Mary Immaculate of Lourdes
Tridentine Latin Mass
and a 2000 year tradition alive
and well in Boston
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes,
Father Charles J.
The Catholic Latin
Mass of 2000 years is alive and well in Boston and flourishing!
(see the photo gallery)
Just 15 minutes from down
town Boston and just a couple of miles from route 95 (route 128) lies
a spiritual treasure for Catholics of greater Boston Mary Immaculate
of Lourdes where the Mass is celebrated in the ancient language
of the Catholic Church, Latin, according to the Roman Missal of 1962
other words, as the Mass had been celebrated for the better part of
2000 years before the devastating liturgical changes following the Second
After Vatican II, the
flung open the doors,
allowing the world to rush in as the Faithful rushed out. The
ever ancient, ever new had completely
discarded the former and left the latter as the only iteration of an
identity bereft of its history. Since the notion of identity implies
history (my own identity necessarily incorporates a history of who and
what I have been in any attempt to understand who I presently
am, and this is what I understand as a sense of my own
identity), the vast and sweeping changes in the liturgy and life of
the Church following the Second Vatican Council left Catholics
reeling and uncertain about the one remaining and most vital certainty
they once possessed: the Church ... as
ever ancient and ever new"
and which had become, with breathtaking celerity,
new and ever newer.
The Church was always
the one copula to every generation past, regardless of any other changes
around them. It was the rite, the ritual, the language that had
their living and buried their dead for 2000 years. It was a single,
unbroken continuity with a past by which they understood the present;
indeed, for many, by which they deeply understood themselves. More than
any given building, it was a soil, a single and sacred soil that subtended
every Church in every city of every nation, binding each through an
absolutely common and holy ground.
And suddenly ... it was
swept from under their feet. Practices, devotions, and rituals, even
beliefs, that in many ways had defined the Church as a singular and
unique institution apart from all others, became ... irrelevant,
wrong. In so many ways,
The Faith of Our Fathers was no
longer our own. We practiced, prayed, lived, worshipped, and in some
significant ways, believed, what was vastly different from our forbears.
Many had lost a
sense of identity largely through the absence of something
identify with. Indeed, what had historically been cherished
as uniquely Catholic had been the very things first jettisoned by the
flurry of changes following Vatican II. We need not catalog them, although
we could (language, liturgy, devotions, theology, architecture, statuary,
art, catechesis, etc.)
Then came Summorum Pontificum.
Finally, a vinculum to all that had been lost, discarded, jettisoned,
and disdained or ridiculed by the more
Catholics who cherished a pseudo-clerical power invested in them through
Ministries of this and that, and quarrelsome
The progressive laity hijacked the Sanctuary even as the priests ventured
farther and farther out into the pews. Summorum Pontificum did
not put the brakes on this ... but it offered a more than viable alternative
to much of the liturgical experimentation, innovation and nonsense that
has plagued and divided the Church for over 50 years. It brought back
to us, incorrupt,
The Faith of Our Fathers as our fathers had known
and practiced it. The patrimony that had been lost had been reacquired.
The Catholic longing for the beauty and solemnity of the Tridentine
Mass had the stigma removed of being a Latin-Rite Leper a pariah among
his own people even to the episcopacy which grudgingly acceded to
what it could no longer forbid. Pope Benedict XVI, well aware of the
controversy and reluctance that his encyclical would engender, wisely
circumvented the College of Cardinals by issuing it as a Motu Proprio
(of his own personal accord). A Catholic could pray even worship
in Latin with impunity. What is more, he could worship and pray free
of distraction by so many personalities competing for his attention
during the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He could focus on Christ;
be totally present to the Sacrifice being enacted before him. Free of
drums, cymbals, trap sets, and banging pianos by a troupe of performers
eager to solicit his applause at the end of Mass, he could enter the
Church with one sole purpose: to worship, rather than to be entertained.
This is what you will
find at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton, Massachusetts: worship
of God, rather than adulation of man. This is heady stuff; the stuff
of dreams. The dreams of so many Catholics for so long. Solemnity, dignity,
ecclesiastical beauty, the organ ... Gregorian chant! The Angelus!
In English, as Well
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes
also celebrates the Mass in the vernacular English found at most parishes,
but with this significant difference: whether in the vernacular or in
Latin, the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always celebrated with
great reverence, solemnity, and dignity. In this sense, it is the Mass
in the vernacular as the Second Vatican Council had envisioned and intended
... which is to say, not what has been widely implemented in America
and elsewhere. Here we find that the Mass can be experienced as profoundly
sacred even in the vernacular. Christ not the anecdotal
priest as entertainer, not the pianist, the drummer, the lector, or
the Music Ministers is the center of the Mass, the Mass understood
and enacted as a Sacrifice the very Sacrifice on Calvary before which
we stand, in which we ourselves participate, not as spectators before
some distant and remote drama, but as participants actually standing
at the foot of the Cross. Drums, cymbals, trap sets, pianos, divas ...
where were they on Calvary? And were they there, could they really do
aught but stand and tremble?
Now that you know the
waking reality, what drive could be so long, what journey so arduous,
that you would conscionably excuse yourself and demur from this tremendous,
this inestimable gift?
The Faith of Our Fathers ... yes. It
is here. Bring, then, the children, that they may know the beauty of
the worship due the true and living God and to bequeath it to their
own children from generation to generation.
Faith of Our Fathers!
Note: Mary Immaculate
of Lourdes in Newton, MA is currently undergoing extensive restoration
and has a new website:
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes,
home to the Tridentine Mass in Boston, is making every effort to bring
back the beauty of the Church, its sacred statuary, stained glass, Stations
of the Cross, the Sacristy, and murals painted over 100 years ago.
Please ... consider sending a donation to help in this
magnificent effort, that our children may know what their fathers and
mothers had known from generations past to the present. It matters not
where you live ... but where Christ lives.
You can find Him at this address:
Mary Immaculate of
270 Elliot Street,
Newton, MA 02464
Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
Printable PDF Version
DIRECTIONS and INFORMATION:
From the Mass Pike and points North:
- Take Rt. 95 (128) to Rt. 9 (East) toward Boston.
- Drive approximately 1 mile to High
Street and turn right, or if you miss it, drive to the first
set of lights and gas station, and take a sharp (hairpin) right
at these lights onto Elliot Street and follow approximately
- Parking is in lot behind the Church and on