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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

How will I learn Latin?

I am excited about the Latin Mass at noon, but how will we learn what to say at Mass?

     Thank you for this question, for which I am making an exception in the “first come, first served” way that I normally treat the questions from the question box – as it is important that this question’s answer appear in this week’s bulletin. For this is the week that I will begin offering catechesis on the Mass which will include formation and practice of the responses for Masses offered in Latin.

     Early this week I will launch the multi-faceted adult education program that I am entitling Catechesis for the Masses, that will be provided as a way to aid all in participating more fully in Mass, no matter which form of Mass each is attracted toward. In this series of catechesis, the ultimate goal (as will be explained too in the initial works of the series) will be to do more than talk about the details of the Latin Mass. For I will seek to aid all in learning to participate more fully in each and every offering of Mass in keeping with the real significance of the Second Vatican Council’s use of the term “fully conscious and active participation.” Thus, this series will contain teaching on the nature of the liturgy itself, on what it means to participate as members of Christ’s body, as well as offering more particular explanation and comparison of the two current ritual forms of the Mass – the “Ordinary Form” as given in the Roman Missal that was first issued in 1970 and is currently found in its third edition from the year 2000; and the “Extraordinary Form” of the Mass as given in the Roman Missal of 1962. While this series is not going to attempt to explain “everything,” it will include teachings on the Latin responses and offer real times and methods to practice these responses.

     I call this Catechesis for the Masses series as “multi-faceted” for two reasons. First, unlike previous teaching series that I have offered here at St. Benedict’s (which took place in the “Teaching Tuesday” format) it is my goal to offer several ways for people to take advantage of this teaching series. First of all, the actual adult formation sessions will be expanded beyond Tuesdays as I will offer each session three times in each given week: on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm; on Thursday mornings at 8:30 am (after morning Mass) and on Sundays at 10:15 am (after 9:00 am Mass – during the intervening time between the two Masses that in previous years had been utilized for “Sunday Searchers”). In other words, you will be able to attend each session in one of three different time options – or more if you are so inclined. The second reason that this series will be multi-faceted is in the ways that these teachings will be made available to many more – even beyond our parish. In addition to the live sessions three times each week, each session will be made into a video that will be made available on the parish website. Along with the videos from each session, I am also working on an additional set of learning materials as part of this series that are intended for all in the parish to receive and will be of easy access to internet users. These materials will include a bulletin insert series under this same title of Catechesis for the Masses that I will have placed in the bulletin week to week with related content to the teaching sessions, but in smaller segments. These inserts will also be uploaded to our webpage and the contents of each of these bulletin inserts will also be delivered by way of short videos (of about 5-8 minutes each) that will be linked to the website. Finally, with the help of our parish musicians, we will be seeking to record audio files to put on the internet, and/or which I will be able to copy and share on a CD for those who request such, so that one can  listen to and practice singing and/or saying the Latin responses at their own pace.

     In today’s bulletin is a flyer that contains further information on the topics and the schedule of the upcoming sessions. It is my hope and prayer that all will take
advantage of the Catechesis for the Masses series as a way to grow in deeper faith in Christ, leading toward a fuller, more fulfilling participation in the Holy Mass in each and all its forms. Please check our parish website for regular updates and new
content as we offer Catechesis for the Masses.



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