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I just wanted to share this with you guys because it really lifted my spirits, which have been pretty low and frustrated the past few days (in case you couldn't tell :P ). It's a letter from a priest -- one ordained 25 years ago --  whose name and location I won't reveal. It goes a little something like this:

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Quote: Hi Tracy,

I understand completely! I'm here on the border of [City, State redacted], and most of my old guard have left and attend at local parishes because I offer a kneeler (soon to be a new altar rail), sacred music and offer Mass ad orientem. However, the influx of new young families has been tremendous! I can hardly hear myself preach over the baby noises ;-) ... and seminarians are actually coming to take tours ... they "get it." Like God needed to wait 40 years for a stubborn generation to pass on, we must keep following the lead of the Holy Spirit through our Holy Father.

I am learning the TLM right now, and I have a men's schola filled with young dads, many of which just started learning how to serve the TLM. MUCH HOPE!!!
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Here's this priest, a man who's been ordained for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, who is now taking it upon himself to learn to offer the TLM, who has had it with the folks he's called "the old hippies," who's filled with hope at what he sees in his parish, with the young people -- including young seminarians who, he says, "get it." God BLESS this priest and all priests like him who are willing to keep growing and learning, to embrace Tradition, to stand up to "the old hippies" even if it means those hippies move on down the road to parishes that have their beloved clown Masses and liturgical dancers or whatever it is that floats their boats.

Reading this letter really did me a lot of good. I hope it does for someone out there reading it what it did for me.

But, you know, in a recent thread about the Social Kingship of Christ the King (here) I said I didn't think there's anything more we can do to move the traditional Catholic "movement" forward.

In that aforementioned thread, I wrote:

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Quote: Barring supernatural intervention, traditional Catholicism definitely won't be anything but a minority, fringe element -- one that will most likely die all the way off as soon as the kids of the Toxic Trads turn 18 and are able to get out of the house and their Toxic Trad parents die. I think that'd be the case even if we had a liturgically trad Pope, unless he were to ban the Novus Ordo outright.
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and I wrote:
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Quote: I don't think there's anything anyone can do anymore, really. Folks seem to be satisfied with how things are. As far as FE goes, aside from some lovely and appreciated financial help and the subscribers that keep this place on the internet, I can't catch a break of a sort that'd allow for forward movement, so it's pretty much "this is as good as it gets," I think.
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When I wrote those words above, I was admittedly bummed out -- mostly FRUSTRATED -- because of a lot of things -- things that go on "behind the scenes" that I don't care to get into, but which have a big effect on the amount of hope I feel about this site and also about the future of Tradition. There are also the more public frustrations, like the folks who ran off because of "Transgendergate" (their running off being something I see as a betrayal, to be blunt about it, esp. when I had the Vatican on my side, for crying out loud, and apparently not ONE of them did what I asked and talked to their priests about it) and the dearth of posting that we're confronted with in the wake of that -- new posts being something that is the very lifeblood of any discussion forum. Posts die off, a forum dies off. Little things I've tried to do that involve others getting involved have failed. So I get frustrated, and I get bummed.

With re. to the first quoting of myself, I think that's true -- even in spite of Father's letter. I think it could well be that the TLM will be around -- but, as we all know, Tradition is about much more than JUST the Mass. Aside from the other traditional Sacramental rites, there's the obvious matter of doctrine and traditional Catholic moral teaching.  If these young TLM-goers are getting their information about "traditional Catholicism" from ETWN and Catholic Answers, we're left with Catholics who have and love great liturgy -- but who don't know the rest of the story.

With regard to the second quoting of myself, it does seem to me that most folks are pretty much satisfied with the status quo (or simply don't have the time and means to do anything to move things forward).  If we could "get our hands" on those young people, esp. the young seminarians, and teach them everything they need to know in order to be traditional Catholics (see this page:  http://www.fisheaters.com/traditionalcatholicism.html ), then things could be great. But I don't see that happening, really. As far as this site goes, there is no outreach going on, no help from any other area of the online "trad world," and I think the Toxic Trads -- now gone, for the most part  -- have, in the past, so poisoned its reputation that it's a goner unless something changes (which I don't see happening as things are now). This place is pretty much the ONLY place for "Ecclesia Dei trads" to be FULLY trad without having to deal with being accused of "cooperating with evil" blah blah blah. Other trad forums are SSPX-Mostly or SSPX-Only (and tend to be highly "toxic" -- which is NOT an indictment of the Fraternity itself!) or sede (ditto), or crap like Catholic Answers Traditional Catholic Forum which seems to be set up to knock traditional Catholicism, trad teaching, RESPECTFUL concerns about the Pope, any criticism whatsoever of the Novus Ordo, etc.. And none of the above but the last have any "outreach" aspect to them that I'd wished FishEaters forum would have -- the ability to bring in "fresh blood," to be in the position of letting folks know that traditional Catholicism exists, and explaining what it is, and how to worship in that way -- IOW, making the "movement" grow so it takes over the Church, effecting the restoration. My guess is that all of the aforementioned forums scare off more people from Tradition than they entice.

Maybe it's just a matter of there not being anything more that FishEaters and I can do (barring the possibility of winning the lottery or coming into lots of money in some other way so that  I could afford to fulfill a number of dreams I have -- had? -- for the site). Maybe someone with the time to research and write to make the sort of site I've made and who has money for advertising and the time to run a forum and who either is a geek or has a geek friend volunteer to deal with technical stuff could pull it all off and REACH more people. Or maybe it could be a person who can replace some of the above requisites by having lots of friends who'd volunteer to run a forum, or write, or ask his friend at whatever publication to give a good deal on an ad, or get his buddy at whatever online apostolate to link and talk nice about his site and at least acknowledge his freakin' existence. IOW, maybe it'd take a person who's good at networking.

Questions for you guys:  What do you think the traditional Catholic "movement" needs to do/have in order to grow? How would such things that you've listed there be accomplished? What is needed to make those things happen? Who should be doing those things? Where, if anywhere, does FishEaters fit into any of it?




Vox, thank you for being frank and honest with us - and for raising the very serious things you raise.

I will want to comment, ideally quite a lot. Unfortunately, it won't be till later in the day at the earliest.

I very much join you in wanting to know what other people think.

Looking forward to an important and I hope enlightening discussion ...
(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]Questions for you guys:  What do you think the traditional Catholic "movement" needs to do/have in order to grow? How would such things that you've listed there be accomplished? What is needed to make those things happen? Who should be doing those things? Where, if anywhere, does FishEaters fit into any of it?

I would like to see traditional Catholics push for at least one personal parish in every diocese, whether it is staffed by diocesan priests or Ecclesia Dei institute priests (FSSP, ICRSS, etc.)  And then traditional Catholics should fully support and participate in that parish, making it the place for Catholics of good will to learn and live the traditional Catholic faith and spirituality.

Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae provide for these personal parishes, should the bishop choose.
Quote:Art. 10.  The local Ordinary, should he judge it opportune, may erect a personal parish in accordance with the norm of Canon 518 for celebrations according to the older form of the Roman rite, or appoint a rector or chaplain, with respect for the requirements of law.

Summorum Pontificum, Article 10.
Quote:Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason.

Code of Canon Law, Canon 518.

Each of these personal parishes will serve as a point of strength for traditional Catholicism, forming their members and influencing the entire diocese.  They should radiate and not be insular or clubbish.

A good example of a personal parish of this kind is Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ.  These parishes exist in germ in the various traditional Mass communities that dioceses have established, like my own Holy Trinity Traditional Latin Mass Community in Philadelphia or the Mater Dei Latin Mass Community in Harrisburg, PA.

Each personal parish will encourage and strengthen the others, something like this:



Fisheaters can help by continuing to be what it is now, and without apology:  a locus for Ecclesia Dei trads and those who sympathize or have a real curiosity about traditional Catholicism.

Now light the signal beacon and stop despairing like the Steward of Gondor.

Hope is kindled!
Still not much yet - must wait for the end of the day.

Yet will quickly say now I understand Vox's discouragement and realise she has a very particular, intimate vantage point that few of us have on this scene, after 15 years of lighting beacons and getting a lot of not very inspiring insight (to put it mildly) into SOME of the workings of this movement.

That being said, HOPE is important - but it is difficult, at least at times, just like faith and love can be difficult.

All I want to say right now is something about hope. Like Vox, I also had an incredible letter from a priest who only turned to TLM after maybe 30 years with the NO. What this priest has to say is VERY interesting I think, and I did a blog quoting him in depth.

I'm a little wary putting up loads of links to my own blogs here, but this one really can kindle hope and stimulate thinking I think - thanks to what this priest says.

Little extract:

Quote: This is a priest trained decades ago solely in the Novus Ordo. Only recently has he learned the Tridentine form of the Mass, and begun saying this Mass regularly.

I will first offer his high-impact words to me, focussed in just three sentences in fact:

“These Masses are special to me, and so great a privilege to be united with Christ as His priest, and offer with Him the sacrifice of Calvary, for the living and the dead. It is through using the Tridentine form that I have come to appreciate something of the great significance of what I am doing each morning. Can there be anything more important that this?”

Yes these three sentences hit me very, very powerfully indeed. But most of all perhaps, it was the second sentence, which contained for me a stunning implication at least … that after decades of the Novus Ordo, this priest had “come to appreciate something of the great significance” of that which he did each morning.

The implication I stress. For of course, I can barely know the full reality behind these three sentences … But the implication at least took my breath my away.

My breath was taken away not only by what this good Father was saying of himself, but of the global implications that were possibly present as well.

If this priest were saying what he seemed to be saying, that only after decades of the Novus Ordo, had he become awake to the significance of the Mass?! …

What are the possible implications here for untold tens or hundreds of thousands of priests across the globe, who have only used the Novus Ordo?

[Snip, but a bit more from the priest]

“Unlike the Mass of Vatican II in which a dialogue between celebrant and congregation carries most of the ritual, the prayers and rituals of the Tridentine form demand that the celebrant be continually attentive to the rites he is enacting.

His voice varies from being audible to a quiet whisper; his eyes regularly turn to the crucifix; the movements of his hands are conscious and deliberate. Even when he turns to the congregation the greetings are brief, his glance downward, his gestures precise. The priest is servant of the ritual, and the rubrics foster a mindfulness and self-awareness which not only focus his own attention, but also that of the faithful, as they kneel once more at the foot of the cross of Calvary.

There is much more at my blog here:

http://corjesusacratissimum.org/2009/08/...holy-mass/



Vox, I think maybe you're a bit too hard on yourself, as well as other trads.  You're doing, and have done, a lot.  Frankly, I think that's true of most of us.  Just being a truly traditional Catholic in this world is hard-- Sr. Lucy said that duty of state was the great sacrifice that Our Lady asked from the people of our times.  On top of that, you're maintaining-- in the face of great difficulties-- one of the best tradcat websites on the net, and a forum to boot.

Self-criticism is good and important, but it needs to be measured.  We need to be patient with ourselves, as well as others.  When I see this kind of post, it makes me think that you're losing the big picture.  My roommate is an indult/Summorum Pontificum type (I myself am probably somewhere between SSPX and Resistance on the spectrum, with more than a dash of criticism against certain aspects of both), and he has repeatedly made this point to me:  before Summorum Pontificum, there were something like 30 TLMs offered in a diocesan/indult setting.  Now there are something like 400 (I can't remember the exact figure he used, but I'm pretty sure it was more than 300, possibly more than 400).  That's real progress.

I think that you end up seeing a lot of the negative side in your personal life-- partly because of all the sacrifices you make to spread the Faith.  I would say that's part of your cross, and God sends it to you because you can handle it, and He needs/wants somebody to.  But you need to keep in view the fact that everything any one of us does is essentially small potatoes, and keep in view the big picture.

Sorry if this sounds really critical, but it bothers me to hear you sound so critical of yourself (and other Trads!).  Remember that the most important work is invisible, the work of prayer and efforts to love God.  That covers a multitude of sins, even among those you call toxic trads (I don't want to excuse it, but keep in mind that modern folk are pretty soft by comparison with what went before:  St. Jerome, certainly, and possibly even St. Thomas More would have qualified as "toxic trads," I think).  We will eventually see the effects, but it will typically be long after the work takes place.  In the meantime, we should have confidence and take joy in the fact that we're trying, whatever our place.  God asks us to try, not to succeed!

And He won't let our efforts go to waste.  He doesn't waste anything.
First of all, a big round of applause for booting the toxic trads. I'm not an Ecclesia Dei trad but I'm glad that they are welcomed here and I'm glad that trads with other viewpoints or theological positions can post here without worrying about the firing squad mentality that goes on in certain other quarters of the e-trad land. FE was the first place I found tradition, and I'm very glad that I did. Although when I first began posting here, there were still a number of toxic figures, this place always made me glad to be a trad. I have received all kinds of great answers to questions about the Church, Jesus Christ, Mary, etc. This place shows that trads can indeed be joyful, happy people who don't spend their entire days looking for the "modernist in the closet."

As for how we expand tradition, I can speak for working with Ecclesia Dei communities because I receive the sacraments in another kind of trad chapel. I have a small suggestion however, in spreading the word of FE and the FE forums. In other causes I have been involved with, a strategy used to pique people's interest, has been to make business cards that have the website URL and some brief info, and go to book stores and slip the cards into related books. You could post the cards as a PDF download link so others could do the same. So if you're at a Catholic bookstore, library, Barnes and Noble, etc, you can go to the religion section and find books that are popular with conservative novus ordo types (like Fr. Barron's books, or Benedict XVI's books) and slip in a Fisheaters card inside. It's no guarantee, but I've been pretty successful in driving traffic to websites for causes that I've been involved with this way and for actually making new contacts.
I will start with the hard stuff first and end with the hopeful. First, mainly to Vox then others.


(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]Things that go on "behind the scenes" that I don't care to get into, but which have a big effect on the amount of hope I feel about this site and also about the future of Tradition.

I hear this and its part of what I meant above when I said you had a very particular and intimate vantage point here. God bless you Vox - I really don't how much many of us could carry what you are carrying.


(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]  There are also the more public frustrations, like the folks who ran off because of "Transgendergate" (their running off being something I see as a betrayal, to be blunt about it, esp. when I had the Vatican on my side, for crying out loud, and apparently not ONE of them did what I asked and talked to their priests about it)

I think there must be a certain amount of evidence of the split that does exist in the traditionalist scene. Because obviously, if you're a sedevacantist or even like a lot of SSPX followers, post-conciliar Vatican documents may not even be worth the paper their printed on.

Whereas they do mean something to Ecclesia Dei Traditionalists.


(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]New posts being something that is the very lifeblood of any discussion forum. Posts die off, a forum dies off. Little things I've tried to do that involve others getting involved have failed. So I get frustrated, and I get bummed.

I really, really hear this - and I hope others will too. It may seem meagre indeed, but I have tried starting new threads here, because of your situation ... but its hard for me to see what will stimulate discussion. I posted John L. Allen's comparison of "the Francis Revolution" with Deng Xiaoping this morning [!] but none has commented yet and I can imagine noone will. I hear you need stimulating threads ...

I am NOT a natural web surfer - I don't look at much. I really hope that some people who do surf a lot will hear your calls for posting involving new material.

(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]With re. to the first quoting of myself, I think that's true -- even in spite of Father's letter. I think it could well be that the TLM will be around -- but, as we all know, Tradition is about much more than JUST the Mass. Aside from the other traditional Sacramental rites, there's the obvious matter of doctrine and traditional Catholic moral teaching.  If these young TLM-goers are getting their information about "traditional Catholicism" from ETWN and Catholic Answers, we're left with Catholics who have and love great liturgy -- but who don't know the rest of the story.

With regard to the second quoting of myself, it does seem to me that most folks are pretty much satisfied with the status quo (or simply don't have the time and means to do anything to move things forward). 

One of the great things I see in you Vox is your non-complacency! That is what has built this place. We need this! But that non-compacency, that passion will also lead to the pained dissatisfaction you express that more satisfied folk don't experience, I suspect, in the acute way you do.


(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]  This place is pretty much the ONLY place for "Ecclesia Dei trads" to be FULLY trad without having to deal with being accused of "cooperating with evil" blah blah blah.

All the more reason this place is important and that I salute you and want to help keep it alive. "Cooperating with evil" for being Catholic and faithful ... This is very, very, very sad. Where would we be if St. Catherine of Siena had decided not to "cooperate with [so-called] evil" or St. Pio or so many other saints?

(11-26-2013, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]  the ability to bring in "fresh blood," to be in the position of letting folks know that traditional Catholicism exists, and explaining what it is, and how to worship in that way -- IOW, making the "movement" grow so it takes over the Church, effecting the restoration. My guess is that all of the aforementioned forums scare off more people from Tradition than they entice


This point is very, very, very well-taken.

Just want to appreciate other comments here. Clare's point about radiance is also well-taken. And I am heartened to see non-Ecclesia Trads responding here and appreciative of your booting.

Also, this is wonderful, if true ...

(11-26-2013, 11:45 AM)JuniorCouncilor Wrote: [ -> ]there were something like 30 TLMs offered in a diocesan/indult setting.  Now there are something like 400 (I can't remember the exact figure he used, but I'm pretty sure it was more than 300, possibly more than 400).  That's real progress.

I wonder if it is a little exaggerated (??) - that there must have been more than 30 pre-Summorum in the US? (What do other Americans say to this?)

But I was living in France when SP came out and the numbers more than doubled, that I am sure of ...

There is hope, I think, as well as a TON of work to be done as someone wisely said on another thread ...
(11-26-2013, 04:58 AM)Clare Brigid Wrote: [ -> ]I would like to see traditional Catholics push for at least one personal parish in every diocese, whether it is staffed by diocesan priests or Ecclesia Dei institute priests (FSSP, ICRSS, etc.)  And then traditional Catholics should fully support and participate in that parish, making it the place for Catholics of good will to learn and live the traditional Catholic faith and spirituality.

AMEN to that. The FE page to help folks do that:  http://www.fisheaters.com/tlmsetup.html

RogerBuck Wrote:One of the great things I see in you Vox is your non-complacency! That is what has built this place. We need this! But that non-compacency, that passion will also lead to the pained dissatisfaction you express that more satisfied folk don't experience, I suspect, in the acute way you do.

Yeah... It's just kinda the way it is, I guess. Kinda hard to give a damn and not give a damn at the same time LOL

In any case, Roger, don't be shy at ALL about posting links to your blog! Please!

JuniorCouncilor, thanks for the kind words and the attempt at cheering me up and getting me to not be so negative. I appreciate it :)  I don't think, though, that SS Jerome and Thomas More would be considered "Toxic Trads" (the list of attributes of that "type" I have here:  http://www.fisheaters.com/abouttheforum.html#radtrad ) (and being a "Toxic Trad" has nothing, at least not in se, to do with being an "SSPXer" or a sede, etc., which some folks seem to think I think...)

vtcatholic Wrote:As for how we expand tradition, I can speak for working with Ecclesia Dei communities because I receive the sacraments in another kind of trad chapel. I have a small suggestion however, in spreading the word of FE and the FE forums. In other causes I have been involved with, a strategy used to pique people's interest, has been to make business cards that have the website URL and some brief info, and go to book stores and slip the cards into related books. You could post the cards as a PDF download link so others could do the same. So if you're at a Catholic bookstore, library, Barnes and Noble, etc, you can go to the religion section and find books that are popular with conservative novus ordo types (like Fr. Barron's books, or Benedict XVI's books) and slip in a Fisheaters card inside. It's no guarantee, but I've been pretty successful in driving traffic to websites for causes that I've been involved with this way and for actually making new contacts.

See, I tried that. I had a bunch of business cards printed up and said I'd send them free to anyone who sent me a SASE that'd cover the postage of however many they wanted, but only one person wanted any LOL And sigh.
I think there is reason for encouragement with respect to the growth of the TLM - at least in the Cincinnati area. There is a well established and well attended TLM in the City of Cincinnati, 2 TLM's in the Northern Kentucky suburbs of which one is well attended and the other is fairly new and sparsely attended, and at least 1 TLM in Southeast Indiana. There is also a new TLM location in Franklin Ohio, but I have not attended that location yet. The SSPX also has a good presence here as well as several Independent TLM sites. 
(11-26-2013, 07:43 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]JuniorCouncilor, thanks for the kind words and the attempt at cheering me up and getting me to not be so negative. I appreciate it :)  I don't think, though, that SS Jerome and Thomas More would be considered "Toxic Trads" (the list of attributes of that "type" I have here:  http://www.fisheaters.com/abouttheforum.html#radtrad ) (and being a "Toxic Trad" has nothing, at least not in se, to do with being an "SSPXer" or a sede, etc., which some folks seem to think I think...)

Thanks, in return, for your charitable response.  I skimmed your list, and I still think there are times when Ss. Jerome and Thomas More would at least seem like toxic trads, to a lot of people.  Of course, most people probably don't use your list, though they probably use something like it.

In any case, although I always worry about people getting kicked out, especially for what could be perceived as being "too" Catholic, I generally trust your judgment.  I'm also not around enough to judge for myself; just wanted to take this opportunity to get my concerns on this issue out there a little bit.
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