(Our first request was on September 14, 2007. See http://summorumpontificumak.blogspot.com/2008/04/initial-request.html )
October 7, 2009 (Feast of the Our Lady of the Rosary)
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. [_________]