So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Cæsar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours. ~Fortescue
John Figueroa, a parishioner at Holy Innocents in NYC, has joined the Wyoming Carmelite Monks of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There was a reception for him on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. Here is a short account of his desire to discern his vocation with the Carmelites in his own words, and the importance of the daily traditional Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents in this process.
A CALLING TO CARMEL
It is through
the Immaculate Heart of Mary that one receives the call to serve her Son as a
Carmelite. For indeed the life of a Carmelite is nothing more than an imitation
of Our Lady’s contemplative life. My discernment to Carmel began after
completing my novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at the Carmelite Monastery of
Brooklyn in July of 2013. Prior to making that novena would often assist at
Holy Mass at the Brooklyn Carmel. I had been making visits there since entering
the seminary for the Archdiocese of NY in 2012.
Providence would have it that that Carmel would be a spiritual refuge for me
filled with many graces and priceless friendships. I was able to witness the
hidden life of deep prayer, penance, and genuine joy just by hearing the
angelic voices from behind the iron grilles. The day after completing my novena
Our Lady did not waste any time, she showed me the beauty of her “Garden” through
the lives of some of her holy ones. The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne and St.
Mary Elias of the Blessed Sacrament are some of the Carmelites that Our Lady
inspired me with. But Our Lady would not stop there. That same day I came
across a website that would change my life forever. As soon as I clicked the link for the
Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, I felt interiorly as if this was Our Lady’s answer
to my novena request. It certainly was since now at 32 years of age I find
myself preparing to enter that Carmel!
go without saying however, how important Holy Innocents has been in discerning
my vocation. It was in this very Parish that
I would first encounter the Traditional Latin Mass; the Mass that has been so vital
in forming my own spiritual life, the Mass that has become the cornerstone of
my life. This parish continues to be a sanctifying oasis of prayer and devotion,
where vocations to all states in life are born and nurtured; undoubtedly, mine
was. Ave Maria!