Archbishop establishes Latin Only Parish in Dayton - Good Idea?

Saw this in the Catholic Telegraph this week

Holy Family Church becomes ‘Latin Only’ parish.

DAYTON DEANERY — Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr has entrusted Holy Family Parish in Dayton to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) for celebration of the Catholic traditional Latin Mass and sacraments in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

Father Mark Wojdelski is the new pastor of the parish, which offers two Sunday Masses, an 8 a.m. low Mass and a 10:30 a.m. high Mass, with weekday Masses offered at 7:15 a.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.

The archbishop’s action establishes the first “Latin-only” parish in southwest Ohio, and only the 13th such parish in the nation.

Offering Mass in the extraordinary form means that parishioners and attendees experience Mass as it was celebrated before the Second Vatican Council, with the tabernacle on the main altar, the priest facing God during Mass, and a rail at which Catholics receive Communion on the tongue. Only priests and deacons administer Communion, there are private confessions before Mass, prayer books are in Latin and English and music includes Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.

Persons wishing to be members of the parish must register with the pastor.

I have to wonder if this is the best idea. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is fine to have a parish that prefers and uses the EF, but I wonder if the establishment of such parishes will prove beneficial in the long run. I say this for two reasons.
First, is that it gives those opposed to the EF an excuse to refuse or obstruct the EF in their home parishes because those interested, “can go to the Latin Only church”.
Second, depending on how well this parish draws members, these same people will point and say, “See there isn’t that much interest”, when in point of fact, factors like distance/costs/convenience, can play a significant role in whether one chooses to attend a church outside fo their home parish.
Third, the establishment of such parishes could potentially (not definitely) lead to a segregation within the Church of “EF” catholics and “OF” catholics. This could lead to greater frictions down the road on policy matters etc.

I don’t say these things will happen, I hope I’m wrong in the fears I express above. It seems to me that the Holy Father wishes for the EF to become more incorporated into parish life on the whole, and not be relegated to some few parishes.

Oh Well, Perhaps it will work out just fine.

What do you guys and gals think. Good idea or bad not?


Well, please allow me to comment, since I have been going to the Latin Masses in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati since the early 1990’s. At first, we in Dayton had to travel to St Monica in Cincinnati about 50 miles away. Then a group got the first Latin Masses organized in Dayton. This was at Holy Family Church, which is the parish that was recently turned over to the FSSP. But it was only twice per month and in the afternoon. Then finally got a weekly Sunday Mass at Holy Family in the morning. But no other Sacraments. On non-interference basis, some Holy Days followed. Then the Latin Mass was moved to Our Lady of the Rosary in Old North Dayton around 2006. Had to compete with the Novus Ordo schedule. Finally ran out of older retired diocesan priests to say the Mass due to illnesses etc. The only solution was to have Fr Wojdelski, FSSP, now the pastor of Holy Family travel each Sunday morning from Indiana where he was an assistant at another FSSP parish. Then Fr Wojdelski was permanantly assigned to Dayton, as the Chaplain of thenewly established Latin Mass Community of Dayton. This was the equivalent of being a pastor, so he could administer all of the sacraments according to the EF. But still had to pay “rent” for the use of Our Lady of the Rosary and compete with their schedules. So you can see the move back to Holy Family Parish this July with the establishment of a Latin only parish has been a Godsend. There are now two Sunday Masses, which allows more scheduling flexibility for families. There is no limitation on any of the traditional sacraments. Also, all of the traditional parish organizations and activities can be formed with no competition for resources. And, all of the money directly goes to the benefit and upkeep of the Parish. Not to mention the fact that Holy Family Parish has been assigned a Parochial Vicar, which means it now has two priests. I don’t know of any Novus Ordo parish in Dayton that has more than one priest now.

I realize what you are saying about EF only parishes. But having a Latin only Parish is a substantial improvement over the past. It’s had to believe how long and how far we have come. And it took about 20 years to do so. We must be patient with small steps. Eventually, some other solutions may turn out to be needed. But for now, we have to be thankful for what we have and what we have been given.

Doesn’t this force NO parishioners to go outside of their parish? I see a form of religious apartheid developing. Separate but equal does not unity produce.

No. No one is forced to go anywhere. If someone is geographically in the parish bounderies of Holy Family and prefers a Mass in the OF, they have the choice to go to another parish just as most of the people IN THE WORLD who prefer the EF are forced to go to another parish. People who do not speak the local language also often go to parishes other than their home parish in order to hear Mass in their own tongue. No difference.

But I think that’s a moot point anyway. It seems from the article that Holy Family will no longer be a geographic parish.

As to the thead title, I have mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I like this arrangement better than having both EF and OF in the same parish. Having both tends to create two seperate parish communities sharing the same buildings.

On the other hand, until there are a whole lot more than 13 in the nation, this might mean that people who want to attend an EF Mass will still be traveling long distances to do so.

Praise be to Almighty God for this beautiful gift.

No partisan of the Novus Ordo has any right to complain about someone’s Mass being taken away. The TLM was taken away for 40 years and no one had any choice about it. Now, in obedience to Pope Benedict XVI, Catholics are at least given the option to worship in the manner which many of us believe is the most reverent. We do not care to see the priest show his back to God, or have God sequestered in a side room, or many other things that abuse the sense of the faithful.

God be praised. This is truly a great blessing.

I attend the TLM at an FSSP TLM parish, actually it’s called a Chaplaincy. Some facts are that it has no geographical boundaries; because it is TLM only the sanctuary and altar are configured correctly, no concessions to the OF arrangement needed; there are no OF/EF conflicts for the priests or parishioners to deal with and programs and education for the parishioners are consistent with TLM practices.

It does appear to be true that the presence of a TLM parish gives an out to the OF parishes not wanting to offer a Latin Mass but who cares, this way we have three Sunday Masses to choose from, one being a Solemn High Mass, and two Low Masses Monday through Saturday. Our parish is South of Denver and if I drew a circle of 10 mile radius from it we would be outnumbered by OF parishes by about 10 to 1 so there is no room for any complaints by those preferring the OF.

I personally would have no concerns over the establishment of this parish. I presume it is a non-territorial parish that serves the entire diocese. However, I trust and would hope that the archbishop will ensure that all parishioners in the former territorial parish are assigned a new territorial parish that can be their proper parish. It seems that this could be achieved by extending the territories of neighbouring territorial parishes to take up the area of this former territorial parish.

And this parish was probably created as a “personal parish”, not a geographic parish. Which means that it has no geographical boundries.

A person could live right next door, but would be within the boundries of a geographic parish.

Another person could live in Youngstown and be a member of that parish.

I believe this is essentially true. The pastor has stated that the only people who live within the new geographical boundaries of Holy Family are himself and the parochial vicar. All of the other former OF members of Holy Family were reassigned to St Mary’s Parish, also on the east side of Dayton. I believe St Mary’s boundaries were extended to most of Holy Family’s territories. Before the transfer, Holy Family and St Mary’s were sharing a pastor anyway. Because of the declining Catholic population of Dayton’s east side, they did not have the resources to keep both buildings open for the OF. So, it is a win/win situation for the whole neigborhood. If someone or a family wants to become an actual member of Holy Family, they have to apply to the pastor. A few of the former Holy Family OF members have opted to join the new EF parish to keep worshiping in their old church.

I’m not sure that this article is entirely correct. According to the website below there are 26 such parishes in the United States. May be some confusion as to how some of these are actually counted though

Not sure from your post, but you may have misunderstood me. I am not complaining about the establishment of the parish. I was merely expressing some concern about the possible effects this might have on the reintigration of the EF into the life of the Church.

It is indeed a blessing.


Thanks to all who have contributed.

Asperges me, a special thanks to you. Good to hear from someone directly involved.
The fact that this was a parish that would possibly/likely have been closed, was a factor I had not considered. I guess we’ve all seen parishes closed lately and it is sad.

I’m down here in Cinci, and use to attend the EF at Sacred Heart Parish just North of Downtown. I wish I still could, but health issues preclude it for the forseeable future. I think that is why I prefer the idea of the EF being more integrated into parish life across the board. That way there would be one closer to home once in awhile that I could maybe get to…Ah well…

Someone mentioned to the idea that a dedicated Church doesn’t have the problems of arrangement that can be a problem in a OF parish. This too is a good point that I had not considered. Where we have the EF here, is a beautiful old Church and has a beautiful high altar as well as a beautiful OF altar. But the mere fact of the OF altar tends to make things a bit crowded in the sanctuary…

Overall though, I agree with the general sentiment that this is a good thing. I hope it is highly successful and perhaps it will encourage Archbishop Schnurr to establish a couple more in the Archdiocese.


Mater Ecclesiae, which was an established EF-only parish in the diocese of Camden, NJ has been around since 2000. It did not have any regional boundaries. We knew people from all over who’d attend mass there and my husband and I attended mass a couple of times, although it was too far away for us.

Since then (or at least since the recent moto proprio), a number of other parishes in the Camden and Philadelphia area have also provided EF masses in addition to their regular OF masses. I don’t know what the parish dynamic is like in OH, but based over here, I don’t think the establishment of an EF-only parish was a bad idea, although when Mater Ecclesiae was originally established regular parishes in the area weren’t doing EF masses at all.

I can reverse your whole argument with OF only parishes. And there are thousands.

I see it as a mixed bag. While on the one hand, it’s nice to have a “safe haven” for the EF, on the other hand some clergy view the fact that there is a “safe haven” as an excuse to avoid anything to do with the EF locally.

In principle, I don’t think “personal parishes” for the EF are a bad idea, but the big problem I have with them is that they are usually not convenient for most people. The idea of having to travel what are, in many cases, large distances, is not appealing to many (myself included).

One way to ease the congestion would be to have one altar, meaning that the OF would also be done ad orientem. :eek: But of course I suppose that would fall into the “wishful thinking” department in most places. :shrug:

We have had a Latin Mass parish in our city for many years.

It seems to work out beautifully. There is still a lot of friendship between the OF parishioners and the TLM parishioners. One of my good friends is a parishioner at the Latin Mass parish (and she’s also a convert from Protestantism, just like me!)

In our city, the people who prefer Latin Mass have other traits in common, too (e.g., big families, home-schooling, remaining comparatively separate from the “world,” not mixing with other Christian sects, etc.), and they enjoy being with others who are like-minded.

It’s nice when people are able to avoid the constant little irritations and controversies that make Mass frustrating for them. One thing I’ve noticed about many of the posters on CAF is that there’s always something about the OF Mass that they just can’t stand. It might be the music, or the noise level in the building, or the dress of their fellow parishioners, or the pastor’s flippancy (at least, in their view). I feel so bad for them when I read about their constant and never-ending quest for a better Mass. It must be miserable to never be able to just relax and experience the Mass.

I often wish that these more sensitive Catholics could find a Mass that is perfect for them, so that they don’t have to spend every Mass grinding their teeth and “offering it up.”

I honestly don’t mind any Mass, and although I recognize that there are occasional irregularities and even the occasional abuse, I don’t get upset about it. This is probably because I am a convert from evangelical Protestantism and have no memory whatsosever of a “traditional Latin Mass.” To me, the current OF Mass is quite ritualistic and old-fashioned.

For those who love the traditional Mass in our city, the Latin Mass parish offers them the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy and relax during Mass, with no worries and fears about hearing a piano or drums or “Gather Us In,” no chance of seeing a young teenaged girls wearing a revealing tank top or a middle-aged gentleman wearing a pair of cut-off shorts, no chance of hearing a priest add on his own personal embellishment to the liturgy, no chance of people chatting about football in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, etc. The Latin Mass parish is a place where Mass is exactly the way they prefer it, with no deviations, abuses, modernities, etc.

Doesn’t that sound heavenly to those of you who wish that Mass could be this way all the time? I know that my friend really loves it there and loves all her fellow parishioners (at the same time, she is very happy to call me a friend, too!).

I am not aware of any problems that have ever arisen from having the Latin Mass parish in our city.

I think it’s wonderful. :slight_smile:

No, it offers them a privilege. An assurance that no liturgical abuses will be weathered. Their faith will be bolstered if they embrace it and stay.

And it’s a metro area. It’s not like those who have been denied the TLM that have had to drive long distances to find one. If they were lucky.

Pope JPII allowed it, and H.H. BXVI has now encouraged it. Let the seeds grow and water them, not trample them.

Let me tell you about the apartheid I experience in my home parish, where we celebrate the OF in the vernacular. There are hundreds of families I never meet because they attend the Spanish Mass with a Spanish-language choir and a Spanish-speaking priest or deacon. This Latino community is thriving in a major metropolis of a border state, and we have added a second Spanish Mass to accommodate them all. Up until a few years ago, we were host to a Korean Catholic community with their own Korean pastor. The only time I saw these people was at the Easter Vigil, when baptisms were performed in three different languages and our choir swelled in numbers when we were joined by Korean violinists and Latino singers who were all very pleasant. It was at this time that I found that many Korean hymns use familiar tunes from English music.

I never met the Korean pastor. I spoke to our Spanish-speaking pastor quite regularly, and since I speak Spanish, I attended a few Spanish Masses. But my volunteer duties keep me squarely in the English-speaking community, and these people are like oil and water. Our Knights of Columbus council used to host a monthly pancake breakfast, but when the second Spanish Mass was inserted into the Sunday schedule, the non-Latino population was fragmented and unable to attend, while the Latinos were unwilling to attend; culturally they prefer to spend Sundays with their family and not in community. After some effort to widen appeal and increase patronage, our pancake breakfasts were cancelled outright.

Many devotions find the Latino community well-represented. Our biggest events are bilingual but fairly rare. The Latino community is strong and growing, with many young families, while many on the other side of the fence are well past retirement - a Newman Center nearby soaks up all the young adults.

Long story short, there are two parishes in one building and the thing that divides us is language. We both worship reverently and we hear orthodox homilies but we rarely do it together.

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