This is a letter by a priest who loves the traditional liturgy, addressed to any other traditional priests looking for Excellent Priest Retreats.
Considering my options for a retreat this year I am realizing that what I want does not exist. I need an eight day priestly retreat of Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with daily Solemn High Traditional Masses (according to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass) in which the priest retreatants are the ministers and servers and choir aternatingly; including chanting the entire Liturgy of the Hours according to the Extraordinary Form. Of course, each retreatant would separately offer his own private Mass each day. What would it take to organize such a yearly retreat here on the East Coast (or anywhere in the world)? It seems to me that with six to ten willing and able priests, under a seasoned retreat master, and with a good master of ceremonies we could do it. Places abound.
In other words, I would like to raise the liturgical bar and the spiritual bar on our priestly retreats. It seems to me that the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises (which I have only ever done well in Spanish) is the most effective retreat method (either eight or thirty days), and that that should be coupled with the best of the Church's Latin Rite liturgical patrimony, which is the heart of the clergy. Why not boldly put the two together? Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that nothing like this exists in the whole world today, in any language. There is, however, a demand for it from the traditional diocesan priests around the world. Why should traditional priests have to go off alone to Solemnes for a retreat with high liturgy? Why on our retreats must we revert to the lowest common liturgical denominator? Our retreats should build us up! We need to raise the bar!!! God requires it of us and Pope Benedict XVI encourages it. Perhaps we could tap into the priests who have participated in the musicasacra colloquia and those who have gone to the Fraternity bi-annual trainings for the traditional Mass?
Are you with me? Any suggestions?
Please send this blog to any priests who are serious about liturgical excellence and the interior life.
Omnes cum Petro ad Jesum per Mariam,
El Padre Plinthos
N.B. For the annual Gregorian Chant and Polyphony Colloquium go to http://musicasacra.com/
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