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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Devoted to the past

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in order to survive the future:

"The people who come here have decided to make their faith the center of their lives,' says the Rev. John Berg, chaplain of the church. Celebrating Mass here is like going back more than 40 years, before the changes of Vatican II. Parishioners use missals (liturgical books) first published in 1962. Women and girls cover their heads with lace veils. The priest faces the altar (away from parishioners) for part of the service and speaks a language that few understand.

St. Stephen is part of small but growing movement of churches filling the spiritual needs of traditional young Catholics. Rejecting the 'new' Mass, they're embracing rituals that are more than 1,000 years old. They say the Latin Mass is more reverent and more family-oriented, and does a better job of promoting traditional church teachings, particularly abortion issues.

Lanibeth Gonzales wears a lace veil during Mass. At St. Stephen, the 1960s-era reforms of Vatican II are less in evidence than at most Catholic churches. After Mass, many of the families will visit in the social hall.
'I like the richness of the tradition ... and I find that it's much more supportive of the family,' says Barbara Dana of South Land Park, who home-schools her seven children and attends St. Stephen regularly. 'Everything about my life says pro-life, and I think it's important that my church does, too.'

The majority of the parishioners at St. Stephen are middleclass families in their 30s and 40s, dispelling the myth that only the elderly nostalgic for their past would be interested in attending such a Mass. The typical family has five or six children, according to Berg. Most of those kids are home-schooled by their mothers.

Supporters say the growth of the Latin Mass reflects a need among many Catholics for the traditional teachings of the Church"
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Today is the Feast of St Peter and St Paul. Here St Paul visits St Peter in prison. Posted by Hello