Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Traditional Latin Mass in Oklahoma. Facts and History.

In Oklahoma City there is a Latin Mass offered by the Fraternity of St. Peter, and another by the Society of St. Pius X.  Likewise in Tulsa, Mass is offered by both traditionalist Societies of Apostolic Life, and also by Fr. Tim Davidson at St. Peter and Paul parish.   Exorcist priests of the new Society of the Most Sorrowful Mother offer exclusively (but privately) the traditional Mass at their country oratory outside of Tulsa.  And, last but not least, the monks of Clear Creek Abbey offer the TLM out by Tahlequah.

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How did this Okie Traditionalist Catholic Movement start?

Well, going back to the Early Church, priests offering Mass in the Roman rite offered it in the sacred Latin language, with sacred Gregorian chant, facing the altar "ad orientem" i.e. "to the East" in a posture of "sacrifice to the Father."   The Roman liturgy revised under different popes had a common traditional form. Spanish missionaries passing through what is today Oklahoma offered this traditional Mass.  The original Catholic missionaries to establish the Church in Oklahoma, the Benedictine monks of St. Gregory's Abbey, brought this liturgical tradition as well.

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But in 1970 the Roman missal eliminated the main traditions as norms for Sunday Mass.  Immediately Mass was offered in a manner that as a matter-of-fact closely resembled Protestant liturgies.

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But don't Roman rite Catholics have a right to their liturgical tradition???

A few remnants of traditional Catholics sprang up in 1970.  In OKC, they were aided by a wealthy benefactor who built a traditional chapel, St. Michael's in the suburb of Bethany, OK.  The traditional Catholic Mass/Faith was not tolerated by the diocese, so the faithful invited in priests of the Society of St. Pius X, as well as different other priests who had decided to remain faithful to the Mass of their ordination.  As a matter of convenience, St. Michael's Chapel in OKC came to be served by priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter for a while, which would eventually leave to build their own church.  Now in OKC, one may legitimately attend the Traditional Latin Mass offered either with the Society or Fraternity.

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A similar path was taken in Tulsa, starting in 1970.  A group huddled around the private, side altar Sunday Latin Mass of an aging Augustinian monk at Cascia Hall Preparatory School chapel until he stopped this service.  The group started a chapel in a garage until it outgrew the space.  Mass would be held in rented hotel banquet rooms, until a proper church was built--St. John Fisher Catholic Church--and blessed by His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in the early 80's.  After a decade, the group again outgrew its space, swopping the small church with a Protestant group for their larger church, where Mass is currently offered west of downtown.

In the meantime, the Fraternity of St. Peter established an apostolate at an experimental "quasi-parish" in a run-down neighborhood of north Tulsa.  The community was called The Parish of St. Peter.  Traditionalist Catholics were isolated on their own island, paying rent to have Mass at a north-side church, until they finally acquired their own countryside church on the West-side of Tulsa, with an official parish called Most Precious Blood.

Recently His Excellency Bishop Slattery of Tulsa retired.  He is considered by many to be a very tradition-minded bishop, for establishing Clear Creek Abbey, the Fraternity in Tulsa, and the new exorcist Society.

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If you are in OKC, I encourage readers to experience a Traditional Latin Mass with the Society or Fraternity; or if you are in the eastern part of the state, at the Society, Fraternity, or St. Peter and Paul in Tulsa, or at Clear Creek monastery.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Another Day in the Heartland

Spanish steeples hovering over billboards
Homeless drifters hoping for help
Old lady cashiers without a pension
Diners, bbq joints, Mexican food trucks

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Okie livin', livin' the life
Workin', prayin', hopin', savin'
Keepin cool, lots of Quicktrip Big Q's
Flatish but lots of trees, some run down buildings but lots of parks

Tendin' to my little oasis
Flowers, tomatoes, new porch chairs
Dogs barkin', salmon belly sizzlin'
Its the weekend, goin' garage sale-in'

I'm an Okie, Traditionalist, and thats OK
Born and raised, Catechism-thumper of the South
Ready for more summer, and ripened bell peppers
Traditional Catholic on the Move

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You know it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My "Love-Hate" Relationship with Oklahoma

Being a craddle Okie, first generation son of a German immigrant, and second generation descendant of Pennsylvanian Irish Catholics, I've always felt a bit out of place surrounded by Evangelical Native Americans.  If "American" is the Genus, "Okie" is most decisively its own Species.  Indian-American Bible-believers devoted to a Protestant Work Ethic during the week and Epicurean good times on the weekend.  Its a rather unique place.

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My life as a Non-Okie Okie has taught me a few valuable life lessons.  Everywhere and always there is Good, and there is Evil.  There are forms of Christian culture, and there are forms of liberal, modernist, Protestant culture.  Such is the perpetual state of the City of God vs. the City of Man.

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(From The City of God, by St. Augustine)

I hate (yes hate) the love for formlessness and disorder that seems to dominate currents in Oklahoma.  Flipflops in Olive Garden, pajamas at Walmart, unembarrased farts and burps in the pew.  Its all cool.

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I hate (yes hate) Oklahoma Crassness.  There is a special bitter taste when you experience a raw blend of Pride and Stupidity in one singular event with an oddly cantankerous Okie.  Someone accidentally driving on the wrong side of the road barking at you for glancing at them.  It can be perplexing.

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BUT, Mea culpa for my own inordinate concerns for these aspects of Okie-life.  It probably goes back to my youthful pride returning to Oklahoma after a year in Wisconsin as a young man.

The truth is, I do love Oklahoma, or rather I am learning to better love Oklahoma, i.e. Okies.  I suppose its an innate patriotism for the Land and People of your birth and upbringing.  For better or worse, I am an Okie.  God put me here, so I'm resigned to being an Okie Traditionalist Catholic, German-Irish-American (without a drop of Indian blood in me) for as long as I live here.

Just scratch the rough, wild surface of your average Okie and you'll see tenderness, sincerity, friendliness, and country humility.  Case in point, an experience I had in a Quicktrip (a ubiquitous monopoly on the sale of gasoline here in Oklahoma).  After a bit of confusion between the cashier and one customer over the correct change, quickly a heated argument ensued.  It was intense and perplexing.  BUT, a moment later they were laughing and saying "See ya later man."  Such is daily life here.

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Again, I choose to love Oklahoma.  My last case in point, Mrs. Wanda, owner of Blue Hole Springs swimming hole.  There is a humility and charm about her personality that is truely characteristic of many Okies.

See time 0:37 seconds, and the down-to-earth quality of other Okies in this video.

Now ya-ll better start commentin' in there comment box below gosh-durnit, heck fire, don't ya know it.  :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

God created Alcohol!

God created Alcohol!

Ok all you Friends out there in Cyberspace. I'm at it again.  Channeling my inner Joseph Ostermeir--Okie Traditionalist Extraordinaire--to give you my 2nd Official Blog Post!  Hooray!  Kudos as Gatsby might have said to Nick Carraway over a martini poolside!

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Yes, a quick reference of my old theology and organic chemistry books confirms one indisputable fact--The Giver of Life created Alcohol!  First He created fermenting bacteria and yeast, but the 2 Carbons, 1 Oxygen, and 6 Hydrogens that form this divine molecule come directy from His Truely!

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I ruminate on this sublime truth having ingested a few ounces of Vodka following a hard day of work, chores, errands, and bearing the purgatorial heat of Okie-ville. Perhaps it is an excuse for regular (modest) consumption of Spirits, but I have always found motive in drawing from the well of God's divine nectar on occasion in that alcohol consumption is an integral part of traditional Catholic civilization. Just consider St. Benedict's daily prescription for monks to drink wine:

"Each one has his own gift from God, the one in this way, the other in                        that. Therefore it is with some hesitation that the amount of                                        daily sustenance for others is fixed by us. Nevertheless, in                                           view of the weakness of the infirm we believe that a hemina {just under               half a liter [sounds like a pretty generous portion!] } of wine a                    day is enough for each one."   (The Rule of St. Benedict)

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Which brings me to my present context--Oklahoma!  Oklahoma was in fact one of the very first states to embrace Prohibition DECADES before the crazy project went national, with unbridled, salivating enthusiasm.  It was the "Bone Dry Act" of 1907 that prohibited the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages (!), cleverly to include an absurd (bigoted?) BAN on fermented grape juice (wine) used on Catholic altars across the state.

   I don't know about you, but when I get        home from work on a Friday evening, I      like to frequent the little liquor store          across from the grocery store.  A pint of    Rum and a 2-liter of Diet Coke will do      me just fine for the weekend. 

   Recently, I overheard hipster customers    praising a new proposal in the                  Oklahoma legislature to withdraw their    prohibition of selling wine (yes, wine)      in grocery stores. A welcome change!

New Friends in this Matrix we call the Internet, I leave you with these final words from the good Apostle (St.) Paul:

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and                thine often infirmities."  (The Bible)


Monday, June 20, 2016

First Blog Post!

First Blog Post!

I'm sitting here in my armchair giving you my first post on my brand spankin' new blog, enjoying the AC while outside the heat index keeps climbing higher and higher everyday.  Its close to midnight and my eyes are drooping, but this first post is on my evening To-Do-List.  So here goes.

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Surrounded by Quicktrip gas stations, tornado sirens, and a Protestant church and restaurant on--I kid-you-not--EVERY corner, I begin this series of musings about Church and Society, life and death, joys and sufferings, and daily life from my vantage point here in the Heartland.

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I am Joseph Ostermeir, the Okie Traditionalist.  Preoccupied with the Traditional Latin Mass movement, counter-cultural living, being outside, diet Coke, buffalo wings, my summer garden, and Restoring All Things to Christ.  Ever seeking integration between the outdoors and indoor domestic living, work and leisure, urban and rural life, contemplative and social activities.  Persevering in traditional Catholicism, yet almost obsessively mindful of the pitfalls in both the secular mainstream and the inlets of the Catholic Latin Mass movement.

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My inspiration is the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, the lessons of Mother Nature, the life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Holy Family, and all those Teachers and Life Coaches that have helped me reach this point in my life's journey.

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