Latin Mass Catholics Prepare for World Youth Day 2008

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A youth movement for Catholics devoted to the classical form of the Roman liturgy (the so-called "Latin Mass") is planning to attend World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia. Juventutem derives its name from a Latin word for "youth" and is a multi-national organization dedicated to the daily sanctification of young Catholics through traditional devotions and liturgy. Pope Benedict has recently advocated a wider use of the Latin Mass in the Church in his papal letter "Summorum Pontificum," and devotion to this "extraordinary rite" of the Roman liturgy is growing.

A youth movement for Catholics devoted to the classical form of the Roman liturgy (the so-called "Latin Mass") is planning to attend World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia. Juventutem derives its name from a Latin word for "youth" and is a multi-national organization dedicated to the daily sanctification of young Catholics through traditional devotions and liturgy. Pope Benedict has recently advocated a wider use of the Latin Mass in the Church in his papal letter "Summorum Pontificum," and devotion to this "extraordinary rite" of the Roman liturgy is growing.

One of the most surprising news stories to come out of World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany was the presence there of a group of young Catholics, numbering some 1000-strong, who were worshipping God using some of the oldest rites in the Catholic Church -- including the Tridentine (or "Latin") Mass. This multi-national group called itself "Juventutem", a term which appears at the beginning of the pre-Vatican II missal of the Catholic liturgy: "Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam," meaning "I will go up to the Altar of God. To God, who gives joy to my youth."

Newspapers and magazines covered the story of these unusual young people who were so devoted to the ancient traditions, music and devotions of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Francis George (USA), Cardinal George Pell (Australia), Bishop Fernando Arêas Rifan (Brazil) and Archbishop Raymond Burke (USA) were among those Church dignitaries celebrating liturgies and leading devotions for Juventutem in 2005, which were often attended by WYD pilgrims coming from other groups to participate in the beautiful Masses and experience Gregorian chant.

Although 2005 was the beginning of Juventutem, much has happened in the intervening three years. It is now not so unusual to hear of a group of people devoted to the classical form of the Roman liturgy in the Catholic Church. In July of 2007, Pope Benedict issued a papal letter entitled "Summorum Pontificum", in which he advocated a wider use of these liturgical books in the Church. One reason for doing so, in fact, was the widespread devotion to these liturgical forms by young Catholics throughout the world.

"Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it," the Holy Father writes in his letter to bishops accompanying "Summorum Pontificum", "But in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them."

Juventutem and other groups devoted to what Pope Benedict has now termed the "extraordinary form" of the Roman Rite are not the curiosity they once might have been in 2005.

Juventutem has now become an international youth movement whose goal is the daily sanctification of Catholic youth through Roman traditions. A contingent of Juventutem members will meet this summer in Australia for WYD 2008, and the organizers plan a 2-week long schedule of religious and cultural events.

Juventutem USA has organized a WYD 2008 group package, led by Rev. Fr. Denis Buchholz of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. This priestly order, founded in 1990, is entirely devoted to the liturgical forms of the extraordinary rite. Fr. Buchholz was part of Juventutem at WYD 2005 and is currently pro rector of Old St. Patrick Roman Catholic Oratory in Kansas City, MO. The schedule of events includes daily Mass according to the extraordinary rite; lauds, vespers, and compline on most days; catechesis and rosary; attendance at the Papal Mass; and of course, some days to explore Australia. All Catholics aged 16-30 are welcome to join the group.

For more information on joining Juventutem USA in Australia for WYD 2008, please visit http://www.juventutemusa.org.

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