Ann Arbor man, 29, helps start first U.S.chapter of ‘Juventutem’
Detroit — Paul Schultz might seem like an unlikely person to start up a local chapter of Juventutem, a group dedicated to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, commonly known as the Tridentine or Traditional Latin Mass.
Not only was the 29-year-old attorney not around when the Tridentine Mass was the common form of the sacred liturgy in Catholic churches, but he didn’t even become a Catholic until his college years.
And the first time Schultz attended a Tridentine Mass, he arrived late and they had run out of missalettes, he said, so he couldn’t even follow along with what was being said.
“But I saw a whole church full of people behaving as if God was really up there on that altar,” Schultz said.
Schultz, who was raised a Lutheran, said he had heard friends describe the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Real Presence, but his previous experiences at Mass hadn’t convinced him they really believed it.
But the Latin Mass, he said, turned out to be a pivotal experience in his faith life.
Now, he and four other 20-somethings have started the first United States chapter affiliated with the Juventutem International Foundation, a Tridentine group for young adults.
“Juventutem” is Latin for “youth” in the accusative case, as it appears in the prayers at the foot of the altar that precede the Tridentine Mass.
Schultz is the oldest of the founding membership of the chapter, which also includes James and Shauna Hitchcock, Andrew Fanco and Aaron Harburg.
They see Juventutem as a group for like-minded Catholics between the ages of 18 to 35. The group will meet periodically to attend a Tridentine Mass, followed by a social get-together.
Membership is open to Catholics within that age range willing to commit to a six-point program of prayer and participation that can be found online at juventutemmichigan.com.
It was at Harvard University that Schultz had that first encounter with the Tridentine Mass, and when he moved back to Michigan, he started attending regular Latin Mass at St. Josaphat Church in Detroit.
As a working attorney, he still goes to St. Josaphat at least one Sunday a month, while other Sundays he attends St. Thomas the Apostle Church in his Ann Arbor neighborhood or “Old” St. Patrick Church in Ann Arbor.
The new Juventutem chapter, which is focused in Ann Arbor and the Archdiocese of Detroit, held its first event April 27 at St. Josaphat with a 7 p.m. Mass followed by pizza in the parish’s social hall.
The next gathering will be on Ascension Thursday, May 17, with a 7 p.m. Mass at “Old” St. Patrick Church, Ann Arbor, after which the group will go out for dinner, Schultz said.
They will return to St. Josaphat on June 15 for a 7 p.m. Mass, followed by dinner, and then go to SS. Cyril & Methodius (Slovak) Church in Sterling Heights on July 21.
For more information about Juventutem, email Paul Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.