At the crest of volatile years of experimentation, a new rite of Mass was introduced in 1969—no mere cosmetic treatment but a radical reconstruction of the Church’s central act of worship. A minority of the faithful continued to hold fast to the traditional rite, which John Paul II and Benedict XVI gradually freed from restrictions. The steady growth of this “traditionalist” movement inevitably prompts questions in the minds of more and more people. What is it that Catholic laity, clergy, and religious are discovering and falling in love with? Could you—should you—be among them?
In this engaging book, Peter Kwasniewski draws on decades of experience and, presuming no specialized knowledge, explains why the traditional Mass operates the way it does, what its distinctive features and benefits are, and how it still captures hearts with a beauty deeply rooted and perennially green. Every reader—whether already a lover of the traditional Mass or a complete newbie, whether committed or curious, perplexed or skeptical, sitting on the fence or bouncing back and forth between old and new—will find life-changing insights in these pages.
“Dr. Kwasniewski’s comprehensive new book has something for just about everyone seeking an answer to the question why it is so urgent that we take refuge in our tradition and reclaim our birthright as Catholics. Parents and grandparents with an interest in passing on the Faith to the next generation will also find much food for thought.” —ARCHBISHOP THOMAS E. GULLICKSON
“Peter Kwasniewski is the theological master and propagator of the usus antiquior. But never does he lose the common touch that appeals to the non-scholar or the mere onlooker coming to the classical Mass for the first time. Of books defending the usus antiquior, Kwasniewski’s Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright should hold pride of place on your bookshelf.” —REV. JOHN A. PERRICONE
“If you’re looking for carefully crafted, incisive, logical arguments as well as Pascal’s ‘reasons of the heart’ for why the Traditional Latin Mass is a lighthouse both for the Church and for your own soul’s voyage amid stormy seas, this is a book for you.” —REV. WILLIAM J. SLATTERY
“This eloquent work even fulfilled the function of spiritual reading for me, as so many passages rise into prayerful appreciation for the treasures of tradition. And if you love a good donnybrook, you’ll find plenty of deft argumentative pugilism.” —MICHAEL P. FOLEY
“Having recently rediscovered the Traditional Latin Mass, my spirit has been soaring ever since. I found Peter Kwasniewski’s writings to be a wonderful resource, erudite without being academically forbidding. This book could change your spiritual life forever.” —JANET E. SMITH
“Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright has that rare combination of readability and intellectual depth needed for responding to our ecclesial crisis. If you are already convinced of the pressing need to return to the beauty of tradition, it will provide you with sound rhetoric; if you are not convinced, it will draw you toward the truth.” —LEILA MARIE LAWLER
“Dr. Kwasniewski leads those who are curious about the traditional Mass into a thorough understanding of its superiority in language, music, prayers, postures, reverence, and piety. Although written by a scholar, this book is for everyone. Readers will come away with a new appreciation for our sacred birthright, meant to be passed on to all Catholic generations until the Lord comes again.” —JESSE ROMERO