Crooked Lines Need To Be Straightened Every Day
Thomas A. Droleskey
A personal milestone of sorts was passed on January 27, 2012. That date marked the sixtieth anniversary of my baptism at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Queens Village, New York, by Father John Dushan. My paternal grandparents, Edward Martin Droleskey and Adrienne Delfausse Droleskey, who was a member of the parish's Altar Rosary Society and the Catholic Daughters of America, served as my Godparents. Although I will never understand why my parents waiting sixty-four days to have me baptized following my birth at Jamaica Hospital in Jamaica, New York, on Saturday, November 24, 1951, I am grateful that they did so as I received the truly unmerited gift of baptismal innocence on my immortal soul that had been in the grip of the devil by means of Original Sin until that time. If we had a true sensus Catholicus in this country of Protestant and Judeo-Masonic emotionalism and illogic and sentimentality, we would be celebrating the anniversaries of our baptism, not our birthdays, as it is on the day of our baptism that our immortal souls were born to the life of Sanctifying (Habitual) Grace, thereby permitting the very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity to reside within us.
The seeds of the Holy Faith that were planted in my immortal soul were not fostered at home as my late parents, who were very generous on the natural level and taught their two sons to be obedient, polite, courteous and respectful to others, did not take It all that seriously in their own lives. Prompted by what I came to realize decades later were the prayers of my late paternal great-grandfather, John Jacob Droleski (a daily communicant until two weeks before he died at the age of ninety-seven in 1949 whose real last time was, as noted in my preface to Mr. George Farias's Chief Red Fox, Zdrojewski, which some people I have spoken to recently who have a knowledge of the Polish language have been able to pronounce exactly as my second cousin Scott Droleski pronounced it to me in a telephone conversation two months ago now), from eternity, my parents enrolled me at Saint Aloysius School in Great Neck, New York, which is where the seeds of the Holy Faith took root as a result of the instruction provided by the Reverend Sisters of Mercy and the good priestly example of a devoted client of Our Lady, Father Robert E. Mason, who had been ordained to the priesthood just a few months before I entered Kindergarten in 1956.
My indebtedness to the Sisters of Mercy (and to the wonderful lay teacher who taught me in fifth grade, Mrs. Greta Foley, a native of Ireland who spoke with a bit of an Irish brogue) and to Father Mason, who would become the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park in 1976, which is where I would become reacquainted with him again in 1981, is eternal. It was within the Providence of God that that I was born at a time when the Baltimore Catechism was being used in religious doctrine instructions. Although that catechetical series was not without a few flaws, it helped me to see my life through the eyes of the true Faith, admitting that God has had to work every day since then to straighten out this thoroughly crooked line as I had much yet to learn about rejecting the ways of the popular culture and the myths of Americanism, to say nothing of my own personal faults and failings that God will continue to try to hammer out of me until the day I die.
The catechetical foundation provided at Saint Aloysius School was firm, fortified by the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation on March 21, 1961, which was administered by the founding bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the late Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg. The Sisters of Mercy and Father Mason kept telling us repeatedly that we would have to resist the pressures of the world, the flesh and the devil, stressing the necessity of resisting all peer pressure into doing things that would make us "feel good" or make us "popular" with others in order to "go along with the crowd" or to be quiet in the face of serious injustices or grave errors concerning Faith and Morals. "You must come to understand," Father Mason told us emphatically, "that you may be hated for your defense of the truth in any situation, even more hated for defending the Faith in public or with others. You must also come to accept and to love the simple truth that you may never have any earthly vindication, that you might spend your days on earth being hated by others for your defense of the truth. Know this, though, and know it well: the truth about each of our lives is revealed on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the living and the dead. Our Lord was silent in the face of false accusations and calumnies and blasphemies as He walked on the Via Dolorosa. So must you be. Our Lord will speak for you at the General Judgment. That is all you need to know as you cling to the Blessed Mother in this life. That is all you need to know."
Indeed, that was all I needed to know. And it was because of my debt to Father Mason for teaching me this lesson so powerfully that I saw it as my duty to come to his assistance by teaching apologetics in his high school religious education program on Wednesday evenings in the 1982-1983 school year (while teaching full time at Nassau Community College and as an adjunct at Saint John's University, teaching religious education on Monday evenings in my home parish of Saint Dominic's in Oyster Bay, New York) when asked to do so by the director of religious education there, a laywoman who was the mother of one of my college students and whose own parents had been clients of my late father's veterinary practice in Queens Village.
The laywoman was not in the good graces of the conciliar "bishop" of Rockville Centre at the time, "Bishop" John Raymond McGann, because she used solid catechetical materials. It was because of the religious education program and the generally "conservative" nature of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park that McGann, who died on January 29, 2002, sent in two ultra-progressives to "monitor" Father Mason and his "program," giving them the charge to find some pretext for Father Mason's removal as pastor. In a space of thirty years, therefore, I had gone from being baptized at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Queens Village, New York, to trying to help the priest who had been so very instrumental in my formation in a difficult time he was having as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, New York.
Things came to a head in March of 1983 as McGann sought to purge four "conservative" pastors. Father Mason, who was only fifty-one years of age at the time, and Father Francis Bain of Saint Raphael's Church in East Meadow,, New York, and two others were to be purged. Although the chances were slim that Father Mason could be helped, he was the man who taught me to stand up for truth without fear of the consequences, something that I had been trying to do, despite my sins and failings, in my college classrooms since January of 1974.
Seeking the advice of Father Vincent Miceli, I wrote a
twelve page, single-spaced typewritten letter to Silvio Cardinal Oddi,
who was then the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy.
Making a very long and involved story short, the letter was sent off via
an air courier (Federal Express did not ship overseas in those days) on
Wednesday afternoon March 23, 1983, arriving in Rome the next morning.
Another colleague of mine from Nassau Community College who taught
religious education at Our Lady of Lourdes Church sent off a cablegram of his own. It
was on Saturday, March 26, 1983, that McGann got a cablegram from
Cardinal Oddi to tell him to do nothing about Father Mason until the
non-bishop came to Rome for his ad limina apostolorum visit
with the other New York province bishops the following month. Another
five hundred or so letters made their way to Cardinal Oddi thereafter.
McGann never attempted to remove Father Mason, who remained in the
conciliar structures and as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in
2007, for the rest of his seventeen and one-half years of being his
serving as the conciliar "ordinary."
Mind you, I thought that I was "fighting for the
Church" to help our pope restore her. I was wrong, although Father Mason
was indeed being persecuted for his Catholicism. I just didn't realize
that the fight was taking place in the wrong church. I was very much Hunkered Down on Mindanao.
The fallout from this battle was immediate and it was
intense. There was intrigue aplenty. The two liberals, who were allied
with a "permanent" deacon in the parish, had heard about my letter,
which somehow disappeared from the purse of the parish high
school religious education director at a Novus Ordo service during Holy Week before
winding up on the fourth floor of 50 North Park Avenue in Rockville
Centre, New York, in the offices of one John Raymond McGann, who rarely
missed an opportunity to bring up my letter when meeting with people in
the parish. He told one group of Father Mason supporters who met with
him in June of 1983 that my letter, which was a recitation of the
problems in the diocese, was "full of lies." They protested, saying,
"Everything in that letter is true, Your Excellency, and you know it."
Others did not have such a view of things, denouncing me in the worst
terms imaginable. You see, I'm kind of used to being denounced all the
time. Mind you, this is the just the Reader's Digest version of the vast amounts of venom that was directed at those of us who defended Father Mason before the days of the internet and e-mail.
Ill-will was such in the parish that the two liberals
were transferred out to Saint Raphael's Church in East Meadow, New
York, where the "conservative" pastor there, Father Francis Bain, was
forced out in the purge as he did not put up a fight. What emerged
thereafter was what I referred to in the ensuing years as the "Southern
State Parkway Shuffle" as "conservative" parishioners from Saint
Raphael's Church drove the seven miles to Our Lady of Lourdes Church and
the "liberals" from the latter parish drove the same distance to go to
the former for "weekend" liturgical services. Tensions remained high for
many years. The married "permanent deacon" was featured in Newsday in March of 1984, a full year after the crisis, showing a car window of his that had been smashed with a rock,
presumably by a "conservative" at Our Lady of Lourdes upset with the
role he played in Father Mason's case and the fact that he had thrown
darts at a photograph of "Pope" John Paul II after he issued Familiaris Consortio on November 22, 1981, that reaffirmed that divorced Catholics who
remarried without a worthless conciliar decree of nullity could
not receive what purported to be Holy Communion in the Novus Ordo service unless they lived in a Josephite manner.
Well, I had to stay away from the parish for a while, not returning to teach in the religious education program again until the 1990s. However, even though Father Mason did not see the true state of the Church (and still does not), he was most willing to suffer in defense of what he knew was correct. He really lived the lesson that he had taught at Saint Aloysius during my time there from Kindergarten through the first seven weeks of sixth grade, at which point I transferred to a public school, something that I later regret but see now, in the "perfect vision" of hindsight, was being used by God to preserve me from being immersed in any kind of instruction that would undermine the catechetical foundation of the previous six years. You see, my good and very few readers, the so-called "Second" Vatican Council had just begun, and while I remained in the conciliar structures for four decades thereafter, my sin during the first thirty years of that period was to attempt to "reconcile" the true Faith that I had learned as a child with conciliarism while believing myself free to reject those things such as false ecumenism that I deplored. The last ten years of that period in the conciliar structures was spent as a practical sedevacantist, that is, one whose writing concentrated on the teachings of the "preconciliar" popes as ignored the first four "popes" of the conciliar period. Indeed, one reader who read my articles in The Wanderer wrote to me in 1996 to say that I had become a sedevacantist even though I did not realize it. He was correct.
Sedevacantist or not, I always loved the Church and sought to defend the Faith in my college teaching and public speaking, admitting very freely that I was a poor witness of the Faith because of my own personal limitations. Those who were given the grace to see the true state of the Church long before others ought not to throw stones at those who have yet seen the truth as it is very difficult to do so. It is a very difficult thing to say that the man in white in Rome is not a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter. We must pray for our fellow Catholics, including those true priests, such as Father Mason, who have suffered much for the Faith even though they do not accept the true state of the Church. Father Mason has helped many, many souls, especially by means of promoting True Devotion to Mary. Such men are not enemies of the Faith.
This all came to mind after an e-mail that I received yesterday, January 30, 2012, the Feast of Saint Martina, from a man who had graduated from Saint Aloysius School in 1976. He just "stumbled" upon this site, finding a Pictorial Essay that contained, among other things, a lot of photographs of Saint Aloysius Church and School, telling me that the photographs brought back a lot of memories to him. His note brought back many memories to me as well, including, of course, being reminded once again of the debt that I owe to the Reverend Sisters of Mercy and to Father Robert E. Mason for helping the last generation to be educated before the "Second" Vatican Council to understand that the Sacrament of Confirmation requires one to be a soldier in the Army of Christ, which means that we may have to die many "white martyrdoms" in this life in order to get home to Heaven as God straightens us His crooked lines each and every day of our lives.
Yes, everything gets revealed on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the living and the dead. Those who have persevered until the end in states of Sanctifying Grace will have been straightened out by then, either as a result of a purgation here on earth or in Purgatory itself.
Until then, we have to accept the trials of this life as coming from the loving of hand of God as we seek to give back unto Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary whatever merit we might earn by our patient and grateful endurance of them, praying for our fellow Catholics as we do so regardless of things that may estrange us in this life that God seeks to use as means to purify us for a good reconciliation in the next.
Isn't it truly time to say a Rosary now?
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us..
See also: A Litany of Saints
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?