About St. Gertrude the Great Parish

In the 1960s, as a direct result of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Mass was changed beyond recognition. Latin, reverence, and large chunks of Catholic doctrine went out the window. Disaster followed. Mass attendance plummeted, belief eroded, vocations dried up.

At St. Gertrude the Great, we remain faithful to the “old ways”—the Church’s doctrine and worship, tried and true, unchanged and unchangeable. We treat the Mass and Christ’s Body and Blood for what they are―the holiest thing this side of heaven. We preach only eternal truths of the Catholic faith—no feel-good stuff, no fuzziness, no ecumenical sell-outs.

At St. Gertrude the Great, you’ll see Mass celebrated in the ancient and venerable Latin rite, whose central prayers have been exactly the same since the days when our forebears in the faith emerged from the catacombs. As a Catholic you have a right to sound doctrine and pure worship—a right that no one, not even a bishop or a pope, can take away.

St. Gertrude the Great Parish is under the care of the Most Reverend Daniel L. Dolan, assisted formerly by the late Fr. Anthony Cekada and currently by Fr. Charles McGuire, Fr. Stephen McKenna, and Fr. Vili Lehtoranta.

History of the YAG

Thirty-some years ago (yes, that was back in the 1980s!), sedevacantist Catholic singles were scattered across the United States, Canada, and beyond with little or no way to get to meet each other.  This was definitely before the Internet was around!  The priests at St. Gertrude’s organized a series of Get-Togethers, often semi-annually, as a way for young people to meet and form friendships.  Thirty to fifty marriages resulted from these meetings, but once the majority of the pool of young people had been married off or gone to seminaries or convents, the demand for the YAGs dried up.  Throughout the early 2000s, though, the unofficial “YAG Alumni Association,” primarily Mrs. Charles Simpson, Mrs. John Eldracher, and Mrs. Paul Arlinghaus, did a lot of talking about how new YAGs were needed for the next generation coming around, but there was always the question of who was going to run it. 

The Prime Movers

IMG_20230625_145723_833In 2017 they found that person in Mary’s daughter Colleen Eldracher, a former college adjunct – now known to all and sundry as “The YAGermeister” – and the YAG was resurrected at last.  We started with only 50 people, then 60-70, and lately 90+.  While the ratio of guys to girls was pretty even the first few years, lately we have been getting more guys than girls.  Ladies, we need you!

While marriage is not the immediate goal, nevertheless, if you are looking, it may just turn out to be as good a place as any “to-get-her.”  (Only grade school phonics and English teachers seem to get this joke.  Congrats if you did!)

1986 Summer YAG group
1986 YAG:  Several of the young people pictured are parents of 2017-20 YAG attendees.

Cover Letter

1987 Summer YAG group
1987 YAG:  Apparently typewritten sheets work as advertising, because attendance went from 37 up to 58!  Mike Gough, the president, is standing third from left in the first row of guys (first one in shirtsleeves); Beverly Peters, the vice-president, is kneeling fourth from right in the second row (blue shirt).  The parents of the current YAGermeister are at the far left of, respectively, the first row of gals and the last row of guys.  YAGs DO bring people together!