Today Fr. Patric D’Arcy, newly ordained priest of the Archdiocese of New York, celebrated his first Mass - a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form – amid the Gothic splendor of Blessed Sacrament Church. Many clergy and seminarians were in attendance. A schola performed both chant and polyphony, including Allegri’s Miserere.
(From Joseph Mercurio, Dennis Devito and Sean Connolly) The deacon was Fr. Steven Markontonis of St Philip Neri in the Bronx, Archdiocese of New York. Subdeacon was seminarian Nicholas Fernandez, Archdiocese of New York. Assistant priest was Fr. Brian Taylor of Saint Benedict in the Bronx, Archdiocese of NY. The Master of Ceremonies was Sean Connolly, seminarian of the Archdiocese of New York.
(From Charles Weaver, one of the singers) The choir for the mass was assembled for the occasion and was directed by Kyler Brown, organist of St. Jean Baptiste Church.
The music was as follows:
Mass ordinary, Gregorian Mass VIII Missa de Angelis
Sanctus and Benedictus from the Missa Brevis of Palestrina
Communion Motet Miserere Mei by Gregorio Allegri
Recessional Motet Exsultate Justi by John Williams
It was a joyous event, indeed. But I have to point out this sobering fact: Father D’Arcy is the only 2012 graduate of Dunwoodie Seminary to enter the New York Archdiocese (which, the last time I looked, has a Catholic population of over 2.5 million, close to 500 parishes, and includes much of the most important city in the United States (and the world)) And Fr. D’Arcy is from Ontario, Canada. We certainly should be grateful that 100% of the new priests graduated for the Archdiocese this year are interested in the Traditional liturgy. But at this point an honest reexamination of the policies that have led to this recruiting drought – which has been going on for decades – is no longer avoidable. And to think that in the 1950′s the Archdiocese was allegedly suffering from too many priests….