Countercultural San Francisco parish attracts growing congregation

Three years after Illo was appointed parish administrator in August 2014, bringing his powerful commitment to traditional Catholic practices to the famously progressive city, Mass attendance and number of parishioners registered have increased about 10 percent each year.

Full report:

Traduzione in Italiano:

Sito della parrocchia / Parish website:

Mass Ad Orientem: A Ten Year Old’s Impression

On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, my ten-year-old daughter went to church with me. The priest at the church regularly celebrates Mass ad orientem, whether he is offering the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin or English. Afterwards, I asked my daughter what she thought of the Mass. Her short but certain answer was “beautiful.”
The reasons for ad orientem Mass are all very sound and it’s hard to understand why many clergy and lay people still show so much resistance to it. Perhaps we need to look at the issue in a more simple light. If a ten-year-old girl can see the beauty of celebrating Mass in this more traditional orientation, then maybe that’s all the reason we need.

Full article by Terry McDermott here.

Holy Family church, New York City

In the ad orientem celebration, when Christ comes down upon the altar at the consecration, we are all focused on Him. His presence commands our attention. The priest, as it were, disappears from view and then continues the prayers of the Mass in preparation for then turning to the congregation to offer first the Lord’s peace, and then to show the Eucharistic Lord to his people in preparation for the Lord to feed his flock with the gift of Himself through the hands of his priest.

Most parishioners at Holy Family have serenely adjusted to this change. There have been complaints, but more expressions of thanks and encouragement. Some have not yet grasped that having the priest turn from the congregation towards the Lord is not a deprivation for the worshippers, but is rather meant to re-focus the congregation on Christ.

English report here.

Article en Français ici.

Lors de la célébration ad orientem, quand le Christ descend sur l’autel à la consécration, nous sommes tous rivés à Lui. Sa présence exige notre attention. Le prêtre, en l’occurrence, échappe à la vue, puis continue les prières de la Messe, se prépare à se tourner vers les fidèles pour leur annoncer la paix du Seigneur, et à présenter à Son peuple le Seigneur par l’Eucharistie, en préparation à la nourriture de Son troupeau, don de Lui-même par les mains de Son prêtre.

Les paroissiens de la Sainte Famille se sont, pour la plupart, adaptés à ce changement. Il y a eu des réclamations, mais bien plus de remerciements et d’encouragements. Certains n’ont pas encore bien saisi que le célébrant tourné vers le Seigneur et non vers l’assemblée ne prive pas les fidèles mais leur montre plutôt un retour des paroissiens vers le Christ.

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI (USA)

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
5250 Justin Road, La Crosse Wisconsin (USA)


Homily by card. Raymond Leo Burke (in English)

Homilía por card. Raymond Leo Burke (en Español)

In order to render yet more perfect the image of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, the Holy Mass will now be offered here with the priest and the faithful all facing Our Lord. After the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the reform of the Rite of the Mass was widely interpreted to require that the priest, acting in the person of Christ, face the people, but, in fact, such a disposition is not found in the teaching of the Council.
By doing so, we are returning to the ancient practice of the Church. When all face the East, when all face the Lord, during Sacred Worship, the priest does not turn his back to the faithful but rather with them directs himself to Christ Who makes sacramentally present His Sacrifice for our eternal salvation.

A fin de representar todavía más perfectamente la imagen de la Iglesia como el Cuerpo Místico de Cristo, la Santa Misa será ahora ofrecida aquí con el sacerdote y los fieles todos orientados hacia Nuestro Señor. Después del Segundo Concilio Ecuménico Vaticano, la reforma del rito de la Misa fue ampliamente interpretada como necesitando que el sacerdote, actuando en la persona de Cristo, dé la cara al pueblo, pero, en efecto, no se encuentra tal disposición en las enseñanzas del Concilio.
Haciendo así, estamos volviendo a la antigua práctica de la Iglesia. Cuando todos se orientaban al Este, cuando todos se orientaban al Señor. Durante el Sagrado Culto, el sacerdote no vuelve su espalda hacia los fieles sino que, junto con ellos, se dirige hacia Cristo quien hace sacramentalmente presente su Sacrificio por nuestra salvación eterna.

Why Aren’t More Masses Offered Ad Orientem?

Priests who already offer the Mass ad orientem told me that the faithful (by and large) accepted the change following targeted catechesis, both through homilies and bulletin inserts. This isn’t to say that some parishioners didn’t leave; rather that their departure was offset by the arrival of new families intentionally seeking the sacred. In addition, the change was at times preceded by a return to male only altar servers, kneelers brought out for Holy Communion, and a general overall return of reverence.

Read full article here.