Good News from the Washington Times. Priests are turning up “in droves” to learn the Latin Mass. One priest calls it a “nationwide phenomenon.” The media has done a good job of ignoring the positive side of this story. All we get are stories about irate elderly Cardinals refusing to say the Latin Mass. We don’t hear enough about the obedience and delight of so many.
The Tridentine Mass, the Latin-only rite both loved and hated by many Catholics for its medieval qualities, is roaring back into use after a July 7 papal decree loosened the rules on celebrating it.
Two traditional priestly societies dedicated to the rite report that priests from all over the country are signing up in droves for weeklong classes to learn the rituals and language of the Mass, named after the 16th-century Council of Trent.
Monsignor Michael Schmitz, vicar-general of the Florence, Italy-based Institute of Christ the King, said he has received hundreds of calls from interested clergy.
“This is a nationwide phenomenon,” he said. “Many more parish priests and younger priests are interested in learning to celebrate the Latin Mass.
“Whenever the Latin rite is celebrated, you get many young people,” he added. “They are looking for something that speaks to the soul, and the beauty of the liturgy is awe-inspiring. The heartfelt presence of God really affects them.”
The Elmhurst, Pa.-based Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter trained 50 priests on performing the rite this summer at its Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary in Denton, Neb.
Its September session is already full and its Elmhurst bookstore got a “big upsurge” in demand for priestly training materials within two days of the announcement, said the Rev. Carl Gismondi, a Fraternity priest studying theology at the Dominican House in the District.
“It is a detailed liturgy, so there’s a lot of books and videos needed to teach a priest how to say this Mass,” he said. “There’s something about it that’s very attractive to people. It’s more than nostalgia because a lot of young people are interested in it.”