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Traditional Latin Mass in the Diocese of Savannah's cathedral of St. John the BaptistSavannah Latin Mass community/Facebook

(LifeSiteNews) — LifeSite has recently published several texts by priests and Catholic laymen alike who are grappling with the fact that their own shepherds are now increasingly depriving the faithful of the Holy Mass and sacraments in the traditional rite. This latest post is a beautiful explanation of why traditional Catholics are fighting for this ancient usage. It is an affirmation, a love, that drives them, not hatred or an ideology.

LifeSite invites our readers to let their hearts be warmed and touched by Fr. Allen’s post, and we wish you all a blessed and joyous Easter. Christ is Risen, and He will rise again in fullness in the Catholic Church. It is up to us to remain steadfast and loyal to Him Who is Love.

Letter on the latest restrictions to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass


You’ve asked me to comment on the latest restrictions to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. You know that I’m rarely at a loss for an opinion, but I hesitate to get lost in the “weeds” of this issue. Though I have been unable to offer the Holy Sacrifice for the past three years due to severe handicaps, I am not at all discouraged because God is in charge and has a purpose in my disability. I am instead grateful that my brother priests are persevering in dedication to their vocation and to its chief purpose, namely, the offering of sacrifice for the living and the dead. I am filled with holy envy and gratitude to God that they can still ascend the altar of God every day in the face of increasing hostility from authoritative corners in the church. So much for my present condition and state of mind.

What follows is my own simple view of what is really being demanded of those of us attached to the ancient Faith and practice of our fathers handed down to us from Christ and His Church for two millennia. In effect, we are told that we may no longer love as all Catholics had done in the past. Such love must now be ruthlessly hounded and driven from our lives in favor of some strange cult. My words are clumsy, but I hope you understand my message and find it helpful in strengthening you in your present struggles.

James W. Demers wrote a book thirty-plus years ago with the intriguing title “The Last Roman Catholic?. In it, Demers speaks to an old Canadian missionary priest who had spent his priesthood traveling the Canadian wilderness to bring the Catholic Faith and to nourish it among the natives. Demers asks the priest why he did all that, why he tirelessly sacrificed himself all those years.  The old priest’s answer was as simple as it was profound: “I was young, and I was in love.”

In 1977, Msgr. John Joseph Paul was named auxiliary bishop of the diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The diocesan newspaper proudly published a special edition to celebrate the elevation of this native son of the cathedral parish to the episcopacy. I recall reading Msgr. Paul’s life story, which was sprinkled with various photos from different periods of his life. One photo stood out among all the others. It was a photo of the newly ordained Fr. Paul in 1943. He was solemnly seated, clothed in priest’s cassock, collar, surplice and stole. Beside him stood a young girl from a neighboring orphanage run by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. She was perhaps eight or nine years old, dressed in white dress and veil, as for First Holy Communion. In an abstract sense, she represented the Church, and now Fr. Paul was to love the Church as Christ loved her, to cherish her unto the laying down of his life.

Is this deep theology? Yes, it is, and it expresses a sublime truth. The relationship of the priest of God to the Church is one of a unique love for her shared with Jesus Christ. Either that love consumes the life of the priest, or he is the most miserable of men, a monster, as it were, in the supernatural order.

A beautiful expression of that priestly love, and an indication of its exuberance, is found in the words of the psalmist, who sings with steadfast conviction: “I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth” (Ps. 42:4). These words are the opening words of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the venerable Roman Rite. They remind the offering priest that the youthful joy of his priesthood is the precious recompense of his abiding love for God. None can take it away; it is ever present deep down in his priestly soul no matter his crushing burdens, and it never grows old.

“I was young, and I was in love.” The great principle and motivator of Catholic life is and must be, if it is to please God and merit Heaven, that two-fold charity composed of the supernatural love of God and the love of neighbor for God’s sake. Nothing less will do.

As a Catholic and a priest, I am called to live out that two-fold love. Thus, I am moved to love Holy Mother Church. I love the God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is her divine Head, and I love her members who belong to Christ and with Him comprise the Mystical Body, the one Church established for our salvation. Christ unites Himself to His Body, His Bride, and by this mystic union begets us unto the life of grace and the promise of salvation. How can I not love this Savior and His Church, outside of which there would be no life in me and salvation could never be found?

I write these things to remind you and all of us fighting for the Traditional Latin Mass and the Faith it expresses and enshrines, that our unwavering attachment to it and to integral Catholicism is motivated by nothing less than the supernatural love of God and neighbor, as well as the deep love of the Church who is our Mother from cradle to grave and beyond.

READ: The sinister smoke of Satan wants to choke the incense of the Latin Mass

We do not engage ourselves in the daily struggles of Catholic life while relying on Catholic Tradition to see us through to a happy end for mere human or unworthy motives. We are not Catholics because we wish to make political statements or to keep up with religious fashions. We do not use our traditional Catholic faith as a convenient banner and platform for protest, or to prove to others our appreciation for good taste in music, architecture or matters liturgical. No! We embrace the Traditional Latin Mass and all it stands for because we love God and His Church. We love our own souls and our neighbors for God’s sake. It is as simple as that.

You find as we all do in our traditional Catholicism—forgive the redundancy, for true Catholicism is necessarily traditional, never novel—the perfect means for our sanctification and salvation, means perfectly fashioned by God to conform to our nature and needs and guaranteed unfailingly to lead us to holiness and Heaven. This is what God has given us for our benefit.

But wait! There’s more here! Using these same traditional means of sanctification and salvation in the Church provides a way for us to return our love to God. As the Scriptures declare: “Son, give me thy heart: and let thy eyes keep my ways”

(Prov. 23:26). God gives Himself to me through the vehicle of the Catholic religion He has established for me, and by the exercise of the same, I give my heart to God.  Through the Faith of my fathers, I am His, and He is mine in an ineffable relationship of supernatural love. God condescends through the Catholic religion to be our Father who saves us, and in it we are made the children of God who make a return of love to our Heavenly Father in union with Jesus.  By living our Catholic Faith, we are established and strengthened in a relationship of supernatural love which is a foretaste of Heaven. This is why we are traditional Catholics.

So I might say in a nutshell: I cling to the Traditional Latin Mass and the Catholicism it embodies because this is how I may love God in a way so sublime, so uplifting, so fitting and exclusively pleasing to Him. This is where my heart finds the deepest sources of a faithful and loving relationship with God. For this I was created.  My embracing these means entrusted to me for my use during my earthly pilgrimage, I express my love and gratitude to Holy Mother Church, who lavishes such treasures on me in her profound love for my soul.  As I faithfully live and share the ancient Faith with those whom God puts in my life, I prove my love for God and neighbor, and I give witness to an upright love for my own soul. You and all who are striving to hold fast to the “Faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) can say the same as I.

As for those who oppose you, I tremble to say it, but I fear that those who seek to tear us away from traditional Catholic life, represented by the ancient Roman Mass, despise us because we strive to love God, our neighbor, Holy Mother Church, and our own souls. The old Faith is a bold statement of God’s love and ours, and this they cannot abide. Very likely, they are loveless and Hell-bent, doing all they can to exterminate supernatural love (and faith and hope as well) from every human heart. If such malice drives them, I pray for their conversion; if ignorance, I pray for their enlightenment. What I know for sure is that our fidelity to the ancient Faith may be used by God for their good.

READ: Vatican’s official newspaper again questions Catholic teaching on Judas in Hell

Our steadfast adherence to the Faith and practice of our forebears is a venture of supernatural love, and that love is the key to everything worthy of Heaven, the foundation of any and all good we accomplish for God, ourselves, or our neighbors. Love overcomes all obstacles, even the virulent opposition of those who oppose us for our Faith.

Our struggles seem to be endless and increasingly cruel. Let us not be dismayed or discouraged. Let us ask God, who continually rejuvenates us, to give us youthful joy in living our Catholic Faith. We ask Him to do the same as often as we approach His altar in accord with that inviolable tradition of the Roman Rite canonized by Pope St. Plus V as an immutable profession of Catholic Faith.

Remember: Courage, courage! Life is a passage. I hope these lines help you to see our latest troubles in a very simple way.  The analysis of the current crisis reduces itself to spiritual basics.  While we may no longer be young in years—and I’m ahead of you in that!—let us justify and defend our attachment to the ancient Roman Mass and Faith by proclaiming the reason for our stand to friend and foe alike: I AM YOUNG, AND I AM IN LOVE.

Sending you my priestly blessing +, I remain

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Allen

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.