Friday, February 29, 2008

Course for Priests and Seminarians at Merton

Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Traditional Latin Rite at Merton College, Oxford, Monday 28 July to Friday 1 August 2008

The Latin Mass Society’s August 2007 training conference for priests was a great success with 47 priests attending. (It was opened by Archbishop Vincent Nichols and attended by Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma). Many of these priests are now offering the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Rite) or are far advanced in their preparations to do so.

The LMS now announces its second Priests’ Training Conference at Merton College, Oxford, which this year will accommodate over 60 priests and seminarians and will last for a full week. This reflects feedback from priests last year who asked for more ‘hands on’ training time.

The main features of this year’s conference will be:

● two training streams, one for complete beginners
● small training groups of about 5 students to ensure one-to-one tuition
● training in the Low Mass and the Missa Cantata
● training in all the Traditional Sacraments from baptism to funerals, and including Vespers and Benediction
● lectures in Traditional spirituality and the Usus Antiquior in a parish setting; Latin, and the Traditional Calendar
● Daily Mass, Lauds and Vespers – all in the Traditional Rite
● opportunity for all priests to offer their private Masses in the Traditional Rite with a priest ‘guide’
● More accommodation for seminarians.

To provide such intense practical training in the Traditional Mass and Sacraments and to ensure a daily high standard of liturgy, the LMS will have a large training, liturgical and music staff of about 25 – all knowledgeable in their fields. Priests will be charged a low fee of £150 to cover all tuition, board and accommodation. The LMS membership is generously paying the rest of the conference costs.

Julian Chadwick, LMS Chairman, said: “We know from the highest levels in the Vatican that our training conference last year greatly impressed the Roman authorities. It is with their approval that we are organising this second conference. We hope to make this an annual event which will roll out ever increasing numbers of priests briefed in the Traditional Rite and able to take it back to their parishes.

“The LMS’s aim is to ensure that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is freely available in all the dioceses. To this end we will step up our training of priests, seminarians, choirs and servers. We will liaise closely with the bishops and seminary rectors to ensure that all who wish to learn and worship in the Traditional Rite are able to do so.”

I think I am going to go.


Joe said...

A couple of points about this post, both of which I suspect reflect the LMS materials rather than the post itself:

1. There is some reference to the "Traditional Rite" and some to "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite". Though the second paragraph of the post suggests that the term "Traditional Rite" should be read as meaning "Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite", I nevertheless feel that a greater consistency in referring to the "Extraordinary Form" would be more in accordance with the intention of Summorum Pontificum.

2. That this may not be just an accident of usage, seems to be indicated by the reference to lectures in "Traditional Spirituality". I do not know what "traditional spirituality" is, and would be grateful for some enlightenment. Does the "Traditional Rite" movement, of which the LMS might be considered a representative organisation in this country, consider itself to be a movement in the Church in the same sense as Communion and Liberation, Focolare etc? If so, what exactly is the founding charism, that would then legitimately give rise to talk of a "tradtional spirituality" that arises from that founding charism? Without a founding charism, it is difficult to understand the legitimacy of a "traditional spirituality" associated with the Extraordinary Form that is any different to a spirituality associated with the Ordinary Form.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

I understand Fr. Tim may be offering tuition again.
I'm glad this has become a regular event.

To any priest even considering it, I would say "Try it !"

If Joe visits the Latin Mass Society website, the LMS probably describes when it was formed and why, what it is and what it does.

Anonymous said...

I do hope your parishioners encourage you to go on the course, Father. Perhaps then, you in turn will be able to encourage other priests in Brighton to follow you?

James M said...

Deo gratias!
Deo gratias!
Deo gratias!

Anonymous said...

While it is good that the Latin Mass Society is organizing these training courses, Joe has pointed out some disturbing features that have little to do with training as such. With the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum the raison d'etre of the LMS ceases. Its ends have been achieved and the use of the extraordinary rite has been restored to the Church without censure. Fine. But spirituality has never been part of the Society's remit and the inclusion of 'spiritual' elements in these courses suggests that it is trespassing on ground that is not its concern. It also suggests that it is encouraging a sectarian mentality inimical to ecclesial unity. The 'traditional spirituality' on offer will doubtless be confined to Roche, the Ambrosian prayers, and slabs of c19 French piety.

Anonymous said...

I attended the closing Mass last year, ( the one pictured on your posting), and I have never felt such a wonderful atmosphere of wrapt adoration. It was quite sublime. It really was like heaven coming down upon earth. And afterwards the joyful pealing of the college bells as the bishop, sacred ministers, and priests who attended in choir processed through the quadrangles. For any one attending just the Masses, and we were made very welcome, please note that parking in Oxford is more like hell on earth. Allow enough time. Go Father, you won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

I can not understand anonymous when he states that with S.P. the raison d'etre of the Latin Mass Society has ceased to exist. Their raison d'etre is to promote the Extraordinary Form Mass as much as possible. They are generously assisting priests who wish to learn it to do so. And it is their legemitate right under church law so to do. No coerction is involved.

The only way I see a potential problem with the society giving talks on traditional spirituality is if you regard the church today, as many experience it, as without a rupture with the past. And it aint so! One only has to see, for instance, how many recieve holy communion, to know that some Catholics today hardly know what it meens to be Catholic and are ignorant entirely of what for centuries that word has ment. Our Holy Father himself has said that what generations have held sacred remains so, so there is no reason for them not to give talks on the subject. I think I'm right that any priest can give spiritual guidance.

Have a look at their web site. They are very strong on stressing their orthodoxy and full place within the church. Any people I have ever met who were involved with the society, ( I'm not a member), have been ordinary catholics who prefer to worship in this way. Perhaps I've been lucky but I never come across the sour fruitcakes who sometimes gravitate towards the " Traditionalist Movement".

Joe said...

Thank you, Michael, for your observations.

However, I do think it slightly ducks the question to translate "Traditional Spirituality" (which, I assume, has some connection to the Extraordinary Form) into "traditional spirituality" (which seems to refer to the spiritual heritage that belongs to the Church as whole, and is equal in its connection to the Extraordinary and Ordinary forms). All the issues that you identify with "rupture with the past" (which may have occurred for a section of Church membership, but not, I would say, for the whole) can be addressed in the context of the Ordinary Form, just as much as in the context of the Extraordinary Form. The mutual influencing of the two forms, which is part of the Summorum Pontificum enterprise, seems to me to be precisely about this. And this is why I ask a question about the teaching of a spirituality that identifies particularly with the Extraordinary Form.

Does the "promotion of the Extraordinary Form as much as possible" (and, a subtlety here, as opposed to the facilitation of training, understanding of that form) really fit with the full intention of Summorum Pontificum, and the Holy Father's accompanying letter? This expects provision for the Extraordinary Form to be integrated within the whole of a parish's pastoral activity (a two way thing) and the celebration fo the two forms to inform (sorry, can't think of a better word) each other.

Fr Ray Blake said...

There seems to be very distinct non-traditional spiritualities, whose roots and fruit seem to be less than Catholic.
Catholic spirituality, is essentially formed by the liturgy and the sacraments, having a proper sense of these is necessary for a proper Catholic spirituality. If the liturgy becomes, for example, over personalistic or sentimental, then our spirituality becomes deformed.
In may parts of the world, even in the UK, the lirutgy becomes formed or even deformed by modern popular piety. There is a need to rediscover "Traditional Spirituality".
That is one of the thing the Pope has been calling the Jesuits to do, the Excerrcises and the Sacred Heart, I welcome the LMS's involvement in spirituality.

Anonymous said...

Fr Ray - could you explain what you mean please by 'modern popular piety?' This expression mystifies me.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Some forms of the "charismatic" movement, come to mind primarily, or the type of liturgy that regards God as an applauding parent watching us perform, celebrating ourselves.

Joe said...

Fr Ray

Thank you for your comment. I can recognise what you mean by a spirituality formed by the liturgy and the sacraments, and the danger of such a spirituality becoming "sentimentalised". My point would be that spirituality, in this sense, is equally a matter that can/should be addressed in the context of the Ordinary Form as in the context of the Extraordinary Form, so it shouldn't be identified as a specifically "Traditional Spirituality" related only to the Extraordinary Form.

However, in addition to this what might be called liturgical sense of spirituality, there are specific charisms in the Church that give rise to specific spiritualities - eg the Spiritual Exercises are the basis of a specifically Ignatian spirituality. These specific spiritualities have an objectivity (through the recognition of their constitutions or rules of life by the Church) and exist alongside and in a relation to the more general liturgical spirituality; and, if authentic, they do not distort the liturgical sense but nourish it. My original question was: is there a "Traditional Spirituality" in this second sense?

True, there may be "non-traditonal" spiritualities that are less than Catholic and do detract from the Liturgy, but I think there are also some authentic new charisms out there, too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Fr Ray, for your explanation which helps to understand the thread of these comments.

Anonymous said...

And so our beloved Mother Church becomes yet more and more exclusive. I wonder how long it'll be before the word 'Catholic' means different things to different Catholics? And will we still be in communion with each other? Is a traditional rite baptism more valid than a non-traditional one? You only have to look at another popular blog to see a comment about the traditional blessing of holy water. It reads to me like it's 'more' valid than the modern rite. It's all destructive bloody nonsense and will undermine the power of the Church to convert England. God help Pope Benedict and all of us. "A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand." I wonder where I read that? I don't think it was Pope Benedict ...

Adulio said...

"A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand." I wonder where I read that? I don't think it was Pope Benedict ...

Anon - pitting the words of the Saviour against the Holy Father is a very dishonest thing to do.

The whole reason for why Catholics are polarised in the first place is because of the disastrous deforms in the liturgy, that Paul VI unfortunately allowed to go unchecked and which escalated during the papacy of JP II. I'm not going to debate whether the mass needed to be changed or not, but I cannot see why the term "traditional spirituality" must arouse suspicion. It has lasted the church for a good 1500 years and produced countless saints. Why must it be questioned again?

I find these new movements personally divisive and sectarian sometimes but do not deny them to opportunity to express their "charism" for everyone to see and judge the results.

The Holy Father has allowed the traditional rite to flourish again. There's no going back. If the ordinary form is as good as its supporters say it is, then it will live on (judging by mass attendances in places like France, this doesn't seem to be the case). If not, then nature will take its course - as they say.

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