Ad Orientum

In a previous assignment I served the good people of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa, FL. It is a beautiful church in its cathedral-like construction dating back to the early 1900s. One Sunday morning with the 10:30 am Mass just complete, I was standing out on the front sidewalk greeting people. At that point a clearly agitated man came up to me and in a rather loud and demanding voice, wanted to know why I had not celebrated the Mass in Latin. The person was not a parishioner. He was a tourist and a guest of our fair city. I explained it was not something that had been asked for by the parish and then offered the two places nearby in which a Latin Mass would be celebrated. At that point the man offered that I was probably “too stupid to learn Latin.” I should have said, “Potesne Latine loqui?” (Pretty sure the question would have been received with a blank stare) Instead, I quietly replied that I was old enough to have served as an altar boy in the Latin Mass and was familiar. In no uncertain terms he questioned my honesty, at which point the ushers removed him from the sidewalk and requested he move along. I guess I should thank my maternal genetics – mom never looked her age either. Continue reading