**This section was composed, with respect and admiration, by some "laborers of the first hour" who lived through it all, and preserved the records at the CTM's Research Library.
Sacerdos in Aeternum
Rev. Dr. Gommar A. De Pauw
Father GOMMAR A. DE PAUW, the leader of the CATHOLIC TRADITIONALIST MOVEMENT, is a Belgian-born (1918) United States citizen, belonging to a family of early American settlers, among whom are Michael De Pauw, the first proprietor of what is now Ellis Island and Staten Island, New York; Charles De Pauw, personal aide-de-camp of Lafayette during the American Revolution; and Washington Charles De Pauw for whom the DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana is named. His maternal grandparents immigrated to the U.S. in 1911 and settled down in Paterson, N.J.
After graduating as a Diplomate in Classical Humanities, magna cum laude, from the College of St. Nicholas, Belgium, he entered the diocesan seminary of Ghent, Belgium, for his philosophical and theological studies. At the outbreak of World War II he fought as a combat medic with the 9th Belgian Infantry Hunters Regiment in the campaigns of Belgium, Holland, and France, where at the Battle of Dunkirk he was taken prisoner. After escaping from prison camp he returned to the seminary. Upon completion of his theological studies he was, by special indult of the Holy See, ordained to the priesthood in 1942, at the age of 23; three years of post-graduate studies followed at the Catholic University of Louvain. Besides the 3-year-courses in Canon Law, Moral Theology and Church History, he also took the 1-year-courses in Civil Law, Social Economy, International Law and Archeology. His degrees earned at Louvain are Bachelor in Canon Law, and the triple major Licentiate (Ph.D. in the USA) in Canon Law, Moral Theology and Church History.
As battlefield-commissioned chaplain, Father De Pauw took part in the liberation of Northern Belgium and Southern Holland with the Belgian Underground Army and the 1st Free Polish Armored Division, which awarded him the Honor Cross of the Free Polish Forces. Fifteen years later Father De Pauw was to receive the "Certificate of Achievement" from the U.S. 2nd Army, for what the citation called "outstanding contribution to the religious welfare of the military and civilian personnel of the U.S. Army Garrison and the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania," where Father De Pauw served as substitute-chaplain in 1960.
In 1949 Father De Pauw joined his family in the U.S. and served for two years as a parish priest in New York City, St. Stephen in Manhattan and St. Clare in the Bronx, while at the same time preparing his doctoral dissertation on "The Educational Rights of the Church" for the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he was promoted to Doctor in Canon Law in 1953.
Meanwhile, in 1952, he had accepted the chair of Moral Theology and Canon Law at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, a position he held for thirteen years. He also served simultaneously as Professor of Fundamental Dogmatic Theology and Dean of Studies at the same institution, and as Associate Professor of Philosophy and member-general secretary of the Administrative Council of the College of the same name. His weekends and vacations meanwhile were devoted to parish-work at St. Ignatius Church, Buchanan Valley, Pennsylvania. After three years as professor at Mount St. Mary's he transferred from the diocese of Ghent to the archdiocese of Baltimore, until November 16, 1965, when the Holy See placed him under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Tivoli-Rome, in order to enable him to resume the leadership of the CATHOLIC TRADITIONALIST MOVEMENT, publicly launched by him the previous March 15, and to eventually establish the AVE MARIA CHAPEL, in Westbury, Long Island, New York, which at its opening on June 23, 1968, became the first and only publicly functioning traditionalist Roman Catholic parish in the world.
Father De Pauw has contributed to several joint publications such as the NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, the ENCYCLOPEDIC DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, the HOMILETIC AND PASTORAL REVIEW, and EPHEMERIDES THEOLOGICAE LOVANIENSES.
The best known of his own numerous publications are his TRADITIONAL ROMAN CATHOLIC MASS, published in book form, as well as on phonograph records, audio and video cassettes, and his most controversial work, THE CHALLENGE OF PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH, (1989).
He is also editor of the CTM-publications SOUNDS OF TRUTH AND TRADITION and QUOTE…UNQUOTE, and producer of the worldwide SUNDAY RADIO MASS.
Between 1962 and 1965 Father De Pauw participated in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council as an officially recognized "personal expert" and "procurator." During that Council the then Vatican Secretary of State Amleto Cardinal Cicognani, personally promoted Father De Pauw to Domestic Prelate, with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor, an honor subsequently replaced with the granting of the Silver Medal of Pope Paul VI's pontificate, as "a mark of the Holy Father's appreciative gratitude for Father De Pauw's work."
At one time or another Father De Pauw was a member of such organizations as -he resigned, in protest, from some of them- the CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, the CANON LAW SOCIETY OF AMERICA, the AMERICAN CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION, the NATIONAL CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION, the INTERNATIONAL PLATFORM ASSOCIATION, the INTERNATIONAL HEALTH SOCIETY, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS, UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS FOR ACADEMIC ORDER, the ORDER OF LAFAYETTE, the AMERICAN SECURITY COUNCIL and its U.S. CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD.
He is listed in, among other reference works, WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN EDUCATION,
WHO'S WHO IN THE EAST, the DIRECTORY OF AMERICAN SCHOLARS, the NATIONAL
SOCIAL DIRECTORY, the ROYAL BLUE BOOK (London), the DICTIONARY OF INTERNATIONAL
BIOGRAPHY, COMMUNITY LEADERS OF AMERICA, TWO THOUSAND MEN OF ACHIEVEMENT,
WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA, WHO'S WHO IN RELIGION, CATHOLIC WHO'S WHO, INTERNATIONAL
WHO'S WHO IN COMMUNITY SERVICE, and WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD.
Father De Pauw's last public Mass was Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005.
After a grueling Holy Week schedule a very week Father De Pauw was asked
if he wanted to forego offering Mass on Easter. With a stern look he replied,
"I have to do this, I am ready to go".
Early in the morning on May 6, 2005, Father went to his eternal reward
he was so deserving of.
In response to the notification of Father's passing, a clergyman stated,
"I hope he died in the peace of the Lord".
Let all be assured that Father De Pauw left this world spiritually, mentally
and physically most peaceful. Confident he faced his Maker whom he served
faithfully as a true priest forever while holding on to the
Information provided by International Biographical Centre (Cambridge, England); New Catholic Encyclopedia (Washington); Current Biography (New York); and Who's Who in the World (Chicago).