I receive a lot of correspondence from CMAA members reporting on local goings on. The reports are fascinating…and encouraging. The latest, an internal communiqué, comes from a newly formed CMAA chapter on the West Coast.
The Feast of the Assumption has special meaning for us, since three years ago it was the first Mass our new schola sang and one which is always marked by an exquisite sermon by Father —, who has great devotion to Mary as our Mother.Because we have been cramming disparate groups of people into a 9 by 12 chapel at the hermitage and yesterday, six more people from an SSPX community planned to come, Father asked our new bishop for special permission to lift his restrictions for this occasion and allow us to use a small mission church seven miles south of the hermitage. The bishop agreed, a very good sign he is a reasonable and understanding man. For photos of what Father and helpers have to do to transform this rather ugly sanctuary into a suitable place for an EF Mass, see: www://philotheaonphire.
blogspot.comThe Mass was very beautiful, even sans schola. A colleague sang the propers and she and I managed to lead the ordinary, Mass IX, and do what responses were necessary. Father had three acolytes, so was able to do incensing. We also had a couple from Lyons, France, who were in the area and came to the Mass. They have been here before and attend the FSSP parish in their hometown. They were also pushing a pilgrimage to Chartres that happens every year. (Probably for the very young, as it involves a walk of some 50-plus miles. Right now, I can barely manage a block!) I hope to keep in touch with them, as they can give me some info about Solesmes as well.We had a potluck later and a board meeting, which may be interesting to you for this reason: We plan to send the bishop a letter soon and follow it up with a meeting in the next month. Our group will present him with three things: 1. Summorum Pontificum is not being followed in this diocese and a generous spirit on his part could change that; 2. The severe shortage of priests problem here in regard to holding EF Masses we are ready to address by offering a diocese-wide training for priests who want to learn the ancient rite, and 3. He could lead by example by saying a low Mass (the mind boggles at the requirements for a pontifical High Mass in the EF!) sometime in the near future, such as on the feast of St. Gregory the Great or that of the Holy Cross, the anniversary of the proclamation of Summorum Pontificum.
Pray we make some headway there. Of course, we also plan to mention that he does have a priest whose restrictions he has the power to lift who can and will say this Mass until such time as parish priests are ready to take over.