Annual trip 2018: Tridentine Mass found refuge with Lutherans in Kazan

In November, the Moscow Society of the sacred heart of Jesus made a trip to Kazan, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Tatarstan within the Russian Federation.

The purpose of the trip was to serve «Triduum», which took place from 9 to 11 November as the part of the annual journey of the Society to various regions of Russia. During those days, the sky gave off the bright sun and the underworld – an icy wind. In the eight years since the foundation of the Society, It has brought the flame of the holy Mass to eight cities of Russia.

Kazan is a bright city on the sublime Volga, a river as wide as a lake, flowing quietly, majestically and welcoming in low-key manner pilgrims who arrived on its shores. The diocese center to which the city belongs is located in Saratov. The eparchy is led by Bishop Clemens Pikkel, born in the Saxon city of Kolditz (former German Democratic Republic).

The heart of Kazan is recently restored white Kazan Kremlin with its towers and visible from afar a gleaming Mosque, artistically illuminated in the dark, evoking associations with the tales of «Thousand and one nights». It was built a little over ten years ago. Nevertheless, it fitted right in surrounding landscape as if it had always been there. That is a symbol of the eastern religion growing strength, which stands out sharply with the grayish depressive buildings in its contemporary architecture of the updated Catholic Church, which erases itself from the picture of the world in the name of a confusing ideology called «poverty».

On November 9, from the city airport Domodedovo, pious pilgrims took off to the skies on the S7 plane, which is sometimes called «Cucumber airline» in jest, because of its green colored aircrafts. The 720 km flight to Kazan from Moscow lasted 90 minutes. The luggage, father Reto Nay, a well-known priest, doctor of theology, scholar and founder of

Despite the fact that father Reto barely speaks Russian, a confession was possible for the majority in their native language on condition of numerous repeating. Encountered linguistic difficulties turned out to be certainly useful exercise in humility for the penitents. Father Reto visited then Soviet Union in 1981 and 1982 years, when people used to look back on Russia’s pre-revolutionary times. The country, especially Moscow, became unrecognizable to him after so many years. From the ashes of the progressive, modern, socialist, and in fact gloomy Soviet Union rose a wonderful Country, hated by many journalists of the Western regime out of envy. Tatarstan became a part of Moscow Kingdom (Russia) in the remarkable 1552 year – after successful military campaign of Ivan the terrible on Tatars. In Germany in the same year the fugitive nun Katarina von Bora, Martin Luther's wife, died. In honor of victorious campaign, Ivan the terrible erected St. Basil's Cathedral on red Square in Moscow. Even for this reason alone, the conquest of Kazan made sense.

Pilgrims of the Society of the sacred Heart of Jesus visited Kazan at the request of local Catholics, who do not have the opportunity to regularly attend Mass of all time. They are deeply sympathized by Moscow traditional Catholics, who can kneel at the Mass of all time every Sunday and most holidays.

Inspired, undoubtedly, by the most Holy Teacher of the Church Gregory the Great, the idea to satisfy the request and make Kazan happy with the Old Mass appeared in the mind of the head of the Apostolic Society of the sacred Heart of Jesus Gregor Huber a year ago. As early as 2017, he has established contact with a Catholic parish priest of the exaltation of the Holy cross in Kazan and asked about the possibility at the request of local parishioners to serve in the temple of the Holy Mass according to the pre-form Missal. The local pastor belongs to the Argentine priestly brotherhood of the Incarnate Word. Gregor Huber patiently explained to the pastor, FR. Andrei Startsev IVE, what a great benefit the service of the Trent Mass would bring to the spiritual life of his flock. Gregor Huber also informed FR. Andrew that the Society of the sacred Heart of Jesus was organizing a parish Mass in the extraordinary Roman rite in the crypt of the Cathedral. In addition, during the meeting it was noted that on Sundays and most holidays up to fifty people taking part in the sacraments given O. Augustine Zenzele SDB, that Archbishop Paolo Pezzi was appointed responsible for the pastoral and liturgical service in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.

Negotiations dragged on. Further amount of work & difficulties increased in Moscow. In the end, the request of the society of the sacred Heart of Jesus was unconditionally rejected by the Kazan parish pastor, despite the fact that the Church is constantly talking about mercy and the need for dialogue with everybody. Here the pilgrims remembered the gospel according to Matthew 6,5:

«And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you»

With such great Catholic faithfulness to the Bible, the Society of the sacred heart of Jesus came to Lutherans for help. They built a beautiful Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kazan, dedicated to St Catherine. Likewise Mary came to Elizabeth, the head of the apostolate Gregor Huber departed to Tatarstan in the summer with a one-day preparatory visit. Nothing else stood in the way of the planned Triduum.

Pilgrims with German-Russian cordiality were greeted by Pastor David horn and another pastor, Christian Herman, who restored the parish and previously had ruled it for 15 years and now lives in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The admission Committee also included the legendary Victor Dietz, who is the Chairman of the national and cultural autonomy of the Germans of Tatarstan, Director of the German house of the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the German society Karl Fuchs in Kazan, honorary member of the parish Council of the Evangelical Lutheran community in Kazan, as well as author of books and articles on history.

He and pastor horn attended the Holy Mass with interest. The hosts were extremely hospitable, helpful and welcoming. Divine Providence has an edifying humor. What we were denied by the Catholics, we received a hundred times as much (MT 19,29). On Saturday after Mass, Victor Dietz even invited the pilgrims of the sacred Heart Society of Jesus to a restaurant where, despite protests, he forced us to eat excellent fish soup.

Entering the Lutheran Church, the pilgrims were happy to find that the second Vatican Cathedral bypassed the Lutheran side: the only altar in there was put in ad orientem. This is the best condition for the service of the Trent Mass. The first Mass was held on Friday evening. After the Mass, father Reto conducted the first part of the catechism, dedicated to the three parts of the Mass. For instance, On Saturday afternoon, he explained to pale with amazement audience, that the Mass is "not a victim". The fear that his mind had been caught in the net by the Lutheran Genus Loci, was over at the last moment, and he continued: "Mass is not a victim, but five victims." As follows: the victim of Abel (offertory), the victim of Abraham (the beginning of the Canon), the victim of Melchizedek (consecration), the victim of the Church (after consecration) and the victim of the Trinity (Per ipsum).

The five-fold form of the victim was buried under the ruins left after the second Vatican Cathedral. However, father Reto noted that not all the fault lies with the Pastoral Cathedral. For the opinion that the Pope can "change" the Liturgy is more or less on his whim of more significance. In particular, Pope Pius X (+1914) made significant changes in the Breviary and the calendar of Saints, changed the order of the Sacraments so that the first Communion was held before the anointing, and broke the Holy Mass into two parts, shoving homily as a wedge in the heart of the Holy Mass. His example of liturgical redrawing was followed by other Popes after him. What started small has grown over the course of half a century into today's decomposition of the Liturgy to complete uncertainty and insignificance.

Gregor Huber confidently interpreted sermons and lectures simultaneously. He also served at Mass with Nikita Glazunov, a young lawyer from Kazan. The Gregorian chant at Sunday Mass was sung by a young physicist Anna Shumakova, who manages the choir in the Moscow Society of the sacred Heart of Jesus, and the young Kazan biologist Gloria Glazunov, Nikita's wife.

Glazunov was also a guide around the city for Moscow pilgrims. They took pilgrims around the city of Kazan, for example, showed them the former Catholic Church, which was expropriated by the Bolsheviks and turned into one of the buildings of the Tupolev Technical University. Currently, test are held in a wind tunnel in the building. The Church underwent so many architectural changes that the diocese did not insist on its return after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In compensation, the parish received state support, erecting a copy of the old Church with minor changes in another district of the city.

On a clear frosty Saturday afternoon, the pilgrims visited the Kazan cemetery. There they found some of the Catholic graves, whose gravestones inscriptions, in the Polish language, were still distinguishable. Father Reto blessed the graves and prayed for the buried. The cemetery also has a Roman Catholic chapel of the pre-revolutionary era. For unknown reasons, it was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, which organized a Sunday school there.

God knows where and how the seeds sown by the Society of the sacred heart of Jesus during this trip to Kazan will germinate: "We hope that we could somehow contribute to the offering of the perfect Sacrifice in the vastness of Tatarstan, and, so to speak, as a by-product, the salvation of souls, Tatar and others, including ours» says one of the participants Triduum: «We are grateful that the Lord in his generosity chose us, insignificant but valuable to light the fire of Christ's Sacrifice on the banks of the proud Volga.»

This time, the Society went on an annual trip with an expanded composition: in addition to the priest and Gregor Huber, Anna Nikolaevna Shumakova took part in the pilgrimage, whose task was the musical arrangement of Sunday Mass and assistance in organizing the trip. "This trip gave me a valuable spiritual experience. Since this was my first trip with the Society, it was not easy, but the pilgrimage is not for the purpose of carefree time. It is great and unusual that we can do something really important for the Tradition of the Catholic Church in Russia and contribute to its spread. And since the Lord gave us this task, then there will be strength, and opportunities, the main thing - do not retreat," says Anna Nikolaevna.

Undoubtedly, Russia is much less spoiled than the dilapidated Western ostentatious democracy. "But even in Russia, the faithful have to fight like lions to survive," says the Apostolic leader after sixteen years of living and working in Moscow.

«To make the Mass, which was served during the miracles of Fatima and now in Russia, to force the altars to heat up, we must be here in Russia, and help this cause with prayer and donations," says Gregor Huber. Only then on the earth, which was mentioned in The Fatima prophecies, it will be able to cast a net for the immortal Liturgy of the Catholic Church.

The society of the sacred heart of Jesus is grateful to the Lutheran parish of St. Catherine for its trust, generous hospitality and support.