parish in the Commonwealth of Virginia. One of the many justifications for minor basilica status was George Washington's financial contribution of $1,200 (in 2018 dollars) at a 1788 fundraiser for the construction of the church, hosted by his former aide-de-camp, Colonel John Fitzgerald.

It is always an honor for a church with a regularly scheduled TLM to be named a minor basilica, such as Immaculate Conception in Florida in 2013.

Our congratulations to the pastor, Father Edward Hathaway, and to parishioners such as Mrs. Mary Petrino, who worked hard to make this happen. The above photo shows both of them being interviewed by the local media this morning.

The seal of the newly named minor basilica uses a Latin motto, an impressive accomplishment given the vernacular coats of arms used by many new bishops. May the monthly traditional Latin Mass there grow to a weekly, and eventually daily, TLM.