Canon Jean-Baptiste Commins, ICRSS


Canon ComminsThe Traditional Latin Mass: a love story!

I was 17 when I came to know and appreciate the Traditional Latin Mass. To discern my vocation, and to choose the seminary where to go, my first criterion was: “what is the degree of charity in that community?” between the members themselves, and with the other communities. You might ask yourselves: but what is the link, the  relation between Charity and the Latin Mass? If we consider the Eucharist as the best proof of the love of God for us which it is, then we understand that all that covers the mystery of the Presence of Christ, blood, body, soul and divinity, has to be perfectly performed, with gravity, with beauty, with solemnity. The Traditional Liturgy makes clear the adoration of God made flesh, religion of the Incarnation, everything in that Liturgy lifts up our heart and our body to the most transcendent reality. The entire faculties of our human nature are satisfied, filled with the music, the silence, the incense, and the gestures. All our senses are attracted to the beauty of the Liturgy. The Spouse is giving himself to his Wife, our Mother the Church, and in response to that gift, the Church tries to express her love for Him. The Liturgy as the public official prayer of the Church, tries to imitate the eternal liturgy of the angels and of the saints in Heaven. To   conclude this short note, let me quote Pope Benedict XVI: Sacred Liturgy transforms our lives of Catholics.   Indeed, “the encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes.”

Canon Jean-Baptiste Commins, Ordained July 2015


From the Desk of Canon Olivier Meney, ICRSS

CM 2To acquire a ”notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier form of the liturgical celebration” (Motu Proprio, Benedict XVI, July 2007) or an exploration into the theological, historical, devotional, liturgical, ritualistic, architectural, artistic, linguistic, practical, legalistic, mystical… aspects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

On the Maniple

Why does the celebrant use the cope for the Asperges Me? Why does the priest remove the maniple and the chasuble when he preaches?

The Mass is the sacramental and liturgical action by which the very same Sacrifice of the Cross is continued upon the altar. Therefore, this is a whole and one action that cannot be broken apart. From the first sign of the Cross at the foot of the altar to the Last Gospel, the celebrant  remains at the altar. The Asperges Me, the sermon or homily, the blessings of palms or ashes, the processions are not integral parts of the Mass. They are adjacent to the Mass.

The celebrant is wearing the Cope (A cape covering the whole shoulders) and no maniple for   Asperges, processions and  solemn vespers. The maniple is part of the vestments of the priest celebrating the Mass (in the rubrics of 1967, it is not mentioned anymore). It is a short piece of fabric that was formerly worn on the left arm by workers to dry their sweat. The prayer said for the vesting of the maniple is “Lord, may I worthily bear the maniple of tears and sorrow so as to receive the reward of my labor with rejoicing.”  It is then a sign of the call of the priest to be a worker in the vineyard of the Lord. The maniple is now ornate and used only during the celebration of the Mass. When the Mass needs to be interrupted, as during the reading of a translation of the Epistle or the Gospel, or the sermon, the Celebrant removes it. This is a  worthy practice to be kept in use even though not absolutely mandatory. Placing the chasuble on the altar is of the same effect.

The point is that nothing “human” or “profane” should be introduced in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. These signs—as the removal of the maniple– show that the words to be uttered by the priest during the sermon are his own and a  parenthesis in the Act of Christ.


Chaplain’s Corner |Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

SHSOn Friday, the Church celebrates the great Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which sets the devotional tone for the month of June, which is dedicated to His Heart. This feast connects nicely with the feasts of the Blessed Trinity and Holy Eucharist, revealing in human terms the profound Love at the root of reality and salvation. The Heart of Jesus also leads us forward to celebrate well the coming feasts at the end of this month, the Birth of John the Baptist and the glorious Princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. Both the Precursor and the chosen Apostles are true witnesses to and extensions of Jesus’s Heart, especially in their laying down their lives for Him in martyrdom.

The mystery of the Sacred Heart places before us the truth of the accessibility of salvation. It was prophesied to St. Gertrude the Great, who is the foundress of this devotion, that devotion to Our Lord’s Heart would only be given to the universal Church when her love had grown cold. This coldness of love was especially brought about by the heresies of Protestantism and Jansenism, which both deny, in their own way, the possibility of real holiness. The revelation of Divine Love in the human Heart of Jesus is a kind of catalyst for us to trust in Him, to rely only upon His grace, which flows entirely to us from the Blessed Trinity through the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ.

One is struck, in the light of this feast, by the importance of orthodox doctrine concerning the mystery of Jesus Christ, especially as regards His Sacred Humanity. St. John teaches us in the Gospel that “the Law came through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,” and also that “from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus depends upon the doctrine that His humanity is full of all the treasures of salvation. In the Litany of the Sacred Heart, we invoke Him as full of all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, from whose fullness we have all received. This piety and devotion is based on sound doctrine: from the first moment of His conception in the womb of Blessed Mary, Jesus Christ is all-holy, anointed perfectly in His humanity by the Beatific Vision of God and the fullness of saving grace. All that we hope for, all the treasures of salvation, are contained in His Sacred Humanity. Even His Resurrection, in which we hope to share, was contained in seed-form in the glory (since it is nothing other than the overflow of glory into His body) enjoyed by His soul from that first moment of its existence.

This feast of the Sacred Heart, then, is an opportunity for us to engage in a kind of Christological purification of an intellectual sort. We ought to take seriously the task of learning Who Jesus is and what He is like. We ought to study deeply, guided by the tradition of the Church, His identity and mission, how His divine and human natures interact, how His humanity is really human and truly salvific. The feast of the Sacred Heart, then, is a kind of feast of Jesus’s true identity as Savior and Place of Salvation. Let us rejoice to enter deeply into this mystery, drinking from the water and blood which flow from His side opened for us!


Reverend Father Joseph Previtali

Chaplain’s Corner – May 29, 2016

Sometimes life is very difficult and it seems that all our normal rivers of consolation have dried up. Sometimes our family or friends seem far from us, and even our devotions become dry. In times like these, there is no greater source of freedom and joy than Jesus’s Merciful Presence among us in His sacraments. One may need to approach Jesus’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance; but there is no greater joy in the end than Jesus’s Love shown us in the most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. This is the essence of the Church’s joy in the celebration of Corpus Christi.

One feels this joy in the grandeur of the most beautiful Eucharistic procession and Continue reading

Prayer request…

Prayer request…. Anna  and Jay will be attending the Society of the Sacred Heart Retreat at Mundelein Seminary (Chapel of the Immaculate Conception) in Illinois this weekend. Anna will be receiving the Cross of St. Francis de Sales. Jay has been a member for over 5 years.

If you would like more information about the Society…email us.

The Society of the Sacred Heart is a lay association within the spiritual family of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Through membership in the Society of the Sacred Heart, lay faithful can participate in the spirituality of the Institute directed to expand the kingship of Our Blessed Lord in all realms of the Church and society under the patronage of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Chaplain’s Corner | Trinity Sunday (May 22, 2016)


The Octave of Pentecost is one of my favorite times of the liturgical year. During the past week, the Church has been relishing the Gift of the Divine Holy Spirit. The Church has been reflecting on the marvel and power of this Gift, Who is our Consoler and Strength. Where I live, in Half Moon Bay, we even have the beautiful Portuguese Holy Ghost Festival to celebrate His descent upon Mary, the Apostles, the disciples, and the whole Church.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us immediately aware of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. St. Paul writes: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us one with God the Son in His Sacred Humanity, through which we have access in one Spirit to the Father!

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Photos: 1st Holy Communion at St. Stephen’s, Sacramento, CA (May 7, 2016)

Around 40+ girls and boys had the joy of receiving our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time last Saturday (May 7, 2016), during a Solemn High Mass celebrated at St. Stephen the First Martyr parish in Sacramento, CA (an apostolate parish of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter or FSSP). Click on the photo to view the picture gallery of this special event. Please note that we have taken a limited number of pictures due to the request made to the faithful to refrain from taking photos during mass (entrance and concluding procession were ok).

Chaplain’s Corner | Sunday after the Ascension (May 8, 2016)


Jesus has ascended into Heaven. In so doing, He has forever placed our hearts in Heaven: “Sursum corda!” He is our Treasure, and our faith, hope, and love are now directed entirely Heavenward. Where our Head has gone, the members hope to follow. With our hearts in Heaven with our Treasure, we obey St. Paul’s command to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand.” We approach Jesus now entirely with heavenly reverence, as in the Sacred Liturgy, rather than in the earthly familiarity of walking with Him on the shores of Galilee.

Our first act in this new way of life in Christ is to return to Jersualem, rejoicing with the Apostles (Luke 24:52), and to gather in the Upper Room, united in prayer with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today is our third day of prayer together, making with Our Mother the novena to the Holy Spirit, begging Jesus to clothe us with Power from on high. We somehow feel closer to Jesus because we are with His Mother. We know that, when He sends us His Holy Spirit, we will be closer to Him than we have ever been, even than those who ate and drank with Him.

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Photos: Solemn Pontifical Mass (EF) in honor of Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God (April 25, 2016)

We are pleased to share with you the photos from the Solemn Pontifical Mass (Extraordinary Form) in honor of Father Augustus Tolton, Servant of God, that was celebrated last April 25, 2016, by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Diocesan Postulator for the Cause of Father Tolton. The 130th Anniversary celebration of the First Solemn Mass of Fr. Tolton took place at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at Costa Mesa, CA, a parish being taken cared of by the The Norbertine Fathers of Saint Michael’s Abbey. By all accounts, it was a full packed church, with some people even coming all the way from Oregon and other far flung places!

We are currently in the process of editing the video of the Pontifical Mass and we hope to post it soon. In the meantime, here are a selection of photos we took — the rest can be viewed at our smugmug photo gallery. While any of our photos and videos may be freely posted on other blogs and websites, we are only requesting an acknowledgement / credit to be given to the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco with a link to our website (