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LAKE CHARLES — Bishop Glen John Provost will celebrate a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Thursday, August 1, Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, at 5:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

In addition, the Bishop will be the celebrant of a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Cathedral at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, December 29, Sunday in the Octave of Christmas.

"This is a very special Mass," Father Rommel Tolentino (pastor of the Cathedral) said.  "Bishop Provost celebrates the Pontifical Mass according to the rubrics of 1962 Missale Romanun only twice a year in our diocese - once in the summer and once in the winter.  Many of our clergy will be assisting at this Mass, and the seminarians of the diocese will be serving the Mass."

Bishop Provost gives a Papal Blessing at the end of the Pontifical Mass.  Therefore, we can gain a plenary indulgence if we meet the usual conditions, i.e. receive Holy Communion during the Mass, Sacramental Confession (which can be carried out within several days before or after the Mass), pray for the Holy Father’s intentions, and complete detachment from sin (even venial sin).

Regarding the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Pope Benedict XVI said in the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum that we should give this Mass "due honour for its venerable and ancient usage."  He wrote: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too."  By promoting wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Holy Father hopes to foster a “spiritual and theological richness.”  The Vatican said that parishes and priests should make available the Extraordinary Form so that “everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church.” “All this liturgical richness, all this spiritual richness, and all the prayers so well preserved during the centuries, all of this is offered by the Rome of today for all. As a gift for all, it is not a gift merely for the so-called traditionalists. No, it is a gift for the whole Catholic Church.” (Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei)

This form of Mass has existed in the Church for more than 1500 years, thus its title “Mass of Ages.”  

This is the Mass that nourished the Saints for centuries. “This is the Mass that St. Thomas Aquinas celebrated, lovingly wrote about, and contributed to (he composed the Mass Propers and Office for the Feast of Corpus Christi). This is the Mass that St. Louis IX, the crusader king of France, attended three times a day. This is the Mass that St. Philip Neri had to distract himself from before he celebrated it because it so easily sent him into ecstasies that lasted for hours. This is the Mass that was first celebrated on the shores of America by Spanish and French missionaries, such as the North American Martyrs. This is the Mass that priests said secretly in England and Ireland during the dark days of persecution, and this is the Mass that Blessed Miguel Pro risked his life to celebrate before being captured and martyred by the Mexican government. This is the Mass that Blessed John Henry Newman said he would celebrate every waking moment of his life if he could…. This is the Mass that Fr. Damien of Molokai celebrated with leprous hands in the church he had built and painted himself. This is the Mass during which St. Edith Stein, who was later to die in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, became completely enraptured…. This is the Mass that St. Padre Pio insisted on celebrating until his death in 1968…. This is the Mass that St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei, received permission to continue celebrating in private at the end of his life.” (Peter Kwasniewski, “Ten Reasons to Attend the Traditional Latin Mass.”)

This is the Mass that helped spread the Catholic faith in Europe and build Western Civilization.  This is the Mass that inspired magnificent churches and cathedrals all over the world – The Notre Dame in Paris, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, just to name a few.  This is the Mass that inspired brilliant composers, like Mozart, Beethoven, Palestrina, Gounod, whose magnificent music composition we still hear and use today.  This is the Mass that inspired the greatest artists, poets, and writers – Michael Angelo, Raphael, Bernini, Dante, GK Chesterton, JRR Tolkien, etc.   

This Mass is truly extraordinary in its beauty and elaborate ceremonies.  Father Frederick Faber called this Mass “The most beautiful thing this side of heaven.”

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