Sunday, 4 May 2008

Traditional Latin Mass spreading in Australia?

This month’s AD2000 includes a story by Fr Andew Wise, a priest of Sale diocese, about his experience of learning the Traditional Latin Mass with the help of an FSSP priest.

It is a really nice story – it seems he and a small group of others have learnt the mass in response to requests from parishioners, and he now offers it on a once a week basis in his parish, St Agatha’s. Most of the article is devoted to an appreciation of how the TLM aids active participation of the laity, and the symbolism and meaning of aspects of the Mass. And the story includes all the things we’ve come to expect from priests encountering the Extraordinary Form for the first time, such as a greater sense of the sacred, which impacts on the way he says novus ordo masses.

The article is accessible to subscribers only on the AD2000 site (until it becomes public access at the end of the month):

http://www.ad2000.com.au/

One of the things that it would be really nice to do is to keep a historical record of the spread of the TLM in Australia in the wake of Summorum Pontificum.

The new Wikimissa site is a nice tool to aid that, as anyone can enter the information and update it. Even more usefully, it also includes SSPX masses, so one will hopefully also be able to watch as the number of illicit (albeit valid) masses falls….ok, so I’m an optimist!

The wikimissa listing is certainly a more up-to-date than anything else I’ve seen. But at the moment, the listing is definitely incomplete – I know for example that there is now a weekly TLM offered at St Agatha’s in Sale; a monthly mass in Goulburn Cathedral; and I suspect several more masses in Sydney then are recorded in the database. So if you are reading this, please encourage the relevant people to enter their data:

http://honneurs.free.fr/Wikini/wakka.php?wiki=AustraliE

In the meantime, it is interesting to note that based on the current listings in Wikkimissa, a regular (valid) Sunday TLM is available in nine out of the 28 Australian geographical dioceses (ie one-third). Another four have a monthly TLM. But of the dioceses with regular TLMs, only four (not including Sydney) seem to have a daily mass.

That seems way below the proportions I’ve seen for countries like the US and France. So there is some missionary work to do here folks!

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