Dear friends in Christ:
It is with sadness but not without hope for the future that it is announced that Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Joseph parish in Fitchburg will terminate on June 5th. The reasons are of simple practicality and a realistic evaluation of the fact that after almost one year of having the Traditional Latin Mass at this parish, the number of attendees has not increased and is not sufficient to maintain basic expenditures. The various considerations which affect growth, including Mass time, location, and proximity to other Traditional Latin Masses in the diocese may all be considered in our decisions for future directions. We will thus meet after our last Mass on June 5th downstairs in the parish hall (at our community potluck) for discussion and planning. We have been blessed with many resources including a highly trained choir director and full choir, experienced M.C.’s and many trained servers in addition to a congregation with a sincere love of our Catholic liturgical heritage. On an encouraging note, the Vatican has just issued instructions for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum with explanatory notes to be used as guidelines for the establishment of the Extraordinary Form Mass in local parishes. For further reading, see: Universae Ecclesiae
and the explanatory guidelines.
All of us have shared the heart- felt sorrow of the closing of such a beautiful church as Immaculate Conception , and we are very grateful to Father Trainor for welcoming us at St. Jospeh’s. We have also shared much liturgical splendor in giving glory to God in reverential worship, and we express our undying gratitude to Father Phillipson who has shepherded us through the past two years. Let us strive to continue our efforts in promoting the Extraordinary Form Mass in our local parishes and prayerfully seek the will of God.