Traditional Latin Mass returns to Nativity Church, Menlo Park

About 120 people attended the Mass on March 9

Traditional Latin Mass is  celebrated at Nativity Church, Menlo Park (image: Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco)

On March 9, Fr. Alvin Yu celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form (also called the Traditional Latin Mass) at the Church of the Nativity in  Menlo Park – the first of what will be a monthly offering at the parish.

A large number of people attended and participated, including many from the parish.

Father Alvin Yu distributes Holy Communion (image: Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco)

Nativity’s pastor, Monsignor Steven Otellini, commented after Mass that a parishioner had donated funds to provide fifty Latin/English Mass booklets, but at least twice as many more could have been used. The parochial vicar, Fr. Patrick Driscoll, counted 120 people in attendance.

“It shows the hunger that people have for the beauty of this form of the Mass,” said Charlene Dorman, one of the parishioners who originally requested that the traditional Latin Mass be celebrated there. “So many came, many more than we ever expected.”

People of all ages filled the pews at Nativity, including many families with several young children.

“What draws me is rather the time for deeper sense of pure penitence, and consequent deepened receptivity to receive the Lord’s Holy Presence,” explained Mrs. Dorman. “And, through the extended transubstantiation. the time we have with Jesus is longer and fuller, and the holy silence within us deepens and extends prayer in a productive and beautiful way – a holy mystery, extraordinary in every way.”

Nativity Church, Menlo Park (image: Roseanne T. Sullivan)

Nina Heereman, assistant professor of Sacred Scripture at nearby St. Patrick’s Seminary, said celebrating the TLM also has benefits for the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Mass. “Pope Benedict wanted to bring about ‘the reform of the reform.’ I am convinced that being acquainted with our own tradition will deepen the way we celebrate and participate in the Ordinary Form and eventually contribute to bringing about its hoped-for reform,” she said.

Nativity Church started as a mission chapel in 1872 under Joseph Alemany, the first Archbishop of San Francisco, and was later established as a parish in 1877. The church’s architectural style is called Carpenter Gothic, a common style around the end of the 19th century, when skilled carpenters were able to craft ornate Gothic pointed arches and pinnacles out of abundantly available wood instead of stone or masonry.

Masses in the Extraordinary Form will continue to be offered at 9 a.m. every second Saturday of each month, beginning again on May 11. Fr. Yu and other local clergy will celebrate the Masses. Information about future Masses in the Extraordinary Form at Nativity church can be obtained from their website at www.nativitymenlo.org or by calling the parish at 650-323-7914.

A California Catholic Daily exclusive by Roseanne T. Sullivan.

Comments

  1. Does 9am Saturday cover one’s Sunday obligation? Or is a ‘double header’ required?

    • Anonymous says

      Wonderful that this lovely church is now having a regular Tridentine Latin Mass! Very special! And of course– we have to always go for Sunday Mass– no mater what! Wonderful, to go to daily Mass– as often as possible! –especially during Lent! The Church of the Nativity is also deeply blessed to have Perpetual Adoration!!!

      • Anonymous says

        Why not attend this wonderful Tridentine Latin Mass, and sign up for a Holy Hour, too? Maybe the Tridentine Latin Mass could someday be offered at a better time– maybe on Sunday, too– to fulfill our regular Sunday Mass obligation! One could find out what works best, with the schedule of the priests. The Dominican monastery of contemplative nuns, Corpus Christi, is nearby– they also have Adoration! Beautiful!

    • I’m glad this is being offered but that’s one of the games the modernists play. Offer it at some obscure time that doesn’t fulfill your obligation and then when attendance is sparse, proclaim “See! We told you! Nobody is interested in this Mass.” Then they kill it.

      “Nina Heereman, assistant professor of Sacred Scripture at nearby St. Patrick’s Seminary, said celebrating the TLM also has benefits for the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Mass.”

      No. It doesn’t. The only benefit the TLM has viz the novus ordo concoction is to hasten it’s inevitable demise.

      • JT I agree with your first point but not your second.

        Paging AB Cordileone, why cant this be Sunday 9am??? …to fulfill the weekly obligation.

        But the TLM DOES impact the NO. When people see what is possible in Catholic worship it quite literally shames exponents of modernist clown style Masses, and their congregations.

        • People who love the mass says

          Modernism, if one understands what it ACTUALLY means, is a heresy. Not going to a TLM is not modernism. Scheduling a particular mass at a particular time is not modernism. It isn’t heresy either.
          Love the mass. Go as often as you can, wherever you can. Be eucharistic (giving thanks) that you have the freedom, means, and ability to go, whatever right or order is available to you. But please please stop denigrating those of us who fine with the Ordinary Form.

      • There is a TLM at Immaculate Heart of Mary at 5 PM on the first Sunday of the month. Soon to be first and fourth because the one that has been at St. Catherine’s in Burlingame for years is moving to Immaculate Heart on the fourth Sunday in April.

        I have not seen a lot of publicity and still the people come. It won’t be long before there will be a TLM at a reasonable Sunday morning time as long as people support these “odd time” Masses.

        And then I suppose people will be complaining because they have to drive two parishes over to get to it.

  2. If so many came, why only offer the mass once a month ? It should be said at least every Sunday.

  3. Thank God for these wonderful priests who are willing and able to offer these Masses. It is a completely different spiritual experience from the “regular” ( I call it secularized) Mass offered now days in most parishes.

    • People who love the mass says

      “regular” masses, what I presume you mean the ordinary form, are not secularized. Please respect people’s faith.

      • Commentator says

        Nobody is disrespecting your faith. We are all called to holiness, and everyone is deficient. I thank those that called me to the TLM years ago. I had been wandering the desert and didn’t know it. Like all Catholics, I had been deprived of my Catholic heritage by factions in the Church who had wrongfully suppressed the TLM for decades. Soon after regular attendance at the TLM, I discovered the depths of what had been taken from me and from all Catholics for so long. It became so easy to understand the connections between the NO and so much of what is going on in the current Church. The reform of the reform? You bet it needs reform.

  4. People are starved for the TLM, but get very little support from our Shepherds !!

  5. “When attendance is sparse, proclaim “See! We told you! Nobody is interested in this Mass.” Then they kill it.”
    Well then, spread the word to diligently and consistently attend in numbers, and pray for the natural inertial pressure to change the hearts of a reticent leadership to extend its availability.

  6. May Father Alvin Yu offer the TLM for many years, his reward will be in Heaven.

  7. The liturgy of the Chaldean Catholic Church is beautiful and is celebrated in Aramaic – the language of Jesus. The Chaldean Catholic Church is in full communion with the Holy See and there are several Chaldean Catholic parishes in California – including the greater San Diego and San Francisco areas.

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