EDMOND, Oklahoma (LifeSiteNews) — A Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City will be eliminated next month once a dispensation from the Vatican expires.
St. Monica Catholic Church, located in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, is a growing, vibrant parish led by Father Stephen Hamilton that offers the TLM Monday through Friday during the school year, in addition to a once-per-month Sunday TLM.
In a gut-wrenching sermon on Sunday, April 30, Hamilton told his parish that the previous dispensation to allow the Traditional Latin Mass has been canceled by the Vatican Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, led by Cardinal Roche, after the final Sunday Mass scheduled in June.
“While Rome might, and has, granted some dispensations, they are always limited in scope and have an expiration date of at most two years,” Hamilton said. “Thus, there is no long-term solution even when Rome grants a dispensation. I can attest to you that from the beginning of this debacle Archbishop [Paul] Coakley has been nothing but gracious and generous. His initial dispensation tells you what you need to know about his stance in all this.”
“Only with Rome’s subsequent and ongoing local interference has the situation become what it is,” he added. “In other words, and I want to state clearly, the blame for this falls squarely on the Pope and the Cardinal [Roche] in charge of the Dicastery of Divine Worship.”
Nearly 50 young men and boys from the nearby St. John Bosco Institute assist at the daily Traditional Latin Mass and other devotions during the school year. There are also plans to open a school for girls, which would bring the total students served to more than 100, according to headmaster John Zapletal.
Zapletal said that the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments have been located in that part of Oklahoma for about 30 years through the services of priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), which currently operates a personal parish nearby.
“Father Hamilton offered to have the Traditional Latin Mass [at St. Monica’s] nearby the school to allow for more room,” Zapletal said. “The Archbishop has been a great defender of the Traditional Latin Mass.”
Hamilton attested to the grief he feels by no longer being allowed to attend to the daily spiritual needs of the school’s young men going forward. “It has become a gut punch for me, and difficult to hear, when my altar boys pray the second half of the Confiteor because I feel as if I am a Father who has failed them and you,” he said during his sermon. “That beseeching in the Confiteor has become a bit haunting to me: ‘et te Pater’… ‘and you Father.’ I ask you to pray for me to the Lord our God.”
Hamilton concluded: “While it is now the Cross for you and for me, we have two more uninterrupted Sundays together. I promise I do, and I will pray for you. Et vos fratres, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum!”
Rick and LeAnn Hufnagel’s sons have served the Traditional Mass at St. Monica’s over the years and help head up the area homeschool group that includes families from the FSSP parish as well. “The reason that we homeschool is to seek the truth,” said Rick Hufnagel. “And the TLM presents the truth of Christ’s Passion in the clearest manner possible.”
The students from the St. John Bosco Institute will now move to the St. Damien parish (FSSP) to receive the ancient graces and spiritual goods of the Church daily.
In addition to the FSSP parish that offers all of the sacraments and traditional devotions for those who desire them, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has St. Michael’s Chapel, which has offered the traditional Mass and sacraments since Lent 2010, according to chapel coordinator Tom Emig. Average attendance at St. Michael’s is around 150 Catholics, and the chapel offers the Mass every Sunday and holy day by priests who travel from St. Mary’s, Kansas.
“Everyone is welcome to attend St. Michael’s, whether from St. Monica’s or elsewhere,” Emig said. “There are constantly new faces showing up, and it might get a bit crowded, but that is a good problem to have.”
“I am very sorry for Father Hamilton and his parishioners. The contents of that homily are truly tragic,” he added.
LifeSiteNews requested input from Hamilton and two deacons, the pastor of the local FSSP parish, and the FSSP headquarters but received no response. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City declined to comment further.