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Getting a TLM - Edmund Campion - 07-02-2014

How do I start a traditional Latin Mass apostolate in my area?

If you asked several priests to offer the traditional Latin Mass and they were less than enthusiastic in complying withSummorum Pontificum, don’t despair.  Remember the old Benedictine dictum, “Ora et Labora.”  I will provide ideas for getting the traditional Latin Mass in your area.  In 1999, our diocese had only one monthly traditional Latin Mass.  We now have approved traditional Latin Masses in three locations.  Having successfully introduced the traditional Latin Mass in my area, I would like to offer some ideas that will hopefully help you.

1. Recruit people to join the group.  Consider getting a group of like-minded Catholics together to pray the rosary on a monthly basis.  If you don’t know many traditional Catholics, write one paragraph explaining that you would like to form a Rosary group whose purpose would be to pray for the restoration of the traditional Mass in your area.  Include your name, email address and phone number. Then, email your announcement to the webmaster at Una Voce.  He will post your announcement.  You should also email The Remnant and ask them to post the Una Voce announcement on their site.  Another possibility would be to join a Yahoo or Google traditional Catholic mail list and have the moderator post your announcement.  You could also join the following traditional Facebook group and list your announcement: Finally, find out whether an EWTN affiliated Catholic radio station is located in your area.  If there is, contact the station with your announcement. Then, follow up with a phone call to the station manager. Most likely, the station will air the announcement for free.  Wait a few weeks and pray.  You should start to get some responses. 

2. Start the monthly rosary. When you have several Catholics in your group,  start to pray a monthly rosary for the establishment of the traditional Mass in your area.  Then, contact Una Voce at and explain that you would like to become an Una Voce chapter.  Ask what is involved and explain that you are trying to get a traditional Mass restored to your area.  You will find them very helpful.  Also, it would be a good idea to have somebody in your group create a website for your Una Voce chapter.  After two or three months, begin to invite traditional priests to offer one-time private Masses for your group.  Use the internet to contact priests of the FSSP, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, or diocesan priests who offer the traditional Mass on a regular basis. Invite them to offer the traditional Mass in your home. Once you have a date when a priest can visit, invite friends and family to attend.  Schedule two or three one-time private Masses and have a guest sign-in sheet where people can write their names, addresses, and contact information.  Continue to hold monthly rosaries.  By now, you should have more people attending and you might consider holding a meeting following a monthly rosary to discuss whether it is time to approach some priests in the area about offering the traditional Mass.  Before you do this, familiarize yourselves with the articles in Summorum Pontificum,  After the next rosary,  compile a list of priests who might be interested in offering the TLM or would be willing to have the traditional Mass offered in their parish.  Be creative.  Ask strong pro-life Catholics whether they know of any priests who might be willing to allow the traditional Mass.  Very often, these wonderful Catholics have interacted with many priests while distributing pro-life voting guides and/or literature. 

3. Get at least twenty-five letters from Catholics requesting the traditional Latin Mass.  You should use the contacts that you received from the private Masses.  Call those people and provide the following link as guidance for them in writing the letters:
Once you receive the letters, make copies of them.  Continue the monthly rosary.

4. Start calling priests and/or making appointments for face to face meetings. Keep the original letters and then have the other members of the Rosary group visit priests armed with these letters. When your group members speak to diocesan priests remember that they should do so with charity.  As Michael Davies wrote in a letter to me in 2002, "I have received many letters ... written in quite violent tones to their bishops, saying precisely what they think of him and the way he runs his diocese.  In every case all their accusations are justified, but they might just as well have written a one sentence letter saying: "Dear Bishop, Please do not grant the Mass." "  The same concept applies when approaching diocesan priests using the guidelines of Summorum Pontificum.  Continue the monthly rosary.

5. Begin to form a schola/choir.  It will most likely take some time before you find a priest who is willing to offer the traditional Latin Mass or host a TLM in his parish.  Be patient. Use the time to begin forming a schola or choir.  Taking this approach will help your group in the future.  When you get the traditional Mass, you will already have a schola/choir with some experience in singing the Ordinaries (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) and Propers (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion).  Continue the monthly rosary.

Here are some resources for learning Gregorian Chant.

The following site provides recordings and scores for the Ordinaries and Propers  for the entire ecclesiastical year!  By playing the recordings daily, your group can slowly and deliberately learn the chants of the Church.

If  learning the Gregorian Chant propers is daunting for your group, try learning the ordinaries for the Missa de Angelis and Orbis Factor Masses.  Then, use the simplified Rossini Propers.

Guide to Square Notes

A Gregorian Chant Master Class

This is one of the best hymnals available.

6. Be persistent in calling priests.  Your group may have to do this for four to six months.  Once you have the schola/choir formed, begin to rehearse using the resources above.  Continue the monthly rosary.

7. Contact the bishop.  If you have found a priest who is willing to offer the TLM or host it, congratulations.  You have much to celebrate!! However, if you have not experienced success, it is time to write a charitable letter to the bishop using the guidelines at the following link. Make sure that everybody in your group writes separate letters to the bishop.  Wait one month.  If the bishop does not respond, send one more round of separate letters.  Make sure to keep copies of the original letters.  Continue the monthly Rosary and the schola/choir rehearsals.

8. Contact the Ecclesia Dei Commission.  If your bishop has not responded, you should write to the Ecclesia Dei Commission in Rome. Once again, see the following link. 

9.  Be patient and persistent.  Continue to ask local priests whether they will offer the TLM for your group, hold the monthly rosaries, and schola/choir rehearsals.  At this point, some people in the group may begin to lose patience with the process, etc.  Don't despair.  It took our group almost ten years to get the traditional Mass.

10.  If it looks like you are in this for the long haul, continue to arrange one-time traditional Latin Masses with priests who offer the TLM.  You may even consider having your schola sing for these Masses.  Continue the monthly rosaries and schola/choir rehearsals.

Here are two links that offer additional advice about getting the traditional Latin Mass in your area.

Edmund Campion

Re: Getting a TLM - Dino - 07-02-2014

Sorry, but I got tired just thinking about doing all that. Here is a much easier way. .. contact the nearest SSPX priory.

Re: Getting a TLM - GodFirst - 07-02-2014

:'(( Dino, I understand your sentiment, but think of those who don't have the Society nearby or can't afford to get to them. There is good advice above.

Re: Getting a TLM - Dino - 07-02-2014

(07-02-2014, 09:03 PM)GodFirst Wrote: :'(( Dino, I understand your sentiment, but think of those who don't have the Society nearby or can't afford to get to them. There is good advice above.

Yeah, I agree, very good, well articulated advice here.  My comment was not explained enough  (from a cell phone!).  Though there are Society priests who will travel thousands of miles to say mass for very small groups or even a family but it's usually between greatly extended dates.  If enough Catholics followed Mr. Campions' advice surely we'd see more Latin Masses established. 

Re: Getting a TLM - VoxClamantis - 07-02-2014

See for more info.

Re: Getting a TLM - Edmund Campion - 07-03-2014

The last thing that I want to do is start a debate between those who advocate involvement of the SSPX and those who don't.  :duel: I shared these thoughts because I concluded that others could benefit from what I experienced.  Admittedly, It is a strategy that requires patience and persistence but it is one that has produced, through God's grace, an apostolate that is thriving.

Re: Getting a TLM - Old Salt - 07-03-2014

Find or advertise for a priest to offer Mass at your home.

We have done this and 3 priests have responded and they have offered Mass at our home over 40 times in the past 2 years.

An FSSP priest mostly, An IBP priest and a Jesuit missionary.
All with their celebret,

God does not expect the impossible.

If one has no access to a Catholic Mass one is not obliged to go.

Re: Getting a TLM - salus - 07-03-2014

Re: Getting a TLM - iona_scribe - 07-03-2014

Great post! This (along with a link to Vox's FE "how to page") should be a sticky thread somewhere on the forum.

Re: Getting a TLM - trident59 - 07-04-2014

Good post. We began our efforts back in 2006. Our first contacts were with Una Voce. Our monthly meetings were following a guideline similar to the one posted here on Fisheaters. Our group was about 30 in number when Summorum Pontificum was released. Most of the folks declared our job was done but a few of us persisted and kept the group alive. In June of 2008 we had found a priest to say the Mass at a rural Catholic church. He was a Dominican and only had time available on a Monday evening. So we went for it. For 38 months we had a monthly Dominican low Mass. Then that priest was transferred and we found a diocesan priest who had learned the TLM and he was available on a Sunday evening once a month. For a year and a half this lasted until the travel for the priest became too much. So the Abp. transferred the Mass to the south of us. It is now being said twice a month; a low Mass on first Fridays and a Missa Cantata on the third Sundays.

During this time the FSSP was invited into Seattle (September 2008) and has since expanded to Tacoma. Attendance at Seattle is between 400-500 each Sunday and 100-125 in Tacoma. The TLM is also said in Bremerton twice a month by a really great diocesan priest and in Port Angeles.

Its very hard work keeping things running. The diocesan efforts are the toughest because of the need to develop latin training for altar boys and starting a choir. Seattle has had great resources to work with and the involvement of dedicated Catholics. The FSSP has provided a lot of help. The Tacoma efforts are paying off at last. FSSP has taken us under their "wing" and we are now making some good progress.

Keep the Faith and keep working hard. Pray constantly for success.

God Bless all who try.