FSSP Helps a Bishop Discover the Latin Mass
We are pleased to share a second FSSP-related National Catholic Register article this week: A US Bishop Discovers the Traditional Latin Mass.
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas was interviewed by the Register and goes into detail about what inspired him to celebrate his first Traditional Latin Mass on June 11, 2020:
Once the motu proprio was established and we were encouraged to make the Latin Mass available, we did this — his secretary was a FSSP [Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter] priest, so I know he was comfortable with the rite. He chose to bring the Fraternity to establish a little community here, and, again, it was very foreign to me. So, when they would approach the cathedral — and this sounds so pejorative now — I found myself often saying, “Oh, here come those people.” Of course I was encouraged to be welcoming and inviting as rector of the cathedral. They later would establish their parish, St. Joseph the Worker, and one of the very first things I did as bishop was to celebrate confirmation for them in Latin. That was a little different for me, celebrating a confirmation outside the Mass — as is done in the traditional rite. They joked my Latin had a Spanish accent!
What changed? What prompted you to learn the extraordinary form?
I’ve been bishop seven and a half years, and we do have priests and seminarians who have expressed interest in the extraordinary form, along with families — young families — participating, going to the Fraternity parishes. More and more, I found people expressing their desires to me to permit the Latin Mass — and, of course, I did, following the motu proprio. I found myself, more and more, becoming aware of the Latin Mass and the draw of the people to it, that it wasn’t this antiquated, negative thing that needed to stay buried.
His Excellency goes on to list some of the resources that helped him learn the traditional Mass, including the FSSP’s instructional YouTube videos.
He also shared a wonderfully emotional moment that happened to him during the Mass:
Just the beauty of the corporal and how the Host and the chalice are treated — I have to say [long pause, filled with emotion] I could hardly say the words of consecration because I became so filled with emotion, so deeply struck by those words. Thank God we only must whisper them in this rite, because I am not sure I would have been able to speak above that whisper, so struck I was at the profundity. It was the first time in my life that I had ever said those words in Latin, and I could hardly get them out. It’s indescribable, really.
Read the full interview at the National Catholic Register.
July 17, 2020