Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dominican Rite Low Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore

These photos were taken at a Dominican Rite Low Mass celebrated by the American Dominican Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P., a priest of the St. Joseph Province in the chapel of St. Pius V at Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, on the saint's feast. His intention was an increase in vocations to the Order. The server was Fr. Alan Moran, O.P. Santa Maria Maggiore is the home of the Sacred Penitentiary of the Roman Church, traditionally staffed by the Dominican Order.

The first image shows the celebrant on the way to the altar:

The Dominus Vobiscum:

The server is about to move the Missal for the Gospel:

I thank Fr. Pius for sharing these photos.


The Ubiquitous said...

Perhaps one way to increase vocations to the Dominicans would be to expressly increase the use of the Dominican Rite in all campus and parish outreaches.

Do you realize how many folks are banging down the doors of the FSSP because they think it's either the FSSP or the diocese? And these are smart men who don't even think to prayerfully discern the Dominicans.

But why should they? For all these guys know, the Dominicans are "Franciscans in White."

Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. said...

As you are are reader of this blog, you know that the Traditional Dominican Rite is celebrated weekly or at least quarterly in six of our ministries in the WESTERN DOMINICAN PROVINCE. And five or six of us (including me) do Extraordinary Form (Dominican Rite) supply in various churches. Please do all you can to make this well-know, if you think it will bring us vocations.

The Eastern Province has had three public celebrations of the Dominican Rite but their influx of vocations predates that.

If you really think that celebration of the Dominican Rite will attract vocations, by all means spread the word that the Western Dominican Province has been, since 1970, the one Dominican province preserving and promoting the Dominican Rite.

The Ubiquitous said...

Didn't know that, actually, and I'll be happy to spread the word.

(I think the calculus works out pretty well connecting the quality and quantity of vocations when celebrating the older Mass: What better sign of contradiction than a high altar at a Newman Center?)

The Ubiquitous said...

Fair enough. Taking a good hard look at the FSSP --- and the Dominican sisters of Oprah --- had seemed to betray some kind of correlation with traditional sensibilities and an increase in vocations. Mine was the sort of theory that makes good sense in the absence of data.

Still, if you do have the data on this, it would be interesting to see what factors do correlate with an increase in vocations. There would probably be too many issues to do this sensibly, because too many major questions would revolve around comparing like to like:

1. Was the East hit harder than the West after Vatican II, such that the Dominicans are the option for faithful or traditional Catholics in the area?
2. How long of a baseline in practicing the Old Rite would be long enough?
3. If their adoption of the New Rite is a manifestation of an existing, faithfully Catholic attitude among the province, as distinguished from other parties in the area, would it measurably increase?
4. What about as compared to other orders in the region?
5. What about visibility of the order in the respective regions?
6. Are the Dominicans more thinly spread in the West as compared to major metropolitan areas in the East? (You are going to get more vocations in New York City or Boston than in, say, Alaska.)
7. Is San Francisco harder to evangelize than New York?

Even all of that aside, this also doesn't take into account the question of meaningful sample sizes, or the personal element that weighs too deeply for a survey of any kind from having any real heft. Sorry if these questions belabor an issue, and in a way that wouldn't tell the most important part of the story. For that matter, maybe God's calling more in the East because the East needs it more.

But here's the really useful question: Can other, unaffiliated parties really be the cause for the Western Province's failure of publicity? Speaking about myself, I know that the one common denominator in all of my failures is, well, me.

The Ubiquitous said...

Oh boy, plenty of errors. But it's an Internet Comment, so please read past them.

Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. said...

Actually, you have just made my point! It is certainly true that "more traditional" institutes get more vocations overall than "progressive" ones. No question about that. Among more traditional groups, whoever, the determining factors as to what generates vocatinos are very unclear.

Since the 1970s, the Western and Eastern Dominican Provinces have been called "conservative" in contrast to the Central and Southern. But vocations have gone up and down.

In the 1970s and 80s, the West had classes of 10 to 20, the East was well under 10 a year. Then in the 1990s, both had small classes, More recently, we continue to get 4 or 5 a year, but the East gets 10 to 20. This seems to rule out mere geographical causes. The old rite seems totally unconnected: we have had it publicly since 1970 and now have more regular public celebrations than ever. The East had a couple public Masses in the last year, but their vocations when down from ca. 18 to ca. 12 during the same period.

I would be happy if you publicized the Western Province's regular celebrations in Portland, Seattle, Anchorage, DSPT, etc. Who knows, perhaps this will attract some interest among young men.

The Ubiquitous said...

I would be happy to, though considering where I am relative to the Dominicans I'm afraid my appeals will be limited.

Any effect the celebration of the Old Rite would have on vocations must be considered in light of abuses in the New Rite. The FSSP Seminary in America is located in Denton, Nebraska. Some friends live there, attending the Seminary chapel every Sunday. As my friends have it, it is partially because of the fantastic leadership of the bishop --- and that the dioceses is not only clean of liturgical abuse but thriving --- that there is little interest in the more radical option. Whether the more radical option is necessarily superior or not is a different question; it is enough to say that nobody would want to consider the Old Rites unless they feel they must.

Speaking personally, the traditional Roman Rite is a kind of arranged marriage I wouldn't have originally chosen had I the option. Now that I'm living it, and in the light of having lived something like a New Rite liturgical life, I can't imagine preferring anything else. Of course, this is only my preference and shouldn't be held as law for anyone else.

In a nutshell: There's no disagreement that the Old Rite --- not used here as a polemic term but as a shorthand --- is more challenging. Because of this, who would investigate if it's more extrinsically rewarding

The Ubiquitous said...

unless he feels he must.

(Clicked "submit" too soon. Here's the link I intended to provide for "extrinsically.")

Anonymous said...

Father Augustine, I would gladly join the Order in the Western Province, but I don't live in the United States, so I don't think I would be eligible for application. One of the reasons for my interest in the Western Province is the presence of the traditional form of the mass. We don't have that here in the Province of Brazil.