Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In just a few days, on the first Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2011, the Church in the United States will begin using the Third Edition of the Roman Missal. This translation will now be used throughout the English speaking world.
You may have asked yourselves, “Why a new translation?” Anyone who has been involved in the work of translation knows that it is a very arduous task to translate from one language to another and remain accurate and faithful to the original text.
Over the past several years, the translation we have used has been seen to be less than accurate in some areas of the Mass. For that reason, in order to assist us in our prayer and devotion during the most sacred moment in the life of the Church, the Holy Mass, it was decided by Pope John Paul II, to begin an initiative to update all the translations in order to be more accurate with the original Latin. In this edition of the South Texas Catholic, you will find an explanation and display of many of those changes.
I am deeply grateful to the Diocesan Office as well as many pastors, priests and lay people throughout the Diocese who have given their time to assist all of us in making this transition and understanding the depth and beauty of the words. The new Roman Missal will also include other additions which will be a great enrichment for us as we pray the Mass, namely the introduction of new feast days for saints who have been recently canonized. Also, there will be votive Masses including a Mass for life.
Some may find the translation to be somewhat awkward; however, I would ask that all of us take time to appreciate the depth and the meaning of the words of the Roman Missal now in their new translation. There are many resources to assist in this. The best collection can be found on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB.org.
Finally, let us not forget why we enter into the Church each Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. It is our encounter with the risen Lord truly present in the Eucharist, truly alive in His Word. This is an opportunity for all of us to reevaluate why we come to celebrate Mass on Sunday. It should not be just out of habit. It is to have a true encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ who loves us, died for us, risen for us and has left Himself in the Eucharist for our nourishment along the journey of life.
May the Lord bless each one of you. May He bless the Diocese of Corpus Christi which bears His name; and may we all find in the Holy Mass an opportunity to grow in the image of Christ Jesus, both individually and together as Church. May we become, through the Eucharist, the Body of Christ.
God bless you,
Most Reverend Wm. Michael Mulvey, S.T.L., D.D.
Bishop of Corpus Christi