Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Meanwhile in Portland...

Great interview by Jim Graves with Portland, Oregon Archbishop Alexander Sample in Catholic World Report. He was the youngest active bishop in the U.S. when he was so ordained at age 45; ten years later, he is the nation's youngest archbishop.

The whole article is a good read; note especially how Portland, like the Diocese of Reno, has few churchgoers of any denomination, let alone Catholicism. For our purposes. here's an excerpt from His Excellency:
Some have said that the sacred liturgy is my personal hang up, that I have an obsession with it. I reject that view, because it’s not merely my opinion that the liturgy be given the highest priority, but that of the Church. 
The Church teaches us that the liturgy is the “source and summit” of the Church’s life [in Sacrosanctum Concilium]. There is nothing more important that the Church does. All our apostolic works flow from it. It is the heart of who we are as the body of Christ. [...] 
I want to do what the Church wants us to do in regards to liturgy. It is not my take, or my style, but what the Church is asking of us. I want to be faithful to what the Vatican II Council intended. 
The liturgy is not the personal possession of any priest or liturgical commission, but belongs to Holy Mother Church. We must celebrate it according to the mind and heart of the Church. 
Sacred music forms an important part of that liturgy. I hope, in time and with patience, to address this topic with our clergy and lay leaders.
Graves also asked Archbishop Sample about recently celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form during a conference at a monastery:
We have [a] wonderful group of lay people in our archdiocese with an interest in Gregorian chant who put this conference together. They wanted to introduce Gregorian chant to the people in accordance with the mind of the Church. Vatican II, in fact, indicated that chant should enjoy "pride of place" in the liturgy [in Sacrosanctum Concilium]. 
The conference organizers wanted to experience Gregorian chant within the liturgy and asked me to celebrate the Mass there according to the Extraordinary Form. I had no hesitation to do so when I was asked. 
I’m grateful to Pope Benedict for allowing the Extraordinary Form to flourish again in the Church. I have a great love and appreciation for the ancient liturgy. I wish every priest and seminarian would familiarize himself with the Extraordinary Form, which can help us to better understand the Ordinary Form.
Oh, did I mention His Excellency had previously been the bishop of Marquette, Michigan? He laid the groundwork for what took place there recently.

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