Thursday, December 31, 2009

Deo Gratias! "Sunday" Celebration on Saturday Evening

So it's official! Beginning Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 7:30PM at Holy Family Cathedral, we will have the routine "Sunday" celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Thank you Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, Fr. Tom Brundage and Dominicans Fr. Francis Le and Fr. Vincent Kelber.

Spread the word, and see you at Mass!

P.S. We need servers. Contact Fr. Kelber at Holy Family Cathedral at Nine Zero Seven-27Six-3455.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! Our First Mass on Christmas!

With special thanks to His Excellency Roger L. Schwietz, O.M.I., and the Dominicans at Holy Family Cathedral, in particular Fr. Vincent Kelber and Br. Dominic David Maichrowicz. 2:00PM December 25, 2009 at Holy Family Cathedral.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

40th Anniversary of Missale Romanum and the new Roman Rite

Keep the Champagne on ice for now. No Sunday celebration of the Extraordinary Form just yet. Logistics foiled us temporarily, but for sure Christmas Day, 2009, at 2:00 PM at Holy Family Cathedral, the first Sunday Celebration will occur, as it were, a present from Our Divine Savior on his Birthday.

We've got all year to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great News!

With special thanks to His Excellency Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, O.M.I., Father Francis Hung Le, O.P., and Father Vincent Kelber, O.P., we have the green light for the Sunday celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite (High Mass) at Holy Family Cathedral.

Rumor has it that we will begin on Saturday evenings at 7:30PM, hopefully by the first Sunday in Advent. Much depends on finishing the improvements to the Education Center and moving some schedules around. In the meantime, we need servers and a schola cantorum. If you are interested, contact Father Vincent at Holy Family Cathedral at 276-3455.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Second Request for the Sunday Celebration

(Our first request was on September 14, 2007. See )

October 7, 2009 (Feast of the Our Lady of the Rosary)

Les Syren
Box 112141
Anchorage, Alaska 99511
October 7, 2009

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

RE: Sunday Celebration of Extraordinary Form

Dear Archbishop Schwietz,

Dr. [__________] and I are writing at the suggestion of Rev. Msgr. Guido Pozzo, Secretary for the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Dr. [___________] wrote to him this past summer and inquired about the Sunday celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Recently Msgr. Pozzo responded with the attached letter dated September 25, 2009. In that letter, Msgr. Pozzo suggested that Dr. [_______] let you “know the number of the faithful desirous of such a celebration and make a proposal about the best location.”

Dr. [__________] contacted me about the number of people and best location. Attached is a list of people interested in the Sunday celebration. (It is the same list that I submitted with our original request for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum on September 14, 2007. However, the names of some persons have been removed because some of them have moved or unfortunately died.) Nonetheless, the numbers still show that most families on that list already attend Holy Family Cathedral. Thus, it appears that in terms of population alone, Holy Family would be the most convenient place to have the Mass.

With your gracious permission, Fr. Armand Nigro celebrated a Requiem Mass at Holy Family for my mother in August of 2008.
(This was a great consolation for my family, and we thank you so much for your kindness during that difficult time for us.) I can also say from a practical standpoint that the celebration went very smoothly.

Since December of last year, Fr. Vincent Kelber, O.P. has celebrated the Dominican Rite at Holy Family on the First Saturday of each month. My experience is that the Dominican Rite is very close to the Extraordinary Form, so it was coincidentally a convenient way to see whether the Extraordinary Form would be practical to celebrate on a routine basis. It has drawn large crowds, many of whom I do not know and who have thus not been included on the attached list.

Having assisted with the set-up for the Dominican Rite Mass, I can attest that the arrangement (and subsequent re-arrangement) of the sanctuary take only a matter of minutes. Moreover, we have found that what seems to work best for Holy Communion is for the Faithful to simply kneel at the first step of the altar to receive Our Lord.

I have asked Fr. Francis Le, O.P. about the
logistics involved if you were to permit the Sunday celebration at Holy Family. He emphasized that we must first have your permission. If so, then he assured us that either he or Fr. Vincent Kelber, O.P. would be available to say the Extraordinary Form on Sundays at 5:30AM. That way, the normal Mass schedule at Holy Family will remain in tact.

Fr. Le, O.P. also wished to emphasize that any priest of the Archdiocese would be welcome to say the Extraordinary Form at the 5:30AM time slot, always assuming of course that we have your permission.

To conclude, the number of people desirous of a Sunday Celebration exceeds the number on the list we originally presented to you, and as shown in the picture above, is enough to fill the Cathedral. The Cathedral also appears to be the best location for the Extraordinary Form based on the successful celebration of the (almost indistinguishable) Dominican Rite there these past months on the First Saturdays, and based on the convenience of the priests who are already serving the Cathedral. Finally, our proposed Mass would not interfere or disrupt the current schedule of Masses there.

In closing I would also like to personally and warmly thank you for allowing Fr. Tom Brundage to say the Extraordinary Form at his parish in Palmer. So far, no one has noticed my mistakes at serving, or at least has been kind enough not to point them out to me.

We look forward to hearing from you as to this proposal for Holy Family.

Sincerely in Christ,


Les Syren and Dr. [_________]

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Great News! His Excellency Archbishop Roger Schwietz is open to the Sunday Celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite

His Excellency already knows of the stable group that wishes for the Sunday celebration of the Extraordianry Form at Holy Family Cathedral because of the request he received on September 14, 2007. See original post at

So it seems now only to be a question of squeezing the Mass into the busy schedule of Masses on Sunday at Holy Family Cathedral. Two priests there can and are already willing and able to say it. How about 5:30AM? Any takers?

St. Therese, Our Little Flower, pray for us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 2009 Mass

Thank you Father Tom Brundage, JCL.

August 2009 Mass

Thank you Father Tom Brundage, JCL.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Catholic Anchor Covers First Mass

Priest discusses significance of Tridentine rite Mass in Anchorage ArchdioceseOlder Latin Mass now celebrated monthly in Palmer
In July, the Anchorage Archdiocese began providing regular celebrations of the Tridentine rite Mass – also known as the extraordinary form of the Mass. The centuries-old rite – which is said in Latin – was the standard Roman Catholic liturgy before the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
On July 18, the Tridentine Mass was celebrated at St. Michael Church in Palmer with more than 75 people attending. The Anchor asked celebrant Father Tom Brundage a few questions about the Mass and its significance for the archdiocese.

What was the most difficult aspect of preparing for this celebration as a priest?
The most difficult aspect was finding the kind of time in my schedule to adequately prepare to celebrate the Tridentine rite Mass. I really wanted to avoid only partially knowing the Mass and with the help of my server, Les Syren, as well as the training I received in Chicago, I was able to be at least adequately prepared.

What is the significance of being able to celebrate this older form of the Mass in the Anchorage Archdiocese?
To me, it is a matter of canonical rights as well as the diversity allowed in the Church for different forms of the celebration of the Eucharist.
First, on the matter of rights, Pope Benedict’s motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” put out certain criteria that must be met before the Tridentine Mass would be offered in the local church. There is a need for a stable community that asks for it was the bottom line. That standard was met, in my opinion, creating the right to this particular rite of the Mass. The tough part was not having any priest ready to say this Mass publicly.
The second note of significance is that we are a church with a lot of diversity. There are over 20 Eastern Catholic Churches all with their own particular form of celebrating the Eucharist. Why not allow for the celebration of the Tridentine rite when there already is so much diversity?

What are the hopes for what this Mass might accomplish in the long run?
My hope is that it will satisfy the hunger for the group of Catholics in the Archdiocese who find this a particularly prayerful way of celebrating Mass.

If you go
Celebrations of the Tridentine rite will take place on the following Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.: Aug. 22, Sept. 19, Oct. 24, Nov. 21 and Dec. 19. St. Michael pastor Father Thomas Brundage, JCL, will be the celebrant and the sacrament of reconciliation will be offered prior to Mass.
Why do you think people want this form of the Mass celebrated?
I think the answer to this might be, in part, generational. For older folks who grew-up with this form of the Mass, some of them sincerely miss it. For younger folks who did not grow-up with it (I put myself into this camp!), the Tridentine rite is compelling because of its great stress on the sacred nature of the Body and Blood of the Lord. This is not to deny that the ordinary rite does not have the same stress, but it is emphasized in different ways in different rites.

What does the future hold for this Mass in Alaska? What needs to happen in order for there to be a high Mass for instance?
It looks like there may be a couple other priests in the Archdiocese who will be able to celebrate the Tridentine rite Mass. I think it will continue once I return to my diocese of incardination.
For a high Mass, I need more servers trained in the Tridentine rite and a choir also trained in the form and nuances of the music of the Rite.

Will there be a Sunday celebration of this Mass?
The initial request of our parish priests was to not have the Tridentine rite of the Mass complete with the ordinary form of the Mass in our parishes on Sunday. I have been in recent discussions where this is being rethought. The issue at this point is logistical. Between the prison Mass and my Masses in Palmer, I am at four Masses on a normal Sunday weekend. Normally a priest is limited to three Sunday Masses.

What did you personally get out of the preparation and then actual celebration of this Mass? Do you have any impressions?
I believe that learning the Tridentine rite, as difficult as it was, I find that both rites complement each other. I am now much more conscious in the ordinary rite of the precision necessary to be a reverent presider. In the extraordinary rite, I am also conscious that people need to participate in the Mass, each in their own way.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Extraodinary Form of the Mass Begins

As reported in the Archdiocese of Anchorage newspaper, the Catholic Anchor:

Tridentine Mass returns
Beginning this month, the Anchorage Archdiocese will provide regular celebrations of the Tridentine Rite Mass — also known as the extraordinary form of the Mass. The centuries-old Tridentine Rite — which is said in Latin — was the standard Roman Catholic liturgy before the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). In his July 2007 apostolic letter, Pope Benedict XVI reasserted its use.
The Tridentine Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael Church in Palmer (432 East Fireweed Ave.) on the following Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.: July 18, August 22, September 19, October 24, November 21 and December 19. St. Michael pastor Father Thomas Brundage, JCL will be the celebrant.