Note to fellow Rochester expatriates: (and others with an interest in the goings-on of my home town and diocese) EWTN is televising “the “Mass of Installation of the Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano as the Ninth Bishop of Rochester” tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 3) at 2:30 pm EST as part of its “Cathedrals Across America” program. On a related note, the Catholic Courier of Rochester has posted series of interviews under the theme of “Getting to Know Bishop Matano.” They’ll also be streaming the installation Mass live, along with Vespers tonight at 7:30 pm EST, though it’s unclear where to find the feed on the website.
Update, 4 Jan. ’14. Notes from yesterday’s Installation Mass.
The good. Bishop Matano’s homily. It began with a ringing endorsement of “continuity” between the old and the new and ended with an invitation to pray in the Church’s “universal language,” Latin. (There were three Latin references in the homily.) He also spoke of the Church before Vatican II positively, especially during the ’50s, something rarely heard in Rochester. And he spoke of the urgency and necessity of priestly vocations, linking the priesthood to the Eucharist. He also stressed the importance of Catholic schools, largely decimated by his predecessor. I will link to the text as soon as it’s available online.
The bad. The liturgy itself was ridiculous. From the woefully off-key cantor — my children asked me to mute the television — to the absurdity of the Old Testament reading being read exclusively in Spanish (if we’re going to include foreign vernacular languages, why not Italian given the ethnic background of the local population?) and the second done in sign language by a wildly gesticulating “reader” (as a woman nearby translated his gestures), Bishop Clark’s bizarre, effete, and politically correct liturgical practices were on display for all the world to see. Although that could prove useful to Bishop Matano as it publicizes the need for reform, it does reveal how much work he has cut out for him. The liturgy was most likely planned by the staff of “longtime” vicar general Fr. Joseph Hart, whom Bishop Matano reappointed. (On a positive note, I didn’t notice any Extraordinary Ministers, which would have been rather silly given the number of priests in attendance.) All in all, it was a good day for the long-suffering people of my home diocese. We’ll be saying prayers of thanksgiving this weekend. Read the Catholic Courier‘s coverage here.
Update, 7 Jan. ’14. The better. From Cpt Tom in the comment box:
There is much more positive than negative (though what you mention was certainly the BAD). Word has it that the PC nonsense was going to be even worse with the Rochester Chancery trying to dictate the whole mass. Apparently Bishop Matano and his MC pushed back on most of it. If you didn’t notice, the altar servers were in cassocks and surplice, all male (seminarians), clouds of incense with the congregation blessed at the offertory (though they had to be signaled to stand), Bishop Matano chanted his parts of the mass, and communion to the congregation was only given in one form (hosts) (hence no EMHC). There is also a rumor that the DOR Diocesan Liturgist quit over this mass. If true, a positive development indeed.
It is also the case that at the solemn vesper service the night before, not only was Bishop Matano in Surplice and cassock, but so was Bishop Clark.