Not Wanted: Dead or Alive
Thomas A. Droleskey
A Catholic who is informed about the sorry state of the Church in her human elements is generally prone not to be too terribly shocked by the latest outrage emanating from the Holy See or some local chancery office or parish or Catholic educational institution. Be it the appointment of Archbishop William Levada to succeed Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or the honoring of pro-death politicians by Catholic universities or colleges or the open support for the killing of brain-damaged human beings by alleged Catholic "ethicists" in the employ of Catholic universities and/or hospitals, one has come to expect outrageous developments as the logical consequence of the failure of any pope to consecrate Russia specifically and categorically to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the bishops of the world. There are times, however, when even one who has conducted investigations and written extensively on the problems of the Church can find himself shocked and outraged by some unexpected and unforeseen development.
Such is the case at present with the news that the Society of Jesus is considering selling the Retreat House on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs to Jewish rabbis. The Retreat House is a red brick building at the top of a hill some distance away from the Coliseum church where Father Edmund Castronovo, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse, offers most exquisitely a Solemn High Traditional Latin Mass each September at the end of the Pilgrimage for Restoration, which is a seventy-two mile American version of the Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage sponsored by the National Coalition for Clergy and the Laity. The Retreat House was once the residence of the Jesuit Fathers who lived at Auriesville, where the martyrdom of Saints. Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, and Jean Lalande took place. Countless thousands upon thousands of Masses were offered in the Retreat House's chapel over the years. The Retreat House was a place where Catholics from parishes throughout North America, but especially the East Coast, came for solidly orthodox retreats before the Jesuits were influenced en masse by the Modernist ethos. It is a crime beyond all telling that the Society of Jesus is considering selling a structure that housed Catholic priests and offered Catholic retreats to help Catholics, both in the clergy and the laity, to get safely home to Heaven.
Apart from the great sadness that any Catholic's heart must feel as the word of this news has spread today, I am personally saddened to know that the very Retreat House in which I took spiritual direction from a solidly orthodox Jesuit, the late Father Thomas Egan, S.J., from 1974-1976 when I was completing my doctorate at the State University of New York at Albany and teaching at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York, in 1976-1977, is to fall into the hands of people who reject the Sacred Divinity of the Word Who was made Flesh in the tabernacle of Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Ghost and dwelt amongst us. I was in that Retreat House once a month for a period of three years, being greeted almost every time by an elderly, stooped over Jesuit brother (whose name, sadly, I have forgotten, one of the signs of my own passing years; my once nearly flawless memory is showing signs of frailty and decay) who led me to the chapel before Father Egan came to meet with me. I am more than crestfallen by this news. I am devastated.
The Retreat House that is proposed to be sold to the practitioners of a dead religion that has the power to save no one stands on hallowed ground. The ground on which the Retreat House stands has been hallowed by the shedding of martyrs’ blood, the North American martyrs. Just as Our Lord did not shed His own Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to no end—and just as the first martyrs of the Church did not shed their blood for idle purposes, so is it the case that the North American martyrs shed their blood right on the grounds where the Retreat House now stands so that the northern reaches of North America could be consecrated to the Social Kingship of the One Whose Precious Blood had incorporated them as members of the true Church founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, and which was made incarnate by Saint Isaac Jogues. the only priest among the three Jesuits killed on the grounds of Auriesville between 1642 and 1646, every time he offered the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
That is, the North American martyrs came to this land of savage fury to bring it the Gospel of Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their impulse in doing so was no exercise in mere human sentimentality. No, the men martyred on the site that is proposed to be used by the descendants of those the Apostles sought to convert to the true Faith right on Pentecost Sunday sought to do the will of the Father by carrying out the command given to them by Our Lord on Ascension Thursday: “Go, therefore, and instruct all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The North American Martyrs knew that not only individual human beings, but all nations must recognize in Our Lord and Savior their Lord and King, as Pope Pius XI reminded us in 1925 in Quas Primas. The North American martyrs wanted every aspect of life in the Americas to be permeated with the fullness of the splendor of Truth Incarnate. They desired that family life and social life reflect the standard of the Holy Cross, and that that same standard be lifted high as the basis of all social order.
Our mission as Catholics is to be faithful to all that Our Lord has revealed to us through Holy Mother Church, not to give sway to the pull of religious indifferentism, masquerading itself under one of the fundamental errors of our day: ecumenism. Our Lord has given us both sanctifying and actual grace as the means to realize that fidelity. However, the pull of the spirit of the world, the flesh, and the Devil are quite strong. The Devil and his minions seek to convince us that it is all right to make little concessions here and there to the spirit of the world and to show "other religions" that the Catholic Church has no "special claim" to make on them, that it is not necessary for infidels (such as the Jews and Mohammedans) and heretics (such as Protestants) and schismatics and heretics (such as the Orthodox) to convert to the true Faith to be saved. It is no one other than the devil himself who wants us to believe that one can be a Catholic while carrying around within us just a little bit of the infection of this world and its ephemeral allurements. It is the devil who wants us to believe that human respect and social advancement require us to be silent about our Catholic faith, lest we be considered too odd to fit in with others or too radical to have any “influence” in society, and that grounds hallowed by the blood of martyrs may be sold to infidels in the name of religious "diversity" without blaspheming God or His holy martyrs.
The North American Martyrs, however, embraced the totality of the Faith without compromise. They came here to drive the devil and his minions out of this land and its inhabitants. They came here because they loved God, and their love of the Blessed Trinity impelled them to seek the salvation of souls in this newly discovered land. Everything they did was motivated by a profound love of the will of Father, attempting to imitate the Son by offering up everything they had, including their own lives, to the Father in Spirit and in Truth. They wanted the native peoples who lived here—as well as all others who would settle here from the far corners of the Earth in the future—to view themselves, their lives, and the world through the eyes of the true Faith. They want us to do so in our own day. The North American Martyrs teach us to be faithful to the apostolic obligations imposed upon us by means of our baptism and confirmation, and to proclaim with steadfast courage the truths of Our Lord and His true Church no matter what it costs us at home and/or in society. This lesson has been lost in our own era on the very religious community, the Society of Jesus, to which the North American Martyrs belonged and served so nobly unto their savage deaths in New York and Canada.
The North American Martyrs saw in the native peoples here the Divine impress. Each person they sought to convert, no matter how hostile he or she was to their efforts, had an immortal soul created by God. The North American Martyrs never lost sight of that fact, even after undergoing the most unspeakable types of torture. They knew that they, erring sinners in constant need of God’s mercy, were being given the opportunity to offer up their own sufferings in union with Our Lord’s Sacrifice on the wood of the Holy Cross, a sacrifice which the priests among them represented in an unbloody manner while offering Holy Mass: the Immemorial Mass of Tradition and none other. They had the obligation to give to their own torturers the same forgiveness that was offered to them so generously by the Incarnation of Divine Mercy as He asked His Father to forgive His executioners, namely, each one of us. The North American Martyrs knew that there was nothing that they could suffer, including all of the tortures which are so well documented in the accounts of what took place here, which was the equal of what one of their own venial sins, no less any mortal sins they may have committed, did to Our Lord in His Sacred Humanity on the wood of the Holy Cross. Who were they, therefore, to withhold from others the same mercy and forgiveness that had been extended to them from the throne of Grace which is the Cross, and which was administered unto their immortal souls each time they frequented the hospital of Divine Mercy, the confessional. They recognized that it was a fundamental act of Charity to preach the Gospel full and entire, challenging all people with the standard of the Holy Cross to convert to the Catholic Faith without delay.
Mercilessness and savagery characterized all barbaric peoples. They characterize our Masonic, indifferentist society today. Preborn children, the unfit, the elderly, and the useless must be slaughtered under the cover of law. Those of us who attempt to raise high the standard of the Holy Cross in our own lives and in the life of our society must be figuratively aborted and/or euthanized by the invocation of slogans designed to denounce us as extremists or zealots or bigots or intolerantly judgmental religious fanatics. Barbarism, not the mercy of Our Lord, characterizes the land in which we live today. Barbarism cannot, therefore, characterize our own lives and our own relations with others. The North American Martyrs came here so that this land would know the mercy of Our Lord, not a continuation of the hardness of heart which would make them martyrs at Auriesville, not a continuation on that site of dead religions that are the tools of the devil himself.
The North American Martyrs knew that authentic love is an act of the will. Authentic love wills the good of another, and the ultimate good of each person is the salvation of his immortal soul. They knew that we love no one authentically if we do or say anything, either by omission or commission, which interferes with his salvation. They showed forth the compassion of Our Lord for erring sinners, but they did not reaffirm people in attitudes or behavior or beliefs that were at odds with that which was in accord with the salvation of their immortal souls. Our Lord told the woman caught in adultery to “Go, and sin no more.” He did not reaffirm her in her sins. He understood her human weakness, as He understands ours. But He wanted her—and us—to recognize that His grace makes it possible for us to scale the heights of personal sanctity, the necessary precondition for order in our own lives and hence that of our society. Thus, we do not show "love" to one in a false religion by reaffirming him in that which is injurious to his salvation and/or to offer our own hallowed grounds to those steeped in such falsehoods.
It was the hope of the North American martyrs that the land upon which they were willing to—and in fact did—shed their blood would be populated by Catholics ever vigilant to build up the Kingdom of God in their own souls and in the world. They knew that this goal is founded on the twin pillars of Eucharistic piety and deep and true devotion to the Mother of God. No apostolic effort can bear any fruit, either here or hereafter, if it is not founded on an abiding love for the Lord we receive in Holy Communion, Who also beckons us to keep company with Him in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. If we want to spend all eternity with Our Lord, it is a very efficacious thing to start spending some time with Him now—over and above that which we spend in Holy Mass—to make reparation for our sins, to give God the adoration that is His due, to thank Him for what we have been given, and to petition Him for our needs, especially that we remain faithful to the task of converting that Masonic land of ours to the true faith. Do Jews believe in this? Of course not. Do we have the obligation to help them to believe this? Of course we do!
There would be no Eucharist, however, indeed, there would have been no Redemptive Act on the wood of the Cross had it not been for Our Lady. The North American martyrs were tenderly devoted to Our Lady. The very name of the Shrine near the Retreat House that is proposed to be sold to Jewish rabbis reflects this: the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs. Saint Isaac Jogues and companions knew that her maternal patronage was an absolute necessity for their work to bear fruit, indeed, for them to remain faithful in the midst of the tortures that would come their way. For they understood that no human being ever suffered the way that Our Lady had suffered. Her Immaculate Heart, having been preserved from all stain of Original and actual sin, was in perfect communion with the Sacred Heart of Her Divine Son, Which Sacred Heart was formed in the tabernacle of her own immaculate and virginal womb. She was in total communion with the suffering of Her Son on the wood of the Holy Cross. As the Mother given to us by Our Lord as He was dying His death on the Cross to reconcile us to the Father, she is in communion with our suffering. And the North American Martyrs wanted us, their successors in this land, to do and to say only that which Our Lady wants us to do and say as disciples of Son she enfleshed by the power of the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation.
That is, part of the radicality to which we are called as Catholics means never to grieve Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Think about it: one of the things that brings most young children to tears is the thought that they caused their mother grief. Seeing the pained expression of their mother causes a child who possesses an innocence of heart and soul to cry tears of sorrow, begging his mother to forgive him his transgression. In like manner, we must be ever mindful, as were the North American Martyrs, of our obligation not to grieve our Blessed Mother, not only avoiding sin itself but also by avoiding the near occasions of sin—and by avoiding giving scandal to others, which might encourage them to sin, including the surrender of holy grounds to the very religion that was superseded by the New and Eternal Covenant instituted by her Divine Son at the Last Supper and ratified on the wood of His Holy Cross. Our Lady wants all people in this world to be Catholics. It grieves her Immaculate Heart to see the people for Whom her Divine Son shed His Most Precious Blood steeped in the darkness of errors and unbelief.
That we are faced with such an outrage as the sale of a Retreat House in which the Immemorial Mass of Tradition was offered for so many years on the grounds made holy by the blood of the North American Martyrs is just another sorry manifestation of how far the Church can fall in her human elements when the fullness of the Faith expressed in that Mass of all ages is abandoned and replaced by one novelty and innovation after another. For, you see, the Traditional Latin Mass is the necessary prerequisite for the establishment of a truly Catholic social order. We cannot recognize Our Lord as King of society unless we see Him honored as King in the unbloody re-presentation of His one Sacrifice to the Father in Spirit and in Truth. How ironic it is that those who reject the Sacred Divinity of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man are considered fit occupants of the hallowed grounds of Auriesville while the Society of Saint Pius X, which dissents from not one whit of the Deposit of Faith and offers the exact same Mass as was offered by Saint Isaac Jogues himself, is deemed to be "schismatic" and thus barred from the offering of the Mass of all ages on those very grounds at Auriesville.
Saint Isaac Jogues and his companions suffered unspeakable horrors on the hallowed grounds of Auriesville, New York, the birthplace of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lilly of the Mohawks. After having been savaged once by the barbarians they sought to convert, they came back again! It appears as though they are not wanted--either dead or alive--by their descendants today in the Society of Jesus, just as their witness to the true Faith was not wanted by the savages of their own day. It is almost as though the Jesuits are saying: "So what if Saints Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil and Jean Lalande gave up their lives for the Holy Faith? That was then, this is now. We are more enlightened. Men are saved in a number of ways. If you doubt this, just ask the Vatican itself. Jews are saved by the Mosaic Covenant. Anyone who holds otherwise hasn't 'updated' his theology."
Faithful to the entirety of the Deposit of Faith without any taint of the errors of the past forty years, we must be willing to suffer and be called all sorts of names for reminding the Society of Jesus that anyone who is opposed to the standard of the Holy Cross is an enemy of the Divine Saviour. While we must seek the conversion of such a person in all charity, it is a grave sin against the Faith itself to pretend that no harm is done to the cause of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen if any part of the hallowed ground of the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs is sold or ceded to those gripped in the darkness of error. We must be willing to be called all kinds of names for our fidelity to the cause of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, offering all of the injustices that we might suffer as a result to Him through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves.
This is a developing story. It is important for all Catholics of good will to contact the Society of Jesus to protest the pending sale of the Retreat House on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs. There are Catholics of means who would be willing to purchase the Retreat House, which must never fall into the hands of those who are the sworn enemies of Our Lord and His Holy Church and who would use the Retreat House to conduct seminars that would continue to keep people in the darkness of unbelief and error, which are nothing other than two of the principal tools of the devil himself to prevent the conversion of the people from whom Our Lord took His Sacred Humanity to the true Church for their sanctification and salvation. How long would it take, for example, for the Jewish occupants of the former Retreat House to claim that they are "offended" by Catholic pilgrims coming to Auriesville to display visibly Catholic symbols, such as the Crucifix and the Rosary, thus disturbing their peace of mind? The hallowed grounds of Auriesville must be kept completely Catholic. Anything else is a betrayal of the Holy Faith and an offense against God and those who remained faithful to Him to the point of cruel deaths.
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the North American Martyrs, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint Jean Lalande, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint John de Brebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemant, pray for us.