Update from Boston: HTC closing, Cathedral launches traditional Latin Mass (revised)


June 29:
The last Masses were offered Sunday morning at Holy Trinity Church, and the administrator read the decree from Cdl. O'Malley ordering the suppression of the parish at noon on June 30.

The decree includes provisions that the nearby Cathedral parish receive the goods and obligations of Holy Trinity, and assume responsibility for the special liturgies and music ministry Holy Trinity provided.

That last part is probably intended to refer to the traditional Latin Mass, to observances of German-American heritage in the parish, and to the parish's sacred music concert series.

Accordingly, the incoming Cathedral rector "with the encouragement of Cardinal Sean" is starting a Gregorian-rite Mass next Sunday at 11 AM. The outgoing Cathedral rector also invited the congregation of the ordinary-form Mass to join the Cathedral's principal English Mass at 11:30 AM. The overlapping times will let the two congregations meet together after Mass.

The 11 AM EF Mass will use the lower church. In my opinion this is OK, as the lower church, while not perfect, is more attractive and traditional in appearance than the upper church, whose sanctuary is badly in need of a restoration.

Update: I was wrong. On visiting the cathedral today (Saturday, July 5), I found that the upper church, while not ideal, is looking better than I remembered it; the main altar is not obstructed by the bishop's chair, and is attractively maintained.

The lower church, on the other hand, is looking worse. There is even some construction disarray: Some of the back pews were removed from the lower church in some maintenance or refurb effort, but it was aborted when asbestos was found in the flooring under them; the budget for the project wasn't enough to cover the expense of removing that.

But there are ample pews, and the altar is accessible with one step up - a plus for priests with knee troubles, such as Fr. Shea, the celebrant this Sunday.

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The lower church is suitable for a TLM? That's good to know. While I was prepared to drive out to Still River, I will gladly head into town this Sunday to check this Mass out.


Well, I didn't say it was suitable. I just think that the upper church is less suitable.

Now I'm not even sure about that. A couple of folks have told me there has been some sort of construction work in the lower church; I hope it hasn't changed for the worse since I saw it a few months ago.

That sounds odd, that they would suppress instead of merge. I thought you were only supposed to do that if there were no suitable nearby churches available for a merger.

The Archdiocese keeps using the term "suppress", even though the Vatican ruling should have made clear to them: what they are doing in every case is a de facto merger. When the faithful are "welcomed" to a specific parish, it's a merger.

As a footnote, the Mass was a low-key event, with 101 souls in attendance. Photos are online.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on July 5, 2008 2:05 PM.

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