Father Eugene Dougherty led the Latin Mass Community as chaplain from June 1994 to January 2001
Congratulations on the Tenth Anniversary of the Latin Mass Community of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which coincides with the Pope's motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei, permitting the Old Latin Mass.
But we would be remiss in our thanksgiving were we not to acknowledge the tremendous debt owed to the first Latin Masses celebrated at the Hazelwood Legion, the Roosevelt Hotel, and Our Lady of Fatima Chapel on the Southside for some seventeen previous years. Although technically extra-legem, these Masses, said mainly by itinerant priests, were organized and promoted by a laity who so loved the Faith that they were willing to suffer persecution and threats of spiritual death through ax-communication (sic) until permission was finally given for the Old Mass. Yes, we owe many thanks to those who predated our diocesan approved celebrations at St. Agnes and now at St. Boniface, who helped make it all possible.
Along with the many accolades that might be given on this occasion for "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven," we witness the reverence of the congregation at prayer, and the humility of the women with their heads covered in the presence of the Lord, and the numerous children of those young families who obey the biblical injunction to increase and multiply. It is not for "nostalgic reasons" that they come to "hear the Mass," since they had not heard it before. This is especially true of those who are called 'home schoolers' in the Faith, who have come because they are, by nature: traditional in religion, conservative in politics and preservative of culture.
And what of the out-standing men, both young and old, who "stand-out," in an otherwise feminized Church and society, with tie and jacket, missal in hand, proud to repeat again in Latin the responses once memorized in childhood.
Were we to view this Tenth Anniversary in poetic fashion, we might see ourselves a "Remnant" of a once proud army that marched beneath the Vexilla Regis, the Banner of the King. We see the noble pilgrimage to Chartres and the procession to the shrine of the Holy Martyrs at Auriesville, and finally we see ourselves, here in Pittsburgh, in pilgrimage along another highway. And we pause a while in a garden-like Gethsemani, awaiting a final place of rest that we may call our own.
Sincerely yours in Xto. et Maria,
Rev. Eugene J. Dougherty, Chaplain
Latin Mass Community
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