On January25th, the morning of the 2013 March for Life, the Traditional Latin Mass was offered by
Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP, at St. Mary Mother of God (“Old St. Mary’s”) in Washington, D.C.
Father’s sermon focused on the interior conversion that each soul must experience, which drives them to act on behalf of their Faith. As it was the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, he referenced the change that overcame Saul, which caused him not only to stop persecuting the Christians, but also to devote his life to the preaching and teaching the Faith.
Father also utilized the story of Jonah, the minor prophet of the Old Testament who was told by God to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh. Rather than carry out the command of God, Jonah fled by ship, thus bringing punishment upon himself and his shipmates for refusing to carry out the Will of God. Father emphasized that we, like Jonah, will experience the tempests of misfortune in our lives and nation until we carry out the Will of God and live out our Faith in word and deed. Only then will our nation be converted and its citizens repent of the twin evils of abortion and contraception. We must eradicate these sins from our nation or they will destroy it completely, and this must be accomplished one soul at a time.
The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy sponsored the Mass, which fell on the conversion of St. Paul, one of the feasts of their patron. The Mass was most appropriately offered in remembrance of and for the repose of the soul of Nellie Gray, the devoted leader of the March for Life. The propers were sung by St. Mary’s schola while the ordinary and motets were sung by a polyphonic choir.
In the evening after the March for Life, a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool was organized by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and offered by the Most Reverend Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago.
Father Karl Marsolle, FSSP, was Deacon, Deacon Joseph DeGuzman, FSSP, was Subdeacon, and Fr. Beniot Guishard, FSSP, was the Assistant. Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, FSSP, was Master of Ceremonies. In addition, Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington lectored the readings in English and Fr. Alfred Harris, pastor of St. Mary’s, assisted at Mass. Msgr. Francis Nave and Canon Jean Marie Moreau were in choir.
The Fraternity offers many thanks to Fr. Harris for the use of St. Mary’s for both Masses, and to His Excellency Bishop Perry for offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on such an important day in the pro-life movement.