Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

We are excited to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage during our 5 pm Mass this weekend, on Saturday the 18th. I’m very happy to welcome Rev. Ron Machado, Pastor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Perth Amboy, as our presider for this outdoor Mass. We are arranging for a traditional Mariachi band to augment the celebratory mood. This Mass is part of the National Hispanic Heritage Month observed from September 15 to October 15, celebrating the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

The theme for this year is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” According to the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM), this year’s theme “invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past, and will continue to make in the future. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together.”

Hispanic Americans have been integral to the prosperity of the U.S. Their contributions to the nation’s economy and culture are praiseworthy. But the most important gift that our Hispanic/Latino Catholics bring to the Church in the U.S. is the faith and popular piety. Bishop Arturo Cepeda, chairman of the US Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, says: “We celebrate our faith within our Church, in our communities. We celebrate our faith with our families, and we want to continue to celebrate our faith in the larger context of our society.” Bishop Cepeda elaborated further in these words:

“One of the greatest gifts is the sense of community…that sense of being together, of solidarity, of being united with our own planet, celebrating and respecting life, our own Catholic traditions, our great love for Our Lady and the celebration of our faith through the sacraments. This is a sign of hope in a society divided by racism that is also grappling with Covid. We find strength within our families and I think that’s one of the greatest gifts – and that openness to talk to one another, to listen to one another and to be able to encounter one another.”

Such values are extremely important for us all. We join our Hispanic/Latino parishioners to welcome everyone for this Mass and celebrate our diversity. We are happy and proud that our tradition of welcoming and celebrating cultural diversity is one of the significant and meaningful ways to bring about the Kingdom of God more fully here at St. Matthias.

Sr. Marie Therese is the coordinator of our St. Matthias Cultural Diversity Council that has been organizing diversity events, especially during the feast of the Epiphany. She feels that this important Council can be strengthened further by having new members. If any of you feel called to this colorful ministry, kindly contact Sr. Marie Therese at

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

A Beautiful Tribute

Dear Friends,

A couple of Sundays ago, our sanctuary was decorated with some exquisite flower arrangements. People loved to see such beautiful flowers and commented on them. Those were more than the usual for a Sunday. That was thanks to the good will of Ed and Marcia Santucci who had a Sunday Mass offered in memory of Marlene and Anthony Volpe who were long-time parishioners of St. Matthias until their passing away last year. Mr. Volpe was a committed Catholic who used his career as a dentist and his compassionate heart to do so much good together with his wife Marlene. A few years ago he was honored by the Oral Health Alliance of USA for his many achievements in international research in science and his involvement with “Bridges to Peace” in the middle east, particularly in Israel and Palestine.

Ed and Marcia Santucci’s gesture of bringing those lovely flower arrangements on the Sunday for the Mass for the Volpe’s was their way of honoring the memories of this wonderful couple who made a difference in the lives of many people. It made me realize that it would be something that many of our parishioners may want to emulate. Every Sunday Mass is usually offered in memory of a beloved departed family member. Will the family like to honor that person by coming to attend that particular Mass? Yes many do that. Will the family like to honor that person by getting two flower arrangements in the sanctuary as the Santucci’s did? Maybe. In any case, I wanted to share this idea with you. If anyone wishes to do that, kindly contact the Parish Office and you will be directed on how to go about it. If more than one family likes to do it, the expenses can be shared. The names of those who sponsor such flower arrangements can be announced in the bulletin.

Quite a few of you have told me that you are happy to hear the intention for each Mass (weekdays and Sundays) announced and prayed for. I am happy to do so, as it brings a special focus on that family member whose memory is important for the family who asked for that prayer intention. I am told that this practice was discontinued a few years ago due to complaints about mispronouncing some of the names when announced during Mass. I’m sure all of us will agree that certain names are difficult to pronounce in the way it should be pronounced. I was happy that I myself was corrected a couple of times when I pronounced the intention names wrongly. Therefore I request you to let me and Msgr. Brennan know the specific pronunciation of a difficult or uncommon name so that any unpleasant feeling, though unintended, can be avoided. And if it does happen, I am taking an anticipatory bail through this column.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. Last year when our parishioners joined hands with the Firefighters and the local law enforcement agencies and organized our annual 9/11 memorial day ceremony here in our church, only a few people showed up. That was disappointing to me and to others. The experience of 9/11 is fresh in the minds of those in their 30’s and above. They can never forget the trauma we underwent as a nation, and so we cannot allow the anniversary to be erased from our memories as the years pass by. We need to be more enthusiastic about it and make every effort to keep those memories alive in gratitude to those fallen heroes, including our fellow parishioner John Collins, and family members and friends of many in our community.

But the younger generation, especially those in their teens and early twenties, will have no idea of 9/11 except as a history lesson that could become folklore with the passage of time. That is all the more reason for us to keep this anniversary as an opportunity to enlighten our younger generation about this historic tragedy that struck our nation. They need to be present at the anniversary ceremonies so that they can understand the pain and agony – physical and emotional – of those who suffered and continue to suffer.

I am asking our parents to bring their children who are in the higher grades here at St. Matthias School to this year’s 9/11 Memorial Service in our church this coming Saturday at 2 pm. I am grateful to Bill Cullen, a former fire Chief and John Hauss, Director of the Fire Prevention Office of Franklin Township and others who are taking the lead in organizing this important event.

Desmond Tutu, the famous Anglican theologian from South Africa, said: “As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities.” 9/11 anniversary is a somber time to remind ourselves not only the truth of that statement but also that we are capable of the opposite: that we have infinite capacity to do good. We can build up instead of tear down, because we are created in God’s own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). Hence we are capable of bringing about conditions for living in harmony and peace with all as St. Paul reminds us:

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone…, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:16-21)

God bless America!

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

The summer season is coming to an end. Most people, especially young families, have been busy with preparations for back to school and work. Here at St. Matthias, our students return to school this Thursday, starting with higher grades. It will be a joy for us all to see our campus more alive with the presence of our students and faculty. We are excited to welcome everyone back to school, but in a special way we welcome the new members in the faculty and staff as well as over fifty new students who have enrolled this year.

There are feelings of stress and anxiety among parents and kids about being back to school. On the one hand, there is excitement about the benefits of in-person learning which we, here at St. Matthias, have been having practically for the whole of the pandemic times. On the other hand families have concerns about potential disruption of studies in the event their child or a classmate tests Covid positive.

Such mixed feelings are very normal and so we have been planning to have measures in place to make the parents and students feel comfortable and confident. Mrs. Mary Lynch, our new Principal, has prepared a comprehensive “Return to School Plan” for reopening the school, putting in place all the health guidelines and safety measures, taking into consideration all possible scenarios. Certainly, such detailed planning gives us, especially all the parents, a sense of confidence that our students are welcomed into a safe learning environment.

It is important for us to spread this confidence in safety measures and speak positively about the care and love with which we, the teachers, aides, faculty, office staff, administration, and maintenance staff, welcome each child to our campus. We take it as a sacred responsibility that the parents have entrusted to us to become co-parents for their children for a good chunk of the school days. Parents are also partners in this. Students will experience fear and anxiety OR safety and confidence depending on what they hear the parents discuss about politics and policies about the pandemic response to face masks, social distancing, stay-at-home orders, etc.

It is here the importance of trusting in God must be underlined. I always have this line to sign off my email correspondence: “Let us keep taking all precautions and keep praying, because though we do not know what the future holds for us, the good news is that we know who holds our future!”

These uncertain times are the best chance that God has provided us to instill into our children the sense of dependence on a loving God who will protect us always if we turn to Him and make Him part of our daily life. After all, His promise is true: I will be with you always, even to the end of times.” (Matthew 28:20).

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

The Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, leading a Spanish expedition, reached the Philippines on March 16, 1521 and planted Christianity there. 2021 marks the 500th anniversary of this event. Pope Francis kicked off the yearlong celebration with a festive Mass in the Vatican last March. The entrance procession of the papal Mass was led by a young woman carrying a statue of the Holy Child of Cebu and a young man holding a replica of the Magellan Cross that was first planted on Filipino soil, accompanied by Filipino women dancers, followed by the ministers, clergy, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, other cardinals and the Pope.

The Filipino Apostolate of our Diocese, headed by Rev. Gerry Paderon, pastor of Queenship of Mary Church, Plainsboro, arranged to have a novena of Masses at different churches.

The venue for one Mass was here at St. Matthias, on Sunday, August 1, at 5 pm., and it was organized by Don & Gondee Tibay, Aida Santos, Emile Capuno, Jerry Tiongson, Carlo Hermino, Alma Valdez, and Menchie Ventura. They gave me the honor of presiding and preaching. Rev. Roberto Coruna, Pastor of the Annunciation Church in Bloomsbury, and our Msgr. Seamus Brennan concelebrated the Mass, assisted by Deacon Joey Perlas of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Port Reading and Deacon Roger Ladao of St. Francis Cabrini Church in Piscataway. We congratulate all the Filipino friends of our parish for organizing it and making it a meaningful celebration with beautiful singing in Tagalog and having a special 10-foot replica of the Magellan cross for the procession.

For the Philippines nation, the Catholic faith is part of the ethos of the people, etched deeply in their cultural and religious life. The Filipinos have carried their faith wherever they have immigrated. It was quite amusing to hear the comment of Pope Francis that the Filipino women were “smugglers of the faith,” meaning they carried with them the “torch of faith” wherever they went. He encouraged all Filipinos to continue being “smugglers of faith.”

One recent evidence of the Filipino witness to Catholicism was when the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, manifested her faith and devotion to Holy Mary for the whole world to see. Diaz’s triumph came in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event on July 26. After completing her final lift in a very close competition, Diaz held her hands to her face, burst into tears and clutched at her Miraculous Medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary hanging from her neck. Later at the medals ceremony on the podium, Diaz pointed heavenward after singing the Philippine national anthem, then made the Sign of the Cross before stepping down and shouting “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” (“Long live the Philippines!”)

As we appreciate our Filipino community who have the fire of the Faith in Jesus Christ and a great commitment to the Catholic Church, we pray that their example will continue to inspire us and make us greater witnesses of the Lord.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dear Friends,

It was a joy to have our Confirmandi students present at the Sunday 10 am Mass on August 1st, as they were beginning their week-long “ServiceWorX” program. For the next five days, they were bused to different locations for experiencing a variety of community services. They went to various sites such as CAC Somerset County in New Brunswick, Middlesex County Conservation area, Grow a Row at Milford Farm, Raritan Valley YMCA and Ronald Mc Donald House in New Brunswick.

Each day they would return and process their experiences in the light of the Social Teachings of the church based on the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. Here’s one of the emails we received after our students did a day of harvesting corn at the Milford farm (an hour by bus from here):

“Hello Awesome Volunteers,
I want to thank you again for joining us at our Milford farm this morning to harvest corn. In the couple of hours you spent in the fields, your team harvested more than 8,000 pounds of corn. This will provide nearly 32,000 servings of fresh produce for so many of our neighbors struggling with food insecurity. We couldn’t have done it without all your help! We hope you had a great time and we look forward to seeing you back in the fields.”

This is the kind of immersion experiences that our students had, followed by reflection on them each day for a whole week. It was supervised by Dee Nann, our Parish Faith Formation Director, and conducted by leaders and volunteers from the Center for Faith Justice (CFJ), with whom St. Matthias has a long-standing partnership. I am very grateful to Arien Yeddanapally, a parishioner and SMS alumnus and sophomore at Seton Hall University working with CFJ for the summer, Liam Myers from Milwaukee area and an M. Div candidate at Union Theological Seminary in NY, Lauren Borowick, a staff at CFJ, and Liz, a recent graduate of Sacred Heart University, also with CFJ for the summer.

On their concluding day, the students and the organizers came to our church, and conducted a prayer service. Eight of our youth shared their experiences. It was a testimony that touched me as well as the parents of the Confirmandi who too were present. Their testimony showed me clearly that real life experience and processing that experience are vital for forming one’s faith. I am very grateful to the parents who supported and willingly paid for the expenses for this project which was partially subsidized by the parish.

I have asked our young people to write down their testimonies so that the rest of our parishioners can read about what they gained and feel happy and confident that these vibrant youth will carry forward our precious Faith and Tradition here at St. Matthias.
Happy Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

Homily on Sunday, August 8, 2021

About a month ago, a parishioner told me she found a host under the seat … she was very sad to see that; being a Eucharistic Minister, she knew what to do, and she consumed it …. She asked me “Father, how could someone just drop it there?” I told her that most probably, it might be done by some non-Catholic visitors who must have come for a wedding or for a funeral. Even though I announce who can receive Holy Communion, when all got up for communion, they too must have come, but didn’t know what it was, didn’t want to consume it, and so must have just dropped it!  

I thought of sharing that incident with you, because we all need to understand the truth about the Holy Communion: it is the body of Jesus Christ – not a symbol. That’s why the Catholic church gives reverence and adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. The church is very careful about handling the host, and that’s why the church makes it clear that the Holy Communion is for Catholics only…not because we want to exclude anyone … (though some think so, even Catholics have told me the same: what’s wrong about sharing; it is a sign of fellowship….???…) If you don’t know what it is, if you don’t believe what we believe it to be, is there any point of receiving/sharing it? (But even those who do not wish to receive Holy Communion can come forward and receive a blessing; just cross your hands on the chest, so we know that you are coming for a blessing. Also parents, please make sure that your little children also a get a blessing and not the Communion)

To those of you who think, “it is just a symbol of fellowship, so what’s a big deal in giving it to non-Catholics,” listen to the answer from Jesus who tells us NO, it is my body; it is my blood. That is what upset the audience of Jesus as we hear in today’s  gospel. They murmured/complained about this teaching: How can he give his body to eat!!?? Who’s this?!! Is this not the son of Joseph …Mary…? We know him…….” Etc.

What did Jesus do? Did he soften his stand? No he was in fact doubling down on this truth:  Read the rest of chapter John 6: “Amen/Truly I tell you … unless you eat the flesh of the son of man …. No eternal life..”

Very strong teaching; what was the result? Many of them left following him!! “Hard saying/who can follow this” The Catholic Church has consistently stood by this teaching, because it came from the mouth of Jesus himself. Just read John 6, and you will see that he did not mean it in a symbolic way but certainly in its literal sense.

Some may say, but there are also other ways in which Jesus is present to us. Like in the poor! Yes, the Church teaches that and more: there are 4 ways of His presence in the Mass.

  1. In the Assembly: “where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst” = that is the promise of Jesus. So when you gather here, Jesus is here n the assembly. When you gather at home or elsewhere in His name, then he is there.
  2. In the Presider: A priest is ordained in his name or “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and for doing His actions. That’s why we stand when the presider begins the entrance procession with the deacons and other ministers.
  3. In the Word proclaimed: God is present in the Word. Did you notice that our church has the altar and the ambo at equal distance. Most churches have the altar at the center. Why this difference in our church? To show that Jesus is present in the Word Proclaimed and at the altar. That is why the first half of the Mass is called the Liturgy of the Word and the second half is called the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Or Breaking of the Word and the Breaking of the Bread. He is present in both.
  4. In Holy Communion: the Real Presence. Jesus is fully present – whether we can intellectually grasp this mystery or not. That is why we adore him at the altar and in the Blessed Sacrament kept in the Tabernacle. This First Friday we had the Holy Hour/Adoration. If you have not experienced a Holy Hour, or wonder how we spend an hour in adoration, have a look at our St. Matthias Youtube channel for this First Friday Holy Hour.

If we understand this truth ….then we will know that what we receive is truly body of Christ. Then we will come up with a sense of prayerfulness/reverence to receive the Lord; then after receiving him, we will spend a few moments in silence, speaking with the Lord in our heart. That’s why I keep requesting  you to read John 6 & meditate it.

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 8, 2021

Dear Friends,

It is not easy for me to write about what we, as a parish community, are going through in the context of the sentencing of Fr. Doug on Wednesday, August 4. Of course the sentencing date was known to all of us in May when Fr. Doug pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree theft for misusing the parish money for his own personal use. Yet the sentencing itself brings about mixed feelings.

On the one hand there is the sadness and compassion I, many of our staff, and many more of our parishioners feel towards our longtime pastor Fr. Doug who has to suffer this unfortunate consequence for his culpable actions. In my first Sunday homily after taking over the stewardship of St. Matthias in November 2018, I had said this, referring to Fr. Doug: “No human being can be defined by one mistake – no matter how big it may be.” I wish to repeat the same now that he is sentenced. Even as we accept the legal system for justice, we need to be more conscious of God’s will for us at this time, the call to be compassionate in our judgments and to offer forgiveness. The sinfulness in all of us should make us say, “If not for the grace of God, there go I.” Are we humble enough to have this attitude?

On the other hand, this brings us all a sense of closure and we need to move forward in our healing and growth as a parish community that has gone through this awful crisis of betrayal of trust. The way the investigation lingered for about three years has made the wound in our collective psyche take longer to heal. Now is the time for us to make a concerted effort to put this sad saga behind us and move forward with a renewed sense of hope for the revitalization of our parish. I am grateful to you for the constant support you have been giving me as you are aware of the many mechanisms I have put in place to prevent any such incidents in the future. Our excellent Finance Council has total access to carefully review all our financial matters and they have already communicated to you multiple times our financial health. Besides, our Bishop Checchio has put another mechanism in place (NAVEX Global EthicsPoint) for the whole diocese empowering anyone to alert the Diocese if any impropriety in a parish is suspected. I’m sure you already read about this anonymous hotline on our website and on other media. I wish to thank Bishop Checchio for his constant concern for St. Matthias and the guidance we received from the Diocesan leadership especially from Chancellor Kearns, Very Rev. Fr. Tim Christy the Vicar General, Msgr. John Fell, Tara Smith, the Communications Director and others.

As I continue to keep my promise of accountability, transparency, honesty and communication on all parish matters, especially on finance, I wish to continue my focus on our spiritual healing and growth. In this regard, may I suggest you to re-visit the series I had written two years ago, titled, “Healing Our Parish” which is on our website: . That will be an invaluable help for us to ground ourselves in God’s grace and strength.

I humbly ask you to pray for me to lead this Community with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I humbly ask you to reach out to me directly – or to Msgr Seamus Brennan – with ideas for moving our parish forward or for sharing concerns you may have about our parish.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal


Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Today I am writing about a topic I don’t like to talk about: Sunday contributions! Yet, I am doing it for two reasons: First to thank all of you for your tremendous support – in every sense of the term – of our parish community of St. Matthias. It has been a truly humbling experience for me to see the efforts our parishioners are making, to make sure that the contributions reach the parish. Thank you for the trouble you have taken to drop the envelopes in the collection baskets in the church, mail them, drop them physically at the office, or give online through Parish Giving.

A word about the last method of online giving, which is my second reason! My sincere thank you to over 660 of our parishioners who have signed up to give through Parish Giving, which has helped us reduce administrative costs as well as the costs for printing and mailing the envelope packets, while increasing the overall collections. This also allows us to better forecast our revenues, as the giving is more consistent. Therefore, this is the best method of contribution, though some are reluctant to sign up. Let me address some of the reasons I have heard for not signing up online:

  • The fear that giving out your bank info could be dangerous: It is good for everyone to know that the ‘Parish Giving’ company has been providing this service to hundreds of parishes for over 10 years and has in place all the latest security features to ensure that your financial information can never be accessed by anyone. But, at the same time, I wish to respect those who wish to continue the use of envelopes – no matter what.
  • The fear that you have no control over the amount once you sign up: Not true. You are in full control of the timing and amount of your donations. You can even login to the system or call the Parish Giving customer service team to make updates or even un-enroll/cancel at any time.
  • The fear of embarrassment that you are putting nothing in the basket while others do: True, but there is an easy solution. You can download and print “Collection Plate” coupons right from your account page, so you can still have something to put in the basket.

Therefore, I request you to please consider enrolling in Parish Giving – if you haven’t done that already. It is secure, easy to use and gives us the ability to count on your contributions each and every week, even when you might not be able to join us in person. Simply visit our St. Matthias website and then click on “Donate” at the top. Follow the simple registration steps. Should you need support, Parish Giving is available to answer questions and even help set up your account. They can be reached M-F from 8:30- 4:30 pm at 866-307-7140.

I do appreciate your support to our parish community. Most importantly, I, together with Msgr. Seamus Brennan, Deacons John Radvanski, Russ Demkovitz, and Ron Caimi, look forward to engaging and nourishing everyone spiritually as we grow closer to our Lord wherever we may be in our lifelong faith journey. And our parish staff is ever ready to serve the people of our parish.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

You may have heard of or even attended the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 which is in Latin. Following the reforms after the Second Vatican Council, the Church implemented a new Roman Missal in 1970, which is what is followed all over the world generally. The old Mass (TLM) in Latin was still allowed for those who didn’t want the new vernacular language Mass. The TLM had more prayers, chanting, rituals, incensing, communion on tongue only, women expected with veil on head, genuflections and other long-held practices – all of which are meant to bring about the sense of the mystery of the Real Presence, reverence to the sacredness of the heavenly liturgy and participation in the priestly sacrifice that Jesus Christ himself (the priest in persona Christi) is celebrating.

Those who followed the TLM felt that this Mass was the true liturgy and believed that a greater availability of this Mass could bring about a revival in the Church when more and more Catholics are leaving the Church. Others opposed this idea. In order to avoid a division, Pope Benedict XVI had given freedom for all priests to offer the TLM from 2013 onwards, hoping for unity and understanding. Last year the Vatican took a world-wide survey with all the Bishops to assess the situation in their own dioceses. The result made it clear that instead of the expected unity, the division was widening. The Pope writes:

“An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division. I am saddened that the celebration of the extraordinary form is now characterized by a rejection of the Second Vatican Council and its liturgical reforms. To doubt the Council is to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.”

Therefore a week ago, on July 16, Pope Francis issued a “motu proprio” (an edict by the Pope personally) limiting henceforth the use of the TLM. Explaining his decision, Pope Francis wrote: “In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum [Roman Missal] of 1962.”

This decision is very disappointing and upsetting to the adherents of the TLM. You will hear many comments of disagreement on this decision even from some bishops and cardinals. The context I explained above should help you judge for yourself as to why Pope Francis made this decision to stem the tide of division. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide the Church towards greater unity and grace.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal