Wednesday, 21 January 2009

First Sunday Mass in the Usus Antiquior at Mariawald

Via NLM friend Martin Bürger of comes the following, very encouraging report about the first Sunday conventual Mass in the usus antiquior of the Trappists at Mariawald Abbey from the Aachener Zeitung, a local German newspaper (NLM translation; if you have missed the previous articles about Mariawald, click on the respective label below):

First Tridentine Mass in Mariawald Monastery
by Christoph Hahn

The change in Mariawald continues. For the first time in a long while a Sunday High Mass in the traditional form commun until 1969 took place again in the church above Heimbach. As already on a week day in December, this service also was celebrated by a guest of the Abbey.

But Abbot Joseph Vollberg, since 2005 the superior of the only Trappist Abbey in Germany, is confident of being able to take over this task in future. However, the 45-year-old religious said in an interview with the Dürener Zeitung: "I am still learning."

The overwhelming rush on Sunday, however, also testifies that the return [to the traditional liturgy and observances] of the monastery on the ridge of the Kermeter announced at the end of November 2008 has found grateful acceptance and support with many Catholics in the region.

A walk across the car park of Mariawald Abbey documented: Many faithful had set out already in the early morning from Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), Cologne, Bonn and other cities and villages, in order to to be there in time for the start of the service by 10 clock.

The popularity with participants was surprisingly great even for the Trappists - so great that, in addition to the pews in the nave, the gallery, otherwise sealed to visitors, was opened.

With visible emotion the attendees followed the service in which abbot Josef Vollberg gave the sermon. The celebration of Mass in the traditional form he described as "wonderful reflection of our Catholic Faith."

Even if Latin were initially unintellegible to many faithful, the preacher advised his listeners to engage with it and thus develop a sense for the message behind the words.

Moreover, there were many forms and gestures which open up to the faithful an access to the meaning of the Eucharist according to the old rite which is not bound to language. Patience would be needed, the superior of Mariawald admitted - but the reward would be much greater than any trouble.

Then the abbot called the attention of his audience on a special feature of the Tridentine rite: The Communion is, in this form of Holy Mass, only received kneeling vy the faithful. But that was as good as natural for the attendees, among whom many young people and families with children. Even more: what still encounters much criticism, has long since found grateful and loving acceptance among the friends of Mariawald.
The author of the article, Christoph Hahn, has written in to tell us that a slightly expanded version of it has also been published in another newspaper (the Kölnische Rundschau). This article was accompanied by the following picture (click to enlarge). You can see the people crwoding the loft. In the picture to the bottom right is Abbot Vollberg giving the sermon.

(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Benedictines of Mary - investitute

On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, the Feast of the Epiphany, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, a traditional community in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph (MO), had a novice make her first profession of vows and also had the investiture in the Benedictine Habit of four postulants. This happened at the Oratory of Old Saint Patrick in Kansas City, MO.

The Kansas Catholic blog has reproduced some photos from the Holy Mass (extraordinary form), celebrated by His Excellency Robert W. Finn, as well as the profession of Sister Grace of the Merciful Face of Jesus and the investiture of the four postulants:-

The Sisters' website is here, whilst one can view more photos at Kansas Catholic.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd

On 8th September, 2008, M. l'Abbé Philippe Laguérie, I.B.P., celebrated Mass in the small chapel of the Chateau of Arrou.

L'Abbé Laguérie, is the Moderator General of the Institute of the Good Shepherd. The Mass marked the foundation of the Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd, les Petites Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, something akin to the 'second order' of the Institute of the Good Shepherd.

The Little Sisters are seen above with M. l'Abbé Forestier, I.B.P., who is the Rector of the Institute's Seminary at Courtalain, during a pilgrimage made to the shrine of the Little Flower at Lisieux on 8th December, 2008. The formation of the Little Sisters is taking place at the Chateau of Arrou, which you can see below, not far from Courtalain, to the west of Chartres.

The sisters, now four in number, have come together to be formed in the spirit of the Institute of the Good Shepherd as apostolic sisters in accord with the vision of St. Vincent de Paul, the great Apostle of Charity.

Their beginnings, like those of the Good Shepherd, Himself, and like the beginnings of the works of St. Vincent de Paul, are humble and hidden.

However, they promise great things for the future. The Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd have entered upon an heroic journey to create a religious Institute, living the burning zeal of apostolic Charity while maintaining the great traditions, not only of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, but also that traditional religious life that was so often France's great gift to the Church.

Their website states that, as with the Institute of the Good Shepherd, itself, the proper Rite of the Little Sisters will be the Traditional Roman Rite contained in the Liturgical Books of 1962. May the good God grant them increase of holiness and increase of sisters!