Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix: nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris: sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.
Every year for the past twelve years, Mater Ecclesiae Chapel in Berlin, NJ, has held a Mass of Thanksgiving (in gratitude for our erection as a Latin Mass mission within the Diocese of Camden) on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Due to the small size of Mater Ecclesiae’s church building, it has been held at various churches in the region — at Camden’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; at St. Peter Church in Merchantville, NJ; and last year at St. Peter the Apostle Church (National Shrine of St. John Neumann) in Philadelphia, PA.
This year we returned to St. Peter in Merchantville and, because of scheduling conflicts with our host parish, anticipated the feast and celebrated Mass on the evening of Tuesday, August 14, 2012 A.D. My family and I have assisted at this Mass since 2004, missing one year, so this year’s Mass was our eighth. However, thanks in no small part to the kindness and leadership of our rector, Fr. Robert Pasley, this was the first time I was able to participate directly in the Mass, as a member of the Federation of North-American Explorers (for European readers, the Federation of North-American Explorers are affiliated with the UIGSE-FSE, a Catholic faith-based youth movement and scouting organization prominent in Europe), whom Fr. Pasley graciously permitted to take part in the procession before Holy Mass.