Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The TLM in Bundaberg

Cath News carries an alert to a story in the Bundaberg News Mail about the spread of the Traditional Latin Mass up North, where retired priest of the diocese, Fr Martin Durham, heroically makes the trek to offer Mass in Rockhampton two Sundays of the month, and Bundaberg (248 kilometres away) and Mackay (334kms) on the other Sundays.

Spread of the TLM to Bundaberg

Here is the story in full:

"A mass-ive comeback
Letea Cavander 20th January 2009

"THE latest craze being taken up by youths like Jessica May is not a computer game or band worship.

Like an increasing number of people worldwide, the 19-year-old Catholic has the chance to experience a traditional mass said in Latin right here in Bundaberg.
“I think it would be an experience,” Miss May said.

“It's really entrenched in our tradition and there's something cool about listening to a church service in another language.”

The services have been held for the last couple of months at St Mary's Catholic Church.

Jana Mackie, aged 32, was also too young to remember the masses that were held in Latin until 1970.

But the Catholic has welcomed the comeback of the traditional mass in Bundaberg.

“There's a beautiful reverence about it that I think has been lost - there's a lot of quiet that gives time to pray and reflect,” Mrs Mackie said.

“The words are different, it's not your usual street language.

“It's like comparing Shakespeare's language to today's plays.”

The Latin mass has been steadily growing in popularity since Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement in 2007 that said the traditional mass should be made more widely available.

During the latest mass held on Sunday, a 45-person strong congregation heard Father Martin Durham chant and pray in the ancient language. The 78-year-old priest travels up and down the east coast administering the mass in Rockhampton and Bundaberg.

The “altar boy” for the mass, Dr Rory Donnellan, said the priest was born and raised in Bundaberg and was actually ordained in the Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

“I must be the oldest altar boy there is, but there was no one else who knows what to do,” Dr Donnellan said.

The Bundaberg doctor remembers serving Latin Catholic masses in his native South Africa when he was young. He said that in a country with 13 official languages, a mass in Latin broke down communication barriers.

“The Latin mass appeased all people and everyone could come together in the Latin mass,” Dr Donnellan said.

The services are held on the third Sunday of every month at St Mary's Catholic Church on Barolin Street."

Fr Durham

It is worth noting that Fr Durham has written a number of nice pieces for AD 2000 and other publications. His latest piece, a review of Thomas Woods' Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass, can be found here.

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