Chicago’s premiere Latin Mass parish toes the line

Short and (bitter) sweet

In accordance with the policy of His Eminence Cardinal Blase Cupich and the implementation of the motu proprio of His Holiness Pope Francis Traditionis Custodes within the Archdiocese of Chicago, there will be changes to the schedule of Masses at St John Cantius Church.

The first-Sunday rule:

Beginning on January 25, 2022, on the first Sunday of each month, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Missal, both in Latin and English.

Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Holy Week “unity” rule:

The Archdiocese also prescribes for us liturgical unity of prayer for Holy Mother Church’s major feasts of Christmas, Pentecost and Easter, including the Triduum.

The canons — priests, brothers, seminarians — will work harder than ever “to restore the sacred.”

The Canons Regular of St John Cantius are committed to serving the faithful within the Archdiocese of Chicago. We Canons will live more fully our charism, “the core of our apostolate”—our very purpose— to restore the sacred.

That’s it for now.



In a largely upbeat, reassuring pulpit message to the congregation, Fr. Joshua Caswell, the church’s pastor, specified continued “praying ad orientem” (facing same direction as the people) and celebration of the Mass in both Latin and English, while following the above-mentioned scheduling.

At mass it’s here’s lookin’ at YOU, Father . . .

. . . unless he’s turned around the looking same way you are looking, at God incarnate in the tabernacle, or up to God in heaven above in a tried and true symbolic gesture — He’s everywhere, we know — God being the most important person in the room.

But no, it’s the mass of the faithful kneeling, standing, sitting together under the same room in His house, the mass of gazing on Father at the altar and what he does, hearing his voice (as prescribed) almost constantly, requiring (demanding) our attention. It’s his time to shine, whether he or we like it or not.

And He? Gets a lot of lip service, He does. Priest keeps things moving right along. Few empty (of words) moments.

Not good, not good, not good . . .

Cardinal Cupich having fun with pagan ritual?

Gets a kick out of this.

The prelate offered a pagan blessing dotting paint onto the lion’s eyes, nose, mouth, ears and body while reciting the invocation:

“Good fortune upon your head, miraculous light glittering to your eyes, your ears capturing sounds from all directions. May the most favorable auspicious big fortune and great profit be to you throughout the whole year, from the beginning all the way to the end.”

He did versions of this ritual at St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church in 2016 and more recently at Carmel Catholic High, in Mundelein.

Mass Cardinal Blase Cupich visited Carmel Catholic on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 to preside over an all-school Mass celebrating the Lunar New Year, a prominent liturgical custom in certain Asian countries. This Mass of Thanksgiving highlighted the cultural importance of family, service, and gratitude — above all, gratitude to God for the blessings we have received.

Meanwhile, he has strict requirements, in minute detail, for Latin-mass sayers beginning later in January, described at length at this Church Militant page.

Latin mass severely restricted in Chi-town. Cardinal Cupich to the liturgical-war barricades. But there’s a rub or two . . .

. . .  In fact quite a few when we look at what two popes and one ecumenical council had to say about Latin in the mass.

Take Pius XII in 1947 with his Mediator Dei.

Regarding the use of Latin within the Mass, Venerable Pius XII wrote:

“The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth.” (MD 60)

While the Holy Father recognized that “the use of the mother tongue in connection with several of the rites” may be of advantage to the faithful, nowhere did he advocate for the removal of Latin from the Holy Mass.

Much less call it a disrupter of unity to be treated as a fly in the ointment.

That’s not all. Nothing is more revered and given star treatment among all the councils than Vatican 2, where Latin picked up noteworthy support.

“In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue [the vernacular]. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and “the common prayer,” but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people…

Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.” (SC 54)


Lastly (for now), there is what Benedict XVI had to say in 2007.

“[P]articularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency…In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church…with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers of the Church’s tradition should be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung.

Speaking more generally, I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant.” (SC 62)

We are to presume, of course, that Cardinal Cupich read these texts carefully and took them into consideration this time around. Yes, we are.

The hammer drops. Latin mass under wraps in Chi-town. Cardinal Cupich makes his move.

Cardinal Cupich issues new restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses

Cardinal Blase Cupich has issued a new policy for the Archdiocese of Chicago that curtails the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments in Latin using liturgical books that pre-date Vatican II.

Under the policy, which takes effect Jan. 25, priests, deacons, and ordained ministers who wish to use the “old rite” must submit their requests to Cupich in writing and agree to abide by the new norms.

Those rules specify that the Traditional Latin Masses must incorporate scripture readings in the vernacular, using the official translation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In addition, such Masses cannot take place in a parish church unless both the archbishop and the Vatican agree to grant an exemption.

The new policy also prohibits the celebration of Traditional Latin Masses on the first Sunday of every month, Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost Sunday.

Down with the old.

Pope Francis on the war path towards abolishing Latin mass and sacraments

Hard words for a hard (holy) father as regards his draconian measures in re: Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

A few years ago a friend said that he believed Pope Francis was a spiritually abusive father. I instinctively cringed. To my innate Catholic sense, such language was inappropriate to be directed at the Holy Father. But I can’t see how his actions regarding the old Rite can be seen as anything other than abusive.

An abusive father is a master at manipulation. He makes his children think they are the problem. He warps reality so that they think they “deserve” their abuse, and if they dare challenge it, he casts them as unloving and divisive family members. His children live in a constant state of self-doubt and confusion.

This is how the Holy Father treats those of his children who are attached to the old ways. If they find their spiritual life enriched by attending the TLM, he suggests they have schismatic tendencies. If they find their parish Mass to be unfulfilling in its entrenched mediocracy, he accuses them of rejecting Vatican II. When they complain at his unjust treatment of them, he says that proves they need further correction. It’s spiritual abuse, plain and simple.

More here . . .

Church is “the house of prayer” from which “preaching may be left out” but never “the house of preaching” from which “prayer may be left out” . . .

That is, you can do without the sermon but never without the prayer.

That’s from a John Donne sermon, 17th century, found in Prayers, selected and edited by Peter Washington, Everyman’s Library, Pocket Poets (Knopf), 1995.

Not to downgrade the sermon, but this I found helpful. The Mass has both prayer and sermon, or homily, of course, with its essence the Eucharistic Prayer serving as climactic. It has the moments of consecration, when everything shuts down, except the bell-ringer, and the priest says the sacramental words — formula, if you will — and people have nothing to do but watch. And pray.

Before and after these solemn moments, however, there is lots going on, intended to foster prayer and prayerfulness but sometimes, I think, preventing it. These are busy moments, serving to keep people on their toes — and successful in that, in large part anyhow.

My own experience, which I generously share with you, gives the lie to that scenario. I have written about kneeling for the canon, for instance, that crucial part of the whole event, remember, and waking up for the Our Father, when all rise to say or sing the words. And I with nothing to account for from the previous ten minutes.

An hour or so in the day of the fumbling, stumbling worshiper . . .

Getting there: Traffic on way to church slowed down for one car pushing another down Balmoral. It was an old-fashioned mine-won’t-start-get-me-going, bumper-to-bumper affair. To the credit of Western Civilization, honks were a scattered few along the block-long line of rush-hour vehicles. The other pair peeled off at Broadway, and the rest of us moved along.

At mass: I sit on the side under a light with my New Testament by Msgr. Ronald Knox. It’s Mark 15, about Jesus questioned by Pilate, who’s amazed at his not answering to the charges that Pilate knew were trumped up by priests and others of the established religion, that which Jesus had been challenging.

Pilate tells the crowd Jesus is not guilty. Stirred up by priests and the rest, they roar disapproval. He gives in, not looking for trouble at headquarters about rioting in his province.

He hands Jesus over to be crucified and scourged and then famously crowned with thorns because soldiers did that kind of thing. The guy was a nothing, some fun could be had. Pilate ignored his wife, who had dreamed that Jesus was a just man and told him. Both were nervous about it.

Meanwhile, Father is preaching and speaking of Elizabeth. Yes, but which one? Later about that.

I sit, as noted, outside the main stream and besides don’t always hear so well, am reading Mark and writing things down and wondering some times, Is this worship? Well if it isn’t, I have to settle for it often enough.

Otherwise I am trying to get with every prayer and holy thought emanating from the “presider” (interesting Vatican 2 terminology some times replacing “celebrant,” with effect of changing the priest’s role). Failing to do so, often instead I am thrashing about with memories of every darn thing that consoles or bothers me, making me mad or sad. I become the worried man singing the worried song.

To avoid such wasters of prayer time, more accurately meditation, I read and reflect on my man Mark, the gospel-writer, who came late to the scene but signed on for the Jesus movement heart and soul and interviewed those who were there, especially his guiding star Peter, and put it down for us to know what happened in these earth-shaking years.

Diary of a worshiper 1


In the spring of 2006, our parish collapsed the Sunday mass schedule from 8:30 and 10:30 to only 9:30, for reasons evident to anyone familiar with our shortage of priests and reduced mass attendance.

“Some of us will groan” at this, our pastor said in the bulletin, making the best of it: “Some have been going to [one or other of these masses] for years and don’t know the parishioners at the other masses!” The change provides a chance for us “to see each other and know each other.”

There’s merit to that. The change would be an exercise in habit-changing for the sake of “unity.” The one-mass celebration will be “joyful,” he predicted, and will “remind us of our oneness in Christ.” A stick drawing had a crew in rowing shell and the words “Pull together.”

Prudent parish management for logistical reasons. At the same time, exemplifying the community-building priority of the mass to which Catholic churchgoers had become accustomed, or inured as the case may be. Our pastor was operating in the main flow of Catholic thinking and practice. In that role, he was doing his duty as he saw it.

He also was substituting one aspect of Catholic worship for the whole. At least he was leaving it out of the equation. Nation-building was for the U.S. President for much of this century. Community-building was for the Catholic pastor. He didn’t celebrate mass, for instance, he presided. He didn’t lead people to Christ, he organized them on the premise of leading them to Him in that way. What better purpose for the mass than being crucial to that process?

It took a while for this to dawn on me. The new normal, not so new, of course, was to find God in your neighbor. The other, to find Him in prayer and meditation, though never denied — hardly, that would have given away the show — was de-emphasized or reformulated as extracurricular, something auxiliary which you can also do, while the mass was turned over almost entirely to community-building. Moments of silence were dropped in here and there — the consecration, which always got its due, the brief time for adding one’s petitions in silence, and usually a smidgen of inactivity post-communion.

Otherwise, the air was filled. If radio performers can’t permit dead air, neither can today’s priests, bishops. organists, solo singers, choruses, commentators, hey, even ushers, who on their way to usher people out of the pews for joining the line for communion stop along the way to shake hands with all on-the-aisle pewsitters. It’s gangbusters, and for what? Not, surely to enhance worship as divinely directed but to build community.

Shake hands with all the neighbors, but do not kiss the colleens all unless you know them very well. You will know you’re as welcome as the flowers in May, as if you were newly returned to dear old Donegal — playing off an Irish melody I learned from my brothers decades ago.

Whence came such a wonder, so dramatically different from a few generations ago? How happened those revolutionary changes of the 1970s and later? Who did it? Why did they do it? How did they pull it off? A little book like this can shed some light, drawing on what happened, who decreed it or opposed it, what critics said about it.

Take the all-church changeover from Latin to English after Vatican II, not just suggested or strongly urged but enforced — centralized planning and enforcement to make a statist weep with envy. The world over, Catholics got used to mass in the everyday language of each. Social engineering on a world scale, change by design of a few, not by natural influences.

Vatican II celebrated freedom for the children of God — grand phrase! — but not in liturgy. Latin had to go. Latin went. Rebels were marginalized. Only recently has Latin returned with church authority’s blessings. (And by now in limbo at best in a new regime.)

more more more later . . .

Canadian mass-going for vaccinated only. Like or lump it.

Hey, my people stopped in this area on their way to Chi-town, long time ago.

A Catholic diocese in Canada will be requiring proof of vaccination and identity verification for anyone age 12 or older to attend Mass or other events held at parishes. “Effective October 22, 2021, it will be mandatory for all persons 12 and older wishing to attend Masses or Services in our churches to demonstrate proof of vaccination by using the Vaccine Passport: NLVaxPass or by showing proof of vaccination by presenting their QR code before entering our churches,” said an Oct. 15 letter from Bishop Robert Anthony Daniels of Grand Falls to the priests and pastoral leaders of the diocese.

The Diocese of Grand Falls is located in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Its territory is approximately half of the island of Newfoundland.

As I say, I have a remote stake in this, but remote or not, I CARE!!