Thursday, November 14, 2019
Traditional Latin Mass at St. Monica's in San Francisco, CA

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 11 AM, St. Monica Catholic Church at 470 24th Street offers the Traditional Latin Mass. Here are some highlights from my time there on the feastday of St. Josaphat on November 14th.

  • The entrance to the weekday Mass is through the parking lot in the back. It is not through the front doors. The back area near the rectory has a small ramp and a door open where you enter. 
  • There is a restroom near that entrance, which is nice since not all parishes have restrooms available during the week
  • The Mass that I attended featured a sermon and was a Low Mass but went a full hour - actually a bit more than an hour. For someone coming to this Mass on their lunch break, this would be important to know. It was not a "quick" 30-minute Low Mass
  • The priest offered a compelling sermon even on a weekday where he spoke of the Catholic Church as the One True Church, outside of which no one is saved. And he highlighted our role in evangelization as a duty to bring all non-Catholics to the Catholic Faith. He even directly countered the errors of Pope Francis who has spoken negatively on conversions before. This was extremely refreshing to hear.
  • The church is not crowded at all. There was an abundance of room to move around and sit without bumping into anyone.
  • Approximately 20 people were in attendance - of which 17 were women. And all of the women wore veils. All of them. Great to see!

Not to complain, as I do appreciate this parish offering this Mass, there were some oddities that would stand out to someone who often goes to the Tridentine Mass:
  • The main distraction was the "loudness" of the prayers. I noticed even while sitting 6 rows back that I could hear the prayers ascending to the altar, the Munda Cor Meum, and the offertory silent prayers almost word for word. While the Canon was said in a lower voice, I could still hear many of the words and that was a distraction to me. The "Nobis quoque peccatóribus" was said so loudly it was a yell. I hope the priest continues to offer the Traditional Mass but modifies his vocal cords to be more in conformity with the rubrics of the quiet of Low Mass.
  • They were dog friendly, which is fine as I noticed a woman brought her dog with her. But the priest seemed to have a dog of his own that ran around the church and even the sanctuary for about 10 minutes from the start of Mass until the dog decided to jump on top of the priest's chair and sleep. Quite a distraction.
  • The priest did not make the Sign of the Cross at the beginning or end of the sermon
  • The priest did not wear a maniple
  • There was no "sanctus candle" placed on the altar
While it was not a "perfectly" said Mass according to the rubrics, the sermon was spot on. Please say a prayer for this priest.


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