Earlier my parish’s Latin Mass Community started to meet occasionally after Mass to talk about the community and efforts to continue it.
Currently there is one priest celebrating most of the Latin Masses and he is a contract Navy Chaplain serving a couple of local bases. His alternate is another Navy Chaplain serving NAS Jacksonville.
We also have a young parish priest who was ordained just last year and grew up in this parish. Rev. John Sollee showed some interest in learning the TLM. So as a community we sent a letter to our Bishop and our Pastor to request that he get the training. This was approved and so he was trained by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Petter (FSSP) this year. Today was his first public Latin Mass.
I have been very impressed with our diocese’s seminarians and newly ordained priests that I have encountered. This is especially true of Fr. Sollee. I also love it when I hear him preach. He has the ability to introduce more technical terms and then explain them and put them into context. Taking his obvious wealth of knowledge and bringing it all down to earth. His love of the Church and scripture is so obvious. He also made the wise decision when preaching on the Trinity to not introduce any analogies. So I quite enjoyed his homily today and how he said his first Latin Mass. He will be praying the TLM with us once a month.
Last week our Latin Mass community had a milestone. It was the tenth anniversary of the return of the Latin Mass to St. Joseph. After Pope Benedict XVI released Summorum Pontificum there were a couple people who did a lot of work to bring this Mass to St. Joseph. Oddly, I first heard about this via Fr. Z’s blog since there was some pushback from a priest in the Diocese concerning the infamous “stable group” interpretation in the Apostolic Letter. Regardless it obviously went forward. My parish has two churches. The main church was built in 1999. We also have a historic wooden church built in 1883. This is still actively used and is where the Latin Mass is held. The acoustics of the church are quite wonderful.
I am very happy how my diocese has accommodated the Latin Mass. The downtown parish I came into the church in has had the Latin Mass since the indult was granted by Pope John Paul II in 1984. This was when celebration of the TLM had to be approved by the diocesan bishop. Another parish celebrates the TLM on first Saturdays.
So overall I am very appreciative of our Latin Mass Community and the large range of people it attracts. This also goes for the choir and the hymn selections which often includes Gregorian Chant. So much to love. Although I am also appreciative of the Ordinary Form of Mass I attend in this historic Church along with the ones I attend at the adjacent Eucharistic Chapel.