The local press is reporting on this phenomenon:
Ellie Arkin doesn’t speak Latin, so upon entering Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Madison on a recent Sunday, the 21-year-old UW-Madison student opened a Latin-to-English translation book provided by the church.
For the next hour, she and many of the other parishioners followed along in the book as the Mass unfolded mostly in Latin.
For centuries, this was the only way Catholics around the world experienced Mass. Reforms ushered in by Vatican II in the 1960s largely eliminated Latin Mass, but now, across the country and in the Madison Catholic Diocese, traditionalists are seeking its comeback.
Supporters say it offers a reverence and gravity lacking in today’s more casual worship approach.
“There’s this incredible sacredness you can feel and taste and see — it is not just a social gathering,” said Jacek Cianciara, 67, of Madison, one of the parishioners helping to bring back Latin Mass locally.
Other Catholics find the older style needlessly difficult to follow and too passive.
“When it’s in Latin, it’s just rote — you’re not reading the words for the real meaning,” said Alice Jenson, 66, of Fitchburg. “I’m opposed to having this artificial barrier being put up.”
Catholics now can attend a Mass in Latin somewhere in the 11-county diocese every day, although the vast majority of worship services remain in English. About 200 Catholics consistently attend a Latin Mass at least weekly, with others dropping in periodically, the diocese estimates.
That’s a tiny slice of total church attendance — about 57,000 people attend Mass in the diocese each week — but it’s a vocal and growing slice.