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Latin mass at Abbey offers insight into church heritage

Abbot James Albers and St. Benedict’s Abbey officially announced the addition of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to the Abbey’s weekend Mass schedule, starting on October 3.   

The Abbey offers this Mass every Sunday at 8:00 AM that students are on campus. Celebrants of this form are Abbot James, Fr. Jay and Fr. Gabriel.  

The Latin Mass is an ancient form of worship in the Catholic Church. This form of Mass is different from the form usually celebrated. It is still the same Mass that is still celebrated by Catholics around the world daily.  

The Extraordinary Form of the Mass is almost entirely in Latin, a language that is steeped deep into the history of Catholicism due to the Church’s Roman roots.  

Another distinction between the two forms of the Mass is that the priest does not face the congregation, but instead will face the same way as the congregation to worship God with them.  

This decision comes after much deliberation between the Monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey and Archbishop Naumann of Archdioceses in Kansas City, Kansas. 

Fr. Jay Kythe, OSB noted that the monks see the need for this form on campus. He went on to explain that this has been a decision that has been in the works for quite a while. 

“It’s been an observation we’ve had for a long time. Students will leave our campus on Sunday mornings to go to Mass elsewhere,” Kythe said.  

Fr. Jay elaborated on how students are of course welcome to worship as they see fit, but at the same time he wants every student at Benedictine College to feel at home on campus and in the Abbey.  

Fr. Jay went on to say that he wants every student to listen to the heart of the monks.  

“We have a great desire to love them (the students), and to love them here.”  He continued saying “We’re working hard for students, and we want to love them in this way,” Kythe said. 

Fr. Jay views this new opportunity as a way to have better pastoral care for the students who felt like they had to leave and go elsewhere to find this form of the Mass. 

Fr. Luke Turner, OSB, although he will not be celebrating the Extraordinary Form of The Mass for right now, was also trained on the form.  He reflected on a Mass he attended in 2010 when he was contemplating returning to the Abbey.   

“I’ll never forget that Sunday Mass, I thought it was just gorgeous.  That was such an important part of my desire to return here, was the beauty of The Liturgy.”  He continued to say “Of course that’s kind of the encounter that we want to invite everybody to,” Turner said. 

Fr. Luke and Fr. Jay wanted to clarify that the Abbey took all necessary steps to be able to celebrate this Mass in accordance with the Holy Fathers new guidelines.   

The new Motu Proprio, published by the Pope Francis, put some new limitations on the Celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  

The Monks invite everyone to experience this new endeavor. This form of Mass is meant for the students, and will only be available on Sundays that students are present.   

This mass will be celebrated in the Abbey Church. Provided at the mass are booklets to guide those that attend that are unfamiliar with the Extraordinary Form of Mass.  

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