HAMMOND — “Dominus vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo.”
If you recognize those Latin phrases as “The Lord be with you. And with your spirit,” you may be old enough to remember when Roman Catholic Masses were celebrated only in Latin, or you attend a church that still celebrates a Latin Mass.
Those in the former group now have a Northwest Indiana site for Sunday and weekday Masses, along with sacraments, celebrated in Latin. The Diocese of Gary has invited the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign priest to serve at St. Joseph parish.
The downtown Hammond parish will celebrate Masses in Latin on Sundays and throughout the week. This is an addition to the church’s schedule of services in English.
The Institute of Christ the King is a Catholic society of apostolic life, an integral part of which is the use of the Latin Liturgy of 1962 for celebrating Masses.
St. Joseph joins the Carmelite Monastery in Munster as the sites for Masses in Latin in the Catholic Diocese of Gary. The monastery hosts a Latin Mass at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, but supporters of Latin services had wanted more Masses and sacraments in the format Roman Catholics used from 1570 to the early 1960s, when Vatican II allowed Masses in the vernacular, or mother tongue.
Bishop Donald Hying of the Gary Diocese delivered the homily at a Mass in Latin Sunday at St. Joseph and reported receiving “consistent requests for a parish home” for Masses and sacraments celebrated in Latin, also called the extraordinary form of the Mass or Tridentine. Sacraments would include baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Calling upon the faithful for “full participation,” the bishop said this new apostolate is “not a substitution, but an addition” to the parish.
The Latin rite differs from the Roman Catholic Mass more commonly used today. Besides the use of Latin, Communion is given on a tongue, with recipients kneeling at a Communion rail. Clergy proclaim Scripture readings, as lay participation comes in the form of prayer.
The Sunday service at St. Joseph drew its share of Latin supporters and first-timers.
Stephanie Breaux, of Chicago's Southeast Side, who long has attended the Tridentine service. She cited the “reverence, sincerity, the quiet, and meditating on the Passion of Christ. The Latin Mass is filled with Scripture, and it’s an opportunity to meditate, to be in union with the priest as he offers the sacrifice (of the Mass).”
Kevin Smith, of Schererville, called the Latin Mass “the one true Mass, unblemished.”
Michael and Alyssamay LaBanca, a young couple from Schererville who came on an invitation, followed the Mass in English and Latin on Michael’s Smartphone.
“I love how they used incense and Latin,” Michael LaBanca said. “It makes you more into the Mass.”
Canon Matthew Talarico, provincial superior for the Institute of Christ the King, said he hopes the Latin Mass serves as a “reminder of the sense of the sacred."
"We owe God our thanks and adoration," he said. "We put God in the center.”