Taken from NLM
[One of the Father's who visits the NLM recently attended the FSSP "boot camp" for priests wishing training from them as regards the classical Roman rite. The following is his report, both of what occurred and, even more interestingly, his personal experience. I've chosen to eliminate his name for the sake of anonymity. If he chooses to reveal himself in the comments, I shall leave that to him.]
"I would characterize my experience as frankly stunning, and even life changing. I must admit that the experience has recast my understanding of the priesthood to some degree."
by a Diocesan Priest
I. Summary of the Training
This past week I returned from what one priest called the Traditional Mass Boot Camp, hosted and taught by the fine priests, deacons and seminarians of the Fraternity of Saint Peter at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton NE. Being a “Novus Ordo” priest and having little exposure or opportunity to experience the traditional Rite, this weekend was nothing short of amazing.
Arriving on Monday we jumped right in with an introductory session on the Mass covering various basic principles such as the attitude and composure of the priest, and the centrality of the Mass as a sacrifice. Wasting no time we began our practicum, our class was broken up into small groups of three, according to experience with the traditional Mass and Latin skills. Over the course of the five day we had workshops on the vesting prayers, the Low Mass, the Requiem Mass, Gregorian Chant, the sung Mass, and Exposition and Benediction. These were covered in depth in class and the practicum sessions, which were and hour and a half to two hours long.
The daily schedule began with private Mass from 6:00 to 8:00 AM and ended with Compline at 9:00 PM. The resources and materials that the Fraternity provided was copious and pedagogically geared for a priest to learn the traditional Mass. Any priest who is willing to learn and take the time necessary can confidently know that he will be able to offer the Mass with the proper reverence and confidence that the Rite demands.
On our final day on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul we were privileged to pray the Solemn High Mass in choir with the Nuns the Carmelite Monastery of Mary Jesus and Joseph in Valparaiso, NE a short drive from the seminary, this was absolutely the crowing event of the week, beautify offered by Fr. James Fryar FSSP, accompanied by the Deacons and seminarians of the seminary and the angelic chants sung by the Carmelite Nuns.
II. Personal Observations
Being a priest of the modern Roman rite I was admittedly nervous and lacking confidence due to my lack of experience, I felt that I perhaps had got into something that was over my head, but the graciousness and patience of the members of the Fraternity of Saint Peter quickly overcame any misgivings I had.
I must confess that I was worried that there might be some looking down upon a "Novus Ordo" priest such as myself in a “Traditionalist” environment such as this, but the respect and genuine affection and gratitude that was shown me by the priests, deacons and seminarians of the FSSP was most edifying and humbling. I cannot speak highly enough about these excellent and truly humble men, who most joyfully offer themselves for the life of the Church.
One of the many remarkable things that struck me about my experience this past week was that these men of the FSSP and others like them have preserved for the entire Latin Rite the living memory and tradition of the Church in a unique way.
I would characterize my experience as frankly stunning, and even life changing. I must admit that the experience has recast my understanding of the priesthood to some degree.
Also, by this intensive introduction to the ancient Roman liturgical tradition, I now more fully understand the paradigm shift and rupture that Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has spoken of. I can’t help but feel that once the adolescent rebellion of liturgical abuse and rejection of our living heritage subsides, they will be there to help all of us reclaim and reinvigorate the Latin Rite in a way that is truly organic and faithful to our roots, strengthening and in some areas reestablishing a vibrant Catholic identity.
I wish to thank my benefactors who enabled me to attend this workshop; it was a profound privilege for me to go. I will remember you in my prayers and my intentions at the Sacrifice of the Mass.