Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009, part 2
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Although we are in the season of Easter glory, it is always the season for penance. As His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan noted in his typically excellent Sunday sermon,
The Hidden Cross, delivered on Sunday, May 3, 2009, The Feast of the Finding of the True Cross and the Commemoration of the Third Sunday after Easter, at Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, we must lift high the crosses that God Himself has fashioned perfectly for us from all eternity. The Cross is the means of our salvation and our sanctification. We must always be grateful for our crosses, understanding that they are given to us by the good God because He loves us, because He wants us to get home to Heaven without spending a single moment in the excruciating pains of the fires of Purgatory by accepting the simple fact that we must do penance for each and every single one of our sins and to have a generosity of heart to be consider it our supreme privilege to suffer well for the sins of others.
God wants to use each occasion of our lives, asking us to offer up everything we have and do to Him through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. No moment is ever waste, no mistake is without merit IF we remember to offer up everything that happens to us during the course of a day to the Most Holy Trinity through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, something that we can do very simply with our Morning Offering and by frequent aspirations to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother, repeating as frequently as we can this prayer taught by Our Lady to the Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal:
"O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
We must always think and speak and act supernaturally in light of our Catholic Faith. Doing so will equip us to embrace our daily crosses with love and with gratitude, and to save us from even the slightest hint of anxiety over our personal problems or the problems that exist in the world and those that have been created by the apostasies and blasphemies and sacrileges of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. There is not one thing that can happen to us or to anyone else that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart to be pierced through and through with those Seven Swords of Sorrow. Each cross has been fashioned to fit us perfectly by the very hand of God Himself from all eternity. We have nothing to complain about. We must, with Saint Francis of Assisi himself, say "Deo gratias!" in gratitude for each of our crosses.
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Warring Against a Nonexistent "Enterprise"
The day that the first installment (Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009) of this year's series of travelogues was published, Saturday, February 7, 2009, was also the day on which I gave the first of what turned out to be four lectures at Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, which is served so very well by Father Francis Miller, O.F.M. We are very blessed to know Father Francis, who has the heart and soul of Saint Francis of Assisi himself.
It is indeed a telling commentary on the conciliar revolutionaries that must seek to stamp out all vestigial remnants of the true Faith as it is practiced without any concessions at all to their false, synthetic religion that denies the very nature of dogmatic truth and is thus an attack on the very essence of the nature of God Himself. At a time when the conciliar "archbishop" of Freiburg, Germany, Robert Zollitsch, can deny the dogmatic truth that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died to make atonement for our sins and remain without any censure whatsoever from the governing conciliar "pontiff," Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, for a period that has now lasted twenty-four days, conciliar officials in the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, are trying to ferret out those who "dare" to assist at Holy Mass at Christ the King Church (as I indicated a week ago today in Refusing Communion With Apostasy.
One of the Catholics who attended my talk,
Part 1 of Sketching the Errors of Modernity and Modernism, on Saturday evening, February 7, 2009, was, Father Francis informed me recently, visited by two officials of the Diocese of Lafayette, who implored her to "obey" "Bishop" Michael Jarrell's edict concerning Christ the King Church. The woman held up her hand to stop the brainwashing session, saying that she worships at a church now where she sees Christ the King enthroned on an altar of sacrifice. "When I enter your church," the woman said, "I see a man enthroned on a chair. Your tabernacle which contains what you think is the Real Presence of Our Lord is nowhere to be found. God is the center of the worship where I pray as Catholics prayed for centuries. You are the center of the worship in your false religion."
The woman's husband, who is, evidently, a man of few words, piped up and said, "I know that when I go to Confession now that my sins are forgiven. I have a confessor who listens to me, who understands that sin is sin and who does not tell me to go 'easy' on myself or who tries to explain away my sins as nothing more than feelings of misplaced guilt." The two diocesan officials simply walked out of the house. They thought that the "obedience card" to their false religion that is the incarnation of the Modernism condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, could trump an understanding for and love of the Holy Faith as It has been transmitted down to us under the direct and infallible guidance of God the Holy Ghost from the time of the Apostles to the death of the last true pope thus far, Pope Pius XII, who died on October 9, 1958. They were wrong.
The conciliar revolutionaries spend no time knocking on the doors of Protestants or Jews or Mohammedans to convert them out of their false religions that are from the devil and have the power to save absolutely no one at all. No, the conciliar revolutionaries are obsessed with stamping out all vestiges of the Faith of our fathers, being threatened by the existence of a church that stands on cinder block stilts and shakes and rattles as truck travel rumbles south on Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette, Louisiana. What was that nonsense about a "sedevacantist enterprise" that was made up out of whole cloth a few years ago? Sedevacantist "enterprise"? Where's the "enterprise" at Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, where hard-working Catholics simply want to worship God without acknowledging a serial blasphemer as a true "pontiff."
The lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism reward apostates and blasphemers. Robert Zollitsch remains in power as the head of the conciliar "bishops'" conference in the Federal Republic of Germany, completely unmolested by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI after denying that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ died for our sins.
Kieran Conry, the conciliar "bishop" of Arundel and Brighton in England, who said five months ago that you can't talk to young people about salvation (see my
God Can Always Talk to His Saints), can be promoted to the director of "catechesis" for the conciliar "bishops'" conference of England and Wales. Timothy "I am aim to be a happy 'bishop'" Dolan can praise the pro-abortion, pro-perversity Anti-Defamation League, saying that "I have long admired the work of the Anti-Defamation League from afar, and now to receive your welcome and your assurances of our hope for future cooperation, which I enthusiastically share, means very much to me" (see
Silence). Sean O'Malley can call the Nazi crimes against the Jews the "greatest" in human history (see
No Crime Is Worse Than Deicide).
None of that matters to the conciliarists themselves, and most, although not all, in the Motu communities have learned to keep their mouths shut about the counterfeit church's multiple offenses of God. And those who do speak out now and again do so without laying any blame at all on the conciliar "pontiff," who has himself been in the vanguard of the conciliar revolution against the nature of dogmatic truth--and hence against the very nature of the essence of God--from the very beginning.
No, of course, it is sedevacantists (and this termed is used to include everyone who understands that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict is not a legitimate Successor of Saint Peter, including sedeprivationists and sedeimpedists) who are the problem. It is sedevacantists who must be denounced for believing the canonical-doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the fact that the See of Peter is indeed vacant in cases of heresy (see
Embracing The Faith No Matter the Consequences, which contains a link to the late Mario Francesco "Cardinal" Pompedda's admission that sedevacantism is indeed the canonical doctrine of the Catholic Church,
Cardinal Says Pope Could Govern Even If Unable to Speak).
As I have noted in several other articles:
No sedevacantist, priest or layman, entered into a mosque and treated it as a holy place by taking off his shoes and assuming the Mohammedan prayer position as he turned in the direction of Mecca.
No sedevacantist, priest or layman, twice entered into Talmudic synagogues to show signs of respect and esteem for a dead religion that is the militant foe of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His true Church.
No sedevacantist, priest or layman, received the symbols of false religions with respect and esteem and equanimity and joy.
No sedevacantist, priest or layman, prayed with Protestant and Orthodox heretics as the "virtues" of inter-religious "dialogue" were praised yet again without one mention of the necessity of those outside of the true Church to convert with urgency and unconditionally to her maternal bosom.
No sedevacantist, priest or layman, dishonored the Mother of God by refusing to speak of her publicly before thousands upon thousands of people in various events.
No sedevacantist bishop or priest distributed what purports to be Holy Communion in the hand or has countenanced the reception of what purports to be Holy Communion to thorough-going pro-aborts, each of whom remains in perfectly "good standing" in the conciliar structures.
Sedevacantists have not invented these things. The conciliar "pontiffs," manifesting their contempt for the Faith in their brazen displays of apostasy and sacrilege and blasphemy, have done these things, knowing that most Catholics will applaud them for having done them and that there are others who will be silent as they "strategize" about how to "fight for the Faith" when the fight is right before their very eyes and before the eyes of everyone else in the world.
We are privileged to know and to be served by such priests as Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., who devotes himself to his flocks in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Pensacola, Florida, most selflessly. We are privileged to know and to be served by each of the true bishops who make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds, the very men who dishonor God so grievously and so frequently, scandal zing Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the process. I am ashamed that it took me so long to see the truth and to admit it publicly, grateful, however, that my long delay in coming to the realization that this summary of Catholic teaching, contained in Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki's Tumultuous Times has not been held against me by the shepherds under whom we have subordinated ourselves in the past three years:
A legitimate pope cannot contradict or deny what was first taught by Christ to His Church. An essential change in belief constitutes the establishment of a new religion.
The attribute of infallibility was given to the popes in order that the revealed doctrines and teaching of Christ would remain forever intact and unchanged. It is contrary to faith and reason to blindly follow an alleged pope who attempts to destroy the Catholic Faith--for there have been 41 documented antipopes. Papal infallibility means that the Holy Ghost guides and preserves the Catholic Church from error through the succession of legitimate popes who have ruled the Church through the centuries. All Catholics, including Christ's Vicar on earth, the pope, must accept all the doctrinal pronouncements of past popes. These infallible teachings form a vital link between Christ and St. Peter and his successors.
If a pope did not accept and believe this entire body of formulated teachings (the Deposit of Faith), he could not himself be a Catholic. He would cease to belong to Christ's Church. If he no longer belongs to the Catholic Church, he cannot be her Head.
One who, after baptism, retaining the name of Christian pertinaciously denies (rejects) or doubts a divinely revealed truth is a heretic and by that fact ceases to be a Catholic. A heretic incurs ipso facto excommunication, i.e., (by that very fact) automatically, without sentence of law. A heretic is not a Catholic and the pope must be a Catholic. . . .
Therefore, a heretical pope is deposed by his public sin against Divine Law. Were a pope ever to teach formal heresy, he would cease to be pope. There can be no such thing as a heretical pope. This is an oxymoron--heresy and the papacy are diametrically opposed and the terms are irreconcilable.
In his letter of May 25, 1999, Fr. Martin Stepanich, OFM (S.T.D.) says:
If it is true, as some theologians reasonably maintain, that a true people, one validly elected, cannot become a heretic, because of special divine protection, and cannot for that reason fall from the papacy, then the only logical conclusion to draw is that a heretic occupying the Chair of Peter was a heretic already before being elected, and could therefore not have been a legitimate valid candidate for election to the papacy to begin with.
If any baptized person (even an alleged pope) "pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths which must be believed by an obligation of divine and Catholic faith, he is a heretic; if he gives up the Christian faith entirely, he is an apostate..." Obviously the pope cannot change 2,000 years of Catholic faith, morals and worship. Canon law states: "If one after the reception of baptism, while retaining the name Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths which must be believed by an obligation of divine and Catholic faith, he is a heretic."
A heretic ceases to belong to the Catholic Church and loses his office and authority. This is not a matter of "judging the pope," it is a recognition of fact. Popes and general councils don't create new doctrines; they merely clarify existing teaching. . . .
The question of a heretical pope was raised by one of the cardinals at the Vatican Council of 1870:
'What is to be done with the pope if he becomes a heretic?' It was answered that 'there has never been such a case; the council of bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be pope, being deposed by God Himself. If the pope, for instance, were to say that the belief in God is false, you would not be obliged to believe him, or if he were to deny the rest of the creed; I believe in Christ, etc. The supposition is injurious to the Holy Father in the very idea, but serves to show you the fullness with which the subject has been considered and the ample thought given to every possibility. If he denies any Dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more pope than either you or I. (Father James McGovern, The Life and Work of Pope Leo XIII, p. 241.).
Christ established His Church upon the rock of Peter and promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. St. Ambrose tells us that faith is the foundation of the Church; because of the faith, and the person of Peter, the Church will always be preserved from error.
To guarantee the lifeline of truth, Our Lord gave the attribute of infallibility to His Vicar on earth. If it were possible at any time for the pope using his supreme apostolic authority to teach error on matters of faith and morals to the universal Church, it would affect the entire Church, thereby giving the gates of Hell power to prevail over Her.
If the Vicar of Christ on earth could lead the Church astray, the devil himself would have prevailed over the immaculate Bride of Christ, the Church. this is an impossibility because we have Christ's guarantee that His Church, the Catholic Church, will last until the end of time, unvanquished by the lies and deceits of Satan. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can neither deceive nor be deceived. He will protect His Church from false doctrine until the end of time.
The attribute of infallibility was given to the pope so that the revealed doctrines and teachings of Christ would remain forever intact and unchanged. Any pope who changes such teachings held for almost 2,000 years is a heretic and ceases to belong to the Catholic Church. A heretic is not a Catholic and therefore cannot be head of the Church.
Our study of 20 General Councils of the Catholic Church (325 AD--1870) concludes with Vatican I. During the same period, there were also 20 false councils. Some were convoked by antipopes and many taught heresy. On which side would you place Vatican II?
St. Vincent of Lerins asserted: "Do not be misled by various and passing doctrines. In the Catholic Church Herself we must be careful to hold what has been believed everywhere, always and by all; for that alone is truly and properly Catholic." (Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, Tumultuous Times, pp.236-238; 251-253; 274-275; 276; 278-279.)
Please order and then read Tumultuous Times if you want a true and honest history of the Catholic Church and her teaching concerning papal infallibility that has been so occluded as a result of the the errors of the Society of St Pius X.
Turning Around After Frog City
As Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., drives the 335 miles from Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, to the offices of Dr. Nicholas Delgado in Pensacola, every two weeks to offer Holy Mass for his small congregation there, we had to leave the Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana, which our Chase, who is now thirteen months old, simply loves as it has a huge field for him to run around on the twenty-six foot leash that we use to give him exercise (beagles which aren't kept on a leash will run away and stay away for long periods of time!), after Holy Mass on Sunday, February 8, 2009, to drive to the Houston, Texas, area in order to get ourselves to Holy Mass offered by Fathers Louis Campbell and Maurice Dignan at Saint Jude Shrine in Stafford, Texas. The distance to Houston from Carencro is about 250 miles as opposed to the 335 miles to Pensacola, and I was hoping that we could get an opportunity to visit with my late father's ninety-one year-old brother, who still practices veterinary medicine on Saturday mornings.
The trip to the Houston, Texas, area, turned out to be rather eventful as the motor home's thermostat gauge began to indicate that the motor home was overheating. The gauge itself alternated between medium hot and near the boiling point. Something was wrong. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Those of you who are longtime readers of these chapters in our adventures, which are a continuation of missives that I sent out far and wide in the late-1970s when I was teaching at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, know that our motor home, which is now in a storage facility and will be used only sporadically during the course of a year from now on, has been stranded alongside the shoulders of highways across the United States of America quite a bit. I did not want to have a reprise of another such episode, which is why I decided to turn around in Crowley, Louisiana, after gassing up the motor home in Rayne, Louisiana (also known as Frog City) around 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, February 8, 2009, so as to return to Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana, hoping that our good friend, Mr. Michael Gerace, who has been so good to donate his time to help us out in such situations, would be available to look at the situation upon our return.
"Was it the water pump?" "What it the thermostat?" "Was it a problem with the radiator?" "Was it a problem with the cap to the coolant reservoir tank?" Those were just some of the questions that popped into my mind as we backtracked the thirty miles from Crowley to the campground in Carencro, speaking with Father Francis, who was en route to Pensacola, to see if he could get hold of Michael Gerace for us. Mr. Gerace was kind enough to call me back most promptly, agreeing to take time out from his resting on Sunday to drive out to work on the motor home's overheating problem, bringing with him his tools and a thermostat and other items that he purchased at his own expense.
Nothing under the hood of the motor home is readily accessible for regular servicing, as photographs that I have posted from time to time in these travelogues demonstrate. Here is one photograph from It's Still Better This Than Purgatory (or Worse!) in 2008, part 2 that demonstrates the small amount of clearance between the top of the engine compartment and the top of the coolant reservoir tank, which is visible on the left side of the radiator under several hoses. The top part of the photograph is the inside of the hood, which, of course, was lifted up so as to provide access to the engine compartment.
Mr. Gerace worked very hard to attend to the problems at hand. He installed a new thermostat and a new regulator (at least I believe that's what it's called) in addition to adding more coolant to the coolant reservoir tank. We were--and remain--most appreciative to Mr. Gerace for his hard work and selflessness in coming to our assistance.
Although Mr. Gerace was not entirely sure that he had addressed the issues that had caused the motor home to overheat as we traveled west on Interstate 10 in southwestern Louisiana earlier that day, Sunday, February 8, 2009, it turned out to be the case that his hard work had resolved matters most satisfactorily. We were able to get going again around 5:45 p.m., stopping for a bite to eat at Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen in Beaumont, Texas, about two hours later before we continued the rest of the way to the Lake View R.V. Resort in Houston, Texas, which is located about nine miles northeast of Saint Jude Shrine in Stafford, Texas.
A Brief Stay in the Houston Area
Our entrance to the Lake View R. V. Resort at around 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 8, 2009, was somewhat impeded by the fact that the keypad to provide access to the park after hours was not reachable from where I sit perched high above the ground in the motor home. Sharon had to exit the motor home to punch in the access code that had been given to me when I made the reservation a few hours before over the phone. That didn't work as neither of us realized that there were to different keypad boxes. We were using the wrong one. Look, my friends, it was dark. We were tired. How was I to know that the actual keypad entry was on the other side of the huge driveway? Yes, indeed, penance is better than ever in 2009. We wouldn't have been able to enter the recreational vehicle park at all unless a resident there had used his automatic gate opener device to click us through.
More adventures awaited us once we had entered the Lake View R. V. Resort, which is located almost due south of the medical center complex in Houston, part of which includes the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, where my late mother, Norma Florence Red Fox Droleskey, spent six weeks prior to her death on March 18, 1982, at the then named Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas (to which she had been flown via an air ambulance from an airstrip in Pearland, Texas, a few hours before she died). I had difficulty in the dark finding our assigned spot, driving around and around the huge recreational vehicle park, replete with million dollar motor home (our 2001 Forest River Georgetown Class A motor home is known an "entry level" vehicle, and our adventures with it proves the point, do they not?) It took me around fifteen minutes to find our assigned space, whereupon I updated the home page of this site and got a few hours of sleep before composing
Disciples of Caiphas, which was posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009.
We stayed in the Houston area for four nights, having the privilege of assisting at the glorious offerings of Holy Mass at Saint Jude Shrine, another venue that is not exactly a shining example of the completely mythical "sedevacantist enterprise." The roof of the main church was damaged very badly by Hurricane Ike on September 11, 2008, forcing offerings of the Mass into the former (and future) hall. We were most grateful for the opportunity to visit with Fathers Campbell and Dignan again on the evening of Tuesday, February 10, 2008, being joined by friends of ours without whose generosity over the years we simply could not have paid our bills or had enough money on many occasions to feed ourselves. Father Campbell was good enough to provide us with a compact disk of his own recordings, two of which,
Everybody Dances and
Los Cristeros were linked in my own article,
Everybody Dances, posted on February 28, 2009, that took its name from Father Campbell's composition), after our get-together.
It was not in God's Holy Providence for us to meet with my relatives in the Houston area on this particular trip. That would have to await our return to the Lone Star State on Friday, March 13, 2009, a trip that we did not know on February 10, 2009, that we would be making at all. There was a time in my "conservative"/indultarian days in the 1990s when I drew pretty good crowds to talks at Holy Rosary Church in Houston. Good numbers of people showed up as well when I gave a few talks at Queen of Angels Church in Dickinson, Texas, during my "resist and recognize" days.
Those "days" are no more. There is no quicker way to make oneself persona non grata with loads of people than to announce publicly that apostates cannot hold ecclesiastical office in the Catholic Church legitimately by virtue of the fact that they have expelled themselves from her maternal bosom by defecting from just one, to say nothing of many, articles contained in the Deposit of Faith (as Pope Leo XIII explained in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896, at Number 9; see Ratzinger's War Against Catholicism). And as I have mentioned before, it is good to be humiliated and calumniated for having embraced the truth of our ecclesiastical situation as the Church Militant on her earth has undergone her Mystical Passion, Death and Burial (see
Bookended From Birth to Birth).
Sharon and I say "Deo gratias!" whenever some former friend of ours sends us a note to condemn us, whenever speaking opportunities evaporate, whenever regular donors withdraw their financial support without a word to us. Deo gratias! We are grateful for all past friendships. We are grateful to those who have given non-tax-deductible gifts, each of which is a free will gift that is neither earned by us or owed to us in the slightest. Every opportunity to thank God for a bit of humiliation and even temporal inconvenience for having paid but a small price for our sins by taking to heart the lessons taught to us by our true bishops and true priests in this time of apostasy and betrayal is an opportunity to recognize how good God is to us poor sinners to give us an opportunity to make reparation to Him for our sins through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Deo gratias! Deo gratias! Deo gratias!
It was simply great to be in the Houston area solely to have to have assisted at four offerings of Holy Mass at Saint Jude Shrine, and we thank both Fathers Campbell and Dignan for their fidelity to the truths of the Faith before we set out on our return to Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort on Thursday, February 12, 2009, a trip that was slowed as a result of the interminable construction delays on Interstate 10 between the Houston area and the Golden Triangle of Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange at the easternmost point of Interstate 10 in Texas, which is some 880 miles from the New Mexico border. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
A Brief Return to Lafayette
We returned to Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, 2009, arising early the next morning for Holy Mass at Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana. This is, of course, what the conciliar revolutionaries have done when they jettisoned the Missale Romanum of Pope Saint Pius V, the great pope of the Holy Rosary whose feast we celebrate today, in favor of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, which is devoid of Sanctifying Graces as it offends God each and every time its abominable rites are performed. People who lack a full-time residence, as we did at the time, and/or who do not live a true offering of Holy Mass by a true bishop or a true priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism or its false shepherds must drive long distances in order to get to Holy Mass.
Even in this, my friends, we must say "Deo gratias!" as God knew from all eternity that this would be our lot at this point in salvation history. Deo gratias! Yes, thanks be to God that he has raised up a Bishop Dolan and a Bishop Sanborn and others of the "nine" and a Bishop McKenna and a Bishop Pivarunas and his priests and a Father Francis and a Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D., and a Father Campbell and a Father Dignan. No matter the differences that may exist among these true bishops and priests at a time when there is no true pope on the Throne of Saint Peter, each is attempting to serve souls in this time of apostasy and betrayal, providing them with the Sacraments at a time when most Catholics are utterly unaware that the men who they think are "bishops" and "priests" are no more "bishops" and "priests" than the "clergy" of the Anglican sect, that what they think is Holy Mass is no more a true offering of the Sacred Mysteries than that found in the Anglican sect. Yes, it is good that we must "hunt" for the Mass in order to preserve the Faith whole and intact without any concessions at all conciliarism. Deo gratias!
Mind you, I am fully aware (painfully aware!) that I do not deserve God's gratuitous generosity to my family by giving us access to true Sacraments in this time of apostasy and betrayal. I know how much I have offended God by virtue of my sins and by virtue of my persisting in the blindness of trying to "reconcile" the novelties and apostasies and blasphemies of conciliarism with the Catholic Faith and/or of refusing to look seriously at the canonical and doctrinal principles of sedevacantism for as long as I did. I am also mindful of the fact that I am not one whit better--and am indeed, far, far worse--than most others who have not as of yet examined those canonical and doctrinal principles of sedevacantism and/or who reject them outright. I am, however, simply grateful that my family, through no merits of our own, has been given access to the true Sacraments and that we have been privileged to meet giants of the Faith who have maintained their fidelity to Holy Mother Church no matter what they have suffered as a consequence. Deo gratias!
Father Francis was good enough to ask me to give talks on Saturday, February 14, 2009, and Sunday February 15, 2009, both of which were reasonably well-attended (Part Two of Sketching the Errors of Modernity and Modernism and
Part 3 of Sketching the Errors of Modernity and Modernism. Both of these talks were attended by our friends from Vicksburg, Mississippi, each of whom had the privilege of making their first true Confession in years when they met Father Francis on Saturday, February 14, 2009. These good people have been very kind and generous to us, making truly sacrificial gifts of their resources to help us to to meet our temporal needs. We are very grateful to these good friends of ours. Very grateful indeed.
We left the oasis of the Faith that is Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, late in the afternoon on Sunday, February 15, 2009, to begin a drive that would take us back to Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio. Father Francis had headed off to Pensacola for a second straight weekend, which meant that we could drive the 335 miles to Pensacola in order to get to Mass on Monday, February 16, 2009, and Tuesday, February 17, 2009. However, that would have made getting to Mass at Saint Gertrude's on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, quite difficult as I didn't know whether I would have enough energy in the "tank," so to speak, to make the twelve hour drive up from Pensacola to get to West Chester in time for the 11:25 a.m. Mass on February 18, the only Mass that would be offered that day (His Excellency Bishop Dolan and Father Anthony Cekada were away for the entire week, leaving Father Markus Ramolla to offer but one Mass a day, the school Mass, which is simulcast at
Live Mass Simulcasts every weekday at 11:25 a.m. during the school year). Decisions, decisions, decisions.
My decision? Well, I am glad that you asked.
My decision was made when we reached Interstate 55 near Hammond, Louisiana: to trek north on Interstate 55 to make an effort to get to the 5:00 p.m. Mass on Dictators' Day (er, Presidents' Day, excuse me). I knew that I was taking a chance. However, I was tired. I just didn't feel like adding 200 miles or so to the 940 mile trip from Lafayette, Louisiana, to West Chester, Ohio, by driving to Pensacola. I was still under the weather from the episode that saw me come close to losing consciousness on early Wednesday morning, January 13, 2009, more tired yet as a result of the writing and speaking and driving. Nineteen articles (They Know Not The Way,
Clueless Is As Clueless Does,
From Luther to Bush to Obama,
We Wait for Another, We Wait for Christ the King,
Studied Silence, False Hopes,
What's Difficult About "Thou Shalt Not Kill"?,
Nothing to Negotiate,
Another Country Kicks Out Christ the King,
Those Who Deny The Holocaust,
Recognize and Capitulate,
Voices From Hell,
A Little Bit "In," A Little Bit "Out",
To Bury The Truth,
Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009,
Disciples of Caiphas,
A Country Full of Boiled Frogs,
As We Forgive Not Those Who Trespass Against Us, and
Defining One's Enemies) were written and four lectures given between January 13, 2009, and February 15, 2009. I was tired, weakened yet by the episode of the early morning of January 13, 2009, that set me back quite a bit with a penance that I richly deserve for my sins and accept with gratitude as coming from the hands of the good God Himself.
Fatigue finally overtook me in northern Mississippi some eighty miles or so south of Memphis, Tennessee. It was around 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 15, 2009, that I had to start looking for a campground, exiting Interstate 55 in Oakland, Mississippi, when I saw a sign for "Sunrise RV Park," a facility that is for sale (in the event that anyone out there in cyberspace wants to buy a campground that is nowhere near a true offering of Holy Mass) and that is rather primitive, to say the least.
Entering the poorly lit and very run down facility in the dark was a challenge. I could find only one paved pull through space near the entrance of the campground, circling around the place to try to see if a better, more accessible space was available. I had to settle for that pull-through space near the entrance of the campground, whose cement "pad" was not long enough for a motor home and its two vehicle. On the verge of total collapse, however, I hooked up our electrical cord, took Chase for a walk, and then got a few hours of sleep, having to offer up the fact that we would indeed miss Mass the next day, Monday, February 16, 2009. It was a choice of missing Mass or of falling asleep at the wheel, something that I don't think that Sharon and Lucy would have appreciated very much. I just had to stop. I simply can't do in my late fifties what I could do with utter impunity in my late twenties, that is, drive for twenty to twenty-five hours nonstop. Just can't do that kind of thing any more.
A Brief Return to Saint Gertrude the Great Church
As readers will recall from Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009, we had to leave the parking lot of Saint Gertrude the Great Church on Wednesday, January 28, 2009, because of the frigid temperatures that had frozen up our motor home's plumbing system. We learned upon our arrival in Louisiana a few days thereafter that we could not return to the parking lot at Saint Gertrude's, where we were parked for nearly three months and had ready access to the Heavenly glories offered to God there on a daily basis, because of an ongoing construction project that made Saint Gertrude's the object of attention of building inspectors who would not look too kindly upon a motor home on the premises there. We had hoped to return to the grounds at some point. However, we accepted our displacement as coming from the hand of God and were, of course, very grateful to Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada and Father Ramolla and everyone else at Saint Gertrude's for their kindness to us "squatters."
The purpose of our return at this point was to surprise Lucy with a visit from her Confirmation sponsor, Mrs. Anonymous, and her husband, Mr. Anonymous, who hail, as I have explained before, from a hitherto unexplored region of North America. Mrs. Anonymous and Lucy share a great penchant for, of all things, penguins, and there was to be a "Penguin Breakfast" at the Newport Aquarium on Saturday, February 21, 2009, featuring what were described as "fluffy eggs" and a lecture thereafter. Lucy knew about the "Penguin Breakfast." She did not know that her Confirmation sponsor, whom she loves dearly, was going to be there for the event. We knew that this treat would mean a lot to Lucy, who does study hard in her homeschooling program and who knows more about the lives of the saints at the age of seven than I did when I was twenty-seven.
The remainder of our 565 mile trip up to West Chester, Ohio, from the primitive confines of the Sunrise R. V. Park in Oakland, Mississippi, went very smoothly, save for the fact, of course, that we did not have a functioning generator, which is one of the reasons that I stopped on the evening of Sunday, February 15 2009, as it was beginning to get a little chilly inside of the motor home. After getting a bite to eat at a Carrabba's Italian Grill in the Louisville, Kentucky, area, we arrived at Indian Springs Campground in North Bend, Ohio (right near the Indiana state line and just across the Ohio River from Kentucky) at around 8:30 p.m. on Dictators' Day, Monday, February 16, 2009, paying the thirty dollars for an overnight stay prior to making arrangements for a longer stay the next morning. I was more than a little tired after driving the 940 miles from Lafayette, Louisiana, to North Bend, Ohio, in a little over twenty-seven hours. Ah, then again, we were in the Season of Septuagesima, which began on Sunday, February 8, 2009. Penance is indeed better than ever in 2009. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
The bleakness of winter and the starkness of the landscaping (gravel and dirt and cement) at Indian Springs Campground was quite a contrast with the lush greenery of Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana. Lucy had no place to run and exercise. Even poor Chase had no place to call his own for running and barking as beagles love to do when they are on the scent of something or another. And the thirty-two mile drive from Indian Springs to Saint Gertrude the Great Church took quite a chunk out of the middle of Lucy's homeschooling day, requiring her to go later than the normal quitting time to get all of her work, at which she excels (she's reading at a fifth grade level), completed. Staying at Indian Springs, which is run by very nice people who take excellent care of their facility, was simply not a long term option for us. And the campground that we had stayed at in the past, Olive Branch Campground in Oregonia, Ohio, is essentially "closed' to transients as a result of a major transcontinental natural gas pipeline project that has its workers more or less centralized in trailers or "fifth wheels" at Olive Branch Campground right now. Indian Springs Campground was simply the closest place to Saint Gertrude's for us to park.
It was, of course, wonderful to be back "home" at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Lucy had tears of joy in her eyes when she was on the line to go to Confession on Friday, February 20, 2009, as she saw Mr. Anonymous from afar and then saw Mrs. Anonymous. I had a few tears in my own eyes as I saw the joy in those of my daughter's. Lucy Mary Therese Norma Droleskey was very surprised to see her Confirmation sponsor, asking us after Holy Mass if we knew that they would be there. Lucy, who is terrible about keeping secrets, was surprised that we kept this a secret from her. She was very happy. So were we as our friends from that unexplored region of North America have been very good to us and are responsible for us ending our full-time motor home days. We are very grateful to them for their friendship and for their superb generosity.
A Penguin Breakfast Before the Beginning of Lent
The Penguin Breakfast on Saturday, February 21, 2009, went very well. Sharon, Lucy, Mrs. Anonymous and Mrs. Janet Clementi, who had moved from New Jersey to West Chester, Ohio, on December 15, 2008, to go to Holy Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, at which she has become an important figure by volunteering her time in the sacristy to iron vestments and to attend to other chores assigned to her, went to the breakfast as Mr. Anonymous got some rest after having driven a long way from his unexplored region of North America and as I attended to Chase, who I don't like to leave alone in the car in urban areas for fear that someone will break in and steal our puppy dog (Newport, Kentucky, is not the safest place in the world). Indeed, knowing that the breakfast and the tour of the aquarium would take about two hours of so, I scooted up to Blue Ash, Ohio, to get a supply of bagels from Marx's Bagels on Kenwood Road.
John Marx, the owner of Marx's Bagels who is known in the Cincinnati area as "The Bagelman," is quite a character. Although he hails from Chicago, the Bagelman has quite a New York sense of humor. He is also, despite all of the decorations indicating that the store is a Jewish bagelry run according to Kosher standards (which it is), a Catholic, one who was quite upset by Georgetown University's covering the monogram IHS for the Holy Name of Jesus during a speech given by Caesar Obamus on April 15, 2009 (see
Ashamed of the NAME Above All Names). John and I have some interesting conversations, and I must say that he makes the best bagels west of the Hudson River, and that includes anything and everything in New Jersey. Marx's Bagels are on a par, if not even a little better than, Bagel Boss (The Original) on Woodbury Road in Hicksville, New York.
After picking up our supply of bagels for a few days (I made another run on Thursday, February 26, 2009, just before our departure for southern climes once again), I returned to Newport to pick up Sharon and Lucy. Mrs. Anonymous drove Mrs. Clementi back to her apartment before resuming house hunting in West Chester with Mr. Anonymous. Although we have lost lots and lots of friends in the past few years, we have also gained many new ones. While we will always pray for those whom God's Holy Providence placed in our lives in the past, we are also very grateful for our new friends who share our desire to adhere to the unvarnished Catholic Faith as it is offered to us by true bishops and true priests who make absolutely no concessions at all to the counterfeit church of conciliarism and who do not distort, pervert and misrepresent the true teaching of the Catholic Church concerning papal infallibility by treating the conciliar "pontiffs" as legitimate Successors of Saint Peter.
From Dust Unto Dust
Our time at Indian Springs Campground ended on Shrove Tuesday, February 24, 2009, as we took the motor home into Cummins Bridgeway in West Chester, Ohio, not far from Saint Gertrude the Great Church, in order to have our generator, which conked out for the umpteenth time on Wednesday, January 28, 2009, as we were escaping the harsh winter weather of the Cincinnati area, for yet another set of repairs. The generator, which was installed at Cummins Bridgeway on Wednesday, January 31, 2007, had broken down in January of 2008 and February of 2008. It was repaired at Cummins Bridgeway on April 2, 2008, breaking down a month later, forcing me to drive down to MES Power Systems in Westbury, New York, from Easton, Connecticut, to have it repaired once again. The generator gave out yet again in August of 2008, causing a major set of repairs to be done to it at a Camping World in Bolingbrook, Illinois. I discovered late on February 24, 2009, that the exact same set of repairs that had been done at Camping World six months before would have to be done all over again. We were, thankfully, permitted to stay overnight on the grounds of Cummins Bridgeway and to remain there on Wednesday evening, February 25, 2009, following the completion of the repairs, which were covered fully by the three year warranty.
Lent was, therefore, off to a rousing start. We had hoped to spend all of Lent at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. This, however, was not in God's Holy Providence. It was most impractical to drive to West Chester from North Bend, Ohio, every day. The weather was still bad. And there was yet work for me to do down in Lafayette, Louisiana, and in Stafford, Texas. With great regret, therefore, we had to leave West Chester, Ohio, on Thursday, February 26, 2009, after having had a delightful visit with His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan and Mr.and Mrs Anonymous at Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen in Springdale, Ohio. It was at that luncheon that Mrs. Anonymous told us that she would be willing to cash in a certificate of deposit for us to build a shed for our motor home that would protect it from the elements while we continued to live inside of the motor home, an option that appealed to me greatly as we could stay on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church without having to run for our lives in the winter time. The idea seemed worth pursuing.
We left the Saint Gertrude the Great Church parking lot (with a functioning generator, mind you), around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2009. I had a few problems with the Blue Ox Aventa II tow bar, which has probably seen its last good two (we are in need of a new tow bar to connect the motor home, which we will still use once or twice a year, to the TrailBlazer, to which we are indentured for another fifty-six months). Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous, who agreed to be photographed from the rear with umbrellas over their heads (see below), watched in amusement as I hooked up the tow bars in the pouring rain:
Our second trip in twenty-nine days from West Chester, Ohio, to Lafayette, Louisiana, was very smooth. Taking a different route than the one I had taken to Louisiana on January 28-29, 2009, and then back again on February 15-16, 2009, I continued south on Interstate 65 out of Nashville, Tennessee, to hook up with Interstate 59 in Birmingham, Alabama, which combines with Interstate 20 for the distance from Birmingham to just a little west of Meridian, Mississippi. It was at a rest area just east of Meridian that I had to stop the motor home on Thursday evening, February 26, 2009, around 11:00 p.m., Central time (12:00 Midnight, Eastern time, on Friday, February 27, 2009). And it was at that rest area that we parked for several hours of sleep before resuming our trip on Interstate 59 to connect with Interstate 12 in Slidell, Louisiana, and thence Interstate 10 just east of the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for our return to Christ the King Church and from there to Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort. Just another 940 mile trip in about twenty-one hours.
Chase was deliriously happy to be back in his old "hunting grounds" of Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort, perching himself up on the dashboard of the motor home as he looked out attentively for the cows and the horses he had come to expect (and to bark at most vociferously) on Wilderness Trail as it winds its winding way along Bayou Vermillion (also known as the Vermillion River) north of Gloria Switch Road. He was in his "element" once again as we returned to Space 19, a nice, quiet space away from noisy campers.
Lenten Penance Comes A Calling
Our first week back in Lafayette, Louisiana, was spent in attending to our daily duties of going to Holy Mass and of continuing Lucy's homeschooling. I was able to write six articles in seven days (Everybody Dances,
Let Your Yea Be Yea,
Story Time in Econe,
Yes, Sir, Master Scribe, and
Naturalists and Their Bogeymen) before things came crashing down around me with a terrible Lenten illness on the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, March 7, 2009.
Before I took even more sick than I had been up to that point, Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., was kind enough to arrange with Mr. Michael Gerace, who had repaired our thermostat on Sunday, February 8, 2009, and Mr. Danny Stoutes to have our motor home's rear brakes and shock absorbers replaced at the Stoutes family farm on Thursday, March 5, 2009. Mike Gerace, who is a professional mechanic, reported to Father Francis that he did not like what he saw under our motor home when he was underneath it repairing the overheating problem Septuagesima Sunday, February 8. Indeed, Mike was most concerned about our safety. So was Father Francis.
Mind you, those who read Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009 three months ago may recall that we had had the front brakes repaired in Reading, Ohio,on Monday, January 19, 2009, after the motor home's engine and coach batteries had to be replaced in a comedy of errors that all took place within the Providence of God and for His greater honor and glory through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. The rear brakes, however, had not been repaired in Ohio! We needed new rear brakes and new shock absorbers (Sharon had grown a little weary of us serving as the human shock absorbers, if you will, for the motor home) and one of our sway bars needed to be replaced as the motor home had been swaying to the left and right a lot more than usual. Mike Gerace took off from work on Thursday, March 5, 2009, and Danny Stoutes donated the use of some of his labor (and some of the parts to be used for the repairs), permitting the repairs, which could not be done at the Bayou Wildness R. V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana, to be done in an airplane hangar on his family's farm.
Lucy loved being on the farm. Although she was born nine and one-half years after her paternal grandfather's death (which occurred on September 5, 1992, at Flower Memorial Hospital in Sylvania, Ohio), she has Albert Henry Martin Droleskey's great love of animals. She dreams of owning a farm, little realizing the hard, hard work that is associated with such an enterprise. She was, however, in a "seventh heaven" on Thursday, March 5, 2009, being able to visit with the animals and ride a horse on the Stoutes family farm after her home schooling day was completed. She loved every minute of her stay at the farm while the motor home was being repaired, repairs that took the better part of seven hours to complete. (Danny Stoutes had a great line when I asked him at one point how it was going, "Oh, we'll have you out of here in fifteen minutes." That's when all four wheels were off of the motor home and before the new shock absorbers had been installed and the new rotors installed.)
While I was writing Naturalists and Their Bogeymen, Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., telephoned to put me in touch with his brother Normand, who is a mastermind of things electrical. Father Francis wanted to see if there might be some way to get our slideouts, which had not worked since Monday, January 8, 2008, repaired to give us some more living space in the motor home.
One can get used to the most crampt of quarters. Despite our sins, we in the Droleskey family do love God and we do consider it our privilege to bear our crosses as the price of our redemption as we seek to make reparation to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary for our sins. I spent ages four to fourteen in a fairly-sized house in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, and then spent ages fourteen to twenty-one in a very spacious house on two wooded acres in Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island, New York. I grew up accustomed to material affluence and convenience. To break me of this attachment (I would never have left 234 Laurel Cove Road in Oyster Bay Cove of my own accord as I wanted to live in that oasis of a house in the woods of Oyster Bay Cove for the rest of my life, being very disappointed when my parents decided in the summer of 1972 to start the process that would move them down to Texas), God saw to it that I was reduced at some points in the 1980s to homelessness or to living in a rented room. One can get quite used to living a crampt motor home after one has slept in his car for a few weeks when job opportunities were slim.
That having been noted, however, I was hopeful that Father Francis and his brother Normand could find a way to fix the slideouts, sending Normand a series of photographs that Sharon had taken to help him understand the schematic of the wiring (I had installed a new switch in February of 2008, fearing I had cross-wired the thing, a fear that I found out on March 7, 2009, was unfounded as the problem resided in the hydraulic motor itself) as the work was being done on the brakes and sway bar and shock absorbers. Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., and his people were certainly very, very generous and kind to us, and we will always remember their generosity and kindness in our prayers every single day of our lives.
Our day at the Stoutes farm lasted until around 5:00 p.m. New rear brakes and four shock absorbers were installed. A complete oil change was done as well with the use of synthetic oil, which Father Francis was convince would increase our gasoline mileage somewhat, something that has turned out not to be the case so far. The motor home has an unladen weight of 18,000 pounds. There was probably after three thousand pounds of weight in the thing as a result of our papers, books and effects. More horsepower is needed, of course, to tow the TrailBlazer. There is very little that can be done to improve the motor home's mileage when we were full-timing in it. We will see how it runs in our next trip with its load having been considerably lightened. Obviously, however, we were grateful to Father Francis for making the recommendation about the synthetic oil. Even the possibility of getting one or two more miles to the gallon in the motor home was worth exploring
Father Francis and his brother Normand were scheduled to come out to Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort on Saturday, March 7, 2009, to determine if our slideouts, which extend the living room area by eighteen inches and our bedroom area by two feet, to work after fourteen months of being inoperative. They did indeed come out at around 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2009, the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas and the first Saturday of the month of March, the month of our good Saint Joseph. The Miller brothers arrived several hours after I had taken deathly ill with some kind of stomach virus that prevented from attending a true offering First Saturday Mass for the first time in the three years since we have been assisting exclusively at Masses offered by priests who are not "una cum" the arch-heretic Ratzinger. I had to send Sharon and Lucy off to Holy Mass by themselves as I was in really, really bad shape. Perhaps I had the swine flu without its being diagnosed as such! All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
Incapacitated by the fever and other symptoms associated with the stomach virus, most of my day on Saturday, March 7, 2009, was spent in the sofa bed in the living room of the motor home. Sharon had to attend to getting the Miller brother what they needed as they worked to identify the reason that the slideouts were not working. Father Francis and his brother Normand worked very hard to try to discover the source of the problem, taking apart the hydraulic motor that worked the slideouts before finding out that the motor was sending signals to both slideouts to go out or to pull back at the same time. This caused the wires to overheat and the motor to fail to work. It took hours of hard manual labor for Father Francis and Normand to identify the source of the problem, verifying what the best commercial recreational vehicle repairman in the country, Doug at Tag Motors in Medford, New York, told me in early-2008 would be necessary to identify and repair the problem (Doug said that it would take hours of labor to identify the problem; he was correct!). Father Francis and his brother Normand donated their services to us whereas I would have had to pay Tag Motors an hourly rate of something approaching one hundred dollars an hour. Saint Joseph provided for us to get our motor home's slideouts working again to provide us with a bit more space in what turned out to be, unbeknownst to us at the time, the final eight weeks of our full-time residency in the motor home. The slideouts actually worked for the first time in fourteen months. Deo gratias!
Although I was weak and burning up with a fever and sore throat, I had to force myself out of my sick bed at around 1:30 p.m., Central Standard Time (Daylight Saving Time was to begin the next day), to take Chase to an emergency veterinary clinic. Chase had come back from a walk on his "long leash" with Sharon and Lucy limping rather badly. Something had caused his right front paw to swell considerably. He was in great pain and was not his usual rambunctious self. Father Francis, who truly has a Franciscan love of animals, looked at him, thinking that he saw something stuck in his paw. I could not find the object with my own eyes that have grown unable with age to see small objects even with "progressive" lenses. There was no choice but to get out of my own sick bed to take Chase to an emergency veterinary clinic to get him better.
There was quite an irony in my visit to the emergency veterinary clinic as it represented only the third time in my life that I had taken a dog of my own to a veterinarian other than my own father. I visited my Uncle Ed at his veterinary hospital in the Houston, Texas, area several times, and I used to visit Dr. Richard Lange, the veterinarian who purchased by father's veterinary hospital in Queens Village, New York, every now and again. However, it had not been until we taken Chase to a veterinarian n Rathdrum, Idaho, on October 25, 2008, that I had been on "the other side" of a veterinary clinic as a client and not as a worker. We also took Chase to the indomitable Dr. Mary Ann Wozny on December 3, 2008, for a bit of minor surgery. Saturday, March 7, 2009, marked the first time that we had to take Chase into a veterinarian on an emergency basis. It was, I must admit, rather unusual to be on the "other side" of such a situation. Although it hasn't been since 1972 that I have done any kind of work in a veterinary clinic, I did help my father at his Queens Village Dog and Cat Hospital a great deal in the 1960s.
The veterinarian who was on call at the emergency clinic in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday, March 7, 2009, was quite competent. He found that Chase had steeped on a bee, whose stinger was stuck in between two of his claws. I was given anti-inflammatory medicine and a pain killer to give to Chase, who did not like being at the veterinary clinic in the slightest. It was then time for me to take our sweet little dog, who is truly God's generous gift to us as he is a marvelous and affection companion for us all, back to the motor home, where Father Francis and his brother Normand were still at work addressing the slideouts problem. They worked from 11:00 a.m., Central Standard Time, to 4:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, making it possible for us to have expanded space in the motor home for the first time since January 8, 2008. Deo gratias! We are very grateful to Father Francis and his brother Normand for their hard work and generosity of spirit.
Unable to do anything other than rest once I returned to the motor home, I had to send Sharon and Lucy off with our friends from Vicksburg, Mississippi, who had driven down to Lafayette, Louisiana, once again to assist at Holy Mass offered at the hands of Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., and to hear the lecture that I was to give after the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, March 8, 2009. I was simply too weak to go out with them all to dinner.
I did, however, manage to give my new computer, which was purchased courtesy of a non-tax-deductible gift made by in January by a good friend of ours, a drink of ginger ale when I accidentally dropped a cup filled to the brim with this beverage of choice for ailing flu sufferers right into the keyboard. (My eldest first cousin, who turned sixty-five on March 4, 2009 (I find it hard to believe that I have a first-cousin who is sixty-five years old!), eventually gave the computer a "once over" after we had returned to Texas, sending it off to its manufacturer for refurbishing. I should be reunited with it in a few days, something that will relieve me of the penance associated with the older computer I have been working since March 7, 2009, a machine that is prone to erase entire paragraphs and to skip from line to line without my doing a thing.) The computer, which worked on its battery for a few hours before it died, would not work when its electrical cord was plugged into a socket. It was dead, making Saturday, March 7, 2009, the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of lots of much-deserved penance. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Another Week in Lafayette, Another Adventure in Texas
My talk on March 8, 2009, which was a reprise of the lecture,
Abort Christ the King, Abort the Babies, that I had given on Sunday, January 18, 2009, at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, went well. I did not record it as I could not find my digital recorder. It was all I could do to cooperate with the graces won for us by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, to muster up the physical strength to give the lecture after Holy Mass on the Second Sunday of Lent. And we enjoyed our visit with our friends from Vicksburg, Mississippi, who were kind enough to take us out to eat at Copeland's restaurant in Lafayette before they began their return to trip to Vicksburg and we returned to Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort in Carencro.
Ever zealous for souls, Father Francis was making a second consecutive Sunday drive to Pensacola after offering Holy Mass at Christ the King Church in Lafayette. We had planned on driving back to Texas for a two week stay (Father Francis was to be away from the morning of Friday, March 13, 2009, to the late afternoon of Sunday, March 15, 2009, to give a retreat in Norwood, Louisiana) that Sunday, March 8, 2009. Still weakened by the stomach virus that felled me so low the day before, however, I told Sharon that I thought it was prudent to stay put in Lafayette, which meant that would we would have to miss Holy Mass on the Feast of Saint Frances of Rome on Monday, March 9, 2009. Father Francis was good enough to return to Lafayette in time to offer Holy Mass on Tuesday evening, March 10, 2009, and we are grateful to him for having done so, assisting at Holy Mass there on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, and Thursday, March 12, 2009, the Feast of Pope Saint Gregory the Great, before we took off for Texas once again around noon time on Friday, March 13, 2009, to get to Holy Mass and the Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, at Saint Jude Shrine in Stafford, Texas.
I chose to try to get to the evening Mass at Saint Jude Shrine on Friday, March 13, 2009, as I was up late working on
Nothing New Under the Conciliar Sun into the wee hours of that Friday morning. Having the evening Mass as an option was very appealing. And while we did get to that evening Mass without about five minutes to spare, we did encounter yet another adventure in Texas (where the shard of a truck tire ripped through and tore out our exhaust system and most of our plumbing on the morning of Saturday, July 8, 2005, and where our TrailBlazer broke away from the motor home on Tuesday, September 20, 2005--
Better This Than Purgatory (Or Worse)) as the motor home's windshield wipers stopped working in the midst of a driving, torrential rain storm on Interstate 10 west of Beaumont, Texas, around 3:00 p.m. that Friday, March 13, 2009.
"This is disappointing," I said to Sharon. Lucy said, "I can see fine out of the side windows." "Unfortunately," I said to Lucy, "we are not driving sideways."
We were in the midst of yet another adventure. I was not going to miss Holy Mass on a Friday, especially a Friday in Lent. However, I was not going to jeopardize the lives of my family or those of other drivers by driving with no windshield wipers. It was thus the case that I had to get off of Interstate 10 every now and again when the rains got to be so bad as to make it extremely difficult to see clearly, a development that slowed us down considerably and put getting to Mass in great jeopardy.
"I'll do the best I can," I told Sharon and Lucy, "without jeopardizing our lives or those of others." I prayed to Our Lady, Saint Joseph, our Guardian Angels, Saint Christopher and to Saint Anthony to help us to get to Holy Mass on time and without any accidents. I prayed also that the rain would abate. The motor home's generator, which had been repaired on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2009, gave out once again as we drove without windshield wipers. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!"
Here is what I looked like peering out the windshield without functioning wipers, an experience that was somewhat reminiscent of driving on Interstate 90 on Wednesday, October 4, 2006, after both of the motor home's windshield panes had been shattered by that bird, probably a turkey, I am told by South Dakotans familiar with the hazards along Interstate 90, leaving me with the happy prospect of driving about 260 miles with a left windshield pane that kept being pushed in towards me by the force of the wind against the motor home, which was moving westward straight into the winds of the northern plains (see
It's Still Better This than Purgatory (or Worse!), part 1:
The rain abated somewhat as we got closer to the Houston area, stopping entirely as we were looping around Houston on the Sam Houston Beltway, which features certain portions where one has to stop and pay tolls every three miles or so if one does not have the Texas equivalent of what we call EZ-Pass in the State of New York. We were just grateful to Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother that we were able to get to our campground without having had to stop so long because of the rain that we could not get to Holy Mass at Saint Jude Shrine.
The campground where we stopped overnight on Friday, March 13, 2009, made Sunrise R. V. Park in Oakland, Mississippi, look luxurious by comparison. There was very little space between vehicles in the campground. It would serve our purposes as a place to leave the motor home so that we could go to Mass at Saint Jude's Shrine and then figure out where we would park for the rest of our stay in Texas. The Lake View R. V. Resort, where we had stayed from Sunday night, February 8, 2009, through the morning of Thursday, February 12, 2009, was filled to capacity as a result of a month-long rodeo taking place at the Astrodome, which is, evidently, still in use for events such as rodeos and "roll over derbies" nearly ten years after the Houston Astros played their last game there to move to Enron Field, which became Astros Field and then Minute Maid Park. Yes, Lent is consider to be the time of rodeos and the related rodeo-partying in Texas. Very sad.
Finding a Refuge, At Least of Sorts
We found a refuge, at least of sorts, on Saturday, March 14, 2009, as we noticed that there was a recreational vehicle park in Sugar Land, Texas, that was not listed in the Woodall's Campground Directory. It seemed decent enough. The spaces were far enough apart from one another so as to assure one a bit of privacy. The rate was very reasonable ($325 a month for a full hookup--sewer, water, electricity). The site we were assigned was level. Some nice parks were nearby for Lucy to play in after her homeschooling was completed. There was plenty of room for Chase to run around on his long leash. Most important of all, of course, we were only fifteen minutes away from Saint Jude Shrine, where Holy Mass is offered every day at 10:00 a.m., a delightful time for one who is up frequently until the wee hours of the morning writing articles for this site. We managed to settle into a nice little routine at the USA R.V. Park in Sugar Land, Texas.
It was nice to see our friends and benefactors at Holy Mass on the Third Sunday of Lent, March 15, 2009, and we were able to give Lucy a really big treat by taking her to the Kemah Boardwalk, which has been rebuilt following its almost total destruction by Hurricane Ike on September 11, 2008. There is now a double-decker carousel at the boardwalk, which Lucy rode and rode and rode. I am glad that Lucy was able to return to Kemah Boardwalk as she had been looking forward to a return visit ever since we had to leave there hurriedly on Tuesday, September 20, 2005, in advance of Hurricane Rita, which wound up targeting a swath from east Texas to southwest Louisiana, including near Lafayette.
Catching Up With Kith and Kin
Our time in Sugar Land, Texas, was quite productive. I wrote ten articles (And They That Passed By Blasphemed Him",
Witnesses For Skulls Full of Mush, Making Us Our Own Jailers,
Our Lady Does Not Honor Pro-Aborts,
Shell Games With Souls,
Mocking Our Lord on the Day of His Incarnation,
Pots and Kettles,
Why Should Hillary Know More Than Benedict? and my very long article about Father Michael Oswalt,
Embracing The Faith No Matter the Consequences) and gave two talks, which are available for purchase at
Christ or Chaos Store. We also managed to catch up with my Uncle Ed and his wife, my Aunt Atha Lee, and two of my first cousins on the Feast of Saint Patrick, having a delightful time with them at Pappa's Grill Steakhouse in Stafford, Texas. Lucy gave exemplary Catholic witness to my Baptist relatives, explaining why she did not want to eat at Pappasito's Mexican restaurant. "They all of those false idols at Pappasito's. There are no images of Our Lady of Guadalupe at all!
Sharon asked my uncle, who left the Faith nearly seventy years ago, if he still prayed his Hail Marys. He said, "Every once in a while." Keep giving your relatives who have left the Faith Our Lady's Green Scapular. It is my hope that my late father, who returned to the Faith after forty years of non-practice before he married his second wife nine months after my mother's death in 1982, is praying for his only brother to return to the true Church before he dies. Please join us in this intention.
Having caught up with relatives on my father's side, I wanted to pay our respects as well to my late mother's brother by adoption, my Uncle Billy Red Fox, who just turned ninety years of age five days ago, on May 1, 2009, and his wife, my Aunt Bertha, in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is where my late mother died on March 18, 1982, twelve days after her sixty-first birthday, and where her mortal remains and those of my late father's are buried at Seaside Memorial Park. It had been over three and one-half years since we had paid our respects at my parents' gravesites. As I do not know if we will be back in Texas at any point in the near future, I wanted to take what I thought would be a quick day trip down the 210 miles from Sugar Land, Texas, to Corpus Christi, Texas, for a visit to the cemetery and thence to dine with Uncle Billy and Aunt Bertha.
The trip down to Corpus Christ in the TrailBlazer went well. I am well-familiar with the route (US-59 south of Houston to US-77 south of Victoria), having driven it a lot in the 1970s after my parents had moved from Bryan, Texas, where they lived between February of 1973 and September of 1973 after leaving Oyster Bay Cove, New York, to Harlingen, Texas, where my father had a "second" career as a public health veterinarian, serving as the regional administrator of the meat inspection program for the Texas Department of Public Health for what became known as "Region 8," which is most of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Harlingen is about 330 miles south of downtown Houston and 140 miles south of Corpus Christi itself, situated about twenty-five miles north of the Mexican border and about twenty-five miles west of the Gulf of Mexico. I had many, many long drives from upstate New York and Illinois down to Harlingen in the 1970s. The trip to Corpus Christi from Houston on Friday, March 20, 2009, thus covered a lot of familiar territory (Rosenberg, El Campo, Ganado, Wharton, Louise, Victoria, Refugio, Sinton, Edna, Inez, et al.).
Unbeknownst to us, it was "spring break," and Corpus Christi was crawling with "spring breakers," especially along the parks near Corpus Christi Bay and the roads leading to Padre Island. We did manage to get to the cemetery to pray a Rosary for the repose of my late parents' immortal souls. Lucy was kind enough to gather some scattered flowers and place them on both of my parents' grave markers. I was very glad that we had made the trip down to pay our respects to my parents' gravesites once again.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, We Love You! Save Souls!
Our visit with Uncle Billy, who was adopted by the vaudevillian Sioux Indian Chieftain William Red Fox a year before my own mother's birth (there was no blood relation between my mother and her brother by adoption), who gained both fame and infamy when his Memoirs of Chief Red Fox were published by McGraw-Hill in 1971, and Aunt Bertha at a Landry's Seafood House, located on a ship that is permanently docked in Corpus Christi Bay right near downtown Corpus Christi, was very pleasant. Lucy was being a little stubborn at one point during the dinner, which prompted to remark to Uncle Billy, "Your sister was never stubborn, was she?" He smiled, knowing that my mother was, as my late father would say now and again, as stubborn "as a Missouri mule." Uncle Billy reminisced about how my mother, who was nearly two years younger than he as, would box his ears (slapping both of his ears at the same time) if he did not eat "mud pies" that she had made for him to eat. It is my hope that Lucy, unlike her paternal grandmother who never really understood the Faith, will put her stubbornness to good use for the honor and glory of God as a slave of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We visited with the Red Foxes at their home for a short while before we took off for Sugar Land, wanting to get back in time to get a decent night of sleep prior to the 10:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, March 21, 2009, the Feast of Saint Benedict and the forty-eighth anniversary of my own Confirmation at the hands of the founding bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Center, the late Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg. Deciding to go back a slightly different way than we had traveled en route from Sugar Land to Corpus Christi, we took US-181 out of downtown Corpus Christi to traverse through Portland, Texas, which is where my late father and his second wife, Mrs. Joanna Droleskey, lived for a few years before they moved to Toledo, Ohio. Indeed, I was on the telephone with Joanna when I realized that I had missed the turn off of Texas Route 35/US-181 that would have taken us up to Sinton, Texas. As I did not want to take Texas Route 35, which is indeed quite a beautiful route that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline, as it goes through lots of small speed trap communities, I turned off on what is known as a Texas Farm to Market (FM) road, to head back in the direction of Refugio (named after Our Lady ) and thence to re-connect with US-77 for the trip back to Sugar Land.
Everything that happens to us occurs within the Providence of God. Existing outside of time and space, God, sees the beginning and the end of the world as an instant "now," as was explained by the late Father John Joseph
"Jackie Boy" Sullivan an Eschatology and Mariology course at Holy Apostles Seminary in 1983. Living in time and space as but created beings whose bodies are destined one day for the corruption of the grave until the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day, we do not know what know what is going to happen to us on any given day as a result of the choices we make, admitting some genuine mystics may be given such information by God now and again. I am not a mystic. I had no way of knowing, therefore, that my missed turn out of Portland, Texas, would result in one of our truly typical adventures that was sent to us by God for His greater honor and glory and our own sanctification as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
The trip on the Farm to Market road 136 from Texas Route 35 took us to FM-2678, which starts about five miles north of Bayside, Texas, where I stopped for gasoline at a convenience store around 8:30 p.m., on Friday, March 20, 2009. It was while driving on FM-2678 that we encountered unusually heavy traffic for one of these farm to market roads. There were two cars ahead of us and lots of traffic head south on FM-2678. Within a fraction of a second, I saw a flock of deer run across the highway, darting between several cars heading southbound on FM-2678 and between the cars in front of us. One deer, however, ran directly in front of the TrailBlazer as we were following the car in front of us. There was no way for us to avoid hitting it. This was the first time in forty years of driving that I had ever hit a deer. The deer we hit, Sharon reports, went flying upon its impact with the front end of the Trail Blazer, landing somewhere in the field to our right.
God was very good to us. The deer could have come through the windshield. It did not, flying off to our right (as noted just above). The airbags could have deployed, which would have resulted in Chase's death as Sharon was clutching him tightly at the moment of the impact. Lucy could have been thrown from the back seat even though she had her safety belt fastened tightly. "All" that happened to us was that we found ourselves stranded yet again along the shoulder of a roadway in a very remote area. Each of us prayed in unison, "All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!" Sharon kept praying, "Thank you, Blessed Mother. Thank you, Blessed Mother. Thank you, Blessed Mother" that none of us were hurt as a result of the deer strike.
I had hoped that we could drive the TrailBlazer the fourteen miles or so to Refugio, Texas, so that we could get some assistance. The car was too badly damaged. The radiator was smashed up pretty thoroughly. Radiator coolant was everywhere underneath the car when I stopped along the shoulder of FM-2678. The car was overheating and the battery was dying rather steadily as it had been cracked, meaning that its fluid was leaking out as well. We had another little problem as well: Sharon's cellular phone had a limited battery life left on it. My own cellular phone was almost entirely out of battery power (and I left the car charger back in the motor home at the USA RV Park before we had gone to Holy Mass at Saint Jude Shrine that morning). My replacement computer, the one that I purchased in January of 2007 and died in January of this year before it was refurbished enough to permit me to use it as a backup machine, was almost out of battery. The OnStar emergency telephone system that came with the TrailBlazer would work only as long as the car's battery was alive. Nothing like being prepared, huh? We were in a pickle. Deo gratias! Deo gratias! Deo gratias!
The OnStar emergency telephone system worked long enough to get us through to Chevrolet Roadside Assistance, which contracted with a tow truck operator out of Victoria, Texas, to tow the car into Refugio, Texas, so that we could spend the night at a motel and then figure out how to get the car repaired and to rent a car to get back to the motor home. It was clear to us at 9:30 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, on Friday, March 20, 2009, that we were not going to get to Holy Mass on the Feast of Saint Benedict. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Sharon reassured Lucy, who was a little shaken up by the accident that all would be well, that God had known from all eternity that this incident would occur. An image of Saint Joseph flashed on what is now
Archived Home Page 2 as I was updating that home page to ask for prayer intentions as we were stranded along the side of FM-2678 under very darkened skies. Sharon said, "See, Lucy. Saint Joseph is telling us that he will protect us. Do not be concerned. I told Lucy that we were in the good hands of Our Lady and Saint Joseph, that this is the path to our sanctification and salvation if we accepted this cross with love and gratitude.
As we waited for an interminably long time for the tow truck operator to arrive, I was trying to secure a motel room for the evening and then trying to figure out how to rent a car. The motel desk clerk at the Best Western in Refugio, Texas, told me as my cellular phone was dying that there no rental car agencies in Refugio, that the nearest rental car dealers were in Beeville, Texas, (thirty miles to the west of Refugio) or back down in Corpus Christi, some fifty-four miles from Refugio. I couldn't expect Uncle Billy to drive at night to come to get us. We were too far away from the Houston area for my relatives there to do anything for us. We were stuck.
I did discover while online before my computer's battery passed away that the Valley Transit Company had a bus scheduled to stop at a taqueria in Refugio at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday mornings, taking about an hour to get into Corpus Christi. I had, of course, seen the ubiquitous "VTC" buses during my many trips to Harlingen, Texas, in the 1970s to visit my parents--and during my many stays in Harlingen when I would visit my parents for periods of up to three weeks during breaks in my studies (in the early 1970s) for my doctorate or in my full-time teaching (from 1976 and thereafter), especially in the summers of 1974, 1975,1977 and 1978. How ironic that I would, it appeared on Friday night as we awaited for the tow truck operator to arrive, actually get on a "VTC" bus that I passed so many times on the road.
As is usually the case with Chevrolet Roadside Assistance, we had to wait a long, long period of time for the tow truck operator to arrive. Sharon heard coyotes at one point as I was updating the
Archived Home Page 2. The coyotes didn't frighten me. I was just a little concerned that we were "sitting ducks" along the side of the road after the TrailBlazer's battery died and our car was not illuminated by any hazard lights and could not be seen by oncoming vehicles very clearly on a very dark night. Good Saint Joseph, whose feast had just been celebrated the day before, Thursday, March 19, 2009, provided for us, sending us a state trooper with his patrol car's lights flashing to warn drivers of a disabled vehicle. He had to wait as we had to wait for the tow truck operator to arrive.
The tow truck operator arrived around 11:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2009. His name was "Joe." Knowing that he probably would not understand what I meant, I said, "Joe, whether or not you realize it, Saint Joseph sent you to us." It was just another sign that Saint Joseph was indeed looking out for us.
With nowhere to deposit the TrailBlazer other than the parking lot of the Best Western motel in Refugio, Texas, until I could call our insurance company on Saturday morning to make arrangements for the repairs (we did hope that the car was going to be totaled by the claims adjuster as this would have been an answer to prayers to get us out of the usurious payments we must make on this travesty of a vehicle that we bought after our 2000 Saturn station wagon was broadsided by a car driven by a seventeen year-old girl who ran a red light in Middletown, New York, on November 23, 2004; the TrailBlazer yet lives, however, and we accept its survival in God's Holy Providence for our continued and much-deserved penance), I told Joe and his fiancee to just leave the car at the motel Although it was a tight squeeze, Sharon, Lucy, Chase and yours truly got into the cab of the truck with Joe and his fiancee for the fourteen mile drive up to the Best Western motel, which is on the northernmost edge of Refugio on US-77.
The desk clerk on duty at the Best Western in Refugio, Texas, was very helpful, even volunteering to drive us to rent a car in Beeville, Texas, if a rental car agency was open there on a Saturday. We appreciated her generous offer. However, we needed to get a night of sleep and then determine how to proceed in order to get reunited with our motor home (this was the first time that Chase had stayed in a motel room--and the first time that we had been displaced from the motor home since June 16, 2008, when the unit was at a Ford dealership in Connecticut getting the engine head replaced after another incident of spark plug ejections; see It's Still Better This Than Purgatory (or Worse!) in 2008, part 3).
Morning's light on the Feast of Saint Benedict, who, unlike the conciliar "pontiff" who bears his name, destroyed false idols rather than esteemed them (see Pope Pius XIIs
Fulgens Radiatur), brought with it a telephone call to a rental car agency in Corpus Christi, Texas, and to our insurance company. One pays through the nose, at least in the State of New York, with coverage from State Farm Insurance. However, one gets what one pays for as I have always dealt with a competent, English-speaking claims representative who is based in the United States of America (as opposed to to the "offshore" representative of other insurance companies with made up names who are paid a sub-standard wage to maximize the profits of American-based insurance companies).
The folks at State Farm came through one again on Saturday, March 21, 2009, as they processed the claim and arranged for a rental car to be made available to us at Enterprise Rent-A-Car agency in Corpus Christi, Texas, assigning the repair of the TrailBlazer to Sterling-McCall Nissan in Stafford, Texas, as there was no suitable place in Refugio to undertake the repairs. The body shop at Sterling-McCall Nissan, where I became quite a fixture between Monday, March 23, 2009, and Friday, April 3, 2009, as I checked in on a daily basis to get the latest status of the repairs on the TrailBlazer, arranged for a tow truck to travel to Refugio to pick up the car and take it back to Stafford, Texas.
Saying goodbye to Sharon and Lucy (and Chase), I walked down the three quarters of a mile from the Best Western motel to the bus stop at the taqueria in Refugio to await the arrival of the 10:40 a.m. bus to Corpus Christi. This was the first time that I was on an inter-city bus since around 1989, when I took a bus from Great Barrington, Massachusetts to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey bus terminal on Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street in Manhattan after speaking at a Catholic Rendezvous in Salisbury, Connecticut. Those onboard the bus looked a little askance at a man dressed in a jacket and tie on an inter-city bus driven by a driver who made his announcements in both the English and Spanish languages. I simply prayed my Rosaries as the stares were directed in my direction.
As God's Providence would have had it, the bus passed directly in front of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car agency from which I was to rent a Kia sedan to drive back up to Refugio, collect my family and then return to the motor home in Sugar Land, Texas. I thus knew exactly the direction in which I was to walk after I got off of the bus at the main bus terminal in Corpus Christi, the very place from which my mother departed the hometown of her adolescence to join the Women's Army Corps in 1943 at the age of twenty-two, making it over to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car agency office at 11:45 a.m., on Saturday, March 21, 2009, just fifteen minutes before the office closed for the weekend. I would have had to find some way (read: Uncle Billy) to get over to the Corpus Christi airport location for Enterprise Rent-A-Car if I had gotten to the downtown office after it had closed.
Taking off in the Kia, I backtracked on the route that we used when we hit the deer just fifteen hours earlier. The route itself (Texas 35, FM 136, FM 2678) is really a good one. It's the shortest and quickest way to drive between Corpus Christi and Refugio IF, that is, one does not hit a deer. I was surprised at the ease of the route in the broad daylight, spying shattered pieces of the TrailBlazer along the shoulder of the road at the point of the deer strike.
Arriving back at the Best Western motel in Refugio, I collected my family and transferred what we needed out of the TrailBlazer into the rented Kia, leaving Refugio, around 1:40 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, on Saturday, March 21, 2009. To say that we were tired was an understatement. I was still not over the illness that had felled me just two weeks before. Recognizing that nothing we suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused those Seven Swords of Sorrow to be thrust through and through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, we accepted the penances that were visited upon us on March 20 and 21, 2009, with gratitude for the opportunity to give God honor and glory through that same Immaculate Heart, conscious of our need to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world.
A New Yorker in Texas
We arrived back at the USA RV Park around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Chase was happiest of all to be home as he missed his "push-pull" dog toys, which we have named "Guy" (there's "Old Guy" and "New Guy"). Chase evidently missed his "Guys" during our trip to Corpus Christi as he nestled up next to "Old Guy" upon our return, taking him up on his nose and checking him for fleas. It was a very endearing scene as he considers "Old Guy" and "New Guy" to be his "pets," which he loves to take out for a "walk" whenever I take him out for his own walks:
Chase loves his "guys." He makes sure to give them a good shake now and again to keep them in line.
A little harbinger of what awaited our doggie on Monday, March 23, 2009, manifested itself later on Saturday, March 21, 2009, as Chase got sick a few hours after our arrival back at the motor home. We chalked that up to his being fed some miniature Oreo cookies by Lucy in the rental car on the trip back from Refugio. It turns out, however, that a more serious illness was brewing within our puppy, the result, it appears, of his having licked the carcass of a dead frog that he had picked up while being taken for a walk at the USA RV Park. It is generally not a good idea to lick the carcass of a dead frog.
Starting on Monday, March 23, 2009, I began my daily visits to Sterling-McCall Nissan to check on the status of the TrailBlazer, which had been towed up for the Best Western motel in Refugio on Saturday evening, March 21, 2009. My late father taught me fifty years ago to make sure that work was done right. Although he did not practice the Faith for over four decades, he still had the residual Catholicism of his youth that led him to work hard in his profession as a small animal veterinarian and expected others to be competent in their own lines of work. He was insistent that someone who was charging for his work be held accountable to the highest standards of professional competency, which is why I was a daily visitor at Sterling-McCall Nissan to keep ourselves apprised as to when we might get the TrailBlazer returned to us.
The folks at Sterling-McCall Nissan were nice enough. They were not used to a customer coming in every day to get a status report. We needed, however, to have some idea as to when we could expect the car to be returned to us so as to plan our trip back to Ohio for Holy Week and Easter Week at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. We were scheduled be at Winton Woods Campground, which opened for the season on March 16, 2009, on Friday, April 3, 2009, the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Passiontide. That was not going to happen. We were praying to be back at Saint Gertrude's in time for Palm Sunday.
It was upon our return to the motor home after the 10:00 a.m. Mass at Saint Jude Shrine on Monday, March 23, 2009, and after our stop at the body shop at Sterling-McCall Nissan and the 59 Diner, where we had established ourselves as regulars after Mass as Lucy, who has to observe the three hour Communion fast, had to eat soon after Mass, that we became very concerned about Chase. He was listless. His ears were red hot. His breathing was most labored. I thought we were going to lose the boy. He was not in good shape. And thus it was that I had to call a veterinary clinic in Sugar Land, Texas, where Chase was diagnosed with a 104 degree temperature. He had a major infection that was about to take him down for good. The veterinarian gave him some injections and two different types of medications to give to him.
I took Chase back to the motor home before I had to leave very quickly thereafter to give a lecture at a public library in Missouri City, Texas. The talk was so sparsely attended that Father Louis Campbell, whose sermons are so rich with instruction in the Catholic Faith, asked for me to give a reprise after Mass at Saint Jude Shrine the following Sunday, Passion Sunday, March 29, 2009. I agreed most readily. The talk that Sunday was well-attended. It was so good to meet such wonderful Catholics, and I am grateful to Fathers Campbell and Dignan and to Mr. Gary Giuffre for the kindnesses that they extended to us during our stay at Saint Jude Shrine.
The rest of the Fourth Week of Lent was spent homeschooling Lucy and keeping up with my writing. We were also preparing to offer Lucy a moderate celebration of her seventh birthday on Friday, March 27, 2009, which was also the first anniversary of the reception of her First Holy Communion (my own fiftieth anniversary of the reception of First Holy Communion occurs on May 30, 2009, twenty-four days before the fortieth anniversary of my graduation from Oyster Bay High School). We gave Lucy a number of books about the lives of the saints as well as a Crucifix for her to wear with her Miraculous Medal and Brown Scapular around her neck. She devours each and every book we give her on the lives of the saints. And she retains what she reads. In addition to the books and the Crucifix, we gave Lucy another trip to the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas.
We were very saddened to learn of the death of His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan's mother, Mrs. Rosemary Dolan, who died on the Feast of the Annunciation, Wednesday, March 25, 2009. We are among the many people to have obtained Mass cards to have a true Mass offered for the repose of Mrs Dolan's immortal soul. I ask those of you who read this site to do so as well and to remember her soul in your prayers each day.
Not So Fast
My daily visits to Sterling-McCall Nissan became something of a ritual after the 10:00 a.m. Mass at Saint Jude Shrine. We thought that those visits were to end on Wednesday, April 1, 2009, as we prepared to take custody of the TrailBlazer once again after I paid the $500 deductible on a total bill of something close to $6,000 in repairs. There were just a few problems, however.
First, the car's air conditioning system, which was working well before the deer strike, did not work at all.
Second, the battery indicator light was illuminated, meaning that there was a problem that would have caused the car to stall out after we had taken it off of the lot, an prospect that was not so enticing after having been stranded for as long as we had been on Friday evening, March 20, 2009.
Third, the car was sputtering as it idled, stalling out all on its own before the battery could die.
Other than that, however, the car was in perfect shape.
The representative of the body shop at Sterling-McCall Nissan was apologetic, telling me that he would have one of his men examine the problem. In the meantime, of course, we had to keep the rented Kia and we were looking at yet another delay of the start of our trip back up to Ohio for Holy Week. I was informed the next morning, Thursday, April 2, 2009, Chase's first birthday (which was commemorated with an appropriate display of balloons), that the TrailBlazer had been sent over to a Chevrolet dealership for the necessary repairs, which were authorized by State Farm insurance. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
We also had to deal with the motor home's windshield wipers, which had not been repaired as of yet. A lack of funds made such a repair very difficult to manage until we had received several donations just prior to our scheduled departure from Texas, which, of course, was delayed as a result of the continued problems with the TrailBlazer that were the result of the deer strike on Friday, March 20, 2009. A Good Samaritan, who does not want to be identified, came out to try to repair the windshield wiper motor. I had to make no less than three trips to an O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Sugar Land, Texas, as our anonymous mechanic worked very hard to try to fix the problem.
The first trip that I made to O'Reilly Auto Parts involved the purchase of a new motor for the windshield wiper assembly. Upon my return to the USA RV Park, however, we discovered that I had been sold the wrong part. I dutifully put the wrong part in its box and placed in the back seat of what I thought was the TrailBlazer but turned out to be the automobile of our anonymous mechanic. I did not realize this when I drove the eight miles back to O'Reilly Auto Parts and discovered that I did not have the wrong motor with me to return for the correct motor. I had to return to the USA RV Park, apologizing to our anonymous mechanic for my mistake and then return the wrong motor and attempt to exchange it for the correct motor. The O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Sugar Land, Texas, did not have the motor that we needed! All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls. Penance is better than ever in 2009.
After much hard work, our anonymous mechanic, who is also quite handy with woodworking, said that he thought the original motor was not broken at all, that the problem was electrical in nature, that not enough voltage was being transmitted to the motor to make it run. We just had to pray for clear, dry weather on the return trip to Ohio, which we hoped and prayed would take place on Friday, April 3, 2009, the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Passiontide. There was nothing else that we could do.
There Are No Accidents With God
I received word early on Friday, April 3, 2009, that the TrailBlazer would be ready to be picked up after we assisted at Holy Mass at Saint Jude Shrine on the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Passiontide. We would, it appeared, get off on our trip that day after all, two weeks to the day after the TrailBlazer struck the deer on Farm to Market road 2678 north of Bayside, Texas. There was much to do to get the motor home packed for our trip, which would take us back to Lafayette, Louisiana, for an overnight stay at Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana, and an offering of Holy Mass at the priestly hands of Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., on the First Saturday of the month of April.
We had noticed that a family from Massachusetts with a "pop-up" camper had parked next to our motor home at the USA RV Park, taking the place of a truly revolting and terribly immodestly dressed New Ager, who, it appears, asked to be moved to another site after I complained about the fact that he did not obey campground rules in keeping his dog leashed and that I was not bashful about telling Lucy quite audibly to close her eyes to protect her immortal soul from the man's gross indecency and immodesty. We were most happy--indeed, rather delighted--that the New Ager, who is loved by God and who is in need of prayers for his conversion to the true Faith--had moved out of our sight. Deo gratias!
Sharon got to talking to the people from Massachusetts as she was walking Chase when I was unable to do as I changed from my khakis into my dress pants prior to leaving for Holy Mass. The people from Massachusetts did seem very nice. And, unlike many others in the campground, they wore clothing. This is always a plus. They even said hello to you when you said hello to them.
Sharon was talking to the people from Massachusetts for a very long time. I said to myself, "What is she talking to them about for so long? Do they know the Pollocks?" The "Pollocks" are, of course, the famous family of Patrick and Jean Pollock and their ten children who range in age from thirty-four to ten. Mrs. Jean Pollock is the daughter of the late, inimitable William C. Koneazny, who died on June 16, 2004 (see A True Catholic Rendezvous). My thought was a fleeting one as I was attempting to secure the motor home as best I could prior to "lift off" later in the day.
I went outside to find out what was going on. Lo and behold, you see, the people to whom Sharon was talking did know the Pollocks. The very nice people from the Berkshire Mountains who knew the Pollocks were fallen-away Catholics. They needed to hear what Sharon was telling them
Imagine the wonder of God's Providence in all of this.
First, the New Ager had to get fed up enough with my loud comments about his gross indecency and immodesty and violation of park rules to request to be moved to another space.
Second, the fallen-aways from Massachusetts had to choose USA RV Park, out of all of the other campgrounds in the Houston area, at which to stay, and to be assigned the space out of which the New Ager and his unleashed dog and his gross indecency and immodesty had been parked.
Third, Sharon had to take Chase out for a walk and to engage the people in conversation about where they were from in the Bay State, asking specifically if they knew the Pollocks. It was the teenaged daughter of the family who said, "We know Jean Pollock!"
Fourth, God knew from all eternity that Sharon would speak to these people about devotion to Our Lady and the necessity of women dressing as women at all times (the mother and daughter were clothed, but not in masculine attire; see the late Giuseppe Cardinal Siri's Men's Dress Worn By Women).
It was truly a wonder to behold the Providence of God in this matter. We must always understand that there are never any "accidents" with God. He places people in our lives so that we, who are not one whit better than anyone else, can share with them the gift of the true Faith so as to invite them back to the Church if they have fallen away or to invite them into the Church if they are outside of her entirely. What better way to start than by simply giving them the Green Scapular, which Our Lady knew that people would need in these troubling times?
The fallen-aways were en route to the Grand Canyon, leaving that very morning. We were to leave around 2:00 p.m. that afternoon. God is indeed the Hound of Heaven who will track down the lost sheep no matter how far they stray from His True Sheepfold that is His Catholic Church
Off on the Road Again
Although our long term plans were rather unsettled as we knew that we could not park on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church with an electrical connection until at least the end of May, by which time then new building that is being constructed by Mr. Gino Vanderputen and his crew of workers will have passed inspection and have received a certificate of occupancy, we said our goodbyes to Father Campbell and Dignan on Friday, April 3, 2009, the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Passiontide, believing that it would be necessary for us to return to Texas for a little while after Easter in order to access to daily Mass without any biweekly interruptions. We really did love going to Holy Mass at Saint Jude Shrine, located on US-90A across from railroad tracks along which passed trains almost continuously during the offerings of Holy Mass (another part of the "enterprise," of course!) and enjoyed meeting the good people who assist at Holy Mass there.
It was then time to pick up the TrailBlazer, which was, apart from the speedometer, in working order once again. We had a lot of things to transfer from the rented Kia, which was returned to an Enterprise Rent-A-Car agent on the premises of Sterling-McCall Nissan, but we were happy to be back in the TrailBlazer, which has provided us with its own unique set of penances since we were snookered into buying it after our 2000 Saturn was totaled. Grabbing a quick breakfast/lunch at the 59 Diner, we returned to the USA RV Park and prepared to depart for what proved to be a four and one-half trip to the Bayou Wilderness R.V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana. It was my hope and prayer that the old tow bar, which was installed in Silver Cliff, Wisconsin, in January of 2006, had one more tow left in it before it collapses.
Miraculously, the motor home's generator, which had given up its ghost on the way to Texas on March 13, 2009, after having been repaired on February 25, 2009, decided to work again, as we pulled out of the H.E.B. parking lot in Sugar Land, Texas, at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2009. (The generator recently gave up its ghost again, however.) This meant that Sharon and Lucy would have air conditioning and/or heat as they needed it as I suffered from the lack of dashboard air conditioning and the rush of a steady stream of hot air blasting into the space where my legs fit under the steering wheel. Yes, indeed, penance is better than ever in 2009.
Deciding to avoid the lunacy of the tolls on the Sam Houston Beltway, I drove on US-59, which ran right past the USA RV Park in Sugar Land, Texas, right into downtown Houston, encountering a bit of rush hour traffic around 3:00 p.m. As a veteran of Houston rush hours, however, the delays were really not that bad and traffic thinned out once we turned onto Interstate 10 for the trip back to Louisiana (we stopped at a farm stand east of Beaumont so that Sharon and Lucy could get some watermelon and other fresh fruit--in addition to a bag of homegrown peanuts).
The 250 mile trip from USA RV Park to Bayou Wilderness R.V. Resort went uneventfully. We were able to return our favorite space, Number 19, and Lucy and Chase got to go for the "big run" in that field that Chase loves to run around in as he puts his beagle nose to the ground and barks a beagle yelp at all of the smells that enter into his nose and register in his little beagle brain.
I did discover upon our arrival at Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort that the electrical cable that supplies power from the motor home to the TrailBlazer as the latter is being towed so that its brake lights and turn signals work without the car's battery being drained had been destroyed en route from Sugar Land, Texas. The license plate holder had been installed too close to the lid of the electrical socket at the base of the TrailBlazer's chassis, meaning that the electrical cable did not have a flush "fit" into the socket. It had come out during out trip, probably sparking a lot along the way. There wasn't enough time to find a replacement. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Our stay at Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort lasted less than twelve hours. We took off around 7:30 a.m. to get to 8:00 a.m. Mass at Christ the King Church. It was ever so good to see Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., once again. He has been so very solicitous of our needs, both spiritual and temporal. I am glad that we got to see him again and to hear Mass offered at his hands before we headed north to Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Father Francis asked me if I intended to drive all the way up to Saint Gertrude's for the 9:00 a.m. High Mass the next day, Palm Sunday. "That's my intention, Father. Please pray for us!" I had to make 940 miles in twenty-two and one-half hours, something that would have been, to quote Ralph Kramden, a "bag of shells" thirty years ago, but has become real penance in my late fifties.
Everything had to go "right" for us to get back up to Saint Gertrude the Great Church in time for the Procession prior to the Palm Sunday Mass, which is offered according to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church without any concessions to the Holy Week changes engineered by the liturgical revolutionary and Freemason named Annibale Bugnini (see Father Anthony Cekada's
Quidlibet). This would mark our third straight Holy Week at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Indeed, it was after Holy Week in 2006 that Father Cekada sent me an e-mail with links to the photographs of the services at Saint Gertrude's that year. Father had seen an article that I had written criticizing the Bugnini changes. Little did he know that Sharon and I were reading his
Absolutely Null and Utterly Void at the time he e-mailed me. We were on our way to becoming Gertudians!
What do I mean that "everything had to go "right" for us to get back up to Saint Gertrude the Great Church in time for the Procession prior to the Palm Sunday Mass"?
Well, it could not rain. Rain would have caused us to stop given the fact that the windshield wipers did not work.
The tow bar had to stay in place despite its appearing rather wobbly.
The motor home had to "behave" itself by not spitting out any more spark plugs.
We had to encounter no substantial traffic delays or hit any more deer.
Our drive had to be completed without being stopped by a state trooper or local sheriff or city police officer to ticket us for the fact that the TrailBlazer had no working brake lights as it was being towed, the result of the destroyed electrical cable
Those are simply some of the things that had to "go right" for us to get back to Saint Gertrude's in time for the Procession prior to the Palm Sunday Mass.
We did stop in Jackson, Mississippi, to dine with our friends from Vicksburg, Mississippi, who have been so kind to us. We had an enjoyable visit. However, we had a "window" of seventeen and one-half hours at that point to drive the remaining 695 miles to Saint Gertrude the Great Church from the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant on Interstate 55 in Jackson, Mississippi. I just prayed and prayed and prayed for the graces necessary to make the trip successfully.
A huge delay was encountered on Interstate 40 east of Memphis, Tennessee, as traffic was forced off of the highway because of the reconstruction of an overpass. It took nearly two hours to drive five miles. To quote the late Jack Paar, I kid you not. Five miles in two hours. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Other than that, however, the trip was uneventful, just long, very long. I had to keep praying for all of the graces necessary to stay awake and to make it to Saint Gertrude the Great Church in time for the Procession prior to Palm Sunday Mass, which featured two donkeys this year (as had been the case in 2006, the year before our first Palm Sunday at Saint Gertrude's).
God shows forth His ineffable love for us in so many ways. He give us little consolations that would mean nothing to anyone else. He loves us so personally that He will show us, who are frequently so unfaithful and so ungrateful to Him for His bounteous gifts of salvation and temporal joys, that He loves us down to the last possible detail in our lives.
This truth came to mind as Sharon emerged from a bit of a nap at around 10:00 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, saying, "I could go for a Backyard Burger right about now." What came upon on a travel information sign for the very next exit on Interstate 40 but an advertisement for Backyard Burgers (a chain of restaurants where the burgers are so overcooked that they are actually good in a terrible kind of way--and this is coming from a man who likes his burgers--and all other beef--served tartare, that is, on the hoof rare!). Sharon and I were both amazed at God's goodness as He knew from all eternity that Sharon would want a Backyard Burger, of all things, at that hour on that day and in that location. Deo gratias! Yes, God loves us down to the last possible detail in our lives that would mean nothing to anyone else except Him, Who wants to shower us with His blessings at all times if only we open our hearts and souls to Him as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His Catholic Church and endeavor to make reparation for our sins by offering up our pains and sufferings and sacrifices and prayers and penances to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Penance is better than ever in 2009. Who wouldn't want to make sacrifices in reparation for one's own sins and for those of others when an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven awaits those who persevere until their dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
Our own penitential trip of approximately 1200 miles from Sugar Land, Texas, to West Chester, Ohio, was completed in an aggregate time of thirty-seven hours, fifteen minutes (including all stops and the overnight stay in Carencro, Louisiana, on Friday, April 3, 2009). We arrived in the parking lot of Saint Gertrude the Great Church at 4:45 a.m., Eastern Daylight Saving Time, on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009. Obviously, we could not plug the motor home's electrical cord into any socket. As no inspectors would be poring over the place on Palm Sunday, I figured I could park the unit there for a few hours (turning the motor home's generator off so as not to disturb the priests and the seminarians) prior to Palm Sunday Mass. To say that I was tired is to make a really big understatement. I was exhausted. I was also most grateful that our trip had been completed without any major problems other than the delay on Interstate 40 east of Memphis, Tennessee.
As the hour is late on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, and as I figure that the pagination on this installment of the travelogue is somewhere around twenty pages or so, I think it prudent to stop the narrative at the point of our arrival back on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church on Palm Sunday nearly thirty-one days ago now. We had many adventures in April, a lot of them dealing with miserable campground conditions, and there was the "surprise ending" that has, thanks be to God, put an end to our roving ways, as I will explain in the next installment of the travelogue, which will be completed and posted in a few days, I hope and pray.
Suffice it to say for the moment, however, that our travel days are over, well, at least for the most part. Good Saint Joseph effected quite a miracle in our lives a week ago today on his Solemnity in Paschaltide. We will have our new home, which is ours without any debt at all, blessed by His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan today, the Octave Day of Saint Joseph and the Commemoration of Saint John Before the Latin Gate, and enthroned to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We had no idea when we arrived in the parking lot of Saint Gertrude the Great Church at 4:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 5, 2009, that we would have our own home in but twenty-four eventful days. God knew from all eternity that this would be the case. We are so grateful to be reasonably close to the Heavenly glories that are given to God at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, but always mindful of the need to do only God's Holy Will at all times and to give Him the glory through the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we cleave exclusively to true bishops and true priests who make no concessions at all to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds who offend God in so many ways, starting with attacks on the nature of truth, which attacks on the essence of His very nature, and with frequent, public and scandalous violations of the First Commandment.
While it is true that we have encountered a lot of penances in our travels these past eight years, we have always kept uppermost in our minds that our sins deserve far, far worse penances than we have been permitted to suffer thus far. We are also mindful of the fact that there are many others who suffer in so many terrible ways that put our own miniscule sufferings and penances to shame. No matter the nature and the extent of the penances and sufferings that God in His goodness sees fit to bestow upon us so that we can give Him honor and glory through the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we seek to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world, we must always lift high the Cross as we keep close to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through same Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.
Remember, Saint John the Evangelist was placed into a vat of burning oil on this day in an attempt to kill him. He emerged stronger than before. So can we if we bear our share of hardship which the Gospel entails! So can we. May we pray to Saint John the Evangelist, who stood so faithfully at the foot of the Cross alongside Our Lady and Saint Mary Magdalene, so that we can be strengthened with each cross we carry with valor as the totally consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The glories of an unending Easter Sunday in Paradise await us if we remain faithful to the end if we are grateful--truly, truly grateful--for each of the crosses we are ask to bear as members of the true Church.
Penance is better than ever in 2009, wouldn't you agree?
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, 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.
See also: A Litany of Saints