Traditional Catholic Community established in PA


Readers of this forum will be interested in this article published in **The Catholic Witness **(November 23, 2007) which is the publication of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. Is this the first creation of such a group?

Mater Dei Community Established in Diocese by Jen Reed

On Sunday, November 18, Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes announced that the community of the faithful which worships at St. Lawrence Chapel of the Cathedral Parish in Harrisburg according to the missal of the Blessed John XXIII (The Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite) would be called the Mater Dei (Mother of God) Community and would be established as a chaplaincy, effective on the First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2.

Members of this community participate in the celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal, commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a community of Roman Catholic priests dedicated to the celebration of the sacraments using the 1962 liturgical norms, will provide chaplains for the Community. Father Frank Parrinello has been appointed the first chaplain and will reside at the Rectory of St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.

Father Parrinello will celebrate Sunday and daily Masses as well as other sacraments for the Mater Dei community at St. Lawrence Chapel in Harrisburg. Catholics who regularly attend the rites according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII may choose to register as members of the Mater Dei Community or may choose to remain members of their own territorial parishes.

Celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in the Dioceses of Harrisburg was initially approved in 1984 by then-Bishop William Keeler, shortly after Pope John Paul II granted bishops to permit celebration of Mass in their dioceses. In 2005, Bishop Rhoades extended approval of the monthly Mass, which hade been effect since 1968, to a weekly Sunday Mass. His official recognition of the *Mater Dei *Community comes on the heels of Pope Benedict XVI’s July 2007 apostolic letter *Summorum Pontificum *which provides norms for the use of the Roman Missal of Blessed John XXIII and specifically includes the possibility of Bishops appointing chaplains for the liturgical celebrations according to that Missal.

According to Father Parrinello, the community which worships at St. Lawrence, currently consists of some 200 faithful.

Father Parrinello expressed his appreciation of Bishop Rhoades’ invitation to serve as chaplain of the community and noted the significance of its official recognition.

He said the members of the Community will “have a sense of stability and continuity” as well as a spiritual home for such future activities such as community activities and religious education for their children.

The Mater Dei Community will be an apostolate within the Diocesan Secretariat for Catholic Evangelization.


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