Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Saturday, April 9, 2011


A group of us are here Sunday morning for an old-fashioned Latin High Mass. We are riding 40 miles out from Naples into the Everglades to visit once again this most beautiful place.  The whole mass is sung--in Latin--except the homily (spoken English).

This is how I was raised in the Catholic Faith. (Spirituality came many years later--still working on that!) This celebration takes me back more than 70 years, so please allow me freedom here to express my remembrances of Joy.

A well-trained, youthful, enthusiastic Ave Maria University choir is singing, as is all the congregation who remember the Latin (I do!). Three priests are celebrating. Our group from Naples (AA Peeps!) is sitting up front, because that is where I like to be, up close..."Close Encounter"?

This Oratorio seats 2,000 and IS a church to all who come here. Hundreds of students attend daily mass here. (Two masses during the week are Latin low masses.) On Sundays, this 12:30 PM is the only High (sung) Mass, the serene beauty of it lasts 90 minutes!

Please take a few  minutes to view this short video of Ave Maria Oratorio, located in the 'new' city of Ave Maria, Florida. Only 7 years ago this was cow pasture. For now I will not, simply cannot describe the town and the university. OMG! but it IS all so wonderful. Everywhere we walk it is like stepping on the Yellow Brick Road in "WIZARD of OZ". 




  1. I am happy to read this. I can relate to this. I love the Latin masses, the High mass, The Mass for the Dead. I love the chants, the homily, the prayers. Some people think that is stuffy but I find peace in the rituals. I still cry when I pray The Rosary. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, dear Steve. Please pray that I do not have a heart attack this weekend. Ride safely.

  2. Ces I have the same feelings about the Latin Mass. I too have fond memories of being an Altar Boy and the Latin Prayers and Hymns, the chants and the incense and candles always gave me a sense of peace and serenity in a safe place, outside of which was chaos and violence. All the very best to you in whatever is going on with you this weekend.

    Steve, thank you for posting this. I am a sometimes Catholic these days and have a fond memory of attending Mass with you and Anna in Bunker Hill.

  3. grew up in the baptist church...have a little experience in the catholic church...the liturgy though is refreshing at times...remembering joy as well is a good thing...

  4. You know, our mission group took us to all kinds of Catholic churches all over the world (including Lourdes, France in that "underground" church) and I don't believe I've ever heard the mass in Latin! Go figure. I bet it is an experience! Thanks for sharing!

  5. well,that is impressive. What a beautiful church and the music is splendid. I dont know if I could sit through a whole mass in latin, though. I'm afraid my mind would wander far. Like you, I'm sitll working on spirituality!

  6. Hey Steve! Your Andrew came over to my blog today and helped Bella and me! How sweet and kind is that of him! Man! You have some wonderful friends! Thank you Andrew! Tsup!

    Did you realize I know (Grade two) braille. Had a Perkins writer, donated it when my father (blind) died

    Didn't know you could paint blind! Also didn't know you had 'heart' problems. We shall certainly pray for you this weekend, since you're having bad vibes.

    I'm SO glad to know there are others like me, who loved the old-time rituals, processions, etc.

  8. ANDREW!
    As an altar-boy, I tasted my first wine (I got there early so I could open the bottle and pour, etc.). From the first, I adored, not God, but the smell, taste of that wonderful sweet wine, AND the feeling it gave me!
    Better stop writing about it, or I'll want to go out and buy a 'gallon'....Happy weekend to you, Andrew.

    Each December for 27 years I play in orchestra at Baptist Church for 9 presentations of "Living Christmas Trees" for approx 16,000 Peeps! It is the friendliest place I know--outside of my AA groups.

    Lots of cath churches in South Florida offer at least one 'Latin' mass a week, some one each day.
    My blind father went to Lourdes two times, when he was in great pain at an early age. The pain was removed (he claims miracle!) but blindness remained
    Blong story..("Blong"=my word for 'long Blog'--grin!)

    Well, I get up and walk around if I feel like it. Who is to say I cannot? My history for about 20 years now, is to not give a dammmm what Peeps think!
    But I DO DO DO love the music, and the pomp.

  9. Looks like it's gonna be a BEAUTIFUL day! Have a wonderful experience my friend!

    Ya know, the 'good and beautiful' days SO outnumber any other grouping--it is all I can remember (the good').

    I had a wonderful experience at the place where YOU adore the Lord--but that was long ago......

  11. Nice place to pray and make spiritualy grow deeper and deeper...Peep!

  12. There is something so wonderful about the ritual and rite that is so steeped in mystery and faith. When humility is a blessing and gift that sets my heart free and my eyes weeping.