Una Voce America Names Mary Kraychy Vice President

ST CHARLES, MO — Mary Kraychy, director of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, has been named Vice President of Una Voce America, according to an announcement by the UVA board of directors today.

The Coalition is one of several organizations that are affiliated with UVA, a lay movement within the Catholic Church that seeks to preserve and extend the traditional Latin Mass and Gregorian chant. Una Voce was begun in Europe in 1964, and currently has 29 member associations in 26 countries around the world, including the United States.

“Mary is one of the pioneers in the traditional Mass movement,” commented Fred Haehnel, a UVA director. “At the same time, she is an articulate and balanced advocate for the Latin Mass of the Roman Rite. She has the ability to see beyond the personalities and emotions that often complicate this apostolate, and to focus on the goal of actually getting the Mass into parishes with the permission of the bishops.”

Kraychy, who lives the Archdiocese of Chicago, has long been active in church matters. In 1978 she and others helped to start Aid for Women to help teens and women obtain counseling and services when facing unplanned pregnancies. Ten years later, when Pope John Paul II issued his apostolic letter “Ecclesia Dei”, which urged bishops to make the pre-Vatican II form of Mass more widely available to Catholics who desired it, Kraychysaw another pressing need that required her help.

“We read the letter and thought something wonderful would happen, but nothing did,” she reflected.

She and other devotees of the Latin Mass were hoping the U.S. bishops would form a plan to implement the papal directive. They were disappointed when Rev. James Downey, O.S.B., of the Institute on Religious Life, returned from the November 1988 bishops’ meeting to report that the bishops had no plan.

Before the year was out, the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei had been formed. Its purpose was to encourage petitions to local bishops, locate priests willing to say the Latin Mass, and distribute sacramentaries, handmissals and other necessary Mass supplies. The Coalition eventually published its own Latin-English Booklet Missal, and has distributed over 180,000 of them to laypeople, clergy and parish communities. They have since printed a Latin-Spanish Booklet Missal and specialized missals for weddings and funerals.

Since 1988, the number of traditional Latin Masses being offered each Sunday throughout the United States has expanded from six to over 200. These Masses are now offered in 120 different dioceses, about two-thirds of the U.S. total.

In 1996, Kraychy was named to the board of directors of Una Voce America. She was a speaker at the association’s first Leadership Conference, held in Cooperstown, New York in 1997. In addition to serving on the UVA board of advisors, and fulfilling her new duties as Vice President, she maintains a busy schedule at the Coalition’s headquarters in Glenview, Illinois.

In an telephone interview, Kraychy commented on her vision and the relationship between the Coalition and Una Voce: “Una Voce and the Coalition work well together,” she said. “Our mutual goal is to see at least one Latin Mass of the Roman Rite in every parish every Sunday. We let people know that the Holy Father has allowed the Latin Mass of the Roman Rite to be offered, that it is an effective means of converting people, that it brings people back to the Mass and sacraments of the Church.

“Una Voce, as an umbrella group, coordinates our efforts with those of over 60 chapters and affiliates, providing contacts and advice at the grass roots,” she said. “I’m honored to be named Vice President of the association.”