Thursday, August 6th, 2009
We are pleased to inform you of wonderful news. Thanks to the good offices of The Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Hartford, the Latin Mass celebrated for those in the New Haven community who are devoted to the old liturgy, shortly will have a new home at Saint Stanislaus Church in central New Haven.
As many of our members and friends have known for some time, New Haven’s Sacred Heart Church, which has been the home of the traditional Latin Masses celebrated for our society since its inception in 1985, is scheduled to close in the very near future. We take this opportunity to express our deepest thanks to The Reverend James Richardson and the Parish of Sacred Heart Church for twenty-four years of hospitality and support. We express our special gratitude to Fr. Richardson for his willingness in recent years to celebrate the old Mass, often at but a moment’s notice, to ensure the stability of our schedule. We would be remiss if we did not offer our sincere thanks to Frs. Robert Newman, James Smith and Robert Ladish, who were brave pastors in making Sacred Heart Church available for the celebration of the old liturgy before its recent, more widespread acceptance. Our gratitude to them can never be fully expressed.
Aware that the closure of Sacred Heart Church is imminent, the Officers of the Society wrote to the Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Harford, late in the spring expressing the concern that when the church closed, the members and friends of the Society who have faithfully attended the Latin Masses there would be without a home. In his gracious response dated 23 June, Archbishop Mansell explained that he had consulted with clergy in the New Haven Deanery, and that The Reverend Roman Kmieç, C.M., pastor of Saint Stanislaus Church in New Haven, had offered his church as a new home for the Latin Mass in our community.
The Co-chairmen and Vice-chairman of the Society met with Fr. Kmieç on 10 July. After a discussion of the history of the Society and an examination of the church with regard to its suitability for the celebration of the old liturgy, Fr. Kmiec extended his generous invitation to the Society to make St. Stanislaus its new home. We accepted without hesitation since the opportunity presents so many benefits to the life of our group.
Located close to the center of New Haven at the intersection of State and Eld Streets, St. Stanislaus is an imposing edifice in the Baroque style, whose construction began in 1901 by Polish craftsmen and artisans from the old country. Served by priests of the Congregatio Missionis, founded by St. Vincent de Paul in 1625 (commonly known as the Vincentians), the people of St. Stanislaus are strongly traditional in Catholic faith and practice, many of them desirous of the return of the older liturgy to their parish. The beautifully decorated church interior remains essentially the same since the day of its consecration and thus ideally suited for the celebration of the traditional rites.
Relocation will require a considerable planning and hard work on the part of the Society’s Executive Committee and our members. With Fr. Kmieç we agreed on September 13 as the date on which the first Latin Mass will be celebrated at St. Stanislaus. Falling on the eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14th) this date is most appropriate, since it is the second anniversary of the implementation of Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. So we are pleased to announce a festive celebration of that feast with Solemn Mass and Benediction on Sunday, 13 September at 2:00 pm. We exhort our members and friends to mark this date on their calendars, to plan to attend the service with family and friends, and to offer prayers of thanksgiving for what promises to be a stimulus for an exhilarating new era in the life of the Saint Gregory Society. You will receive reminders of this happy occasion with details as to location and parking.