The Latin Mass of My Dreams
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church “rejects both the liturgical and doctrinal changes of Vatican II in their entirety and without exception.” Indeed, there are other churches in the Louisville area that offer the Tridentine Mass, but “what differentiates St. John the Baptist Church from these other communities is its total fidelity to the Catholic Church’s Tradition where the traditional Latin Mass is offered exclusively in context with unaltered (pre-Vatican II) Catholic teachings. The Tridentine Mass is not ‘mixed’ with the novel ideas of Vatican II.”
But rejecting all “Modernist” ideas doesn’t prevent St. John the Baptist Catholic Church from “being open to the idea of using the internet to help those who have decided that the modernism of Vatican II has illicitly and fundamentally changed what was passed on by the Apostles.” Indeed, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church has gone digital in its anti-Vatican II crusade. “Besides the new avenues of social networking being initiated, from Twitter to Youtube, the church also has a main phone and fax/recorded line that is now operational.”
Step back in my own personal time with me for a moment, readers. When I was a student at 1970s-hatched Hampshire College, what with its jargon and “coloring outside the lines” and sheep and coed bathrooms and bunks, I met a very bossy girl named Hillary Slevin. Like me, Hillary was also an Irish Catholic. We were rare in such a secular, dare I say it, Modernist atmosphere. We fell in immediately, based on our love of singing church songs and telling eerily similar household tales. Dread, ghosts, terrifying night rosaries and visits to convents…no one else could possibly understand. We also loved, equally, prank-calling boys (when you could get away with such things) and calling my mom whenever we had a doctrinal question. We’d press our heads together and stifle our giggles, a two-“woman” Trouble With Angels in the midst of remarkable un-that. I remember clearly one late afternoon when it was already quite dark and cold—some kind of Massachusetts gray frozen stuff was falling from the sky—we were pondering the Holy Spirit and wondering what, exactly, was Its job? We decided to call my mom. She told us that you pray to the Holy Spirit for the little things that you don’t want to bother the other two with. Thus, the Holy Spirit has been on the receiving end of many prayers to “let this eyeliner go on right” and “please let me remember to put out the recycling this week” and so forth in the ensuing years.
Upon reading about St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, my greatest impulse is to get Hillary on the phone and, trying not to snicker, call St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on their “main phone line” and ask, quite formally, if they could please tell me what time their Saturday Guitar Mass is? In the face of denials, I would continue to insist that I had read about their Guitar Mass on their Twitters and that apparently they had the only Guitar Mass in the whole America that is in Latin? Yes, I would insist. I read it on a blog! The exchange would continue, I am sure, until I goaded St. John the Baptist Catholic Church into slamming down the phone in horror. And then Hillary and I would laugh until our stomachs hurt. Holy Spirit, please give me the strength not to do this. Paraclete, hear my prayer.
Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.