Wilmington Traditional Latin Mass

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be offered at St. Mary's Shrine (5th and Ann Sts.) in Wilmington, NC on the FOURTH Sunday of each month at 7 p.m.

Please make all donations payable to:
The Diocese of Raleigh
In the lower left-hand "memo" section, please write "The Extraordinary Form Ministry"


Click here to see "which Sunday" it is (The Proper of Seasons).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Shame Of The Marines
Not starring John Garfield

First off, let it be known this posting is my personal opinion, and that of no one else.

On with the show.

I'm disappointed -- VERY DISAPPOINTED -- with my fellow Marines up in Camp Lejeune. We Marines have always prided ourselves with our stickler adherence (bordering on the psychotic and OCD) to the history, customs and traditions of The Corps.

Ask any Marine, you'll hear about Tun Tavern. Want to know who Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller is? Ask a Marine. 'Blood Stripe', what the hell's a Blood Stripe? Ask a Marine. 18 or 80, show a picture of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi to a Marine, the chest swells more than a wee bit. The Marine Corps Birthday Ball... "March on the Beef", first and second slice of cake to the oldest and youngest Marine present. Hell, you can be stationed in the friggin' desert, but the floor is 'the deck', a mop is 'a swab', and that 26-year old Captain is 'the Old Man'.

Yep, Marines are figuratively eat-up with our history, customs and traditions.

To a very large degree, it's our bulldog adherence to our traditions that separate and differentiate us from those in our Sister Services. The exception, it would seem, would be Catholic Marines and the Traditional Latin Mass.

Since the re-introduction of the TLM at Camp Lejeune, the numbers have winnowed from a decent number, to a mere handful. The congregation is roughly broken into equal thirds -- active duty, retired military, and local civilians. The number of active duty personnel should be through the roof. But in all fairness, during the first few Masses, there were more than a few 'lookie-loos'. To include a father and son across the aisle from me who snickered and made smart-ass comments throughout the entire Mass. Only through the divine aid of St Francis Xavier was I kept from making these two numbskulls the first martyrs for Bugnini.

And for this truly historic Mass that has recently been celebrated with regularity aboard Camp Lejeune, the highest ranking Catholic I've seen present is a retired(?) Navy Commander. In my personal opinion, that is absolutely and utterly shameful on the part of both the senior Officer and Enlisted leadership who call themselves Catholic.

Anyhow, if any of my fellow Marines up Camp Lejeune way should be reading this, I ask of you to consider the following;

1. This Mass goes back 1,500 years. You can't get much more traditional than that.

2. This is the Mass whose roots, the words of Consecration itself, goes all the way back to the exact words used by Sts. Peter and Paul when they preached in pagan Rome.

3. This is the Mass that inspired Catholic Warriors to defend Christendom at the Battle of Lepanto, the Battle of Vienna, during the Holy Crusades, etc.

4. This is the Mass that strengthened centuries upon centuries of martyrs as they were led away to be beheaded, burned or have their guts slit open and their insides ripped out... all for the high crime of being Catholic.

5. This is the Mass that was celebrated at Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, the Chosin, Hue.

6. This is the Mass of Servant of God Father Vincent Capodanno (CMoH), Father Joseph O'Callahan (CMoH) and Father Aloysius Schmitt (who the chapel was initial dedicated to).

7. This is a masculine Catholicism. Do the right thing, you'll be rewarded. Purposfully do the wrong thing, get ready for your sword to be stomped on in biblical proportions. No holding of hands, or "it's only a sin if you think it's a sin" at the TLM.

8. This is the Mass that is set in stone, unambiguous, in your face in it's moral absolutes... just like the Marine Corps.
With all that said, allow me to be so bold as to remind my fellow Marines that yes, I understand that learning Latin seems intimidating. But no one's expecting you to become a Latin scholar... just understand enough to understand the Mass.

Understanding the rubrics of the TLM takes time. But no one expects you to become a professional liturgist... just understand enough to understand the Mass.

Traditional Catholic spirituality and all that it entails can be kind of tough to wrap both mind and soul around, but hey... as Marines, we know that nothing worthwhile comes easy. If anyone understands that painfully simple maxim, one would think it would be Marines.

Yeah, it's tough, but maybe that's why they're called spiritual excersizes.


Blogger Patricia Cecilia said...

Vir, as our beloved Fr. P would say, understanding the Latin/the TLM is not necessary; just allow oneself to enter into the ageless mystery and beauty of worshipping Our Lord in the Mass, and let the understanding come later. (He would say it more clearly!) As to learning Latin, that is why there are Latin-English missals and Latin-Spanish missals and Latin-French missals--even the red paper ones, which are excellent for starters (they even tell you where to kneel and stand and so on)! If kids can do it, surely MARINES can do it?

You could point out that when you first entered the Corps, you learned many things by following an example/doing, and the understanding followed. You did it because you believed it would make you a Marine, a baseline-solid Marine on the way to becoming an exemplary Marine. The TLM is like that as well: we come as Catholics wanting to be better, more faithful Catholics, even if we don't understand; and the Mass shapes us and changes us, even more deeply and truly than military discipline shapes military personnel.

A daughter of an Army vet, niece of Army Air Corps and Navy vets (all WWII), daughter-in-law of a career Airman, cousin to Marines and Navy men

Semper fi, double semper fi to our Catholic Marines!

December 1, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number of active duty personnel should be through the roof.
I attended the Novus Ordo at the base chapel the last time I was in Lejeune and didn't notice too many active duty personnel at that Mass either--the crowd looked to be mostly civilians and retired military. Perhaps the problem is that, sadly, too few Catholic Marines practice their faith or go to Mass at all (?)

I'm VERY pleased to learn that the traditional Mass is being offered at Camp Lejeune and will be praying for its success.

December 12, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Davida said...

I know this is a very old post, but we just got in town, and went to Mass at the local parish, Infant of Prague. That seems to be where all the Marines are. The majority seemede to be military, and the church was full. This was the noon Mass. There are three more English Masses-one on Saturday evenings-and one Spanish Mass Sunday afternoons. I don't know how full those Masses are, but if it is like the parishes we have been at before, it was just as full as the noon Mass. I don't know why they don't go to the base chapel...chapels at most bases we've been at have been pretty well attended. Just wanted to say that there's many Catholic Marines here that still attend Mass (and many had new babies!)

July 25, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home