A Note From Fr. Timothy
A little over a year ago, we began the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (also called the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or the Tridentine Mass) at St. Joseph, Waite Park. This was in part due to the desire of the bishop and the individuals attending the TLM that there be a deeper integration with a parish community, and avoid separation which can lead to division. While there have been some challenges and bumps in the road these last twelve months, it has been a joy for me to welcome many new parishioners who are on fire in their faith. Regularly celebrating the TLM has been for me (and hopefully many others) a powerful, prayerful experience.
On July 16th, 2021, Pope Francis issued a moto proprio (a type of edict or decree issued by a pope) called Traditionis Custodes (“Guardians of the Tradition”) that restricts the celebration of the TLM from what his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI had allowed. Pope Benedict’s own moto proprio in 2007, Summorum Pontificum (“Of the Supreme Pontiffs”), had permitted the TLM for any priest in private and stated that pastors should provide the TLM in parishes where stable groups request to celebrate it. Traditionis Custodes repeals some of those freedoms and puts the celebrations of the TLM more directly under the diocesan bishop’s purview.
Though Pope Francis moto proprio goes into effect immediately, it will likely take some time to prayerfully reflect and discern what steps should be taken. According to Traditionis Custodes, the bishop is to designate priest(s), location(s), and day(s) for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form within his diocese. This is pretty much what our bishop has already done in assigning me to celebrate the TLM at St. Joseph, and I expect our schedule to continue as it has while whatever necessary discussions and decisions take place.
There are still a number of questions and uncertainties, and we recognize that a new bishop could arrive with a very different perspective, so it is difficult to know what the future might bring. I will do my best to keep people informed and always work as a pastor and priest to meet the spiritual needs of the people and foster a deeper spiritual unity. Please pray for me and all priests and bishops.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski