Great Traditional News at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Phoenix Arizona

We traditionalist Catholics know that it is the Holy Spirit that is renewing the Catholic Church.  And, as difficult as it is to be a traditional Catholic at this time in history of the world and church, there are great signs of renewal.  Everywhere we see that young people (like with Juventutem) are attracted to the “Mass of All Ages”, the latin mass.  We see young families with lots of children at the Latin Mass.  We see all ages rediscovering the “Great Treasure” (as Pope Benedict called it) of the Tridentine Mass.  More and more priests are saying their first mass in the Vetus Ordo.

gesu e maria 2009 vAnd we traditionalist have passion coming from the Holy Spirit.  Since this passion comes from God, it can never be crushed by those that hate the Latin Mass.  Throughout history the Church has always considered the Latin Mass Sacred and for that reason it was never outlawed or abrogated.  Latin Mass and all its culture is the rock of security in a storm swept Church.

We all have stories of being treated by the Church as bad dogs being kicked around just because we love what is ancient and Catholic.  But that is only drawing more young people to the truth.  The youth are discovering this on the internet where they find the truth on their own and love it.  They no longer live in a world were a few powerful people in the Church can control what they know.  Thank God for the internet where they find 1980 year old Catholic truth.  There is a lot of bad on the internet too.

So I want to tell about the great news of what is traditionally happening here at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Phoenix Arizona.  This is a very large mostly Mexican parish who speak Spanish and English.  The pastor, Fr. Saenz, loves tradition.  He has worked over the last 6 years to slowly bring tradition and modesty to the parish.  He has many helping him and that is why I am here to help too.

IMG_9579On Sunday there is a 8 am Latin Mass with a Spanish homily where around 650 people attending.  Then there is the 10 am Latin Mass with a English homily and around 90 people attend.  During the week there is Latin Mass every morning at 8:15 am (except Fridays when it is every other week for the school) and Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5:30 pm.  Children and adults at these Latin masses behave so perfectly.  The ushers wear black suits.  The women/girls choir and organ players are good too.  All of these Sunday and evening Latin masses are recorded and put on youtube.  No one makes the responses to the Latin Mass except the altar boys.  This is because we are to be active interiorly in the soul and not exterior with a lot of noise.

IMG_0095All the Novus Ordo masses on Sunday and weekdays are said ad orientam, the canon said quietly, and 99% of the people kneel down to receive God in Holy Communion on the tongue at the altar rail.  Only a very few people stand and receive God in the hand.   Even at these masses, many women wear the veil.  For the most part people and children are very respectful during mass.  The same organists play sacred music just as they do at the Latin mass.

So many of the people kiss the priests hand.  I am not use to this, but it is so beautiful to see this tradition being practiced.  Priest’s hands are consecrated.  Mexicans used to kiss there parent’s hands too.  Traditions of respect have gone out with progressivism.

You will see many women wearing modest clothing at mass and in other activities of the parish.  There are still some who do not, but it is very rare that you will see explicitly sexual clothing on them.

For a long time St. Catherine Grammar School was different from the parish.  But now the principal and staff are helping us make it more traditional.  There is a Society of St. Pius the X just up the street, so some of our parishioners send their kids there to get solid teaching.  So we are trying to give the same solid teachings here at our school.  They teach the Baltimore Catechism for religion.  Every Monday, a class at a time, goes to the Latin Mass.  Last year the School had the Novus Ordo mass 3 times a week and Latin once a week.  This year we have it every other week.  The school kids get dressed up special for mass every Friday and behave very very well.  I have never seen kids behave so well at mass.  Latin is now being given as an elective too and many students and parents are excited about this.

IMG_9620For Catechism all the classes start out with the Latin Mass first with all the parents present. While the children are in class, the parents are obliged to go every week to classes too.  What I really love about this is that the whole family is converting.  In all the parishes that I have been in, the kids come to class, get their sacraments, and then half of them you never see again.  Here they work on a integral Catholic family.  By the end of the year they have much happier and more united family.  Again the children are taught from the Baltimore Catechism.  We also instruct the parents about the Latin mass, modesty and using the veil.

At baptism classes the parents and Godparents are explained about the two different rites and the amount of exorcisms in the Latin Baptism.  Most parents ask for the Latin Baptism.  They have to attend at least two classes.

There are so many altar boys for both masses.  Those who serve at the Latin Mass come to practice and receive spiritual formation every Friday after attending the evening Latin Mass.  They are so polite and respectful.  The parish has 3 seminarians (I think there are more, but I have only met three so far) and many interested in the priesthood and some young women interested in the religious life.

There are confessions on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 3:30 to 5 pm.  So many people come for good confessions and counseling.  I give the traditional absolution in Latin.  People kneel down to confess.

The RCIA is taught with St. Thomas Aquinas philosophy and doctrine.  It is done very intellectually with power point presentations.  Marriage classes are given for 23 weeks.

Blessed_Sacrament_fruit_wreath_detail_thumbThere is a large Latin Mass community that help out in the parish to teach Catechism and help when ever needed.  The men and women are formed separately and called Templarios and Christian Mothers.  The men from the Latin Mass just remodeled the school’s hall.  They worked so hard and did a great job.  It is great to see so many volunteers whom you can always call on anytime.  It truly is a parish family who welcome new comers.

IMG_0532The paid staff are deeply committed Catholics and really support Fr. Saenz in forming the parish into a traditional parish.  They are so so happy to have me helping the parish grow in tradition.  They are very well educated on the 1980 years of Catholic tradition and faith.

So all you priests and parents who are reading this, you too, with prayer, faith, and patience, can little by little, bring the 1980 years of Catholic Tradition into your parish.  Yes you will be persecuted and hated and slandered.  But so was Jesus, John the Baptist and all the apostles.  We are here to please God and bring about renewal and happiness whereever we may be serving.  The people who persecute us will not be there when we are judged, only God, who will ask us if we were faithful to Him.  Remember “Nothing is impossible for God”.  The Holy Spirit is with us and urging us on to save souls.  It is so hard to be a traditional Catholic but it is such a privilege too.