Browsing Daily News

Bishop Daniel Felton: Implementation of Pope Francis’ new Latin Mass norms will take study

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of the month of July and heading into the dog days of August. I pray that you have found some time this summer to rejuvenate your heart, body, and soul.

Bishop Daniel Felton
Bishop Daniel Felton
Believe in the Good News

During these summer months, I have had the occasion to be celebrating weekend Masses at a number of parishes; to celebrate with our seminarian Jacob Tschida the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders; to continue to meet with a variety of diocesan organizations and apostolates, including the Knights of Columbus and Serrans; and to participate in some events with the Totus Tuus high school men and women. These have all been opportunities for me to rejuvenate my heart, body, and soul.

Additionally, last week our Holy Father, Pope Francis, released a motu proprio (personally issued legislative directive), Traditionis Custodes, on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the 1970 reform. This letter provides new regulations governing the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (often called the Traditional Latin Mass or the Tridentine Mass). Presently, the Traditional Latin Mass is offered weekly at St. Benedict Parish in Duluth by Father Joel Hastings. It is also offered at four other parishes in our diocese on a more limited basis, usually once a month.

At this time, I have asked that we continue to celebrate the Latin Mass in our diocese in the manner by which it is presently being offered. To that end, I grant the necessary faculties so that priests who are already celebrating the rite of the Extraordinary Form may continue to do so, as well as the locations currently offering the Latin Mass. No new liturgical celebrations of the Extraordinary Form are to take place at this time.

As the Holy Father’s introduction notes, implementing these norms will take time. It is very important that we take the time to study and discuss how I can best implement the directives of Pope Francis in the Diocese of Duluth. I have asked Father Hastings, who is also diocesan director of liturgy, to form a task force to review the new norms and to make recommendations to our Presbyteral (Priest) Council, which in turn will give counsel to me as to how I can best provide in our diocese the celebration of the Latin Mass in a manner that fulfills the needs of those who wish to worship God through the Extraordinary Form in a way that is consistent with the directives put forth in the motu proprio of Pope Francis.

In the meantime, I encourage all to be mindful of the faithful who are devoted to the traditional liturgy and sensitive to their feelings at this time. As we undertake this review, let us keep each other in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and grant us the grace of greater faith and deeper unity in our Eucharistic Lord.

As these summer days fly by more quickly than we would wish, take the time to give praise to Jesus Christ who is the Lord of each day and the Savior of every season.

Bishop Daniel Felton is the tenth bishop of Duluth.