About the NWI Latin Mass Community
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. It is managed by an eight-member board of directors that provides publicity, arranges special events, corresponds with church officials, organizes petitions, and advocates on behalf of the Traditional Liturgy.
Catholics in the vicinity of the Diocese of Gary are welcome to join this movement 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, at the recommendation 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 also celebrated the Traditional Mass there. Other celebrants have included priests from traditional orders such as the Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, 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.
On January 1, 2018, at the invitation of Bishop Donald Hying, 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.
Creating a Bright Future
The Latin Mass Community supports the long-standing Saturday evening Mass at the Carmelite Monastery and will always support its continuation.
However, the Traditional Mass is not available anywhere in the Gary Diocese on Sunday mornings, Holy Days of Obligation, or during Holy Week, nor are the traditional forms of the other sacraments and rites, such as Baptism, Confession, Confirmation, Marriage, and funerals. So many people from the Diocese of Gary are therefore forced to travel to other dioceses to fulfill what Pope Benedict XVI1 and Pope St. John Paul II2 called their "rightful aspirations." Sadly, too, these faithful are left without any kind of parish life.
The NWI Latin Mass Community is currently exploring possibilities to resolve these issues. We believe that the traditional rites deserve to be offered among the "variety of prayer experiences across the diocese," and we want to help ensure that no Catholic in the Gary Diocese who loves tradition is left "marginalized and disengaged."3
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." Show your support by registering today!
- Benedict XVI. Letter to Bishops Accompanying "Summorum Pontificum". 7 July 2007.
- John Paul II. Apostolic Letter given Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei. 2 July 1988.
- Gary Diocese Synod. Top Synod Initiatives. 1b of "Sacraments, Prayer and Worship" and 3b of "Evangelization."