THE TRADITIONAL MASS'S QUIET STRENGTH
Many enemies of the traditional Mass are trying to take advantage of the new pontificate to rekindle the liturgical war. The worst offensive comes from the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which has prohibited the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to celebrate the extraordinary form. Yet Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio continues to have a palpable impact everywhere in the world.
Over the summer new personal parishes (i.e. that have the traditional liturgy as their specific form) were born in the USA and in Australia, while many new priests, from Croatia to Paraguay, opted to celebrate their first Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. Meanwhile in Paris there was an exceptional pilgrimage--and that is the subject of our letter this month. Indeed, an entire Parisian "Summorum Pontificum" parish was able to go to Notre Dame Cathedral for a solemn Mass celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. A remarkable fact because, since the Council, no archbishop of Paris has ever manifested any particular affection for the Tridentine liturgy.
(c) Gonzague Bridault
THE SAINT EUGENE PARISH PILGRIMAGE TO NOTRE DAME DE PARIS
On Wednesday May 29, 2013, the Parisian parish of Saint Eugene-Sainte CÚcile went on pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Paris for the 850th anniversary of the cathedral. It left Saint Eugene at 7pm and a long procession went into the cathedral through the north door at about 8pm. Many of the faithful then joined the procession. Then, at 8:15 pm, the pastor of Saint Eugene celebrated a traditional solemn Mass at the high altar of the PietÓ.
For a long time the parish of Saint Eugene-Sainte CÚcile was so to speak a personal parish before its time. Indeed, since 1989 both Roman liturgical forms (back then one said both rites) have been celebrated there. For nine years the parish had two joint pastors, one for the the traditional Mass and the other for the new Mass. Today there is only one pastor, but he relies on his assistant to continue offering both liturgies. In practice, nearly all of those who attend the parish, be they the faithful, catechumens, or Mass servers, are there for the extraordinary form. There are many conversions and returns to the practice of the religion thanks to the traditional Mass. Above all, this parish is one of the premier recruiting grounds for vocations in the diocese of Paris (there have been over thirty priestly and religious vocations in just the nine years of the two joint pastors), and it provides both Ecclesia Dei vocations and diocesan or religious vocations. Finally, for its eleven o'clock Sunday High Mass Saint Eugene disposes of one of the best Gregorian and polyphonic choirs of France: the Schola Sainte CÚcile . For its parishioners as well as for the faithful just passing through, Saint Eugene is in every way a traditional parish, including all the missionary vigor such a place entails.
(c) Gonzague Bridault
All of this was transported to Notre Dame last May 29: a very beautiful ceremony; high-quality music; numerous attendees; priests who spoke clearly and prayed piously. During his sermon, which came right after the legalization of homosexual marriage, Father Patrick Faure, pastor of Saint Eugene, invited his flock to "love France" with supernatural love despite, but also because of, the crimes committed by this country's institutions against the natural law and the rights of God:
"It is not up to the earthly nation to define and to decide for itself by legal, or even parliamentary, means, who may live who and who may not, who may not know his parent's identity and who may not. Through legalized abortion, and today legalized homosexual marriage which will logically sooner or later lead to the artificial procreation of children, French legislators are building the earthly nation upon the murder and the harm done to the smallest of its members. But here, in Notre Dame, Vigils for Life bring together the faithful from all of the metropolitan area to ask God for the grace of fighting for life with perseverance, energy, and dignity. Here one realizes, in the days we live in, that the supernatural love of France, of her great accomplishments and of her liberty, means, in a very concrete way, the same and equal love for all of her children, including the weakest, in their right to life and in their right to their know who their parents are."
This ceremony, whose superb photographs we earnestly invite you to view, made a strong impression on all who took part in it, but also on all, be they tourists or sacristans at Notre Dame, who were there out of curiosity. Thus, quietly and peacefully, but solemnly, the traditional liturgy is slowly recovering its right of citizenship in the largest buildings of Christendom and in the souls of the faithful.
 The Schola Sainte CÚcile will be in Rome on October 25-26 as part of the international pilgrimage of the Summorum Pontificum people, and will sing at the mass which Bishop Athanasius Schneider will celebrate in the Church of the Santa TrinitÓ dei Pellegrini, as well as at the pontifical Mass that Cardinal Castrillˇn Hoyos will celebrate in Saint Peter's Basilica on the 61st anniversary of his ordination to priesthood.
(c) Gonzague Bridault