"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

20 Years of the Tridentine Mass in Metro Detroit

Tridentine Community News (October 23, 2011):
It all began with a plan. A group of enterprising Canadians wanted to worship according to the historic Latin Rite of the Church. A similar group of Americans, undeterred by the Archdiocese of Detroit’s unwillingness to permit a Tridentine Mass on their own turf, formed a partnership of sorts with their Canadian brethren to attempt to start one in Windsor. A complete operational plan was drawn up before approaching the Diocese of London, Ontario: celebrant, chapel, supplies, budget, handouts, and most every detail were pre-arranged. All that was needed was permission.

Then-Auxiliary Bishop Frederick Henry approved of the plan, and in 1991 Mass began in the chapel of Assumption College High School (photo above), on Huron Church Road just south of the Ambassador Bridge. The first regular Chaplain of the group was Fr. Alexander Barna.

In 1999, the Mass was relocated to the chapel of the Villa Maria Nursing Home (photo above), located on the bank of the Detroit River. The Chaplain at the time, Fr. Ronold [sic] Pazik, was rather short of stature, and as a result, the main altar in the chapel could not be used. Mass was celebrated at a tiny side altar. These were difficult years; the nursing home setting unfortunately caused attendance to decline.

Incoming Diocese of London Bishop Ronald Fabbro sympathized with the group’s desire to relocate to a more fitting setting for the Mass, and granted permission in 2003 to move to the 1950s-era St. Michael’s Church (photo above). The Chaplain in those years was the indefatigable Fr. Ulysse Lefaive, and the pastor of the host parish at the time just happened to be the Episcopal Vicar, Fr. James Roche, whose wise counsel and continuing assistance helped the Mass to grow.

In 2007, the group experienced a blessing in disguise. Parish politics at St. Michael’s put some obstacles in the way of proper celebration of the Mass. Then-Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Daniels agreed with the group’s suggestion that this was an opportune time for an upgrade. His Excellency arranged a relocation to the most beautiful church in Windsor, Our Lady of the Assumption (photo above), the oldest parish in Ontario. God graced the group with a new Chaplain, Fr. Peter Hrytsyk, who was intent on improving the quality of the liturgy to match its new home.

In 2004, members of the group helped to found Detroit’s long-awaited first Tridentine Mass at St. Josaphat Church, and later its descendant Masses at St. Albertus, St. Joseph, and Sweetest Heart of Mary Churches. The professional choir that sings every Sunday year-round at Assumption has been called upon to sing at special occasion Masses at the National Shrine of the Little Flower, St. Peter’s Seminary, St. Hyacinth Church, Flint’s All Saints Church, and elsewhere.

The pioneering souls behind this enterprise have names. May we ask your prayers for the founders and original members of the Windsor Tridentine Mass Association: Helen Broderick, Ray Cameron, John Foot, Brad Nelson, Michel Ozorak, Richard Walczak, and the late Earl Amyotte, Germaine Deimling, Murray Harris, and Thomas Marshall. Metro Detroit and Windsor’s currently thriving Tridentine Mass scene would not exist without their well thought-out efforts.

No comments:

Post a Comment