In the News

Dappled Things – May 2020

“So I was happy that I chanced across ten album covers posted by sacred music composer Frank La Rocca in response to a challenge from his daughter. La Rocca is the Composer in Residence for the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship.”

First Things – March 2020

Briefly Noted by Daniel Rattelle
“In The River of the Immaculate Conception, James Matthew Wilson confirms his vocation as a public poet. Commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute, this poem sequence of seven parts leads us through the lives of St. Juan Diego, St. ­Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Père Marquette, with interludes on the interconnectedness of art, place, and theology.”

National Catholic Register – February 22, 2020

Highlighting “The Great Renaissance Artist You’ve Never Seen Before” by Charlotte Allen at Catholic Arts Today

Catholic News Agency – May 15, 2020

“McConnell, a former federal judge on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, joined Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco as the main speakers for a briefing titled “The Church, the State and the Pandemic.” The event was moderated by Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the San Francisco-based Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship.”

National Catholic Register – May 15, 2020

“McConnell, a former federal judge on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, joined Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco as the main speakers for a briefing titled “The Church, the State and the Pandemic.” The event was moderated by Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the San Francisco-based Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship.”

The Catholic Telegraph – May 15, 2020

“McConnell, a former federal judge on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, joined Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco as the main speakers for a briefing titled “The Church, the State and the Pandemic.” The event was moderated by Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the San Francisco-based Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship.”

L.A. Catholic Morning – April 22, 2020

Medium – March 19, 2020

“Right when I am at my point of deepest solipsistic despair, in walks Frank La Rocca. His Ave Verum Corpus from his Mass of the Americas is a profoundly beautiful work written by someone who has thought very deeply about all of the problems of voice leading. I don’t mean to suggest that he is somehow writing ancient music. He’s not. He’s writing modern music that is informed by ancient principles.”

Dappled Things – March 2020

“The River of the Immaculate Conception: In Commemoration of the Premiere of the Mass of the Americas is a poem in seven parts by James Matthew Wilson, published as a chapbook by Wiseblood Books. The following interview with the author about the poem was conducted by email.”

First Things – March 2020

“In The River of the Immaculate Conception, James Matthew Wilson confirms his vocation as a public poet. Commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute, this poem sequence of seven parts leads us through the lives of St. Juan Diego, St. ­Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Père Marquette, with interludes on the interconnectedness of art, place, and theology.”

First Things – March 2020

“This is all necessary preface to understanding another, warmer narrative that flows beneath the ice: in the words of poet James Matthew Wilson, “another history than the one we’re used to.” This narrative is the current into which Wilson’s newly released chapbook The River of the Immaculate Conception taps. The book consists of a song cycle divided into seven related but formally divergent parts. Each part highlights a different episode in the story of Catholic faith in America. The whole is both an echo of the structure of the Mass itself and, more specifically, a response to the music of Frank La Rocca’s Mass of the Americas.”

Catholic San Francisco – January 29, 2020

“Just a year after its premiere, the newly composed Mass setting ‘Mass of the Americas’ has reached the hands of Pope Francis, as Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone presented him with a hand-bound copy of the score on Jan. 27 at the Vatican.

Archbishop Cordileone said Pope Francis “reacted with a smile and his eyes lit up,” as he received the gift. In a phone interview from Rome, the archbishop explained to him that the Mass setting, which unites popular devotional music from Mexico with sacred polyphony, was being celebrated in cities in the U.S. and Mexico ‘with the vision of promoting unity among the people on the entire American continent.'”

First Things – December 10, 2019

America as a Catholic Country by James Matthew Wilson

“When I was asked by the Benedict XVI Institute to write a poem in commemoration of Frank La Rocca’s Mass of the Americas, which the Institute had commissioned, I knew that some part of that early education would find a place within it. In fact, I knew in my heart that it must be called The River of the Immaculate Conception, though I was not quite sure yet what that would mean.

La Rocca’s Mass was composed for performance within the liturgy for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In 2018, when the Mass premiered, that feast coincided with San Franciscans’ annual Cruzada Guadalupana, a pilgrimage made in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. La Rocca had been asked to draw on the traditional hymns of Mexico, and on prayers in the Spanish and Aztec languages, and to harmonize them with English and Latin. His Mass thus celebrates our country as one consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, but one which also lives under the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of all the Americas. La Rocca’s Mass asks us to learn to see the Americas as one in their Catholic faith, just as Pope Saint John Paul II asked us to do in Ecclesia in America (1999). The Americas are many, our countries are many, but we are all citizens of the City of God.”

Religion en Libertad – November 26, 2019

“El sábado 16 de noviembre se celebró en la Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción de Washington, D.C., por primera vez según el rito tradicional, la Misa de las Américas, compuesta por Frank La Rocca e interpretada por el Coro Benedicto XVI bajo la batuta de Richard Sparks. Ofició la celebración el arzobispo de San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. Tras la misa, al cantarse la Salve, el obispo Corazón de León (que es lo que significa su apellido en italiano) no pudo ocultar sus lágrimas de emoción. Puede verse el momento en el minuto 2:16:56, pero vale la pena escuchar la Salve completa desde el minuto 2:13:00, acompañada por la realización con imágenes de Nuestra Señora en distintos lugares del templo. A la derecha de monseñor Cordileone en ese momento se encuentra monseñor Charles Pope.”

The Way of Beauty – November 21, 2019

“I haven’t had the privilege of hearing this in person, but readers may be interested to know of a newly composed music for the Extraordinary Form Mass. It was performed in Washington DC recently and was recorded by EWTN.”

The Tower – November 21, 2019

Mass of the Americas by Renee Rasmussen

“‘It was probably the most beautiful Mass I had ever attended,’ said Mary Boneno, a sophomore Theology major. ‘I especially loved how they incorporated the culture into the music, such as the traditional Mexican folk hymn sung during the vesting ceremony and the “Aue Maria” during the de-vesting ceremony.’ Boneno also stated that she thought it was ‘the proper amount of inculturation, in which the culture of the Americas was lifted up into the liturgy, rather than the liturgy being diluted to fit the culture.'”

New Liturgical Movement – November 21, 2019

“Our publisher Dr William Mahrt attended the recent celebration of the Pontifical Mass in Washington DC, the first time Frank LaRocca’s Mass of the Americas was performed with the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, and was kind enough to share this review with us. A complete video of the ceremony is included below, and several pictures of the Mass, courtesy of photographers Matthew Barrick and Jeffrey Bruno, and the Benedict XVI Institute.”

Fr. Dwight Longenecker – November 21, 2019

Mass of the Americas. Wow! by Fr Dwight Longenecker

“I was privileged to have a front row seat for the Mass of the Americas in Washington last Saturday. Wow! What a fantastic experience! The Mass of the Americas is a production of the Benedict XVI Institute in San Francisco. The Mass on Saturday is the brainchild of Archbishop Cordileone. In the round table seminar after the Mass the Archbishop explained that for most of his life he had worked in California with Hispanic communities and he appreciated their folk religion Catholic customs and devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It also hit him that the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception occur in the church calendar within a few days of each other. The United States is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas. Why not commission a Mass setting which brings all these things together?”

Our Sunday Visitor – November 19, 2019

“They had me at Santca Mariatzine. Although truth be told, that was the icing on the cake, so to speak, of the Mass of the Americas, a gift of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship. They say their mission is “opening the door of sacred beauty to bring people closer to God.” And Santca Mariatzine is the Ave Maria translated into the language Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke to Juan Diego.”

Patheos: The Deacon’s Bench – November 18, 2019

“A few days back, I mentioned the debut of a new Pontifical Solemn High Mass, the Mass of the Americas, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. It happened this past Saturday. You can watch below the full video of the Mass, celebrated by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone. Worth noting are the first 20 minutes or so, which includes the archbishop being vested for the Mass. Among other things, he dons a dalmatic.'”

Chiesa e post concilio – November 19, 2019

“Estrapolo da gloria.tv. L’arcivescovo di San Francisco (USA), Salvatore Cordileone, ha celebrato il 16 novembre l’annuale Messa Solenne Pontificale in Rito Antico nella Basilica dell’Immacolata Concezione a Washington D.C. L’enorme chiesa era gremita. Tra i fedeli c’era l’inviato di Gloria.tv Jungerheld.
Cordileone ha predicato che la bellezza nutre l’anima e ha suggerito che l’odierna mancanza di bellezza ‘spiega il turbamento spirituale in cui ci troviamo.'”

National Catholic Register – November 19, 2019

“Mary unites all of God’s children, sparking conversions among those of different faiths, said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on Saturday. The archbishop pointed to Mary as a force for conversion and unity among different peoples at The Mass of the Americas in the extraordinary form, celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and aired on EWTN.”

Catholic News Agency – November 18, 2019

“Mary unites all of God’s children, sparking conversions among those of different faiths, said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 16.The archbishop pointed to Mary as a force for conversion and unity among different peoples at the first-ever Mass of the Americas in the Extraordinary Form, held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.”

Alleanza Cattolica – November 16, 2019

“Il valore di ogni santa Messa, si sa, è inestimabile. E, arrivati al momento della consacrazione, qualunque sia il grado di consapevolezza dei presenti, le formule liturgiche hanno la forza di infrangere le barriere del tempo e dello spazio: misteriosamente, ci si ritrova in compagnia di angeli e di santi del Paradiso ai piedi della croce, presenti al sacrificio per mezzo del quale Cristo ha redento il mondo.”

Aleteia – November 18, 2019

“As the sun cast its first rays on the Capitol dome, thousands of faithful descended on the unofficial parish church of the United States’ capital, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, just outside the gates of the corridors of power, to raise their hearts to Christ in a prayer for the nation and a return to the sacred.”

The Catholic Thing – November 18, 2019

“I had a similar experience this past Saturday morning. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco celebrated an Extraordinary Form Latin “Mass of the Americas” at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, accompanied by the music of Frank La Rocca, whom the archbishop had commissioned for that purpose. You can watch it by clicking here.”

Fr. Z’s Blog – November 1, 2019

“Coming up in November, His Excellency Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the Throne at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.Those interested can learn more about the Mass of the Americas at the National Shrine, and the conference to take place afterwards, at www.MassOfTheAmericas.org. I wrote with questions to His Excellency concerning some elements of celebration of the Holy Mass with the traditional form.”

Community in Mission – October 29, 2019

“I am pleased to announce that a Solemn Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be offered by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at 10:00 AM at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Further details appear at the bottom of the post, but first allow me to provide some background.”

Register Radio – October 25, 2019

“With Washington in political chaos and the Vatican on the heels of the synod of bishops discussing evangelization in the Amazon region, there couldn’t be a more fitting time for Mass of the Americas to be celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception November 16th.This week on Register Radio we find out what is so special about this mass at this moment when we speak with Archbishop Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.”

Corpus Christi Watershed – October 24, 2019

“Solemn Pontifical High Masses are not common events, but one will be celebrated next month at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. The Mass will be offered by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 10 AM (EST).”

The Missive – October 21, 2019

“On Saturday, November 16th, at 10 a.m., His Excellency the Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The event is hosted by the Benedict XVI Institute as part of a tour introducing the Mass of the Americas, a newly-composed Mass setting in the sacred music tradition of the Church. A free conference comprised of workshops and discussions with the composer and other Catholic artists will follow the Mass.”

Washington Examiner – October 24, 2019

“In his archdiocese, Cordileone commissioned what became known as the Mass of the Americas, which brings together sounds from popular spiritual songs among Mexican Catholics with more traditional sacred music. He believes this mass helps to break down barriers between Americans and Mexicans.”

Aleteia – October 24, 2019

“On Saturday, November 16, Massgoers in Washington, D.C., will hear a new setting that may have some of the characteristics of the classical Masses of the past few centuries but also is meant to carry the spiritual aspirations of people praying the liturgy. The composer is Frank La Rocca, and his work is titled “The Mass of the Americas.” Its first performance will take place in the context of a Solemn High Pontifical Mass honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary under her titles of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (the Patroness of Mexico and all of the Americas, and the Patroness of the United States). Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco will serve as the principal celebrant.”

Catholic Herald – October 22, 2019

Dappled Things: A Journal of Ideas, Art & Faith – September 2019

“In our era, new musical Mass settings are rarely commissioned. So, it’s notable that a new musical Mass was commissioned and premiered at a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco last December. For this article, I interviewed by email the respected Bay Area traditional sacred music composer, Frank La Rocca, who composed the Mass. We discussed when it is legitimate to call a musical composition a “Mass” and how he was able to incorporate multiple languages and non-traditional musical instruments and elevate them into a composition suitable for the sacred liturgy of the Catholic Church.’”

Dappled Things: A Journal of Ideas, Art & Faith – September 2019

“In our era, new musical Mass settings are rarely commissioned. So, it’s notable that a new musical Mass was commissioned and premiered at a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco last December. For this article, I interviewed by email the respected Bay Area traditional sacred music composer, Frank La Rocca, who composed the Mass. We discussed when it is legitimate to call a musical composition a “Mass” and how he was able to incorporate multiple languages and non-traditional musical instruments and elevate them into a composition suitable for the sacred liturgy of the Catholic Church.’”

National Catholic Register – August 3, 2019

“The archbishop noted that Frank La Rocca, the Benedict XVI Institute’s composer-in-residence, ‘created a superb new Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception called The Mass of the Americas.’ Its premiere was broadcast on EWTN and was so well received that, after being performed at San Francisco’s Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, La Rocca’s composition went to Tijuana and will be heading in the future to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., the Houston Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and then on to Mexico City, Rome and beyond, ‘because it is both beautiful and original, and yet clearly part of the great sacred music tradition of the Church.’”

Mosaic TV – April 7, 2019

Sunday, April 7, 5:30 am KPIX television Channel 5, CBS Bay Area
The Benedict XVI Institute seeks to “open the door of beauty” as a path to God. On this episode of Mosaic, director Maggie Gallagher discusses the many activities of the Institute and its already numerous contributions and achievements in liturgy, sacred music, and the arts. Past episodes of Mosaic are archived and viewable at sfarch.org/mosaic-tv.

Catholic Arts and Artists, Mosaic TV – February 2019

 

Musings of a Pertinacious Paptist – September 4, 2018

Latin Masses Debut at San Quentin Prison

Catholic Community Radio – September 4, 2018

SF Chronicle – September 3, 2018

Round-up of news – Leah Garchik

New Liturgical Movement – August 28, 2018

Latin Mass to be Sung in San Quentin by Gregory Di Pippo

The Coming Home Network International – August 24, 2018

The CHNetwork Weekly Roundup #119

Sonrise Morning Show – August 23, 2018

Catholic News Agency/EWTN News: August 15, 2018

Benedict XVI Institute At San Quentin By Mary Rezac

The Latin Mass Society in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough – August 14, 2018

Latin Mass for Prisoners

Mid-City Christian Ministry Network – August 1, 2018

Chant Camps Popping Up In San Francisco

California Catholic Daily: July 31, 2018

Chant Camps Popping Up in San Francisco Archdiocese

The Crux Now: July 28, 2018 (Pick up from CNA article)

Bay area project expands Gregorian chant instruction to children, teens

California Catholic Daily, December 20, 2017

Palo Alto’s secret gift to the Church – Roseanne Sullivan