10th Anniversary of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - 10 years of working for the good of Catholic Tradition in Russia.
In 2007 Holy Father Benedict XVI promulgated his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum regarding extraordinary use of the ancient form of the Roman Rite. A year later Masses offered according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal started to take place in the Moscow Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Mass would take place once a month being offered either in various rooms of the Cathedral's basement or in the local Curia's conference hall.
Fr. Augustine Dziedziel SDB, the oldest living priest in the Archdiocese, who was ordained in 1959, before the II Vatican Council, was appointed to tend to pastoral and liturgical (Forma Extraordinaria) support of the formerly small local Traditional Catholic community. Two servers were assisting priest at Mass, some people were singing in the choir as well. Average assistance was around 10 persons and from the standpoint of membership the community wasn't really constant.
The situation regarding the material support was at times difficult as well. Since the community had an incomplete set of priestly vestments for Mass the community ordered them to be tailored. Candlesticks, thuribles, bells and other necessary items had to be taken from the Cathedral's sacristy when they weren't in use for the Novus Ordo Mass. In other words, it was very difficult in the beginning to put things in order so that Mass could be offered in the most becoming manner.
After some time had passed some laymen decided to take an active part in further development of the organization of Traditional Latin Masses in the Cathedral as well as helping spreading the Traditional cause in Russia. For that the 'Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Catholics in Support of Summorum Pontificum' was established. All the regulatory documents were composed and signed on the Feast of All Saints 2010, and thus it became the birthday of the Society.
Our goals were as follows:
1. Regular organization of Traditional Latin Masses, offered in appropriate and most becoming manner, every Sunday as well as on all Holy Days;
2. Organization of spiritual exercises during Advent and Lenten Seasons for the Traditional community in Moscow;
3. Getting people acquainted to the Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, for which missionary trips were organized as well.
Members of the Society were serving the priests, singing in choir, ordering necessary items, Altar panoply and priestly vestments in Russia and Germany, as well as negotiating with the local authorities and visiting priests, who would substitute Fr. Dziedziel during his time-offs. This is by no means exhaustive list of everything that we had to come through in order to achieve our goals. Nevertheless we were prepared to face the circumstance that organizing Traditional Latin Masses would have required an immense effort and this wouldn't scare us because the Traditional Latin Mass has become very valuable and important to us.
We are firmly convinced that all those people who were coming to our chapel, were led there by God, and this was a great blessing to all of them. We sincerely hope that we also made our addition by 10 years of constant working for the good of Traditional cause, and this included but not limited to server training, Gregorian Chant revival, choir formation as well as inviting of professional organists, restoration and replacement of the church items and vessels for the more beautiful and traditional ones. The community was growing and in addition to local parishioners foreigners, who had Traditional Masses back home, started to go to our chapel as well. Sometimes on the principal Feasts the congregation was so big that there wasn't enough room for all in the chapel.
Because of the commitment and dedication of the servers as well as of the choir members the permission was received that Traditional Masses would be offered twice a month since February 2011, and then a year after, since January 2012, there were Traditional Masses every Sunday as well as on the Holy Days. In 2017 the first Traditional Easter Triduum was offered in the Extraordinary Form, which was also repeated in 2018 and 2019. We were ready for this in 2020 as well, but unfortunately our plans were cancelled due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Whenever it was possible we would also invite other priests in order to organize spiritual exercises during Advent and Lenten Seasons for the Society members and the community.
Apart from all of that we always wanted that the Tradition could be known by as many people as possible, and for getting people acquainted to it we would commence annual three-day travels to the regions, where the priest, invited by the Society, would offer Traditional Masses in Catholic parishes across the country. During the stays the priest would organize short catechises during which he would explain the structure of the Traditional Mass as well as talk about different aspects of the Catholic Religion, most perfectly fulfilled in the Mass of All Times. The first such trip was commenced in 2012, and since then 9 Russian cities were visited by the Society.
Also across the span of the last 10 years we have published five editions of our handbook Ordo Missæ which contained the Ordinary of the Traditional Latin Mass with side-by-side Russian translation. They were widely distributed across Russian cities where we would travel, as well as by mail. The total number of distributed copies is above 3000.
Since 2013, every year, we would ask one of our priests to write an article for our pivotal Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus regarding this great devotion. As of today we have 8 annual articles written by different priests and bishops from various countries.
Most of all we are deeply thankful to Fr. Augustine Dziedziel for his prayers and long standing pastoral care of our community.
We also thank priests who would answer the Society's requests and offer Traditional Masses in Moscow and Russian cities.
The Society thanks everyone who supported with prayer or donated for the continuation and development of our work.
By this our service to God and to people we answer the call of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We want to be dedicated to the Catholic Tradition always.
Let God send our apostolate many years of happy and productive work in his vineyard here, in Russia.
A Cruce Salus!