TO THE EDITOR:
I was very pleased to see such a prominent article about the traditional Latin Mass (“TLM”) in the R.I. Catholic of 1 November. As a parishioner at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, where my family has attended the “TLM” for eighteen years, I cannot but see in the actions of Bishop Tobin his legitimate confidence in the future of the traditional liturgy in the life of the Church. I would note that, although the article implied that St. Mary’s was the second parish in the Diocese to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form, it is actually the third as Holy Ghost in Tiverton also has a “TLM”!
One of the most interesting phenomena which I have observed is the attraction which the traditional Mass exerts upon young people, and converts to the Faith, two demographics unlikely to have previously experienced this form of Mass. As such, it is obviously not simple “nostalgia” for the past, nor can the more-intense demands of this liturgy provide more than superficial satisfaction to the mere antiquarian. When Pope Benedict XVI acted to make the traditional Mass more widely available in 2007, he acknowledged that “it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.” In my experience this is equally true for a significant number of converts, who find that the ancient rite exemplifies more vividly the Faith they have studied and to which they have given their assent.
As Bishop Tobin noted, the “TLM” is a choice which does not appeal to all Catholics. But there is obviously a growing demand for it; not without reason has it been available at Holy Name for the past twenty-four years (HNJ has two TLMs each Sunday, one each Saturday, and one on Holy Days and other major feasts. As at St. Mary’s, all of the sacraments are also available in the traditional form.) We owe Bishop Tobin our gratitude for his past support and also for his strong gesture of assurance that the “TLM” has a strong future in the Diocese of Providence.
Allen M. Maynard, North Carver, Mass.