July 22, 2021
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
Dear Friends in Christ,
On Friday, July 16, Pope Francis issued the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, in which he established new guidelines for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (also known as the Extraordinary Form*) for the worldwide Church. I encourage you to read the document and the letter to the Bishops of the world that accompanied it in their entirety.
I was introduced to the Mass in the Extraordinary Form after my Ordination as your Bishop, and I found great reverence and mystery there. In every celebration of the Mass – regardless of the Missal being used – it is my prayer that we are all drawn into the gift and mystery of the Real Presence of Christ.
Please join me in asking for the care of the Blessed Mother and the wisdom of St. Joseph while I, as your shepherd, discern the spirit of what Pope Francis is asking of us and determine the proper implementation of these guidelines across our Diocese. Until these decisions are made, Priests in the parishes already scheduled to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form have permission to do so.
On this feast of St. Mary Magdalene, I am reminded of her words at the tomb: “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him.” Her confusion and despair soon gave way to great joy…rejoicing in the presence of the resurrected Lord. We place our trust and confidence in the Holy Spirit guiding our Church and her leaders to peace and joy.
Please be assured of my daily prayers for you, your loved ones and your intentions. May we meet each day in our prayers and Rejoice in the Lord always!
Most Reverend Stephen D. Parkes
Bishop of Savannah