A Golden Era is Coming to a Close

“The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. As it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

This is a blog post that was never foreseen. A golden era —a real treasure— is coming to an end in the Diocese of Cleveland. At least for the foreseeable future.

The ever-present questions surrounding the implementation of Traditionis Custodes in the Diocese of Cleveland seem to be getting answers at this very moment. The latest news is that Bishop Malesic has established St Elizabeth of Hungary as “a diocesan shrine for the promotion of the Christian heritage of the Hungarian people as well as for divine worship according to the liturgical books in use prior to the reform of 1970.”

But that’s not all.

News broke a couple weeks ago on Facebook that Fr. John Valencheck, the pastor of St. Sebastian in Akron, sent an email to newsletter subscribers giving more details regarding the future of the Traditional Latin Mass in the diocese. It’s really worth reading the notice from Fr. Valencheck for yourself, but it can be summarized thus: beginning Nov 1st, all Traditional Latin Masses in Akron will cease; all extraordinary form sacraments will be offered at St. Elizabeth only, which is intended to be staffed by the Institute of Christ the King; Bishop Malesic has petitioned Rome for St. Mary in Akron and St. Stephen in Cleveland to be two more locations to offer Holy Mass in the extraordinary form

Even more, it was confirmed before Mass last Sunday at St. Rocco, and also at Mary Queen of Peace, according to a report from a Friend.

This weekend’s bulletin from St. Rocco also addresses the issue.

Worth noting here is the appeal by Father to continue to be involved with the parish even after November 1st.

Friends, this blog post has taken me so long to even draft, let alone publish. It’s one of the hardest things I could ever have thought of doing, that I could ever even accept as being real.

The Traditional Latin Mass has influenced and changed so many lives. And not just the lives of us laypeople, but also that of the priests who began to offer it for us.

Parishes, too, have relied upon it. The offertory money, the volunteering…it all benefitted the parish, the people and the pastor. The wonderful, former pastor of St. Stephen, Fr. S. Michael Franz, said on more than one occasion that the TLM people were “the most giving and most volunteering people.” It’s worth trying to figure out how we can continue to support the pastors who have supported us all these years.

Doubtless though, the future looks bleak for TLM places like Immaculate Conception Cleveland, or even St. Stephen, if the TLM gets completely pulled away.

This is all the fruit of the tree planted by Pope Francis and his friends.

23 thoughts on “A Golden Era is Coming to a Close

  1. Recognizing the grief that comes with these kinds of decisions, I am actually encouraged about the prospects of the TLM in the Diocese of Cleveland. Our bishop has exercised a very pastoral approach as he could have easily closed all TLM sites as so many bishops have done. In my opinion, he would have stood in better stead with the Holy Father to do so. I believe he has done all he could to preserve the TLM at what must be some personal and professional risk.

    When Bishop Malesic was at Theology on the Rocks in Akron this past Monday he answered questions re: the TLM. He seemed confident that it would be offered at St. Mary, Akron and St. Stephen, Cleveland. I am hopeful he is correct.

    Again, recognizing the genuine grief that naturally follows such announcements, as well as the painful demise of the TLM in many parishes which have faithfully offered it, I believe there is also reason to be optimistic and thankful that there are still opportunities to pray the TLM in our diocese. I am hopeful that after our times of mourning, we may still find joy and peace.

    1. The faithful can migrate to the sustainers of truth and tradition, the SSPX. They have NEVER bowed to pressure. Nor have they worried about professional advancement.

  2. I agree. Bishop Malesic could just as easily have gotten rid of the whole TLM scene in Cleveland/Akron. When he spoke at Theology on Tap west last September, one of the end questions was about the TLM situation, and what he said made it sound like he didn’t want the Latin Mass to go away here, but at the same time, he has to obey his superiors as well. Based on what I have heard other priests recently say, and the recent info that was released, even though I don’t know how much of it is official yet, it sounds to me like the impression I got last September seems accurate. God bless Bishop Malesic for keeping the TLM alive around here at all. I can see some good things to look forward to at St. Elizebeth. We shall put the future in God’s hands and see what happens, in the meantime, I think we need to offer this up and pray for the November issue thing, because some nasty things will definitely hit the fan if this demonic stuff passes!

  3. This evening, Fr. Bede made an announcement reading from a prepared letter. Short version,…. only TLM would be at St Elizabeth starting 01Nov23. Then later he read that St. Stephen and Akron St. Mary would be offering the TLM only on Sunday. Those two statements seem to be in conflict with each other. But follow up questions made me believe the St Stephen St Mary announcement was correct. So time will tell. Fr. Mayer at St. Rocco’s also commented that St Stephen St Mary were up for consideration as TLM sites, Sunday only. I hope I have not given any false hopes to anyone. If perhaps anyone else heard Fr. Bede’s announcement, they could or deny my comments.

  4. As a former parishioner of St Mary’s where we started attending the TLM there in 1989, and more recently of St. Paul’s in south Akron where we attended the TLM, I am sad to see the the loss so many TLM parishes in the Cleveland Diocese. We moved to Virginia (Arlington Diocese) in 2022 and went through the same sort of disruption that parishes in the Cleveland diocese are now facing. I keep wondering what is wrong in Rome

    On a different, but related topic, I would like to pass on some encouraging information I received. Many perhaps already know this, but the links below are to an excellent letter, by Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, where he lays out, in no uncertain terms, what it means to be Catholic, and what we as Catholics, must believe.

    At the bottom of his letter is a video by Gerhard Cardinal Muller who reinforces what Bishop Strickland wrote. The video is excellent and is very well done. I found it to be very uplifting and inspirational.

    Please read the letter and watch the video. Both are very informative. Pass this on to your contacts if you can.

    https://www.complicitclergy.com/2023/08/23/bishop-stricklands-pastoral-letter-ahead-of-synod-on-synodality/

    If, for some reason, you can’t access the video from the above link, below is a direct link to Cardinal Muller’s presentation.

    https://manifestooffaith.com/

    God bless.

    James

  5. I remember the old days when a Motu Proprio was ignored. In 1988, pope JP II asked for a generous offering of the TLM by bishops, many bishops refused to allow it. After SP, many bishops continued to forbid the TLM, or they would allow one or two in the least appealing parts of town, with the additional kicker that the bishop would set the time of 5 pm.

    The most shocking development about this entire issue has been the never-before seen desire of bishops to obey the Holy Father. I’ll judge how fervently and honestly our bishop wants to obey TC when I see Life-teen Masses (hardly the “unique expression of the Roman Rite”) or “charismatic Masses” moved to 2 or 3 parishes in the seedy parts of town. Of course, after he petitions Rome for this pastoral exception to TC.

    1. Indeed, a curious sort of selective obedience. One could well imagine few to none of them are obeying the Holy Father on Redemptionis Sacramentum, still allowing a horde of unnecessary lay extraordinary ministers for Holy Communion and other common modernist abuses.

    2. Exactly my thoughts, Doug. I’m a little weary of taking whatever scraps we get and then expected to be grateful for it. I don’t think our bishop is a bad person and I pray for him plenty but I’m tired of the “had to be obedient to Rome” response. What about the parishioners? Do we matter? Does it matter if those of us “divisive” Catholics feel absolutely abandoned? Are they getting rid of the Spanish Masses? Korean? No? Because it’s important to feed them? Interesting…The TLM serves everyone and leaves no one out in the cold. But, yes, we are the divisive ones.

  6. Prayers for a bishop who cares for the needs of his sheep at the outer edge of his flock. I am a distant Catholic after past events.and lifetime catholic background.

  7. This situation is certainly very sad and unnecessary given that the TLM has been THE MASS for 1500+ years. Bp. Malesic’s actions to firmly establish an ongoing option for the TLM in our diocese are praiseworthy, however, and give reason to hope that there will be another, more positive, chapter to this story. Now is the time to press on and fight for our rights as Catholics to the traditional Mass and sacraments. As such, I hope that this website (and others) will find a way to list all of the TLM parishes of the Diocese in some way as “Former Locations” or “Inactive TLM Locations” to give everyone a reminder of the options we had in this era and, possibly, a call to reinstate the TLM at these inactive locations.

    1. My plan is to archive the page with current schedule and list of parishes. I’m a preservationist by nature. In fact, though, I’m not even sure if the mission of Cleveland TLM Friends is going to continue, actively. What’s there to promote when it’s only in one place? Bulletins will provide relevant information.

      But I have to also say, I’m hesitant to imbibe the “secured a TLM location for the future” sentiment. Nothing is secure in the modern world, and especially in the Synodal Church. Francis made it clear that there’s only room for one (unique) expression of the Roman Rite.

  8. None of this is good. This is exactly the process that lead the Jews to believe that the Nazi Party was looking after their interests. In the case of the TLM, the goal of the Church is to herd all of the cattle (us) into one large stall and then slaughter us (in a manner of speaking). In the case of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the TLM won’t last long at that church either. If any bishop, in any TLM area, were truly for God, they would never accept what the Vatican is telling them to do. These men are not bound by the demands of a heretical leader (Francis, in this case), who is trying to destroy the Traditional Catholic Faith. For those of you who are sick of this ridiculous game and would like to simply worship God in peace, you should consider attending mass at St. Peregrine in Richfield. The SSPX will never cave to Francis and his evil bishops. When the Vatican Church fully transitions to the One World (ecumenical) Church it seeks to be, the Traditional Catholic Faith will still be preserved under the roofs of the SSPX chapels. For those who are uninformed about the SSPX, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvRtkVjbU2Q. As much as I love the TLM at St. Stephen’s, Immaculate Conception and St, Rocco’s, I’m much more interested in attending a Traditional Latin Mass church without worrying about whether or not it’s going to be there a month from now. God bless!

    1. Well said Rick. Unfortunately, far too many people have been fed the lie that the SSPX is somehow schismatic and now beleive it. There is also an independent TLM chapel in Akron, Immaculate Heart of Mary. As much as bishop Malesic deserves credit for his attempts to safeguard the TLM, it should be noted that continuation of the TLM at St. Stephen’s and St. Mary’s ultimately depends on approval from Rome. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  9. From my travels and from news from friends elsewhere, I recognize the degree to which we here in Cleveland have been and are (and hopefully will be) fortunate in this diocese GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. There are dioceses, one of which with I have personal experience, where TLM was completely shut down immediately upon the release of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes. In other cases, including a diocese where I have close friends, ever since the release of Traditionis Custodes TLM has been severely restricted in availability and when and if allowed limited to a school gym. By comparison, we in Cleveland up until now have been blessed to continue with the privilege of availability in multiple beautiful church settings for over two years since the initial announcement. We are fortunate to have a bishop that has been as understanding and cooperative with TLM community as he been able to be given the fact that he also has to answer to his superior. Let us hope and pray that St. Stephen and St. Mary are finally and definitely approved as additional permanent locations. Let us thank and support our bishop for his consideration and support of us. As for Pope Francis, it is our duty to pray for him and his advisors. Comparable to politics, administrations come and go and things change as they do. It is wholeheartedly unfortunate that we have to go through this unnecessary period of restriction. It is a sacrifice that we have to make at this time. I think the best we can do is to be thankful for what we have under the circumstances all the while offering up our pain, disappointment and outrage and guarding against ill-feelings that can border on sin or be sinful. God sees and hears our laments. We must not allow the devil to use the situation to foment offensive reactions on our part. Given the situation we are in, I am very grateful to our bishop and to the priests in the diocese who have played a role in making TLM available and who will continue to do so as much as possible for TLM. I am also grateful that TLM will still be available in a beautiful church setting at the very least in one place ongoing indefinitely. I also think it is essential that we continue to support those locations that up until now have been where we could attend TLM in spite of TLM not being able to be offered there beginning in November. In more than one location, TLM no longer being allowed to be offered threatens the continued existence of a very beautiful and historic church edifice. In conclusion, let us continue to raise our minds and hearts in worship within the context of TLM when and where we can and all for the honor and glory of GOD and as Our Lord Jesus Christ would have us do pray for those who persecute us.

  10. It saddens my heart, as a historian, to see the past wiped away. This is particularly difficult for those of us who live in the southern portion of the Cleveland Diocese. Until the official “permission” from Rome arrives, the only location is St. Elizabeth of Hungary on the east side of Cleveland. This is a tremendous drive for anyone, like my family, in the Wooster area. I pray that St. Mary in Akron will be granted permission. My prayers go out to all of the young Catholics who fill the parishes at the many TLM’s offered currently. May they, and their large families, continue to find a location to celebrate the most Blessed Mass in the traditional fashion.

  11. Don’t give up hope. Pope Francis turns 87 in December. The history of the papacy is replete with reversals, just as TC is a reversal of SP. Pray for a true reforming pope in the next conclave, and remember that miracles happen with prayer. When the original indult was promulgated in 1984, it took one young guy getting together with a priest he had never met, and it grew to what you have today, but this is a temporary setback only. Stay the course! This will change.

  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Elizabeth_of_Hungary_Catholic_Church_(Cleveland%2C_Ohio)

    Buckeye Road, East Cleveland

    Lol — This must be the Hungarian parish my mother grew up near.
    I didn’t know it was the first U.S. Hungarian parish.
    That’s interesting.

    Her family wasn’t Hungarian and didn’t speak that language so they went to Our Lady of Peace.

    Although her father spoke Czech (his father having immigrated to the U.S.), my grandfather declined to teach his children the language, saying that they were Americans and so they should speak English.

    And no, I’m not a Trad.
    Just stumbled across the article.

  13. Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 2935 Chenoweth Road – Akron, Ohio 44312. SSPX affiliated, daily and Sunday Latin Mass.

  14. I am greatly saddened by this news. It is tragic to see this persecution of the traditional Latin Mass, which faithfully represents and effectively nourishes our Holy Catholic Faith. All are welcome at the SSPX affiliated church, St. Peregrine, in Richfield, Ohio, located in between Cleveland and Akron. We have been rapidly growing since the COVID era. Many people have come from the diocese, and we would love to meet you and welcome you to our “parish” family. Strictly speaking, of course, it’s not a parish, but it has that kind of a feel. We have a big, beautiful new church that was completed in 2021. We are blessed to have High Mass every Sunday morning at 9:30am, and we also have High Masses on First Fridays at 7pm (preceded by a Holy Hour of adoration from 6-7) and on First Saturdays at 8:30am. We also have a K-8 school, and would love to welcome new faces to the classroom. It’s a vibrant community full of young families with many children, and there’s a very active young adult group. It’s getting hard to keep up with the number of marriages that have come out of that group in the last three years!

    If anyone has qualms about attending an SSPX Mass, I would just observe that Rome has said many times that one can fulfill the Sunday obligation there. But the bottom line is that no authority in the Church can outlaw our Catholic Faith or the liturgical and devotional practices that preserve and strengthen our Faith. We are loyal Catholics, trying to save our souls and our children’s souls in these difficult times, and here we find true support from one another, from like-minded families. This place is full of joy and hope.

  15. I think I speak for all of us when we speak of the emptiness we experience through the loss of the TLM. Has anyone thought of the priest who looses much more than we lose? Our priests feel loses 100s of times greater than ours. Every soul for whom he no longer says a mass for is a loss to him. He is being denied the right to feedhis flock.

    I once conservatively calculated how many masses our parish priest said in his lifetime. It was over 50,000 masses. Think of all the souls who would have been deprived of the graces we all received. That is a staggering number, much more than the benefit to any one of us individually. And when he died, I am sure he saw the sum total of all the graces and benefits derived from his masses said throughout his life. For me, he was there for my Grandmother when she became Catholic, Mom and Dad when they were married, my Baptism, my First Confession, my First Holy Communion, that same Grandmother’s funeral a d the server who served for his last mass said. Our TLM priests will never again be permitted to offer this level of prayer for us. Our priests have lost so much more than we have. There are those who say, “MY priest still has the NO mass.” I ask how much more was that that TLM mass worth compared to the NO mass. Let us pray for them.

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