A Traditionalist in College. . . .

Hello again – it’s me, ParvaDei.

I’m writing this because I have started going to a public university, and I’ve found that while the parish is starting to become more orthodox (since they’ve recently come out of a funk of theological liberalism with a new set of more faithful priests :thumbsup:), I still feel like the odd one out.

This is because I’m practically the only college student who veils and prefers more TLM-like liturgical praxis. (That isn’t to say that I will join LifeTeen/Taizé-esque college ministry activities if those are the only equivalents in the area, but I feel out of place. :frowning: The only place I seem to fit in is either at the church’s Chant Mass or the Masses with the non-folk-style hymns.)

And please note a few things: the nearest TLM is two hours away (and I don’t have a car), and if anyone is going to post something about me switching to Christendom (or the like – even out of jest), I go to that particular university because of money issues and because of the quality of its research programs and faculty.

So, what should I do (besides go to the Ordinary Form on Sundays, etc.)? I don’t want to feel like I’m the only traditionalist Catholic in the university. . . .

Can you try and get them to celebrate EF mass once in a while? It takes a few people to get the ball rolling. Talk to the parish priest, see what he thinks. Talk to fellow Catholics and get them interested. Apart from that, I don’t know what to advise. Last time I checked there is no EF mass in here Malaysia so I know exactly how you feel… :wink:

Do you personally know that you are the only one with more traditional leanings? Just because you are the only one who veils does not mean you are the only one who would appreciate more traditional modes of worship. I would start by looking around at those who attend the chant and non-folk-masses, maybe start trying to get to know them alittle better, see if any of them would be interested in getting together to pray the rosary once a week, or getting involved in a bible study, maybe trying to get adoration going once in a while. Even if people aren’t all out traditionalists they can enjoy more traditional forms of worship. If you could get a prayer group going with a more traditional feel to it maybe you wouldn’t feel so left out anymore even if no-one else has your exact preferences. :slight_smile:

Why not try to start your own local TLM (Traditional Latin Mass) group? Ask around, find out if there is an Opus Dei group near you. You need to identify some like minded people who would support such a liturgy.

Talk to your local priests and see if any of them might be willing to say the Latin Mass.

One caveat: Guard against giving the impression that traditionalists are somehow “more Catholic” than other Catholics. Arrogance turns people off.

Do you know of the traditionalist vlogger “She is Catholic”? She is very encouraging and she has a video of her experience at college.


I want to make sure that I am understanding you correctly. What I hear you saying is that the church you are attending now ner your campus HAS a Chant Mass, and also a Mass with traditional (non-folk) hymns.

Is that correct?

Thank you.

Just on a side note, there are one place that celebrates the EF mass in kuala lumpur, but I am sure you wont be interested, as the chapel belongs to SSPX, and there is another chapel in Kota Kinabalo, so now you know the EF is celebrated here in Malaysia :wink:

Sounds like a tough place to be. Pray that God will make this seemingly barren time fruitful. Try to get to Benediction if you can, it’s a comfort when the local Mass is unappealing. Keep close to your rosary and try the Little Office.

My college years were similarly frustrating. I let it make me angry. I pray you don’t. God has wonderful plans for you

Well, it doesn’t seem like there’s an Opus Dei group down here in Central VA, so I’m not sure I can take that option. And on your caveat, thanks for that – I was personally on the butt end of that too, and that was before I began to see that I fell more into a Traditionalist spirituality on my own, so I know how others would feel in that situation (and as much as I’m out of place in this parish, my parents would feel as out of place in the TLM).

Yeah, I’ve seen her on her vlog – she’s great, I agree! :smiley:

Yup – they actually sing Dominican chant at the early-morning Mass, and there is a traditional hymn Mass after that (still early-in-the-morning). Those I’m okay with for the time being. But they also have a folk Mass right before noon, and it’s not my style, let’s say. :slight_smile:

Oh, by the way, I meant to say that I would join LifeTeen/Taizé-esque stuff if that was the only option. (That was a typo, folks! I don’t want to go into all out heresy here!) :blush:

Curiousity questions - are you in Richmond or Arlington? Are you attending a campus ministry or the local college-town parish? PM me if you’d prefer.

My daughter just started college in VA and is very happy with the options at the campus ministry. I don’t know if any one veils (she does not), but the priest is very orthodox, they have regular confession times (more than once a week), the group is active with rosary, adoration, retreats, etc.

Here’s my “mommy” answer: :smiley:

I’m sorry if the Mass you prefer from the choices offered is early. Get up and go, or if you sleep in, offer up going to the Mass you don’t like as much.

Have you been to the activities offered yet? Do you really know what they are like? If you’ve attended and find them too mod for your tastes, have you investigated whether other activities are offered but maybe not advertised as much? Even if activities aren’t billed as “young adult/college” things, go if you think the activity is what you are lokking for.

School just started, not quite a month ago, so 1) more things may be offered as the year goes on 2) now is the time to get new stuff started! :stuck_out_tongue: If there isn’t Adoration, ask the priest you can organize a Holy Hour. Get a few folks together to say the rosary once a week, or say Vespers together, or learn about Lectio .

Maybe there isn’t enough interest for an EF every week now (and may be the priest won’t have the time to learn), and you may stay the only person who veils, but you can do other things to bring tradional practices to your campus group.

I think you’re wasting your time worrying about stuff that will not get you any closer to Christ. I would suggest you use your college experience to grow in your faith by truly living out your Catholicism among the people you will be encountering, and focus your heart on the five essentials, which all authentic Catholics should live by:

#1. Read the Bible. The Primacy of the Word of God must hold a place above all devotions, above all books and before all Church documents.

#2. Devotions to saints and all sorts of private devotions are wonderful, but above all, devotion to Jesus Christ must be at center of a Catholic’s life.

#3. We must have an encounter with God— an experience of knowing and trusting God as our Father, and regardless of what happens in our life, nothing will separate us from the love of our Father in Heaven.

#4. We must live within our community, with the mentality of conversing, supporting, and helping one another, by knowing the people whom we encounter, and maturing within our community–not separated from one another in a false piety and selfish self-sanctification apart from others.

#5. All Catholics must be missionaries— living the spirit of the mission—with our face toward the mission of sharing the riches of grace and truth which God has bestowed on us for the good of those who thirst and are starving for the truth and goodness of Christ.

Our love for Christ must grow and be within us as a hunger and thirst which can only be satiated and quenched with Christ in the Eucharist whether or not it is in a Latin Mass or the ordinary Mass. Thus, it makes no sense to drive 2 hours to go to the Latin Mass if you have a valid Eucharist minutes away from you. Jesus is there just the same.

If you do join a few groups, you will probably be able to find at least 2-3 friends who are like-minded.

Why not get a group together to travel to a TLM once a month or so? Have lunch after, make it a fun occasion!

I actually live in the Diocese of Richmond & going to a university parish, actually (it’s a bit of a parish/campus-ministry hybrid): I’m a transplant from the Diocese of Arlington, so I’m having a bit of a culture-shock, going from OF to TLM and back to OF (but not the kind that I’m used to up in NoVA). :blush:

And in general, I’m not really planning to go to a TLM 2 hours away. . . I really don’t think it’s worth the time either, especially since the new priests are instituting new programs such as Perpetual Adoration on Wednesdays, and they have regular Confession times too (except I have a weird schedule, so it doesn’t always work out). And I know two things: whether it’s an OF or an EF, they’re all valid, and I know the priests are trying their best to bring this once-wayward parish back into the fold again – plus they’re way too nice. :slight_smile: (Oh, and yes, I’m getting involved in church: I actually found a prayer group and some other ministries that I’m interested in, so I think I’m good there. :D)

I’m just writing this because I was afraid that I would be the only person with TLM sympathies in my parish, and while I know this is technically a non-essential thing, even I don’t want to be sticking out like a sore thumb in my veil sometimes (although I do it anyway). :shrug:

Might as well end this thread since the situation isn’t going to change anyway. Thanks to y’all for your advice, and keep praying for me. It’s a long road up ahead. . . .


Thanks for letting me know. I’ll PM you.

Thank you for clarifying.

I agree with this post and with Gabriel Serafin’s post.

One of the most important lessons you can learn is that life will not always go your way. When it does, rejoice. But when it doesn’t, rejoice anyway.

If you can learn THIS lesson in college, you will have learned a major key to happiness and fulfilment in this life. Many people do not learn this lesson, and they spend their lives never content, always searching for happiness and fulfilment. So sad. Don’t be that way.

It seems to me that you have a pretty good deal in your campus Catholic Masses. At least there is a chant Mass. Be grateful, and join in wholeheartedly, and don’t pine for what you can’t have. Always remember to enjoy what you have while you have it, because in an instant, it can be taken away from you (and replaced with a rock Mass!).

As for your veiling–frankly, I don’t think most college students will care. College students are usually very willing to allow people to be themselves. This is different than the teen years–in high school, there is a lot of peer pressure to be like everyone else. But this starts to change in college, and most college students admire individuality.

My feeling is that as long as you do not look down upon those who don’t veil and have a stand-offish, “holier-than-thou” attitude, all the other students will be just fine with your practice. In fact, some of the young women may decide that it’s cool and decide to join you.

As as Mrs. Sally suggested, by getting involved and maintaining a charitable outlook and engaging personality, you may convince the campus Catholic group to incorporate other traditional practices.

In addition to attending Mass, perform works of mercy perhaps? Can you minister to non-traditional Catholics? Since you feel like the only one around, there should be plenty of other people you can minister to. Or Protestants or others? If you can, there’s a world of hurting people out there who need you. I’d bet your parish there has outreach. I would check that out.

Oh sweetie, I know what you mean by culture-shock! I will be praying for you!


listen to the whole song or you won’t understand the point it’s not what it first seems.

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