On Sunday, December 26th, His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke offered a Pontifical Solemn High Mass at the Seminary of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Rome. The Mass was offered in honor of Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, being his patronal feast day, and in thanksgiving for the elevation of His Eminence to the Cardinalate. The Mass was sung by the combined choirs of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate from various convents of the F.I. in Italy, and was conducted by Sr. Maria Cecilia Manelli and Fr. Giovanni Maria Manelli – resulting in an outstanding example of the magnificence the Mass is meant to have. The Friars and Sisters also had the honor of hosting His Excellency Bishop Gino Reali of the local diocese of Porto-Santa Rufino, Rome.
In his homily, Cardinal Burke focused on the need for beauty and splendor in the sacred liturgy, echoing what His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote in the letter accompanying his Moto Proprio “Summorum Pontificum:” “It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were ‘two Rites’. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.” And “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place…”