Question about Holy Orders and the TLM

I am considering a religious vocation. I do not think God has the sacrament of matrimony planned for me. I have considered priesthood, but I think I would be better suited as Trappist Monk (not just because of the beer, but partly so, also because I enjoy contemplative prayer).

I prefer the Tridentine Latin Mass, although I never learned latin. If I were to become a priest, would I have to receive special training to be able to perform it? How much longer would that take? Do priests get to choose which parish they will serve, or is it like the marines where you have no choice where you’re placed?

I believe the NO mass is valid, it is just not for me. If I were to become a priest and become forced to say that type of mass, this would be a very strong deterrent NOT to become a priest. Thank you for your help.

Also how long does it take before a priest can validly administer the sacraments?

If you would like to just celebrate the TLM if you become a priest, you may want to check out the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King Soverign Priest.

They are societies dedicated to saying the TLM and can answer your questions about the necessary training.

You may wish to consider both of the following religious orders of priests and brothers:

Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (traditional Redemptorists):

Traditional Carmelite Monks:

Several things to consider. There is a difference between being a Priest in a diocesan capacity and one as part of a religious order or congregation. First of all, a diocesan Priest does not get to decide which parish he will serve in. A Bishop may or may not allow the Priest to have input, but it is ultimately the Bishop’s decision where the Priest goes. And a Priest cannot refuse this; a Priest promises obedience to his Ordinary at ordination and this promise is renewed each year at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday.

If you want to become a Trappist monk (or join any religious order) remember that you enter to be a religious, not a Priest. If the community requires a Priest for its internal sacramental life, and if your superiors decide that you will fulfill that role, then you may ordained a Priest. You have no right, though, to request or demand this honor of service. Also, as a religious Priest you must obey your superiors (a vow taken by all religious), and this obedience is even more morally binding than that promised by diocesan Priests (vows are always more morally binding than promises). Thus, your superiors may not give permission to use the older Missal. You basically give up your personal will when you take the vow of obedience and you do what you are told, period. Also, certain religious orders have unique properties in the way they do the Liturgy (sometimes these are hundreds of years old, nothing really new about them).

The F.S.S.P. and the I.C.R.S.S. are the only two religious congregations in the Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope that exclusively use the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. But, even though they use the older Missal, they must never declare the current Missal invalid, illicit, or insult it.

And, in conclusion, as soon as a man is ordained to the Priesthood he can validly administer the Sacraments, according to Canon Law. I say according to Canon Law because some Sacraments require an explicit commission from the Bishop (like Confession or Confirmation) and some are reserved to the Episcopate (like Holy Orders). How long a man is in formation for the priesthood varies, but generally about an additional 4-6 years past the undergraduate education level in the Latin rite.

If the plan is to be in the US, I don’t think the Trappists are the "order of the day " (pun intended). The one Trappist (OCSO) Abbey that I am aware of that has reverted to the traditional Cistercian Rite is Mariawald in Germany. For the US one might consider the Benedictine Abbey at Clear Creek.

What does your spiritual director say?

What does your vocation director say?

This is 100% correct. If a man joins us (mendicants and monks) he does not decide if he is ordained or not. Christ calls through the brothers. The man may request Holy Orders, after he has made solemn vows until death. Christ may deny the request through a vote by the brothers, which is then confirmed by the Abbot (in case of monks) or the Pronvicial Superior (in case of mendicants).

For monks and mendicants, religious life has primacy over Holy Orders. To us, Holy Orders is an accident that we can live with or without. The value and holiness of the consecrated life does not depend on holy orders. Our ministries do not depend on Holy Orders. We were not founded to be orders of priests. Originally we never trained men to be priests. They had to be ordained before they joined us. Today, we have been given permission to train men to be priests.

Once we allow a man to be ordained, this is not a guarrantee that he will perform any priestly functions. That is determined by the superior of the house. I lead a house of five men. One is a priest. He is only allowed to celebrate mass for the brothers. He may never hear confessions, baptize, witness marriages, bury the dead or any other sacramental ministries, except in case of emergency. This is also true for the Cistercians. They perform only those priestly ministries that are allowed by the Abbot.

As to the form of the mass, the Holy Father was very clear in Summorum Pontificum. Religious do not have the right to celebrate the Extraordinary Form unless it is given to them by common law (the rule and constitutions of their institute).

If you want to a moanstic and EF community, the Sons of the Holy Redeemer are such a community. The Canons of St. John Cantius are not monks. The FSSP are not consecrated men. They are secular. They are a fraternal society of priests, not a congregation or order. If you join the Sons of the Holy Redeemer, the same rule applies to them as to the other monastic and mendicant orders. You cannot expect to be a priest. They are not a community of priests. They are monks. You may be a priest, if the superior and the community believe that Christ calls you. You may also be denied the priesthood.

If you’re thinking of religious life, it is important that you enter because you want to be a religous more than you want to be a priest. If you are denied Holy Orders, you will be very unhappy.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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