COLONA – Traditional Latin Masses inspire a Geneseo woman's artistry, gardening talents and life.|
Pauline Swanson recently completed an "Our Lady of Fatima," oil painting, that soon may grace a chapel wall in an annex of Eagle Summit Community Church in Colona, where Catholic Masses are celebrated in Latin at 10 a.m. ever Sunday.
Mrs. Swanson also cultivates flowers to provide altar bouquets at her worship place. She belongs to a small group of Mass traditionalists, who found it difficult to afford renting a small building, she said.
"The Rev. Ed Clemmons, pastor, and the people at Eagle Summit Church, came to our rescue and allow us to use the annex and refurbish it to our liking," Mrs. Swanson said.
It has taken many volunteer hours and many hands "to make the room our Roman Catholic Chapel," she said.
Between 40 and 60 people meet every Sunday to hear traditional Latin Masses recited.
A mission priest travels from Rockford to conduct Masses in five or six parishes every Sunday and on Holy Days to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, Mrs. Swanson said.
"The 'Our Lady of Fatima' congregation of Roman Catholic traditionalists has worshiped together for many years," she said.
Before a Quad-Cities group was formed or they could find a priest to lead it, Mrs. Swanson drove from her Geneseo hometown to Rockford to hear a Latin Mass, starting back in 1969, she said.
"I believe I am following the true Catholic path when I hear the Tridentine Mass," she said. "By attending that rite, I can be assured that there is a valid consecration. When we talk about consecration, the center of the Mass, it is almost like a contract between Christ and the priest who acts in 'alter Christus.'"
Priests must have proper intentions, materials and form, which has all changed over the years.
"Now the form for consecration has changed," Mrs. Swanson said. "The words are different. Not only because they are offered in English, but the words have been changed and therefore the meaning has changed."
The traditional Mass dates prior to the Council of Trent, a Roman Catholic Council that was held when St. Pius V was pope. Changes were made during the Second Vatican Council in 1967, Mrs. Swanson said.
"At the Council of Trent, St. Pius V said: 'We determine and order by this our decree, to be valid in perpetuity, that never shall anything be added to, omitted from, or changed in this Missal, used in the traditional Latin Catholic Mass'," Mrs. Swanson said. "You can not do away with a law that contains within itself the words 'in perpetuity,' which means forever. How can something be acceptable for 2,000 years and suddenly, it is not okay. It just does not make sense to me.
"It is unfortunate that so many within the church have been misled to believe that the Tridentine Rite has been abrogated or replaced in favor of Novus Ordo," she said. "In light of the Papal Bull, 'Quo Primum,' that is an impossibility.
"I have never found the answer as to why the form was changed and I shall continue to attend the Tridentine Latin Mass," she said. "Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic traditionalists believe we are following Christ. It has not been easy, but Scripture from Matthew 16:24 guides us: 'Then Jesus told his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.' "
Latin Masses, she said, convey a truer and more beautiful meaning than those delivered in English.
Pauline Swanson bio box
Birth date: June 22, 1935.
Family: Husband, James Swanson; sons, Martin Swanson, Atkinson; Jim Swanson, Davenport; and Tad Swanson, Tuscola; daughters, Julie Shaw, Douglas, Wyo.; Susan DeBoever and Kirsten Velasco, both of Schaumburg; 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; sons, Peter Swanson died as an infant and David Swanson died at age 19 in an automobile accident.
Education: Geneseo High School and art classes after high school.
Experience: Geneseo High School principal's secretary from 1952-1955, and at Moore Business Forms in the Quad Cities from 1981-92; active in the Geneseo Art League.
Favorite Scripture: “Matthew 16:24 keeps the long term goal of my life in perspective.”
Favorite Biblical character I’d like to meet: “Christ and His Mother.”
Peak experience: “The births of my children.”
Pit experience: “The deaths of my two children, two great-grandchildren; my sister, and my niece.
Hobbies and activities: “Oil painting, gardening, music, reading, and there is not much that I don’t enjoy.”
One thing I feel strongly about: “My faith.”
I wish I knew how to: “Braid my own hair.”
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