At the time we made the decision to have our family join the Latin Mass Society, I thought of it as a process of elimination.
Looking back on it, I can see how it was divine intervention.
Why would anyone choose to join the Latin Mass Society as a Catholic?
Dr. Taylor Marshall calls it his “Grover Moment.” He had an experience during Communion at a Novus Ordo Parish that was the final straw. He decided he had to take his family to a much more reverent Mass. He and his wife had their family join the Latin Mass Society.
MY “GROVER MOMENT”
I too had my “Grover Moment” while attending a Novus Ordo.
Although mine did not involve someone wearing a Sesame Street t-shirt handing me the Body of Christ, I heard a very questionable exegesis from a priest during a sermon. That was the end of going to that parish.
After three years there, I had taken on many roles. I was the assistant youth minister, a Catechist, a Eucharistic Minister, a lector, and Eucharistic Adoration Church-closer-upper. Yet, God made it very, very clear to me and to my wife that we had to walk away.
We had been given the impression by our priests there that we were the all-star Catholics. After all, we showed up every Sunday, we tithed, and we volunteered at the parish. But my wife and I will be the first to tell you, we still needed a lot of help.
We were searching for something, any parish to help us to grow in our faith. But where would we go?
None of the other Novus Ordo parishes in our surrounding area appealed to us as we prayerfully discerned we needed to leave. So my wife suggested we attend the local Latin Mass Church, run by the Fraternal Society of Saint Peter (FSSP)—an order of priests who say exclusively the Latin Mass from the 1962 Roman Missal.
LATIN? ARE YOU JOKING, DEAR?
I won’t be able to understand the Mass. Our (small) children won’t have a clue what is going on. The parishioners will probably heckle us if our kids made the slightest noise. These were my concerns.
My wife attended a couple daily Masses in Latin to check it out. She came back to me to report my fears were probably unfounded and it would work out.
I had even taken Latin in college. I was growing in my faith, and it’s the language of a Catholic Church. So I gave it a try. I did not enjoy it. I struggled. But I completed my required two years of a foreign language, thereby supposedly making me more-well-rounded upon graduation.
We knew this would be a big change for our family, as we took this seriously. My wife and I decided to sit down with the pastor of the parish we were thinking of joining.
Before I ever attended a Mass at his Church, my wife and I interviewed our future Spiritual Father.
When we were wrapping up our meeting, he laughed aloud, “I don’t think I have ever been interviewed to be someone’s pastor before!”
GLAD WE TOOK THE PLUNGE
My wife and I decided to join the Latin Mass Society.
A few friends of ours were already parishioners and had raved about three aspects of the Latin Mass Parish that really appealed to me: the reverence at Mass, the preaching from the pulpit, and the counsel received when going to Confession.
Boy, were they right! These facets of the Latin Mass Society were very impressive.
The women dress modestly and the men dress up as well. No one looks like they just got back from the beach, wearing flip flops, (short) shorts, a t-shirt, and sunglasses. It was refreshing.
The preaching at the Latin Mass Parish has been incredible. Virtually every sermon is filled with saint quotes, Early Church Father references, and solid, Traditional, Church teaching.
Additionally, I would add that the FSSP priests are grounded in Thomistic theology and philosophy. This excites me and comforts me, knowing our family will receive the best instruction in the faith. In fact, this was the deciding factor for my wife. She knew the preaching and the Confessional counseling would not be anything to worry about for our children to experience as they grow older.
Our priests are solidly pro-life and preach against contraception and other aspects of the culture of death, more regularly than just once a year in the Respect Life Month of October.
If no one attends a Latin Mass, they should at least go to Confession to an FSSP priest. The counseling has been a Godsend, both inside the confessional and by appointment.
My wife and I both feel as though we have grown exponentially since joining the Latin Mass Society.
Our priests take very seriously their role as shepherds of our souls. They know they will answer to God for the teaching they provide to their flock. They have preached on several occasions how priests never get judged alone. As in, they have a train of people behind them, whom they will have just led to Heaven or to hell.
As a result, I feel like they take our personal sanctity personally. They want us to get to Heaven. They’re willing to call us out on sin and to challenge us to grow in multiple areas of our spiritual lives.
It was just what my wife and I needed, and God brought us to it, in His providence.
I realize not everyone will be drawn to the Latin Mass. I know some are but do not have one available in their area. I realize some Novus Ordo Masses are reverent and many holy, diocesan priests can be found. I am just sharing our experience.
In the end, I highly recommend everyone check out a Latin Mass Parish in your area, if you have one. Here is a listing of the FSSP parishes in the USA, and around the world. You an also check to see if a parish run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is in your area. Their apostolate is the second-largest Latin Mass Society in the USA.
So, are you willing to check it out, if you have a Latin Mass in your area?
Do you already attend and want to share your experience here?
Please share your thoughts below.