Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church
Is this your new pastor, Father Edwin Palka?
Or is it his identical twin brother Father? If brothers, who is blessing whom? Or perhaps photos can be faked...
GPS for driving: 2510 East Hanna Avenue
Mail: PO Box 11246
Tampa, Florida 33680-1246
Larger print schedule on next page!
Will everything Change?
No. The One True (Catholic) Faith will not change! Those who wish to attend Mass in the ordinary form (Novus Ordo) in either English or in Vietnamese will still find it here at Epiphany of Our Lord. Other sacraments will be available in both languages in the newer rites as well. One more option is simply now available.
Monday - Saturday
Ordinary Form (English) Mass
8:00 am in rectory chapel
Fr. Peter Mon., Wed., Fri.
Fr. Dorvil Tues., Thurs., Sat.
Monday - Saturday
ExtraOrdinary Form Mass
(Traditional Latin Low Mass)
9:00 am in rectory chapel
Holy Hour of Adoration
following Latin Mass
Saturday Vigil (English Ordinary Form)
Sunday Traditional Latin Mass
7:30 am Low Mass
10:30 am High Mass
Sunday (Vietnamese Ordinary Form)
9:00 am and 5:00 pm
Monday - Saturday
Sunday after TLM Masses
Sunday before Vietnamese 5pm Mass
Meet the Staff
Stop Talking. Start Praying!
"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy." This often heard quotation from Vatican II is often taken to mean that the laity at Mass, in order to really "do" Mass, must be doing something--anything!--while in the church. So they take over the roles formerly reserved to the priest and/or deacon by becoming readers, distributing Holy Communion, and imitating his prayer postures (such as raising hands in the orans position during the Our Father and returning the priest's "The Lord be with you" with a similar opening and closing of the hands for the response, "And with your spirit").
They also insist that the priest turn and face them throughout the Mass even during all of the prayers which are addressed to God the Father, as if His adopted children are playing make-believe, pretending to be God themselves! Once this mindset takes over and even the most solemn Canon of the Holy Mass is seen as nothing more than a dialogue between priest and people, then dialogue becomes the norm for the rest of the Mass and for all of the time spent in church. Yap, yap, yap, to one and all but nary a thought toward God.
Does that sound harsh? Perhaps, but is it true? Absolutely! Now we have regressed to the point where people occasionally even answer their cell phones or reply to text messages before, during and after Mass. (Not at Epiphany, I have been assured, but elsewhere!)
None of this is will be found at the Traditional Latin Mass. Clergy remain clerics and lay people remain laity, each taking his own proper role for his state of life. The priest is not allowed, let alone encouraged, to become a mere entertainer. The people of the congregation take their prayer seriously, and help remind others to do so as well. There is just something special about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the ancient form which brings out the best in the Faithful.
Both the priest and the people face the same direction, East (or, if the church is not situated in this traditional manner, toward the tabernacle directly behind the altar, which is then considered "liturgical east"), towards the rising sun, in anticipation of the Rising Son at His Second Coming. The priest leads the people in prayer much as a general leads his troops into battle. Do you remember the term Church Militant? That's us, the faithful still alive and battling evil in this world. The Mass, properly celebrated and prayed, is our best weapon against Satan and his demonic army. Lead on, fearless leader, faithful priest standing in persona Christi, in the person of Christ! The battle cry is sounding and the troops are following you, properly prepared through this Mass for spiritual warfare.
But I don't understand Latin!
That's OK, God does! Missals will be provided, though I expect you will soon purchase your own so that you have it with you for personal use always and eveywhere, with English translations of the Latin. (Sorry, but I have so far not been able to procure any Vietnamese/Latin Missals.) The homily (which gets far too much emphasis nowadays yet is a minor part of the Holy Sacrifice) will be in English. Does it take more effort on your part to take full, active, conscious participation? You bet! It is always more difficult to pray well than it is to just sit back and expect to be entertained and then complain about being bored or "not getting anything out of the Mass."
Take Back Your Mass!
It's been a long time but do you remember what it was like when the Mass changed? How hurt were you, your family members and your friends? "They ruined the Mass!" was the cry, "This isn't Catholic!" was heard around the world. How many people, including priests and nuns, do you personally know who left the Church or their vocation or stopped attending Mass when the altar rails were ripped out, statues smashed, and Father Sternly Catholic suddenly became Mr. Friendly Talk Show Host walking down the center aisle with a microphone for his "dialogue" homily about that morning's funniest comic strip? How painful were the guitars and tambourines replacing the organ, accompanying namby-pamby or even heretical campfire songs instead of theologically and spiritually powerful hymns? Yes, some of you may have gotten "used to" the new Mass but only after resigning yourself to the "fact" that you had no choice. Now you have one again!
"But I prefer the new Mass" is an oftentimes heard reaction when somebody shows any inclination toward, or excitement about, the Mass of All Ages. But has that same person every asked themselves which Mass God prefers? Personal preference should mean nothing if it is not God's preference first and foremost! If you tell me that there is no way possible for me to know that God prefers the Tridentine Mass to the new one, you will also have to tell me how you, then, can know He prefers the Novus Ordo. And if you are so bold as to state that He is neutral on the subject, and that the Mass is the Mass so both forms (ordinary and extraordinary) are equal in dignity, majesty and efficacy, I will have the opportunity to ask you to provide even one more example of a matter of such importance (and our Salvation depends on the Holy Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, mind you) in which God is neutral. No, if two things purport to be the same (as in "the Mass is the Mass") yet are vastly different, it is apparent that one is going to be superior to the other. This is clearly seen even in the differences between two Masses of the same form, when, for instance, one is celebrated by a priest who is making up his own prayers and changing words of the Creed and even the Holy Scriptures so as to "inclusivise" the proper nouns for God, fails to wear proper liturgical garb, laughingly mocks Catholic teaching and disparages pious souls throughout the Mass, while the other Mass is celebrated reverently by a priest who follows closely the rubrics of the Mass, faithfully reads the prayers and Scriptures as written, promotes true Catholic teaching during his homily and portrays pious souls as worthy of imitating. While "the Mass is the Mass" still applies and both may be valid and both priests may actually give you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, it is obvious that the first Mass described (which everyone reading this has no doubt experienced many times, click here for example) is far less pleasing to God, even if many sadly ignorant parishioners clap and hoot and whistle their approval. So also I propose that there are great distinctions between the two forms of the Mass. The Venerable Old Mass was, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, substantially unchanged from the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604) to the present day, needing only occasional tweaks and restorations as innovations crept in (such as those which were cleaned up at the Council of Trent -- note that Trent restored the Mass rather than created it), and it produced countless thousands of Saints. The New Mass, on the other hand, was made up within a couple of hours, weeks, or months at the most. Which is more likely to be of a higher caliber and, therefore, more pleasing to God? Do I sound biased? Of course, I must! The Bishop sent me here specifically to build up the Traditional Latin Mass community. I cannot let him down by de-emphasizing the differences between these two forms of the Catholic Mass in the Latin (Roman) Rite. We are so blessed that he loves the Lord and us so much as to set up this parish as a refuge from atrocious Masses and a safe haven for solid Catholics who will, strengthened by the reverently celebrated Traditional Latin Mass, pray consistently and constantly for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls. Once again I beg you to stop right now and pray for Bishop Lynch's sanctification!
Epiphany of Our Lord Mission Statement: Our God-given mission is to evangelize and thereby produce Saints. We strive to provide the supernatural grace of the Sacraments which God gives in and through His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; to preach, teach and live the Truth regardless of its popularity or lack thereof; to encourage all men to be fully, faithfully, joyfully and unapologetically Catholic in all aspects of life; and to bring about, through the Mercy of God, and the intercession of the Blessed Mother and all the Saints, the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls.
Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus