Tridentine Mass in Rochester, MN!

Hi everyone! If you’ve read my blog for awhile, or see my tweets…you’ve probably figured out that I’ve wanted to go to the TLM for quite an amount of time now…

And today I found out some great news about a Tridentine Mass in Rochester, MN this Saturday!! I thought I should spread the word just in case anyone else around the area would also like to go.

Date: March 19, 2016 at 12 PM

Address:

Fatima House

825 Forest Knoll PL SE Rochester, MN 55904

 

The priest that will celebrate the TLM will be Fr. Niehaus, and it will be a Low Mass.

Also, “Please contact Oscar Delgado by tomorrow (Thursday) if you plan on attending for he will need to know a count for food preparations. His contact is 773-573-6890 or email daidel@aol.com.”

Check out http://www.rochesterlatinmasssociety.org/ for more information about the TLM in the Diocese of Winona.

A Catholic Teen’s POV: “Appealing to the young people”

(Part 1?)

This phrase is thrown out quite often when spoken by those who believe that “praise and worship” or “glory and praise,” along with interesting and fun things are needed to interest young people about their faith. But, honestly, this is a phrase I tend to dislike.Why is there such a need to “appeal to the young people” about the Catholic faith? In some common circumstances, this leads to watering down of our prime Catholic beliefs.

Honestly, it would incredibly prudent to ask young people themselves what they want. But, if that might be difficult…here’s a few things that would appeal to me as a young person of the Catholic Church. For some, it may or not be surprising to comprehend the things I’m about to list. Maybe you’re agreeing with my thoughts, or maybe you’re vehemently shaking your head. I don’t entirely know.

Gregorian Chant and the Pipe Organ. Yes, young Catholic people actually like these two things very much. (I myself play the pipe organ, so I especially appreciate it). The pipe organ is the “king of instruments!” It seems like other Protestant denominations put more emphasis on the pipe organ than Catholics sometimes. Some might consider Gregorian chant to be boring or too slow for millennials, but honestly, if millennials wanted upbeat music, they might just easily turn on the radio to the nearest pop music station. Many do really think Gregorian Chant is great! The reason? Because it’s beautiful, the immense history and depth of Gregorian Chant is something young people appreciate. In the world today with the busy noise and beats, when someone hears Gregorian chant, it’s possible that they stop a little and take time to think or pray. Just because something may be old in the number of years it’s been around, it doesn’t mean that it’s worse. The Catholic Church has a rich and meaningful heritage, and some of those things include Gregorian Chant and the Pipe Organ. And just a gently reminder that in the Vatican II Ecumenical Council document, “Musicam Sacram,” it is stated:

“Gregorian chant, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place, other things being equal.” (50. a)

“The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, since it is its traditional instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lift up men’s minds to God and higher things.” (62)

Mass. Yes, young Catholics like going to Mass. The more reverent, the better. But, of course there are those that are simply bored whether they’re at a Mass with guitars or a Mass with a magnificent choir singing Gregorian Chant. It is more likely for them to find the Mass with Gregorian Chant more fascinating though, simply because it truly takes them closer to the deep beauty of our faith. Please don’t make Mass more focused on community than God. If the Mass is made into a performance or community event, it will be harder for teenagers to understand why they’re even there. Performance? They’d rather be at their favorite artists’ concert. Community event? They’ll prefer hanging out with their friends.

The more reverence those leading the congregation portray and expect, the congregation (even the youth!) will reflect the reverence expected. If the expectations are low, it’s easy to lower those expectations and not receive wanted results. But, I’m pleading all those in charge of liturgy, music, priests, and others trying to engage the youth during the Mass. Let us experience the Mass! Face the correct way (cough cough ad orientem), create a reverent moment through music, and most importantly is to direct our focus during the Mass to Jesus and His sacrifice, not about the people next to you.

Truth. Honestly, please tell us things about the faith truthfully and straightforward. We don’t prefer hearing sugar-coated versions of dogma. We’re all striving for the truth, especially young people who are at a stage of their lives when we hope for authenticity. Sometimes it seems hard to be blunt about something, but it’s better to clearly explain than to glaze over the topic. Yes, it may not sound pleasing to the ears, but that’s not what is important. Truth is important. Two thousand years of Scripture and Tradition shouldn’t be watered down and made to sound less “offensive.”

Value our opinions. I do know many that value the youth opinions, but at the same time, there seems to be some adults who only value certain opinions; those that agree with them. Most of the people that try to appeal to young people are obviously not millennials. Simply put, find out what it is that young people want, not just your own perception on what it is. Please! Just because something is fun or in with the times doesn’t automatically make it attractive to the young generation!! If we looked at a reverent person versus someone shaking their head back and forth, “having fun,” we would easily get bored looking at the second person, but there will continue to be something attractive and appealing about the person being reverent.

Prayer and Adoration. And Silence. There’s the common notion that young people need to be doing something every minute to stay engaged. That’s not true at all, it’s imperative that young people and adults have quiet time to pray. It’s a lot harder to pray and think when there’s background noise, it can become a lot easier during silence or adoration. Although, the mind can tend to wander, it would be wiser to let young people experience the silence that can help them listen to the voice of God.

This honestly feels like a “Part 1” of something. So, that’s it for today, please please please take this message into account!! I’m not only speaking for myself, but there are many other millennials who will think the same, too.

(Also, if anyone would like to correct my citations from the document, please let me know!)

Silence Before Mass

Silence. Just that word is intriguing, there’s something different that each person thinks of when they hear that word.

This morning at my school Mass, I was sitting on the risers for the choir watching as classmates, upperclassman, and underclassman all walked into the auditorium. I noticed something…silence and reverence were not there. People came in talking to their friends, maybe about the class before, or the test afterwards. It might’ve even been something completely unrelated to school or the Mass. Even those in the choir were talking among themselves.

I sat there, realizing something I hadn’t before. These people and myself had walked into the auditorium numerous times, with no preparation of our soul for the Mass. It’s recommended to have silence before Mass, but there was none of it. It only quieted down when the cantor welcomed everyone and said the song number.

Something was pulling on my heart, I was apologetic to Jesus. How disappointing it must be for him to see the people He died for not appreciating His sacrifice! It was my determination to spend the rest of the mass in reverence. If the others disregarded the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist during the celebration of the Mass, I wanted to at least be reverent myself.

I found it curious that no one had ever mentioned to stop talking before Mass. Shouldn’t we know the tremendous opportunity that we are able to partake in? Many other Catholics in different countries have to celebrate Mass in secret, but it seems that we’ve disregarded the meaning of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

“Mass is so boring,” we’ve probably heard it at some point. I think the problem does not lie within the mass, but the person’s understanding and faith of the mass. If a person truly comprehends the sacredness of the mass as bridging us between heaven and earth, I doubt they’d be speaking about their crush just minutes before Mass began.

Silence gives us the opportunity to listen to God’s voice, our lives are already too filled with constant noise. We need silence in our lives, there’s no doubt of that. So, can’t we spare a few minutes before mass to remain silent and prepare ourselves for the Mass?

I’d just like to end this post with a few quotes/bible verse:

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

“We are realizing more and more clearly that silence is part of the liturgy. We respond, by singing and praying, to the God who addresses us, but the greater mystery, surpassing all words, summons us to silence.”  [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 209] (Pope Benedict XVI)

” A soul that has never tasted
the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others.” -St. Faustina Kowalska

 

A Catholic Teen’s POV: Priest on a hoverboard

Although I wasn’t planning on writing another blog post this soon, I was scrolling through comments about this, and felt that I should write this up.

Ah, where do I begin…

Many comments wrote that the priest might’ve been doing this to appeal to the young people. But, then he was suspended, and people said that the church officials are complaining about church attendance and, “I wonder why…”

As someone who’s considered to be a “young person” at mass…I wanted to say how I felt about this situation. First off, if my parish priest decided to try and do this one day at mass, I would do either of two things at that moment; kneel down and start praying for more reverence, or simply walk outside/away.

To some extent, I can see where people would say it can bring in young people, but I think the idea that the Catholic Church needs to “be/fit with the times” is unnecessary. Just a year ago, I’d totally be on the bandwagon for modernizing things in the Catholic Church, but now I’m more informed.

The mass does not exist for there to be a performance or show of any sort. When we gather for mass, we should be focusing on Christ. I personally do not think a priest on a hoverboard would help us focus on the True Presence of the Eucharist. Some might argue that there are already other distractions in the mass. I agree, but, that doesn’t mean we should allow for more.

When the sacrifice of the mass is made into a performance or a simple event of fellowship, we lose sight of why we are there. Not to hear someone sing, or to see our friend, but we are at Mass to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist.

The priest might be attempting to relate to the young people, but I believe that there is greater power in the beautiful Tradition that the Catholic Church has. For many years, the Catholic Church has stood firm without needing to adjust to the ideals and beliefs of the current times, so, there isn’t really a reason to incorporate popular culture into the liturgy.

I don’t think the diocese did wrong in suspending the priest. It might seem harsh, but I believe that the priest will reflect on having more reverence to the Eucharist. Honestly, I think we all need to! This is a time that we should pause and see how much reverence we actually have and should have for the Eucharist.

There is an increasing amount of disrespect and lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, and this is simply another example of one. Many have gone unnoticed, but I’m glad this one was brought to light and dealt with appropriately.

I pray that there will be increased reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

Female Altar Servers? (Update)

This was previously posted on my blog on blogspot, but now I decided to post it on here with a few updates.

Certainly, there have been numerous debates among the Catholic community everywhere on different topics. The one topic I’d like to discuss today is the topic of female altar servers. I’d like to first say that this could be very controversial and each person may have their own opinions, but in this blog post, I’d like to talk about my own experience as one and my views. Thank you, and I hope you will read this blog post in its entirety.

I grew up in a parish in the Diocese of Winona, and female altar servers were very normal to me. My older female and male cousins were at one point servers, so it just seemed like a very normal ministry in my church that I could do. After receiving my First Holy Communion at age seven in second grade, I had to wait until I was in 3rd grade in order to be trained as a server. I remember the first time I was being taught how to serve and how anxious and nervous I was on the first mass I was to serve at. My parents constantly reminded me that the altar was very sacred and I had to be extremely respectful and reverent.

My experience as an altar server was not only limited to Sunday masses, but I started attending daily mass in which I participated in serving everyday. The congregation who attended mass never said anything about how females shouldn’t serve, so I still found females altar serving to be very normal. I expanded my daily mass ministry by playing piano or organ for a communion reflection, and then returning to serve afterwards. I was surrounded by people who never said a thing about why females shouldn’t serve at mass.

When I was a freshman in high school, I attended a High School Immersion at a religious sisters’ house of formation. It was in a different diocese than my own and there was no one else from my diocese there. It was there that I learned so many other young females my age had the thought that females shouldn’t be serving at mass. It was very eye-opening and all though the view on the subject was very different from mine, I still appreciated and tried to understand their view.

After that retreat, I spent time looking up the topic and reasons why females shouldn’t be altar servers. Among those reasons, one that stood out to me was that altar serving was to try and inspire vocations to the priesthood to males. There’s concern that females might interfere with that vocation, or that they themselves might think it’s possible for females to become priests. I didn’t quite agree with the thought since I myself had never had the intentions or belief that females can be ordained in the Catholic Church. My cousin is a seminarian in our diocese, so I’ve gotten to know some seminarians quite well…and let me tell you, I support the priesthood more and more everyday. I pray for those in the seminary, and I take any opportunity to explain to people why women shouldn’t be ordained.

I do understand that female altar servers are still a topic of discussion within and outside the Catholic Church. I think the main point is the difference of the diocese. If a girl grows up in an environment where female altar servers are the norm, there is a very small percentage that the girl will think that females altar serving is wrong. I personally have decreased my time altar serving and have instead played piano/organ during daily mass for communion, or accompanying on Sundays.

The few points I wanted to make was that not all female altar servers think that women should be ordained. I think that altar serving was something that brought me closer to God and a clearer understanding of my vocation. Because of the close proximity to the Eucharist, I’ve found myself more conscious of the actions, thoughts, and things that I say.

In a way, I could say that altar serving has brought me to be more open about becoming a religious sister. Although, there’s still a lot of time and prayer before I know what God is truly calling me to be, many other female altar servers and I know that ordination to the priesthood is not one of them.

As for the update, I hardly serve anymore because I discover that there is reverence in tradition. I don’t usually serve unless the parish priest asks me to when there’s no other servers there. But truthfully, females are actually not supposed to be servers/acolytes!
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

My First Lifeline Experience

Yesterday was the first time I attended a Lifeline at the NET Center. I mostly wanted to go because I wanted to hear Fr. Mike Schmitz who was the speaker yesterday. I do want to point out that I am not someone who particularly likes Praise and Worship music, and I don’t believe it should be present at mass either.

The First Things

The first thing I noticed as I walked into the building was “Wow, it’s really loud. Oh, we’re going to be in a gym.” I have gone to masses in gyms before since when my parish church was renovating, masses were held in the gym. When it was about 5:15 pm, we were able to go in and the people I went to sat nearer to the back of the gym. One thing I was waiting to see was whether we’d kneel during the Eucharistic prayer or not. 

We started out with a countdown and then continued with Praise and Worship music. Now this is when I started questioning a few things. First of all, one of the singers from the band said, “Worship is essentially praying and singing together,” which is definitely not true, but I was extremely glad when Fr. Schmitz later emphasized “Worship is about sacrifice.” I also found the song “God’s Great Dance Floor” by Chris Tomlinson to be very strange since I don’t see any theological reasoning behind the song as to why God would have us on his “great dance floor.”

I almost forgot, there was a lip-syncing competition at the introduction. One person lip-synced to Adele “Hello,” and another person did “Drag Me Down,” and let’s just say I didn’t appreciate all the head banging/flipping of the second. Those performances seemed inappropriate to have in front of the altar. We hadn’t even gotten to the mass, yet…

The Mass

The mass? Actually, I was impressed with certain things. The space between the rows of chair was very limited, so I was unsure if we were going to kneel at all. But after the Sanctus, everyone (except those on the risers) knelt down between the crowded area. We continued kneeling until after the Great Amen, then knelt again after the Agnus Dei. Even after communion, people returned to their seats and knelt again, although some sat when the priest returned to his seat, many still remained kneeling until the priest said, “Let us pray.” I thought of other places where I’ve seen people have much more space between the chairs and wouldn’t kneel, but in this small area, everyone knelt.

Fr. Mike Schmitz was a wonderful celebrant for the mass. His homily connected everything that we heard about and genuinely inspired us all. One of the best parts of his homily for me was when he said that God doesn’t want our 90%, but God wants our last 10% since it’s that last 10% that makes a difference in the world. He had great reverence for the Eucharist and it was shown through the way he celebrated the mass. 

Music during the mass was 40% alright for me…there was a chant psalm, and there was another song that I was used to and not too much Praise and Worship. The songs were alright, but the mass parts were something I wanted to complain about. I didn’t like the Gloria, at all. And what is the reason behind “Allelu,” during the Alleluia, I was definitely confused on that since I didn’t think that was correct. The Agnus Dei had some Latin in it, such as “miserere nobis” and “dona nobis pacem,” but that was about all the Latin I heard. The P&W songs that were used were not horrible (as in super upbeat), and there wasn’t any clapping until the closing song. 

The Talk

Then we had the talk, which was honestly my favorite part of last night. I took down a whole page filled with great quotes from Fr. Mike Schmitz. I’ll list a few of my favorites:

God has a vision for your life, for you to become a saint. Nothing more or less than that.

Where you are right now is the result of choices. Who you will be is the result of your choices.

Intensity did not get me here, consistency got me here…consistency will beat intensity every time.

They don’t choose greatness one time, they choose greatness every time.

A small ‘Yes’ today can be a great ‘Yes’ tomorrow.

Adoration 

After his talk, we had adoration. And…it was incredibly hard for me. It was somewhat reverent, but we only had a few minutes of quiet adoration. The deacon processed around with the monstrance and it was the first time I saw people reaching their hand(s) and arms out toward the Blessed Sacrament. When the monstrance was finally on the altar, the band had played multiple songs. I tried praying, but that didn’t work, I tried closing my eyes, but it was still very difficult to pray. I tried listening to God’s voice, but it was extremely hard to do so with the music, even if it was softer. People would get out of their seats and head towards the area closer to the altar and kneel there, while others like myself stayed at our spots kneeling. The only two songs played during that time that I like were “Down in Adoration Falling (Tantum Ergo)” and “Lord, I Need You.” 

Final Remarks

Although I mostly went to hear Fr. Mike talk, I didn’t think it was a terrible experience. I was especially amazed by the kneeling, since we don’t even do that at my school with more space between the rows of chairs. There’s a sixty percent chance that I’ll go to another Lifeline, and part of the reason of why I would return would be that there was still some reverence in certain parts of it. If anyone wasn’t sure whether to go or not, I’d say go, but just know that there’s a lot, A LOT, of Praise and Worship music. 

Feel free to share your own experiences at Lifeline in the comments below! 🙂

~This was originally published on vibrantcatholic.blogspot.com (I’m currently deciding whether to move blogs or not)