I recently asked some young people to tell me about their experiences with the Traditional Latin Mass and what it means in their lives. I was pretty astonished by some of the responses I received; several kids wrote lengthy testimonies about the TLM and the impact it has made on them. With their permission, I am going to be sharing a few of their stories here over the coming weeks. Every testimony you will read is from a young person of high school age.
The first story comes from a young woman whose family were converts from Protestantism. Through discovering the Traditional Latin Mass, she is now discerning a religious vocation. But I will let her tell you about it in her own words.
The Traditional Latin Mass has changed my life. I don’t know where I would be without it in my life. But I do know one thing: I surely wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’ll begin from the beginning, but before I do that, I’ll release a little disclaimer. I do not think the New Mass is inferior to the Traditional Latin Mass, I do not think the New Mass is invalid, I do not believe that anyone who attends the New Mass should be ashamed. I believe that someone can have a wonderful relationship with God and love their faith if they attend the New Mass. I am just sharing my testimony and not vouching for anyone else’s.
My story begins, naturally, with my first Traditional Latin Mass experience. My family had just converted from Protestantism a year later, and were now living in Las Vegas, Nevada (aka, Sin City). We were church hunting, which we were used to, having moved multiple times. On May 1, we attended a parish for the annual May crowning for Our Lady and met some wonderful people who regularly went to a Latin Mass locally. They were warm, and welcoming, immediately invited us to their parish. Having no prior knowledge of the Latin Mass nor tie to any parish, we accepted and attended our first Traditional Latin Mass. Long story short, we never left. I don’t remember the specifics of the first time we went (I was only 8), but I caught on quickly. We very much changed our lifestyle in our homeschool and faith. I adopted many Traditional practices—such as veiling and modest dress according to the pre-VII guidelines—because my friends all did such things and I wanted to be exactly like them.
After two and a half years, we moved north and had a parish that was pretty much the opposite of a Latin Mass parish. It was very much a country church. We moved again 18 months later where we again had a New Mass parish, but it was much more reverent: We had a schola that did Gregorian chant, about half the Mass was in Latin, and our priest pushed the front pew up to function as our communion rail. But my longing for the Traditional Latin Mass gnawed at me, and I began to have a thirst for the tradition that so long had been in the church. When a local priest began celebrating the Latin Mass last year (In late 2020), I was overjoyed, but my family was not ready to leave our parish; after all, we knew many people, had dear friends, and loved our priest.
We began to go once a month and I began to see the fruits in my spiritual life immediately. Love for Jesus in the Eucharist, revival in my prayer life, and a thirst for tradition—for things as they used to be. Then, in July of 2021, Pope Francis released his Traditionis Custodes, sending the permission of the Latin Mass back to the bishops. Our Archbishop did not tend to be traditional (he had even danced down the aisle at a Youth New Mass) and we knew that the outcome wouldn’t be desirable. Our Latin Mass priest urged us to write letters to the bishop, stating why we loved the Latin Mass and why it should stay. I sent a letter on my own, and my parents sent a separate one. We both got the exact same responses. Basically, the bishop felt it was his duty to implement Motu Proprio in the diocese.
When he finally announced his decision, we rejoiced because it wasn’t nearly as bad as we feared. While he said no new Mass times or locations could be said, the existing one could stay and say Mass twice a month. Still, twice a month was much better than we’d expected. My family made the jump fully, going to the Latin Mass whenever it was offered, and my love just grew. I never thought my faith could grow that deep, that I could feel the fire that I felt in such a way that I carried it with me all the week.
Soon after that, in late 2021, we were faced with the necessity of having to move suddenly. The Latin Mass was one of our top priorities when choosing between two living locations. We ended up moving to Ohio (where we currently are) and my parents promised that we would attend a Traditional Latin Mass no matter what. However, we were not able to buy a house that was within our preferable distance from a Traditional Latin Mass parish. We had three Latin Mass parishes around us, all one hour away. We settled on an FSSP parish in Indiana (so we get to cross the border every Sunday!), but still wanted to try the New Mass parishes in our city we could get to for daily Mass or Holy Days.
We tried the first, a mere seven minutes from our home and were not pleased with what we were confronted with. The parishioners thought they were in a social hall, the priest swore horribly during his homily as well as made a joke out of the whole thing, there were Eucharistic ministers (and guess what? All women!), and what was worse, they didn’t purify their hands! They also did not use a paten when distributing communion, which is a great tragedy, because particles of Our Lord, or even a whole host can fall to the ground. Wherever communion is distributed on the hand, or a paten is not used, we trample Our Lord in the church and no one shouts. It is a great sadness for me.
We rarely go to this parish, unless necessary for some reason. The next parish was, unbelievably, worse! The priest skipped whole parts of the Mass, ad-libbed the prayers, and just said whatever he wanted to say. It is doubtful whether or not the Consecration was even valid. What a great sadness for Our Lord! We have never returned to that parish.Despite these experiences, my faith has grown so unspeakably that I am certain we moved to Ohio for a reason. Now I have known for quite some years that I have a religious vocation, but it was here in Ohio that I really started embracing that. I have grown close with a local women’s congregation (Children of Mary) whose charism is to spread love for Jesus in the Eucharist, love the tradition, and make reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences done to Him.
Their charism is extremely attractive to me and the Holy Spirit has made it quite clear that I am to be with them. I took the first step on October 31 a couple of weeks ago by becoming a consecrated virgin and a Littlest Soul. By this consecration, I have given my life to restoring tradition in the church, begging God for holy Priests and Bishops, and making reparation for all the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences done to Jesus in the Eucharist. I am married to Christ. He is the Eternal Spouse of my Soul and the King of my Heart. My wedding band everyday reminds me of my promise and my vows to Him. I know I wouldn’t be here without the Traditional Latin Mass.
This is the Mass St. Padre Pio said devoutly, this is the Mass St. Jose Maria Escriva fought for, this is the Mass St. Teresa of Calcutta cherished.
This is the Mass that is here to stay. This is the Mass that grows year by year. This is the Mass that will never fail and never diminish. This is the Mass of the Ages.
Thank you, Lord!! Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!