Oppressed priests and portable altars and true emergency conditions

St. Joseph’s Apprentice has made beautiful, practical portable altars for me and for many priests.

I have called his portable altars “the ultimate gift for a priest”.  I have one that I can travel with, using a Pelican case, that houses also travel vestments which you have all seen (thanks to a few readers for donations!) and everything else.  When it is all set up, it is grand and reverent.  Then back into the milspec case it goes.  That’s just my over the top solution, but the “travel altar” could go into a backpack, as it was designed to do.

In light of the horrors that some priests are subjected to right now these altars may be more and more important.

I received a note from the wonderful man who is “St. Joseph’s Apprentice”:

We (my wife and I) were so glad you did a post on the persecuted priests who are being forced into psych wards. We have been asked to build two altars so far for such priests. Fr. ___ even posted one on Twitter. This is a picture of his “Altar of Repose” he set up in his psychiatric hospital room on Holy Thursday. We used to be able to “google” this priest’s name but now he is no longer found on the Internet.  [I’m being targeted too.]

Your idea to start some respite [redoubt! Different.] for them in Montana sounded great. Something definitely should be done for these priests.

We had the idea that if you think it advisable, we could start a “GOFUNDME” account for altars for these priests. I definitely do not need the extra business as I am working 2-3 months out, but would like to be of help to these priests in whatever way possible. We also could find a safe haven up here in the Idaho woods for a priest or two. Keep us in mind. My nephew (a recent business grad from Univ. of Dallas and a good Catholic man) has offered to manage the gofundme account as I definite can’t manage that at this time. – Rick

Since I have been posting on the troubles of priests, people have poured notes into my email about their willingness to take them even into their homes.

Folks, this is very moving.

The GoFundMe account isn’t a bad idea.   Heck, we made it work with Leaflet Missal and the birettas, right?

At the same time, I think you know that in 90% of circumstances priests can’t stay in the homes of people whom they don’t know well.  Of course emergencies are emergencies.

All of this makes me think and think hard, but without losing a sense of humor (I hope).

Imagine a whole bunch of priests with checkered pasts, some maybe with real issues, descending on a home or town. The first scenes of the Hobbit movie with all the dwarves arriving comes to mind.  Imagine that these various and very different men find a kind of haven, a sort of “island of broken toys” and manage to form a new priestly community or society.  I think I would dust off my old plan to found “The Rubricians”.   Or maybe it would be more like, “The Dream Team”?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tamranthor says:

    We do not have a tradition of priest holes here in these United States. Sounds like they would come in handy in the coming couple of years.

  2. Ave Maria says:

    I just learned today of a holy priest, once at one of my parishes, has been left with no assignment. Also is blowing the whistle on some things in the diocese so it is doubtful that he will ever get another assignment. Too many good priests are just left floating.

  3. Elizabeth D says:

    I like, even love, your idea for a Camaldolese like place for priests with no place left to go. It shouldn’t be only for TLM priests.


    But what do you do if the laity gravitate to the “priest redoubt” because of the perception that’s where all the good priests wind up?

  4. Mike says:

    I think you know that in 90% of circumstances priests can’t stay in the homes of people whom they don’t know well

    As it happens, I didn’t know, although it makes sense. I just read this morning about Fr. David Nix who is essentially homeless after having blown the whistle on repeated Eucharistic abuses and other alleged mischief in the Archdiocese of Denver. For a priest in such a position to stay in other people’s homes with any frequency or regularity would seem to invite recriminations, or worse, from a disturbed, narcissistic, and/or politically ambitious bishop.

    What confounds me is what his ordinary, Archbishop Samuel Aquila—widely regarded as something of a conservative, although to me only by comparison with the rest of USCCB, if even that—thinks he can gain by putting Fr. Nix in this position. Can His Excellency really fail to recognize how awful he makes himself and the Church look by persecuting an apparently faithful and diligent priest?

  5. jokkmk says:

    We have a perfect place to host (hide) priests and we have even talked about having priest holes. Midwest location out in the country, lots of acreage; is this what we’re being called to do?

  6. bibi1003 says:

    Reading this has made me want to read The Benedict Option. I rejected it at first because I thought it would be too extreme. But today I read a few pages from the preview online. Dreher said it was crucial to form a network of like-minded Catholics to support one another through this persecution. Now I see that we will need this network to protect our priests.

  7. Ellen says:

    I can recommend a novel that touches on some of these points. The Heretics of St. Possenti by Rolf Nelson
    Here’s the blurb: Bishop Thomas Cranberry finds himself at a loss when he is confronted by a thief and realizes some disturbing truths about himself. The experience sends him in search of the men who are increasingly absent from the Church, who find themselves at a loss in a world that has gone increasingly feral, and who feel that they have nowhere to go and no one to whom they can turn for support. In listening to them and attempting to understand their plight, he finds an unexpected mission.

  8. KateD says:

    The better part of valor is discretion….w

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