A reader sent in news and pictures about the the first Pontifical Mass offered at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg, PA since its founding in 2009. We have mentioned this monastery before (cf here and here). Here is what he writes:
Bishop William Waltersheid, the celebrant of the Mass, was at that time the Vicar for Clergy and Religious in the Diocese of Harrisburg and played an instrumental role in bringing the sisters to Elysburg, where a Carmelite monastery stood empty after it was closed a few years earlier due to lack of vocations. Recently appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburg, he returned to celebrate his first Pontifical Mass for their patronal feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Living the traditional Carmelite rule and praying the traditional Mass and Office, the sisters have continued to flourish in their new house, attracting many young vocations from around the country. His Excellency Bishop Joseph McFadden, Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg in which the Carmel is located, assisted at the Mass from the Throne. Many Diocesan Priests and seminarians came to fulfill the roles of Sacred Ministers and servers for the Mass.
See more pictures at this link.
(Photos courtesy of Mr. Chris Heisey)
I think that it is important for those of us in Iowa to understand the importance of the presence of the bishop as celebrant in the TLM. When the TLM is celebrated as Pontifical Mass, this is how the Mass is intended to be celebrated, for the bishop is our pastor. When a priest celebrates Mass, he does it as regent of the bishop, who cannot be in all places at once. Until that day in Iowa, when we can see the proper celebration of a Pontifical Mass (TLM), we will have to rely on photos and traveling to witness and worship at this celebration of the Holy Mass.
Let this be our prayer, that we will see this one day soon...