Friday, September 13, 2013

What does the Latin Mass Society do? 2: Education and Training

Priest training at Ratcliffe College, Leicester

In my last post I said something about the devotional activities the Latin Mass Society organises. This is a very large part of the Society's work, and it is done by every single Local Representative: I could not possibly list all the Masses, pilgrimages, and devotional events of which the Society is a part. This is a very obvious way in which the Latin Mass Society is an important and positive part of Catholic life in England and Wales today.

We also do a huge amount of training and what might broadly be called education. This is done more on a regional or national than a local basis, and depends very much on the network we have to spread the word about our events and gather up the necessary volunteers for them. If you think this work is worthwhile, then please join the Latin Mass Society.

From 2007 until 2018 we organised high-profile priest-training conferences, in Prior Park, Ratcliffe College and a number of monasteries. These were attended by 100 priests -- excluding double-counting -- many attending several.  Among these were priests from Scotland, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. The fees are very low thanks to a very heavy subsidy by the Latin Mass Society.

St Tarcisius Server training in London

This kind of thing is much more difficult in the current environment, and priest-training tends to happen now one-to-one. What has taken off in more recent years is the training of altar servers by the LMS' Society of St Tarcisius, which holds five or six training days a year in London, and occasional ones elsewhere.

It is clear that a lack of Latin is a big barrier to many otherwise enthusiastic priests taking up the Traditional Mass, and we address this specifically with an intensive, residential Latin Course running from Monday to Saturday, to allow priests to be in their parishes on Sunday. We also sponsor online Latin learning for clergy and seminarians -- and of course lay people can join these courses too.

The Residential Latin Course

The St Catherine's Trust Summer School is also of course educational: it not just a fun 'camp' for the children to run around, we aim to teach them something about their Faith, and the culture which goes with it, as well as have fun. This is a huge undertaking each year, with more than 50 children taking part, and would be impossible about both the financial and also the moral support of the Latin Mass Society.

St Catherine's Trust Summer School

Something else which comes into this category is our magazine, Mass of Ages, which in a very evident way has been steadily improved over the years, with the appearance of new contributors. It is a magazine the Traditional movement in the UK can be proud of.

If the liturgical restoration is to happen -- and this is true regardless, within limits, of your conception of what that restoration should look like -- we are going to need a vastly expanded number of priests who understand the liturgical tradition, and have a grasp of Latin. It will depend on many, many people being able to sing chant, and serve. And it will depend on an even larger number of people being well-informed, and supportive of sensible initiatives, whereever they come from: from restoring Friday Abstinence to restoring the Altar rails.

Audience laughing at one of Fr Z's jokes, a One Day Conference in 2012

If you think this work is worthy of support, don't just watch us do it, join the Latin Mass Society. That is the support we need most: members.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:05 am

    Excellent again. It often strikes me how often the L.M.S. is able to offer the full ceremonies of High Mass - no doubt all of this rigorous training comes into it!