Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Disclaimer, not my current or former parish:

Sometimes I wonder if I should encourage a "praise and worship" Mass to attract and keep younger Catholics, especially Millenials. It seems we are losing many Catholics to the non denominations of the Joel Osteen type that provide preaching on the power of positive thinking, uplifting praise and worship entertainment, small base communities for fellowship, bible study and good works as well as the Calvinist sense of confidence in one's personal salvation, that of being saved.

But then there is a young Catholic priest with a parish and college campus ministry who writes this:

Believe it or not, tradition works. So-called “old ways” are quite popular among younger Catholics. Smells, bells, classic hymns, chant, prolonged silence, and, hold on for this one, LATIN are all largely embraced by the younger generations of the Church. Furthermore, when younger non-Catholics experience these traditions they are struck by how different they are from everything else they experience in a noisy, secular culture. These “old ways” are beautiful to them, and beauty is a great place to introduce young folks to Jesus Christ.


Deacon Greg Kendra has this article at his blog with more details:

After reading the diocesan report of slumping Mass attendance, what is a priest to do? Check out this excerpt from a homily delivered a few weeks back, by the Rev. Edwin C. Dwyer of the Diocese of Saginaw: If we are going to keep this parish afloat into the next generation, the major focus must be on what emboldens younger Catholics, and what attracts younger non-Catholics to the Church.. . . . . So what works? Believe it or not,… Read more


TJM said...

Well, whom do you believe, the "progressives" in the Church or your lying eyes? I believe my lying eyes. At the EF, I am generally in the midst of young families with children (lots of children), at the OF, mainly oldsters who go to Mass probably out of a sense of obligation, rather than inspiration. If "progressives" would just go and look at such websites as The New Liturgical Movement, they will see what I am saying is so. But they won't, because they cannot bear to have their delusions challenged.

Henry said...

No single answer. Clearly, the best and brightest of Catholic youth today prefer tradition. They may be in the minority, but they're the ones that'll count most in the leaner more faithful Church of the future.

The dumbest of today's youth may well prefer the praise and glory "jesus my buddy" stuff. But are they stupid enough to go for a pallid Catholic imitation of the evangelical real thing? Maybe the Church is better off to end their confirmation service with a hearty "auf wiedersehen".

Mark Thomas said...

"Thus, we are going to make Sunday beautiful at Our Lady of Peace. That’s not to say it isn’t now. I have nothing but respect for all who help with our worship, but we are going to make it more beautiful with tradition.

*******We are going to look, and sound, and smell vastly different from the rest of the world on Sundays."*******

That will be the case most definitely should Father restore "tradition" to the Mass at his parish.

(Funny, though, as to how the Novus Ordo is booming throughout Africa and Asia.)

It is interesting that "traditional" liturgy attracts many young, post-Vatican II Catholics.

That is interesting in that "traditional" liturgy turns off the vast majority of Catholics who had grown up with "traditional" liturgy — the pre-Vatican II days of the TLM.

Mention Latin, ad orientem worship, Communion received on the tongue while kneeling, etc.,..and watch as the vast majority of older Catholics resist such a Mass.

I believe that the vigorous opposition among the majority of older, pre-Vatican II (Latin) Catholics to "traditional" liturgy is rooted in the overall mediocre state of Latin Church liturgy that existed when the TLM was in place throughout the Latin Church.

There were powerful reasons as to why more than 2,000 Vatican II Fathers insisted upon the reform of the TLM.

Even Archbishop Lefebvre insisted upon the vernacularization of the Mass.

As I've noted many times on Father's blog, Cardinal Ratzinger, for example — alongside many Churchmen who had grown up with "traditional" liturgy — painted an awful picture of pre-Vatican II Latin Church liturgy.

He insisted that the state of pre-Vatican II Latin Church liturgy was so poor that the "one was never in contact with the liturgy itself...the celebration of the old liturgy had strayed too far into a private individualism, and that communication between priest and people was insufficient."

Cardinal Ratzinger had spojen critically of the Low Mass mentality that had gripped the pre-Vatican II Latin Church.

As countless Churchmen and Faithful of the pre-Vatican II Era have noted, the Latin Church of that time was marked by poor liturgy (rushed Low and out of Mass in 20 minutes), as well as adherence to rigid legalism.

Don't do this, this and that. Sin throughout the week, enjoy a nice breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday (just don't eat meat that day) Confession on Saturday, rushed Low Mass on Sunday...don't iron clothes on Sunday, etc., and all will be fine.

Older LatinOlder Catholics don't want to relive those days.

But should today's return to "tradition" feature beautiful liturgy devoid of the pre-Vatican II, rushed Low Mass mentality that had marked the Latin Church...

...and reject the rigid legalism that exists within the Church's "traditional" right-wing...

...then I believe that the return to "tradition" would attract many young Catholics (possibly some older Catholics as well) beyond TLM-only parishes.

A healthy, rational "traditional" Catholic outlook should revive dying parishes.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

The restoration of "tradition" as delineated in the article about Rev. Edwin C. Dwyer's (Diocese of Saginaw) attempt to revive his parish should prove successful as said plan has the following going for it...

-- We are dealing with a priest acting in rational fashion.

-- The "traditional-minded" parish will work in harmony with the bishop.

All of the above is important in that a major problem of the "traditionalist" movement is that it's confined to specialized parishes/chapels filled with right-wingers. The movement is too attached to SSPX/SSPX Resistance/"independent"-types.

To succeed to the hilt, the return to tradition must involve the Father McDonalds of the Church...Rev. Edwin C. Dwyer (as noted in the article)...

That is, parishes led by rational priests.

The other day I heard a leading "traditional" Catholic acknowledge that sections of the Traditional Catholic Movement are dominated by irrational, conspiracy fanatics...people who are convinced that Jews run everything...the Holocaust is a hoax...

"Traditional" Catholicism will not reach Latin Church parish after parish as long as said movement is dominated by right-wing fanatics who insist that Popes and Churchmen they despise are heretics...

...that George Soros and the Jews control the Church and world...everywhere they imagine that they find the illuminati, homosexual cabals, Vatican II was a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy...the Novus Ordo is Jewish/Masonic...

The Traditional Catholic Movement will remain a niche enterprise as long as it's dominated by right-wing, conspiracy-minded folks.

Decades ago, when our Churchmen had all but abandoned the TLM, they succeeded in having driven the TLM into the hands of right-wing fanatics. They bishops abandoned control of the TLM.

The only way that Latin Church "traditional" liturgy will appeal to a decent amount of Latin Church Faithful — if such a thing is even possible (the Novus Ordo will not go away) — is for rational bishops and priests to regain control of "traditional" liturgy.

Bishops and priests must present at parishes authentic, healthy Tradition...not the right-wing nonsense that poses as "traditional" Catholicism.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

The Novus Ordo/Vatican II is alive and well throughout Africa and Asia. But in vast areas throughout the West, the Church is all but dead.

Millions of holy Catholics throughout the West love and are fed spiritually by the Novus Ordo. The fact that the Novus Ordo, if you will, works for them, must be respected. But for millions of additional Catholics, the Novus Ordo, at least as it's celebrated at parish after parish, the Novus Ordo as offered doesn't work for them.

The Traditional Catholic Movement could work for them. But the problem is that the Traditional Catholic Movement is dominated by either/or types.

That is, "traditionalists" insist that the TLM is the "true" Mass...TLM only folks. They trash the the Novus Ordo daily. They look down upon "Novus Ordo" priests and Faithful.

On the other side, irrational either/or liberals insist that the Novus Ordo alone must exist. They hate "traditional" liturgy. The Novus Ordo to the liberal must be celebrated with altar girls, scores of EMs, Communion in the hand, vernacular only, within ugly, wreckovated churches.

As long as right-wingers and left-wingers possess said long as they seek to destroy each other, then liturgical peace is not possible.

We need more priests such as Father who doesn't insist that it's either one Mass or the other.

The Novus Ordo can be imbued with traditional practices such as Communion on the tongue, as well as ad orientem worship. At the same time, such a Mass could incorporate a certain amount of Latin.

Father McDonald has demonstrated that the Novus Ordo and TLM can coexist in peace.

Liturgical coexistence is the way to proceed.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...


Your cutting and pasting contains contradictions, falsehoods, and mere opinion masquerading as fact. There is no coherence at all to what you are stating.

ByzRus said...

Some young people are attracted to contemporary worship. That's what they have been exposed to. Others, perhaps better formed, desire organically developed tradition perceiving it to be authentic. I feel that attrition will ultimately drive authenticity to prevail.

ByzRus said...

Perhaps younger people are attracted to authenticity given how surrounded they are in their everyday lives by the converse. Traditional liturgy might be one of the few real things in their lives.

ByzRus said...

Sorry for the multiple posts, I'm on my phone, anyhow, of the younger people that I see who attend mass or Divine Liturgy, they are more traditional.

Certainly that is true of those who visit to attend Divine Liturgy.

ByzRus said...

I agree with MT. Neither "side" helps itself with the rhetoric that comes from both. The Novus Ordo, with all its faults is not likely to go away. Reclaiming organically developed tradition is the only way forward it would seem. Entrenched camps will only hinder those types of efforts and further divide the laity and resistant clergy and hierarchy.

TJM said...


Please do not fall into MT's trap. There is no moral equivalence between folks we reer to as being on the "left" or "right" in the Church. The left are not Catholics, they must believe and support abortion and gay marriage and women priests, etc. No one on the right espouses those heretical views. FYI, we used to call folks on the right Faithful Catholics, those on the left, Apostates