Catholic Herald: Catholicism – young – fresh – vigorous – returning to… France?

There is an interesting article in The Catholic Herald which merits attention.  The topic: the revival of traditional Catholicism in France.

This article is interesting especially because it juxtaposes the tired old cliches of the agin-hippies with a more optimistic Catholic world view.

My emphases and comments.

The Catholic Herald

The return of the tonsure, wimple and soutane

With the quiet support of the Pope, France is seeing an explosion of traditional religious communities,
says Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis

We are often told that the Church has to modernise, because the young, especially, can no longer relate to its teachings. It is sometimes even suggested that we should be grateful for a decline in vocations to priesthood: could this not be a sign from the Holy Spirit that the age of the laity is finally dawning?   [This is an important starting point: for some, most, who embrace the "hermeneutic of discontinuity", is that we as human beings have matured, evolved beyond any need for the old ways.]

This eagerness to make a virtue out of a necessity finds its most radical conclusion in a booklet entitled Church and Ministry published in the Netherlands by a group of Dominican academics. One of them, Fr André Lascaris, recently explained his thesis in The Tablet. [Remember that?  Pure Schillebeeckx.]

Numbers of vocations to the priesthood in Holland are plummeting, and according to Fr Lascaris there is “no hope of a remedy for this situation”. [He should remember that Christians have hope.] Apart from his own remedy, of course. His proposal is clear and simple: “In the absence of ordained priests, lay persons should be allowed to celebrate the Eucharist.” He adds: “Whether they be men or women, homo or heterosexual, married or unmarried, is irrelevant.”

The beauty of all this, according to Fr Lascaris, is that it is “based on the statements of the Second Vatican Council, and on publications of professional theologians and pastoral experts”.

Did the Second Vatican Council really say that? Are we really supposed to believe that the Holy Spirit deliberately manufactured a crisis in vocations, just to make way for the establishment of a new age of laity?

Of course, we laity have an essential role in the Church’s evangelisation. We have the awesome responsibility of carrying the message of Jesus Christ to our contemporaries who are searching. If falling vocations force us to acknowledge this, and to act on it, then the Holy Spirit will indeed have brought much fruit from any current crisis.  [Right.  Clergy form lay people.  Lay people shape the world.]

But perhaps Fr Lascaris’s Brave New Church of feminists concelebrating Mass in rainbow-coloured jilabas is not the only remedy to declining numbers of priests. A beautifully illustrated new book on the religious life in France suggests that there might be another solution. Reading the two books side by side you might be forgiven for assuming that the authors belong to two completely different religions.

If the photographs in Les communautés traditionnelles en France are anything to go by, then just across the Channel there lies a whole rich seam of Catholic religious life that is young, vibrant and growing.

In addition to youthfulness and success, there are two other common features that unite the communities featured in this book. One is that they all have the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy – the “traditional” rites liberated by Pope Benedict XVI’s recent Motu Proprio [Summorum Pontificum - part of Benedict's "Marshall Plan" - is going to work!] as the heart and foundation of their spirituality. [The enemies of the Motu Proprio chant their mantra that only old people and separated rad trads are the object of Benedict's provisions.  Au contraire!  They also yodel that Summorum Pontificum and the old Mass point to a different "spirituality" than that of Vatican II.] The other is that many of them long enjoyed the steadfast, if unofficial support, of a certain well-placed cardinal in Rome. His name was Joseph Ratzinger.

There is no gain without pain and most of these 18 communities have at some stage suffered from misunderstanding and prejudice. [You can say that again.] Before the Motu Proprio there was often intense pressure from unsympathetic ecclesiastical authorities to abandon all adherence to the “old rite”. But when the going was particularly rough, the abbots, prioresses and rectors of these institutes were sustained by the knowledge that they had an influential friend in Rome – a friend who is now reigning as Pope Benedict XVI.

Every pope has to be father to the whole Church. [Also to those with whom he doesn't agree.]  But looking through this book it does appear that the current incumbent of the See of Peter has a particular affection for his children of the traditionalist movement. On one page there is Cardinal Ratzinger swathed in full Tridentine pontificals, processing into a traditionalist seminary in Bavaria; on another he poses with tonsured monks in their cloister in Provence; elsewhere, we find him presiding at a conference promoting the traditional liturgy at the Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault.

Another indication of papal approval can be found in this book’s enthusiastic preface by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, one of the Pope’s most loyal collaborators and head of the Vatican’s Ecclesia Dei commission, which is charged with looking after traditionalist communities in communion with Rome. Cardinal Castrillon makes no excuse for this book’s coffee-table format. “Go and teach all people,” Jesus said to his disciples; in order to do this effectively in the modern world, says the cardinal, we need to make good use of images.  [Excellent.]

Looking at these particular images it is not difficult to understand just why the Pope and his right-hand cardinal have invested so much hope in these communities. Whether it is Solemn Vespers in a great baroque abbey, or low Mass celebrated on a rock in a clearing for scouts, the liturgical celebrations depicted in this book are all beautiful and dignified. The average age of the monks, nuns, friars and priests and seminarians is also remarkably young. According to Cardinal Castrillon, this should not surprise us. The message that these communities pursue is the message of Jesus Christ. This message is eternal, and therefore forever young.

These intriguing photographs invite us to enter into another world. Despite the obvious challenges implicit in a daily life circumscribed by rules and traditions, the subjects of these communities look remarkably happy. The text often talks of sacrifice and self-surrender, but the pictures show young faces that are smiling and laughing.

It would be foolish to allow glossy photographs to carry us into the realm of romanticism. No doubt the world, the flesh and the devil pose as many challenges to the religious life as they ever did. But there are no signs in this book of any of those particularly modern crises that seem to have dogged Catholic religious life in recent decades.

There is certainly no hint of any crisis of clerical identity. [A very important point.  Remember, when people ask you what Summorum Pontificum aims to do, tell them that it aims at building up the priesthood.] These young clerics do not rely on jeans or Che Guevara T-shirts to make them feel connected to the youth; rather, it is the authenticity of their life that seems to make that connection. We see seminarians effortlessly skiing through the alps in long black soutanes, [That's just silly, frankly.] while nuns in crisply starched wimples gather hay in the fields outside Marseilles. At the high point of the traditionalist calendar – the annual Pentecost pilgrimage to Chartres – thousands of young pilgrims walk behind priests, monks and friars on the three-day march from Paris. Carrying crosses and banners, they all look very glad, and proud, to be Catholic.  [Benedict has a vision, a plan, a "Marshall Plan" to reinvigorate Catholic identity.]

Neither is there any evidence of a decline in vocations. The story of the Benedictine convent of Jouques is typical. Since its foundation near Aix en Provence in 1967 this community has attracted so many vocations to its novitiate that it has been necessary to open daughter houses elsewhere in France and in Africa to house the overspill.

Two of the Jouques nuns have also been commandeered to live in a convent in the grounds of the Vatican, as a result of a request made by Cardinal Ratzinger before his election to the papacy. The 55 young nuns who remain in the mother house in Provence have become famous for their angelic singing of the daily office in Latin. [Chant sung well by women is wonderful.] At harvest time they can be found negotiating combines around the stony fields of their farm.

The monks of Le Barroux, north of Avignon, still wear the corona – the full monastic tonsure depicted in medieval woodcuts and books of hours. After humble beginnings in a caravan in 1970 this community now worships in a mighty abbey church which the monks built themselves in the form of a Romanesque basilica. In the early hours of the morning, this building hums like a holy beehive [Ambrose would have loved that line.] as the many priest-monks celebrate their private Mass at side altars, served by novices and lay brothers. The extensive choirstalls here are now so full that this monastery has been able to spare a detachment of young monks to found a daughter house not far from Toulouse.  [It's spreading... and the hostile bishops can't stop it.]

All of the institutes featured in the book are run on strictly traditional principles. But this does not make them old-fashioned. Rather, it gives them a timelessness that many young people are finding increasingly attractive.  [Right.  People don't "evolve" in the sense the discontinuitors claim.] Some of the communities are contemplative, but many are active. A good example is the Institute of Christ the King. From its picturesque Renaissance villa outside Florence “The Institute” has gradually grown into a global conglomerate. In addition to serving parishes in France and America, it also runs several missionary stations in Africa.

The Regular Cannonesses of the Mother of God, meanwhile, maintain a fine balance between the vocations of Mary and Martha. It is through contemplative adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that they gain the spiritual energy required in their work of educating young girls and tending the old and the sick. Their convent at Gap has grown rapidly in numbers in the last couple of years, attracting young girls from all over France.  [Spiritual and corporal works of mercy must be at the heart of success of Benedict's vision.]

The recent Motu Proprio confirms what these communities have known all along: that the traditional Mass never was, and never really could be, abrogated. In his explanatory letter accompanying this decree the Holy Father stated that the extraordinary form of the liturgy is not just for an older generation that found innovation difficult to cope with. He wrote: “It has been clearly demonstrated that young persons, too, have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mysteries of the Most Holy Eucharist particularly suited to them.”

Perhaps Pope Benedict had a copy of this book open on his desk while he composed this letter. A huge percentage of those in these pictures look as if they would be far too young to remember anything of the liturgical upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s. Most of them look as if they were born after the introduction of the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Venez et voyez says the cover of this fascinating book, quoting the words of Our Lord: “Come and see.” It is an invitation not to be declined. If there is really a crisis in vocations, Les communautés traditionelles en France might contain the seeds of a solution that is challenging, attractive and, in its own way, really rather radical.

Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis is a writer and
journalist

La Nef, Hors-série N° 20, Av: Les communautés
traditionnelles en France is available from www.Amazon.fr

 

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26 Responses to Catholic Herald: Catholicism – young – fresh – vigorous – returning to… France?

  1. David says:

    Yes! This is exactly what my generation wants–the almost militant, radical love of God that spurns the things of this world, that fights by prayers and devotions the Prince of this world. Only a Radical Orthodoxy, to steal a line from the “Anglo-Catholics,” which places the choice–for God or against God–clearly on the table will attract us young folk. Christ was not effeminate; and we do not indeed want an effete, compromising faith but one that takes the battle to the enemy. If the Church would just lead, she would be shocked at the number of men who would gladly show themselves at the front-line. We would be out-numbered, yes: but Christianity is, this day and age, radically counter-cultural: the sooner we quit pretending that this is not the case, the better.

    More prayers for France: may it be re-evangelized!

  2. One assumes that the journalist Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis is Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, daughter of the late Prince Johannes and Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis. The family have their palace in Regensburg and Princess Gloria is said to be a close friend of Pope Benedict XVI. It is said that she lived quite a wild life before experiencing a conversion and is now enthusiastically Catholic.

  3. Matthew says:

    This 23-year-old revert to the Church says:

    Deo gratias.

  4. Matthew Mattingly says:

    It is wonderful what is happening in France. The traditional Orders which use the Tridentine Latin Mass are exploding with vocations. There is another Order of nuns which wear white habits and red Sacred Hearts on the scapualr surmounted by a cross (founded in France) which is traditional and growing rapidly. I think they are teaching community called the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and of the Holy Face of Jesus. Bl. Charles de Foucauld is their inspiration and holy model. There is also (even though affiliated to the SSPX), the Capuchin friars of Morgeon (which single handedly has restored the Capuchin Order in France (the radical liberal French province of Capuchins is nearly extinct). The traditional Dominican friars of Avrille are also growing, as are about 6 distinct congregations of Dominican teaching sisters in France alone.
    It must also be said that while most of these communities use only the Tridentine Latin Mass, there are also a few new religious Orders which are extremely traditional but celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin ad orientam and with Gregorian Chant which is growing in France too. They’re not doing as well vocation wise as the Tridentine Latin Mass communities, but they are attracting sufficient vocations to survive.
    The radical femminist secular nuns, and the progresive priests in France who follow the dead model of the Dutch Dominicans etc., are all trememdously aged, and in communities whicih will die out in afew years, bringing to a close a sad chapter in what had been, up until Vatican II, a glorious history. Orders like the Jesuits, Eudists, Vincentians, Franciscans (male religious), and the Daughters of Charity, of Wisdom, of the Holy Spirit, the Religious of the Assumption, Good Shepherd nuns and the Sacred Heart Sisters (founded by St. Madeline Sophie Barat) will all be gone in less than 15 years. That’s tragic. But perhaps new traditionalist branches of the same communities could be founded to prevent this from happening.

  5. Habemus Papam says:

    Matthew Mattingly: the Sisters with white habits and red Sacred Heart emblem. This community of Sisters and Brothers founded by the Abbe de Nantes. I had the good fortune to meet them in Fatima a few years ago. The Abbe has a cotroversial history vis-a-vis Vatican II, Paul VI and John Paul II. Very interesting priest.
    For his Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century see

    http://www.crc-internet.org

  6. Malta says:

    This is a great article. It starts with the model espoused by some liberal prelates of invigorating the Church with lay ministers acting as priest-lites. This model, of course, will further diminish the Church. The article then states the obvious with plenty of examples: Tradition will re-invigorate the Church, not a further descent into liberalism.

    The writer notes that: “The message that these communities pursue is the message of Jesus Christ. This message is eternal, and therefore forever young.” That is very, very true. The Traditional Latin Mass formed, from the time of the Apostles, over a 2,000 year period (with its essential form complete by the late sixth century); it contains the most beautiful prayers and word-forms ever communicated to God. It is therefore an unimaginable treasure. Here is what a group of intellectuals (including Agatha Christie, a non-Catholic) had to say on this point when they petitioned Paul VI in 1971 to preserve the TLM:

    “In the materialistic and technocratic civilisation that is
    increasingly threatening the life of mind and spirit in its original
    creative expression — the word — it seems particularly inhuman to
    deprive man of word-forms in one of their most grandiose manifestations.”

    I think it is often overlooked in this whole debate how astonishingly beautiful the actual prayers are in the TLM. Such beauty is indeed invigorating for young people and old people alike. We want to transcend the mundane world when we walk into Church, not step into a rock concert. Indeed, the TLM is ever old but ever new. As Manley Hopkins said, nature is never “spent,” the same can be true of the TLM. It connects us with the Saints and fellow pilgrim souls over a 1,500 year period, but it is also lively, fresh, pertinent, and invigorating for the modern believer.

  7. John says:

    Real renewal is on the way, and to borrow a phrase from Bishop Trautman, there can be “no backsliding.”

  8. Animadversor says:

    “[b]ased on the statements of the Second Vatican Council, and on publications of professional theologians and pastoral experts”.

    Well, I should have been a wee bit unpersuaded had the inspiration for this wonderful scheme been only the “statements of the Second Vatican Council,” but now that I understand that professional theologians and pastoral experts are involved, I feel much more tranquil about the possibilities “envisaged.”

  9. Sid Cundiff says:

    Does anyone know about the Fraternités de Jérusalem, a French order, yet with houses also in Florence, Rome, and Montreal? They have an unusual apostolate. Are they theologically orthodox? Are they loyal and obedient to Holy Father? Are they liturgically traditional? Or if Ordinary Form, is it offered with reverence?

  10. Mark Jacobson says:

    I recently went to an SSPX Mass in Brussels with my family, and it was the most beautiful Mass we’ve ever experienced… and there were lots of young people and families with kids. There was no comparison to the empty Novus Ordo churches in Belgium with their sometimes bizarre Novus Ordo altars intruding on the artistic and architectural beauty of centuries-old high altars (St. Michel in Brussels has a glass-top altar supported by brass pelicans in front of an incredibly beautiful high altar – the Pelican altar looks for all the world like a coffee table, and an ugly one at that, and really seems like it was placed their to mock the Sacrifice of the Mass) I pray that someday all these intrusive and contrived altars will be removed from Europe’s cathedrals and the sense of Traditional order re-established. Hopefully France will lead the way… SSPX and all!

  11. Habemus Papam says:

    The table “altar”, seems like it was placed there to mock the Sacrafice of the Mass.
    Yep, I think that was the general idea.

  12. Habemus Papam says:

    Of course that should be Sacrifice of the Mass. The whole thing was amockery, they took advantage of the good will and sense of obedience of the laity.

  13. Matthew Mattingly says:

    It is chilling to see how the Novus Ordo and the other reforms surronding the Mass developed after Vatican II. There is documented evidence of early Protestants deliberatly using cheap table altars in front of what had been the magnificent Catholic high altars in an attempt to mock the Mass. Early Protestant reformers and their radical supporters were so much like the lunatic rabble of liturgical experts a la Bugnini and Piero Marini in what they proposed that it is shocking. To his discredit, Paul VI and John Paul II as well encouraged it all. Tha’s is the most condemnatory thing of all….that the Popes of the time (Paul VI and John Paul II) knew that things such as this (the mod altar in the Belgian Church)were happening and either did nothing to stop it…or silently approved.

  14. Tommaso says:

    This trend had been noticed earlier. Just when you were ready to write off the French Church, it’s experiencing a reawakening! SSPXers saw this and Benedict Groeschel has hinted at it more than a few times.

    With anti-clericalism so top down there, there was little need felt for it at the grass roots. In fact, it may have helped that the Churches were nationalized because when the vandals came to take down the altar rails and rearranged the seating, the government said “No!” just out of spite.

    OFF Topic. On the way home from the movie Bella, I took a detour into Gentile’s Bear & Wine Store and my eyes were drawn to a large bottle of Sri Lankan Stout. I’m now toasting Archbishop Ranjith as I read WDTPRS.

    Lion Stout if any one is interested…

  15. Deborah says:

    “A very important point. Remember, when people ask you what Summorum Pontificum aims to do, tell them that it aims at building up the priesthood.”-Fr.Z

    This is very true. I suspect that our next generation of priests will be coming from the TLM communities and will help to bring the Church out of crisis, leading the faithful back to orthodoxy. It does seem the Holy Father has a grand “Marshall Plan”, doesn’t it? Brilliant!

    One question that has been bothering me lately though, which seminaries do we send these young men whom we have fostered and raised in the TLM communities?

    Some really are good and many are really bad. The seminary in my diocese is infested with dissent and I actually feel physically sick when a young man says he will be attending there.

  16. T. Chan says:

    Mr. Cundiff: There was a discussion of the Fraternités de Jérusalem over at The New Liturgical Movement a while back–if you google the archives you may be able to find it.

  17. EnglishCatholic says:

    In response to Mark Jacobson’s post:
    Did you go to St Joseph’s in Square Orban?
    It breaks my heart that the Low Countries is a spiritual wasteland, and yet
    there is a huge and beautiful SSPX church slap bang in the middle of Brussels,
    near my office, offering the extraordinary rite every week. Tempting though it is,
    I will not go there, for reasons that are well-rehearsed elsewhere.
    Nevertheless, there is an occasional traditional latin mass in
    the Eglise des Minimes, rue des Minimes, near the Grand Sablon in Brussels.
    The next is at 19h30 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, if anyone is interested.
    I’m even taking a protestant friend who loves Gregorian and polyphonic chant.
    Pray that this opportunity will open his heart to the Truth!

  18. Deborah says:

    “It is sometimes even suggested that we should be grateful for a decline in vocations to priesthood: could this not be a sign from the Holy Spirit that the age of the laity is finally dawning”

    This is interesting. I heard this very phrase during a homily from a priest – the rector of our diocesan Cathedral. Lack of priestly vocations is a blessing?

  19. Mark Jacobson says:

    EnglishCatholic -

    Yes, it was St. Joseph’s at Square Frere Orban. We went there because we felt it spiritually necessary for our family to experience the “Mass of the Ages” celebrated properly in a non-wreckovated church, with people who believed in Tradition rather than innovation. It’s the only time I’ve been to an SSPX Mass, but I couldn’t find another TLM in Brussels. Luckily we have two “authorized” TLMs within reasonable driving distance here in eastern Massachusetts.

  20. Henry Edwards says:

    Deborah: One question that has been bothering me lately though, which seminaries do we send these young men whom we have fostered and raised in the TLM communities?

    A young man from our TLM community is attending St. Charles Borromeo in Philadelphia, and is very happy there. Some of his fellow students there are from very orthodox dioceses like that of Bp. Bruskewicz as well as some FSSP theology students. A young TLM man might be even happier at Abp. Burke’s Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, where I understand all seminarians are already being trained in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms.

  21. RBrown says:

    “It is sometimes even suggested that we should be grateful for a decline in vocations to priesthood: could this not be a sign from the Holy Spirit that the age of the laity is finally dawning”

    This is interesting. I heard this very phrase during a homily from a priest – the rector of our diocesan Cathedral. Lack of priestly vocations is a blessing?
    Comment by Deborah

    That priest defines Age of Laity negatively–in terms of laxity and decadence in the priesthood and religious life, which has produced the shortage of priestly vocations. Such an approach is garbage.

    A few points:

    1. In the Middle Ages the lay people were seen as true participants in the life of the Church: There were Third Orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites) and Second orders for nuns. It was common for lay people to assist daily at Vespers or other hours at a monastery, cathedral (with canons), or other religious house.

    2. From the Counter Reformation to Vat II, however, the Church adopted the Jesuit model, which was copied by almost all new religious orders of the day. There was no Jesuit order for women and no Third Order for laity. Further, office was recited privately, and so there was no opportunity for the laity to assist at Vespers, etc.

    3. The true lay innovation of the past 100 years is the lay institute, of which Opus Dei is the great example. Opus Dei has various concentric circles. There are lay people who live an ascetic life in community but have secular occupations. There are also lay people who don’t live in community but are associated with Opus Dei, much like the Third Order founded in the Middle Ages. Opus Dei priests all have had secular professions–they do not move from high school or university to seminary. Alvara del Portillo, who succeeded Msgr Escriva as capo, had a doctorate in engineering, had been a professor of same, and had worked in the field. A theology prof of mine in Rome had practiced law.

    To me almost any notion of lay participation other than what is found in the Middle Ages or in Opus Dei is little else than the Protestantization of the Church.

  22. Deborah says:

    Thank you for the advice and info., Henry Edwards.

    I will contact these seminaries and find out if it is possible for a young man from another diocese (in Canada) to attend there and still be ordained for their home diocese. I realize our bishop’s permission is required however it would be good to know if it is even possible from the other side.

    I can recall at least six young men in the past five years who have come to me for advice in their discernment of a priestly vocation (they attended a young adults’ group I was leading). Three of them have entered our local seminary and my heart breaks as they slide down the slippery slope of dissent and apathy in order to “survive” there. I am ashamed to say that I have stepped back from encouraging priestly vocations after witnessing what goes on in our local seminary. It’s not right, I know.

  23. dcs says:

    SSPXers saw this and Benedict Groeschel has hinted at it more than a few times.

    Even Fr. Benedict is studying the older Missal in hope of celebrating it again. I found this bit of news interesting because he had not been particularly enamored of the old Missal in the past. But instead of complaining, he accepts the judgment of the Pope. That is what I call humility.

  24. Jess says:

    This is one of the most inspiring articles that I have read in a long time. Thanks for the comments, Fr. Z!

  25. Frank Monozlai says:

    Deborah,

    I really feel for you, and know of three or four good men discerning vocations that either found a dead end within your diocesan seminary, or in one case was fortunately able to find a community of priests elsewhere that took him in, after having been very poorly treated there.

    You might want to take a look at the Oratorians in Toronto whose seminary next to Holy Family Parish offers both two year programs in Catholic Studies (which fulfills all of the prerequisites for an MDiv), as well as their own MDiv program. Bp Bruskewicz used to send his seminarians there years ago before he was able to find decent seminaries closer to his diocese. Currently, many diocesan priests from around Southern Ontario take the two year program before entering the diocesan seminary in Toronto (St Augustine’s), and arrive that much better prepared because of it.

    You may have already heard that in addition to the Tridentine Rite offered Sunday mornings at nearby St Vincent de Paul Parish, that they also offer the TLM Monday through Saturday at Holy Family Parish. Overall, the Oratorians seem to be more “Reform of the Reform” oriented, putting their greatest energies into their Sunday 11am Latin Novus Ordo at Holy Family and ever popular Sunday Vespers, which is a mix of Latin and English. They certainly however do not frown upon seminarians for their interest in the Tridentine Rite, and offer sufficient study in Latin and perhaps opportunities to serve at their private Masses for seminarians to become familiar with the rite. With the Oratory just two hours away from you, I’d hardly suggest that you give up promoting vocations amongst the young men that you may come across in your activities.

  26. Deborah says:

    Thank you very much, Frank, I really appreciate the help. Yes, you do know our diocese and seminary well. It does not make sense to me to send our future priests there only to be turned into dissenters who despise traditional Catholicism and/or lose their vocation to the priesthood. It could not be God’s Will for anyone to attend such a bad seminary.

    I will contact Fr. Robinson at the Oratory in Toronto and ask how that would work for them. The Oratorians are an absolute treasure for the Church in Canada.