The Traditional Latin Mass that has been said in Fitchburg, Massachusetts for almost two years will be discontuned June 5th.
The last Mass in the Extraordinary Form said at St. Joseph's Church will be last indefinitly, according to the community's blog. The chief reasons are that after...
"...a realistic evaluation of the fact that after almost one year of having the Traditional Latin Mass at this parish, the number of attendees has not increased and is not sufficient to maintain basic expenditures. The various considerations which affect growth, including Mass time, location, and proximity to other Traditional Latin Masses in the diocese may all be considered in our decisions for future directions."The statement also thanked Fr. David Phillipson, a priest who works with the St. Benedict Center in Still River, for serving as the community's chaplain, and Fr. Richard Trainor, pastor of St. Joseph's Parish, for allowing the Mass to be said in his parish. [The entire press release may be accessed here.]
The Masses moved to St. Joseph's on July 4th, 2010 after Immaculate Conception Parish, the location from 2009-10, was one of the four parishes closed by the Diocese of Worcester in reconfiguration in Fitchburg.
After this termination, there will be only two Latin Mass locations in the Worcester Diocese: the St. Benedict Center and St. Paul's Parish in Warren, which borders the Springfield diocese and near the Quabbin Reservoir. Both locations are nowhere near St. Paul's Cathedral in Downtown Worcester, and not accessible to public transportation. Only the Masses in the Archdiocese of Boston are accessible via public transporation.
Currently, Fr. Daniel Becker from Warren is the only diocesan priest who is saying the Tridentine Mass.
It is unclear this discontinuance will open the door for a Mass to be said within the city limits of Worcester and/or the bordering towns, but there is at least one parish for sure that is architecturally capable in New England's second largest city.
With all the closings and sales to non-Catholic entities, it shall be appropriate that a parish within the City of Worcester be sold to a Traditionalist religious order, such as the Society of St. Pius X, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, or the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign High Priest. This way, the diocese can be relieved of all fiscal obligations of plant managament, clergy assignments, and possibly only visit for confirmation if even that. They would be free from the bogus diocesan programs promoting things that have nothing to do with Catholicism.
To make this happen, please write to Bishop McManus and chancellor Msgr. Sullivan at the chancery so they can be heard loudly and clearly:
The Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, S.T.D.
Bishop of Worcester
The Right Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Sullivan
49 Elm Street
Worcester, MA 01609