Who We Are
The NWI Latin Mass Community is a network of support for the Traditional Latin Mass in the vicinity of the Diocese of Gary, Indiana. It seeks to connect and inform those devoted to the Extraordinary Form and works to advance the availability of the traditional rites of the Roman Catholic Church within the diocese and nearby areas, in full communion with the local bishops.
The organization was officially founded on December 12, 2015, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Catholics in the vicinity of the Diocese of Gary are welcome to join to voice their support for the Traditional Mass and to receive information, updates, and other benefits that the NWI Latin Mass Community offers.
The NWI Latin Mass Community, in communion with the bishops, promotes and works for the increased availability of the Traditional Latin Masses, rites, and sacraments in the vicinity of northwest Indiana. It seeks to preserve, defend, and expand Catholic culture and tradition in a secularized world through beautiful liturgy, solid catechesis, evangelization, and good works.
Built on a Groundbreaking History
The history of the Traditional Latin Mass in northwest Indiana begins with the Carmelite Monastery in Munster. Its prior at that time, Father Thomas Balys, OCD, with the permission of Bishop Norbert Gaughan of the Diocese of Gary, established the Traditional Latin Mass on Saturday evenings. The first Mass was Saturday, August 25, 1990. 2015 marked its 25th anniversary.
The Carmelite Monastery was one of the very first locations to offer a Traditional Latin Mass for many miles around. In the greater Chicagoland area, the only other church to offer it every week was St. John Cantius in Chicago (which began in February, 1990). It wasn't until many years later that demand for the Traditional Latin Mass would resurge and cause it to become more widely available.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI legislatively removed all obstacles for those who want access to the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments. With that momentous event, the Carmelite Monastery, already with an established Latin Mass, was featured in local newspaper articles such as "Latin Mass Fills Pews at Munster Monastery," and photos and reports from the Carmelite Monastery's Mass were used in newspaper articles across the country.
In June of 2006, unable at that time to obtain a location in the Diocese of Gary, the Latin Mass was started on first Saturday mornings just over the Indiana-Illinois border at the stunning St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Calumet City with the permission of Bishop Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Perry himself has celebrated the Traditional Mass there. Other celebrants have included priests from traditional orders such as the Institute of Christ the King, Fraternity of St. Peter, and Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. 2016 marked its 10th anniversary. In a report to Rome, the late Francis Cardinal George informed Pope Benedict XVI on the success of this Mass; the Cardinal was eager that it continue.
In the fall of 2007, shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's landmark legislation "Summorum Pontificum," a Latin Mass began at St. Stanislaus church in Michigan City every Sunday at noon. Father John Hogan was the celebrant. Father Hogan passed away on September 14, 2014, the seventh anniversary of "Summorum Pontificum" coming into effect. Regrettably, the Mass was suspended due to lack of an available celebrant.
A Bright Future
On January 1, 2018, Bishop Joseph Perry visited Gary for the first Traditional Latin Mass in Holy Angels Cathedral in more than 50 years. Even with a temperature of -4 degrees (and windchill of -19 degrees), hundreds of people came to Gary on a holiday—even without it being a holy day of obligation—and filled the Cathedral, particularly young families. The event was The Times newspaper's front-page story, Indiana's second-largest newspaper.
In November of 2018, Bishop Donald Hying announced that he invited the Institute of Christ the King, a priestly order dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass, to serve St. Joseph Oratory in Hammond, Indiana. This was in answer to a petition supported by the NWI Latin Mass Community, requesting a Sunday morning Latin Mass and parish life in the Diocese, especially for the very many Catholics who travel on Sunday mornings to attend Latin Masses in other dioceses. On December 2, 2018, Bishop Hying visited St. Joseph's to attend a Solemn Latin Mass; the event was also the front-page story of The Times.
On December 29, 2018, the Carmelites in Munster celebrated their final Latin Mass after having offered it for over 28 years. Celebrants over that time included Fathers Thomas Balys, John Kolaczek, Casimir Borcz, Edward Spyrka, Waclaw Lech, and Bartlomiej Stanowski, among many others. We remain grateful to the Carmelites for having faithfully offered the Latin Mass for so many years!
All Catholics are always welcome to attend the Traditional Latin Mass. Bring a friend, and experience the richness of the Catholic Church's traditions! As Pope Benedict XVI declared, "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too."