St. Christopher’s in Radcliff to celebrate Latin Mass
A first since 1969 and Vatican II
By BECCA OWSLEY
An event that hasn’t happened in Hardin County for many years will take place 8 a.m. Saturday at St. Christopher Catholic Church located at 1225 S. Wilson Road in Radcliff.
A Tridentine Latin Mass, or the Extraordinary Form, will kick off the Kentucky Catholic Home School Conference at St. Christopher but it is open to the public and not strictly for conference attendees.
This Mass was celebrated by the Catholic Church for almost 1,500 years, event organizer Julie Siscoe said.
Pope Paul VI introduced a Mass after the Second Vatican Council in 1969 that replaced the Latin Mass. Siscoe said the Tridentine Mass was restricted by many Bishops because they thought it had been banned. In July of 2007 Pope Benedict XVI issued a Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum that declared the Mass had never been banned and lifted the restrictions.
The Mass will be the first public Tridentine Mass celebrated at St. Christopher or in Hardin County since the release of the Summorum Pontificum in 2007, Siscoe said. From her research she concluded that there hasn’t been one celebrated in the county since 1969.
While the Mass at St. Christopher is a one time event, the only regular celebrations of Latin Mass in the diocese are at St. Martin of Tours in Louisville, Our Lady of the Caves in Horse Cave and St. Helen Catholic Church in Glasgow, Siscoe said.
Siscoe and her husband did not grow up in the Catholic faith and were not familiar with the Latin Mass. They now drive about an hour every Sunday and most Mondays to attend Mass at Our Lady of the Caves for that experience. She expects many will drive much farther to celebrate Saturday’s Mass.
The Rev. Dennis Cousens at St. Christopher explained the Mass to parishioners in a church bulletin.
The Mass is celebrated in Latin according to the rubrics for the Mass prior to the renewal of the Second Vatican Council.
It is celebrated ad orientem, which he explained means towards the east. The priest and the congregation all face the same direction, usually towards the east or the symbolic east, in expectation that Christ will return from the east.
At the Mass, Cousens explained women traditionally wear dresses and a covering on their head, Holy Communion is received on the tongue only in a kneeling position and strict silence is observed both before and after the Mass.
The Rev. Isaac Mary Relyea, of the Madison, Wis., diocese will celebrate the Mass and serve as keynote speaker for the home- school conference.
For more information on the Tridentine Mass go to www.thepaulusinstitute.org/press-release.htm.
For more information on the conference go to www.kycatholichomeschooling.org.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741.