Tuesday 11 December 2012

We Report: Immaculate Conception Mass at St. Joseph's, Mississauga

Bordering Toronto’s western boundary is the City of Mississauga which means in Anishinaabe – the language of the aboriginal people of this area, “those at the great river mouth.” It reminds one of Canada’s motto on its Coat of Arms from the 72nd Psalm, "Et dominabitur ‘a mari usque ad mare,’ et a flumine usque ad terminos terrae"  At the most westerly church in the Archdiocese of Toronto and one dedicated to St. Joseph, Canada’s Patron Saint, over 450 people gathered on the feast of the Immaculate Conception  to give glory to God and to honour the great Patron’s Immaculate Spouse with the celebration of a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

This was the first Solemn Mass in the "Old Rite" in this City of over 700,000 in almost half a century. The pastor of St. Joseph’s Church is a very dedicated and welcoming priest and in September 2011 a Missa Cantata was held there on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the parish was used for the first Anglican-Use Mass celebrated in Canada the previous March during a diocesan conference on the Anglican Ordinariate. Built in the early 1990’s the church is typical of its time but it has undergone a beautification using high quality altar-ware, frontals and tabernacle veils, vestments, beautiful statues, colour and stenciling and of course, adherence to the rubrics of the GIRM in the Ordinary Form - there is here, truly a love of the holy liturgy. The choir is, without a doubt, the most skilled and most liturgically correct of any Catholic parish in Mississauga; they utilise the Propers in English and Latin for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Parish Book of Chant and polyphony. Last year, the parish and its pastor hosted a Chant Workshop with Father Samuel Weber, O.S.B.

After Mass, a woman remarked to the Pastor, that “it was as if we were transported to heaven.” A young Altar Server told of dozens of people coming to receive Holy Communion with tears in their eyes, some were quivering. When these kinds of comments are heard, it is a joyful but incredibly humbling experience for all involved with this work at the Toronto Traditional Mass Society—Una Voce Toronto and it reaffirms to us all, why it is that we do this work.

A great blessing to Toronto was the erection, almost 35 years ago, of the Toronto Oratory of St. Philip Neri who began celebrating the Usus Antiquior under the former indult, only the second in the entire Archdiocese of Toronto the first being said by a kind and humble priest that was once alone in this work. He is still going strong with two Masses on Sunday at nearly 80 and the Oratorians celebrate daily in their primary parish, on Sundays in their second and within their various chapels at the Oratory and St. Philip’s Seminary.

The former Cardinal Ambrozic, rejected our repeated request to invite the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to Toronto.  The Society was joyous when Archbishop, now Cardinal Collins acceded to our request and invited the FSSP to Toronto. The Fraternity, shabbily treated whist here, left Toronto after a short 19-month Apostolate and it was up to the laity to pick up the pieces to ensure that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite was brought far and wide. In the months since then, the Society has organised Sung or Solemn Masses on Corpus Christi, Assumption, Holy Cross, Christ the King, Immaculate Conception, Epiphany, Candlemas, Ascension, All Saints and All Souls and we are now in our second year of doing this. These Masses have been celebrated in parish churches and even the beautiful chapel at Loretto Abbey where we will return next year for the Ascension of the Lord. We are deeply grateful for the five Priests and even the Permanent Deacon who have helped us to fill the vital need of the faithful. The Cardinal Archbishop has also ensured that the former indult/FSSP apostolate was moved to a beautiful church with a Chaplain appointed and now the Mass is there daily as well in the eastern part of Toronto, known as Scarborough.

The Toronto Traditional Mass Society-Una Voce Toronto was established in 2004 and is a Chapter of Canada’s original Member of FIUV, the International Una Voce Federation. We have a strong, united and elected Board of Directors and we continue to grow our membership and acquire liturgical items including custom made catafalque candles, vestments and Missals and altar-ware. As a registered charity we have raised funds and provide financial support and stipends to seminarians at home and those from the Archdiocese studying abroad having a devotion and commitment to the full expression of the Roman Rite. Given our own statutes to aid the suffragan dioceses of the Toronto Metropolitan See where no organised laity is formed, we are working in the Diocese of London and this coming Saturday at St. Patrick’s in Kinkora we are assisting with the organisation of a “Rorate” Mass at 5:30 A.M.

For more information or to support our work we invite you to visit www.unavocetoronto.com (which you will shortly find, re-constructed) or write us at unavocetoronto@gmail.com.

Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
Regularly Scheduled Masses in the Archdiocese of Toronto

St. Patrick’s Church
91 Church Street,
Sunday at 9:00 A.M.
Read Mass with Music

Toronto Oratory Church of St. Vincent de Paul
63 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
Sunday at 9:30 A.M.
Read Mass

Toronto Oratory Church of the Holy Family
1372 King Street West, Toronto
Sunday at 11:00 A.M
Solemn Mass (Sept-May)
Sung Mass (June-July)
Read Mass (August)
Monday to Friday 11:30 A.M.
Saturday 8:30 A.M.

Carmel of the Infant Jesus
12519 2nd Concession Road, Zephyr
Sundays at 11:30 A.M.
Read Mass

St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church
2210 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto (Scarborough)
Sunday at 1:00 P.M.
Read Mass with Music
Monday to Wednesday at 11:00 A.M.
Thursday at 7:00 A.M.
Friday at 7:00 P.M.
Saturday at 10:00 A.M.

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