Dec 16, 2008

Anglican Use Catholic Mass in Kansas City

Kirk Kramer whom everybody knows (as I once proved when I asked a group of European pilgrims whether anyone knew Kirk] sent this message on the Anglican Use Mass in Kansas City. I was reminded of the Anglican Use Catholic parish, Our Lady of the Atonement, in north San Antonio, TX which impressed me very favorably a few years ago with their beautiful church. Their Anglican Use Solemn High Mass involves the use of incense, bells, a full procession, and Sacred Music from both the traditional Latin and English Catholic heritage.

A former Anglican pastor, now a married Catholic priest, also came into my thoughts after reading Kirk's email. Fr. Bob McElwee is well known for blessing motorcycles in southeast Kansas and for the words on his business card, "When I'm not riding, I'm guiding." Last March this pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Frontenac, KS invited a FSSP priest into his 'high liturgical' Kansas church for several days to explain and offer the old Latin Mass. Fr. McElwee is a rare priest who insures that his Adoration Chapel is open 24 hours a day to pray in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Here's Kirk's letter about the Anglican Use Mass in Kansas City.
Friends in Kansas City & environs:

A friend sent me a link to the website of the Kansas City, Missouri, diocesan newspaper a few days ago. On it I saw this notice:

After reading it I called the pastor at St Therese, Fr Davis, & had a good chinwag with him. He told me that he will celebrate Mass according to the Anglican Use every Sunday at 11:15.

Most Catholics know that Pope John Paul established the "Pastoral Provision" for married convert clergymen so that ex-Anglican & Episcopalian parsons who become Catholics can be dispensed from clerical celibacy & ordained priests. A less known part of the Pastoral Provision is the possibility of using a modified form of the Book of Common Prayer at Mass.

Next to the King James Bible, nothing has formed our rich & delicate language so deeply as the language of the Prayer Book. If that is what had been meant 40 years ago by "the vernacular" after Vatican II, many of the Church's current liturgical woes might have been avoided.

The music at Anglican Use parishes is from the 1940 hymn book & Anglican chant, and is consistently at a high standard.

A few years ago I nearly moved to Fort Worth to take a job in a library. The attraction of living there was a whole parish, St Mary the Virgin, devoted to the Anglican Use.

This note is just meant to make you aware of this development. I wish we had the chance to worship in this way on a regular basis. The nearest Anglican Use parish to Washington is in Scranton, which I have visited a few times.

More information about the Anglican Use Society is available on their website:

Blessed Advent,

Kirk Kramer