Video produced by Dr Michael O'Brien, June 2011
Today's Irish Independent carries a story that gives hope, Prayers answered as faithful flock to help save church. Sacred Heart Church, in the heart of the city of Limerick, closed down in 2006 when the Jesuits left. The report says that the property had been on the market for €4million but was sold very recently for €700,000 to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. That is a bargain price, even though much money will be needed for repairs and to refurnish the church.
The priests of the Institute celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, what the Irish Independent report refers to as 'the Latin Mass', a term also used, in inverted commas, on the Institute's website, though its preferred term is 'Traditional Latin Mass'. Latin is still the basic liturgical language of the Latin Rite, to which most Catholics belong. I have never celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form, either when it was still the only Mass we knew or in recent years. When I was ordained in December 1967 there was an 'interim Mass', the main change being that the readings were in the vernacular. However, I have on a number of occasions celebrated the 'New Mass', Novus Ordo or Mass in the Ordinary Form, in Latin.
Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Stamullen, Diocese of Meath, Ireland
(Formerly the Visitation Monastery)
My blogging friend Shane reported earlier in the year that the Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle was moving from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Stamullen in County Meath, north of Dublin.
There is no doubt that the Catholic Church in Ireland is going through a grave crisis. Among many other things, very few young men are accepting a call to the priesthood. Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 7 December 1965 as the Second Vatican Council drew to a close, says, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics.
Are the new monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle, with young monks from the USA living a new expression of the ancient Benedictine form of the monastic life, and the reopening of Sacred Heart Church, to be staffed by young priests from overseas, members of an institute that came into being some years after Vatican II, and helped by local people young and old, among the signs of the times we should be paying attention to?