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Sunday 28 February 2010

Last Mass (for now) of Toronto FSSP Apostolate

They came from Brampton and from Stouffville, from Peterborough and Niagara Falls, from Hamilton and from Mississauga. They came; 155 Catholics. They came to the worship God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form and to say good bye, or perhaps until we meet again, to Father Howard Venette, FSSP and the wonderful experiment of the Toronto Apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

It will be a Missa Lecta or Low Mass for now. The choir will remain for the time being and provide a simplified music program; the Ordinary (Asperges, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus) and the Propers (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia/Tract, Offertory and Communion) are not sung and none must be sung in accord with the rubrics. But we will present a simplified Mass to encourage the people not to lose heart and to assist them as best we can with expressing their love of the Mass through music. There will be a Processional and Recessional hymn in English, the Marian Antiphon to conclude Mass and a Latin chant, antiphon, hymn, motet or responsory during the Offertory and Communion. While the rubrics permit a vernacular hymn at the Offertory and Communion provided it is in keeping with those to actions, we will remain with Latin. We certainly have enough seasonal repertoire. (Nota bene; Since this was written the priest has decided that the Mass will be a Missa Lecta or Low Mass with no music).

The Toronto Traditional Mass Society is a registered member of International Federation Una Voce, which you should join. Your support is needed.

As well, you might consider joining the Facebook site.

On behalf of all of those at St. Theresa's Latin Mass Community thank you to Father Howard Venette for the last 19 months of his faithful and prayerful chaplaincy. Thank you to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter for coming to Toronto and bringing us many blessings. Thank you to His Grace, Archbishop Thomas Collins for inviting them here and for the public commitment to invite them back again when the circumstances are more appropriate.

We hope and pray that this is not good-bye, but only until we meet again, and that our waiting may be short.

Saturday 27 February 2010

Getting There From Here

To shock you into where we need to go from here, it is important to preserve this evidence lest we forget what is at stake. Now, this is an extreme liturgical abuse and clearly not indicative of the Mass in Toronto but it was allowed to happen. It took place on July 2, 2006 (prior to the appointment of Archbishop Thomas Collins). This is a magnificent century-old stone classical Church in the east end of downtown Toronto, St. Ann's.


On February 2, 2009, at St. Brigid's not far from St. Ann's but as far as what you saw above could be short of a Missa Pontificalis, Father Howard Venette, FSSP assisted by transitional deacons and seminarians from St. Augustine's Seminary celebrates as Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

This is the truest Catholic worship to Almighty God. The first three pictures are a matter of sacrilege and false theology that is more pagan than Catholic.


While the FSSP will leave Toronto, the Mass will continue at St. Theresa Shrine Church on Kingston Road at Midland. The Mass will continue at 1:00 with a retired priest as a Low Mass. The goal is a stable and consistent parish where, if not exclusive, at least the shared and integrated existence where both "Forms of the Roman Rite" can co-exist and compliment each other in a normal parish life.

Father Michael Eades, C.O. celebrating his first Solemn High Mass at The Oratory (St. Vincent de Paul Church) on Pentecost Sunday 2009. Father Eades, C.O. was ordained at The Oratory (Holy Family) by Archbishop Thomas Collins on the feast of their founder, St. Phlip Neri only a few days before, Father Eades first Mass the next day was in the Extrordinary Form.

This already exists in Toronto and it is at The Oratory (above photo). The good Fathers there in addition to their own House and Seminary operate two diocesan parishes, Holy Family and St. Vincent de Paul. The usus antiquior (ancient use) is offered daily at Holy Family as a Missa Lecta and Sunday at St. Vincent's as a Missa Cantata and moving more frequently towards the Missa Solemnis. This is ideal and what Pope Benedict XVI hopes for by his motu proprio; that the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms can co-exist side-by-side and integrated into parish life. At this place, there is no rancour or dispute or debate about which is "better" or brings one "close to God." There is no "us and them" mentality; no pre or post-Vatican II Church. There is only one Church. Go to Vespers and you will find people that attend both Forms. Go to the 8:30 on Saturday to the usus antiquior and you'll find someone there who was at the 5:30 Novus Ordo the afternoon before. No complaint, just sinful people trying to be better and working at their salvation in fear and trembling and accepting and praying and doing that which the Church asks. Present them both, and let the Holy Spirit do His work. To be sure, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a wonderful grace. Similar is the Institute of Christ the King. The challenge though, which has been clearly evident at St. Theresa Shrine parish is that before and after the FSSP's arrival, the Traditional Latin Mass there has been ghettoized. Very few attendees actually lived within the boundaries of the parish and those who did rarely ventured in at 1:00. To the "real" parish, it was like these people were intruders at worst or didn't even exist at best. When I first arrived as Cantor and to build the choir in Advent 2008 (and singing from the front it was easy to see) there were on some Sundays 40 maybe 50 people. It's an old habit of choir directors from the loft to count. In the summer of 2009, I was embarrassed to see it even drop to about 30. But then something happened. More publicity was being created on blogs and the internet about the Mass in other parts of North America and around the world. The motu proprio was becoming more known and the word was getting out. EWTN continued to broadcast from the Shrine special Masses by the FSSP and people came to realize that the Fraternity was actually here. We were consistent with our Missa Cantata on Sundays and Feast Days and Solemnities and the Chaplain worked to cultivate the vineyard. By autumn it started to increase, slowly. Throughout January 2009 the attendees were consistently moving up to 70, 80 even a few more. Lest anyone forget their math. If we said that typical attendance was 40 in December 2008 and in January 2009 it was consistently 80 that is a 100% increase in attendance. It was my view that by next Christmas we would be up a similar amount. That is how fast it was growing.

And better still, they were not little ladies with doilies on their heads (forgive me please). These new congregants were younger, with children and they were not even born before 1970. They could hardly be accused of "nostalgia neurosis" as was said once by a long since retired Ottawa Archbishop Emeritus about Gregorian chant. Some going tto St. Theresa's for years and sitting up front insist they always had 80 to 100 people. This is simply not true. Before the arrival of Father Howard Venette, before the fully implemented Gregorian chant, the choir and the publicity, this little Latin Mass community was on life support. The laity there did little to nothing to promote the Mass or support Una Voce Toronto, lobby, write or encourage anyone to attend. It was a closed and quiet little group and if we are not careful, that is what it will return to. People attending the usus aniquior in other parts of Toronto did nothing to support these or Una Voce. All have been pretty passive and complacent. As a fruit of the last 19 months of the Fraternity's presence, there are two young men who are discerning a call to the priesthood. Yes, you read that correctly. Two. Young. Men. Discerning the call to the priesthood. In 19 months! The responsibility now to move forward lies with all the laity there. Una Voce Toronto requires more support. There are people attending St. Theresa Shrine who do not belong to this most important international association. There are people attending the Latin Mass in other parts of Toronto who have not joined.

Join the Toronto Traditional Mass Society-Una Voce. Now! Join Latin Mass Toronto on Facebook. Now! So what are the solutions?

  • In a perfect world, the Pastor at St. Theresa Shrine Church would simply undertake to celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The people after all, do take up the collection which goes to the parish.
  • If the above is not possible, then a "Chaplain" needs to be appointed to undertake this as a mission on Sundays.
  • The appropriate solution is that at St. Theresa Shrine Church or another church in the east of Toronto where the Sunday Mass can move, the Mass in the Extraordinary Form needs to be offered daily and on Solemnities and Feasts in the normal life of a parish undertaken by a visiting Chaplain or Parish Priest or Associate.
  • For the people of God, the importance of it being in one location, daily cannot be underestimated. This would also serve to re-invigorate a needy parish with more people, more life and more--dare I say funds! (The fact is, Latin Mass attendees, while they still may not tithe are usually generous so that they can preserve what they have).

The four points above are the short-term solution to the departure of the Fraternity of St. Peter from Toronto. The odds of a whole parish building being given over to the FSSP or the Institute of Christ the King (ICK) or their attendance here, at least in the short term, are not great. Further, the fact of the matter is that even if the congregation was 200 a week, the collection, may still not be sufficient to maintain the salaries of a priest and secretary and the property. Let's face it; there are some beautiful churches in east Toronto where this Mass could blossom, Holy Name, St. Ann's, Canadian Martyrs, and Immaculate Heart of Mary to name four. All have declining attendance but taking over a building of the ages of these by a small group would not be sustainable. The "sharing" of a parish and "integration" is the short-term answer and this would also prevent the ghettoization which currently exists at St. Theresa Shrine.

The Archdiocese of Toronto also has a responsibility to fully implement the Holy Father's desires in Summorum Pontificum. Clearly it is a chicken and egg scenario. On one hand, if there is no demand what is the Chancery to do? On the other hand, if they do not promote SP how can people respond? So far, the growth has been because of individual discovery, probably through the internet. But is this really what the Holy Father wanted when he referred to the gravitational pull of "two forms of one Roman Rite?" After the implementation of the four points above both the Archdiocese of Toronto and St. Augustine's Seminary should consider the following:d

  • Mandatory training of all Seminarians in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite at St. Augustine's Seminary in both its practicum and theology. I say "mandatory" so that these priests in the future can fulfill the obligations of Summorum Pontificum. Let us assume that a priest in Brampton establishes as part of the regular parish life through the request of a stable group or at his own initiative as announced last week by Ecclesia Dei; he is transferred to a new parish, and the new priest arriving must be able to serve the people in a liturgical manner desired. How could a priest be appointed to tell an existing group of 50 or 200 that "I won't say the EF? This is not a good scenario.
  • Refresher courses for those elderly priests trained prior to the reforms who may wish to celebrate it; and, courses for priests who wish to learn it to implement it in their parishes.
  • Establishment of firm guidelines from a "liturgical" office on what is appropriate and what is not for example; the question of the distribution of Holy Communion (the hand and EMHCs are not appropriate liturgically and are within the purview of the Local Ordinary to regulate), gender of Altar Servers (see the last), manner of celebrating Missa Lecta with music (we are not sure how the 1967 Musicam Sacram applies to the 1962 Missal. Currently, the Missa Lecta cannot have a sung ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, etc.) but it can have an opening and recessional hymn in English, Latin at Offertory and Communion but no Sung Propers or Ordinary). These are important questions which will need to be addressed, certainly locally but also by Rome. The prospect of these "indults" of communion-in-the-hand, the use of EMHC's (and their overuse) and Altar Girls would not allow us to move forward in peace and would provoke severe debate from those who desire the more traditional form of worship.
  • The eventual holding of a conference in and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Toronto on Summorum Pontificum.
  • In a perfect world, the eventual celebration of a Pontifical High Mass at St. Michael's Cathedral, (I hear they have a pretty excellent choir), thus showing to all Catholics in Toronto that this is part of the Church's life.d

In the Holy Father's letter accompanying the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum he wrote "It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these." He further added that "Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church or its leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of the blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden."

All of us need to move forward, but those who desire the liturgical ebb and flow and marking of the usus antiquior desperately need pastoral outreach. I think this is what the Holy Father refers to above.

This must never be a debate about which is better, the OF or EF? Many of you know I assist with my professional skills at both and when I usually attend Mass during the week it is in the Ordinary Form.

But one thing that has hardened "traditionalists" is at the top of this blog and what follows below.

In Summorum pontificum the Holy Father went on to write: "Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church"

In case we need a reminder of what Pope Benedict XVI, was referring to; what you see below occurred in June 2008 at the Jesuit Farm near Guelph in the Diocese of Hamilton, and this is a priest, Father Jim Profit, S.J., becoming "one with the earth." I don't think anything this bad happened in Toronto since the "hindu" Mass at St. Ann's as referenced above.

Fr. Jim Profit offers the sacrifice of the Mass as a sacrament which connects us to God's creation at the Jesuit farm in Guelph, Ont., June 1. (Photos by Michael Swan)

Thursday 25 February 2010

Availablility of the Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Toronto

CLARIFICATION: I have received a clarification from Neil MacCarthy, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Toronto that the article in the Catholic Register should have expressed "archdiocese" and not "city." Further, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is offered in six locations (though the Carmel in Zephyr is not a parish, the public may attend) spread over different times during the week.

To confirm:
  • Sunday: St. Patrick's, Schomberg, 9:00AM Low Mass
  • Sunday: Carmel of the Infant Jesus, Zephyr, 11:30AM Low Mass
  • Sunday: St. Theresa Shrine Church 1:00PM Low Mass (beginning March 7.)
  • Sunday, St. Vincent de Paul Church, 11:30AM Oratorian Fathers Missa Cantata/Missa Solemnis once per month.
  • Monday to Friday, Holy Family 11:30AM, Saturday 8:30AM, Oratorian Fathers Low Mass.
  • Friday (not First Friday) St. Elizabeth Seton, Newmarket, 7:00PM Low Mass.
  • Saturday St. Elizabeth Seton, Newmarket, 10:00AM Low Mass.
The Mass is available in six locations in the Archdiocese of Toronto throughout the week.

However, in all of these places it is only offered by an elderly priest or by one religious congregation, the Oratorians and while they celebrate it at two parishes it is really only at one since it is only once per day. Not desiring to split hairs, but "six parishes" really means four on Sunday, one daily and one once or twice per week.--Vox

Wednesday 24 February 2010


Subject: FSSP in Toronto
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 08:17:40 -0500

Dear Dr. K------ M-------,

Greetings in Our Lord. Feel free to disseminate this e-mail as you deem best.
As questions have been sent to the Fraternity of St. Peter about our leaving the Archdiocese of Toronto at this time, we wish the faithful to know that this decision was made after discussing the matter with Archbishop Collins and Fr. Venette. The decision was clearly made by the District Superior of the FSSP due to the need for priests elsewhere, where they are being given "personal parishes" and being allowed to function fully their charism. There was a common agreement among all parties and the FSSP was not put under pressure from the Archbishop to definitively leave the Archdiocese. Let us remember that His Grace, Archbishop Collins invited the FSSP to Toronto and has indicated his desire to see them return.

In short, the Archbishop remains committed to providing the Extraordinary Form in his Archdiocese in various locations. In the end, the situation in Toronto for a Mass location and for a residence for a priest of the FSSP was not what the Fraternity and the Archbishop had hoped it would be by this time. This is due to many reasons, but the primary concern for the FSSP revolves around the well-being of its priests by providing them a life in common according to our Constitutions. This is part of the community life and personal holiness to the priestly vocation in the Fraternity, the FSSP priest's charism would suffer if this issue was not resolved sooner rather than later.
The Fraternity of St. Peter has agreed with the Archbishop to look at the situation again when a more fitting arrangement can be found. It would follow that any return by the FSSP or the inviation of the ICK would need to include a canonical arrangement for a parish similar to those in Ottawa, Vancouver or more recently the sale for nominal sum of a church in Quebec City to the FSSP by Marc Cardinal Oulette. Since Summorum Pontificum, the FSSP sees its role as either serving stable parochial communities or training other priests to provide Masses in accord with the needs of the Archdiocese.

We realize this is a disappointment for many of the faithful in Toronto, (!!!) yet the best course for both the FSSP and the faithful wishing a FSSP priest in the Toronto area will be our keeping in contact with the Archbishop as he is certainly not opposed to our assistance.

In Christ,

Fr. Eric Flood,
North American District Superior

Sunday 21 February 2010


TORONTO--Only three weeks after a Solemn High Mass was held on Candlemas assisted by transitional Deacons and Seminarians of St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto; and less than a week after a column appeared on Rorate Caeli Blog extolling the provisioning of the Traditional Latin Mass in Ontario, it was announced today after the Mass for Quadragesima Sunday that effective next Sunday, February 28, 2009, the Toronto Apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter will come to an end.

Apostolate Chaplain, Father Howard Venette, FSSP addressed the nearly 100 congregants following the Mass advising the shocked congregation that the departure was due to "internal personnel" matters. Father Venette will be reassigned to Orlando, Florida following his 19 month stay in Toronto.

The FSSP was invited to Toronto by Archbishop Thomas Collins with the hopes of establishing a personal parish for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. In September 2009, a public announcement was made by the Fraternity and on the Archdiocese of Toronto web page that Canadian Martyrs parish would be the location over a six-month transitional period. Within days of this announcement and without public explanation, the situation changed and the parish plan did not materialise.

Recently, the Fraternity was advised that while a parish was not currently available, its provision would depend on the continued growth and financial viability of the community. In the last 19 months, attendance at the Sunday Mass at St. Theresa Shrine Church increased over 100% from the attendance under the former indult at the Missa Lecta to the Missa Cantata.

Upon arrival in Toronto, Father Venette was in residence at Holy Cross parish where the Mass was celebrated daily and on High Holy Days. Following the situation in September over Canadian Martyrs, Father was moved to St. Brigid's where the daily Mass schedule changed from week to week and the High Holy Day liturgies were split between St. Brigid's and St. Theresa's Parish.

According to officials from Una Voce Toronto, Archbishop Collins had indicated that he desired no less than "five" Extraordinary Form Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto every Sunday.

A Solemn High Mass was being planned for St. Theresa's for March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, Patron Saint of Canada and has now been cancelled. After the departure of Father Venette, the only daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese of Toronto will be at The Toronto Oratory Church of the Holy Family. The Oratorians continue to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis Sundays at St. Vincent de Paul Church at 11:30AM.

Thursday 18 February 2010

Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ.

"That is how it felt to be young and Catholic in the 1970s. Every sacred thing had to be changed, every old thing replaced with a new one, every complicated beauty plastered over by the cheap and the easy. The message was almost subliminal, but by that means all the more powerful: All Your Church Are Belong to Us.
And by changing back the flag, by taking back our Mass, we are saying: Go back to Hell. Our Church belongs to Christ."

John Zmirak is the author, most recently, of the graphic novel The Grand Inquisitor and is Writer-in-Residence at Thomas More College in New Hampshire. He writes weekly for InsideCatholic.com.

Read it all here.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Ash Wednesday--Ordinary Form

This year, I will be singing the Ash Wednesday for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Toronto. Here is the program for tomorrow's Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Notice that it is in complete accord with the Sacramentary or Roman Missal for the Ordinary Form.

  • Prelude: The Lenten Prose ATTENDE DOMINE
  • Entrance Antiphon: Wisdom 11:24-25,27 Father Columba Kelly, OSB
    Lord, you are merciful to all, and hate nothing you have created. You overlook the sins of men to bring them to repentance. You are the Lord, our God.
  • Processional Hymn: O MERCIFUL REDEEMER
  • Kyrie Deus Genitor Alme (Mass XVIII)
  • Responsorial Psalm: Have Mercy on us LORD, for we have sinned (CBWII)
  • Acclamation: Praise to You LORD, King of Eternal Glory-Somerville
  • Three Antiphons for the Imposition of Ashes by D.A. Domet
  • Antiphon I: Joel 2:13
    Come back to the Lord with all your heart; leave the past in ashes, and turn to God with tears and fasting, for he is slow to anger and ready to forgive.
    Antiphon II: Joel 2:17; Ester 13:17
    Let the priests and ministers of the Lord lament before his altar, and say: Spare us, Lord; spare your people! Do not let us die for we are crying out to you.
    Antiphon III: Psalm 51:3
    Lord, take away our wickedness.
    Responsory (Gregorian chant) Baruch 3:2; Psalm 78:9
    Let us make amends for the sins we have committed in ignorance, lest death's day come upon us suddenly, when we might seek more time for repentance and find none. * Hearken, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against you. y. Help us, O God, our Saviour, and for the glory of your name, deliver us, O Lord. * Hearken, O Lord…
  • Offertory Antiphon to Gregorian Tone II Psalm 29:2-3
    I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord, I cried unto you and you healed me.
  • Offertory Hymn: LORD JESUS THINK ON ME +Synesius of Cyrene 4th c. SOUTHWELL
  • Memorial Acclamation: LORD by Your cross and Resurrection--Somerville
  • Communion Antiphon: Psalm 1:2-3 Father Columba Kelly, OSB
    The man who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season.
  • Communion Hymn: PARCE DOMINE Gregorian hymn
  • Recessional Hymn: FROM THE DEPTHS OF SIN AND SADNESS Russian Melody