22 October picked as feast day of Blessed John Paul II

A painting of Pope John Paul II in Krakow, on the sixth anniversary of his death, 2 April 2011.

“O God, who are rich in mercy and who willed that the Blessed John Paul II should preside as pope over your universal church, grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching, we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ, the sole redeemer of mankind. Who lives and reigns.”

This is the text of the opening prayer of Mass on the feast day of Blessed John Paul II, which the Vatican announced will be on 22 October. That date marks the liturgical inauguration of his papacy in 1978. Together with this announcement, a set of regulations was published for the celebration of the soon-to-be blessed’s feast day. As is the case for any beatified person’s feast, the celebrations are authorised on a local level, usually in the places where the person in question lived and worked. In this case, these places are the Diocese of Rome and the whole of Poland. In other places in the world, special permission needs to be obtained to insert the feast day into the liturgical calendar. The same goes for naming new parishes and churches after Pope John Paul II; that is for now only authorised in Rome and Poland. If and when someone is canonised and recognised as a saint, these limitations are lifted.

One standard rule regarding the feast days of the beatified will not apply in this case: thanksgiving Masses may be celebrated worldwide within a year after John Paul’s beatification, so no later than 1 May 2012, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has said.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Michal Lepecki/Agencja Gazeta

First EF Mass in Groningen off to a good start

With an estimated 80 people attending, Fr. Gero P. Weishaupt offered the first Mass in the extraordinary form at the cathedral of St. Joseph of Groningen last night. Estimated attendance was initially some 20 to 30 people and, accordingly, the smaller altar of St. Joseph was prepared for use for this Mass. But yesterday afternoon the decision was made to move to the high altar.

Two seminarians from St. John’s in Den Bosch served as acolytes, and two other acolytes, among them a  good friend of mine, from the cathedral parish did this for the first time. A small scola was also set up, led by diocesan hermit Brother Hugo. The congregation consisted of people of all ages and several nationalities. I noticed people who attend both the regular Sunday Masses as well as the English-language Mass on Saturday evening. A number of seminarians from our and other dioceses had travelled up from the Tiltenberg seminary to join the congregation.

The Catholic life in the parish of St. Martin and, due to it taking place in the cathedral, the Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden, is enriched by having this form of the Mass as well as the ordinary form.

Brother Hugo has some footage of the Mass, filmed by Ingrid Airam.

Photo credit: Margré Meulman