St. Anthony of Padua’s Votive of Thanksgiving

MaryKate (26) and I (34) were among the oldest present at the final extraordinary form mass last Tuesday at St. Anthony of Padua in Brookland in Washington, DC.

St. Anthony of Padua has been our parish since we moved to the neighborhood last year and is one of hundreds of parishes across the United States where the mass of our ancestors—the extraordinary form, the Tridentine Mass, the Old Mass, the usus antiquior, etc.—has been suppressed as a result of Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes. We’re not frequenters of the extraordinary form, but we have both been grateful for its accessibility, faithfulness, reverence, and vitality. We find our spiritual gaze elevated in distinctive ways through this liturgical expression of the mass. There is obvious loss in the loss of this mass, and so we wanted to be there for this final mass at St Anthony of Padua before restrictions took effect on September 21st.

St. Anthony offered its final mass as “a Votive of Thanksgiving for all the graces poured out through the Old Mass in all the parishes of the Archdiocese.” The extraordinary form mass continues nearby at the Fransiscan Monastery, though this too may be suppressed when the norms are reviewed in three years.

As a husband and father, I am now acutely aware of how crucial it is that the mass be as accessible as possible for the widest number as possible—especially the many young men to whom this mass speaks so powerfully. We’re living through a time of spiritual poverty on so many fronts. We need God. We need spiritual nourishment amidst the spiritual deserts of our culture.

Trusting in God and in the Holy Father’s pastoral care, we can be content in knowing that God is always good and that time is a great thickener of things.