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  • Justin Haggerty | The Daily Knight

SSPX Parish growing in Atlanta

St. Michael's Church, SSPX, on Pentecost Sunday

ATLANTA, GA - Catholic parishes that offer the Tridentine Mass, or Traditional Latin Mass, are rapidly growing around the United States. More Diocesan priests are offering the Latin Mass, traditional societies are filling seminaries with young priests, and parishes are enjoying packed pews. Most are familiar with the beautiful success of the Society of Saint Pius X's parishes in St. Marys, Kansas, but few have heard of the Society's growth in Atlanta.

The Society's parish, St. Michael's Catholic Church in Roswell, GA., on the north-side of Atlanta, has seen fantastic growth in the past two years. The parish, which was started by several faithful families in the greater-Atlanta area, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.

Like most parishes, St. Michael's was composed of elderly parishioners who had attended Mass there for some time, dedicated travelers who drive nearly two hours every Sunday for Mass, and several large families that take up entire pews. Two springs ago, near the 101st anniversary for the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, St. Michael's became blessed with the attendance of new and younger families.

A total of twelve families, with young children, toddlers, and babies, now call St. Michael's home. More importantly, most continue to bring new babies into this world. This year alone, the parish has baptized nearly five newborns into the Catholic Church.

The parish has been blessed by the Holy Ghost, but that's not all. Over the summer, it was very noticeable that the parish continued to receive new people, at least two to four, every Sunday. Some would attend Mass and not return; some would attend Mass and return every couple of weeks; but, most continued to attend every Sunday. The influx of new parishioners eventually forced Father Danel, the parish priest, to add a second Mass on Sundays in August (Low Mass at 8:00am and Solemn High Mass at 10:00am). Don't forget Holy Rosary and Confessions before each Mass; needless to say, Father Danel's Sundays got much busier.

It's truly a blessing for him though, being blessed with the opportunity to baptize newborns and converts to the Faith, teach the correct Catechism, and be an instrument of the Holy Ghost to protect and grow the One True Faith.

Since St. Michael's added a second Mass on Sundays, the parish continues to welcome new people. Over the past couple of weeks, as I introduced myself and welcomed new individuals and couples to the Church, I started inquiring as to how they discovered St. Michael's and the Traditional Latin Mass. To my astonishment, most have not been cradle Catholics. More often then not, the new visitors to St. Michael's have been protestants, not yet converted, and amazingly they have copies of SSPX's Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962, in hand.

That's far better than I when I started attending the Traditional Latin Mass with the FSSP, Institute Christ the King Sovereign, and the SSPX. It was my grandfather's Catholic Missal, 1952 Catholic Press, mostly in English, that I had in hand and led me to the Traditional Latin Mass. Although astonishing, it can only be the Holy Ghost that is spreading such wisdom to Novus Ordo Catholics and Protestants to discover the Faith in such a profound way.

As the parish continues to grow, there has been discussions, especially among the younger families, to explore opportunities and solutions as to how to establish an educational platform for the children. The number of children is still small, but rapidly growing. Needless to say, if we did establish an educational platform for St. Michael's, it would likely serve as another avenue to attract and introduce new families to the Traditional Latin Mass.

The truth is that it would be a challenge. Most families, as all Traditional Catholics understand, are spread out around the greater Atlanta area, and even further. Some of the growing families, including my own, live too far away and it would be nearly impossible, particularly financially, to transport the kids everyday to school at the parish. If this becomes a serious possibility in the parish's future, which I think it will, all the families at St. Michael's would have to come together to develop a concrete plan.

If you live in the greater Atlanta area, I strongly recommend that you attend St. Michael's Mass on Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation. The Mass is absolutely beautiful, the choir gets a lot of compliments as well, and the community is very welcoming and supportive. The parish is full of Catholics who converted and found the Faith at some time in their lives, early and later.

If you are ever in the greater Atlanta area, on vacation or business, I also welcome you to attend St. Michael's. It would be our honor to be your home away from home, while you are visiting Atlanta.

For the continued growth of the Parish and thanksgiving to the Church:

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which thou embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg thee to graciously regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with thy power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once thou rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thy example and thy aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holy, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

From the Raccolta #476 & Enchridion #6.

In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus. Amen.

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