(TLMC) - The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite was offered at St. Agnes Cathedral as usual at 3 PM yesterday. There was one notable difference, the Most Reverend Bishop James Vann Johnston was in attendance "in choro". This tremendous occasion for the offering of the Extraordinary Form at the Cathedral was a great success that ended with a Q & A session after a talk given by His Excellency...THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: When you consider the history of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau this is really a remarkable event. It wasn't too long ago that the use of Latin was completely banned in this missionary diocese which spans the entire southern half of Missouri from Joplin to Cape Girardeau. Celebration of the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine) mass was virtually forbidden. Literally, the only place one could find a Traditional Latin Mass was in the local SSPX chapel in Springfield. However, all of that changed in early 2008 after the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. It was Bishop John Leibrecht's last act of attempted reconciliation before relinquishing the see of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. As a final gesture of good will he donated his personal vestments and alter cards from the pre-vatican II era.
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When Bishop James Van Johnston took possession of the see of Springfield-Cape Girardeau it was just a matter of a few months before the Traditional Latin Mass was restored to the cathedral in Springfield. The TLM is now celebrated there throughout the week and on all Sundays. Last Sunday was his first public appearance at one of these celebrations.