Tradition to the Rescue



Jimmy Mac alerted me to this liturgical gesture for Kansas City unity. Where to start? It’s like “themed” Masses in the immediate post-conciliar Church. A Mass for Love. A Mass for Peace. Now a Latin Mass for Unity.

Unity is not about gathering all the flood survivors on one branch of the tree.

Unity is not forged or repaired in easy gestures that someone else does for you:

Toward this end, we have quite intentionally arranged for three priests of somewhat disparate callings to unite in the celebration of this Holy Mass. Specifically, Canon William Avis of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will celebrate the Mass, assisted by Fr. John Fongemie of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (deacon) and Fr. Evan Harkins of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph (subdeacon). Deacon Wehner, Director of Sacred Liturgy for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Seeing these priests come together for a common end – namely, the greater glory of God – will do more for unification of the flock than a myriad private prayers.

If the priests and deacon unite (albeit in hierarchical order), then surely the people will follow. Make sure, by the way, it’s an ideal photo-op:

I really hope you can help me in publicizing this event. Because this Mass is being offered for the intentions of Bishop Finn and for unity among his flock, and because footage of the Mass is potentially to be acquired by EWTN, we are really hoping for a full house.

Seventy-five people came out on a nice day for a stroll. Do they have a real hope for a “full house”? I do like that they borrowed a picture from NCYC (“Before,” above.) a few years back. Young people walking for Christ: that will fill up the streets. This, (“After,” above) not so much.

This is probably why the unity Mass won’t be in a larger venue. Learn from the mentor, I guess.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to Tradition to the Rescue

  1. fred says:

    I’m not sure where the picture is from in your last setnence (I thought it may be Our Lady of Sorrows in KCMO or maybe it is the Old St. Patrick’s Oratory in KCMO) but per the article, the Mass for Unity is going to be at Redemptorist (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) which does seat over 1000 – much bigger than Our Lady of Sorrows or the Oratory. It still has the high altar so will be easy to celebrate the EF there. Now, whether or not they’ll have 1000 plus people – who knows (i doubt it). It probably seats more than the Cathedral – but the Cathedral not particualrly suited for the EF now….and the Oratory where the EF regularaly celebrated is much smaller than Redemptorist. And Redemptorist it will look empty if not a large crowd – even at a large wedding – with say 300-400 guests – still looks empty – at least from the organ loft. And since the bishop isn’t going to be the celebrant – you won’t have the group that goes wherever the Bishop celebrates Mass. I do think it an odd to have a Mass for unity – it is not as if the diocese is divided over some theological issue – the lack of unity is the disagreement over who should be punished and how becuase of the mishandling of the Ratigan matter – there’s plenty of unity of argeement that the Ratigan matter was mishandled.

  2. David D. says:

    Let’s hope they have a good turnout. When done well, the EF in its unabbreviated form is beyond compare. OLPH looks like an ideal venue.

  3. John Drake says:

    I imagine Todd would rather see a large gathering of aging “Spirit of Vatican 2” hippies strumming guitars singing Haugen and Haas. Bet he wouldn’t be ridiculing them based on anticipated head count.

    • Todd says:

      Not at all, John. First, you have your generations confused. Hippies were 60’s. Haugen and Haas music is piano-driven and 80’s and 90’s. Two different sets of instruments, not to mention two entirely different generations.

      My comment about head count alludes to Cardinal Rigali’s attempt to lead a healing service in Philadelphia this past Lent. The last image link is the Philadelphia cathedral.

      I don’t think I ridicule turnout as much as I’d comment that organizers may be setting themselves up for disappointment. But you know, the one advantage is that the TLM won’t tolerate any standing ovations for the bishop.

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