On Friday, November 22, at 6:30 p.m. the traditional Latin Mass and California Mission Mass music will return to Mission Santa Clara, which serves as the Santa Clara University Chapel. Two choirs will chant the Propers for the Feast of St. Cecilia along with the Ordinary from a polyphonic Mass setting titled the “California Mission Mass.”

The California Mission Mass was arranged by California composer John Biggs from music written down by the missionaries for the converted Native Americans to learn, which Biggs selected from various Mass settings archived at Mission Santa Barbara.

A solemn High Mass will be celebrated by Canon Raphael Ueda, rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory in San José, with the help of Canon Jean-Marie Moreau, at the otherwise mostly-unused main altar. Canon Moreau who has returned for a visit to the area for a week, will preach the homily from the otherwise mostly-unused high pulpit.

Canon Moreau was the first priest to assist the lay people who started a process eleven years ago that eventually helped bring the traditional Latin Mass back to Santa Clara University, if only once a year.

Friday, after the Mass, the two priests will lead a prayer for the canonization of Father Magin Catalá. He died on November 22, 1830; this year marks his 189th death anniversary.

Father Catala first came to Mission Santa Clara in 1796, 19 years after the mission was first founded by Saint Junipero Serra in 1777. Father Catala labored there with great sacrifice for 36 years until his death in 1830. Although he is not as well-known as Saint Junipero Serra, Father Catala was a holy man, according to contemporary eye-witness accounts. A two-page short biographical sketch of Father Catalá can be found here.

Several reliable witnesses (whose letters still can be viewed in the University of Santa Clara Library Archives) saw Father Catala levitate when he prayed in front of a crucifix, and that the figure of Christ detached his hands from the cross and laid them on Father Catalá’s shoulders.

That same life-sized crucifix hangs over the altar where the prayer will be recited his canonization.

By Roseanne Sullivan