I have heard about Bishop Oliveri from Albenga Italy supporting the Holy Latin Mass. He is known for his supported the small traditional community of Benedictine Monks of Villatalla that makes up part of his diocese. So I called and talked to him to see if I could come to see him in northern Italy. I explained a little to him what my goal was. So last night (I barely made the train from Rome to Genova)
Every summer when I work with the poor in Mexico, a group of Italians come to work with the poor too. They belong to Regnum Christi, a lay group who collaborate with the Legionaries of Christ. Not only do they help the nuns at the hospital and build houses, they also build up the Body of Christ by helping children be baptized and having couples get married in the church.
Most of them come from Rome. They have continually invited me to come to visit them in Rome. So when I decided to come to the International Conference on Sacra Liturgia, I email them to see if I could stay with them. Adriana and her husband Oeste have gone overboard to help me and Fr. Carney out. It is called true catholic hospitality. They have paid to put us both in the Legionaries of Christ’s priest’s housing close to where the conference is being held. They have driven us around and bought a Roman Cappello for Fr. Carney and a fascia for me. I have never worn the sash with my cassock before. I am now doing this, thanks to them.
Last night they had taken us out to dinner with Padre Paolo L.C. who also goes with them to Mexico to hear confessions, baptize and marry the poor there. I didn’t want to be rude and rush them, but little by little it was getting late for my all night train. Finally when we left the restaurant, they had to speed through Rome. Fr. Carney and I were praying the rosary in latin and they were speeding and praying too. We barely made it just in time. When I arrived at Genova, I had to transfer trains to get to Albenga. I had an appointment at 10 am and had to make that one train connection. I got there and in 2 minutes it left. That was an experience in of itself. It was full of Africans, not Italians (I would guess the majority of them muslims) on their way to sell things to the tourist along the Italian Riviera coast. I hardly slept at all even though I got a sleeper room on the train.
I made it early to Albenga, and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament for my meeting.
Bishop Oliveri was very kind and listened to me. He explained that he can not understand why the bishops (especially in Italy) are so against the Summorum Pontificum of the Extra Ordinary form. He also sees how the church is going so badly and yet the bishops stay on the same liberal course to destruction.
I explained my desire to start a missionary order to help spread the Tridentine Mass (called St. Pius V order after the Pope who fought the muslims at Lepanto and promulgated the Roman Missal we use at the Tridentine Mass). I told him about this blog and my priestly experiences coming to know the latin mass world. He was concerned that I was coming from an “emotional reflect reaction”, but I clearly explained that is not the case. I told him that my main drive is to protect the true presence of Jesus in Holy Communion by using the Holy Latin Mass. He totally agreed with that.
Other priests have said that my passion comes from a reaction to bad abuses in the liturgy. I am sure many of you reading this blog have been accused of the same thing. Yes we have with reason reacted to horror life experiences of sacrilegious masses, but that is not why we are traditional catholics.
We are traditional catholics because we have rediscovered the treasure that was hidden and kept from us all the years. We have found the sacred liturgy that has been refined and perfected over the last 2000 years. It already has all the built in safeguards for the protection from abuses against the Body and Blood of Jesus. With JOY we can relax at the Holy Sacrifice of the Latin Mass and not have to be scandalized, demeaned or see sacrilegious actions. We can simply be present to Jesus who has become present to us in this divine liturgy. We can spiritually relax and concentrate on communion with God.
Like G. K. Chesterton, who dreamed up a perfect organization to cure the malaise in the world and then came to find that God had already beat him to the punch with the Holy Catholic Church.
Any way Bishop Oliveri did not offer me this opportunity to be sponsored by him in his diocese, but he was sympathetic and kind. He gave me his blessing and I am heading back to Rome on an other long trip. As I travel I am writing this blog.
I will get back to Rome around 8:00 pm and will rush to say the Holy Latin Mass. Tomorrow morning I hope to be able to offer the Holy Latin Mass at one of the side altars at the Vatican. If you go to the sacristy from 7 to 8 am, they will let you offer the Tridentine Mass there. It will be the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Sacra Liturgia conference members are going to accompany Pope Francis at the mass he is saying for bishops who will receive their palliums on this feast day.
God sure knew how to make Italy beautiful. Once in awhile I look up from this computer to revel in the pastoral landscape of Italy.
We are so blessed to be part of the renewal, rediscovery of the sacred and the beauty that everyone has accentuated at the conference. Sad to say I had to miss the last day of the conference and the talk by Cardinal Burke. Three years ago I was blessed to meet him here in Rome and get his encouragement. He and cardinal Ranjith are my favorites.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.