I have recently had the pleasure of making the aquaintance of Chris, a parishioner at St. Josaphat Church in Detroit who does a lot of computer and public relations work for the parish and for the Detroit Latin Mass community , which consists of parishioners of the Sweetest Heart of Mary and St. Jospaphat cluster. St. Josaphat was one of the indult parishes that offered the TLM prior to Summorum Pontificum; indeed, before SP, St. Josaphat was the only parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit that offered the TLM. Chris has conceded to being interviewed regarding the changes in his parish and in interest in the TLM in Detroit since SP (all the pics on this post are of St. Josphat as well).
Please describe what you do for the Latin Mass community in Detroit.
I keep the website updated, respond to emails, and send updates to people on the email list.
What first attracted you to the Traditional Mass?
I did not have a missal at the first few masses I attended, but the posture, the architecture, the music, all worked together, it was all very coherent and directed to God.
What is the make-up (age, where people are from, etc) of the Latin Mass Community in Detroit?
At St. Josaphat people come from all over the archdiocese and beyond, each week people come from the Ann Arbor area, and Windsor [Canada]. We have people of all ages attending; I’m not sure what the average is but I would guess it is younger then the average parish. People who attend for the first time usually mention the large number of young adults and children.
Have you seen an increase in attendance of the TLM since Summorum Pontificum?
It increased in the time between the announcement and the implementation, when other churches started we went back to the level we were at before and now have about the same attendance we had a year ago.
Have you received an increase of requests for information or inquiries about the TLM since SP?
The emails that I receive have increased, traffic to the website, and views on youtube have gone up quite a bit. In one of our columns shortly after SP it was stated that 17 local priests have expressed an interest in learning the TLM, that number has since grown to 30 that either have begun, or have interest in celebrating the TLM.
Has the TLM been spreading in your area since SP? Can you list any specific new Masses or parishes offering the TLM?
There are seven parishes in the Archdiocese that have offered it since SP: St. Josaphat, St. Joseph – Detroit, Assumption Grotto, St. Stephen, SS. Cyril and Methodius, Sacred Heart – Yale, Sweetest Heart of Mary, and St. Albertus (which no longer functions as a parish) has also had a TLM and more are now scheduled, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Wyandotte will begin a regular TLM in June. Prior to SP we were the only one in the archdiocese.
How has SP affected your parish? Has it had a lot of influence, or have things pretty much stayed the same?
There is now a Monday evening mass, and the opportunity to celebrate other sacraments using the EF, baptisms have been administered using the EF, confession will begin soon, and there are weddings scheduled. We’ve always been in a good situation though, we have always had the 9:30 AM time slot. Our Pastor, Fr. Borkowski, has had many improvements made to the church, including upgrading the communion rail and high pulpit, and the addition of an altar rail linen all of which are used at the TLM and were done prior to SP.
Why do you think young people who never grew up with the TLM are attracted to it?
The most commonly mentioned reasons are the reverence, the music, the time-tested elements, the stability and the beauty of it.
Has your Ordinary (Cardinal Maida) responded to the TLM? Enthusiastic? Foot-dragging? Outright opposition? Hasn't said anything?
Very early on he issued a supportive statement, it is still posted on the AOD website and we have a link to it on http://www.detroitlatinmass.org/. Several of the Auxiliary Bishops have celebrated the TLM at St. Josaphat. Bishop Boyea, now the Ordinary in Lansing would celebrate about once every quarter.
What do you think will be the long-term effects of SP on the life of the Church, both universally and locally?
Pope Benedict has spoken and written about a perceived rupture between a pre-conciliar Church and a post-conciliar Church. I think long term SP will be a part of the interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church that the Pope cited as a motivation for SP.