Sunday, October 17, 2021

Athanasius Schneider Pontifical High Mass in Detroit

There's no real theme to today's post, just some random smattering of thoughts I put together after returning from Detroit:

Today the great Bishop Athanasius Schneider said Mass in Detroit as part of the Call to Holiness event put on by Assumption Grotto. If the name Assumption Grotto sounds familiar, this is the parish of traditional priest Fr. Eduard Perrone of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Some years ago Fr. Perrone was accused of sex abuse and suspended from ministry. Fr. Perrone fought back, however, and was successfully able to demonstrate that the allegation was fabricated by a detective. Perrone sued the detective for defamation and won a $125,000 judgment against her. Meanwhile, the CDF declined to pursue any discipline against Fr. Perrone, effectively dropping the case—though to my knowledge, the Archdiocese of Detroit has still not reinstated Fr. Perrone to public ministry, but I may be mistaken.

Anyhow, that's the parish this was at. It's a beautiful old urban church in the best style of the golden age of Midwest Catholicism. The church was absolutely packed for Bishop Schneider's Mass. If people are losing interest in Catholic Tradition, there was no sign of it at this event. I had to wait in line in my car out on the main street before I even got onto parish property; once I got onto parish grounds they had ushers outside directing the overflow traffic to park on the grass. And I was there a half hour early!

I was fortunate enough to get a seat very close to the front, maybe third row. Assumption Grotto had produced an extremely fine worship aid that not only gave you both the prayers/readings and fixed Mass parts in one place, but also had an extremely interesting page explaining how a Pontifical High Mass is different from a Solemn High Mass. It had a lot of minutiae on it that even I'd never heard before. I meant to save it and I did bring it home but...of course now I cannot find it :/

I have been to Pontifical High Masses before, but what really impressed me about Bishop Schneider's Mass was the universality represented in who was present. It was truly reflective of the Catholicity of the Church. The diversity was spectacular. There were whites, blacks, Filipinos, Indians, Hispanics, and Japanese. I saw plenty of young families with children, lots of old folks, and many people in between. Millennial hipster Catholics with their beards and slicked back hair sitting side-by-side with boomer homeschool marms. Academic looking tweed jacket types and blue collar schlubs. The Knights of Columbus were there, resplendent in full regalia. I saw some religious, both men and women. The choir was made up of a mixture of ages from teenagers up to elderly. All presided over by a central Asian bishop whose native language is German saying an ancient liturgy in Latin. It truly was a "multitude of every tribe and tongue and nation" (Rev. 7:9), diversity in the best sense—not the ridiculous Babel of woke individualism, but people of every social, ethnic, and demographic background finding unity in the worship of Christ through the traditional rite of the Church. 

Bishop Schneider spoke on several themes: the action of the Holy Spirit within the Church, the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the Christian, and the Mass as the highest act of worship the Church can offer. It was such a solid homily. There was no ripping on anyone or trashing different segments of the Church, such as you hear whenever Pope Francis opens his mouth. There was no alarmism about vaccines, nor any of the sort of quasi-political nonsense you get when you read Viganò. It was just good, wholesome, spiritual preaching. 

Year ago, I read Athanasius Schneider's Dominus Est. It remains one of the greatest apologetical works on why we should receive communion on the tongue. During his Mass, watching him seated on the faldstool, eyes cast down in humility, while the subdeacon read the Epistle, more than once I thought, "In what world do we live in where this man is on the margins of the hierarchy? Why can't we have this guy for pope?"

Whatever Pope Francis or others want to say, Tradition is alive and well. It was not created by papal fiat and it won't be destroyed by papal fiat. I am fortunate I got to assist at a Mass said by this good prelate, and I pray for more like him.


Paulus said...

His native language is German, though. He mentions in Christus Vincit that they spoke only German at home. Of course, Russian is *almost* native to him.

Boniface said...

@Paulus, woops thanks brother. I'll edit

Restoration said...

We had a similar experience in Lancaster where 600 faithful filled a historic church.

Fr. VF said...

Lay off Viganò!

M. Prodigal said...

I also have had the privilege and blessing of attending a Pontifical High Mass with Bishop the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Please do not bash Abp Vigano.
He has been fearlessly speaking the truth, in all areas that involve our lives.
Daily I thank God for him and pray for him, as well as for other good shepherds like Bp Schneider etc.,

Boniface said...


Well I don't think I am bashing Vigano to say I find his writings full of vaccine alarmism and quasi-political gibberish. I am allowed to dislike the role he has taken on for himself. He was most helpful after his first revelation, but he should have stopped there. Instead he decided to become a pundit, and it's okay for me to disagree with that decision.

Anonymous said...

I think you are being very uncharitable to Abp Vigano.
He is the lone good shepherd who speaks out for his flock and gives much needed encouragement to stay on the path of Truth.

The dock workers in Trieste, Italy really appreciated his letter of support to them.

A quote from the article:
“When the protest leader who read Viganò’s message mentioned Viganò’s name, the whole crowd cheered: Everyone knows Viganò, and that he speaks the truth. He alone dares to tell it all, and he isn’t afraid to say that it is a spiritual, Catholic fight,” Dal Bosco added."

Boniface said...

Lol. “bUt mUh viGano”

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Boniface. Both Schneider and Vigano are worthy of our gratitude.

Anonymous said...

^ Although I agree with you in regards to Vigano, that comment is just not cool.

Anonymous said...

Vigano has some bad political takes I agree. He's completely right on the vexcines though. It's preposterous to say good Catholics like Vigano are obsessed over the vex when the prince of the world shoves it in your face 24/7 through the media and threatening your right to live in society without believing in the omnipotent big pharma miracle. I'd sure hope Catholic clerics would talk about such a major issue!

Anonymous said...

"In what world do we live in where this man is on the margins of the hierarchy? Why can't we have this guy for pope?"

We need a Simple Bishop for the next Pope!! Even if Cardinal Burke is a better choice.


Paul said...