Home Articles Golden Oldies Speaking Schedule About Christ or Chaos Links Donations Contact Us
March 5, 2004

Motoring for Christ the King and Tradition

Most of this saga was written while we were in a motor home park in Coburg, Oregon, on Monday, November 17, 2003. As a result of the passage of time, a few changes have been made.

Anyone familiar with my There Is No Cure for This Condition ($10.00, Chartres Communications, Post Office Box 188, Pine Island, New York 10969 knows that I did a good deal of marathon, long-distance driving in the early 1970s, encountering a lot of adventures and misadventures along the nation’s highways and byways. Well, even though I have been driving a lot in the past decade for apostolic endeavors, those adventures and misadventures continued unabated. Thus, let me take you on a journey to share with you some of those recent adventures while motoring for Christ the King and Tradition.

The Genesis of a Journey

Although it was not until the late 1980s that I began to take the tiny, tiny baby steps that would lead me to embrace Tradition in its entirety and to reject all of the novelties of the past forty years, a process that would take about a decade to complete, I have always been, despite my sins and failings, a believing Catholic. I have always understood the importance of inviting souls into the Church and of working for the honor and glory of God. This caused problems, as I relate in There Is No Cure for This Condition, with my peers during my high school years (1965-1969) and my college years (1969-1973). Those problems of my high school and college days, though, paled into insignificance once I had begun my own college teaching career in the mid-1970s. A believing Catholic was considered suspect at best and persona non grata at worst in most secular schools by that time. And a Catholic such as myself who was upset with dissenting theologians in Catholic colleges and universities (although I did not really understand that the source of the problem was the creeping Modernism reflected in the Second Vatican Council) was considered to be some kind of reactionary disqualified for employment or unworthy of retention if he did happen to get employed.

A full recitation of my academic experiences would take a book length manuscript to describe in depth. One particular episode, though, will highlight the general contempt with which a believing Catholic is held in the secular world.

Long Island is my home. No, we don’t live there any longer, and it is likely that we will never return to live. However, it is where I am from. Yes, we are called to be detached from the people, places, and things of this passing world, being willing to go wherever it is God’s Holy Will takes us. Nevertheless, we are flesh and blood human beings who have attachments of varying degrees. As I wrote about in a 1999 issue of the printed version of Christ or Chaos, our attachment to our home environment can be used to deepen our longing for Heaven. If we have a natural and understandable attachment to the familiar environs of our youth, then we should understand the true and unsurpassed happiness that awaits us if we persist until our dying breaths in a state of sanctifying grace in Heaven after having, by God’s mercy and Our Lady’s intercession, paid back the debt of our sins in Purgatory.

It has always been tough, humanly speaking, therefore, for me to be away from Long Island. However, Long Island was not my residence from the time that I graduated from Saint John’s University in Jamaica, Queens, in January of 1973 and the time that I returned to teach at Nassau Community College in September of 1980. That seven year exile saw me live in South Bend, Indiana, when taking my Master’s at Notre Dame, Albany and Troy, New York, while I was obtaining my doctorate in political science at the State University of New York at Albany, Utica, New York, where I began my full-time teaching career at Mohawk Valley Community College in 1976, Normal, Illinois, for a two year teaching stint at Illinois State University, and Center Valley, Pennsylvania, for one year of teaching at Allentown College of Saint Francis de Sales. Having decided not to return to Allentown College almost as soon as I started teaching there, I did not know where in the world I was going to wind up for the 1980-1981 academic year. An advertisement for an opening at Nassau Community College that appeared in The New York Times on June 29, 1980, held out the hope that I might be able to get back home to Long Island after my seven and one-half year exile.

Both professional and student evaluations of my teaching ability placed my application for that position at Nassau Community College at the top of over 100 applications. That quickly changed, however, when I was asked a question by a female history professor about my “ideology.” This is the answer I gave: “I subscribe to the salvific power of no secular political ideology, whether of the left or of the right. I subscribe completely and totally only to the social teaching of the Church founded by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, and it is upon that rock that I am willing to die.” She was picking up her teeth one-by-one from the floor after I had given that answer. No, I wasn’t a traditional Catholic at the time. Yes, there was much I had yet to learn from the Church’s social teaching, especially concerning the incompatibility of the modern state with the Social Reign of Christ the King. However, I knew minimally that the Church had the means (sanctifying grace) and the teaching (the Deposit of Faith) to ameliorate the problems caused by fallen human nature. There was no secular way to deal with the problems of the world. That answer I gave on August 4, 1980, quickly made me the “number two” candidate for the position I had been praying for had to get.

Well, it was God’s Will for me to get the position. A furious battle broke out among the members of the personnel and budget committee that interviewed me. I was offered the job, as two members of the department told me a month later in a secret meeting off of the campus, solely because the people who were opposed to my hiring were afraid that I would bring a lawsuit over the question about “ideology” if I had been denied the position. I was grateful to Our Lord and Our Lady for bringing me home. And I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at Nassau Community College, although there was certainly a good deal of friction with my colleagues.

My financial situation would have looked a lot different than it does at present if I had chosen to fight what would have been a difficult battle to secure tenure at Nassau Community College. Tenured professors there are among the highest paid in all of American higher education. They have excellent health and life insurance policies. A colleague of mine, though, was in need of a full-time job. He had a disturbed wife (who later wound up killing herself) and a mentally retarded daughter. He needed my budgetary line more than I did. Thus, I gave up my position, effective at the end of the 1982-1983 academic year. I ended my tenure at NCC by giving an exhortation in defense of the Faith to over 300 students. One student, who hailed from a Jewish-Quaker background, was received into the Faith three years later. The relinquishing of that position, however, started a period of financial instability and career uncertainty that have been pretty much the hallmark of the past twenty years.

Much of the detail of the ensuing years after Nassau Community College was included in an article I published in the printed version of Christ or Chaos in the Fall of 2002. Always recognizing that God’s grace was sufficient to meet the challenges I faced and that my sins deserve far more suffering and reproof than I was experiencing at the time, the rest of the 1980s was a real financial disaster. I survived in 1984-85 by teaching as an adjunct at Saint John’s University in New York, making the sum of $254 twice a month for teaching three courses each semester. There were periods when I did have a place to live and other periods when old junkers gave out and I had to resort to mass transit and Shank’s Mare to get around (something that was tough on a man used to having the independence and mobility provided by a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine). Personal debt, especially to friends and acquaintances, mounted. It wouldn’t be until the late-1990s that most of that debt was repaid. The highlight of those years was my involvement with the Hofstra University Pro-Life Club, an association that led directly to public speaking on the issue of the sanctity of innocent human life and my first campaign for elected office in 1986.

My having run for Lieutenant Governor of New York on the New York State Right to Life Party line in 1986 compounded problems in my academic career. When this fact became known to a group of feminist professors at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, after I had been hired there in June of 1992, a demand was made of the college’s president to have my contract terminated even after it had been signed. My one year at Morningside, which saw me make a lot of friends in the orthodox Catholic community in Sioux City, was yet another adventure in the world of enduring then intolerance and bigotry of those who claim themselves to be the quintessence of tolerance and enlightenment.

Thanks to the support of an honest man, Dr. Roger Goldstein, who genuinely respected my teaching ability, I was able to support myself by living in a modest abode on Long Island while teaching as an adjunct at the C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He took a lot of heat on occasion, especially during the 2002-2003 academic year, because of who am and what I teach. He had tried repeatedly over the years to get me hired full-time, only to be rebuffed repeatedly by senior university administrators. Those administrators at Long Island University took thirteen months to reject an offer made by the Scholz Family Foundation in 1999 to fund a position for me to teach graduate level courses in Catholic Social Thought. With that offer rejected in June of 2000, I received a very welcomed and much appreciated grant from the Scholz Foundation to give my “Living in the Shadow of the Cross” lecture programs across the nation, although I would return to adjunct teaching at the C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University in the Fall of 2001 and for the entirety of 2002- 2003 to provide better for the family that God gave to me when I had least expected it. I will be forever indebted to a good man, Dr. Roger Goldstein.

Grants Come and Go

The grant from the Scholz Foundation gave me an opportunity to provide sustained lecture programs around the nation to various Catholic groups. Starting in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Lafayette, Indiana, in October of 2000, I became a peripatetic apologist for the Traditional Latin Mass and the Social Reign of Christ the King. Oh, I was beating the drums for the Mass of our fathers and for the Social Reign even when I was giving one night lectures around the nation in my Wanderer days, admitting that I still had to divest myself of certain notions about the Society of Pope Saint Pius X and to recognize the simple fact that Quo Primum is the only universal indult we have never needed for the Mass of our Fathers. However, the grant gave me the opportunity to review the entirety of Church history in a comprehensive manner in order to explain our current situation, both ecclesiastically and civilly.

My driving in the Fall of 2000 was but a mere preparation for the torrid pace that would greet met starting in January of 2001, at which time I began lectures in Santa Clara and Pebble Beach, California, adding Atascadero for a five consecutive Sunday and Monday lectures in late January through February, taking on Oxnard and Huntington Beach in early March. The addition of those last two venues meant that I was commuting up and down US-101 from the South Bay area to south of Los Angeles every week for a period nine weeks. It was, though, within the Providence of God that I was to speak at St. Mary’s by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach at the invitation of Una Voce of Orange County and the kindness of a great pastor of souls, Father Daniel Johnson. For it was at St. Mary’s that I met the woman, Sharon Collins, who consented a few months later to be my wife.

She told me in early April after we more or less knew that we were going to be married, “I saw you drive away back to northern California. My only thought was, ‘I want to go wherever he goes.’ And she has been with me, thanks to Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother, from that time to the present.

Sharon and I were married at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock, New Jersey, on June 7, 2001, just days after Sharon, who had converted to the Faith through the Traditional Latin Mass on July 30, 1999, had completed the entire seventy-two miles Chartres Pilgrimage. She is totally devoted to Our Lady, having made her Total Consecration to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart at the end of the pilgrimage. She knew full well that she was embarking upon a life with a man who had not known a great deal of financial stability or career success.

Sharon and I discovered on July 25, 2001, that we were expecting our first child. We had been able to finance the purchase of a motor home by that point, largely as a result of the sale of Sharon’s condominium in southern California. The fact that it appeared as though the motor home would be where our child would be spending his or her early years did not faze Sharon in the least. She accepted God’s will with total equanimity. And after a time of lecturing in three different venues in the northeast during the Fall of 2001, we returned to the West Coast to give “Living in the Shadow of the Cross” at the Kolbe Academy in Napa, thanks to the invitation of John Kamprath, and my “To be Catholic from the Womb to the Tomb” programs in Santa Clara, Pebble Beach, Oxnard, and Huntington Beach.

The birth of Lucy Mary Norma on March 27, 2002, in Sioux City, Iowa, was a tremendous blessing to us. Dr. Richard Ratino, whom I had met during my time at Morningside College nearly ten years before, donated his services to facilitate Lucy’s birth. Our dear daughter was baptized by Father Eric Flood of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2002. We returned to New York shortly thereafter to resume lecturing. As Our Lord would have it, however, it was about a month later that we learned that the Scholz Foundation grant would not be renewed, thus removing the baseline of support for my lectures and the means by which I subsidized Christ or Chaos, whichnever had the subscribership to support its printing and mailing costs. I remain so very grateful to the Scholz Foundation for the grant, which expired this past April. It afforded me the opportunity to speak to many people around the nation. And it afforded me the opportunity to meet the woman I was to marry and to therefore have the daughter whose soul has been entrusted to us to get safely home to Heaven.

What Plan?

With hundreds of dollars spent in sending out applications for academic positions–and with all other feelers for jobs having come a cropper, we hoped against hope that a syllabus I had written in November of 2002 for a fully traditional Catholic college, Christ the King College, might attract the interest of a benefactor. Although a priest kept telling us that a benefactor had interest in the project, we never heard from this benefactor directly despite several months of unanswered letters and phone messages. It is a still a goal of mine to found this college, at least in an online version, before I die. However, without any means to keep body and soul together, my wife and I decided that, being unable to continue to pay rent on Long Island, we would vacate our apartment on Long Island (which had been my own abode when I was single) and return to full-time living in the motor home as I attempted to support the family while giving lectures across the nation. When people asked us about our long-term plans, we would respond, “What plan? We’re just trusting totally in Our Lady to guide us to speak to those souls she wants us to reach.”

We left Long Island on July 25, 2003, having amassed over 12,000 miles on our motor home and another 8,000 miles on our Saturn station wagon (which gets itself towed from place to place by the motor home) between that time and the wee hours of November 26, 2003. Our journey started at a Yogi Bearn Jellystone Campground in Gardiner, New York, where we witnessed Lucy Mary Norma having a “Boo Boo” breakdown. Never having seen a Yogi Bear cartoon, Lucy fell in love with a wooden cut-out of Boo Boo the bear on July 25. She saw a “live” Boo Boo walking around the campgrounds on July 26. She got so excited seeing a “live” Boo Boo that she started to scream and cry uncontrollably. Boo Boo’s handler said to him, “Let’s get out of here, Boo Boo. She’s scared of you.”

We were in “Boo Boo” land so that I could give a lecture on July 27 at the parish in Poughkeepsie, New York, where Father James McLucas offers the Traditional Mass every Sunday. It was on to the following locations after Poughkeepsie: St. Joseph’s Church, Oneida, New York, on July 29; St. Mary’s Oratory, Wausau, Wisconsin, August 2-3; St. Boniface Church, Lafayette, Indiana, August 4-5; Rock Island, Illinois, August 6; Des Moines, Iowa, August 7; St. Paul, Minnesota, August 10; St. Cloud, Minnesota, August 17; Sioux City, Iowa; August 19; Kansas City, Missouri, August 22; St. Joseph, Missouri, August 24; Springfield, Illinois, August 25; Pequannock, New Jersey, September 14; Lancaster, Pennsylvania, September 20; Auriesville, New York, September 27; Jericho, Long Island, New York, September 29; Columbus, Ohio, October 5; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, October 9; Channelview, Texas, October 15; Spring, Texas, October 16; San Antonio, Texas, October 23; Kansas City, Kansas, October 29; South Sioux City, Nebraska, October 31-November 1; Bozeman, Montana, November 4-5; Butte, Montana, November 6; Post Falls, Idaho, November 10-11; Seattle, Washington, November 13-14; San Jose, California, November 25; and Oxnard, California, December 3. I started giving a series of lectures at Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove, California, on Sunday, December 7, a series that has been suspended temporarily. Believe me, this is just the Reader’s Digest version of the travels, which included a hair-raising drive through the snow in Interstate 90 between Rapid City, South Dakota, and Bozeman, Montana, on November 3.

As I have written in The Remnant, Our Lady Help of Christians Chapel is the legacy of the late, great Father Frederick Schell. If one is to judge the labor of a man by his fruits, then one can see quite plainly that Father Schell’s fruits are nothing but good and bountiful. Hundreds of people hear Holy Mass on Sundays (8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, located at 9621 Bixby in Garden Grove. Scores of people hear daily Mass there. People have come largely by word of mouth, which is what has happened in the past when the Mass has been threatened by revolutionaries (the Protestant revolutionaries, the French revolutionaries, the Mexican revolutionaries, the Bolshevik and Maoist revolutionaries, etc.). The addition of Father Smith to Our Lady Help of Christians Church has edified many battle-weary traditionalists, helping them to see that there are young priests in regular diocesan situations who are responding to the graces being sent to them by Our Lady to embrace Tradition no matter the cost.

It would be nice to have a job to supplement the grants. Absent the founding of Christ the King College, I am not going to be hired for any position in my chosen field of political science. What can I do? Well, I speak fairly well. I write. I’m also a bit of a ham (just read There Is No Cure for This Condition) who is known to do a few impressions now and then (Mr. Gibson, oh, Mel, I wouldn’t be bad in front of a camera). Saint Anthony, help me to find a way to support my family!

Thanking you in advance for having indulged this saga, I do hope that we will have your prayers, no matter the level of support that can or cannot be given, as we seek to return to southern California to continue our work of planting the seeds for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King and of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.

(Those wishing to make donations to us may do so online at www.paypal.com or by sending a check payable to Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey, Post Office Box 188, Pine Island, New York 11771.)

© Copyright 2004, Christ or Chaos, Inc. All rights reserved.