With all the vindications of tradition coming from Rome
these days—from the liberation of the Latin Mass to the
crackdown of the LCWR nuns with all their ideas of what
the Catholic Church should be doing—it is little wonder
that certain hyper-liberal forces in the Church are
starting to become panicky, even frightened, that just
maybe the Catholic laity will actually begin opening
their eyes to what has been happening for the last
40-something years. Hope is one of the theological
virtues, of course, and Pope Benedict XVI has given
traditionalists a lot to hope for. We can see that at
least superficially things may be starting to turn
I personally do not attend the Novus Ordo Mass, but I
sometimes visit Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West St.
Paul, Minnesota, where I pray the rosary in Spanish in a
small area near the back of the chapel within a
devotional area dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic church that only
offers the Novus Ordo Mass and Sacraments. It boldly
displays the blueprints on a back wall of what appear to
be the destruction of its original high altar. It is a
somewhat small church with a flat roof, no communion
rails, no confessional and is located next to a city
dump or recycling center. However, on Sunday mornings
the church is packed so full there is not much room to
stand. I am told there are anywhere from 2 to 3 hundred
faithful there at each Mass.
So what’s going on at this parish, located in one of St.
Paul’s largest Hispanic neighborhoods? Well it is packed
out mostly with families of first-generation Catholic
immigrants. Its current pastor is a somewhat bilingual
Fr. Kevin Kenney, who was recently made vicar of Latino
Ministry by Archbishop John Niendstedt.
For those readers who aren’t familiar with Latino
culture, it is important to understand that there are
many traditional Catholic practices still evident in
their culture and many things that present actual
barriers to America’s decadent pop culture. For example,
devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the Rosary, wearing the
brown scapular, burning blessed candles, and much more.
That’s why it is shocking for me to see some of the
truly sad things going on at Our Lady of Guadalupe these
This afternoon, for example, I spoke briefly with Fr.
Kenney to ask him if the children receiving First
Communion this coming Saturday could kneel while
receiving. He said: “No. The Church says no.” He then
went on to say to me that it says so right in the
general instruction in the Roman Missal. Because I was
recording him I decided not to state that I believe he
is wrong on this point, especially since receiving Holy
Communion while standing has never been the custom in
Also the children will be receiving Holy Communion under
both species much like the Protestants do. During a
practice I saw taking place in the church tonight there
were two women standing at the side of Fr. Kenney
waiting for each child to approach. Father Kenney would
administer the host while the women would present the
chalice to the children. One child during the practice
knelt and Fr. Kenney actually refused to give him the
practice host, asking him to first stand.
By the way, and hardly surprisingly, also during the
practice he referred to the Mass as a “cena”—the Spanish
word for meal. Par for the course, of course. So on
Saturday next 91 children will be making their First
Communion in this manner at Our Lady of Guadalupe
church, and on Sunday 70 more. According to Fr. Kenney,
they all must receive Holy Communion while standing
because, well, the Church says so.
Two of the children making their First Communion this
Saturday, by the way, have been attending the
traditional Mass with their families at the SSPX chapel
here in Minnesota. They told me that they prefer the
old Mass because it is more respectful, which hearkens
back to the Latino culture’s overall respect for the
sacred. The children described their first
as having to sit at a table while being forced to look
Fr. Kenney in the eyes. Needless to say, they indicated
to me that they like Confession much more in the
traditional form with a confessional for kneeling. (I
wonder if the Church also says we must not kneel for
As I was leaving the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
this evening, I couldn’t help but notice a brochure for
the Shriner hospital, complete with a photo of a man
wearing a fez cap embroidered with Masonic symbols. I
remember my grandmother telling me years ago that when
she was young Catholics were not allowed to go to the
Shrine Circus because of its association with the
anti-Catholic Freemasons. That was a long time ago.
If the Masons plan on attacking Catholic culture through
what Archbishop Lefebvre termed enculturation, I think
we have a pretty good idea of the ethnicity of at least
one of their largest target groups.
Let’s pray to the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe to
intercede for us in favor of the restoration of Catholic
tradition in this church and all the Catholic churches
of the world.