The Gregorian Rite (TLM) in New Zealand

The first traditional Catholic priest I ever met was Fr. John Rizzo, F.S.S.P., a fiery preacher with boundless energy who would have received us into the Catholic Church had he not been transferred. Apparently he has just arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, to give the Gregorian Rite (a name worthy of replacing “TLM” for good!) a boost in this land where traditional Catholicism is barely present. He will be celebrating daily Mass at the historic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said to be the “finest renaissance style building in New Zealand”.

Here’s a recent article:

“Father John Rizzo arrived in New Zealand from Sydney this week. Trained with the traditional Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter in America, he will lead the daily Latin masses held in the cathedral chapel starting next week.

Rizzo says the Christchurch diocese is following a worldwide conservative trend in the Catholic Church.

Latin is a living language in the eyes of the Church and with the approval of the Pope, more and more priests are learning the Latin liturgy, he says.

During the Traditional Mass, priests face away from the congregation. Rizzo says this is not to separate priests from the people, but to lead the people towards God.

Catholic layman Pat Barrett says he will consider going to Latin mass once it becomes available daily.

‘It’s something I would take my children to. What Latin mass does is bring back the sense of the sacred which can be harder to find in English mass,’ he says.”

9 thoughts on “The Gregorian Rite (TLM) in New Zealand

  1. +JMJ+

    Christchurch was apparently always the place to be, but I never made it there during my two years in New Zealand.

    I wonder what my old Marxist “friends” at the Catholic (in name only) chaplaincy of my Wellington university are making of this development . . .


  2. +JMJ+

    I didn’t like it very much, Jeff. =(

    Now that I’m back home, I do miss my friends (mostly fellow “international students,” though, and only one or two natives) and the relative freedom I enjoyed there. Wellington wasn’t all bad.

    A few months ago, I was discussing the general “Down Under” area with a friend who had just moved to Australia with her family. She could not articulate what she didn’t like about her new country. I happened to say of New Zealand, “It’s a good place to live if you don’t believe in God and don’t like people who do believe in God”–and she nearly jumped out of her seat to say that THAT was what bothered her about Australia.

    I was living in Wellington when both prostitution and “Civil Unions” (their term for same-sex “marriage”) were made legal. I wish I could say that Kiwi Catholics raised as big a stink about both, but the reality is that it was the Evangelicals who led the way. Even as I commend them for their courage, I must shake my head at the way they went about it. There was a man who took a life-sized cross on a parade demonstration. A reporter stopped him to ask a few questions, including: “Why does your cross have wheels when Jesus’ cross didn’t?” The man retorted: “Jesus didn’t have to carry His Cross as far as I have to carry mine!”

    Arrrrrggghhhh! =(

    Christchurch seems to be another story. A lovely lady from there used to read Sancta Sanctis (and maybe still does?) and she was constantly reassuring me that there was *some* orthodoxy south of Wellington.


  3. My sense is that the legalization of prostitution in New Zealand has made sex trafficking from Asia very big there, including trafficking of minors. I read a story some time ago about social workers in New Zealand (it might have been Australia, but I’m nearly sure it was New Zealand) who wouldn’t even report and try to rescue minor girls from prostitution if they were some age like fifteen, even though technically that is illegal, despite the legality of prostitution generally. Instead they would try to “counsel” them to get “inside work” which would be less “rough.” Dark as things are in the U.S. (esp. in big cities), I get the sense that there is a kind of wildness and hardness to the darkness in some of these other ostensibly Westernized countries that is even worse.


  4. +JMJ+

    I get the sense that there is a kind of wildness and hardness to the darkness in some of thse other ostensibly Westernized countries . . .

    Hmmmm. I wouldn’t say that Welly was “wild” or “hard,” Lydia, but that it seemed very “young.” At worst, the whole country made me think that it was being run by intelligent, well-intentioned teenagers who had never had parents.

    All the Kiwis I met were proud of living in such an “enlightened” society where everyone is equal and the environment is a major priority. While I lived there, I corresponded with an American friend whose answer to all my descriptions of NZ was: “That sounds like what liberals have done to California!” (Oh, dear! I may be giving Jeff nightmares now!)

    Kiwis are very confident that they will not make the mistakes older countries have made. Ah, most likely, but they are nonetheless making the same mistakes that other countries are currently making. Children of their times, indeed, and too short a history to fall back on when they need it most.


  5. My references to wildness and darkness were especially w.r.t. the legalization of prostitution and its relation to sex trafficking. When I posted about this subject on a now-defunct blog, Right Reason, a New Zealander got on and more or less admitted that the story was probably true–about the social workers not rescuing minor girls from prostitution–but defended it. I got the impression it’s a very widespread problem. Prostitution is generally not legal in the U.S., and we also don’t have the proximity to Asia that New Zealand has, from which trafficking and sex slavery is really awful. Basically when you start having that much going on, you cross a line. I’ve read stories about the gangs in England who run that sort of business. When they want to frighten a girl, they threaten to ship her to Germany, where prostitution is legal. Evidently that makes things rougher on the girls. It’s something solemn to think about, especially as it flies in the face of liberal wisdom on the subject. (“If you legalize it, you can regulate it and make sure people are entering it willingly, are all adults,” etc., etc.)


  6. Happy to read this article and I pray for your success and mission to revitalize Catholic identity there…How wonderful to see the fruits of the Moto spreading so far across the oceans!!!!!!!! Peace and Best WIshes


  7. In reply to: “It’s a good place to live if you don’t believe in God and don’t like people who do believe in God” I can see some truth in this and it disheartens me to acknowledge it. I and my family are Christians. Many of our family and friends are too Christians and as per the last New Zealand Census there are over 2 Million Christians in the country making over 50% of the population Christian. The Government to this day still open with a prayer though this is not the same with other “Christian States” I think with New Zealand and our young history with Christianity our religious architecture is not as obvious as many of our European counter parts eliminating that spiritual feeling and if you look deep enough you will see that Jesus lives strong in New Zealand.


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