We are Losing Ground

“We are losing ground”
Number of Traditional Latin Masses available in Los Angeles archdiocese shrinks

Of the 4.2 million Catholics in the Los Angeles archdiocese, those who want to attend an extraordinary rite Latin Mass have fewer options available to them with the recent demolition of St. John Vianney Chapel on the downtown campus of the former Daniel Murphy High School.

While the archdiocesan web site still lists St. John Vianney’s as offering a Tridentine Latin Mass every fourth and fifth Sunday of the month, the archdiocesan newspaper The Tidings reported Feb. 20, “After 72 years of near continuous use, St. John Vianney Chapel on Third and Detroit Streets in Los Angeles has closed. The last Mass in the chapel was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark on Feb. 8. The following day the work of dismantling the chapel began.”

Citing “a decade-long decline in enrollment combined with increased operating costs” and the “severe financial challenges” it faces, the Los Angeles archdiocese announced in October 2007 that it would close Daniel Murphy High School. In an Oct. 8, 2007 archdiocesan news release, the “severe financial challenges” were not spelled out — but the archdiocese had already said it would sell as many as 50 non-parish properties to cover its up to $373-million portion of a $660-million settlement with victims of molestation by priests. Now that the Daniel Murphy property has been sold, St. John Vianney Chapel had to be taken down before the site was turned over to its new owner. The school held its final commencement ceremony on May 30, 2008.

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