The end of traditional masses announced in the diocese of Savannah (USA)

The end of traditional masses announced in the diocese of Savannah (USA)

In the diocese of Savannah (Georgia, USA), Bishop Stephen Parkes announces that the traditional masses of his diocese will be celebrated for one more year (May 20, 2023) and that this period is a transition “to the mass celebrated in accordance with the decrees of the Council Vatican II”

A year ago, Pope Francis published a motu proprio entitled Traditionis custodes, which gave guidelines for the celebration of the Eucharist according to the Roman Missal of 1962. My first response to these guidelines was shared in a letter to the faithful on November 4, 2021. The following month, the Vatican asked bishops wishing to continue the celebration of the Mass according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 in their diocese to request authorization.

After prayer and discernment, I wrote to the Congregation for Divine Worship (now the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) in mid-April requesting permits for specific parish churches in our diocese. At the end of May, I received a response from Rome containing the following:

  • The Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 may be celebrated at the parish of the Sacred Heart
  • in Savannah on a weekly basis until May 20, 2023.

Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal may be celebrated in the parishes of Most Holy Trinity in Augusta, St. Joseph in Macon and St. Anthony of Padua in Ray City on a monthly basis until May 20, 2023.

* In application of the authorizations granted by the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, please note that the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 will no longer be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist from Sunday. On August 7, 2022, Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Parish (1707 Bull Street, Savannah) at 1 p.m. Sunday. I am confident that Sacred Heart Parish provides a suitable place of worship and that the leadership of the parish will be attentive to the pastoral needs of those attending the 1 p.m. Mass.

I am grateful to the Dicastery for having granted the above authorizations so that the Masses according to the Roman Missal of 1962 can continue to be celebrated for another year. Since my appointment as Bishop, I have attended Masses celebrated with this Missal, and I recognize the respect and beauty of these liturgies. I am also aware that the eventual cessation of these masses will be difficult for many faithful of our diocese. Please know my pastoral concern for you, together with Father Allan McDonald (Episcopal Delegate for Mass in Extraordinary Form), the priests who celebrate these Masses will accompany the faithful in the months to come as the transition is made to Mass celebrated in accordance with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council.

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