Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dominican Rite: Noon, Every First Saturday at Holy Family Cathedral, Anchorage, Alaska (Video of recessional at end of post.)

The faithful file in...

Opening prayers...


Ecce Agnus Dei...


The final Gospel...

Celebrant Fr. Vincent Kelber, O.P.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

More News on Summorum in Alaska

From The Catholic Anchor:

News & Notes
Traditional Mass moves forward
On July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI issued the apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum,” which expanded the celebration of the Roman Rite according to the 1962 Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII.
In order to make this more traditional form of the Mass available for Catholics in the Anchorage Archdiocese, Father Thomas Brundage, Moderator of the Curia and Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Anchorage, is scheduled to receive training at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago in September.
According to Father Brundage, the Anchorage Archdiocese hopes to begin offering this Mass (also known as the Tridentine Mass) by Fall 2008. The location and frequency of the Mass, however, are yet to be determined.
The Chicago-based course is available for priests across the country in order to equip them in using the Latin language and more involved rubrics associated with the older Mass. The Mass from the Roman Missal in use since 1970 remains the ordinary form of the Mass, while celebration of the older Tridentine rite remains the extraordinary form.
For more information, contact Father Brundage at

Requiem Mass

With special thanks to Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI, the Dominican Friars of Holy Family Cathedral and Fr. Armand Nigro, S.J. who offered the Requiem Mass for Anita Kimberley Syren, r.i.p. August 7, 2008.


Fr. Vincent Kelber, O.P., chants the epistle.

Dies Irae.

Sermon, Fr. Armand Nigro, S.J.


Obituary for Anita Kimberley Syren

Anchorage resident Anita Kimberley “Kim” Syren, age 81, died peacefully surrounded by family at her home in Anchorage on August 7, 2008.

She was born and raised in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada. In 1949 she graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing at Hotel Dieu Hospital. She received the Mother Superior’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life, and those who knew her then and later recall that she contributed to the life of all those around her. She also received the Jean Mance Scholarship in public health nursing, foreshadowing her work as a foundress of Alaska Right to Life and Birthright, her participation in Operation Rescue and the numerous years she taught Natural Family Planning.

After graduating from nursing school she moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1949 and practiced nursing in the obstetrics unit of the “Old” Providence Hospital. She married her husband Lester Syren in 1951 at Holy Family Cathedral and they brought eight children into the world. She often brought them with her to daily Mass, the high point of her day. Eventually she became an oblate of St. Benedict and took up various apostolates through the Legion of Mary, practices which formed the basis of her spiritual life.

After her wedding she donated her gown to make priest’s vestments. Years later she witnessed Pope John Paul II ordain her son Kermit a priest in St. Peter’s. At that time she addressed the 6,000 guests gathered at the Pope Paul VI Auditorium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Legionaries of Christ.

She gave the land for the Monastery of Perpetual Adoration in Anchorage, and while it was being built, was honored to have the Sisters use her home as their first temporary monastery while she and her family lived elsewhere. In 1986 she was also blessed to witness her daughter Gail’s final vows with the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in San Francisco, California.

She is preceded in death by her husband Lester, son Jon and daughter Sr. Gail Marie of St. Joseph, brothers Garry, Ainslie and Robert, and sister Doris. She is survived by her sister Beverley, sons Fr. Kermit Syren, L.C., Stephen and Les (wife Nicole), and daughters Karyn (husband Mike) Wise, Therese Syren and Wyn Froelich (husband Greg), 19 grandchildren: Catherine, Joseph, John Francis, James, Thomas, Justin, Peter, Luke, Veronica, Judy, Rachael, James, Michael, Sophia, Ben, Max, Izzy, Rose, Jess, Jen, John Paul, Carley, Joseph, Jon, Eleta, Lillian, Mary and Luke Benedict, and three great-grand children Ursula, Louisa and Pia.

Kim’s central focus was always her family. She travelled to Canada and South Dakota regularly under difficult conditions to visit her family of origin and in-laws and when possible brought her children along. She made life a joyful adventure for them centered in Christ, and was her grandchildren’s beloved “Gram-cracker.” They and their parents treasured her loving and joyful presence, and she was there for them at every family celebration and holiday even throughout her six final years of chemotherapy and surgeries. As they prayed the rosary around her bed, Kim’s last words to them were “Oh, my beautiful little children!”

Her son, Fr. Kermit Syren, offered the funeral Mass at 2:00PM on August 14 at Holy Family Cathedral at 811 W 6th Ave, Anchorage, followed by burial at Anchorage Memorial Cemetery and a reception in the Holy Family Cathedral basement. Fr. Armand Nigro, S.J. offered a Requiem Mass (Tridentine Rite) at Holy Family Cathedral on August 30 at 2:00PM.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 2645 East 72nd Avenue, Anchorage Alaska 99507 or the Legionaries of Christ, 275 Mechanic Street, North Smithfield, RI 02896.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Even if it is not asked for...

the local ordinary should make the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite available.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Most Rev. Roger L. Schwietz, OMI and Moving the Altar

"Our pastor was old at the time, and we thought he was too slow in making the changes — like moving the altar. But then he made the mistake of going on vacation," he [Archbishop Roger L. Schwitz] joked.
He and another associate priest moved the altar while the pastor was away, and bolted it to the floor. Then, when the pastor returned, they lined up parishioners to congratulate the pastor on his implementation of the Council’s changes to the liturgy.

From the Catholic Anchor. Full article below, with emphasis added:

January 11, 2008 - Issue #1
Local News
Archbishop celebrates 40 years as priestCalling is marked by adventure and community
By James DeCraneAnchor Writer
Back in the 1960’s, Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz and several of his fellow seminarians liked to sneak out of their theology classes in Rome.
This wasn’t your typical college-student mischief, though. The young men were headed to St. Peter’s Basilica, where bishops and cardinals from around the world were holding a session of the Second Vatican Council.
"It was a marvelous, exciting experience for those of us who were about to be priests," Archbishop Schwietz recalled at his 40th Anniversary of Ordination Mass at Holy Family Cathedral Dec. 20. "It launched our ministry and we knew that we were going out to change the world!"
Archbishop Schwietz recalled a story that occurred a few years later when he was on a priestly assignment at a parish in International Falls, Minnesota.
It was a prime example of how Vatican II changed the Catholic Church.
"Our pastor was old at the time, and we thought he was too slow in making the changes — like moving the altar. But then he made the mistake of going on vacation," he joked.
He and another associate priest moved the altar while the pastor was away, and bolted it to the floor. Then, when the pastor returned, they lined up parishioners to congratulate the pastor on his implementation of the Council’s changes to the liturgy.
"It showed the diplomacy that was in the heart of the future bishop that he learned somewhere along the line," retired Anchorage Archbishop Francis Hurley said at the Dec. 20 Mass.
Many people told the Anchor that diplomacy and the gift of working well with all types of people and a deep sense of the mission of the priesthood are the greatest gifts Archbishop Schwietz brings to his ministry.
An early call
Archbishop Schwietz is one of six children who grew up in a Polish-American community in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Schwietz’s were very active at St. Casmir’s Catholic Church, which was run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Many could see the spark of a vocation in the young Schwietz boy.
"I remember we had this marble table at home. It was in grade school — he used to pretend he was a priest in front of that altar," his brother Ron Schwietz said in a telephone interview with the Anchor.
In Catholic school, the nuns also sensed that a vocation might be on the horizon.
"The sisters told me I should go to seminary in grade school," Archbishop Schwietz recalled. "They were the ultimate vocation recruiters — the sisters talked about that a lot," he added with a laugh.
Though he felt the call early on, Archbishop Schwietz opted not to enter into the seminary in high school, a common practice then, and chose instead to attend a high school in St. Paul, which was run by the Christian Brothers.
After graduation, he still felt called to serve the church and weighed the options of becoming a diocesan priest, a Jesuit or a member of the Christian Brothers. He finally settled, however, on the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
"After reflecting on all the possibilities, I felt I was called to be a missionary priest, and I knew the oblates were missionaries," Archbishop Schwietz said, while adding that he thought it would be great to serve in Brazil or Scandinavia. Family Support
His brother and sisters told the Anchor that the Schwietz family was extremely proud and supportive of his decision.
"I missed him, but I was really proud to have someone offer their lives to service like that," his sister Sue McGurty said.
The tight-knit Schwietz clan continued to offer support to the future archbishop throughout his discernment and ministry. Brother Ron said he was close to his brother, and often served as a sounding board while he was discerning.
His family said they were beyond themselves with pride when he was ordained at the Oblates’ house in Rome on Dec. 20, 1967. The Schwietz family made the trip to Rome to be with him.
"It was great; the whole family was proud of him and was supportive. We knew that he had taken a tough road," Ron said.
Among the people
Although the possibility of being a missionary to Brazil or Scandinavia was always an option, other things took priority, when Archbishop Schwietz was called to serve at various colleges as a teacher, counselor and spiritual director for the Oblates.
In between those assignments he served in several parishes, mostly in Minnesota. Those assignments still stand out as memorable moments of his priesthood.
"Working with the people, especially doing retreat work with youth, that’s always been a wonderful experience for me," Archbishop Schwietz said. "My parish experiences were the most rewarding times of my priesthood."
Different type of Mission
As Archbishop Schwietz’ pastoral assignment wrapped up in Duluth, he received a life-changing call from his secretary, who told him that "a man with a funny accent is on the phone."
That man was the apostolic nuncio in Washington informing then Father Schwietz that he had just been named Bishop of Duluth.
He was ordained a bishop on Feb. 2, 1990. Ten years later, he got another call, sending him into Northern mission territory. Not Scandinavia — but Anchorage.
The Future
Even in the episcopate, Archbishop Schwietz is still drawn to the people.
"I much prefer to be out in the parishes with the people than to be here in the office doing paperwork," he said. "I enjoy going out for confirmations and other ceremonies."
So what’s in store for the future?
"Looking at retirement," he said with a laugh, but then turns serious. "I do look at what I want to accomplish as the years of my ministry start winding down."
He said that his major focus is to help implement the archdiocesan Pastoral Plan and to further establish an effective system for recruiting vocations. He expressed deep gratitude for the many priests who have served Alaska from the lower 48 and other places, but he wants to foster more homegrown vocations, and encourage it as a valuable and fulfilling call in life.
Parents sometimes think the priesthood will be a lonely life for their son, Archbishop Schwietz said.
"But it’s not," he added. "I have had the gift of community throughout my different ministries and I have not found it to be a lonely life."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Second response from Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI

Click on letter to enlarge.

Second Request

Les Syren
Anchorage, Alaska 99511
October 10, 2007

Most Rev. Roger Schwietz, OMI
Archbishop of Anchorage
Ex Officio Pastor, Holy Family Cathedral
Via Hand-Delivery

V. Donald J. Bramble, OP (V.G.)
Pastor, Holy Family Cathedral
Vicor General, Archdiocese of Anchorage
Via Hand-Delivery

Dear Archbishop Schwietz and Father Donald,

Thank you for your letter dated September 26, 2007. I have some follow-up questions.

1) As you know, Summorum Pontificum at Article 2 and Article 4 allows the private celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite at any time or place (except during the Easter Triduum), without permission of the local ordinary. See also Newsletter from the Liturgy Committee of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops, Volume XLIII, May/June 2007.[1]

Would you be so kind as to permit us to use Holy Family Cathedral for a private celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite when that church is not otherwise occupied? If not, is there any church in the Archdiocese that you would allow us (the stable group identified in my last letter) to use for this purpose, keeping in mind that most of the would-be attendees live in the Anchorage Bowl and already attend Holy Family Cathedral?

We would of course observe all other aspects of Summorum Pontificum, including Article 5, Sec. 4. We are prepared to offer a stipend or otherwise defray any associated costs. We have all implements necessary for the celebration, including but not limited to appropriate vestments, the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, missals with latin/English translations for the laity, etc. We have professional carpenters in our group who would be able to assemble, install before and remove after Mass without difficulty any steps you might feel are necessary. The altar at Holy Family is in fact on rollers, and could in a matter of moments be moved a few feet forward from its present place to become a back altar.

I checked the website identified in the recent article of the Archdiocese newspaper, The Anchor, as a resource for those wishing to implement Summorum Pontificum. The rubrics found there seem to say only that the altar must be elevated an uneven number of steps above the floor, and in fact should be free standing, as is currently the case for the altar at Holy Family. See infra.[2]

I found another picture of my parents’ wedding, which appears below, followed on the next page by a closer view of the altar.

It appears that the original configuration of Holy Family Cathedral had the altar positioned on top of three steps. When compared to current photos, the configuration is not really changed. The altar is positioned on top of three steps. See below.

As shown from the pictures above, the altar could remain in place and still comply with the rubrics for a free standing altar three steps above the floor, or in the alternative it could simply be rolled to the back of the Sanctuary and placed on top of two more steps over the existing step for the celebrant’s chair seen in the photo above.

Because of its suitable character, our preference is to have the private Mass at Holy Family. However, we can make do with another church. We would prefer not to have to use a hotel ballroom or protestant church. Won’t you help us?

My family, especially my mother, fondly thank you for your permission this past May for the private celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite at her home, even before Summorum Pontificum was published. See below pictures.

Since receiving your generous permission, my mother has unfortunately received news that her cancer has returned. She is currently undergoing a four week course of chemotherapy and radiation. She celebrated her 80th birthday this past May, and has been a widow since 1982 when my father died. She has given two of her children to the Church as vocations. She instilled in all of her eight children a love of the Mass. As she draws toward the end of her life, she in particular asks for this favor of the use of Holy Family Cathedral for the private celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite when it is not otherwise occupied.

2) Would you permit the private celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite for a funeral if, God forbid, a member of our stable group identified in my last letter should be called to his or her heavenly reward? If not at Holy Family, at another church?

My mother asked me to convey her strong wish to have the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite not only now, but for her funeral and afterwards. My siblings join in this request both for themselves and for our mother.

As you may know, our family has many ties to Holy Family besides our parents’ wedding. We have had baptisms. I as well as two of my siblings were married there. Two of my siblings were buried from there. My brother’s first Mass was at Holy Family Cathedral.

In my youth, I served Mass and attended Junior Legion of Mary. As a single adult, I served as Parish Council President, taught CCD and presided over Jr. Legion of Mary. I attend daily Mass there now, and join the Dominicans afterward for morning prayer. With 5 children under the age of 8, my wife and I attend Sunday Mass there as we are able.

3) Would you be so kind as to specify the clarifications sought by the Bishops that you refer to in your letter?

I was unable to locate them on the USCCB website. I did, however, find the above referenced newsletter from the USCCB Liturgy Committee that was quite helpful. It did not report any ambiguities in Summorum Pontificum.

I know other Bishops have already allowed or further expanded the EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE pursuant to Summorum Pontificum. For example, in the Diocese of Monterey, where my wife Nicole and I joined you for our annual meeting last month of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, Bishop Garcia has provided two locations for the celebration of the EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE. Other U.S. bishops are also implementing Summorum Pontificum without delay.[3]
4) I note that you gave Fr. Geibel (RIP) permission to say the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite in 2004, presumably because there were no physical impediments to its celebration. Between the time your permission was granted and now, what changes occurred that lead you to believe that a proper facility does not now exist?

5) May I inquire as to what steps you or others have taken, since the Motu Proprio was published, to implement it? Is there someone assigned to the task of clearing the obstacles you have identified in your letter dated September 26, 2007? Can you tell us who that person(s) is? Are there any other obstacles? Do you know when we might expect a report on the progress made removing the obstacles? Is there anything we can do to help, besides building any steps that might be required in the sanctuary? Have you had recourse to Ecclesia Dei, as recommended in Summorum Pontificum, Article 8?

6) May we be afforded a certain leniency while you delay the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, especially in light of the essential similarity between Holy Family Cathedral as it existed in 1950 when my parents were married, and its current configuration as shown in the pictures above?

I note that the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite has been said under varying circumstances, some, as shown below, quite extreme. For example, below is a photo I found in The American Heritage Picture History of World War II.

The caption reads: “A chaplain celebrating [M]ass on Iwo Jima gives the communion wafer to a Marine. His church is the top of Mount Suribachi; his altar is a makeshift. The fighting was still going on in full intensity when this picture was made, and these men returned to battle.”

While we may not ever have a perfect place to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite here on earth, I believe the photos above demonstrate that we have the essentials to begin. I fear that if we delay implementation of Summorum Pontificum because of clarifications needed by some Bishops, while other bishops do not delay, the Church’s law will not be applied evenly.

7) Would you be so kind as to provide the canonical basis for your delay in implementing Summorum Pontificum?

8) I seem to recall from one of our meetings this past Spring that you mentioned in passing the existence of pre-Vatican II vestments that are stored in the Chancery basement. Might we be allowed to use those and any other items that would be useful for celebrating the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite?

Thank you for your kind consideration of these questions.


Les Syren

Rev. Thomas T. Brundage, JCL
Judicial Vicar
Via Hand-Delivery

His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos
President Commission Ecclesia DeiPiazza del Sant’ Uffizio 11 00120 Vatican City, Italy, Europe
(For informational purposes only
and with September 26,2007 letter
from Most Rev. Roger Schwietz, OMI)
[1] Id. “3. When may a Priest celebrate the extraordinary form in a Mass without the people?
Any Priest of the Latin Church may, without any further permission from the Holy See or his Ordinary, celebrate the extraordinary form of the Missale Romanum in a Mass without the people at any time except during the Sacred Triduum. If members of the faithful wish to join in these celebrations, they are permitted to do so.” Footnotes omitted. Emphasis in original.
Then later at pages 25 - 26:
“The Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI differs from the previous provisions in the following ways:
Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei AdflictaSummorum Pontificum
Where may celebrations
of the extraordinary
form take place? The celebrations take place There is no restriction on where the
only in a place designated by extraordinary form may be celebrated.”
the Diocesan Bishop, but
usually not in a parish Church.

[2] The high altar was erected on steps, which for symbolical reasons were usually of an uneven number -- three or five, including the upper platform (predella) and the pavement of the sanctuary, thus placing it on a higher level than the body of the church, a practice which is still maintained in our churches. In parish churches the Most Blessed Sacrament is regularly kept on the high altar, which accordingly should have a tabernacle for the reservation of the Sacred Species (S.R.C., 28 Nov., 1594; 21 Aug., 1863). The prescribed ornaments are a crucifix and six high candlesticks. The high altar in a church that is to be consecrated should be a fixed altar (see ALTAR, FORM OF), which according to the prescriptions of the Roman Pontifical (h.l.) is itself to be consecrated simultaneously with the solemn dedication of the church edifice. Hence it must stand free on all sides, allowing ample room for the consecrator to move around it. As its name indicates, the high altar, being the chief place for the enactment of the sacrificial function, is to be prominent not only by its position but also by the richness of its material and ornamentation. Apart from the liturgical part of the Mass, it serves as the repository for the Eucharistic Presence and becomes the centre of all the more solemn parochial functions of the year.[1]
[1] Written by A.J. Schulte. Transcribed by Herman F. Holbrook. Qui idem sacerdos, altare et agnus exhibuit misereatur nobis. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

[3] California Catholic Daily

Published: September 11, 2007
In keeping with the bishop’s instructions
Weekday celebrations of the Traditional Latin Mass approved in San Diego
In response to Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, San Diego’s Bishop Robert Brom has approved a weekday celebration of the traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine Rite). The Mass will be said, Monday-Friday, 12.15 p.m., at St. John the Evangelist Church, at the corner of Polk Ave. and Normal St. in San Diego. Though the Masses will presumably be low Masses, the inaugural Mass, on Friday, Sept. 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, will be a High Mass, “in thanksgiving for the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter,” said a news release from the San Diego Traditional Latin Mass Society. St. John the Evangelist’s pastor, the Rev. William Dillard, made his church available “in keeping with Bishop Brom’s instructions,” said the news release. Sulpician Father Reginald DeFour will be the celebrant. The parish will not offer the Traditional Mass on Sundays, however. “For the time being,” said the news release, “Sunday Masses will continue to be offered at Holy Cross Mausoleum Chapel” in San Diego at 7:30 and 9 a.m. Since the motu proprio’s publication in June, three bishops now have expressed their willingness to accommodate those who desire to attend the Tridentine Mass. In July, Monterey’s new bishop, Richard Garcia, said he would provide two, non-parish locations for the celebration of the Mass. Orange diocese’s Bishop Tod Brown approved an additional Sunday Traditional Mass at St. Mary’s by the Sea in Huntington Park, which was scheduled to begin this month but has been delayed for at least two more months until the return of the pastor, Fr. Martin Tran, from Vietnam. The diocese also has two Sunday Traditional Mass celebrations at Mission San Juan Capistrano’s Serra Chapel and the John Paul II Polish Center in Yorba Linda. Late last year, San Jose’s Bishop Patrick McGrath approved the offering of all the sacraments according to the traditional rite at the Oratory Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Santa Clara, with Masses said on Sundays and during the week on Tuesday, Friday, and first Saturdays. Earlier, Bishop Allan Vigneron of Oakland approved the Traditional Mass for Sundays and weekdays, along with the administration of all the sacraments, at St. Margaret Mary’s in Oakland. In 1998, Sacramento's Bishop William Weigand permitted a Latin Mass community under the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, which meets at St. Stephen the First Martyr in Sacramento. In March, Weigand approved another Sunday celebration of the Tridentine Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in Chico.

First Response from Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI

Click on letter to enlarge.

Initial Request

Les Syren
Anchorage, Alaska 99511

September 14, 2007
Feast of the Triumph
Of the Holy Cross

Most Rev. Roger Schwietz, OMI
Archbishop of Anchorage
Ex Officio Pastor, Holy Family Cathedral
Via Hand-Delivery

V. Donald J. Bramble, OP (V.G.)
Pastor, Holy Family Cathedral
Vicor General, Archdiocese of Anchorage
Via Hand-Delivery

Dear Archbishop Schwietz and Father Donald,

I am writing on behalf of “a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition,”[1] and pursuant to Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, Given Motu Proprio, (at Article V), to formally request “to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962,”[2] on each Sunday and weekday at the Cathedral (unless otherwise not permitted under Summorum Pontificum), “for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages,”[3] and “for permission to use the earlier ritual for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Penance, and the Anointing of the Sick,”[4] to begin immediately.

Father Nigro, S.J. is willing and able to say the Mass, but has limited availability due to his previous obligations at the Holy Spirit Retreat House. Father Kaspar and Father Wiseman are willing to say it also but I do not believe they know how. (I know of two laymen in Anchorage, Stan Grove and Dr. Gregory Froelich, who have already offered and are qualified to give instructions in ecclesial latin. I also know of other duly authorized institutions that are willing to provide and/or train priests to say the Mass. We are willing to privately fund this training.) Father Andrew Szymakowski, on sabbatical from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, who was here for two years and is now serving Archbishop Vasa in Oregon, is willing to return here to say the Mass. He would also be able to train others.

Attached is a list of people who, upon information, belief and/or personal knowledge constitute the above referenced stable group. As the list shows, most of the families on the list already attend Holy Family Cathedral. Moreover, all families throughout the Archdiocese in a sense belong to the Cathedral. Finally, the Cathedral is probably the one church in the Archdiocese in which the extraordinary form of the Mass has been celebrated the most.[5] I note the happy coincidence that ground was broken for the construction of the Cathedral on this very day, September 14, 1915.

We hope we too can “break ground” with the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum and begin building up Our Lord’s Church by the use of the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite.

Les Syren


Rev. Thomas T. Brundage, JCL
Judicial Vicar
Via Hand-Delivery

His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos
President Commission Ecclesia DeiPiazza del Sant’ Uffizio 11 00120 Vatican City, Italy, Europe
(For informational purposes only)
[1] Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, Given Motu Proprio, at Article V.
Art. 5, § 1. In paroeciis, ubi coetus fidelium traditioni liturgicae antecedenti adhaerentium continenter exsistit, parochus eorum petitiones ad celebrandam sanctam Missam iuxta ritum Missalis Romani anno 1962 editi, libenter suscipiat. Ipse videat ut harmonice concordetur bonum horum fidelium cum ordinaria paroeciae pastorali cura, sub Episcopi regimine ad normam canonis 392, discordiam vitando et totius Ecclesiae unitatem fovendo. As you may recall from our meetings this past spring, Your Excellency gave me and my wife Nicole permission to act as liaison in this matter at the request of Fr. Nigro, who has been graciously assisting us this year.
[2] Id.
[3] Id. at sec. 3.
[4] Id. at Article 9.
My parents’ wedding picture at the altar of Holy Family Cathedral.