Penance Is Better Than Ever in 2009, part 3
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Exhaustion does not even begin to describe how we felt upon our arrival on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church at 4:45 a.m. on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009, following a 1,200 mile trip from Sugar Land, Texas, on Friday, April 3, 2009, with an overnight stay at Bayou Wilderness R. V. Resort in Carencro, Louisiana, so that we could assist at Holy Mass offered at the priestly hands of Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., on Saturday, April 4, 2009, before continuing on up to West Chester, Ohio, so that we could be on time for the Procession before Mass on Palm Sunday (see Penance is Better Than Ever in 2009, part 3).
I was so tired on Palm Sunday that I did not even hear the peal of the "five minute" bell prior to the 7:30 a.m. Low Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, awakening only when the alarm clock "tool" on my cellular phone went off at around 8:00 a.m. Groggy and foggy, I roused the family and we got ready to join the Procession before the Palm Sunday Mass. Deo gratias.
Endless Glories Given to God at Saint Gertrude the Great Church
To say that the glories given to God at Saint Gertrude the Great Church during Holy Week were Heavenly is to do an injustice to the magnificence of the rites that are planned for months in advance. Scores of people must prepare the vestments and order and arrange the flowers. Mr. Jim Soli, the office manager of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, works for a solid eight hours, apart from his assistance at daily Mass, to work on the bulletin and the booklets that are produced to help people without hand missals to follow the rites (and to provide everyone with the verses to the hymns that are sung, many of which have been written by His Excellency Bishop Dolan himself and set to the tunes of familiar hymns). Mr. Tim Duff his glorious choir practice their parts in the complex rites for many, many hours well in advance of Holy Week. And Fathers Anthony Cekada and Markus Ramolla and Mr. Mark Lotarski, the Principal of Saint Gertrude the Great Academy, work with the altar servers of all ages, including grown men and boys from the academy and boys who are being homeschooled, to discharge their own duties with dignity and precision. Words truly are most inadequate to describe all that is done behind the scenes and for weeks on end in advance to give the Most Holy Trinity--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost--the most glory that fallen creatures can give in the unreformed liturgical rites of the Catholic Church.
As Miss Mary Nagle, a friend of ours from Rhode Island who flew out to Saint Gertrude's on Spy Wednesday with another friend (a third Rhode Islander, Mrs. Barbara Burgess, drove all the way out from Rhode Island, driving 700 miles in one day at age seventy-six, praying Rosaries all the way from Rhode Island to eastern Ohio), said very reverently and very pensively after the five hour Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday, "God deserves this." Yes, Miss Nagle, God deserves all that is given unto Him by His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan and the priests and the lay volunteers at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Superb assistance was provided this year by Father Carlos Ercoli, who sings angelically, and several of the seminarians from Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida. We were indeed grateful to have been able to be back at Saint Gertrude the Great Church for the entirety of Holy Week for a third straight year. (It was while en route to Saint Gertrude's on Saturday in Passion Week last year, March 15, 2009, that the motor home's transmission died at mile marker 139 in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 in western Pennsylvania. See
It's Still Better This Than Purgatory (or Worse!) in 2008, part 3.)
We were most happy to see our friends at Saint Gertrude the Great Church again, unsure at that point, of course, how long our return to Saint Gertrude's would last. As I mentioned to His Excellency Bishop Dolan yesterday, May 6, 2009, the Octave Day of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide and the Commemoration of Saint John before the Latin Gate, no one moves to the West Chester, Ohio, area for the weather or the scenery. People move here for the Mass, which is, after all, the only thing that matters. Yes, having access to the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the hands of true bishops and true priests who make no concessions at all to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its apostate "shepherds" who dare to blaspheme God on a regular basis and who deny the essence of His very nature by denying the nature of dogmatic truth time and time again, is all that matters. Well, it's all that should matter to a Catholic who is serious about getting home to Heaven as he makes reparation for his sins to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We were grateful for the opportunity to be back at Saint Gertrude's, not realizing on Palm Sunday that we would be staying pretty close by in our own modest house, of all things!
Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous had returned to Saint Gertrude the Great Church for their fourth straight Holy Week, driving an undetermined distance in an unmarked motor vehicle from a hitherto unexplored region of North America that can be found only by stuffed penguins made in Communist China. All kidding aside as I respect the wishes of these good and generous Catholics to remain anonymous, it was their generosity that made possible our having a home of our own after all of the driving we have done in the past eight years. We were very happy to see Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous again, quite delighted to visit with them as frequently as we did between Palm Sunday and the time of their departure from West Chester, Ohio, on Easter Thursday, April 16, 2009. We are praying to Saint Joseph that they are able to sell their own home and then find a suitable domicile near Saint Gertrude's so that we can be "neighbors" and fellow parishioners of a true oasis of the Faith in the Catholic catacombs in this time of apostasy and betrayal. Nothing else matters other than being at a true offering of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church by bishops and priests who want nothing to do with the arch-heretic and serial blasphemer named Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. It is worth any price at all to seek refuge in the Catholic catacombs in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
We dined with Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous and the family of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Simpson, whose children are always so well-behaved, at Mitchell's Fish Market in West Chester, Ohio, after the 9:00 a.m. High Mass, which ended around 11:35 a.m., delaying the start of the 11:30 a.m. Low Mass for a while. Mrs. Janet Clementi, who has done so much hard work in the sacristy of Saint Gertrude the Great Church since her arrival from New Jersey on December 15, 2009, joined us as well.
Mr. Anonymous was rightly impressed with the Simpson children, who reflect their parents' efforts to raise them as almost all Catholic parents used to raise their children in the years before the ecclesiastical and social revolution of the 1960s (sitting at a dinner table without getting up unless they ask permission, speaking when they are spoken to, being unfailingly polite and courteous to their elders, whom they address by their titles and not by the first names--children are never to address elders by their first names as this is a sign of the "familiarity" wrought by the breakdown of a due regard for hierarchy in the Order of Creation that is one of the chief hallmarks of the social and ecclesiastical revolutions). Mr. Anonymous said, "Charles Simpson is a real Catholic man. I am most impressed with him." And Mr. Charles Simpson, who was born, I believe, in the year that I graduated from high school, is a credit to his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Simpson. It is not unusual to see three generations of Simpsons serving at the altar at Saint Gertrude the Great Church (Thomas Simpson and his son and his son's children).
Endless Nightmares at Winton Woods Campground
With very little sleep in the previous few days, I was eager to get the motor home parked at Winton Woods Campground, which is a facility of Hamilton County, Ohio, located about eleven miles southwest of Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Although "full hook-up" (water, sewer, electric) sites are being built--and are scheduled to open on May 22, 2009), the only sites available on Palm Sunday were "electric only," meaning that we would have to move every few days to get fresh water and to dump our waste water. We knew that this would be quite penitential as it takes a great deal of time to pack up the motor home and to secure our belongings whenever we must move it from a stationary position. However, we thought that it was better to be closer to Saint Gertrude's for the long Holy Week services than having to drive the thirty-two miles from Indian Springs campground. Our stay at Winton Woods Campground turned out to be much more penitential that could have imagined. It was a nightmare from beginning to end. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
The nightmare, humanly speaking, began when I made our initial reservation on Monday, March 16, 2009, while we were at the USA RV Park in Sugar Land, Texas. It was on that date, March 16, 2009, that reservations began to be accepted for the 2009 camping year at Winton Woods Campground. The phone lines were busy all day long. I did not get through to a representative until around 4:45 p.m., Central Daylight Saving Time, that Monday, March 16, 2009. Not knowing that we would hit a deer four days later that would extend our stay in Texas, I made a reservation for an arrival date of Friday, April 3, 2009, the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Passiontide.
It had been my intention to leave Texas on Saturday, March 28, 2009, and to stop in Lafayette, Louisiana, for Holy Mass on Passion Sunday, driving thereafter up to Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, at which point I would take the motor home into Cummins Bridgeway in West Chester, Ohio, for the repairs to the motor home's generator (which was not working at the time, starting working again on our trip out of Texas on April 3, 2009, and stopped working again on the day we moved into our manufactured home on Friday, May 1, 2009), being able to park there for a few days before moving on over to Winton Woods Campground. Our initial reservation, therefore, was premised on a departure from Texas on Saturday, March 28, 2009, the Feast of Saint John of Capistrano (and the forty-second anniversary of the premiere of the two-hour Ironside pilot film). God knew from all eternity that we would hit that deer north of Bayside, Texas, on Friday evening, March 20, 2009, and that our departure from Texas would be delayed as a result.
The reservations process that I encountered on March 16, 2009, was not an easy one. Indeed, it was very, very difficult. The employees of the Hamilton County Park District were unfamiliar with the new computer system that had been installed in the new offices for Winton Woods Campground, not that that new computer system functioned properly so as to make it easier for the employees to navigate their way through the new system. A further complication was added by the fact that reservations could be made for a period of up to nine days at that time. It was not possible to make a reservation for the maximum allowable stay of fourteen days until Wednesday, March 18, 2009. (Winton Woods Campground has a policy of permitting a maximum stay of fourteen consecutive days, at which point a camper has to vacate for two weeks before returning for another fourteen day stay.) A nine day stay with an arrival date of Friday, April 3, 2009, would have had us out of the campground on Easter Sunday morning. As we desired to stay near Saint Gertrude's for at least through the end of Easter Week itself, I was faced with the prospect of calling the office again after it was permissible on March 18, 2009, to extend the stay for another nine days. And to think that there are Masons who stay up nights making up this bureaucratic nightmare that defies all logic and common sense! Even this form of penance, however, was permitted by God so that we could give Him the glory that is His due through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Deo gratias! Deo gratias! Deo gratias!
The accident with that deer on Texas Farm to Market Road 2678 on Friday, March 20, 2009, delayed our departure from Texas. One of the reasons I was visiting the good people at Sterling-McCall Nissan in Stafford, Texas, as our TrailBlazer was being repaired from Monday, March 23, 2009, to Friday, April 3, 2009, was to emphasize the fact that we wanted to be at Saint Gertrude the Great Church in time for the Procession prior to the 9:00 a.m. High Mass on Palm Sunday. I had to provide the reservations agents at Winton Woods with an accurate date of arrival, something that was difficult to do given the uncertainty of the date of the TrailBlazer's return to us.
Realizing that our arrival in Ohio would be delayed, I telephoned Winton Woods Campground on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, to re-arrange our reservation. This was not an easy thing to do. Indeed, it was very, very penitential. Deo gratias! It took twenty-three minutes to change our reservation from an arrival date of Friday, April 3, 2009, to Wednesday, April 8, 2009, based on the presumption that we were going to park the motor home at Cummins Bridgeway for a few days to get the generator repaired upon our arrival back at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. The representative with whom I spoke had a tremendously difficult time comprehending the fact that I had made a nine-day reservation on Monday, March 16, 2009, scheduled to start on Friday, April 3, 2009. He could not pronounce the name "Droleskey," referring to me as "Mister Thomas." The man could not my initial reservation. He did not know how to switch it. This went on for over fifteen minutes before he reported having found my initial reservation.
It took another eight minutes or so during that phone call on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, with the representative from Winton Woods Campground to find a new site on which our motor home could be accommodated for a stay that starting on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, and ended on Thursday, April 16, 2009. What could I do but offer all of this up by saying, "All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!" Penance is indeed better than ever in 2009.
All of this is important to bear in mind in order to understand the trepidation that I felt when I decided to seek refuge at Winton Woods Campground on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009, three days in advance of our re-scheduled arrival. I knew that we would be delayed for up to an hour upon our arrival at the campground, and this did indeed prove to be the case on the afternoon of Palm Sunday as nice and very well-meaning representatives had difficulty finding the re-scheduled reservation and had difficulty making a new one. The new computer system was, evidently, comprehensible only by those who have graduated from the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.) and who had studied under Alexander Waverly, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, and Cosmo Topper. I had to wait for a goodly amount of time as the reservation was changed for yet a third time.
Part of the delay was caused by the fact that the nice and well-meaning representatives who were on duty at the Winton Woods campground office on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009, wanted to figure out which site would be best for our motor home. I just wanted to get to sleep. This was, after all, Holy Week. I had to sacrifice my desire to get some sleep in order to make more (and much needed) reparation for my sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slave of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
I had to do a waste water dump at the central dumping station near the rebuilt entrance to Winton Woods Campground after the reservation was re-scheduled for a third time in the office on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009. We took the opportunity to take Chase, who loves to bark at all passers-by (he is a beagle, after all, and has the same vocal abilities of my own late beagles from forty years ago), for a walk as the waste water tanks drained and I filled up with fresh water. It was around 5:00 p.m. by the time we got settled on the space that was assigned to us, Space 52, which turned out to be the only one in the whole campground that was uneven, and that is a very mild understatement.
As the motor home's leveling jacks have not worked for several years now, there was no way to level the motor home. We had to spend the night "listing" to the right, falling all over ourselves as we walked through the main cabin of the motor home. We would have to make arrangements the next day to change our location, something that I knew would take another long period of time. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
It was after our day of errands (picking up our mail, sending off checks to our bank back east, shopping for material for Lucy's Easter dress that Sharon was making, visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous) following Holy Mass on Monday in Holy Week that we had to go through the process of moving the motor home once again, finding a level site that was, at least at that time, "Tartar-free," that is, free of an influx of foul-mouth, immodest, crude and vulgar denizens who make life miserable for people who do not like the sights and sounds of Hell on earth. That was to change as Holy Week progressed, forcing us to take refuge on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church on the night of Good Friday before we abandoned the campground for good on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, as the Tartars had overrun the place by then.
The singularly most tiring aspect of our stay at Winton Woods Campground was having to move the motor home almost every day to get water. All that I have had to do at most campgrounds over the past eight years was to walk out the door of our motor home and turn on the water from a hydrant, which then ran into our motor home via our fresh water hose. Yes, true, thing were a little more complicated when we were on the property of generous souls in Connecticut from October 14, 2007, to June 21, 2008, as I would have to run two different hoses about one hundred twenty-five feet or so from the motor home to a hydrant. And I had to run two hoses about a hundred feet or so when we were parked on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church between June 26, 2008, and August 18, 2008, and then again between November 2, 2008, and January 28, 2009. At most campgrounds, however, including our old stomping grounds of Battle Row Campground in Old Bethpage, New York, we have had water right on our sites. It was indeed tiring to have to move just to get water. Then again, even this was within the Providence of God and to Him we gave the thanks and the glory for being so inconvenienced.
Acting on the premise that we would have to return to Lafayette, Louisiana, and Sugar Land, Texas, at some point after Easter until we could return to the property of Saint Gertrude the Great Church following the completion of their new building at the end of May, I wanted to get the motor home's fickle generator examined to determined why it worked intermittently as it had been doing. And thus it was that we decided to move the motor home up to Cummins Bridgeway late on the afternoon of Tuesday in Holy Week to get it examined the next day. As Lucy was ill, however, I could not get her up at 7:00 a.m. on Spy Wednesday, asking the indulgence of the people at Cummins Bridgeway as I decided to cancel our appointment, saying that I would bring it back at some point after Easter. Having the motor home up at Saint Gertrude's on Spy Wednesday, however, permitted Chase to have a little refuge as opposed to spending two hours in the car waiting for us during the offering of Holy Mass (and our Thanksgiving thereafter).
We shuttled back to Winton Woods Campground later on Spy Wednesday, returning early on the morning of Maundy Thursday for the beginning of the glorious celebration of the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As God's Providence would have it, friends of ours from Rhode Island who had come out for the Paschal Triduum arrived in the parking lot at the same time that we pulled in with the motor home. Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous were there as well, being joined by Mrs. Anonymous's octogenarian parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Proto-Anonymous, who live now in a region of the Americas that was once explored by Ponce de Leon, whom we had met a year ago (and who we had seen briefly at the Tenebrae service at Saint Gertrude the Great Church the previous evening, Spy Wednesday, April 8, 2009).
Entering into the Paschal Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
The Solemn High Pontifical Mass offered by His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan on the anniversary of Our Lord's institution of the Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood was, of course, glorious. His Excellency's sermon, He Takes the Last Place, was most inspirational, setting the proper and most solemn tone for the commemoration of the days on which our salvation was wrought for us on the wood of the Holy Cross as Our Lord made a propiatory offering of Himself to His Co-Equal and Co-Eternal Father in atonement for our sins, "Archbishop" Robert Zollitsch's denial of this simple truth of the Faith notwithstanding (see
Silence). And the Maundy service after Mass spoke with simplicity of the humility of Our Divine Redeemer, the very Co-Eternal Word Who was made flesh in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost. We were so blessed to have been present at the Maundy Thursday Mass, which included the blessing of the holy oils and the chrism.
Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous and Mr. and Mrs. Proto-Anonymous and our mostly anonymous friends from Rhode Island joined us at the Grand Finale restaurant in Glendale, Ohio, after the Maundy service and our time in prayer before Our Lord's Real Presence on the Altar of Repose, giving thanks to God for the institution of the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist. Our friends from Rhode Island were most delighted with the Grand Finale restaurant, which is where Father William Jenkins and Father Joseph Greenwell, who are based at Immaculate Conception Church in Norwood, Ohio, gave the keys to their van to a man posing as a valet parking attendant some months ago now, discovering after their meal, which they shared with Father Jenkins's elderly father, that there van was nowhere to be found. There is, you see, no valet parking at the Grand Finale restaurant! (Fathers Jenkins and Greenwell recovered their van, only to have it confiscated for a time by the police after it had been discovered that the "valet" thief had left a deposit of marijuana in it.)
We returned to the motor home at Saint Gertrude the Great Church after the meal, driving down to Winton Woods campground yet again for a few hours of sleep prior to
The Most Solemn Day of the Year, the day on which our salvation was wrought for us on the wood of the Holy Cross, at which stood so valiantly our dear Blessed Mother, she who is our Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix and Advocate. As the Tartars were invading Winton Woods Campground, we vacated our space on the morning of Good Friday, staying overnight on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church without, of course, being able to have access to the electricity on the grounds, running our generator, which was working at the time, on and off as conditions warranted. I figured that none of the inspectors who have been inspecting the new facility on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church would be coming around on Good Friday.
The Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday at Saint Gertrude the Great Church evoked the solemn events of the day on which Our Blessed Lord and Saviour died for our sins, uttering those Seven Last Words that were the subject of a brief reflection by Bishop Dolan at the end of the Tre Ore. Words, as always, are inadequate to express the sorrow that must fill our hearts on this day as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was pierced for our sakes, recognizing that we grieve this Sacred Heart yet because of the coldness of our own hearts, because of our attachments to the world, the flesh and the devil, because of our refusal to earnestly root out our venial faults and to die to self more fully to serve Him, Christ the King, through the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. Good Friday, the only day of the year on which the unbloody re-presentation of perpetuation of the bloody Sacrifice of the Cross that was offered on Mount Calvary, reminds us that there nothing--as in absolutely nothing--that we can suffer in this life (physical, emotional, spiritual)--that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer during His Passion and Death and caused His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart to suffer as it was pierced through through with the Fourth through Seventh Swords of Sorrow.
The sorrow for our sins that we must feel each day of our lives, but especially on Good Friday, is coupled with gratitude to Our Divine Redeemer and His Most Blessed Mother for what they suffered for us so that we could have access to an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven if we persevere to the points of our 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. We were grateful to be present at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on this most solemn day of the year, grateful that a number of our friends, some of whom are interested in moving to West Chester to be near to the Heavenly glories offered to God at Saint Gertrude's, were with us on Good Friday, April 10, 2009.
After a light meal at Mitchell's Fish Market (one is entitled to one meatless meal on Good Friday as oppose to the one full meal and partial abstinence from meat on all other Lenten days other than Fridays, which are, of course, always days of total abstinence from meat unless otherwise dispensed) with our friends, we returned to Saint Gertrude the Great Church for the magnificent Tenebrae service. Lucy was clamoring to attend Tenebrae. We attended an hour of Tenebrae on Spy Wednesday before our daughter became a little cranky. She was excellent, however, during the two and one-half hours of Tenebrae on Good Friday, being very impressed with the "earthquake" that took place at the end of the service.
It was a good thing that we were parked on the grounds of Saint Gertrude's overnight on Good Friday into the morning of Holy Saturday as Lucy was very tired by the time that we had to get up to assist at the Easter Vigil, which began at 8:00 a.m., Easter Daylight Saving Time, and the blessing of the Easter fire, which was the subject of Bishop Dolan's sermon, Let There Be Light. The Easter Exsultet was sung with glory and the Twelve Prophecies, which review the entirety of salvation history, were sung most angelically. Only the devil himself could have inspired Annibale Bugnini and Ferdinando Antonelli to truncate these Prophecies in the name of "simplicity" and in the name of a "restoration" of a mythical "older" rite. And to see the transformation from purple of Lent to the white of Easter glory in a Solemn Pontifical High Mass is to have but a small glimpse of the transformation that takes place at the moment of death for a soul who dies in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church and, as well, a glimpse of the transformation that will take place at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day. Alleluia! He is Risen! Alleluia!
Once again, it is not for noting that Miss Mary Nagle said after the Easter Vigil Mass, "God deserves this."
He is Risen! Alleluia
The start of the fifty days of Easter rejoicing began for us with yet another dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous and Mr. and Mrs. Proto-Anonymous and our friends from Rhode Island. Wanting to show our friends the panoply of restaurants in the area (we have a home now and are eating in our little hermitage; it was, to be very honest with you, nice every once in a while to take a break from the confined quarters of the motor home when we were living there by having a "sit down" dinner, something that was very difficult to do in the close quarters of the motor home), we suggested that our first Easter dinner of 2009 be at The White House Inn on Muhlhauser Road in West Chester. Everyone was most pleased, especially with the delicious homemade corn bread. Everyone had a grand time celebrating Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Easter victory over sin and death.
We returned the motor home to Winton Woods Campground after the dinner, looking around in horror at the sight of so many people who were so utterly clueless that the Easter season had started. We must remember, of course, that none of us is any better than anyone else. It is easy to "go back," that is, it is easy to return to the "world" and its pagan ways. We must pray always for the graces that we need to persevere, especially that we will persevere in a state of Sanctifying Grace until the point of our dying breaths and that we will have Perfect Contrition for each and every single one of our sins. And we must pray for the souls who are steeped in the muck and the mire of the world, passing out Green Scapulars as God's Providence makes possible for us to do. We just wanted out of the place in the worst way, having to offer up this penance in the midst of Easter glory. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
The 9:00 a.m. High Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on Easter Sunday was a perfect capstone to the Paschal Triduum, although, of course, the Easter Octave itself ran through the Mass on Easter Saturday. Bishop Dolan's sermon, Who Do You Belong To?, is worth listening to again and again
Mrs. Barbara Burgess, who is the woman mentioned in Bishop Dolan's sermon about the Green Scapular (not Mrs. Givens, who is one of our friends from Vicksburg, Mississippi), attended the 7:30 a.m. Low Mass on Easter Sunday in order to visit her sister in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. We saw her leave the parking lot as were arriving in our TrailBlazer prior to the 9:00 a.m. High Mass. It was shortly after that that Mrs. Burgess gave a Rosary and a Green Scapular to a cashier at a Thornton's gasoline station on Ohio Route 747, telling him that she had come to Ohio for Holy Mass because there are no true offerings of Holy Mass in Rhode Island, a comment that prompted the cashier to make a remark to a longtime parishioner and usher at Saint Gertrude the Great Church, Mr Pete Gabel, a story that was summarized in the sermon about the Green Scapular that Bishop Dolan gave on Low Sunday, April 19, 2009.
The two remaining women from Rhode Island and Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous and Mr. and Mrs. Proto-Anonymous joined us at Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen in Springdale, Ohio, for an Easter Sunday meal. Everyone was most pleased with their meal and the service. Although many of us have lost longtime friends because of our embrace of the simple truth that those who defect from the Faith in one matter defect from It in Its entirety and cannot hold ecclesiastical office legitimately, God has seen in His ineffable mercy to give us new friends even as we pray for those who have rejected us, who, of course, we hope to see again in a happy reunion in the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost in Heaven in the company of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, our Guardian Angels and all of the angels and saints. Friendship is a free gift. It is neither earned or owed We give thanks for past friends. We give thanks for present friends. We hold grudges against no one. We pray for all at all times, willing their good, the ultimate expression of which is their salvation as members of the Catholic Church. This having been noted a simple truth of Catholic charity, it is so wonderful that God give us the consolation of new and solid friendships based in the true and unvarnished Catholic Faith without any concessions to concilairism or to its wretched officials who engage in such blasphemous actions on a regular basis.
We returned to the motor home on Easter Sunday afternoon. I was able to resume writing, which had been more or less in abeyance during Holy Week, apart from revising my reflections on the events of this week of weeks. Only four original articles (Embracing The Faith No Matter the Consequences,
Welcome to the U.S.S.A, Ever Endeavoring to Make Judas Seem Admirable,
Promote Personal Sin, Live in Social Violence) in the month of April had been written by Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009. Fourteen more (Honors Aplenty for Devils Galore, So Long to the Fifth CommandmentPiracy, Conciliar Style,Making Everyone Happy Except God, Ashamed of the NAME Above All Names, All Hail! Caesar Obamus, They Like It!, Barabbas Wins Again, Bookended From Birth to Birth, Silence, Refusing Communion With Apostasy, We Must Tread the Path of the Saints, Why Live in Fear With Saint Joseph So Near? and Blame George Walker Bush) were written between the evening of Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, and April 30, 2009.
Lift High the Cross, Yes, Even in the Easter Octave
The penances associated with our stay at Winton Woods Campground, however, continued as noisy, foul-mouthed and immodestly-dressed denizens made the place a sight from Hell. No matter the fact that we are in the season of Easter glory, it is always time for penance if we are serious about giving honor and glory to God and serious about sanctifying our souls as we make reparation to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary for our sins and those of the whole world. I do have to admit, though, that the "boom, boom, boom" of the horrible, evil "music" is nerve-rattling and that the need to move the motor home practically every day to get water was pretty draining, especially as I was still suffering from whatever illness had felled me on March 7, 2009, in Carencro, Louisiana, and had not abated (an off and on fever, fatigue, the feeling of a "clamp" on my head in order to provide me with more much-deserved penance.
Sharon and Lucy and I had a delightful time at breakfast at the Original Pancake House in West Chester, Ohio, on Easter Monday, with our two friends from Rhode Island who had flown out to Ohio on Spy Wednesday and were about to return to the airport in Dayton, Ohio, to fly back to the Ocean State. They promised to return for another visit, and we look forward to seeing them again very soon, perhaps as soon as Pentecost Sunday.
Although Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous had generously offered to provide us with $20,000 (individual donors can give up to $12,000 a year in non-tax-deductible financial gifts to other individuals without any tax liability to the donor or to the recipients, which means that those interested in supporting the work of this site could give the maximum amount to Sharon and to me as we are separate individuals) to build a recreational vehicle shed on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, it was unclear on Easter Monday whether the regulations of the City of West Chester, Ohio, permitted a shed to be built that would house a motor home that served as a full-time residence for its owners. It was not until eight days later that His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan, who had told me to talk to Father Anthony Cekada about what he had discovered in reviewing the zoning ordinances, told me when I asked him to give me a general idea of what we were facing in advance of my discussion with Father Cekada, summarized the rules as follows: "Absolutely impossible. Strictly forbidden."
Not knowing this during Easter Week, we operated on the presumption that we could return to the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church at the end of May or the beginning of June after the completion of the new building on the premises, more or less resuming the arrangement that we had had in the summer of last year and from November 2, 2008, to January 28, 2009. It was neither possible nor feasible to stay at Winton Woods Campground. Olive Branch Campground in Oregonia is, as I noted in Penance is Better Than Ever in 2009, part 2, is filled to capacity with workers who are working on a transcontinental natural gas pipeline project. And the prospect of spending four weeks commuting an aggregate of seventy miles or so a day from Indian Springs Campground in North Bend, Ohio, was not an enticing one at all, to say the very least. We made plans, therefore, to leave for Louisiana and then Texas on Easter Friday after Holy Mass, hoping to return to Ohio as soon as possible.
To Go or to Stay
Things got so bad and so wild at Winton Woods Campground that I decided on Easter Thursday, after we had taken the motor home out to get propane and fill up our empty water bottles at a Kroger's store that we used for drinking water, to camp out one last night without electricity on the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church, intending to take off for Louisiana and Texas the next day, Easter Friday, April 17, 2009 (the ninth birthday of Lucy's cousin, Adelaide Turpin), after Father Anthony Cekada kindly offered Mass for us in the morning so that we wouldn't have to wait around all day for the only scheduled Mass on the Saint Gertrude's calendar, the one that began at 5:45 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous had left for their hitherto unexplored region of North America on Easter Thursday (Mr. and Mrs. Proto-Anonymous, with whom we enjoyed visiting immensely, had returned to their native place on Easter Wednesday; Mrs. Proto-Anonymous had been a schoolmate of the late Mrs. Rosemary Dolan in the Detroit, Michigan, area. It was time, it appeared, for us, to get a bit of rest from all of the commotion and driving even though it meant leaving the glories of Saint Gertrude the Great Church.
Come Easter Friday morning, however, I was very, very tired and still suffering from the illness that caused me to have on again/off again fevers and had sapped my energy considerably. By the time I had picked up dry cleaning in a strip mall anchored by a Bigg's supermarket in West Chester, Ohio, which was after Father Cekada had offered Holy Mass for us, I was physically spent. Wasted. Gone. I didn't think that there was any way that I could safely drive to Louisiana and Texas and not miss Holy Mass at least one day along the trip. Reviewing our options with Sharon, I decided that it would be best to stop at Indian Springs Campground in North Bend, Ohio, to see if we could stay for a few days there in order for me to regain my strength. Although we love Christ the King Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Saint Jude Shrine in Stafford, Texas, none of us were looking forward to the long, long drive down (and a return trip back in about six weeks). The prospect of the daily commuting from Indian Springs Campground was, of course, not enticing in its own right. It was simply my determination to stay for another week.
The determination to say for an additional week was not made conclusively until we arrived at Indian Springs Campground and I assayed the available sites, concluding that one in a cul-de-sac in the rear of the campground would be suitable. The thought that was uppermost in my mind at that time was the relief that would be ours in not having to move the motor home every day to get fresh water and every several days to dump our waste water. I paid for a week's stay ($185) after we had circled around the campground in the TrailBlazer, which Sharon had driven from West Chester as I was not going to make up my mind conclusively about our plans until we got to Indian Springs Campground and surveyed the situation there.
Under Assault Again
The owners of Indian Springs Campground are lovely people. The owner is a man named Jim Hickey. He is assistance by his son, Jim Hickey, Jr. The property manager is a man named Jim. One has to be careful which Jim one is seeking when he goes to the office! Even though the Hickey family is very nice and competent, I am afraid that some of the residents at Indian Springs Campground are not very nice and considerate. For, yes indeed, my friends, it turned out to be the case in God's Holy Providence that the people who were our "neighbors" for our first twenty-eight hours at Indian Springs Campground were loud, rude and inconsiderate, playing the most fearsomely evil "music" one could imagine and talking really loud close to Midnight, two hours after the campground's curfew on Friday, April 17, 2009. And they did not take kindly to my asking them at Midnight to be quiet. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Things got worse on Easter Saturday, April 18, 2009, as our "neighbors," who had been told by Mr. Jim Hickey, Sr., to observe the curfew, retaliated by playing a live, amplified electric guitar with sounds that were from Hell. This was a fight that I was not going to win. I simply asked Jim Hickey, Sr., to move us to one of the pull-through slots in the front of the campground that he likes to reserve for overnight transients so that they do not have to detach their tow vehicles before continuing on to their next destination. As one who knows full well about the convenience of having a pull-through slot available when making a long drive in the motor home, I certainly understood Mr. Hickey's concern about placing us in a pull-through slot. He was kind enough, however, to let us stay there for our week's stay, a stay that got extended day by day as unexpected circumstances began to manifest themselves in God's Holy Providence.
Apart from the long distance to Saint Gertrude the Great Church, one of the drawbacks to Indian Springs Campground is that there is no real playground for children or any place for a dog to run on a long leash. Indeed, we took Lucy to something called Shawnee Point Lookout on Easter Saturday, April 18, 2009, a few hours before we moved from our initial location in the cul-de-sac to the pull-through site, and returned home to discover that Chase was covered with ticks. I saw one on his black fur, which is remarkable as my eyesight is not that good any more. Sharon found two others when she gave him a bath in the motor home's shower with a flea and tick shampoo. We had to cross Shawnee Point Lookout off of our list of parks for Lucy and for Chase.
A Dog Has His Reasons
Chase worried us a little bit during our stay at Indian Springs Campground as he, for no apparent reason to us, was uncharacteristically jumping up on the motor home's dashboard and chewing rather furiously as the box that contained our ice-making machine when it was purchased at Camping World in Bolingbrook, Illinois, in August of last year. "What is wrong with you, Chase?," we said to him repeatedly. "Get down from there, boy." We thought that he was turning into a bored beagle who wanted to chew the box for no good reason. He did have a reason, however. Let me explain.
I mentioned in
Penance is Better Than Ever in 2009, part 2 that Chase has a great attachment to two identical push-pull bungee dog toys ("Old Guy" and "New Guy"). It's really a love-hate affair as he really enjoys ripping them apart so that their stuffing comes out, requiring Sharon to do what Lucy calls "emergency surgery" on the "guys." "Old Guy," indeed, has lost his ears because Chase has chewed them off completely. "New Guy," however, was missing for several days, leading me to believe that I had forgotten to retrieve the toy during one of Chase's "big runs" at Saint Gertrude the Great Church during Holy Week. "New Guy," the one with ears, was nowhere to be found.
It dawned on me, however, on Monday, April 20, 2009, that "New Guy" might be somewhere up on the dashboard as Chase seemed bound and determined to get up there repeatedly with the single-minded determination for which beagles are notorious. I mentioned this after night prayers, prompting Lucy to exclaim, "Yes! 'New Guy' is in the ice machine box. I put it there when I was play the 'hide the guy' game. I remember now." Lucy used to hide one of the "guys" in various parts of the motor home before she went to sleep on some nights, seeing if Chase could sniff out it out. It was an excellent game, entirely of Lucy's own invention. And Lucy was right. "New Guy" was in the ice-machine box. Chase did have a reason for chewing at the time repeatedly. He knew what was in there. We didn't!
Saint Therese Hits Us Over the Head
We really did think that were Louisiana and Texas bound by no later than the Second Sunday after Easter, April 26, 2009. The daily commute from North Bend, Ohio, which is in the very southwestern part of Ohio near Indiana and Kentucky, was a killer. It was a killer physically. It was a killer financially. And it was a killer temporally in that it took a great chunk out of our day to get to and from Saint Gertrude's. Lucy's homeschooling days weren't ending until around 8:00 p.m. as a result of the driving (one must do what one needs to do to get to a true offering of daily Mass, which must be the chief priority of parents if they are serious about getting themselves and their children home to Heaven). Something had to "give," and it appeared that what was going to "give" was our presence back in Ohio until the "all's clear" was sounded to return to the grounds of Saint Gertrude the Great Church at the end of May or the beginning of June.
Although Father Cekada had encouraged us to see what we could do about purchasing a house owned by parishioners of Saint Gertrude the Great Church that was for sale for the amount of $125,000, I was not at all interested in getting myself, at five seven years, five months old and without regular, predictable income, in debt to the tune of $105,000 (after a $20,000 deposit). We will, it appears, credit card debt free by the beginning of 2010. The motor home was paid off in January of 2008. The TrailBlazer will be our only form of indentured servitude thereafter. As nice as it would have been to have a house with three-quarters of an acre's worth of property near Saint Gertrude's, I did not want take on the stress of a massive debt when it is so difficult to raise funds on a monthly basis from the readers of this site who support is work and who have the means to be of assistance to us.
We took Lucy down to a homeschooling event in Union, Kentucky, on Thursday, April 23, 2009. She was able to ride a horse and enjoy some time with the Simpson children. I had thought at first that we could take the motor home down to that event and then leave from there for Louisiana and Texas. Once again, however, I was too tired. And, as it turned out, the roads were so hilly and narrow that the motor home would simply not have made some of the turns that we had to make in the TrailBlazer en route to the farm where the event was held. Sunday, April 26, 2009, therefore, seemed to be our day of departure. That was before Saint Therese of Lisieux intervened.
Yes, Sharon and Lucy discovered a poorly painted statue of Saint Therese of Lisieux of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face in a storage garage on the grounds of Indian Springs Campground. Some campers had left the statue there and no one had claimed it over the years. Sharon and Lucy told me about this after they had taken Chase for his "big run" on Friday, April 24, 2009, the Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen. I did not want to see the statue languish there, thinking that there might be some need for it at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Sharon thought that our friends the Simpsons could use the statue. Thus it was that I drove the TrailBlazer over to the storage garage and asked Mr. Hickey, Sr., if I could have the statue. He agreed to give it to us, and I, although with difficulty because the statue is very heavy, placed it in the back seat of the TrailBlazer. I did not know the pivotal role that that statue would play in ending our lives on the road. God knew. His Blessed Mother knew. Saint Joseph knew. Saint Therese knew. I did not. Not at all.
The statue of Saint Therese was in the backseat of the TrailBlazer after Holy Mass on Saturday, April 25, 2009, the day of the Greater Litanies (and there was a marvelous Greater Litanies Procession at Saint Gertrude's that day) and the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist, when I called over one of Saint Gertrude the Great Church's most hard-working lay volunteers to ask him if he thought the the parish might have any use for the statue. We certainly couldn't keep it in the motor home. The gentleman told me that there was a person in the parish that refurbished statues. He said that he would make an inquiry for us.
As this gentleman walked away, however, an incredible thought dawned on me that had not occurred in the previous twenty days since we had arrived back to Ohio on Palm Sunday, April 5, 2009: this gentleman lives in a mobile home park reasonably close to Saint Gertrude's with units that sell for as little as between $20,000 and $30,000! We were being given $20,000 by Mr. and Mr. Anonymous. "Wait a minute here," I said to myself. "We might be able to buy one of those mobile homes." I called to the gentleman, asking him if there were any units for sale in the mobile home community where he lived. He said that there were, including a "double wide" unit right across from his own mobile (or manufactured) home. This was incredible. The answer to our living situation was, quite possibly, right in front of us all of the time.
Indeed, we had looked at a few units in that mobile home park in 2006 when were first assisting at Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church and continuing our due diligence concerning the canonical-doctrinal principles underlying sedevacantism and that they applied in this era of apostasy and betrayal. Having no money to put down on any unit, however, we had to forego any further exploration (our beaten up motor home really has no appreciable market value right now). What was impossible in 2006 was eminently possible in 2009. Sharon and I determined to take a tour around the mobile home community after we got some fresh bagels at Marx's Bagels in Blue Ash, Ohio, and after taking Lucy to the Newport Aquarium for the first time in nine weeks. (I had to take the TrailBlazer into a Goodyear dealership near the aquarium as the girls were taking advantage of our annual family pass membership in order to get a tire that had been leaking air for most of the previous week replaced. It was interesting sitting in the waiting room with Chase wanting to explore everything in the display section!)
We drove back up to the mobile home community after the visit to the aquarium and after the TrailBlazer had gotten a new tire installed (I had to fill up the damaged tire with air almost every day in the preceding week), taking a careful look around to see what would suit our needs. We telephoned a number on a sign of one unit for sale, discovering that the man who answered the phone is the owner of several mobile home communities. He said that no home in the community cost over $50,000, and that some ranged as little as $20,000 to $30,000. We just wanted a unit that would have neighbors only to our left and to our right, not to our rear, and we believed that a "single wide" (which is seventy feet long, more than twice as long as the motor home, and fourteen feet wide, some six feet wider than the motor home) would suit our purposes if it was God's Holy Will for us to purchase such a manufactured or mobile home. The owner of the mobile home community told us that he would available to show us some units on Monday, April 27, 2009, which meant that we had to extend our stay at Indian Springs Campground for at least another two or three days.
We returned to the mobile home community on Sunday afternoon, April 26, 2009, the Second Sunday after Easter, taking another close look at the community. There was one unit in particular that I believed was situated the best for our needs. The owner agreed to meet us there on Monday, April 27, 2009, after we assisted at Holy Mass on the Feast of Saint Peter Canisius at Saint Gertrude the Great Church. The house was recently painted. New carpeting had been installed and it sported a brand new roof. Most importantly for my dear Sharon, who has endured so much suffering in our motor home with so much patience and valor and humility, there was a washer and dryer that came with the house. "I was praying to Saint Joseph for this!" she exclaimed. I told the owner, "All right. We'll take the house. How much is it?"
Look, my friends, we have lived in a motor home most of the last eight years. Our needs are very simple. We wanted a house reasonably near Saint Gertrude the Great Church and one that would in a safe community. The house has three bedrooms, one of which Lucy earmarked immediately as her playroom, and two full bathrooms, coming complete with central air conditioning and heating. No more filling up the fresh water tank of the motor home. No more filling up plastic bottles at supermarkets with drinking water. No more doing waste water dumps. No more driving from campground to campground. No more having to "take a break" from the motor home by going out for a meal now and again. And while houses come with their own sets of problems, to be sure, the prospect of being "settled' was a happy one indeed. A very happy prospect.
None of us knows when he is going to die. We don't have health insurance. I have no idea what my coronary arteries look like or what may be causing the long illness that has afflicted me. It was a wonderful thought on Monday, April 27, 2009, to think that Sharon and Lucy would be well situated in the event of my death, that they would not have to be stranded in the motor home in some place and having to ship my mortal remains up to Saint Gertrude the Great Church. Saint Joseph appeared to be answering our prayers to discover God's Holy Will for us.
The owner of the mobile home community said that it would be possible for his company to finance the $5,900 difference between what we could pay in cash and the actual cost of the mobile or manufactured home. I told him that I would prefer to pay the amount in full, although I filled out an application for financing in the event that we could not raise the additional funds. The prospect of paying a loan and the monthly rent (one who owns a manufactured or mobile home in a mobile home community does not own the land on which the home sits, which means that one must pay month rent, which in our case is $397 a month) was not a thrilling one. It is difficult enough in most months to raise what we need to pay our bills and to support ourselves.
I asked Sharon, therefore, to telephone yet another anonymous individual, whom we shall name Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Crypto-Anonymous, who had said in a telephone conversation with Sharon on Saturday, April 25, 2009, that he or she would help us to make up a shortfall if we needed funds to buy a house outright. Crypto-Anonymous asked the amount that we needed. Sharon explained that we needed $5900.
Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Crypto-Anonymous said, "This is not fair. This is not fair. If you are going to get help from me, you are going to have to listen to my story. This is not fair."
Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Crypto-Anonymous said that he or she had checked with the Internal Revenue Service to find out when his or her tax refund was going to sent to him or her. He or she was told that the check, which had been scheduled to arrive on Friday, April 24, 2009, had been mailed that day, and that it was for the amount of $5,999.00. I have tears in my eyes as I am writing this as this was truly an astounding manifestation of the Providence of God wrought by the prayers of Good Saint Joseph. "I have no choice but to give you the money," Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Crypto-Anonymous said to Sharon. "It's yours." And our anonymous donor called back later that Monday, April 27, 2009, to say that the check had arrived. It was deposited in our bank account the next day. Our anonymous donor said that the monies would have been locked up in a certificate of deposit if the check had arrived on Friday, April 24, 2009, recognizing that this was all very much within the Providence of God. This was plainly God's Holy Will for us. This was plainly part of the merciful designs of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for us erring sinners!
I telephoned the owner of the mobile home community to inform him that there was no need for financing, that we would pay him the full amount for the mobile home. Although we are not property owners, we are homeowners. Deo gratias! Thank you, dear Lord. Thank you, Blessed Mother. Thank you, Good Saint Joseph. Thank you, Saint Therese, who is, after all, Lucy's Confirmation patron saint.
Coming Together on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide
We had much to do in the next few days, including providing information to the manager of the mobile home community, who had to approve us as residents of the community before we could take possession of our own home, a thought that is still nothing other than astounding to us.
As there was no time to drive the thirty-two miles back to Indian Springs Campground to type up the required information, I went to a FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko's, formerly just plain Kinko's) in West Chester, Ohio, to use a public computer to bang out the information, returning it to the property manager within a few hours of our agreeing to purchase the manufactured home. The property manager had to review the application and approve us as residents, a process that appeared at the time to be without a determined end point. We wanted to move in as soon as possible so as to let the Hickeys at Indian Springs Campground know of our plans and because we were eager to move in and start our new life as a family that lives in one place more or less year-round.
The property manager called on the Feast of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide, Wednesday, April 29, 2009, to schedule an appointment with us for the following day, Thursday, April 30, 2009, the Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena. Upon my delivering the money order she needed for the application and the security deposit for the water meter and for the first and last month's rent, she asked me if we were available to meet with her then, some thirty minutes after Holy Mass had ended on the Feast of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide. I said that we were. Sharon and Lucy then joined me in the office. I wrote out a check for $25,900, and we became owners of our own home. Thank you, Saint Joseph! Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Anonymous. Thank you, Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Crypto-Anonymous. Our thanks to everyone who has prayed for us so faithfully over the years. Our thanks to one and all.
As we had given all of our furniture, which had been in a Public Storage facility on Hempstead Turnpike in Bethpage, New York, near the corner of New York State Route 107, from July of 2003 to November of 2007, to the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be sold in their annual fund-raiser on Saturday, November 24, 2007, we had no furniture at all to use in our new home. With the annual payout of approximately $1600 from my teachers' retirement account due to "hit" our bank account on Monday 4, 2009 (I have to wait for another year for my next payout, a process that ends in 2012), I dedicated the retirement funds for the purchase of two "full" beds, a dining room table with four chairs and a bench, a sofa, and a recliner chair. There are additional items purchase--and I will update the donations page soon (we need three dressers, some end tables, bookshelves and lamps, a computer desk and chair--and we are willing to take hand-me-downs or non-tax-deductible financial gifts to shop at a consignment store for such items) so that we can facilitate the purchase of these items. For the time being, however, we have places to sit and to sleep and at which to eat. It's a start. a very good start. Deo gratias! All of the furniture was purchased on the Feast of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide.
Unloading the Motor Home
Only one other step remained in the remarkably short process by which we looked at a mobile home on a Monday and were ready to move in on Friday. Apart from switching the utilities over to our names, I had to be present at the house on Friday morning, May 1, 2009, the Feast of Saints Philip and James and the First Friday of the month of May, to go over an inspection of the house with the mobile home community's service manager. This meant that we had to pack up the motor home and to get it ready to drive up to the mobile home community to start the process of moving into the house. There was a lot of work to be done on Thursday afternoon, April 30, 2009, to be ready to "ship out" of Indian Springs Campground on Friday morning, May 1, 2009. Sharon did the bulk of that work.
With the inspection completed around 9:20 a.m. on Friday, May 1, 2009, we began the process of moving out of the motor home. Yes, we had done that twice before, once after Lucy was born when we moved into my basement apartment at 259 9th Street in Bethpage for a period from April 21, 2002, to July 11, 2003 (with four long distance and three shorter distance trips in the motor home made during our stay in Bethpage), and then again when we moved into a rental house in Amberg, Wisconsin, in November of 2005 before coming to realize that we had that the conciliar rite of episcopal consecration is invalid and that the conciliar officials are imposters, a realization that prompted us to move out of that rental house on May 12, 2006, just ten days after we had been to Saint Gertrude the Great Church for the first time on the Feast of Saint Athanasius, May 2, 2006. (We did not move entirely out of the motor home when we were in Idaho for a brief time in October of last year.)
We moved lots of things into the house in the two hours before Holy Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on the Feast of Saints Philip and James. More moving was done after Mass. Some of the items I had to move were very heavy. It is my duty as a husband and a father to have gotten this work done. However, there are times when I forget the fact that I am not supposed to any heavy lifting at all as a result of the spinal fusion surgery that I had at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on February 14, 1968, to treat the case of spondylolisthesis that I had inherited from my mother. I just wanted to do my duty and to get us moved into the house.
The area of the fusion is one where I have a good deal of continuous pain. The pain is manageable. It is a means by which I can help to make reparation for my sins by accepting it as part of the merciful designs of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to call to mind the pains caused It by my sins and ingratitude and lukewarmness. One does not need to go to a chiropractor twice or three times a week to "manage" pain. We an all live with a certain amount of physical discomfort. But I do tend to forget that arthritis developed in the area of the fusion by the time I was in my mid-twenties in the 1970s, meaning that there are limitations that I need to respect in order not to injure myself unnecessarily. I got reminded of my limitations in a very huge way on the morning of May 2, 2009, the Feast of Saint Athanasius and the First Saturday in the month of May.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls!
We continued unloading the motor home until around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2009, at which point I drove the unit for an overnight stay at the Saint Gertrude the Great Church parking lot prior to placing in in a storage facility the next day. We were anticipating the delivery of the furniture that afternoon and I did not want the motor home on the street when the delivery truck arrived (and on street parking of any type, no less a motor home, is not permitted in our mobile home community).
Although Lucy had become ill with a slight virus, she finally got to sleep around 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2009, by which point I was preparing my first night of sleep in a full bed for the first time since we last stayed at a motel (the Best Western motel in Refugio, Texas, on Friday, March 20, 2009). That sofa bed in the motor home was rather small. I did not sleep for long, however. I awoke with excruciating pain in my back in the area of my spinal fusion, the worst pain that I have had in my back in nine years, perhaps the worst pain I had had since before the spinal fusion operation forty-one years ago now. I could barely get out of bed at 11:15 p.m. to ask Sharon for some assistance. There was little that she could do other than to give me an aspirin. I asked for her prayers before she resumed attending to Lucy.
The pain worsened overnight. It was at 3:00 a.m. that the back spasms were so bad that I had to cry out, "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls!" over and over and over again. Each hour brought an increase of pain, which was both skeletal (in my spine) and muscular. I got to sleep at around 5:00 a.m., being awakened twenty minutes later by my cellular phone's alarm clock tool so that I could get my family up for the 6:30 a.m. Mass on the Feast of Saint Athanasius and the First Saturday of the month of May, the month of Our Lady. I couldn't move. My back was throbbing with pain. I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't turn from side to side. I could only rest on my side, a flashback to how I had to sleep when I was recovering at home in Oyster Bay Cove after my spinal fusion as I was wrapped pretty tight in a non-removable plaster body jacket from February 23, 1968, to July 22, 1968. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Sharon and Lucy were able to get to a 7:45 a.m. Communion service following First Saturday devotions. There was only one parish Mass that day as the daughter of Mr. Ken Gilliam, who most kindly came out to our motor home on Saturday, January 17, 2009, to get our motor home started after it had died in the cold weather, and a recent convert to the Faith, a young man who was confirmed on Holy Saturday at Saint Gertrude the Great Church by His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan, were to be married in a Nuptial Low Mass at 11:30 a.m. I asked Sharon to bring back our kinesiologist with her if at all possible.
The kinesiology treatments did not really lessen the pain. Indeed, I was in utter and complete agony, pain that I realize, of course, that I richly deserve for my sins (and I am not writing this gratuitously in the slightest). After about two hours' of treatment, the kinesiologist said, "You need meds!" It's pretty bad when someone specializing in alternative medicine says that one needs medication. I certainly did need such medication. A physician friend was kind enough to phone in a prescription for a pain-killer (and the last time I used a pain killer was in November of 2002 for a tooth that had rotted out as a result of a bad root canal job by a quack dentist who thought that the "Church" had "gotten rid of Purgatory") and a muscle relaxant, which Sharon dutifully went to get at a nearby pharmacy.
I missed First Saturday Mass and the reception of Holy Communion on First Saturday for the second time in three months as a result of being bedridden with the back pain. I had to make a Spiritual Communion as a result as I kept saying over and over again in the midst of the pain, "All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!" The back pain was merely symbolic of the pain of loss at not having been able to get to Holy Mass on First Saturday yet again (yes, I have made my Five First Saturdays repeatedly in the past few years; I just never want to miss Mass on any day, no less a First Saturday and, of all days, the Feast of Saint Athanasius). Then again, God knew from all eternity that this would occur. I had to accept His Holy Will and to offer up the pain to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for my many, many sins.
Deo gratias! Deo gratias! Deo gratias! We had been given the joy of a new house. God was reminding me that the Cross must be borne all times, yes, even in the midst of other joys. Deo gratias! Deo gratias! Deo gratias!
Every effort that I made to get out bed in the morning hours ended in failure. I just could not get out of bed as the pain was excruciatingly bad. I simply prayed to Our Lady to send me the graces that I would need to be courageous enough to bear the pain necessary to get out of bed and to attempt to stand upright as I did not want to spend all day in bed.
The pain killer and muscle relaxant did not take effect immediately when I took them around noon time on Saturday, May 2, 2009. Indeed, it took hours for me to feel some relief. Continuing to pray to Our Lady, however, I forced myself to roll out of my new bed and onto the floor, determined to crawl to the bathroom to try to get myself upright by leaning on the rim of the bathtub and the top of the commode. My dragging myself on all fours was reminiscent of a scene in the fifth episode of the second season of Ironside, "Desperate Encounter," in which the paralyzed Chief Robert T. Ironside, who was being held captive by a corrupt sheriff and a wealthy mine owner in a rural California community, rolled off a bed and onto the floor to drag himself out to a window in order to pull himself up through the window and onto the ground outside in what turned out to be a futile attempt to escape from his captors. I only had to drag myself to a bathroom a few feet from my bedroom. It seemed as though I was going to for a long, long distance.All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
The Road Life Is Over
Although the pain was intense, I managed to lift myself into an upright position in the bathroom and to go about the business of trying to resume some level of functionality again. I was able to recover enough to take the motor home over to a storage facility, where it reposes comfortably. We will use it several times a year, probably in July to go back to New York for a brief visit. (I might schedule a lecture during such a trip. However, most of the people we used to know back east have made their "peace" with the Motu and are content to have the "Mass" offered mostly by conciliar presbyters who are unable or unwilling to defend the honor and glory and majesty of God as He is offended and blasphemed by the conciliar "pontiffs" and their "bishops." There is probably no real point in scheduling any talks as a result.) There might be an occasion as well to drive up to Milwaukee for a possible presentation at Saint Hugh of Lincoln Church. The road life is over, at least for the most part, as we are grateful for the gift of being given a house reasonably near the Heavenly glories of Saint Gertrude the Great Church. We are, however, still going to need your help on a monthly basis to pay our bills, asking only those who support the work of this site and who have the means to be of assistance to consider helping us out more regularly and more predictably.
Other than a trip to New York and one to Milwaukee, however, there is no need to travel at all. We are home. We are grateful to be home. We accepted with gratitude the life on the road that we believed was God's Holy Will for us most of these past eight years. We accept with gratitude the new life in a house of our own that He has given to us now. We accept all as coming from His hand and occurring within His Holy Providence. To God be the glory in all things at all times as we lift high the Cross with joy, with gratitude and without any complaint whatsoever.
The Kingship of Our Blessed Lord and Jesus Christ In Our New Home
His Excellency Bishop Daniel L. Dolan was kind enough to make time in his busy pastoral schedule to bless our house on the Octave Day of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in Paschaltide, Wednesday, May 6, 2009, and to Enthrone our home to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His Excellency was most kind to bring three red carnations for the ceremony, during which he reminded us that our interior life does not end when we conclude our Thanksgiving after daily Mass, but that we must be ever conscious of the fact that Christ the King is the ruler of our house and that we must be humbly submissive to Him as we give thanks to the merciful designs of His Most Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We are very grateful to His Excellency for taking the time to visit our humble abode and to bless it and enthrone it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Octave Day of the Solemnity of Good Saint Joseph.
No Compromises With the Counterfeit Church of Conciliarism
It was on the Feast of Saint Athanasius in 2006 that we assisted at Holy Mass at Saint Gertrude the Great Church for the first time. Although it took us a few months to realize that we were "home," we really knew in our heart of hearts that Saint Gertrude's was meant to be our home at some point in the future. We cannot make compromises or concessions of any kind to the false "pontiff" will commence a trip to Jordan and Israel today, May 8, 2009, and blaspheme God by appearing outside of a mosque and entering into synagogues. How sad it is that a website of the Society of Saint Pius X,
http://www.dici.org/actualite_read.php?id=1321&loc=us, is already making excuses in advance of the scandals that will be caused by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's words and deeds on this journey (excuses that will be the subject of the next article on this site). We are grateful to have come to recognize the no true Successor of Saint Peter can believe, act and speak as the conciliar "pontiffs" have done in the past fifty years. We are glad to be "home" reasonably near the Heavenly glories of Saint Gertrude the Great Church.
The End of the Travelogues?
Are the travelogues over? Well, yes, for now. I have no idea how many pages the travelogues that have been written in the past few years comprise. I am sure, however, that they would make a pretty good book length manuscript, a book length manuscript that no one, relatively speaking, would purchase! I do hope, though, that these travelogues have related the simple truths that none of us suffers as we deserve, that each of our sufferings is truly a merciful gift sent to us by God, that Heaven awaits us if we bear our share of hardship which the Gospel entails, lovingly and gratefully lifting high our daily crosses as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.
God has, in His ineffable Mercy, seen fit to bestow upon us the great gift of bearing near a true offering of Holy Mass offered by true bishops and true priests who make no concessions to conciliarism whatsoever. We do not deserve this gift. We do, however, accept it with joy and gratitude, knowing full well, as Bishop Dolan reminded us in his brief sermon during the house blessing and home enthronement two days ago, that the Cross is ever present in our lives, that God does not want us to grow soft in the midst of consolation, that He sends us consolations in this life so as to fortify us in the midst of persecutions and sufferings for the only consolation that matters: the possession of the glory of His Beatific Vision for all eternity in Heaven.
May Our Lady and Good Saint Joseph help us to travel the rocky road that leads to the narrow gate of Life Himself in this time of apostasy and betrayal so that each of our own personal travelogues will have, no matter the variations of their individual stories and sufferings, the same blessed ending: eternal joy in Heaven.
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