|Sunday High Mass at the Birmingham Oratory, Advent 2011|
Fr Z picks up on the theme of the New Evangelisation by drawing on an article from the Archdiocese of Miami which shows how, ironically, the Old Rite is drawing young people back to the Church and even attracting converts. Of particular interest to our area is the following:
Likewise, his girlfriend, Vida Tavakoli, knew she had found her home in the Catholic Church when she first attended Latin Mass in England.The parish of J.R.R Tolkien which celebrates an Old Rite Missa Cantata? Surely it can only be our very own Birmingham Oratory, which appears to be sowing the seeds of Traditional Catholicism not only in our area but across the world?
Formerly an atheist, her aversion toward religion changed at the end of her college career, when she became a Protestant. During her post-collegiate travels she became resolute in converting to Catholicism after attending a Missa Cantata, or sung Mass, in the parish of her favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, a devout Catholic who penned the “Lord of the Rings” series.
As one of the younger generation who is attracted to the Traditional Mass, I am under no illusion about the challenges we face in our changing society over the next few years and decades. As a recent article in the New Statesman puts it:
Take, for example, the results of a YouGov poll of "Generation Y" released yesterday. Only 25 per cent say that they believe in God, as opposed 38 per cent who definitely don't. It may not be surprising that fewer than ten per cent attend religious worship on anything like a regular basis (at least once a month) but one finding stands out starkly. 41 per cent thought that religion was the cause of more harm than good in the world. Only 14 per cent (a considerably smaller figure than that for belief in God) thought that religion was, on balance, a good thing. Richard Dawkins and the other "New Atheists" would seem to have got their message across.It is becoming increasingly clear that the experiments of the last forty years, under the cover of but not necessarily mandated by the Second Vatican Council, have spectacularly failed in attracting new people to the Church and if anything, have helped push those already in the Church away from her. If we are going to win the culture wars with the aggressively anti-religious secularists, we are going to have to draw on the treasures that have served us well for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The Birmingham Oratory has a High Mass every Sunday at 10.30am, and Low Masses on Friday at 6.30pm and Saturday at 9.30am. See the sidebar for further details.