My travels have once again taken me to the northern corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today I am here for the baptism of a little boy born last month. His parents are friends and they have asked me and my wife to be his godparents. It is an honor, but more importantly it is a duty we do not take lightly.
So this morning I set out in search of my beloved Ancient Mass in the venerable Gregorian rite that I might offer my sacrifice especially today for him.
Owing to my location, finding the TLM is no easy task. I should say, finding the Mass is easy. There are only a handful of locations allowed by the bishop. Finding the time of the Mass is another story. For some reason, the diocese has decided that Cardinal Roche has authority even to forbid local parishes from publicizing the Mass times (only for the TLM) anywhere. No bulletin, no website, no social media. I wonder if His Eminence were to tell them how to lace their shoes, if they would consent…
Through back channels, I found a Mass.
And here is how you know you have found a Latin Mass being said when you aren’t supposed to know.
When you drive past a small-ish parking lot packed with at least ten Ford Transit vans, five Ford Econoline 15 passenger vans, a slew of bumper stickers, and at least one vanity license plate that says something like “JUDICAME” or “INTROIBO” or “16KIDZ”; you’ve definitely found it.
Interestingly I think the priest was a Dominican friar and not a diocesan priest. The lack of a biretta (replaced with a hood) and the fact that he had clearly prepared the water, wine, etc. before the Mass were my giveaways. I follow along in the Missal, praying every word. I’m usually very good at pacing myself with the priest at the altar. However, this man seemed to fly through the offertory. Also of note, the good folks of this place really seem to like their dialogue Masses. I am not accustomed to reciting anything during the Mass apart from the Leonine prayers. On the plus side, their Latin is flawless. God bless us all.
And so now it is on to the Novie parish for the baptism and the welcoming to new life of my godson. Please keep little Joseph in your prayers. The Church he is about to enter is everywhere in disarray yet Our Lord Jesus Christ rules, conquers, and prevails! Pray for me also as the church building I am about to enter resembles a spaceship. Should it lift off during the sacrament, well, RIP me, right?
Yesterday I attended Holy Mass in one of the “new locations” offered by the Arlington, VA Diocese for the celebration of the TLM. I have to admit that I was impressed by the redesign of the space. Formerly a school gymnasium (and not on the property of a Catholic parish), this space was, in the span of a few weeks, turned from a utilitarian hall into a somewhat proper looking “church”. It is obvious that some money had been spent installing a new wood floor. Additionally, a sanctuary was constructed with an honest-to-goodness altar rail. At the head of the space was a lovely altar constructed against a custom-made backdrop. The hall itself was arranged with a mix of oaken pews and chairs.
As I suspected, the new gym/church was filled to capacity – I guess somewhere between 150-200 people at each of 2 Sunday Masses. There was a choir in the back of the hall. In many ways this place resembled a Latin Mass community from 15 years ago – from the time when Summorum Pontificum had unleashed the ancient rite and people were eager to build beautiful churches for Our Lord. The only problem is that this community was here because they were forced out of an actual beautiful church. They were sent to this place by the bishop who, just following orders, began an implementation of Traditiones Custodes. That document states that celebrations of the TLM may not take place in parish church buildings because if you love the Mass of the Ages, you must be punished brought to your senses and “return to the Novus Ordo”. A subsequent letter from Rome states that pastors of such parishes may not even advertise the Mass times in bulletins.
OK, all of this is known to the kind of folks who would be reading this blog. So why do I bring it up?
We know that the so-called “Pope of Mercy” is anything but merciful to faithful Catholics wishing to worship in the manner of their faithful ancestors. If you’ve been reading this site, you know that I (along with not a small number of my fellow Catholics) believe that this Bergoglio isn’t even a legitimate pope. I will say it again. We have had anti-popes in the history of the Church – somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 of them. This is not a new nor is it a shocking concept. And we knew for some time that certain bishops, under pressure from Rome to quash the TLM, have drawn up plans to put TC into practice. We even know that the target date to completely shut it down is sometime in 2023-24.
What I did NOT expect was the letter that was handed to me as I left this place. In addition to the parish bulletin (which does not list the Mass times for this “chapel”), I was handed a separate sheet of paper. I’m going to paraphrase the letter here to avoid getting anyone in trouble.
Are you joking? Seriously, Father? There are several false premises at work here. We could start with the premise that anything found in the evil document Traditiones Custodes is binding on anyone. We could continue with the premise that shunting the people of your parish into a gym ten miles away is a “positive effort”. Finally, as a lawyer friend remarked to me, “[The virtue of] Religion is inherently political because it has serious political implications.”
Again, I feel for these priests. I really do. I am sure they never anticipated being in this position. God send Thine Holy Ghost upon these men, Thy priests, to guide them in all they do.
But do you not realize that taking that added step of requesting people not share pictures sends a very definite message? It comes across as cowering in fear. If there really is nothing wrong with the situation, if this really is a positive effort, why try to shut down the flow of information? “We’re being shut down. Let’s take our punishment and die off quickly and quietly. Don’t even talk about what’s being done. Just. Go. Away.” I expect it to be followed with a “Thank you sir, may I have another!” Is that what Fr. intended in his message? Perhaps not and I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I believe he thinks he is doing what must be done. But it is certainly not a good look and it bodes very poorly for this and other similar Latin Mass communities.
My point in sharing this is to point out, if it wasn’t already obvious, that the screws are tightening. We know what they’re doing and what their goal is and if it wasn’t already apparent, it should be by now. When they tell you we cannot even attract attention to the Mass that was celebrated for 1900 years but the videos of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament being blown to the ground in the wind abound on social media, there is a problem. When they tell you not to take a picture and share it, it is only a short while before they tell you not to write about it and then they’ll say we can’t discuss it among ourselves because “someone might hear…”
For the record, I took a picture of this gym/church yesterday shortly before I was handed that letter. I won’t post it – not because I think it is imprudent but because it is out of focus. No matter though as identical pictures are online already and a quick internet search will lead you to at least one.
And to those who say that Bergoglio is Bergoglio and we can’t do anything to stop him; perhaps you are right. But I’ll be damned if he gets away with it without someone calling him out on it every day he remains on this earth. And that goes for the men who comply with his plans of destruction.
Not long ago, my 85 year-old mother posted the following on Facebook:
Apparently she confused Facebook with UberEats. And yet, like the matriarch she is, she got her point across because one of my nieces replied with the following:
My point in sharing this is because Harvey needs some help. If you are reading this and live in Northern Virginia (specifically the Arlington Diocese) and you know the Mass schedules for TLM in this place, would you be so kind as to drop me an email? I’m traveling the next week or two and want to attend the Roman Mass.
Update: I already have the mass schedule at Renaissance, I’m curious as to the others. Thank you!
A few days ago I posted about the Queen of Heaven’s birthday. This happened to coincide with the day the Queen of England died. I made a reference to Her Majesty’s very long reign and that she presided over a general decline in Western Culture. I did not say that she was the cause of that decline, just mentioned the link. The next day I noticed a comment that simply said that I was a “tosser”. I had to look it up. Apparently that’s slang for the already slang word “wanker” – one who gratifies himself, if you follow. Oh those Brits! So clever. And here I thought it was related to a baseball pitcher.
The sad fact is, like John-Henry Westin points out, Elizabeth II, may she truly Rest In Peace (and do pray for her soul), indeed gave her Royal assent to some terrible things during her 70 years on the throne. Go ahead and square that circle. I’ll wait. So to the gentleman who hurled that invective, it’s quite alright. I understand the grieving process takes time to work itself through. It’s not your fault you’re a biscuit short of a packet. But to attack a man for pointing out the obvious is just bollocks. Why don’t you go listen to some Gilbert O’Sullivan and tend to your cats?
Bring It On! Or Not…
I was chatting with a friend this evening over dinner when I remarked that I just can’t wait for the material chastisement to come about! I’m joking of course. Still, there comes a point at which one has to wonder how much longer this cesspool of a world can go. Then my friend told me of her recent experience raising chickens. And I realized that if I survived the material chastisement I would probably have to slaughter a chicken at some point for food. The living will envy the dead, folks. The living will envy the dead.
Arlington Diocese Underground
I was sent some pictures of the new locations where, starting this week, the TLM will be celebrated in Northern Virginia. I did not take these pictures myself so I will not post them here. I will have my own pictures to post soon enough. Nonetheless, the work that has gone into transforming these spaces – a gymnasium, a parish school building, etc. – is quite impressive and still far surpasses most Novus Ordo church designs. The thought struck me that for going “underground” and being pushed to the margins by the “pope* of mercy” these places aren’t all that bad. Remember to hold onto your devotion and keep the true faith alive. This will pass.
Remembrance of Things Past
I was supposed to be at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Providence intervened and I overslept. On that morning, one of my sisters worried that her five day-old baby should be baptized. We literally did not know if the world was coming to an end. The smoke from the Towers was still rising just 7 miles away. I drove her down to the church. It took great effort convincing the pastor that this was a good idea. “Father,” I said, “If you don’t want to do this because you don’t really think anything bad is going to happen, couldn’t you at least do it to comfort this young mother?” Somehow, speaking the language of modernist false mercy and psychobable did the trick. Sometimes, I suppose, we have to speak on their terms in order to achieve our goals. A truly Catholic priest would have assessed the situation and, seeing a regular parishioner whose faith was known to him asking for baptism for her child, replied, “ Of course! This way to the font.” Imagine if Phillip had told the Ethiopian eunuch, “Sorry, pal, but there’s no rush. RCIA doesn’t start until October.”
I went to bed for the next three months with images of the planes slamming into the buildings. God rest the souls of all those who died that day.
Per Uncle Arthur, Mass times for the TLM “may not be published on the parish website or social media sites.”
Fortunately, this blog is neither of those.
Have at you…
Parishioners of Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville can now attend the Mass of the Ages at Renaissance Montesorri School in Nokesville, VA. masses will be held in the gymnasium. Shouldn’t be hard to remember. Here’s a mnemonic for you. Gymnos is Greek for “naked man”. Just think of Uncle Arthur and his secretest thoughts and you’ll be fine.
RMS is at 12625 Fitzwater Dr., Nokesville, VA 20181. Pull all the way around to the back of the parking lot. The gym is the second large building on your right
Sunday: 8:30 AM and Noon.
Monday-Saturday: 7:15 AM.
Who knows, friends… You might run into me there in the next week or two. If you can pick me out of a crowd, say hello! I’m friendly and I’ve had all my shots. Actually no, I abhor vaccines. Nonetheless, I’m still friendly and I don’t bite.
While scanning through my extensive photo collection this afternoon I stumbled upon something interesting. It is a picture I snapped 2 years ago and I think I took the shot because the dark cloud looked particularly vicious. Turns out I was right and a few minutes later a massive storm was unleashed. The picture is both portentous and symbolic. Here it is.
You may ask what this is. A parking lot with a pile of dirt and the corner of a red brick building? Indeed it is; but it is more.
What you see, friends, is the parking lot of a Montesorri School in Northern Vitginia with a dark storm cloud looming large in the immediate vicinity.
And if you know, then you know. If you don’t know, you will soon, especially if you’re a parishioner of Holy Trinity in Gainesville. I’m sure it will be awesome, though.
In reflecting on the situation in Arlington over the weekend, I have come to some realizations. I mentioned in a previous post that Arlington never had an Ecclesia Dei community post-Summorum Pontificum. I’ve also reflected on the number of contacts I have in that place and I’ve remembered that I need to tread carefully lest I betray any of them.
So instead tonight I will offer a glimpse of what I believe is actually going on. Here’s a hint. They’re not really coming after you – not as Mr. and Mrs. Tradcatholic anyway. Let me explain.
If you missed the previous background, I’ll bring you up to speed. The Arlington Diocese was split off of the Richmond Diocese in 1974. It covers 21 counties in Northern Virginia. Interestingly, it’s see “city” isn’t a city at all but the entirely unincorporated Arlington County which sits directly across the Potomac from DC. Also of note, Arlington is not suffragen to Wilton’s Washington but to Lori’s Baltimore. There are currently 70 parishes of which 21 offer the TLM – many on a daily basis. After September 8, there will be just 8 and only 3 of those in the church buildings proper.
Going back to the lack of Fraternity or Institute parishes, it is because the good priests of Arlington are just that. For the most part, these men are solid and desirous of bringing souls to heaven through reverent liturgy. True, many of them were not familiar growing up with the TLM. But that describes me as well and I bet it does many of you.
Unicorns and Mutual Enrichment
We’ve joked about the “unicorn” that is the reverent Novus Ordo mass. If you’ve lived in Arlington you probably know what I’m about to say. If there was ever a place on earth where such a thing might be considered a reality, it was here. There really weren’t the overt and wide scale liturgical abuses in Arlington that have been endemic of the Church writ large. They didn’t even have girl altar boys until 2006 and most people weren’t happy when Bishop Loverde pushed them through.
As far as the call of Benedict XVI that the old and “new” Masses should provide mutual enrichment for each other, consider this. Due to the large number of parish churches offering both NO and TLM Mass, most Catholics in this diocese have attended both and actually understand both. It’s personally not my style and I think there ought to be unity in worship (TLM only) but Arlingtonians we’re kind of doing it and without much issue. What I mean specifically is that many families would go back and forth between the two liturgies without a problem.
The Mass, Not You
This brings us to the point. In the Bishop’s directive, much talk is made of shepherding the people back into the “sole expression” of the Roman Rite. We’ve discussed this and it’s nonsense. But the document is worded in such a way as to imply that those attending the TLM are somehow diametrically opposed to the NO. This simply is not the case in Arlington and they know it. In point #9 we read:
So you see, the Diocese knows this. They know the people of this see don’t have a problem in se with the NO. This truly seems to be a matter of preference. They admit it right in their text!
So if they have to have a plan to bring back people who haven’t left, what gives?
I’ll tell you what gives. The Antichurch gives. They cannot stand the ancient liturgy because it is holy, reverent, and brings souls to Calvary. They call us “rigid” as if that wasn’t some faggoty Freudian slip of theirs. Trust me, Bergoglio and Roache are all about rigid when they think no one’s watching. No, my friends, this is about the complete suppression of the Latin Mass.
You didn’t have a problem with the Novus Ordo. They have a problem with TLM and they need it gone and dead.
Folks, I got off all that social media nonsense a while ago. Sorry but I'm not on Twitbook, Facepalm, YouHu, WingWang or any of the others. Maybe an event will happen to make me change my mind like Peter and Paul coming down with flaming swords and commanding it be so. Until then, read the blog and if you feel a comment is in order or you feel like sharing a tip or suggestion for a topic, email me at email@example.com.
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