I asked both Fr Eric Sternberg and Msgr Kevin Holmes, and they confirmed that it’s perfectly public that Fr John Zuhlsdorf has been appointed, by decree of diocesan Vicar General Msgr James Bartylla nominated, in response to the Society’s request, by Bishop Morlino, duly elected by the Society, and then confirmed by a lovely decree drawn up by Msgr Bartylla and signed by the bishop, as the new President of the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison. Extremely welcome news!
Fr Zuhlsdorf will celebrate the 7am Traditional Latin Mass (Missa Cantata – sung Mass – High Mass) next Sunday November 25 at Holy Redeemer Church, which is part of the Cathedral Parish downtown in Madison, WI, and located on W Johnson half a block north of State Street (click for Google Map). There will be a simple reception in the library downstairs, after Mass.
It is a great blessing to have the traditional Latin Mass in our parish. Come to Mass to worship God. Holy Redeemer Church is beautiful and the sung Latin Mass with its Gregorian Chant is transcendent. Stay if you can, to give Fr Z a warm welcome to Madison!! More than a few locals have long been regular readers or commenters on his popular blog. And warm and vigorous support of Bishop Morlino has long been a recurring theme on Fr Z’s blog, so he has long been especially much a friend of our diocese.
But maybe you’ve not heard of this priest and wonder who he is. Fr John Zuhlsdorf is known to many through his blog as I mentioned, and a liturgy column he used to write for many years, for the Catholic traditionalist newspaper The Wanderer. The title of both is the same: “What Does the Prayer Really Say?” a reference to the theme of his Wanderer column: accurate translations from the Latin text of the “proper” prayers of the Novus Ordo Mass, for the benefit of the lay faithful and non-latinist priests, prior to the more accurate new translation. The Mass as source and summit of the life of the Church, and its worthy celebration as integrally important to her faithful renewal and reform is reflected throughout his work, as in his tagline: “Save the Liturgy, Save the World.” I don’t think he coined the phrase “Say the black, do the red”, a reference to the priest following the liturgical books with obedient precision, but he’s made it his own.
Fr John Zuhlsdorf is a convert from Lutheranism, through the parish of St Agnes in St Paul Minnesota, where there was a great priest named Monsignor Richard Schuler, who was also a renowned church musician, expert in sacred music. That parish, like few others (Assumption Grotto in Detroit, St John Cantius in Chicago) has been a center of traditional Catholic worship of great artistic beauty. It was this beauty and the influence of Msgr Schuler that drew John Zuhlsdorf to want to become Catholic, and eventually a priest. He was ordained a priest in 1991 in Rome, together with a number of other men, by Pope John Paul II. Subsequently he was a parish priest in a diocese outside of Rome and for some years worked at the Vatican Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio for the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” which has to do with the older form of the Mass.
In recent years, Fr Z has been living in Wisconsin and a full time blogger making a real contribution to the New Evangelization as well as advancing the “hermeneutic of continuity”. I learn a lot from his blog, which apparently has impressive numbers of priests, seminarians and bishops as readers too. And I admit being quite delighted on the occasions Fr Z linked to this blog and I got a huge surge of visitors, so I can attest that his readership must be vast!
You can send a donation to the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison at: 529 Echo Valley Road, Brooklyn, WI 53521. You can send a donation to Fr Z electronically through his blog. You can give to the Cathedral Parish by coming to Sunday Mass and putting money in the collection. I recommend tithing 10%.