UK: Parish resuscitated by Extraordinary Form. New Evangelization continues
#1
From Fr Z's blog


UK: Parish resuscitated by Extraordinary Form. New Evangelization continues


On whichever side of the Pond you are, you can be sure that reviving a parish doesn’t have to be rocket science.

We have all heard of parishes which, though moribund, have been revived through the use of Catholicism.  That is to say, hard identity Catholicism.  That is to say, traditional devotions, clear preaching, sound priests and, in particular, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

As we come up to the 7th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, say a prayer for Benedict XVI.

That said, I bring to your attention a parish in England that is finding a new lease on life through the introduction of the older, traditional forms.

I like the headline:

    Latin Mass could prove to be church’s salvation  [Latin Mass could mean either the Novus Ordo or the TLM, but we know what they are talking about.]

    A landmark church will step back from the brink of closure later this month when a leading priest makes a pilgrimage from Italy to celebrate Mass in Latin.

    St Walburge’s in Preston, with its imposing 309-foot spire – the third tallest in the UK – looked destined to be decommissioned only months ago due to a dwindling congregation.  [What do you want to bet that what was being done there was sort of a go-along-get catholicism?]

    But now the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has moved in to save the 167-year-old church by offering Catholics traditional services seven days a week.

    The new mission will begin on September 27 when Monsignor Gilles Wach, joint founder of the movement, flies in from the Institute’s base in Gricigliano in Tuscany to celebrate Solemn High Mass.

    “This is a dream come true for me,” said traditionalist Jim Aherne who is one of around 50 regular celebrants of the Latin Mass at St Mary Magdalen Church in Penwortham.

    “To see the Institute take over the biggest church in Preston is wonderful. I’ve always longed for this day.

    “The congregation at St Walburge’s have done their best trying to keep the church going, but there was no way this dwindling group of good people could keep it going indefinitely.

    “The Institute were invited to a church in New Brighton and what they have done there is nothing short of a miracle. I have a feeling they will do the same to St Walburge’s.”

    [...]

    [Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said:] “There are some voices who tell me that the presence of the Catholic Church in inner Preston is finished. I cannot agree. We need to be here in a new shape and form and at the same time to strengthen our missionary presence and vitality.”
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#2
The article writes as if there's been a ton of new members, whereas it looks like nothing has even been started yet:

"The new mission will begin on September 27"

Where does Fr. Z find any evidence of a higher attendance? Does Fr. Z imply that the mere presence of TLM is a resuscitation, a rather slanderous implication toward the Ordinary Form.
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#3
The North West is incredibly Catholic. In Liverpool (a few miles south of Preston) there are four latin mass churches (SSPX, ICSK, LMS) and I know the North west SSPX priory is in Preston, too. I know that Manchester also has a fair few traditional masses. So if this ICSK chapel, the SSPX chapel and the LMS mass that was offered in Preston continue, well then the Latin mass may indeed become the dominant form in the region, eventually. Because it's in these places that the faith is flourishing, full of under 30's and growing exponentially. You go into these chapels and see men and young people rather than the grey short-haired women of a certain age.  :grin:

The only problem is that these traditional communities seem to be growing not so much within the diocese but as an aside. We've yet to have the extraordinary form celebrated in the cathedral. I remember a young priest was trying to get the administration of the cathedral involved years ago, before he disappeared. He was the first priest I ever saw perform the NO in a reverent manner, and his good influence rubbed off on his fellow priests there. It was an exciting time, things seemed to be growing. I hope that happens again.
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#4
In places that used to be bulwarks of the Faith, we got gutted. But those who did the gutting, are dying off without vocations, or followers of any kind. And if you look closely, you will find that in places like France and England, bulwarks, you can see dimly what the future will bring, as the old generation gets replaced, first at the grassroots level, and then at the administrative and hierarchical levels, by the newer generation of those who want to live the perennial Faith.

You know, just today I was teaching a course on Oedipus Rex, and somehow we got to the theory that in ancient, pre-Christian Greece, the pagan sacrifices that were meant to enact the sacrificial death of the god Dionysos were not to be seen by the public. As the theory goes, the public could witness the various parts of the ritual, and then the public had to go away, while the priest performed the killing of the bull. And some students (mostly unbaptized atheists) found it interesting that until very recently you could have said the same about the Catholic mass and you can still say it about the Orthodox mass, and you would have been able to say it about the ancient Jewish temple sacrifices as well. And they saw a great unity in all this, and a certain soundness and continuity in the whole thing, and found it very odd that many masses in the West now "perform the sacrifice" (so to speak) in front of the people. Unbaptized, uninstructed atheists get it. By not being "in" the Church, they are in a sense being shielded from a lot of rubbish that would eventually be an obstacle to the living of the Faith. But they are shielded, and the Springtime is in fact taking place, but not where people expect it, and one day it will reach these people. Sorry for the rambling, but I am happy for this news and I see the future as positive for many reasons such as what is happening in England and France. Thanks for posting.
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#5
(09-10-2014, 08:52 AM)1seeker Wrote: The article writes as if there's been a ton of new members, whereas it looks like nothing has even been started yet:

"The new mission will begin on September 27"

Where does Fr. Z find any evidence of a higher attendance? Does Fr. Z imply that the mere presence of TLM is a resuscitation, a rather slanderous implication toward the Ordinary Form.

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#6
I didnt mean to say anything off, so I apologize if it came out that was. All I am wondering is where the resuscitation is, if there was no talk of increasing numbers, and the ISCK founder is slated only to make the first flight some weeks in the future. It seemed as if the mere introduction of the TLM counted as resuscitation and actual numbers were optional.
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#7
1seeker

First, let's resuscitate the body. We get a church, TLM, a great institution. Can't complain, can we? This is something, no? After resuscitation, we can move to increased health.
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#8
(09-10-2014, 08:52 AM)1seeker Wrote: The article writes as if there's been a ton of new members, whereas it looks like nothing has even been started yet:

"The new mission will begin on September 27"

Where does Fr. Z find any evidence of a higher attendance? Does Fr. Z imply that the mere presence of TLM is a resuscitation, a rather slanderous implication toward the Ordinary Form.

The reason I called you out as a troll is because of your responses. Your comment about attendance is irrelevant based on what the article says. From the article

"St Walburge’s in Preston, with its imposing 309-foot spire – the third tallest in the UK – looked destined to be decommissioned only months ago due to a dwindling congregation. [What do you want to bet that what was being done there was sort of a go-along-get catholicism?]

But now the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has moved in to save the 167-year-old church by offering Catholics traditional services seven days a week."

Nothing is said or implied about attendance.  With respect to your comment  about the Ordinary Form the article said the following:

"Latin Mass could prove to be church’s salvation  [Latin Mass could mean either the Novus Ordo or the TLM, but we know what they are talking about.]

Finally with respect to "resuscitation" the article also states it's premise.

The Institute were invited to a church in New Brighton and what they have done there is nothing short of a miracle. I have a feeling they will do the same to St Walburge’s.”


Both your initial and follow up comments represent nothing more than a straw man argument.
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#9
"Your comment about attendance is irrelevant based on what the article says"
In case you missed it, I was not talking about the article, which was true and good, but Fr.Z's spin on it representing the kind of schismatic thinking we need less of. While the article was great Z represented it as a fait accompli resuscitation, when what we need are numbers and catechesis, not a war between two equal missals.

Maldon you're right and I agree. :)
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