Something the Rad Trad attempts to do on this blog is to draw attention to those deceased who have played a part in the preservation of the older Roman rite. People will discuss Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre ad nauseam and neglect some more obscure, but equally important, names. We have mentioned Fr. Quintin Montgomery-Wright a few times here as well as Msgr. Ducaud-Bourget. In this lengthy excerpt from a November 11, 1995 Requiem Mass we see two men integral to the survival of the older Roman rite: Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler and Fr. Franck Quoex.
One could not call Cardinal Stickler a "traditionalist" either in the strict or general sense of the word, but he, like Cardinals Ratzinger and Medina, realized that the rapid liturgical transition brought considerable grief to a great many people and that something should be done to accommodate such people. Stickler openly celebrated according to older uses in the 1980s and 1990s when only he and a handful of other prelates "in good standing" would dare touch a pre-Pauline Missal (the bishops of Gabon, Cardinal Medina, and Cardinal Ratzinger are the only others that immediately spring to mind). He and his secretary, Fr. Gregory Hesse, helped Fr. Gilles Wach establish a house of studies in Gricigliano for an African society called the Institute of Christ the King, even ordaining many of their early priests (according to the pre-Pius XII books, as was their norm before c.2000). On May 12, 1996 Stickler celebrated an older rite Mass in St. Patrick's cathedral in New York City, to this day the most attended event in the history of that building. It was Mother's Day; the New York chancery ensured that the Mass was not advertised, but word spread when people learned Mozart's Coronation Mass would be the musical setting. The Roman rite owes much to Cardinal Stickler.
The other man of note in this video is not one of the ministers, but the Master of Ceremonies, Fr. Franck Quoex. Quoex, as recounted elsewhere here, was initially a seminarian with the FSSPX, but found them liturgically disinterested. He found his way to Fr. Wach and the Institute of Christ the King in Gricigliano, where he was one of the first priests ordained for the fledgling group. Quoex eventually became the Institute's liturgy professor and greatly influenced the society's liturgical praxis. Those who knew him said he was the only man in the world capable of arranging a Papal Mass should the need arise (it did not). The Institute eventually compelled him to leave when they switched to 1962 early last decade. Quoex went on to teach liturgy for the FSSP and, when he died in 2007, received an appointment to teach liturgy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where he would have had the opportunity to influence future generations of priests and bishops. Most impressive to me in this video, as someone who has MC'ed, is Quoex's unassuming deportment. Diocesan clergy, particularly prelates, are often uneasy about celebrating the liturgy in unusual ways and the MC is often tempted to arrange things himself or abjure the ministers for their mistakes. Quoex mildly adjusts Stickler during the Introit and as the Mass progresses eases the Cardinal into his prayer. The Mass is signature Quoex in some ways, very Roman: the Introit seems expanded beyond the versicle, possibly entailing more of the psalm from which it is taken, as in the early Roman liturgy; the choir is—gasp—in the choir rather than in an alcove (the usual thing to do when celebrating the old Mass in Rome); Dies irae is chanted in full while the Gradual is in recto tono, likely for the sake of the choir; the choir master is vested; the Last Gospel is said despite the absolution at the end (you can tell because the Pontificale has been moved despite the scene cutting). Quoex's kindness and affability towards those interested in the liturgy endeared the old rite to people and made them feel easier about celebrating it. He viewed the old Roman Mass as the "purest masterpiece of Western civilization." We ought to treasure it with the same mind and spirit as Fr. Quoex.
Let us thank the good Lord for giving us these two men and for what He did through them, and let us spare a moment for a prayer for the souls of those men.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem. Exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis care veniet. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.