As my continued obsession over “liturgical abuses” drained me of any enjoyment that I might have had at my original parish, I soon discovered a new parish not far from my house that seemed to be the answer to my problems. It was a parish that was totally devoted to celebrating the Latin Mass according to the 1962, and was run by the Priestly Order of St. Peter. By this time, I had heard of the SSPX and knew that the group had a chapel in the northern suburbs, but I assumed (very naively in retrospect) that anyone who was interested in that kind of thing would just go there, leaving the FSSP parish full of “normal people” who just just happened to like the Latin Mass. After one visit to the parish I’ll call St. F, I was hooked; there were smells! Bells! Latin! It was just like what I had read about, other than the fact that this parish did have more non-white faces than the photos from pre-Vatican II America, which made it even more appealing. Here was finally a place where I would be able to fit and be appreciated for who I was. I filled out the “change of parish” form, without a second thought, and plunged headfirst into the world of Catholic traditionalism.
Ideally, everything would have ended up well, and there would be nothing else to tell, but that was before the drama occurred: scandal, conspiracy, blackballing, and the realization that I loved MLK more than Jesus.