Friday 5 September 2014

Traditional Mass in the world's largest seminary

The world's largest seminary is in Mexico.  I'm not aware that Mexico is a particular hotbed of the Usus Antiquior but the seminary at least seems to be able to allow its seminarians to experience and learn about the ancient form of the Mass without running terrified at the prospect.  I am amazed at just how many seminarians this one seminary has.  Enough to provide priests for two or three of the major diocese here in England and Wales.

Guadalajara is the see of one of the principal Mexican archdioceses. It is solidly anchored in the Catholic tradition and still numbers over 2000 priests. Add to that the largest major seminary in the world, which was founded in 1696 and numbers over 600 seminarians. This means that this seminary alone has one half as many as all the seminaries in Spain and nearly as many as all French diocesan seminaries combined.

 On 2 June 2014, for the first time since the liturgical reform, a priest went up to the altar of the Lord in the Saint Joseph of Guadalajara Seminary chapel, there to celebrate Mass according to the missal of St John XXIII. It was celebrated by Father Jonathan Romanoski, one of the Fraternity of Saint Peter priests stationed in Guadalajara, in the presence of close to 300 of the Seminary students. Mind you, the diocese of Guadalajara had already made room for the traditional liturgy even before the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum, and so the two liturgical forms have been cohabitating without a snag.  


Father Romanoski, who is originally from Pennsylvania and was ordained by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos in 2008, had already conducted introductory extraordinary form workshops at the seminary. These workshops only went so far, however, while the June 2 Mass gathered close to half the seminarians and was—very officially—sung by the seminary schola. 

Father Romanoski was able to give a brief outline of the principal characteristics of the extraordinary form of the rite just before celebrating this Mass, which had been organised at the seminarians’ request. It’s a safe bet that this June 2, 2014 Mass will be a milestone since it allowed many future priests, in a very official and very “normal” setting—their seminary—to discover the beauty and richness of the traditional liturgy.

In his account of the event, Spanish columnist Fernández de La Cigoña, who runs a well-known Spanish-language blog, noted that the Mass celebrated in Guadalajara was the  Mass of the Cristeros*: “They knew no other Mass. From it they received the grace to be Catholics. But not just Catholics like us. They were heroes, martyrs, saints.”

*(The Cristero War (1926–1929), also known as La Cristiada, was an attempted counter-revolution against the anti-clericalism of the ruling Mexican government. The background setting for Graham Greene's novel "The Power and the Glory".)

 Further photographs on the Una Voce Facebook page.


Pete said...

Heartening pictures.

It is good the chapel has not been no changed to make this reverent celebration impossible.

Jacobi said...

This is good. The Holy Spirit at work. Mexico is so important for the survival of the Church. More of this and we won't have to worry about the pentecostalists, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

God bless this seminary, this priest and all who offer and love the TLM.

proudmomoffive said...

It Helps a lot that Juan Cardenal Sandoval Iñiguez is very orthodox (if the Vatican wanted a pope from Latin America he would have been an excellent choice)and he is a good friend of the FSSP and an ardent promoter of vocations to the priesthood, we know, because he was our ordinary when we were living in Juarez Mexico. It must be known that many of the cristero martyrs are buried in this seminary and that Cardenal Sandoval made many relics of these martyrs available to the FSSP for their Seminary columns in Denton, Nebraska, that's why it was only fitting to dedicate the FSSP Seminary to Our Lady of Guadalupe. HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT!