On the one hand, it is the priest's prerogative to offer Mass any time he wants to, but on the other hand, traditionalist chapels are not like "regular" Novus Ordo parishes --- people often travel, and travel a considerable distance. Could some of the chapel adherents talk to the priest and explain the hardship?
And couldn't the priest just excuse himself earlier (after having taken a reasonable amount of time to socialize with the congregation), go on to lunch, and assign someone to lock up --- assuming that this is what is running him late for lunch?
I have noticed that the Catholic world tends to "stir early" --- 8 am Sunday Mass at the Novus Ordo church near my home is standing room only. Many people like to "get it out of the way" first thing in the morning, and there are a lot of elderly and military (both active duty and retired), both of whom tend to be early risers. In times past, a stricter communion fast (whether midnight or 3 hours) also made early Mass more desirable --- receive communion and then have breakfast.
There are at least two priests during Sunday masses at this chapel, one for confession and the other celebrating. There are usually more present, since this chapel is also the place where the priests of this priory live. They could have lunch at different times if they don't want to leave people alone at the chapel entrance. They also obviously could assign someone they trust to lock the chapel and deliver the key to their rooms.
Well, if this is really the reason for the change in Mass times, yes, that is rather odd.
Why do the priests feel the need to converse with parishioners for hours after Mass?
If they are choosing to do this, then it is they who are choosing to delay their lunch.
Surely, 30 minutes spent after Mass is sufficient time to make oneself available and socialize (and the priests would be available at other times via phone, email, appointments, etc).
I am suspicious of the reason you were given for the change in Mass times (which obviously worked for previous priors, so why not this one):
I can’t believe priests would feel compelled to tap for so many hours after Mass that they were incurring starvation.
There must be some other reason.
If not, there is something wrong with this prior, and you should call the District office and complain.
I am also suspicious of what this man told me, but I won't bother to ask anyone else.
I don't trust people here. They seem to think that the SSPX shares papal infallibility. They never question anything.
First of all, you need to make sure that this "fellow parishioner" is speaking the truth and not just blowing smoke.
If the information is accurate, I agree with you. Raise your objections to the priest. It sounds like it's more important for them to allow people to gab after Mass for hours than to accommodate people like yourself who make great sacrifices to get there.
And why should people gabbing after Mass put the priests' lunch back so far? Why do they feel the need to participate? In fact, priest should NOT be that social with the parishioners. It creates issues. At seminary, the older priests with experience who visited repeatedly told the seminarians that they should very much avoid becoming too familiar with the parishioners. I could go on listing all the problems that might arise.
Why can't these priests leave them congregation to gab on their own and just go get lunch themselves?
I've attended one or two chapels before where the congregation is streaming out the door, almost stampede style, practically as soon as the priests says the Ite, Missa Est. They then proceed to socialize for hours. In the meantime, the chapel is completely empty, and Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament doesn't even get so much as a 30-second visit.
I sometimes get the impression that most of these priests have a strange mentality. I can't really explain it, but sometimes I feel like we are there to serve them.
I am not accusing anybody, this is just how I feel.
I doubt that they would care how much people travel to be there. They know us. They know we travel. They knew it before they moved the mass earlier.
Could it be that the priests are needed to say mass somewhere else?
As far as I know, they are not. There are some other chapels on which they celebrate mass, but those who are there on sunday morning don't leave in the afternoon. They don't celebrate more than one mass per day.
I think you're being too harsh. 2 hours is a very long trip, but maybe the priest has his own good reason to move it up an hour, maybe he doesn't. It's ultimately up to him, so as long as you're going to go to that chapel, you're pretty much stuck with how it is. You should not worry about "why" he changed the times, he did it and like it or not, that's the way it is. It is likely that as many (or more) people who hate the change, like the change, so he's screwed either way far as that goes.
Also, the priest is a hero, he just does not measure up to one of your requirements or expectations.
That's as good a reason as any I suppose. Would it matter if the priest had to travel 3 hours to offer Mass at 3 pm or some other reason you consider important? Your Mass would still be too early for you no matter what the reason.
As my mom used to say - "offer it up for the souls in purgatory."
Yes, that how I think.
I just wanted to hear other people's opinions about this situation.
I think it's worth to raise this question with these priests in particular.
In general, I feel very out of place at the SSPX.
I have never heard any kind of criticism from fellow parishioners. They seem to be completely oblivious to the resistance.
It seems to me that they think that the SSPX superiors somehow share papal infallibility.
I fear being "witch hunted". We have nowhere else to go around here.