Sunday 29th November 2020

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The Return Of Public Mass: A Light In The Darkness

June 26, 2020 Frontpage No Comments


2020 has not been a year of glad tidings. The pandemic of COVID-19 is now giving way to a pandemic of violence in our nation. Yet amid all this darkness, there is one cause for rejoicing — the return of the public celebration of Mass. It is a gradual restoration that began in some places in mid-May, yet as of this writing there are still many places suffering under this Eucharistic privation. In the suburban New York county where I live, the permission to attend Sunday Mass and receive Holy Communion has been restored on the very feast that celebrates this sacrament, Corpus Christi. Even amid new and growing troubles, one could not help but feel what Psalm 126 expresses so well:
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, / we were like those who dream. / Then our mouth was filled with laughter, / and our tongue with shouts of joy; / The Lord has done great things for us; / we are glad” (Psalm 126:1-3).
The Corpus Christi processions that providentially accompanied this return of public Sunday Mass served to underline the fact that what is being restored is first and foremost the worthy public worship of our Lord that is His by divine right. Seeing the priest carry the monstrance back up the steps into the church at the end of the Eucharistic procession seemed a poignant realization of Psalm 132 (verse 8): “Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, / thou and the ark of thy might,” a vision echoed in the final glorious verse of the English hymn, “Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending”:
Savior, take the power and glory; / Claim the kingdom for thine own. . . . Thou shalt reign and thou alone.”
Restoring to our God what is rightfully His has not proven easy. In Minnesota it took a bold, courageous, and much to be admired decision of the state’s bishops acting in unison to break the governor’s indefinite prolongation of the public worship ban.
What was originally introduced and presented as an emergency measure in dire circumstances is threatening to become institutionalized as a quasi-permanent tool of public policy. Now that public Mass is slowly but surely returning across our country, we will need to be alert in the months and years ahead to a new threat: the danger of politicians who think they can control at will what takes place in our churches. “The kings of the earth set themselves, / and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed” (Psalm 2:2).
For centuries, the world and the Devil have been attempting to stop the Mass and put out the sanctuary lamps in our churches. Looking through the literature of the early decades of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, it always comes as a shock just how much raw and bitter hatred for the Mass is expressed in these pages for the founding of a supposedly “purer” Christianity. Even the titles of many a tract from such authors manifest a seething rage against the Holy Eucharist, as can be seen for example in the name that the Protestant theologian Jacob Heerbrand (1521-1600) gave to his 1581 attack upon Catholic Eucharistic doctrine: “A Refutation of the Treatise of the Spaniard Gregory of Valencia, an impious Jesuit of Ingolstadt, concerning the profane, abominable and cursed Mass of the Pope, condemned by the Word of God.”
When in 1583 the English Protestant propagandist John Foxe (1516-1587) published the fourth edition of his Acts and Monuments, he added to his account of Queen Mary’s reign an introductory screed entitled “The Absurdity of the Mass Proved,” wherein he declares his intention to set forth “the great absurdity, wicked abuse, and perilous idolatry, of the popish mass” so as to demonstrate “why it is to be exploded out of all churches.”
Citing the comment of his co-religionist John Bradford that the Mass is “a most subtle and pernicious enemy against Christ,” Foxe presents his own running commentary upon the text of the Roman Canon and the rubrics of the Sarum Rite Mass, casting his remarks in the form of marginal notations wherein he taunts the priest with blasphemous mockery of the celebrant’s prescribed words and actions. Thus at the post-Communion rubric for the rinsing of the sacred particles from the priest’s fingertips in the chalice (“But let him wash his fingers in the hollow room of the chalice with wine being poured in by the subdeacon…”), Foxe comments, “A token that he hath had some corrupt matter in hand.”
At the rubric, “And afterward bowing himself, let him say: ‘Let us worship the sign of the cross . . . ,’ ” Foxe interjects, “What it is, that these idolaters will not worship? Very signs and tokens will not they stick at” (John Foxe, The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online or TAMO, 1583 edition, The Digital Humanities Institute, Sheffield, 2011, pp. 1397, 1400, original pagination —
From the likes of John Foxe, later generations were to “inherit the wind” of hating not only the Mass but an ever increasing canon of sacred beliefs and traditions that became the objects of the secular world’s iconoclastic fury.
Recently I came across an essay published well over a century ago in the June 1889 issue of the North American Review penned by an American writer named Percy Douglas. This piece makes for chilling reading, for the essayist’s perverse and arrogant dream of an America “guiltlessly” torching all traditional beliefs, institutions, and observances in the name of “progress” has largely been fulfilled in our own time. His words are nothing short of a manifesto of modernism, a creed of hatred for the past. Beginning by bragging that Americans have succeeded in founding “a state without a religion…which surely should have called down upon us the vengeance of heaven, if the men who believed in the old order of things were right,” Douglas continues:
“The world of today is for the men and women of today, and not for the pallid ghosts of the past. Destruction and revision are the two most potent weapons of progress. By destroying what is useless and bad, and by revising what is capable of improvement, we clear the way for the newer thought of our own age. . . .
“As may easily be inferred, I have personally, very little veneration for relics of the past. I can see no use in them except the gratification of a morbid sentimentality. I would not give a nickel for the most authentic relic of the most famous saint that ever lived. . . .
“But society at large is injured by the preservation of old institutions and traditions merely because they are old. The man who tries to hold his generation to a belief in and love for an outworn idea, on the plea that it was once vital, is a public enemy and should be so regarded . . . constant and continuous change is the mark of true progress . . . to stand still is to go backward. . . .
“The application of my little homily is this: Do not feel any secret pangs of guilt because you share in the iconoclastic spirit of the American people. Rather rejoice because that spirit has been so largely manifested in the destruction of old institutions, in the abrogation of old laws, in the suspension of old customs…in the death of old superstitions….There is still a great work for the American iconoclast to do in politics, art, science, commerce, sociology, and religion. I hope he will do it so fearlessly, so effectively, and so wisely, that in the great American Republic of the future not a vestige of the old abuses and the old falsehoods will remain” (Percy Douglas, “Iconoclasm Necessary to Progress,” North American Review, volume 148, n. 391, June 1889, pp. 768-769 — downloaded from
Douglas Percy’s vision of a tradition-cleansed America reeks of Hell. In 2020, we as Catholics struggle to live our faith amid the scorched earth wrought by the “potent weapons of progress.” And in striving to adhere to and uphold our faith, we are seen as “public enemies” of such “progress.”
Almost three and a half centuries ago, here on American soil, a young woman named Kateri Tekakwitha (saint, 1656-1680) had to brave a similar minefield of hostility to her faith. On her walk to Sunday Mass at the missionaries’ chapel in her Mohawk village of Gandawague (Fonda, N.Y.), she had to run a gauntlet of stones, jeers, and heckling hurled at her not only by pagans but also by lapsed Catholics who resented her fidelity to God. “For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves . . . ‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us. . . . He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us’” (Wisdom 2:1, 12, 14-15).
Over the months since the COVID-19 pandemic first reached England, at the beginning of the livestreamed Sunday Traditional Latin Masses of St. Mary’s Shrine in Warrington administered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, it has been the practice of the celebrant to carry out in full the opening Asperges rite of going down the center aisle of the nave, sprinkling with holy water the empty pews despite the total absence of any congregation due to the forced closure of England’s churches — a beautiful and haunting reminder that the faithful living “in exile” from their churches have nonetheless remained united in spirit to the action of their priests at the altar of God, and that their priests have longed for their return.

O Wonderful Price

As the celebration of Mass in public returns across our own nation, with it comes a heightened appreciation of what has been so painfully absent from our lives for the past three months. When about the year 1301 the custom of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was introduced for the very first time anywhere at the German Benedictine monastery of Hildesheim, the priest’s blessing of the faithful with the Holy Eucharist in a pyx was accompanied by the choir singing the verse, “O wonderful Price, by whose weight the captivity of the world has been redeemed, the infernal gates of Hell have been shattered, the gate of the kingdom has been opened to us.”
Now more than ever, let us cherish that “wonderful Price” and be prepared to defend it with all our hearts. And let us rejoice in its restoration to us:
“. . . lo, the winter is past, / the rain is over and gone. / The flowers appear on the earth, / the time of singing has come, / and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land” (Song 2:11-12).

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Its no wonder < 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence - when a bishop of the Church publicly proclaims communion for a baby killer.

Cardinal Zen could not get a meeting with the Pope about the religious persecution of the faithful in China, but…. (And no masks at the Vatican?)

In the days ahead this nation will test the rule of law - the likes of which haven't been seen in modern time. Our country is at risk.

Chris Manion . . . Children Are Prime Targets Of Pandemic Panic -

Load More...

‘All-star,’ ‘brilliant jurist’: Pro-life leaders thrilled Trump nominated Barrett to Supreme Court

September 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is “an absolute all-star” and “a judicial role model for the next generation,” pro-life leaders said today.  If confirmed, Barrett will replace pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just…Continue Reading

Farewell, Uncle Di: Father Paul Mankowski, RIP

My editorial career has brought me into close contact with quite a few impressive thinkers. I have worked with famous authors, with noted theologians and philosophers, with canny political strategists, with at least a half-dozen Nobel Prize winners. Among them…Continue Reading

VIDEO: BLM mob threatens, chases Rand Paul down streets of DC

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky found himself the target of left-wing violence yet again Thursday night as protesters swarmed him as he was leaving the White House, chasing him and his wife…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood acknowledges Margaret Sanger’s ‘racist legacy’, continues abortions

CNA Staff, Jul 21, 2020 / 11:05 am MT (CNA).- The New York affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion provider said Tuesday it will remove the name of its founder, Margaret Sanger, from its Manhattan building because of her support…Continue Reading

Statue of Virgin Mary beheaded at Tennessee parish

CNA Staff, Jul 15, 2020 / 10:40 am MT (CNA).- A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was attacked this weekend at a parish in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the third reported incident against a statue of Mary occuring in the same…Continue Reading

21 doctors tell bishops Communion on tongue ‘safer’ than in hand

June 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-one Austrian doctors have authored a letter appealing their country’s Bishops’ Conference to lift the de facto ban on receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, which has been enforced since Communion in the hand was…Continue Reading

Catholic priest among defenders of St Louis statue

CNA Staff, Jun 27, 2020 / 09:36 pm MT (CNA).- Fr. Stephen Schumacher, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, was among the defenders of a prominent statue of the city’s namesake as protesters called for its removal Saturday.…Continue Reading

‘I cannot remain silent’: Madison Catholic bishop condemns destruction of religious statues

Denver Newsroom, Jun 24, 2020 / 04:08 pm MT (CNA).- As rioters across the United States target statues depicting historical figures, the Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday denounced that destruction, along with calls to destroy some depictions of Jesus…Continue Reading

John Roberts tries to suppress Reagan’s letter

After three and a half years of legal wrangling, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in August of 1985 ordered the 16,433 mangled babies’ bodies found in Woodland Hills in 1982 to be turned over to the Guerra-Gutirrez-Alexander Mortuary…Continue Reading

Pope Francis declares Catholic sister killed in Satanic ritual a martyr

Vatican City, Jun 19, 2020 / 12:40 pm MT (CNA).- Pope Francis declared Friday that Sister Maria Laura Mainetti, an Italian religious sister killed by three teenage girls in a Satanic sacrifice, was a martyr for the Catholic faith. The…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: Catholics and Muslims share no common faith in God, no common adoration

June 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider has once more raised his voice concerning the controversial February 4, 2019 Abu Dhabi Statement on Human Fraternity where Pope Francis and a Grand Imam jointly declared, among other problematic statements, that God wills…Continue Reading

German cardinal criticizes ‘synodal path,’ exhorts German Church to ‘remain Catholic’

COLOGNE, Germany, June 5, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the head of the Archdiocese of Cologne in Germany, has called on the Church in Germany to strengthen its identity as part of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Bishop Malone and Buffalo diocese sued by NY AG over clergy abuse

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 23, 2020 / 11:40 am MT (CNA).- The State of New York is suing the Diocese of Buffalo and its former bishops for failing to protect children for clergy sex abuse. New York’s Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Monday in the state’s supreme court against the diocese. The state also named Bishop Emeritus Richard Malone, retired auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz, and Buffalo’s apostolic administrator, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of…Continue Reading

Toronto cardinal rebukes Catholic school board members for barring Catechism reading

CNA Staff, Nov 20, 2020 / 04:48 pm MT (CNA).- Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto has rebuked members of the local Catholic school board for refusing to allow a passage of the Catechism of the Catholic Church pertaining to ministry to people with same-sex attraction to be read during a recent meeting. “That a Catholic should be criticized, and effectively be prevented by Catholic Trustees from reading from the Catholic Catechism at a meeting of…Continue Reading

Archbishop Gomez: Biden will ‘support policies’ against ‘fundamental’ Catholic values

CNA Staff, Nov 17, 2020 / 01:40 pm MT (CNA).- The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference has announced the creation of a bishops’ working group to prepare for a Biden presidency. Archbishop Jose Gomez told bishops Tuesday that a future President Biden, as a Catholic, would present unique challenges for the Church in the United States, especially regarding Biden policy positions at odds with Catholic doctrine. “For only the second time, we are anticipating…Continue Reading

Roman Catholic diocese seeks Supreme Court emergency relief over Cuomo coronavirus restrictions

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is turning to the Supreme Court over coronavirus restrictions that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed that include limits on how many congregants can gather for religious services. The emergency court filing, submitted Thursday, compares the prohibitions houses of worship face with the relative freedom afforded to many businesses under an order that Cuomo issued in October, in which he designated color-coded zones with varying degrees of limitations.

Pope Francis congratulates Biden on election victory in phone call

CNA Staff, Nov 12, 2020 / 11:35 am MT (CNA).- Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden spoke with Pope Francis on Thursday, his office has announced. The Catholic, former vice president, and presumptive next president was congratulated on his electoral victory by the pope on the morning of Nov. 12. “President-elect Joe Biden spoke this morning with His Holiness Pope Francis. The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His…Continue Reading

The Bishop Strickland Hour – Week of September 29

Is Trump Exiting Afghanistan — To Attack Iran?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN With the Pentagon’s announcement that U.S. forces in Afghanistan will be cut in half — to 2,500 — by inauguration day, after 19 years, it appears the end to America’s longest war may be in sight.The Pentagon also announced a reduction of U.S. troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 by mid-January.…Continue Reading

The View From Nowhere

By JUDE DOUGHERTY “The view from nowhere” is a phrase made famous by Thomas Nagel in a book he published in 1986 by that name. Nagel spoke of the negative effect of reporting that claimed to be neutral, where opposing views, or persons are granted equal validly or deemed equally of a hearing. Supposed impartiality…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Resurrection

By JOHN LYON Vodolazkin, Eugene, The Aviator. London: One World Publications; 2018. Translated by Lisa C. Hayden. Available at “Exceptional.” “Amazing.” “Masterful.” “Captivating.” When one reads such summary praise on the dustjacket of a book, one suspects sheer puffery in their placement and disappointment in the anticipated reading. Not so here. The puffery may…Continue Reading

Bishop Daly Of Spokane . . . Says Catholic Schools Must Teach The Faith

By JONAH McKEOWN DENVER (CNA) — The U.S. bishops’ new chairman-elect for Catholic education says he hopes to bring his experience as a Catholic school teacher and president, as well as pastor of two parishes, into his new position.In an increasingly secular society, when people’s lives seem more and more to lack meaning, “our schools…Continue Reading

“I Couldn’t Fix Myself . . .” Bishop Conley Talks About His Mental Health Recovery

By MARY FARROW DENVER (CNA) — In December 2019, Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., announced he was going on a medical leave of absence.Citing diagnoses of depression and anxiety, as well as chronic insomnia and debilitating tinnitus (a constant ringing of the ears), the bishop said in a public statement that…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Are you interested in finding a Christmas gift for someone who has everything, except a knowledge of the Catholic faith? Why not give this person one or more of our books? The books available are Catholic Replies and Catholic Replies 2, All Generations Will Call Me Blessed, Who Do You Say That I Am?, Catholicism & Reason (Apologetics),…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Shepherds vs. Sheep

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Feed my sheep.” Many of you will likely read this as you are basking in the gastronomical afterglow of the Thanksgiving feast. I wish you and yours a blessed one.All holiday-related excesses aside, eating is life. We give thanks this week each year in particular for the bounty God has provided through the blessing of…Continue Reading

Catholic Family Life . . . The Answer To The Evils That Beset Us

By JAMES MONTI In Frank Capra’s classic 1939 movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, we are introduced to an idealistic young man, Jefferson Smith (played by Jimmy Stuart), who unwittingly finds himself propelled into a pitched David-and-Goliath battle with a cadre of corrupt politicians, businessmen, and journalists all determined to crush him and what he stands for.In the character of…Continue Reading

The Command To Watch

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for November 29, 2020First Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b, 64:2-71 Cor. 1:3-9Mark 13:33-37 In the Gospel reading our Lord tells us something of great importance. Of course, since everything He said is the Word of God, it is all of great importance. However, the last line in the Gospel is…Continue Reading

Listen To The Gospel of Zacchaeus

By FR. JAMES ALTMAN In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.Dear family, let it never be said that I don’t have a sense of humor! Every now and then something humorous comes along and I throw it into these meditations, so here you go:“I was going to tell you a COVID…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Martyrs Of Purity

By DEB PIROCH In these days of liberalized sexuality, the secular population has no concept of the value the chaste soul has before God. It must also be said that there are martyrs to chastity who have died rather than submit to sexual activity or rape, even under the threat of death.Why, you ask, is this the case? The Sixth…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Agatha, Virgin And Martyr

Catholic Heroes . . .St. Agatha, Virgin And Martyr By DEB PIROCH One of the most highly revered saints from the early days of the founding of the Church is St. Agatha, virgin and martyr (c. 231-251). As such, she is one of seven female saints mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. She came from a wealthy Sicilian family…Continue Reading